FAI JUNIOR CUP, in association with AVIVA and Umbro
Saturday, 9th April, 7.30pm – Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore
St. Peter’s FC (Westmeath) v Pike Rovers (Limerick)
Sunday, 10th April, 3.00pm – Tolka Rovers Complex, Griffith Avenue, Dublin
Sheriff YC (Dublin) v Janesboro FC (Limerick)
The Aviva Stadium is in sight for the four clubs who will take to the field in this weekend’s FAI Junior Cup Semi Finals. The Final, hosted at the home of Irish football as part of Aviva’s sponsorship of the competition, takes place on the 14th May with only Sheriff from the last four having previously walked out in the Dublin 4 venue. Most recently losing last year’s Final in extra time to Liffey Wanderers after last winning the title at the Aviva in 2013.
On Saturday night St. Peter’s from Athlone will take on 2011 winners Pike Rovers at Leah Victoria Park in Tullamore. Peter’s are very much the underdogs in the semi finals but have accounted for
several high profile scalps on the way to the last four including former winners Westport United in round six.
Former Athlone Town striker Noel McGee will lead the line for Philip Coffey’s side. McGee scored the vital penalty against Rivervalley in the Quarter Finals and has been prolific for Peter’s right through the competition. The CCFL leaders will also look to former Longford Town duo Mick Lee and Ethan Nkololo for attacking inspiration, particularly Nkololo who will be tasked with trying to unlock a Pike defence that has conceded just twice en route to the semi finals.
Pike, second favourites for the competition this season behind Sheriff, will travel to Tullamore full of confidence after scoring eight without reply in the last two rounds. This included a 4-0 drubbing of last year’s semi finalists Clonmel Celtic in round seven. Michael Shields side look primed to return to the final this season and bring the Cup back to Limerick for the first time since they last won it five years ago.
If they are to make the Aviva showpiece, they’ll have to do it without captain Wayne Colbert, who is suspended for this weekend’s clash. While Colbert will be missed, the captaincy will be taken over by Pat Mullins, a surviving member of the victorious 2011 side.
With quality all over the pitch fans will be looking to Cian Collins to light up Leah Victoria Park on Saturday night. Collins bagged a hat trick against 2014 finalists Ballynanty in round four and the former Limerick FC attacker may well cause havoc for St. Peter’s defence.