Munster League Champions Trophy 1/4 Final
Amazingly we have reached the semi final stages of the second Munster Champions Trophy and still no Kerry team has lost in the competition. Killarney Celtic of course won it last year and this season, as a reward for winning the Denny Premier title, The Park are our flag bearers.
Following a win over Broadford they travelled to Cork to face Business League champions Tile King. While it mightn’t be the strongest League in Cork they still deserved respect and the Park certainly didn’t take Tile King for granted.
But once the first goal went in after 4 minutes there was always going to only one winner. Mike Conway got on the end of a slide rule Martin Bowler pass and he outstripped the defender and beat keeper David Woods at his near post. Woods would go on to have an outstanding game denying The Park on a number of occasions. It looked that the floodgates would open as Tile King continued to play a high line but the Park’s slick passing meant they were getting in behind them on every occasion.
Martin Bowler, Adrian Quirke, Pa McCarthy and Mark Sullivan all went close before the half hour mark. At the other end Jamie Kelly was well able to deal with the few attacks Tile King mounted. Gavin Woods, Gerard Callan and Graham Delaney did have half chances but never really threatened. Indeed it was the away side that doubled their lead in the 28th minute when Adrian Quirke finished another great flowing move.
Tile King felt they were still in the game at half time as they were only two down and started the second half brightly with Callen, Tiffen and Conroy trying to pull their side back into contention. However the game soon took on its familiar pattern with the Park playing very nice football without being able to find that elusive finish. In one of those flowing moves Bowler, Conway, Quirke combined to set up Maunsel but his shot was week. Then from a Tile King free kick in a dangerous position which was cleared sub Aaron Eager Moriarty was set free on the left wing. He sprinted clear and had three players in support but went alone and had his shot saved.
At this stage the Park’s management were tearing out the little hair they have left!! A count of shots on target after 70 minutes read 17 for the Park and 4 for their opponents. Yet it was still only 2-0 – the most dangerous lead of all. However two incidents in ten minutes calmed the nerves and sent the Park through. Firstly Tile King were reduced to ten men when David Hayes was rather harshly sent off for a second yellow card.
Then the third goal came and in contrast to the Parks good play it was a scrappy score. Ryan Downey went for goal from a free kick but it came off the wall and after bouncing around a little Aaron Eager Moriarty slotted the ball home. With big teams like St Michael’s and Pike Rovers still in the competition The Park know they will have to get much more ruthless but on the positive side are well capable of this, especially on the evidence of their display in this quarter final. And certainly if they get a home draw The Park will not fear anyone.
St Brendan’s Park: Jamie Moriarty, Martin Bowler, Ryan Downey, Con Barrett, Shane Brosnan, Adrian Quirke, Fergal Maunsel, Mike Conway, Pa McCarthy, Anto Murphy, Mark Sullivan.
Subs: Aaron Eager Moriarty (for Fergal Maunsel) Dan Robinson (for Shane Brosnan) and Paudie Bailey (for Martin Bowler). Not used – Fiachra Dunne.