REGONAL United, Pike Rovers and Fairview Rangers all advanced to the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup following hard fought victories this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, Tom O’Connell’s Regional side travelled to Galway to take on high-flying Athenry. The home side were second in the league with two games in hand and were favourites to advance.
Regional were without five players from their last FAI Junior Cup win over Kingscourt Harps with Ed McCarthy, Jack Arra and Evan O’Connor joining Airtricity League clubs and both Sean Madigan and Willie Griffin were unavailable for selection. With all this in mind, the Dooradoyle outfit must have been fearing the worst when the Galway outfit took the lead.
As time ran out, it looked like we would be down another Limerick representative but the visitors were awarded a penalty which experienced campaigner Kieran O’Connell dispatched.
The game went to extra-time and when both sides failed the score, it would be settled via a penalty shoot-out. O’Connell, Ross Fitzgerald, Sam Ogundare and Eoghan Burke all converted, allowing Ewan O’Brien the opportunity to win the shoot-out for Regional which he duly did.
Fairview Rangers were made to work hard during their title defence against Clonmel Town and a solitary goal from Shane Duggan was enough to see them advance. Pike Rovers had a straight forward passage with a facile 0-3 victory over Athy.
Pike raced into an early lead through Eoin Hanrahan and the lead was doubled by Conor Layng soon after. Adam Lipper added a third goal as he powerfully headed a Colm Waslh-O’Loughlen cross to the net.
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