Road to the Avivia
Avondale United will leave their Munster environs for the first time in this season’s competition, having defeated fellow Cork outfits in their previous six outings.
For Crumlin, they done it the hard way – defeating their two main Senior Division rivals Bluebell United and Killester/Donnycarney along with holders Maynooth University Town.
First Round –
The first round was handy enough for the Dale as they skipped by Leeside by four goals to nil thanks to brace each from Jamie Murphy and Declan Cahill while Crumlin were handed the easiest route to round two after receiving a bye.
Second Round –
Crumlin’s ‘reward’ for their first round bye was a clash with fierce rivals Bluebell United – a game they won by a couple of goals to nil as Alan McGreal and Craig Walsh netted. Avondale edged by Fermoy in the first of three one nil wins.
Third Round –
A Jake Donnelly hat trick and another from defender Gary Murphy made sure Crumlin made light work of the challenge of Ballinhassig. Avondale’s Mark O’Sullivan netted the only goal of the game with Mayfield.
Fourth Round –
Josh O’Shea struck the solitary goal from the spot as Dale defeated Cobh Wanderers in a battle of the big two in Cork. Alan McGreal fired home a delightful double as Crumlin ousted Letterkenny Rovers – a repeat of the 2016 final.
Quarter Finals –
Midleton were Avondale’s next victims, a two goals to one win with Josh O’Shea and Danny O’Connell on the mark. The game was the only time that Dale’s defence was breached to date. Crumlin gave Killester/Donnycarney no time to settle as goals from Walsh, Donnelly and McGreal sent the Blues into the last four.
Semi Finals –
Crumlin travelled to Kildare to meet holder Maynooth University Town and left it late to settle the issue as Jake Donnelly cracked home a scintillating injury time winner. The Blues twice came from a goal down as Conor Murphy and Craig Walsh didn’t let the holders get out of sight before Donnelly struck.