Pat Sheehan rounds up the weekend junior soccer action where there were wins for Geraldines and Regional Utd in the Munster Junior Cup.
MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP
Sporting Ennistymon 1 Geraldines 6
Geraldines cruised into the quarter finals of the Munster Junior Cup with a 6-1 win over Sporting Ennistymon at Annacotty on Sunday afternoon.
The Clare side were unable to find a playable pitch so had to travel to Limerick to play and made the long journey home empty handed.
The final result is all that matters but the ‘Dines will be concerned at how the opposition brought them down to their level for the opening 45 minutes.
In truth with a little luck Sporting could have gone in at the break in front.
On the positive side Geraldines showed they were able to up things a gear and once they did the visitors were just chasing shadows.
Geraldines could have had the perfect start in the opening minutes as Pat Moloney showed a clean pair of heels to his marker created on the right flank and took a return pass from Christy O’Neill but, despite lobbing over the advancing keeper, put his shot just too high of goal.
It was short lived relief as the home side took the lead with their next foray.
Ian Storan gathered the ball in defence and spotted the overlapping Craig Madigan. His inch perfect pass picked out the full back who kept his composure to fire under keeper Ciaran O’Flanagan.
Minutes later Dines had a great chance to double their lead when a Dean Earls cross fell kindly to Pat Moloney but his header was well held by O’Flanagan and a long range effort from Christy O’Neill stung the fingers of the Ennistymon keeper.
The visitors were back on level terms on the half hour mark when Aaron McNulty delivery into the ‘Dines penalty area saw Michael Duffy rise unchallenged to head home.
Geraldines responded well and when Scanlon’s shot was blocked by Monahan the rebound fell to Derek Daly who let fly with a bullet superbly turned away by O’Flanagan.
Whatever was said in the Dines half time team talk had the desired effect as the homesters took the lead again eight minutes in when Derek Daly won a corner and when Madigan delivered Pat Moloney was denied by a point blank save from O’Flanagan but Bobby Tier arrived on cue to fire in the rebound.
Midway through the half Dean Earls and Colin Scanlon exchanged passes before the latter cut in along the end line to shoot home from an acute angle.
Superb play through the middle by Christy O’Neill created the chance that he converted after trading passes with Pat Moloney and the last nail in the coffin for the visitors came near the end when Colin Scanlon netted.
Geraldines reward is a quarter final tussle with Regional Utd in Dooradoyle.
Geraldines - Keith McCarthy, Paul Fitzgerald, Craig Madigan, Paul Danagher, Ian Storan, Derek Daly, Bobby Tier, Dean Earls, Christy O’Neill, Colin Scanlon, Pat Moloney, Subs; Jason Travis, Ian O’Donoghue, Shane Byrne
Regional Utd 1 Kilmallock 1
(Regional won 6-5 on penalties after extra time)
Regional qualified for the quarter finals of the Munster Junior Cup and a clash with Geraldines following their victory over Kilmallock at the county venue on Sunday afternoon.
Great credit is due to the home side for having their field in playing order but conditions helped neither side, making flowing football a near impossibility.
Kilmallock already had a major scalp in this competition having defeated Carew Park in an earlier round and it looked like another shock was on the cards when the Div 1A side took the lead with 25 minutes remaining.
However the Premier side grabbed the equaliser ten minutes later and proved more accurate from the ensuing penalty shoot out.
Kilmallock had a full squad to choose from and started the game on the front foot. Paul Doona was just wide with a shot from the edge of the box and minutes later Tommy Heffernan should have scored from Doona’s corner but fired wide of the target.
Playing against the breeze Regional fought their way into the game and had chances themselves but both Ken Nealon and Andy Cowpar picked the wrong option when well positioned.
The second half was a livelier affair and Ken Nealon’s free kick into the home area caused havoc as Mike Behan turned and shot but Rob Egan in the Kilmallock goal was well positioned to block.
Kilmallock opened the scoring on 65 minutes. Graeme Mulcahy was introduced as a sub and had an immediate impact gliding past a number of challenges before putting Doona clear to fire in at the back post.
Regional’s response was a Nealon free kick to the front post where Kieran O’Connell headed low but could not beat Egan.
It was all square on 73 minutes. Good work down the right by Mike Aherne and Shane O’Doherty paved the way for Kieran O’Connell to put Nealon in to score with a well struck shot.
Both sides had half chances to win it with the homesters coming closest when Tommy Heffernan succeeded in beating United keeper Rob Shier but Mike Reidy got back well to clear off the line.
Extra time failed to break the deadlock and in the penalty shoot out successful kicks by Mike Aherne, Brian Aherne, Kieran O’Connell, Ken Nealon, Mike Behan and Shane O’Doherty saw Regional through.
Kilmallock - Robbie Egan, Jake Mulcahy, mark Heffernan, Davey Todd, John Heffernan, Jason Heffernan, Liam Barrett, Mark Hayes, Tommy Heffernan, Paul Doona, Derek McCarthy, Subs Graham Mulcahy, Conor Barry, Killian Hayes
Regional Utd; - Rob Shier, Mike Aherne, Mike Reidy, David Cowpar, Jack Molyneaux, Shane O’Doherty, Brian Aherne, Kieran O’Connell, Ken Nealon, Mike Behan, Andrew Cowpar
Revised Munster Junior Cup ¼ Finals Draw
St Saviour’s or Janesboro v Ballynanty Rvs or Nenagh AFC
St Michael’s or Kilreen v Park Utd
Regional Utd v Geraldines
Killarney Celtic v Newmarket Celtic
Aisling Annacotty 0 Pike Rovers 4
The hopes of the chasing pack that Pike Rvs might slip up in their quest for Premier League honours were solidly dashed on Saturday evening as Pike turned in a no nonsense performance that saw them chalk up their twelfth successive victory in the campaign.
Following their exit from “the big two” Pike’s focus is now firmly on the League title and they showed enough determination on Saturday to suggest they will be hard to stop.
A 10 point gap now separates them from second placed Janesboro with Geraldines a point further back.
Granted the chasing tow have games in hand but the gap still seems a mountain to climb for the hopefuls.
Any chance Aisling had of turning over the leaders were hindered by the absence of a number of players and their fears were brought to bear after ten minutes when Pike raced in front.
A fine pass by Jason Mullins sent John Boyle away on the right and when he cut the ball back across the box John Tierney was on hand to fire home.
Pike doubled their advantage after a sustained bout of pressure ended with John Okoro touching the ball to Boyle to fire home from 6 yards.
To their credit Aisling battled gamely but they could find no way past Pat Mullins and Gavin O’Shea at the heart of the Pike defence.
It was game over on the hour mark. John Tierney’s ball into the danger zone was killed with one touch by Seamus O’Carroll before being dispatched to the net.
Pike wrapped up the tie five minutes from time when Eoin Hanrahan’s through ball was seized upon by Cian Collins and he finished in style.
Pike Rovers: Seamus O’Regan; Jason Mullins; Eddie O’Donovan; Pat Mullins; Gavin O’Shea; Reece Healy; John Boyle; Dave Ryan; Cian Collins; John Tierney; John Okoro. Subs: Eoin Hanrahan; Seamus O’Carroll
FAI YOUTH CUP
Ballynanty Rvs 1 Evergreen (Kilkenny) 5
Ballynanty Rvs came unstuck when they met a superbly organised Evergreen side in LIT on Sunday afternoon.
Balla were hopeful going into the tie and could have been a couple of goals ahead before the visitors blitzed them with three goals before the break.
After 15 minutes Gary Wyse played a through ball that sent Jamie Bromell clear of the visitors defence but the Balla man slipped at the vital moment forcing his shot over the top. Two minutes later Bromell was again in the right spot to latch onto Liam Brocks pass but he was unable to keep his shot on target.
Rob Buckley volleyed the winners in front on 37 minutes and five minutes later a Dylan Drennan free kick whizzed to the Balla net.
Aaron Power was denied a goal back for Balla when his goal bound header was saved at full stretch by Aaron Hynes in the visitors goal.
With the home side searching for goal back before the break they were caught on a lightning quick break that saw Jamie Cowhey race nearly the full length of the field before finishing.
A missed penalty after the restart was further evidence that it was not Balla’s day and flying winger Ben Hickey tacked on number four before Jamie Bromell scored a consolation for the home side. The visitors wrapped it up with a late fifth goal from Hickey.
Ballynanty Rvs; Kieran Daly, Kieran Nolan, Aaron Power, Gary Wyse, Ryan Earls, Liam Brock, James Cleary, Andrew Layden, Lloyd White, Jamie Bromell, Zac Hyland, Subs; Sean Hyland, David Toomey, Dylan O’Dwyer
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