Holders St.Michael’s prove their worth in extra-time

Munster Junior Cup 2nd Round

Munster Junior Cup 2nd Round

CLONMEL TOWN 1 ST. MICHAEL’S 3

(after extra-time)

Holders St. Michael’s emerged victorious from the tie of the round in the Munster Junior Cup when they eventually saw off the challenge of the ten men of Clonmel Town in extra-time at the Dr. Pat O’Callaghan Complex, Cashel Road, Clonmel last Sunday.

Town had the advantage of the wind in a largely even and mundane first half. After 20 minutes Town’s Levi Whelan forced two corner-kicks that came to nothing. Pa Quinn and Richie Ryan looked dangerous for Saints, with Ryan shooting over the crossbar and Quinn doing likewise from a Chris Higgins pass. When it looked like it would remain scoreless Saints got the breakthrough after 44 minutes when Tony Egan played in Pa Quinn, who beat Town goalie Darren Bourke from 18 yards. Saints were forced to make changes at the break, as the injured Paul Breen didn’t come out for the second half and was replaced by Declan Peters, with Chris Higgins moving to the centre of defence. With the aid of the wind a long Derek Breen kick-out saw Tony Egan shoot just wide after 51 minutes. Another Breen clearance saw Pa Quinn’s back header force a good save from Town’s net-minder Darren Bourke.

Saints weren’t overstretched, easily dealing with the Town attack, but they weren’t stamping their authority on the contest and eventually this was to prove costly in normal time, after John Shanahan headed just over from a Derek Loughnane free-kick in the 70th minute. When defender Derek Loughnane was sent off for a second yellow card in the 83rd minute it looked all over for Town.  With Saints happy to see the tie out they were hit with a sucker punch in stoppage time when James Walsh uncharacteristically missed a header, allowing Jimmy Hynes to score from close range to force another 20 minutes extra-time.

Town survived the first period of extra-time but the disadvantage of being a man down eventually took its toll when Richie Ryan persevered on the left and got in a cross that Colin Bargary netted from 6 yards in the 101st minute. It was 3-1 four minutes later when Thomas Fahey was upended in the area and James Walsh scored from the penalty spot to leave the holders still on course to lift back-to-back titles.