SOCCER

St Michael’s crowned Tipperary South & District League Premier Division champions for the fourth successive year

Brian McDonnell

Reporter:

Brian McDonnell

Email:

bmcdonnell@tipperarystar.ie

St Michael’s crowned Tipperary South & District League Premier Division champions for the fourth successive year

The St Michael's team which recently saw off Evergreen in the FAI Junior Cup quarter-finals.

St Michael’s, thanks to goals from John Connery and Seán Guerins, beat Clonmel Celtic 2-0 on Sunday; that result, coupled with Peake Villa shipping a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Bansha Celtic, means that James Walsh’s men can now not be caught at the summit of the Tipperary South & District League Premier Division and are duly crowned league champions for the fourth successive year.

Prior to Sunday Peake Villa enjoyed a mathematical chance of catching the Saints, but the Thurles side lost to Bansha Celtic (0-2) on Sunday. As a result Peake Villa are thirteen points behind St Michael’s with only one game in hand. The Saints have three games remaining in their programme of games while Peake Villa have four.

The Saints have already completed the league double over Clonmel Celtic, Clonmel Town, Vee Rovers, Cahir Park and Old Bridge. St Michael's have also beaten Peake Villa and Tipperary Town while their only defeat of the season materialized away to Bansha Celtic. Therefore the Saints' title run-in comprises of a home game against Bansha Celtic, home to Tipperary Town and away to Peake Villa.

St Michael’s are chasing an extraordinary five trophies this season. The Saints have won the Clonmel Credit Union Premier Division, have qualified for the final of the Munster Champions Trophy, are through to the semi-finals of the Munster Junior Cup, will soon take their place in the semi-finals of the FAI Junior Cup and the outfit managed by James Walsh have also progressed to the semi-finals of the Tipperary Cup.

The Saints’ Tipperary Cup quarter-final victory over Bansha Celtic proved a sweet one for St Michael’s. Their only hic-cup this season occurred in the John Delaney Cup (a pre-season tournament). St Michael's beat Borroway Rovers (4-2) and Blackcastle Templemore Harps (2-0) before losing the final of that tournament to Bansha Celtic (1-3). And, Bansha Celtic also presented the Saints with their only league defeat this season.

In the first round of the Tipperary Cup St Michael's saw off the challenge of Cashel Town B (5-0) before accounting for Peake Villa (4-1) in the second. But in the recent Tipperary Cup quarter-final Bansha Celtic managed to trouble St Michael’s once more. The contest finished nil-all before the Saints won a sudden death penalty shoot-out 4-3 with Richie Ryan, John O’Brien, Jimmy Carr and Christopher Higgins converting the spot kicks. The St Michael’s B team are also through to the semi-finals of the Tipperary Cup having seen off Glengoole United in the last eight (3-0) four thanks to goals from Danny O’Brien (two) and Collie O’Dwyer.

FAI JUNIOR CUP

St Michael's, of course, are currently planning for a New Balance FAI Junior Cup semi-final against Donegal side Glengad United at Cooke Park in Tipperary Town on Sunday, April 7 (kick-off 1pm).

The last eight pitted St Michael's against the might of Evergreen in Kilkenny and the Saints prevailed on a 1-0 scoreline. In the last sixteen St Michael's beat Mervue United 2-1 while this outstanding Saints team, who won the competition outright as recently as 2014, saw off the challenge of last season’s semi-finalists Newmarket Celtic (Clare & District League) in the last thirty-two (2-0). Previous to that encounter St Michael's beat Leitrim's Manorhamilton Rangers (2-1), Tipperary Town (7-0), Old Bridge (10-0) and Mullinahone FC (6-0).

MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP

St Michael's have been draw to face Geraldines (Limerick District League) in the semi-finals on the Munster Junior Cup - Pike Rovers will take on Newmarket Celtic on the opposite side of the draw.

In the quarter-finals St Michael's recently made the trip to Limerick to take on and beat Kilmallock United (4-1) in the last eight of the prestigious competition. In the fifth round (last sixteen) the defending Tipperary South & District League champions hosted and beat Cork outfit Lakewood Athletic 3-1. Thus far the Saints have also beaten Carrick United B (2-0), Clonmel Town (4-1), Cahir Park (3-0) and Wilderness Rovers (2-0) to reach this stage of the competition.

MUNSTER CHAMPIONS TROPHY

The Saints have also progressed to the final of the Munster Champions Trophy - in the decider St Michael's will face Clare & District League outfit Newmarket Celtic. The Saints have already accounted for Abbeyfeale United (2-0) and Carrick United (5-0) in the competition which pits all of the respective junior league champions in the province against one another.

FURTHER READING

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