FAI Junior Cup holders Pike Rovers crashed out of this season’s competition when they went under 3-2 to Clonmel Celtic at the Pike Club on Sunday afternoon.
It was the second time in just over two weeks that the Tipperary side got the better of Rovers having beaten them 1-0 in the Munster Junior Cup a couple of weeks back.
Pike fell two goals behind in the first half and changed their shape to three at the back.
Pike had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute when John Tierney crossed from the right but Jeffrey Judge, racing in at the back post, was unable to get the required touch to move goalwards.
After 15 minutes Eoin Hanrahan took possession unmarked 20 yards from goal but was unable to put his effort beyond the reach of keeper Kenrick.
Three minutes later Colm Enright as harshly adjudged to of fouled outside the penalty area.
Graham Doyle took a short a short free kick to Kevin waters and the midfielder fired an unstoppable 20 yard shot that gave Gary Neville no chance as it nestled in the top corner of the net.
Seven minutes from the break slack marking in the Pike defence allowed Waters in on goal. Gary Neville made a good block but from the follow on play Evan McGuire was impeded in the area and from the resulting spot kick Simon Scully doubled the Clonmel lead.
Pike upped the tempo after the restart and fought their way back into the game when Eoin Hanrahan’s free kick from the left touch line found it’s way to the net.
Pike’s joy was short lived as the visitors regained their two goal advantage three minutes later when Evan McGuire’s shot was deflected by Sean Kelly past an already committed Gary Neville.
Alan Barry was introduced and had an immediate impact when he dispossessed Kendrick on the end line and centred for Judge to tap in.
The visitors were livid claiming the ball had been knocked out of the keepers hands but the Referee insisted the goal was legal.
With 15 minutes to play Pat Mullins delivered a free kick into the area.
Kendrick came to collect and slipped but luckily for him Scully read the danger and got back to head off the line.
Pike really had only one other chance of note in the final couple of minutes when Kelly delivered to the back post where Alan Barry lost his marker but his headed effort was saved by the keeper.
PIKE ROVERS - Gary Neville; John Boyle; Stephen Kelly; Pat Mullins; Colm Enright; John Tierney; Jeffery Judge; Conor Kavanagh; Eoin Hanrahan; Pat Moloney; Dave Ryan. Subs: Alan Barry
CLONMEL CELTIC - Kieran Kendrick, Darren Burns, Mark Power, Simon Scully, Craig Condon, John Casey, Kevin Waters, Evan McGuire, Stephen Ryan, Graham Doyle, Dwayne Burns
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