Darren Stokes hat-trick in eight 
minutes tears 
Tipperary Town apart

Shield Division 2 Final

Shield Division 2 Final

ST MICHAELS B 4 TIPPERARY TOWN 1

An eight-minute hat-trick from Darren Stokes saw St. Michael’s B lift their first piece of silverware, denying arch-rivals Tipperary Town FC what would also have been a historic victory in the Shield Division 2 Final staged at Cooke Park, Tipp town last Sunday.

St. Michael’s B gained the upper hand in an entertaining contest by being the more clinical team. Saints had early claims for a penalty when Wayne Rodgers appeared to upend Dean Thompson. Mark Flannery was prominent early on for Town, who spurned a good chance to go ahead after 15 minutes when Michael Ellard robbed Stephen Ryan and his angled chip brought a good save from Saints ‘keeper John Keating at the expense of a corner kick. Michael Ellard missed another chance to put Town ahead when he shot straight at John Keating from 6 yards.

Then Darren Stokes got through on the left and pulled the ball back for Pakie Farrell, who saw his shot cleared off the line after 25 minutes as the game swung from end to end. Mark Roche replaced Vinny Godfrey, who had a head injury, and the deadlock was broken in the 28th minute after an infringement on Pakie Farrell and Darren Stokes put Saints 1-0 up from the penalty spot. It was 2-0 on the half-hour when a Dean Thompson corner fell for Darren Stokes at the far post and his well-placed shot found the corner of the net. They scored again after 36 minutes when Darren Stokes completed his hat-trick in an eight-minute spell from Russell Quirke’s pass. Tipp Town lost top striker Michael Ellard, who limped off just before half-time.

Tipp Town saw a lot of the ball in the second half as Saints lost a grip in midfield and after 48 minutes Paddy Fitzgerald was just wide from an Adrian O’ Dwyer cross. At the other end John O’Brien had a half-chance to increase Saints’ lead. Tipp Town were thrown a lifeline after 51 minutes when Adrian O’Dwyer’s perseverance saw Stephen Quinn score with a shot from 18 yards. Town blew another gilt-edged chance in the 55th minute when a through ball from Adrian O’Dwyer saw Mark Roche beat the advancing John Keating, only for the ball to pass the wrong side of the post. The game was summed up in a nutshell in the 75th minute when Mark Roche shot wide followed by Adrian O’Dwyer hitting the side netting for Tipp Town, while Saints stormed straight up the field and Pakie Farrell crossed for substitute Shane Leahy to tap home and make it 4-1 after 76 minutes.

St. Michaels B: John Keating, Brenton Dewick, Brian Lowry, Stephen Ryan, Derry Peters, John O’Brien, Dean Thompson, Michael Buckley, Pakie Farrell, Darren Stokes and Russell Quirke. Subs used: Shane Leahy, Timmy Dalton, and John Carew.

Tipperary Town: Wayne Rodgers, Pat Hickey, Paul Lowry, Timmy Ryan, Michael Frawley, Peter Hanrahan, Adrian O’Dwyer, Vinny Godfrey, Michael Ellard, Mark Flannery, Stephen Quinn. Subs used: Mark Roche, Paddy Fitzgerald, and Mark O’Brien.

Officials: M. Coady, M. Freiberg, T. Keating.