FAI Junior Cup
Pike Rovers -4
Pike Rovers FAI Junior Cup crusade continues, but only after Division 1 B side Kilfrush gave them a scare.
Kilfrush lead the fourth round clash for nigh on an hour and forced extra time after it looked like Pike had turned the game on it’s head.
However, Pike had that little bit about them in extra time and hit twice more to move into the Open Draw.
The Limerick side, who some are suggesting are the best bet to reach the latter stages when you consider the inform Janesboro are up against North End in the next round, now face a local derby with Hill Celtic.
Kilfrush took the lead after just 30 seconds when Neil Quinn beat his man out the left and swung in a cross which flew straight over Adam O’Doherty and into the Pike net.
The Hoops went in search of a equaliser but neither Hannon or McGann could convert their chances. Kilfrush’s defence held firm as they went into the break in front.
The second half saw Pike control the majority of the play with O’Donovan and O’Malley delivering dangerous balls into the area but Kilfrush stood tall.
The first mistake the lower division side made all game proved costly as the failed to deal with O’Malley’s corner and with the ball bouncing around inside the box, first half substitute Dave Ryan was in the right place at the right time to level the tie.
From then on Pike upped the tempo in search of a winner but still had to be wary of the dangerous counter attacks.
With five minutes remaining Pike thought they had the game won. Wayne O’Donovan delivered an inch perfect set piece to Eoin Hanrahan and the man the call ‘Boris’ headed home to put Pike into the lead.
The 2015/16 finalists tried to see out the game but sitting back came back to haunt them as Kilfrush scored a dramatic equaliser with the last kick of the game.
A free kick out the right was whipped in, Pa Kiely got a flick on but it took a deflection off a Pike player and looped over the keeper and into the back of the net sending the game to extra time.
However, two goals early in the first period settled the game in Pike’s favour. Steven McGann ghosted his way into the box and was taken down. McGann stepped up and sent the keeper the other way to put Pike back into the lead. Within minutes Pike had doubled their lead when Paddy O’Malley’s corner was headed home at the near post by Eoin Hanrahan to put the game to bed.
To their credit Kilfrush didn’t give up but could only create half chances which the Pike defence dealt with comfortably.