St. Michael's reached the last eight of the Munster Junior Cup with a workmanlike victory over Waterford Hibs, and despite a shaky start, were the better team throughout, and in the second half in particular.
Hibs started well and as early as the third minute Mark O'Keeffe got in behind the Saints defence to cross from the by line before the ball was scrambled away. The visitors also won a series of corners before Saints composed themselves and looked dangerous through Jimmy Carr who went on a number of good runs and sent in some dangerous crosses.
The visitors continued to press though and O'Keeffe almost scored for a second time after a quarter of an hour before an Aaron Wall double save kept his goal intact.
But the visitors were to rue these misses in the 21st minute when against the run of play Carr won a ball on the right and sent a cross into the area for Pa Quinn to head home from close range.
This settled the home side but they were unable to fashion any other real chances for the rest of the half.
The home side started much better in the second half and had chances to extend the lead early on through shots from Richie Ryan and Jimmy Carr.
As the half wore on, it became obvious that the Saints were better prepared physically for the game and Hibs began to wilt, allowing the home side to get the all-important second goal 17 minutes from time. A corner kick from Joey Mulcahy was forced over the line from close in by David Slattery, and minutes later Hibs found themselves reduced to ten men making what already seemed like a difficult comeback, nigh on impossible.
The Saints simply played down the clock afterwards and moved into the next phase of the competition.
Fairview Rangers started the better of the two teams in this game, dominating the early exchanges, but were rocked when the visitors took the lead in the 16th minute through a great great strike by Gino Lonergan into top corner. The home side regrouped though, and nine minutes later were level when a speculative strike deceived Noel O' Brien in the Old Bridge goal and the ball trickled in.
Both teams settled a little after this and there were no further goalmouth incidents of note in the first half. Rangers again started the better and only for some good saves by O'Brien would have been in a much bigger lead before they eventually went two goals to one up three minutes before the hour mark when Brian Murphy scored his second of the game.
Old Bridge were reduced to ten men shortly afterwards and struggled for the rest of the game, but it was only until five minutes before the end that the Limerick side closed out the game with a third decisive goal.
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