Nenagh AFC will hope to make history on Saturday, May 12th when they take on Janesboro (Limerick) in the Munster Junior Cup final (kick-off 6.30pn) - the game will take place in Cooke Park, the home of St Michael’s, in Tipperary Town.
Nenagh AFC are the very first North Tipperary & District League side to make it into the provincial final - the Munster Junior Cup was inaugurated as far back as 1922.
To add to the drama Darren O’Gorman will manage Nenagh AFC alongside Martin Donnellan, Darren’s brother Shane O’Gorman will feature at the heart of the Nenagh defence while another brother, Michael O’Gorman, is expected to start for Janesboro - an extraordinary co-incidence which can only add to the colour of this terrific occasion.
Nenagh AFC are no strangers to drama however, especially after their semi-final tussle with Tramore in Jackman Park, Limerick.
Thomas Sheppard gave Nenagh AFC the lead after a mere nine seconds, but the Waterford lads were level by the tenth minute.
Nenagh AFC then had to rely on a superb display from ‘keeper Aaron Savage to keep them in the game before Arthur Mitchell was pulled down for a penalty in the 62nd minute.
And, up strode goalkeeper Aaron Savage to absolutely belt home the spot kick and hand Nenagh AFC a famous 2-1 win.
Nenagh AFC began their 2011-12 Munster Junior Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over Nenagh Celtic before beating Sallypark (3-1), Bridge United (1-0), Wilton United (3-0), Hospital Crusaders (2-1) and Fairview Rangers (4-2) before getting the better of Tramore (2-1) at the semi-final stage.
For their part Janesboro have accounted for Shannon Hibernians (3-0), Castle Rovers (7-0), Mungret Regional (3-0), Killumney United (3-2), St Saviour’s (3-1), Clonmel Celtic (4-1) and Fermoy (4-1) in the semi-finals.
Janesboro previously won the Munster Junior Cup in 1981 and Limerick clubs have been very prominent since then - during the thirty intervening years Limerick District League clubs have claimed provincial honours on 13 occasions with Ballynanty Rovers, Star Rovers, Fairview Rangers, Mungret Regional, Wembley Rovers and Pike Rovers all crowned Munster champions.
Nenagh AFC will certainly enter next Saturday night’s final as underdogs, but will gain confidence from the fact that Tipperary clubs, namely Carrick United (2010) and St Michael’s (2011), have won the last two Munster Junior Cups.
Indeed, since the turn of the millennium South Tipperary & District League clubs have won the title on six occasions - St Michael’s (2001, 2005 & 2011), Carrick United (2004 & 2010) and Clonmel Town (2006).