Pike Advance in Tuohy Cup Following Penalty Shoot-out win

Pike Rovers advanced to the next round of the Tuohy Cup following a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Regional United at Jackman Park. The game ended 0-0 after the regulation 90 minutes and an entertaining extra-time period saw four goals scored with the game ending 2-2.

The first half was a dour affair with very little to separate the sides. Pike Rovers dominated possession but lacked penetration and urgency when in the opposition half. On several occasions Pike’s midfield three of Shane Walsh, Kyle Duhig and Ger Barry were forced backwards by a well organised Regional defence marshalled by Andy Cowpar who was dominant throughout in his individual battle with Cian Collins.

Player/Manager Robbie Williams had the first effort of the game but his long-range shot was easily saved by Peter Healy. Pike’s favoured ball was to the left-wing to the recently returned Arron Murphy but the winger struggled to get a lot of change from right-back Tommy Frawley.

Killian Kingston and Ewan O’Brien featured heavily for Regional in the Tuohy Cup defeat

The Dooradoyle outfit created the best chance of the half when the hard-working Jack Arra was played through on goal but he was denied by the legs of Gary Neville. Five minutes from half-time, Killian Kingston’s cross from the left was headed goalwards by Tommy Frawley at the back post but Eddie O’Donovan was alert to clear off the line.

The second period continued in the same manner with both Arra and Kieran O’Connell having big chances but Neville was alert on both occasions to deny the attackers. A driving run and shot from the recently signed Ed McCarthy was gathered by Neville but in truth the game lacked the quality that we have become accustomed to seeing from both sides.

As we approached the full-time whistle, winger Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen bought himself a half yard before curling a shot just over the crossbar. At the beginning of the first period of extra-time, Regional took the lead as Kieran O’Connell rose highest to head home from an Arra cross.

Ger Barry (pictured vs Ballynanty) started for Pike Rovers on Thursday night

The lead did not last long for Tom O’Connell’s side as Walsh collected the ball 20 yards out and arrowed a shot past the despairing Healy. With five minutes remaining in extra-time, Regional regained the lead when Andy Quaid was quickest to react to a scramble in the box to tap home and they had one foot in the next round of the competition.

In the final minute of the encounter, Regional failed to clear a corner and Robbie Williams fired home from inside the area to send the game to a penalty shoot-out.

The shoot-out was not without controversy as Peter Kealy saved Danny O’Neill’s first penalty but was adjudged to have left his line prematurely and a re-take was awarded. Unbelievably, Healy saved the second penalty but was also penalised for leaving his goal line. O’Neill managed to convert at the third attempt and Pike went on to win the penalty shoot-out 5-3.

Regional United: Peter Healy, Tommy Frawley (Sam Ogundare), Evan O’Connor, Andy Cowpar, Evan Madigan, Ross Fitzgerald (Ewan O’Brien), Ed McCarthy, Killian Kingston (Donal O’Connell), Andy Quaid, Kieran O’Connell, Jack Arra

Pike Rovers: Gary Neville, Danny O’Neill, Nathan O’Callaghan, Robbie Williams, Eddie O’Donovan, Shane Walsh, Kyle Duhig (Brendan O’Dwyer), Ger Barry, Arron Murphy (Paddy O’Malley), Colm Walsh-O’Loughlen, Cian Collins (Conor Layng)

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