PIKE Rovers picked up their first silverware of the season when on Saturday night they beat Kerry champions St Brendan’s 4-0 in the final of the Munster Champions Cup.
St Brendan’s Park came into the tie looking to be the second Kerry team to win the competition since its inception last season, (Killarney winning the inaugural event), but on the day they had to play second fiddle to a bang in form Pike Rvs XI.
Dave Ryan won the man of the match award with a selfless display of running that earned a return of two goals for the striker.
Close behind him were defenders Pat Mullins and Gavin O’Shea, who tied up the ‘Park attacking threat impressively.
In the middle of the park John Tierney, particularly in the opening half hour was supreme.
The breakthrough came on 15 minutes with a superb goal. Keith Harnett played the ball wide to Eoin Hanrahan who delivered inch perfect from the left and Ryan’s glancing header gave Kelly no chance.
St Brendan’s woes increased five minutes later when from their own corner kick, Pike broke quickly and Tierney drew the defender before playing a one two with Ryan to drive the ball low into the area and as you’ve come to expect, Keith Harnett arrived on cue to finish from close range.
Two minutes later Hanrahan pulled the ball across goal for Ryan who had just overrun the pass and shortly after the same combination conjured up a third goal but the linesman’s flag halted the celebrations.
Surprisingly Pike slacked off for the last ten minutes of the half and the Kerry side had their best spell.
For all their possession they seemed incapable of getting past Pat Mullins and Co so were restricted to long range efforts from Tony Murphy and Mark O’Sullivan.
The break came at just the right time for Pike who were able to regroup and retake control on the restart.
A clever move between Tierney and Barry looked to put the latter in on goal but a last ditch challenge from Con Barrett saved the day.
The relief for ‘Brendan’s was short lived however as the next foray by Pike into their territory yielded a third goal.
A quick throw by Hanrahan to Eddie O’Donovan saw the youngster play a clever return pass which ended with Tierney putting Dave Ryan in behind the defence and he blasted home to the near post from an acute angle for his second of the night.
Ryan set up the final goal when he raced from half way and pulled the ball back across goal for Alan Barry to side foot past Kelly for a fine goal.
After the game Ted O’Mahoney, Chairman of the MFA presented the trophy to Pike captain Pat Mullins.
Pike Rovers: Gary Neville, Gavin O’Shea, Eddie O’Donovan, Conor Moloney, Pat Mullins, Jason Heffernan, Keith Hartnett, John Tierney, Eoin Hanrahan, Alan Barry, Dave Ryan, Reserves; Martin Deedy, Jake Mulcahy, Paul Doona.