The St Michael's team which beat Peake Villa 5-1 on Sunday.
St Michael’s made a resounding statement of their intent for the remainder of the season when the Saints presented Peake Villa with a four-goal (5-1) beating in the last 32 of the Munster Junior Cup in Thurles.
St Michael’s lost a recent Munster Champions Cup final against Abbeyfeale United and also lost out to Usher Celtic in the FAI Junior Cup, but the Saints were in really determined mood on Sunday at Loughtagalla. And, they deservedly progressed to the last 16 while the side managed by James Walsh has also found their form in the TSDL Premier League in recent weeks.
Peake Villa actually took the lead in this contest thanks to a Pippy Carroll penalty in the sixth minute, but St Michael’s were irresistible thereafter. Indeed, St Michael’s raced into a 4-1 lead by the break and were so comfortable in the second half of this contest that the Saints replaced both centre-halves.
The combination of Colin Bargary, Richie Ryan and Joey Mulcahy dominated midfield while full-backs John O’Brien and Chris Higgins worked incredibly hard on the flanks. Wingers Jimmy Carr and Paddy Fitzgerald pushed right up and appeared to disrupt the structure of the Peake Villa side while at centre-forward David Slattery proved to be a constant thorn in the side of the Villa three-man defence.
Pippy Carroll intercepted a St Michael’s kick-out in the sixth minute when ‘keeper Aaron Wall slipped during his attempted delivery. Carroll, as sharp as ever, cushioned his header into the path of Mathew McKevitt. Wall denied McKevitt with a neat save, but the Peake Villa centre-forward was fouled by James Walsh when McKevitt gathered the rebound with the goal as his mercy. Pippy Carroll rifled home the penalty and Peake Villa led 1-0.
Despite an encouraging start for the home side St Michael’s then took complete control. With Jimmy Carr wreaking havoc down the left the Saints created terrific opportunities in the 10th and 17th minutes, but Paddy Fitzgerald and Colin Bargary blasted over.
St Michael’s found themselves back on terms in the 19th minute when Colin Bargary’s smartly-taken free kick found Jimmy Carr unmarked on the left flank; Carr picked out Chris Higgins steaming in at the far post and the right-back made no mistake (1-1).
All the momentum was with St Michael’s now and James Walsh’s side almost edged ahead in the 35th minute, but Peake Villa ‘keeper Stephen Ryan did well to push a Paddy Fitzgerald shot onto the bar. The reprieve for the home side proved temporary in nature as Chris Higgins headed home the resultant corner (2-1).
Two minutes later David Slattery found the Peake Villa bar with a rasping effort before Slattery set up Colin Bargary for another terrific opportunity in the 40th minute. Bargary lifted his shot over the bar, but the Saints struck for a third goal in the 42nd minute. Paddy Fitzgerald won the ball back superbly on the right before David Slattery lashed Fitzgerald’s resultant cross into the roof of Stephen Ryan’s net (3-1).
In the 43rd minute St Michael’s added a fourth goal when Jimmy Carr’s cross found the head of Joey Mulcahy. The sides retired with three between them at the break (4-1).
Peake Villa tried to respond in the second half and despite the valiant efforts of Pippy Carroll the home side failed to make a significant impression on the visiting defence before Saints’ left-back John O’Brien fired home a terrific fifth goal with 12 minutes to play.
The Peake Villa team which lost 1-5 to St Michael's on Sunday afternoon.
MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP
St Michael’s now progress to the last 16 of the Munster Junior Cup - the Saints are, of course, the defending champions in this prestigious provincial competition.
Happily Thurles Town are also through to the next round following their 4-1 win over Shannon Hibernians in Clare. Sadly Tipperary Town made their exit from the competition when they shipped a 2-4 defeat away to Dungarvan United.
Meanwhile Blackcastle Templemore Harps will host Nenagh AFC in the last 32 next weekend - BT Harps are the current leaders of the North Tipperary & District League Premier Division while Nenagh AFC are flying high in the Limerick District League. That clash should make for a tasty contest.
Peake Villa: Stephen Ryan, Martin Fogarty, Alan Leahy, Seán Wade, James Maher, Gary Lyons, Anthony Walker, Maris Baltins, Pippy Carroll, Adam Garrett, Mathew McKevitt.
St Michael’s: Aaron Wall, Chris Higgins, Paul Breen, James Walsh, John O’Brien, Colin Bargary, Richie Ryan, Joey Mulcahy, Paddy Fitzgerald, David Slattery, Jimmy Carr.
Referee: Paddy Keane.