Limerick Premier Division
By Billy Goulding
Shane Clarke amazingly passed the 50 goal mark for the season on Thurday night as his hat trick helped Janesboro kept the pressure on league leaders Pike Rovers with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over a determined Summerville Rovers side on Thursday night.
With 51 goals already, Clarke looks well on course to beat last season’s total of 59 goals.
Summerville began the brighter as Boro were slow out of the blocks. A nice ball from the full back into Gareth Creamer resulted in an early chance for Summerville but the winger’s shot was blocked.
Janesboro upped the pace shortly after and Summerville were content to leave them spray the ball around in their own half. Rovers kept the majority of their men behind the ball and pressed effectively as soon as Boro crossed the halfway line.
Janesboro had their first real opening of the tie in the fifteenth minute, full back Alan Harkin played a great one-two down the left wing with Edward Brazier before fizzing a great ball across the six-yard box that the inrushing Shane Clarke just failed to get on the end of.
Brazier himself then flashed a snapshot wide on the twenty minute mark and Clarke fired a long-range free kick over the bar shortly after, as Janesboro pressed for the opener.
They didn’t have to wait for long more as the deadlock was broken on the thirty-two minute mark. A long clearance from the back saw Clarke spring the offside-trap and bear down on goal. He managed to reach the ball before the advancing keeper and prodded home to give Boro the lead.
Janesboro retained the ball for the remainder of the half but were unable to extend their advantage.
The second half began with Janesboro picking up where they left off as they upped the tempo in search of a second.
Five minutes into the second period a long ball from the back was taken in expertly by Clarke. With his back to goal he swivelled and was brought down by the centre half. The decision incensed the Rovers contingent and they clearly felt the free should have been awarded to them. Their protest fell on deaf ears as Clarke dusted himself down and converted the spot kick for his, and Boro’s second.
Janesboro really went for the jugular now and put together a number of impressive passing moves but the final ball continued to leave them down.
To their credit Summerville never threw in the towel and almost snuck one on the break in the sixty-fifth minute, Striker Darren O’ Sullivan did well to create some space for himself in the Boro box but saw his effort tipped around the post by the Boro keeper.
The game was effectively ended as a contest shortly after in the sixty-seventh minute. Clarke was again upended in the box as he attempted to get on the end of a Declan Nash cross. No protests this time as Clark completed his hat-trick for a 3-0 lead.
Boro were content to retain possession after this and both sides saw the game out in second gear.