Pike Rovers suffer penalty heartache in Munster Junior final

Pike Rovers suffered more penalty shoot-out heartache as they were beaten in sudden death by St. Michaels in the Munster Junior Cup Final at Jackman Park.

The game finished 1-1 after normal time in a nervy contest with Jimmy Carr opening the scoring for the Tipperary outfit. Colin Daly scored a dramatic equaliser in injury time to bring the game to extra-time.

Pike Rovers had a glorious early chance to take the lead as Paddy O’Malley’s back post corner delivery found the head of Eoin Hanrahan but the winger couldn’t direct his header on target as it hit the crossbar.

St. Michaels grew into the game and looked the more likely to score before eventually taking the lead through Jimmy Carr.

Carr was played through and slid the ball underneath the advancing Gary Neville to put the visitors in the lead.

Pike struggled to create any second half chances of note and it looked as though James Walsh’s men were heading for their eight Munster Junior Cup title.

However, the introduction of Pike’s third substitution Jason Mullins appeared to change the game. Mullins appeared to infuriate his opponents with his physical approach and forced them to lose their composure in the final five minutes.

In injury-time, drama unfolded as Stephen McGann lofted a hopeful ball into the box and Michaels goalkeeper Adrian Walsh dropped under minimal pressure and midfielder Colin Daly bundled the ball over the line to send Jackman Park into raptures.

There was very little action in the extra-time period until Sean Guerins connected with a corner and headed just wide, much to the relief of the large Limerick contingent.

The penalty shoot-out was chaotic as both goalkeepers Walsh and Neville pulled off four great saves each before the unfortunate Neville was denied by his opposite number in sudden death to give Michaels the victory.

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