MFA League Champions Trophy Semi-Final
PIKE ROVERS (LIMERICK) 1
ST. MICHAEL’S FC 0
Pike Rovers just shaded this MFA League Champions Trophy semi-final between the champions of Limerick and the TSDL St. Michael’s at Pike Rovers ground at Crossagalla, Limerick city last Sunday. It was a competitive tough match with little quarter asked or given between these giants of the junior game.
Pike had the better of the first half chances with Gary Hanrahan heading over from a John Tierney cross on 4 minutes. Saints Tommy Heffernan’s fierce strike saw Pike’s net-minder John Ryan push away for a corner-kick on 8 minutes. Pa Quinn just failed to connect with an Alan Hayes cross on 12 minutes. Rovers Keith Hartnett saw his header from a John Tierney corner-kick cleared off the goal-line on 29 minutes and Alan Barry missed the chance of the half when he was clean through, but bent the shot outside of the post as the opening half ended scoreless.
The second half was a more open affair with play regularly swinging from end to end. Pa Quinn went close on 50 minutes from an Jimmy Carr cross. The tackles were flying in from both sides and John Connery and John Tierney went in the book. Jimmy Carr the subject of strong treatment all day eventually limped off and was replaced by Oliver O’Driscoll. The game was decided on 78 minutes when Saints net-minder Derek Breen failed to hold a Gary Hanrahan in-swinging corner-kick gifting Conor Moloney with a free header into an open net.
Saints rallied and Pa Quinn’s header from a Tommy Heffernan corner-kick hit the crossbar in stoppage time, as St. Michael’s dream of appearing in their first MFA League Champions Trophy decider had disappeared.