Munster Junior Cup begins as 4 of the big 5 advance in the FAI Junior

It was a hectic weekend of FAI Junior Cup second round action as Pike Rovers, Ballynanty Rovers, Regional and Fairview Rangers all made it through to the next stage of the competition. Janesboro were the big casualties in the second round as they fell 3-1 to the aforementioned Regional after extra time in Dooradoyle. 

For the second year in a row, ‘Boro have exited at the early stages of a competition which Aidan Ryan and Shane O’Hanlon were craving success. The visitors went ahead before Kieran O’Connell scored a penalty to equalise for Regional. Midfielder Clyde O’Connell ghosted by two challenges before smashing the ball into the bottom corner to give the home side the lead. Jack Lynch ensured victory as he started and finished a move as ‘Boro pushed in search of an equaliser late on. 

Ballynanty Rovers cruised into the next round as they defeated Castle Rovers 11-0 in Fedamore. Jamie O’Sullivan, Dermot Fitzgerald, Arron Nunan and Shane Guerin were among the many scorers during the one sided contest. 

One of the early favourites for the competition and last season’s runners up Pike Rovers easily overcame the challenge of Caledonians. A young Cals side put up a spirited display which kept their illustrious opponents at bay for large periods of the first half. However, goals from Colin Daly (x3), Adam Lipper, Daragh Rainsford (x3), Paddy O’Malley and Johnathan Grant gave Mick Sheil’s side a 0-9 victory. 

Prospect were given a scare as they eventually defeated 2A side Kennedy Park 1-2. Two goals from Danny Colbert cancelled out an Alan Keane opener for Kennedy Park. Kilmallock, Nenagh and Ailing Annacotty also made it through but Charleville and Carew Park became the second and third premier division casualties as they were defeated by 1A duo Moyross and Mungret Regional respectively. 

Attention turns to the Munster Junior Cup this weekend with most games taking place on Sunday morning at 10.30 am. High flying Ballynanty travel to Pallasgreen to take on Pallas United. Pike Rovers face 1A side Cappamore away which will be a tough test. Cappamore missed out on promotion to the premier division via a playoff last season.

Arguably, Aisling Annacotty face the toughest test of the premier division sides as they travel to Coonagh Utd who are currently third in division 1A. Kilmallock host Ballylanders while Geraldines travel to Patrickswell. 

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Adrian Finnin