A hat-trick from Pat Quinn helped the Tipperary Southern & District League champions St. Michael’s AFC come from behind to record a third successive John Delaney Cup Final getting the better of North Tipperary & District League champions Nenagh AFC 4-2 before a good size crowd in Nenagh last Friday.
Nenagh drew first blood in the 5th minute with James Power inadvertently turning the ball in his own net. St. Michael’s were back on level terms in the 10th minute. Paul Breen spread the ball wide to Tommy Heffernan whose pinpoint centre neatly turned home by Pat Quinn.
St. Michael’s turned this decider on its head in the 23rd minute when the Tipperary town side when 2-1 ahead. Michael Buckley and Jimmy Carr combined well in the middle of the park with the latter flicking the ball onto Alan Hayes whose well weighted pass ended with a Pat Quinn’s volley from 12 yards finding the back of the net.
Nenagh were then thrown a life-line in the 67th minute when the NTDL champions were awarded a spot-kick. It came about from a St. Michael’s AFC attack that was intercepted by Nenagh’s Bryan McGee who put Brian Quinn through on goal but he brought down by James Walsh. From the resultant spot-kick Nenagh goalkeeper Aaron Savage faced his opposite number sending Derek Breen the wrong to restore parity at 2-2.
St. Michael’s restored their lead at 3-2 in the 70th minute. Good work by Paul Breen and Chris Higgins down the left flank ended with the latter setting up Alan Hayes whose low shot through a crowd of players found the back of the net.
With Nenagh forced to push bodies forward in their effort to force at least a late-late equaliser were caught with the typical sucker-punch in the 80th minute. Again, St. Michael’s AFC using the pace of Chris Higgins down the left flank as an outlet to unlock the Nenagh defence combined with the hard working Alan Hayes, who beat his marker before cutting the ball back from the by-line for Pat Quinn complete his hat-trick.
St. Michael’s AFC: Derek Breen, Paul Tobin, Ger Carey, James Power, James Walsh, Paul Breen, Jimmy Carr, Michael Buckley, Pat Quinn, Alan Hayes, Tommy Heffernan
Subs used: Chris Higgins, Richard Ryan and Pakie Farrell
Nenagh AFC: Aaron Savage, Roy Creagh, John Mitchell, Paddy Mitchell, Mark McKenna, Darren Mitchell, Brian Quinn, Bryan McGee, Thomas Sheppard, Michael O’Gorman, Arthur Mitchell. Sub: Jamie Lee Finn