Premier League Janesboro 4 - 2 Pike Rovers
If Janesboro had one hand on the Premier crown going into Sunday's game with Pike, by the end of the game which they won 4-2, they have one hand and four fingers now in place on the Fran Mullally Trophy.
Pearse Stadium basked in glorious sunshine as 'Boro’ opened up a whopping 14 point gap on the chasing pack. Seven points from their final five games will ensure the Premier Trophy stays in place for another season.
Shane Clarke, a thorn in the Pike defence all day, claimed a hat trick and while his first goal was of the Harry Kane variety, his second goal was out of the top drawer curling the ball into the top corner from 20 yards.
Niall Hanley added to his reputation with another superb outing while Aidan Hurley was again highly effective in the middle of the park. It was good to see Danny O'Neill back in the thick of the action.
Pike started well but an early injury to Wayne Colbert coincided with the concession of two goals within minutes.
A red card for Shane Walsh made their hopes even slimmer and while they upped their game after the break, Pat Mullins left the field midway through the second half before they conceded another brace of goals.
Gary Neville, Steven McGann, Colin Daly and Pat Mullins were prominent for the Hoops.
Pike started well and nearly forced an own goal when Ryan Doherty headed just over his own crossbar.
A minute later Eoin Hanrahan won a challenge with John Mulready from a corner kick but when the ball fell to the Pike striker a yard from goal, the Boro keeper recovered to make a goal line block.
Shane Clarke rattled the Pike upright with a free kick on 20 minutes but 15 minutes later Boro found the net.
O'Neill delivered a teasing corner and Gary Neville made a smart save to prevent an own goal but the ball fell to Hurley who let fly from four yards and the ball flew to the net off the well position Shane Clarke (A striker's goal!).
There was doubting the second goal on 35 minutes. A good breakaway by Arron Nunan put Keith Mawdsley away on the right and he played the ball across the 18 yard to Clarke who looked up an sent an inch perfect shot over Neville to the roof of the net.
To add further to Pike's woes they were reduced to ten men before the break when a rash challenge by Shane Walsh was punished.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Pike played well in the second half . Daly and Hanrahan went close before Pat Mullins reduced the deficit from a corner kick when he bundled the ball over the line from Darragh Carroll's header.
'Boro always looked more likely in front of goal and Clarke was again denied by the upright before he set up Hanley with an east tap in to make it 3-1.
Again Pike failed to throw in the towel and Cian Power scored a super goal before Clarke completed his hat trick with an easy tap in.
Janesboro: John Mulready; Danny O'Neill; Adrian Power; Steven Bradley; Tom Clarke; Ryan O'Doherty; Aidan Hurley; Niall Hanley; Arron Nunan; Shane Clarke; Keith Mawdsley. Subs: Mike Ryan
Pike Rovers: Gary Neville; Adam Lipper; Eddie O'Donovan; Pat Mullins; Wayne Colbert; Colin Daly; Steve McGann; Darragh Carroll; Eoin Hanrahan; Paddy O'Malley; Shane Walsh. Subs: Cian Collins; Dave Ryan; Cian Power
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