Penalty shootout heartbreak for Pike Rovers

Pike Rovers experienced a cruel loss on Saturday at the Aviva stadium as a penalty shootout was needed to decide the FAI Junior Cup final.

There was nothing to separate the Crossagalla side from Wexford opponents North End United at the end of regular time with the scoreline deadlocked at 1 all.

Mick Shiel could do nothing but watch on from the stands early on as he saw one of his most influential players Eoin ‘Borris’ Hanrahan go off injured.

After that eventual champions North End struck first when goalkeeper Gary Neville was unable to make amends for conceding a penalty for his side, as Paul Murphy stepped up and slotted home from the spot.

The goal was enough for the big stage debutantes to take a 1-0 lead into the break.

Pike came out of the traps a different team after the break and were awarded for their efforts on the hour mark when Steven McGann finished from close range following some fine work from Colin Daly in the build up.

A scoreless period of extra-time was to follow, as both sides looked as though they were willing to settle for a shootout.

Daly, who had been instrumental in the equalizing goal was to miss the only penalty from ten attempts between the sides as North End went on to claim their first ever FAI Junior Cup Title.

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Luke Liddy

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