Carrick United are through to the final of the Munster Junior Cup following a truly dramatic victory over Limerick outfit Pike Rovers in Jackman Park on Saturday night. They will now play Clonmel Town in the final on Saturday next in Cahir Park at 7pm.
Clonmel Town are managed by the former Waterford United goalkeeper Martin “Blossom” Quinlivan and it is worth noting that Carrick defeated Clonmel in the final of this competition in Ozier Park in 2004. Some years previously, Clonmel beat Carrick in the semi-final, also in Ozier Park.
On Saturday last Carrick took the lead through Ian Cleary shortly before half-time. The entire course of the game changed in the second half when a big physical Pike Rovers team raced into a 3-1 lead and it looked curtains for the Waterford Premier League champions.
However, Carrick refused to bend the knee and Glen Keane struck the woodwork before Alan Ryan scored with a free kick after the Rovers goalkeeper and a defender got their signals completely mixed up and the ball trickled over the line.
With time running out Thomas Fitzgerald scored the equaliser with a superb header. In the first period of extra time Thomas Fitzgerald struck once again, this time heading home a cross from Alan Coady.
Pike Rovers were not to be outdone however and the Limerick side equalised in the second period of extra time. Carrick came out on top in the penalty shoot-out with Irish international Adrian Walsh saving Pike Rovers’ second penalty.
Glen Keane scored what proved to be Carrick’s winning spot kick. Extraordinary stuff indeed on the banks of the River Shannon, and now the scene is set for yet another memorable chapter in the Carrick United vs Clonmel Town story.