Ballynanty Rovers, Janesboro, Pike Rovers and Carew Park all booked their place in the Munster Junior Cup quarter-finals at the weekend.
Ballynanty Rvs 1
St Michaels (Tipperary) 0
Ballynanty Rvs turned in their best display of the season when they defeated crack Tipperary outfit St Michaels on Sunday and in the process qualified for the last eight of the Munster Junior Cup.
Transferred from LIT to the all weather facility at Annacotty, Balla took to the surface like fish to the sea and recorded a deserved victory.
Saints, without doubt one of the best clubs in the Province, never reached the heights they are capable of and although they had Balla under the cosh for a 15 minute period in the second half, for the remainder of the game they caused Balla few real problems.
It was obvious from the start that Balla were up for the tie and with a skilful and disciplined performance they qualified for a home quarter final against Waterford side Hibernian.
In what was an good all round team performance, a couple of players stood out with Tom Daly and Ken Meehan having huge games at the heart of defence while young defender Dara Hughes was superb with a number of crucial interceptions.
Saints started well, spraying the ball around the park and Pat Quinn had a snap shot on the turn that whizzed inches wide of goal.
Once Balla came to terms with Saints pace they looked very comfortable. From a corner kick, Tom Daly’s goal bound header was headed over the top by Dermot Fitzgerald.
A low drilled effort from outside the box by Dave Slattery was well saved by Balla keeper Stephen McNamara and three minutes from the break Balla broke the deadlock.
A free kick 35 yards from goal saw Dermot Fitzgerald hit more in hope than expectations but when Saints keeper Derek Breen was unable to hold, Tony Fahy was in like a flash to bundle the ball over the line despite the despairing efforts of the keeper.
The visitors upped the tempo in the second half and looked like they might level inside the first few minutes when the ball fell to Pat Quinn at point blank range but a superb covering block by Darragh Hughes knocked the ball to safety.
The introduction of Shane Guerin gave Balla a welcome pair of fresh legs and his clever flick on presented Tony Fahy with a half chance but James Walshe deflected the ball for a fruitless corner kick.
Thereafter Saints piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser and the Balla goalmouth resembled a scene from the Alamo for a period but a number of superb saves by McNamara and a little luck (with a penalty call) ensured Balla held out for a memorable win.
Ballynanty Rovers - Stephen McNamara; David Dunphy; Dara Hughes; Tom Daly; Ken Meehan; Shane Doran; Dermot Fitzgerald; Paul Quinn; Tony Fahy; Frank Lee; Jason Hughes. Subs: Shane Guerin; Brian Doran
Janesboro 4 Southend 0
Holders Janesboro gave further notice of their intention to hold onto the trophy when they posted a 4-0 win over Waterford side Southend.
The scoreline might suggest otherwise but the visitors were no mugs and Boro did not have things their own way.
The home side had the perfect start when after seven minutes, Shane Clarke free kick into the danger zone, found the visitors defence stalling and Dave Roche was in like a flash to side foot home.
Aled Harkin was inches wide with a free kick minutes later while the Waterford danger man Lee Hayes was denied by fine saves from Dave McNamara on two occasions inside a five minute spell.
Shane Clarke rose to head Tom Lyons’ free kick but Dylan Power in the visitors goal made a good save while at the other end McNamara had to go full length to turn away a shot by Ian Corbett.
The game was evenly poised until the 70th minute when Shane Waters and Shane Clarke combined to put James Hayes through to fire home.
Ten minutes later substitutes Adrian Healy and Dave Donnan combined for the latter to volley home and just before the end Healy was again provider and on this occasion Lyons got the finishing touch.
Janesboro - David McNamara; Wayne O’Donovan; Aled Harkin; Pat McGarry; Lee O’Mara; Shane Waters; Aidan Hurley; James Hayes; Shane Clarke; Dave Roche; Thomas Lyons. Subs: Dom Fitzgerald; Adrian Healy; David Donnan
Carew Park 3 Everton 0
It’s 28 games not out for Carew Park as they piled another win onto their impressive run.
The League leaders were never really in doubt and once they took the lead on 20 minutes the visitors looked a beaten side.
The breakthrough came when Jonathan Grant had a shot blocked and from the rebound Jamie Kelly gave Grant the chance to atone and he blasted in from close range.
The second on 30 minutes was a fine score when Grant ran at the Everton defence before playing a deft through ball for Jamie Kelly to double the advantage .
John Connery tacked on a clincher ten minutes from the end to set up a clash with Waterford side Hibernian for a place in the semi finals. Carew Park - Gordon Stewart; Francis Kett; Robert Brock; Mark Slattery; Mark Keane; John Boyle; Pat Boyle; Stephen Grant; Jamie O’Sullivan; Jonathon Grant; Jamie Kelly. Subs: Gary Griffin; Kyle McCarthy; John Connery
Coachford 1 Pike Rvs 1
(Pike Rvs won 4-1 on penalties aet)
Two saves in a penalty shoot out by Gary Neville saw Pike Rvs progress to the last eight of the Munster Junior Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The Hoops travelled to Cork to take on their top side Coachford and had to dig deep to make it a worthwhile trip.
The home side had a dreadful day with spot kicks, not only in the shoot out but they also missed one early in the game, squandering the chance to take the lead firing over the top.
Pike Rvs took advantage of the let off when John Tierney fired them in front after 15 minutes.
It looked like Pike would take the lead to the half time dressing room but the hosts struck just before the break.
A dour second half failed to separate the sides although Neville had to be at his best on a number of occasions to keep the home side at bay.
Extra time proved just as frustrating so penalties were called for and two superb saves by Neville gave Pike the advantage.
Pike Rovers - John Ryan; Gavin O’Shea; Eddie O’Donovan; Colm Enright; Pat Mullins; Jason Heffernan; John Tierney; Keith Hartnett; Alan Barry; Pat Moloney; Paul Doona. Subs: Gary Neville
Douglas Hall 3 Newport 0
Unfortunately Newport were unable to make it a clean sweep of Limerick League sides in the MFA, as they fell 3-0 to Cork outfit, Douglas Hall.
The game was scoreless at the break but two goals within a short period after the restart had Newport chasing the game thereafter and it was no surprise when they home side tacked on a third near the end.
The results at the weekend keep alive the possibility of an all Limerick semi-final line up in the Munster Junior Cup after victories for Ballynanty Rvs, Pike Rvs, Carew Park and holders Janesboro.
Revised Munster Junior Cup¼ Finals Draw; Clonmel Celtic (Tipperary) v Janesboro, Ballynanty Rvs v Hibernians (Waterford), Carew Park v Killarney Celtic (Kerry), Douglas Hall (Cork) v Pike Rvs
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