Pike Rovers claim dramatic Junior Cup victory
Pike Rovers (Limerick) 2 - 1 St. Michael’s (Tipperary)
Alan Barry 21 Pat Quinn 40
Keith Hartnett 89
Limerick’s Pike Rovers secured their first FAI Umbro Junior Cup title in their history with a 2-1 victory over Tipperary’s St. Michael’s AFC at Turners Cross on Sunday. Alan Barry put Pike Rovers ahead after 21 minutes before Pat Quinn equalised for St. Michael’s in the 40th minute. There was to be late drama at the end in Turners Cross as Pike Rovers captain, Keith Hartnett scored with a speculative effort in the 89th minute with a 30 yard free-kick.
In a frantic opening to the game, it was St. Michael’s who had the first real effort on goal in the eight minute when Jimmy Carr’s left footed effort from 25 yards went inches wide of Gary Neville’s post.
Limerick’s Pike Rovers took the lead in the 21st minute when St. Michael’s keeper, Derek Breen spilled a powerful Conor Kavanagh shot from inside the box and striker Alan Barry was on hand to prod the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
St. Michael’s equalised in style in the 40th minute with a well worked set piece from a corner as Jimmy Carr played the ball to Chris Higgins who played a sublime cross into the box to John Connery whose looping header found Pat Quinn who nodded it in at the far post, giving Gary Neville in the Pike Rovers goal no chance.
Pike Rovers replied strongly and St. Michael’s had to thank defender, Paul Breen for clearing two Patrick Moloney attempts off the line in the 43rd minute to send both sides in all square at half time.
Both sides continued to press in the opening stages of the second half and Pike came agonisingly close to taking the lead when Eoin Hanrahan forced Derek Breen into a fantastic save from his free-kick from 30 yards in the 48th minute. St. Michael’s however were quick to break and they instantly went on the attack through Thomas Fahey whose through ball found Richard Ryan who broke through on goal but pulled his effort wide from ten yards.
Pike Rovers snatched the winner in the 89th minute to secure their first ever FAI Umbro Junior Cup triumph in their history. Rovers captain, Keith Hartnett’s low free-kick from 30 yards went under the St. Michael’s wall and Derek Breen was unable to hold the effort which nestled in the back of the net.
St. Michael’s AFC: Derek Breen, Paul Tobin, Chris Higgins, Paul Breen, James Walsh, Trevor Cosgrave, Jimmy Carr, Thomas Fahey, Pat Quinn, Richard Ryan, John Connery.
Substitutes: Padraig Fogarty (on for Connery, 68 mins), Ray McMahon, Shane Guerin (on for Pat Quinn, 69 mins), Sean O’Halloran, Michael O’Dwyer, Michael Fitzgerald, Danny O’Brien.
Pike Rovers FC: Gary Neville, Wayne Colbert, Brian Cleary, Patrick Mullins, Colm Enright, Keith Hartnett, Conor Kavanagh, Patrick Moloney, Alan Barry, Eoin Hanrahan, John Tierney.
Substitutes: Michael Ahearne, Colm Carroll, Wayne O’Donovan, Edward O’Donovan, David O’Grady, Ronan Power, David Ryan (on for Patrick Moloney, 45 mins).
Referee: Ian Bradley