SLIDESHOW: Pike Rovers will fly Limerick flag in FAI as Aisling win in Premier League

Pat Sheehan

Reporter:

Pat Sheehan

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sport@limerickleader.ie

FAI Junior Cup - Pike Rovers 2  Regional Utd 1
Pike Rvs are Limerick's sole survivors in the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup after they beat Regional Utd in a hard fought encounter at the Pike Field on Sunday afternoon.
Wayne Colbert gave Pike a half time lead and a brilliant individual goal by Eoin Hanrahan gave Pike the much coveted two goal lead before Willie Griffin scored a late goal to make it a nervous final few minutes.
There was little to choose between the sides for much of the game but the experience of the Pike side came to the fore in the end as they progressed.
A bitterly cold afternoon did not make things easy for the sides but both are to be complimented for the effort they displayed.
The visitors went close to taking the lead inside five minutes when Kieran O'Connell's shot rebounded off the upright and into the arms of a grateful Gary Neville.
Pike responded with long range efforts from Eoin Hanrahan and Steven McGann that were just off target.
Wayne O'Donovan forced a good save from Rob Shier in the Regional goal and the keeper was called into action again minutes later to block Paddy O'Malley's deflected shot.
The home side broke the deadlock right on half time. Wayne O'Donovan's corner kick was punched away by Shier but Wayne Colbert was lurking on the edge of the box and he returned the ball to the back of the net.
With the wind at their back Regional started the second half on the front foot. A free kick by Ian Hughes saw O'Connell's diving head go narrowly wide and minutes later Willie Griffin broke free but looked like he was being impeded when he fired wide of the mark.
Regional sub Pat McDonagh breezed past a number of Pike defenders into the box but the inrunning Patterson was narrowly ahead of the pull back.
Pike's grip on the game tightened with a goal of pure quality. Eoin Hanrahan gathered midway inside the Regional half and took off on a mazy run that saw him weave around four defenders before scooping the ball over the advancing Shier.
Regional responded within minutes. Mike Reidy delivered into the area and Willie Griffin headed cleverly out of reach of Neville into the corner.
For the final couple of minutes Regional knocked everything forward but a solid Pike defence held firm.

Pike Rovers: Gary Neville; Jason Mullins; Eddie O'Donovan; Wayne Colbert; Pat Mullins; Colin Daly; Darragh Carroll; Wayne O'Donovan; Eoin Hanrahan; Steve McGann; Paddy O'Malley. Subs: Cian Collins; Dave Ryan; Shane Walsh
Regional Utd: Rob Shier; Ian Hughes; Mike Reidy; Andrew Cowpar; Jack Molyneaux; Wayne McNamara; Kieran O'Connell; Evan Patterson; Willie Griffin; Derry McCarthy; Ray Lynch. Subs: Pat McDonagh; Jeff Mannion; Declan Cusack; Darragh Walsh

Grattan Utd 2 Coonagh Utd 1
Coonagh Utd's FAI Junior Cup odyssey came to a cruel end on Saturday afternoon when they succumbed to a sickening last minute winner from Cork side Grattan United.
Despite plying their trade in the top tier in the Cork Premier League, the home side were installed as underdogs against a Division 1B side from Limerick.
Anyone who thought the bookies were erring soon saw that they were well clued in as Coonagh outplayed the Cork side for much of the game. .
The game started at a frantic pace with Grattan causing some early problems. Coonagh managed to settle the game down as they grew into it but neither side managed to create any clear chances.
Grattan saw two efforts from Trevor Hallisey blasted over the bar while Coonagh went close with a long range effort from Gordon McKevitt.
Coonagh started the second half well with Ian Considine getting in on goal but from a tight angle he narrowly put the ball wide of the goal.
Grattan had a good spell for the next 20 minutes but Coonagh dealt capably with whatever they could conjure up.
The opening goal of the game came when Coonagh keeper Kieran Simmonds was forced to race from his line to clear an under hit back pass and the ball fell kindly to John Paul O'Sullivan and the Grattan striker's effort managed to find its way into the back of the net.
This goal sparked Coonagh into life and the hardworking Ger Myles continued to cause problems for the Grattan back four, with the help of his fellow attackers.
A long ball over the top was flicked on by Myles and the on rushing Ian Considine once again found himself in on goal at a tight angle. He rifled a shot goalwards which the keeper managed to save but it fell to Ger Myles just inside the box. He kept his cool and rifled his effort into the roof of the net.
As the game wore on it was Coonagh that applied he pressure with Grattan working off the counter attack. With only a minute left on the clock the Grattan left winger Hallisey got away down the line, cut back and with a pin point cross picked out Eric Shinkwin, who had made a 70 yard run into the box and the centre half made no mistake placing a fantastic diving header into the goal.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game but Coonagh never gave up the fight but the home side managed to hold on to book their place in the last 16.
It was a fantastic effort by Coonagh who were in position on merit and with a little luck would be in the hat for the last 16.
A quick recovery will see this progressive club now switch their attention to winning the Division 1B League title.
Grattan Utd: James McCarthy; Anthony Peelo; Robert O'Connor; Harry Goulding; Brian O'Sullivan; Gary Coughlan; Alan King; Mark O'Sullivan; John Paul O'Sullivan,; Robbie Healy; Trevor Hallisey. Sub: Eric Shinkwin; David O'Sullivan
Coonagh Utd: Kieran Simmonds; Rory O'Neill; David Coffey; Aaron Costello; Joey Sheehan; Eoin Martin; Gordon McKevitt; Eoghan O'Neill; Mark McGrath; Ger Myles; Ian Considine. Subs: Graham Minogue; Kevin Bolger; Conor Cusack; Keith Doran; Ray McMahon; Michael O'Flanagan; Thomas Myles

Premier League - Aisling Annacotty 3 Ballynanty Rovers 2

The only Premier League game to survive the weather proved an exciting affair for the spectators when Aisling just pipped Ballynanty Rvs for the points in Annacotty.
Aisling looked to have blown a win they should have wrapped up earlier in the game when Dermot Fitzgerald equalised for Balla with five minutes remaining but Jason Lipper struck his second of the day in injury time to seal the points for the home side.
The long lay-off seemed to affect Balla more as Aisling started the game in brighter fashion. It took the homesters just eight minutes to open the scoring when Darren Harrington broke into the right side of the area before firing across Balla keeper Stephen McNamara into the far corner.
Aisling continued to set the pace thereafter but the Balla rearguard dealt with anything that came their way.
Midway through the half Balla were back on level terms. An inch perfect ball from Dermot Fitzgerald into the Aisling box saw Kevin Nolan peel off his marker before looping a header over Stephen Walsh for an excellent goal.
Aisling responded immediately with Colm Murphy inches over the top with a long ranger.
Ten minutes from the break Aisling were back in front. Barry Hootan's delivery into the area was powerfully headed in by Lipper from close range.
It would have been worse for the visitors id Fitzgerald had not thrown himself in the path of Sosuke Kimura's goal bound shot.
The second half continued in the same vein with the home side looking to add to their lead and McNamara made a superb save to deny Lipper from ten yards.
A good period for the visitors saw Walsh made an equally impressive block to deny David Donnan.
Nolan had a chance to grab a second for the visitors but uncharacteristically blasted over from inside the box and a glancing header from Jamie Daly fell inches wide of the post.
McNamara made another super save to block Kimura's 10 yard shot. The misses looked like they had cost Aisling a win when Dermot Fitzgerald levelled from a spot kick.
However Aisling were not to be denied and when Dylan O'Neill delivered an inch perfect cross into the area Lipper arrived on cue to power in his second of the day.
Aisling Annacotty: Stephen Walsh; Evan O'Connor; Barry Hootan; Damien Collins; Patrick Stanisewski; Shane Donegan; Chimka Manjor; Colm Murphy; Darren Harrington; Jason Lipper; Sosuke Kimura. Subs: Niall Smith, Dylan O'Neill, Oisin Kelly
Ballynanty Rovers: Stephen McNamara; Michael Guerin; Dan Lucey; Ken Meehan; Dermot Fitzgerald; Derek Daly; Bobby Ryan; Peter Ryan; Eddie Byrnes; David Donnan; Kevin Nolan. Subs: Jamie Daly, Dylan Franklin


Round Up


Fairview qualified for the last eight of the Munster Youth Cup following an excellent 3-2 win over Cork side St Marys.
The visitors went a goal up before Alex Kiely levelled. Saints took the lead again but Mark Gallagher scored to make it 2-2 at half time.
Gallagher popped up with the winner in the second half.
Kilfrush went down 2-1 to St Brendan's Park of Kerry while Pike's game with Dungarvan was postponed.
Division 2A leaders Geraldines increased their lead at the top of the table to six points after sharing two goals with Charleville. Shane Connolly netted for the Cork side while Paudie Reale scored for Geraldines B.
Charleville were big winners at Aisling in the Under 17 Div Two League and with two games remaining need four points to be crowned Champions.
In Division 1A Castle Rvs beat Aisling to move out of the drop zone.
For more Limerick Junior Soccer, see Wednesday's Limerick Leader as well as www.limerickleader.ie