St. Michael's Tipperary will be hoping to advance to the last four of this year's FAI Junior Cup with a win over Evergreen in Kilkenny on Sunday next.
NEW BALANCE FAI JUNIOR CUP QUARTER FINAL
EVERGREEN (Kilkenny) v ST MICHAEL’s (Tipperary Town), in Kilkenny on Sunday at 2 pm
TSDL league leaders St Michael’s continue their yearly crusade to try to make it to the Aviva Stadium for the final of the FAI Junior Cup, when they travel to the Marble City to take on the crème de la crème of Kilkenny football in Evergreen next Sunday.
And as in other sports, this Tipperary against Kilkenny clash will be as highly anticipated amongst the supporters of Association football as any of the recent clashes of the ash between the two county teams that the football clubs hail from.
It’s not the first time that the clubs have met, with the history between them going back as far as 1971, three years before the Saints won their first FAI Junior Cup pennant. Travelling away to games was a novelty at the time but the Tipperary lads made short work of the trip to the city, and of the city boys when they got there, recording an emphatic four goals to one victory on the day. They faced them again in 1998, once again having to travel away from Cooke Park, and while the Kilkenny champions seemed to have improved in the meantime, the Saint’s still had a two goals to one victory. The scores on the day came from Davy Ryan and Shay Lynch, the brother of the world-renowned show- jumper, Denis Lynch, and less well known but just as renowned in Tipperary women’s soccer circles, Aoife Lynch, who skippered Tipperary Town ladies in an FAI Junior Cup final only four years ago. So good was Shay on the day in Kilkenny, that he afterwards took up a job as an FAI Development officer and was posted in Kilkenny, no doubt to the amusement of his team mates. The last time the two sides met in the Junior Cup in was in the round of 16 in 2015 and was the first time that they met in Cooke Park in Tipperary. Again the TSDL side were victorious on a two goal to nil scoreline, with wing wizard Jimmy Carr giving an imperious performance meaning that the Tipperary team have a 100% record over Evergreen that they will be hoping to continue on Sunday next.
That said the Kilkenny side have a good pedigree in the Cup, twice getting to the final itself. The first occasion was in 1984 when there line up included multiple All Ireland winning hurler Michael Walsh, and they went down by a single goal in contentious circumstances to Dublin side Beggsboro. They were also back in the final two years ago when they were unlucky to come up against the behemoth of Irish Junior soccer that is Sheriff YC, and they went down on a two goal to nil scoreline. But that will only make them even more determined to get back to the hallowed turf in the Aviva and pick up a prize that the Saint’s have been lucky enough to win twice. Whatever will happen, what can be assured is that there will be some of the finest Junior football players in Ireland on show and it would be well worth a trip to see this game played out.