The LDSL football family extends its heartiest congratulations to everyone involved with Pike Rovers fantastic win in the SFAI U.12’s National Cup final recently held in Janesboro FC, Limerick – Saturday 21st May 2022 – 2pm. Furthermore, we are all very proud of the achievement of Pike Rovers FC.
Report By Turlough McNamara
Pike Rovers were crowned U12s S.F.A.I. in great fashion as they saw off a fancied Dublin outfit St Kevins Boys who had won this particular age group for the last four seasons.
The game took place in a immaculate Janesboro F.C. pitch and one of the biggest crowds in many years took in this Cup Final and all witnessed a truly brilliant ball game unfold.
The Hoops settled quickly and eights minutes in Ryan Lipper played an astute ball into the path of the on running Josh Daly and he fired his effort just over. At this early stage Maddison Mc Guane was beginning to dictate matters as this young lady has a very bright future in the game as she won a great ball just on the half way and then with the deftest of touches linked up with Alex Meaney who whipped in ball just whizzed by the angle.
Moments later at the the opposite end of the park St Kevin’s broke quickly with Max Dunne playing the ball over the Pike defensive line as Mason Slevin seemed destined to score but a wonderful sliding tackle by Paddy Casey who showed good pace to track back and his tackle was timely to cut out what seemed a certain goal.
After this the game ebbed and flowed for a period as each side carving out a chance or two but it was defenders that were winning their respective battles with the first half coming to an end as then in added time a St Kevin’s defender seemed to panic as his back pass finished up going out for a corner and this did reap dividends for the Hoops when Josh Daly’s brilliant ball to the back post seemed to evade all but the alert Maddison Mc Guane kept her composure as cool as you like drill a cracker to the net from close range to a massive cheer from the home followers.
On the turn over all expected a quick response from the Dublin outfit but it was Pike who rattled them early on as a neat move involving Paddy Casey, Martin Hogan and Ryan Lipper saw the latter’s sublime picking out Tristian O Driscoll who showed immense skill to evade two would be tackles as he then fired a cracker that beat the custodian but the back peddling full back for St Kevin’s Zach Murray just got back to clear the ball off the line.
Moments later Pike took a massive vice like grip on this Cup final when a truly wonderful piece of quick fire football saw the Hoops net minder Ross Ryan finding Ryan Lipper with his quick out as he then in turn cushioned a brilliant ball out wide to Maddison Mc Guane who yet again showed immense skill to ease by the defender as she then with an exquisite ball into the mid area saw the in running Tristian O Driscoll fire a brilliant effort to the bottom corner of the net and put Pike well in control.
St Kevin’s then began to push on but they did create a chance or two but a bang in form Pike net minder Ross Ryan who dealt with whatever came his way in brilliant fashion.
As the half wore on each of the Pike players grew in stature putting in great tackles to curb any threat from St Kevin’s. and as the half wore on Pike were indeed getting stronger and with that saw out this epic game till the end to emerge brilliant winners of the U12 S.F.A.I. Cup Final.
It would be unfair to pick out any plater of the match as this was an all round team performance.
The Pike management team of Dom Lipper, Frank Stewart, Rob Ryan, Gary Hartigan, Jonathan Delaney and Cyril Costelloe deserve plaudits as well as they have put in massive work into this squad who reaped the rewards with this victory.
Ross Ryan, Rian Hogan, Ryan Lipper, Tristian O Driscoll, Alex Meaney, Maddison Mc Guane, Paddy Casey, Martin Hogan, Josh Daly, Eason Bien, Rian Hanrahan Stewart and Scott Hartigan,