Pike Rvs 3 Janesboro 3
The last couple of weeks in local soccer there has been an air of despondence with objections, appeals and uncertainty.
Well for this of us privileged to be in attendance, Pike Rvs and Janesboro provided the perfect antidote playing out a thrill-a-minute game that had everybody glued in position until the final kick.
The game was a credit to all involved and proved that there is no substitute to letting the football do the talking.
Two of the best goalkeepers in the business pulled off superb saves while two of the best finishers of the last 20 years Shane Clarke and Jonathan Grant gave an exhibition of finishing.
It was impossible to pick a man of the match as players came to the fore at different times but Niall Hanley, Colin Daly and Shane Walsh would all be in the mix.
In an incredible game Janesboro ran Pike ragged for much of the first half and raced into a 3-0 lead.
They targeted the Pike rearguard fancying their aerial strength and it paid dividends when Shane Clarke and Adrian Power scored near identical goals within a couple of minutes, racing through the heart of the Pike cover to score.
When Pike were pinged for a deliberate back pass Shane Clarke blasted past a crowded goal line from 6 yards and it looked game over.
However before the break a superb goal by Jonathan Grant put a different slant on thing in the half time team talk.
On the restart Pike took command of the game with Janesboro relying on breakaways for respite.
Conor Kavanagh pulled one back from the spot after a tackle on Steven McGann and it was game on.
Pike piled on the pressure and got their reward with another typical Grant goal from close range to set up a nail biting finale.
Try as they might with efforts from McGann, Paddy O’Malley and Colin Daly Pike just could not get the breakthrough.
The last action of the game saw Grant denied his hat trick by the upright to end a superb game.
The result leaves Pike Rvs four points behind Boro with two games less played but the matter of an Janesboro’s objection to an illegible player with Regional could well determine the title.
Pike Rvs; Gary Neville, Wayne O’Donovan, Eddie O’Donovan, Adam Lipper, Ian Fletcher, Jonathan Hannafin, Colin Daly, Conor Kavanagh, Shane Walsh, Jonathan Grant, Steve McGann, Subs, Evan Patterson, Eoin Hanrahan, Paddy O’Malley
Janesboro; John Mulready, Danny O’Neill, Ryan O’Doherty, Tom Clarke, Lee O’Mara, Mike Ryan, Niall Hanley, Aidan Hurley, Adrian Power, Keith Mawdsley, Shane Clarke, Subs, Dylan Kelly Higgins, Andy Murphy
Carew Park 3 Lisnagry 0
Carew Park youths were crowned Divisional Cup champions after a highly impressive 3-0 win over Lisnagry at local headquarters on Thursday evening.
Both teams must take a bow for such an entertaining game and the sporting manner in which it was played.
Carew Park are still tied with Lisnagry at the top of the table so that chapter has yet to be played out however it was the City boys who showed the greater hunger for the trophy on this occasion and were duly rewarded.
With the nightmare season endured by the Carew Park club, this success brings a positive and much deserved end to the season.
Where others would have thrown in the towel, Carew opted to rebuild and many of their winning team on Thursday have helped the Junior team fulfil their fixtures this season.
They suffered many bad beatings but as the saying goes”what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and that was evident in droves in the final.
Pity Lisnagry who have been superb all season. They just never got into the pace of the game and any time they offered any threat, a no nonsense Carew defence batted them away.
Carew went close to taking an early lead when Wassiou Ayawe, following a strong run put the ball across the face of goal and Tony Burns got a vital touch to deny Reece Moran at the back post.
The opening goal arrived ten minutes later. A free kick just inside the half way line, delivered by Fitzgerald, was met by Donal Dillon whose glancing header gave Mark Harty no chance on the Lisnagry goal.
Fitzgerald went within a whisker of doubling the lead just before the break when his long range free kick smacked off the crossbar back into play.
Lisnagry opened brightly after the restart when Carew keeper Jeffery O’Callaghan had to make a smart save to deny Caolan Dignam.
However Carew were relentless and doubled their lead midway through the half.
A good ball by Adam Dore put the overlapping Jeffery Dore away on the right and his ball across goal saw Dillon denied by Harty before Wassiou Ayawe tucked away the rebound.
Carew put the icing on the cake when Adam Dore latched onto a through ball before calmly volleying the ball low into the far corner from an acute angle.
Carew Park: Jeffery O Callaghan, Jeffery Dore, Roy Higgins, David Power, Denis Brophy, David Healy Lawlor, Reece Moran, Keith Fitzgerald, Donal Dillon, Wassiou Ayawe, Adam Dore, Subs Ryan Hehir, Jack Liddy, Adam Slattery, Scott Mannion, Luke O Donovan, Dylan Emwanta, Nathan Benn
Lisnagry: Mark Harty, Tony Burns, Niall McGrath, Sam Den Dikken, Daire Ryan, Mark Donnelley, James Crotty, Aidan Carroll, Lee Park, Chris Jastrzebski, Caolan Dignam, Subs, Ross O Brien, Alan Hartigan, Brian Murphy, Adrian Frahill, Oliver Tomane