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Judge rules the roost as Fairview are crowned Munster Junior Cup champions

Published 2 months ago 29th May 2022 by Jamie O’Flaherty

Fairview Rangers are once again kings of Munster after they deservedly brought the Munster Junior Cup back to Limerick by beating TSDL side St Michael’s 3-0.

Despite a 20 minute spell in the second half, it was a relatively comfortable night for Rangers at Turners Cross, with man of the match Jeffery Judge, midfield partner Shane Duggan and forward Conor Coughlan pulling the strings and dominating possession.

In a one-sided first half, Saints were on the back foot for most parts but still managed to carve out a glorious opportunity that would have given them an early lead. Ed O’Dwyer found space on the right-hand side and pulled the ball back for David Slattery who beat Aaron Savage only to be denied by Mark Slattery who made a brilliant goal-line clearance.

But that was as good as it got for Saints in the first period who struggled to come to terms with the movement and accuracy of a well-drilled Fairview side. Conor Coughlan operating in a free role was causing the Tipperary side problems and it was no surprise when he edged his side in front.

Quickest to react to a flick on, Coughlan showed great composure to cut inside from the left before calmly slotting the ball past Adrian Walsh in the Saints goal.

And it was no more than his side deserved. Before Coughlan’s strike, former St Michael’s forward Russell Quirke had two great chances to score but was denied brilliantly by Walsh on the first occasion before blazing over the bar with the goal at his mercy five minutes later.

Saints emerged a more determined side in the second half and put Fairview on the back foot. Whatever manager James Walsh said at half-time certainly had an effect and his side should have found an equaliser when Shane Ryan was denied by some frantic defending.

Adam McGrath then came close when his 30-yard effort came back off the woodwork before Joey Mulchay’s left-foot strike produced an outstanding save from Savage.

However, in the big games when you don’t take your chances you ultimately get punished and sure enough despite being under pressure, Fairview found a way to add a second.

A long kick out was cleared into touch by the head of Paul Breen but before the Saints rear-guard could find their shape, Jeffrey Judge found space from the thrown in and brilliantly set up Dara Brainsford who had the easy task of beating Walsh from close range.

Saints came at Rovers again but were picked off once more on the break when Conor Coughlan went on a mazy run through the middle and timed his pass superbly to set up Judge who calmly found the bottom corner.

From then there was no coming back for a Saints side that desperately missed their influential captain Jimmy Carr who was suspended.

However no one can deny this brilliant Fairview side their victory. They had top performers throughout and were full value for their 3-0 win.

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