SLIDESHOW: Pike Rovers prepare for FAI Junior Cup final

Pat Sheehan


Pat Sheehan


The Limerick junior soccer fraternity is hoping Pike Rovers can sooth a seven year itch in it's wait to bring the FAI Junior Cup back to the City when they take on Wexford champions North End United in the Aviva Stadium at 2pm on Saturday.
It's seven years since the trophy rested on Shannonside after Pike Rovers saw off St Michaels in the 2011 final.
Since then Limerick sides have twice tasted defeat in the decider, both played in the Aviva Stadium.
In 2014 Balla went down to St Michaels and two years later Pike suffered a similar fate at the hands of Dublin side Sheriff YC.
Manager Mike Sheil was at the helm for that game and along with the players felt the Hoops failed to perform to their best on the day. They will be determined not to repeat the error this time out.
They meet a North End side who top the Premier Division in Wexford and have shown in their FAI run that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Impressive away wins against Ballymun, Killarney and St Michaels have shown they will not be overawed on Saturday.
Boasting a number of former Wexford Youth players in the side and in striker Paul Murphy they possess the biggest threat facing Pike.
However in Pat Mullins and Wayne Colbert, Pike possess two defenders who love the challenge.
In the middle of the park Pike boast one of the form players in the country in Steven McGann. The Clare man's form has forced Irish manager Gerry Davis to include him in their upcoming squad.
He is chipping in with some vital goals and tops the Pike scoring list with 18 to date.
Outside him will be Eoin Hanrahan who is the key man for Pike.
On his day Eoin can be scintillating and possess a threat from anywhere inside the final third.
It is vital for Pike he is kept involved throughout and not allowed to drift out of the game.
As usual you can expect a large crowd to travel to support from Limerick.
Path to the Final

Pike Rovers
(H) v Charleville W 4-1
(A) v Carew Park W 1-0
(H) v Kilfrush W 4-2
(A) v Hill Celtic W 7-0
(H) v Regional Utd W 2-1
(A) v Dungarvan W 3-1
(A) v Shannon Town 0 - 0 (Won on penalties)
(H) v Newmarket Celtic W 3-2

North End United
(H) v Garda W 4-1
(A) v Brookville W W/O
(H) v Crettyard W 2-1
(A) v Parkville W 4-0
(A) v Ballymun W 6-0
(A) v Killarney W 4-1
(A) v Ayrfield W 3-0
(A) v St Michaels W 2-1