Despite turning in a gallant effort Geraldines had to contend themselves with runners up in the final of the Munster Junior Cup on Saturday evening.
A large crowd turned out in miserable conditions to cheer on the locals and with a little luck could have been toasting the winners.
As it turned out a vastly experienced St Michaels side did just enough to hold out but they were mighty glad to hear the final whistle.
The conditions did little to help the standard of play on offer and while chances were few and far between the game was always intriguing.
Geraldines played with a huge wind at their back in the opening half but seemed a little tentative, thus getting little benefit from the conditions.
The concession of a soft goal just after the break forced ‘Dines to push forward and it was then we saw the best of the home side.
Saints defended stoutly with Irish Captain James Walsh showing all his experience making a number of vital blocks when an equaliser looked on.
Geraldines started well and within two minutes former Fairview player Brian Buckley was yellow carded for pulling down Pat Moloney.
Minutes later a throw in on the right saw the hard working Moloney play the ball across Saints’ goal. Colin Scanlon’s header was picked up by Christy O’Neill and when he played the ball across the six yard line, Dean Earls raced in but blazed the ball over the top.
Buckley made a vital interception on a Christy O’Neill free kick with a number of ‘dines waiting to put a finishing touch.
Geraldines failed to deal with a long ball into the penalty box on 38 minutes and Slattery was in like a flash to knock the ball to Pa Quinn but his attempted overhead kick from 6 yards went over the bar.
Minutes later Geraldines almost went in front when Craig Madigan’s free kick found Pat Moloney at the back post but his header back across goal was well saved by Saints keeper Aaron Wall.
Just before break Ian Storan slipped and Jimmy Carr was away but his cross to Slattery was blazed wide of the goal leaving the scores level at the break.
Saints started the second half lively and Russell Quirke’s 25 yard effort forced Keith McCarthy low to turn away.
It was temporary relief as Saints took the lead on 48 minutes. Jimmy Carr gathered on the right and was allowed steady himself before crossing into the area where David Slattery nipped in between two defenders to head home from six yards.
It was a cruel blow for ‘Dines but with the introduction of Eddie Lee they started to gain the upper hand.
The winger fired into the side netting and shortly after O’Neill and Moloney played a one two on the edge of the box, only denied by a vital touch from Walsh.
Geraldines had the visitors on the rack and after a bout of sustained pressure Bobby Tier’s goal bound shot was again turned away by Walsh.
With 15 minutes remaining Madigan’s’ free kick was met by Colin Daly but his header produced a superb save from Aaron Wall and minutes later Scanlon controlled the ball on his chest and let fly with a volley that whizzed inches wide.
The last real chance for the home side came from a super ball from Danny O’Neil. Bobby Tier knocked the ball down for Moloney but his effort was well saved by Wall to ensure Saints were crowned Munster Champions for the seventh time.
GERALDINES: Keith McCarthy; Danny O’Neill; Craig Madigan; Ian Storan; Paul Danagher; Dean Earls; Colin Daly; Christy O’Neill; Colin Scanlon; Bobby Tier; Pat Moloney. Subs not used: Eddie Lee; Derek Daly
ST MICHAEL’S: Aaron Wall; Chris Higgins; Brian Buckley; Paul Breen; James Walsh; Richard Ryan; Russell Quirke; Thomas Fahy; Pat Quinn; David Slattery; Jimmy Carr. Subs not used: Colin Bargary