SLIDESHOW: Geraldines lose out as Pike Rovers make it to Munster Junior Cup final

Pat Sheehan

Reporter:

Pat Sheehan

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sport@limerickleader.ie

Munster Junior Cup
semi finals

Pike Rvs 1
Newmarket Celtic 1
(Pike won 3-2 on pens aet)

Pike Rovers kept their dreams of three-in-a-row Munster Junior Cup titles alive with a penalty shoot out win over Newmarket Celtic at the Pike Club on Saturday evening.
A large crowd turned out for the tie which was a tight affair with nothing between the teams for the most part.
Niggling injuries forced the home side to leave top scorer Jonathan Grant and captain Pat Mullins on the bench from the start but both played a big part when introduced later on.
Grant, with virtually his first touch of the game drew the sides level after Mahoney gave the visitors a half time lead.
Mullins along with Wayne O’Donovan and Conor Kavanagh, converted a successful penalty kick when the pressure was on.
Gary Neville emerged as the ‘Hoops’ hero making two superb saves in the shoot out to set up a Limerick final on May 19th versus St Michaels.
A swirling wind took from the quality on offer but did not dampen the appetite as two fully committed sides battled it out.
Shane Walsh again shone for the ‘Hoops’ controlling things in midfield as did Conor Kavanagh at the heart of the defence.
In the early stages Pike Rovers had more possession but it was the visitors who posed the greater threat.
Dave Reidy went within a whisker of giving Celtic the lead with a shot from 18 yards and minutes later it took a brilliant last gasp tackle from Kavanagh to deny Paddy Purcell from six yards.
The visitors took the lead on 40 minutes with a goal that is sure to have earned the ire of Pike manager Mike Shiel.
Kieran Mahoney collected on the right and was allowed come in across the back four before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.
Pike nearly levelled before the break when Shane Walsh’s long range effort caught in the win and sailed over Shane Cusack in the Celtic goal but struck the crossbar before being hacked to safety.
The introduction of Grant at half time gave Pike the threat they were lacking in the first half and with the fans still heading back to their seats the League’s top scorer struck again.
Good harrying by the industrious Evan Patterson blocked down a clearance and his shot was well saved by Shane Cusack but fell loose and Grant arrived on cue to tuck home the rebound.
Thereafter the game became a cagier affair. Numerous Pike corners were well snuffed out by the towering Kelly and Purcell while at the other end Neville was hardly called on other than normal duties.
Extra time saw both sides afraid to concede so the penalty shoot out was called for where the home side came out tops.

Pike Rovers: Gary Neville; Wayne O'Donovan; Paddy O'Malley; Ian Fletcher; Conor Kavanagh; Colin Daly; Shane Walsh; Evan Patterson; Eoin Hanrahan; Steve McGann; Jonathan Hannafin. Subs: Jonathan Grant; Pat Mullins; Jason Mullins

Newmarket Celtic: Shane Cusack, Eoin O'Brien, Darren Cullinane, Paddy Purcell, Stephen Kelly, Cathal Hayes, Tino Nzvaura, Colin Smyth, Dave Reidy, Eoin Hayes, Kieran Mahoney, Subs Gary Higgins, David McCarthy


Geraldines 0
St Michaels 1

Geraldines brave run in the Munster Junior Cup came undone at the Markets Field on Sunday when they fell by the narrowest margin to FAI finalists St Michaels.
Derek Hannon's men gave it their all but found the Tipperary giants a tough nut to crack.
It could have been so different if Shane Byrne’s effort in the opening minutes had gone in but a full length save by Adrian Walsh denied the ‘Dines’ striker.
An injury to Byrne denied ‘Dines’ the physical outlet needed against Paul Breen and co. and as luck would have it St Michaels also had to make a first half replacement.
Unfortunately for Geraldines, former Regional player Ollie O’Driscoll turned out to be the match winner.
Scoreless at the break the visitors broke the deadlock ten minutes after the restart. A clearance by Breen was picked up by Dave Slattery and he played O’Driscoll in to score.
The home side battled on gamely but were getting little joy from a rock solid defence.
It was the visitors who went closest to scoring with the post denying them on two occasions.
So its Saints go on to the final to meet Pike in a repeat of the 2017 decider.

Geraldines; Evan Moloney, Clifton Carey, Shane Cox, Bobby Tier, Thomas O'Grady, Dean McNamara, Cian Byrnes, Donie Curtin, Shane Byrne, Christy O'Neill, Karl Turner, Subs, Morgan Clancy, ,Eddie Lee, Alan Barry

St Michaels; Adrian Walsh, Richard Ryan, Chris Higgins, Paul Breen, Sean Kerns, Joe Mulcahy, William Armshaw, Colin Bargary, Dave Slattery, Dave Joyce, John Connery, Subs, Ollie O’Driscoll, Shane Ryan


Lawson Cup Semi Final

Janesboro 2
Fairview Rgs 4

Fairview Rgs ensured a positive end to the season after reaching the final of the prestigious Lawson Cup following a well earned 4-2 win at Janesboro on Sunday morning. The prize is a tilt at either Pike Rvs or Hill Celtic in the decider that will bring the season to a end.
As predicted Jason Purcell and Stewart Fitzgerald’s side were fully focused on this tie and brought some really good form into the game.
The reasons for Fairview’s resurgence are many but a fit Robbie Kelleher has played a big part. Written off by many, the injury plagued Kelleher has been a revelation this season and his hold up play is the perfect foil for his lively front runners.
He set Fairview on their way playing Ross Mann through to open the scoring. The former Limerick and Shamrock Rovers player doubled Fairview's lead when he controlled Adam Frahill’s cross before volleying home.
Just before the break Shane Clarke bagged No. 42 for the season, but just after the restart Fairview regained their two goal advantage with a superb goal ending with Ross Mann pulling the ball back for James Fitzgerald to finish.
Adrian Power got on the end of Danny O’Neill’s delivery to make it a one goal game again but the insurance goal saw former Boro player Jeffery Judge pounced on a defensive mix up to blast home from inside the box.

Janesboro: John Mulready; Danny O'Neill; Ryan O'Doherty; Tom Clarke; Lee O'Mara; Mike Ryan; Niall Hanley; Aidan Hurley; Adrian Power; Shane Clarke; Keith Mawdsley. Subs Dylan Kelly-Higgins, Shane Stack, Eddie Brazier, Kevin Barry . Subs not used: Shane Stack; Dylan Kelly Higgins; Eddie Brazier; Kevin Barry

Fairview Rgs: Barry Ryan; Jamie Enright; Josh Considine; John Mullane; Brian Fitzgerald; AJ O'Connor; Jeffery Judge; Adam Frahill; James Fitzgerald; Ross Mann; Robbie Kelleher. Subs: Paul Danaher; Thomas Byrnes

O'Halloran Cup Final

Mungret Reg 1
Moyross 0

Mungret Reg were crowned O’Halloran Cup champions on Friday evening when they defeated Moyross by a single goal to take the title and add another chapter to what has been a memorable season for the club.
With promotion to the Premier all but secured this young Mungret side would have been forgiven for a slight lapse but they faced the stern challenge posed by Moyross impressively to hold on for the victory.
Evan Barrett’s goal early in the first half separated the sides in the end but a major factor in the game was Storm Hanna whose gales made the second half virtually impossible for both sides.
To their credit both sets of players battled through and must be commended for their attitude and commitment.
Moyross can hold their heads high despite the loss. After relegation from the Premier last season, many had written off the Northsiders but manager Frank Hogan has assembled a very good side and the pride in their club is evident in their display.
On the day things didn’t fall their way but they never threw in the towel and the relief Mungret showed at the final whistle gave indication of the pressure they were under in the last quarter.
Conditions were perfect at kick off and Mungret settled earliest spraying the ball around impressively.
They took the lead when Kian Barry won the ball in middle fed Evan Barrett who spread it wide to Cian McNicholas and was there to meet the cross at the back post to nod home.
The game was nearly level minutes later when Aaron Power drilled a ball across the face of goal and Adam Costello in attempting to clear went within a whisker of firing into his own net.
Adam Storan forced a good save from Moyross keeper Mike O’Donoghue from a 20 yard free kick and before the break Eoin Ryan’s looping shot was punched away from the head of Barrett on the line.
The second half steadily turned to farce with neither side able to control the ball in the wind.
That did not stop Moyross everything forward. Mungret keeper James Roche had to make smart saves from Barry Quinn, Craig Collopy-Duggan and the tireless Anthony McInerney.
The introduction of the towering Alan Quinlivan late on added more pressure on Mungret but with the experienced Brian Cotter shepherding his younger team mates they held on for a memorable win.

Mungret Reg: James Roche; Conor Myers; Adam Costello; Eoin Ryan; Brian Cotter; Colm Barrett; Kian Barry; Adam Storan; Cian McNicholas; Evan Barrett; Keelan Sexton. Subs: Richie Burke; Dara Curran; Shane Hogan; Yakuba Yabre; Aidan Early; Keith Storan; Dylan Frawley

Moyross: Michael O'Donoghue; James McNamara; Aaron Power; Lee Boyle; Jonathan Power; Greg Daly; Barry Quinn; Chris Kaya; Craig Collopy; Stephen Hannon; Anthony McInerney. Subs: Ben Johnson; Anthony Quinn; Tommy Quinn; Alan Quinlivan; Keith Ryan; Luke Ward; Anthony Lee


Div 2B Eamon Rea
Cup final

Pallasgreen 1
Athlunkard Villa 2

Athlunkard Villa B turned the tables on Division 2B League Champions Pallasgreen to win the Eamon Rea Cup in dramatic fashion in Jackman Park on Sunday afternoon.
Few gave Villa a chance against an impressive Pallas side that went through the League campaign unbeaten.
However the vastly experienced underdogs played a clever game and took their chances when they arose.
Pallas were reduced to ten men early in the second half but were still on level terms with 90 minutes played when Villa were awarded a penalty coolly slotted home by James Ring.
The first half was end to end with Pallas looking more likely to get the breakthrough.
Conor McCarthy forced a good save from Villa keeper Caoimhghin Robinson early on but the City side responded with efforts from Danny Taylor and Donal Doherty.
Before the break Seamus Mulcahy was denied again by Robinson but following up he picked up the rebound but fired over the top from close range.
Villa introduced striker Nicholas Strok at the break and what an impact he had. With his first touch he smacked a 25 yard free kick over the wall into the far corner giving Declan O’Connor no chance in the Pallas goal.
Yellow cards were being brandished freely and the Villa side, with more mile on the clock, were prepared for a younger Pallas assault but a red card for McCarthy tilted the tie slightly.
Despite the numerical advantage Pallas got back on level terms 15 minutes from time when Mike Gammell blasted home from a spot kick.
With time running out Donal Doherty had a great chance to restore Villa’s lead when he broke one on one with O’Connor but the Champions keeper made a superb save.
There was to a final twist however and following a last minute surge by Doherty he was upended in the area and from the resultant spot kick James Ring sent the keeper the wrong way to win the Cup for Villa.

Athlunkard Villa B: Caoimhghin Robinson; Trevor Byrnes; Rob Richardson; Seamus McCarthy; Paul O'Riordan; Nathan Barrett; James Ring; Darren Bridges; Brian O'Riordan; Danny Taylor; Donal Doherty. Subs: Graham Carey; Keith Jackson; Adam Barry; Anthony Perez Moldovan; Nicholas Strok; Prince Bossman; Bobby Carroll

Pallasgreen: Declan O'Connor; Andrew Hartigan; Duane Carroll; Mick Gammell; Diarmuid Greene; Seamus Mulcahy; Conor Roche; Vinnie Ryan; Robbie Holmes; Conor McCarthy; Eddie Mulcahy. Subs:Adam Keogh; Darren Roche; Dylan Holmes; Pat Roche; Alan Cosgrove

Roundup

Its congratulations all around in the various Divisions.
Coonagh Utd make history by reaching the Premier League for the first time.
The Northsiders will be a welcome addition to the top flight and it gives all fledgling clubs hope as they battled their way up the Divisions over the last decade. A 5-2 win over Corbally sealed the deal. Billy Connors scored three with Joey Sheehan and Eddie Radcliffe also netting.
At the other end of the table Castle Rvs hopes of making a great escape are still alive after they beat Fairview 3-2. Brian Murphy scored two and Michael Ryan also scored for Rovers who are not letting go of the Division 1A status easily.
The battle at the top of Division B got even tighter on Sunday when Hill Celtic went joint top with Kilfrush after a 4-0 win over the leaders. Hayden Johnson scored twice along with Pat Boyle and John Mitchell.
Newport are just three points behind and the top three have still to play each other.
Adrian Shines Hyde Rgs have been a revelation all season and they topped it off on Sunday with an easier than expected win over second placed Star Rvs.
With a Cup final versus Glenview Rvs next weekend, celebrations will be muted temporarily at least. Goals from Evan Shine (2), Kevin Slattery, Ben Kennedy, Richard Benn and the evergreen Ger Nash.
In Div 4 League Lisnagry beat Fairview 3-2 to secure the title. Keegan Park scored twice for the winners and Kalem Harte was also on target.
These sides will meet again in two cup finals in the coming weeks.

Aisling move three points clear in Youth Div One following a 4-0 win at Kilfrush. Tommy Canty scored twice and Caiman Ayes and Chris Nnwankwo also obliged.
Caledonians were crowned Youth Div Two Champions after a thrilling game with closest rivals Caherdavin.
Trailing 2-1 with ten minutes remaining, Cals bounced back to snatch it at the death.
Evan Madigan scored twice for the Champions and Adam Healy with the third could not have picked a better time for his first goal of the season.
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