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Sunday 17 December 2017

Hickey's early saves vital for Rovers to reel in Saints

St. Joseph's........................................................ 1

Derry Rovers .....................................................3

Colin Doran gave St Joseph's the perfect start to this Med Bar Cup clash as he got on the end of a Glen Doyle pass to beat the advancing keeper on five minutes.

It was all Josephs during the early exchanges but Derry 'keeper Padraig Hickey made a crucial save on eleven minutes to prevent Doyle from doubling the home advantage.

The Derry defence occasionally were caught in possession and a Joseph's score always seemed likely.

However Rover's Peter Brennan led a charge out of his half before releasing to Adam Kenny who returned the pass into space behind the Josephs defence for Brennan to sprint clear and equalise on 17 minutes.

Peter Brennan's tidy finish then put Derry into the lead on 26 minutes as Rovers finally found the measure of their opponents.

Still, Josephs were always capable of unlocking the Derry defence with Padraig Hickey making another excellent save to preserve their advantage on the half hour.

When another Saints attack broke down Derry's Ed O'Leary produced a defence-splitting pass which allowed Adam Kenny to finish in style on 33 minutes.

Derry's Peter Brennan came within a whisker of bagging a hat-trick but was denied by a super save from the Josephs netminder just minutes after the resumption.

Derry's first half efforts began to catch up on them and Josephs took control midfield but were unable to break down a resolute defence and the excellent keeping of Padraig Hickey.

Parkville United................................................ 0

Burrin Celtic..................................................... 0

Despite the gulf in respective positions in the Premier League table, this was always likely to be a keenly contested local derby.

It was Burrin who enjoyed the better of the early exchanges with the energetic Marcin Bieniasz proving a real handful for the United defence to control.

He got on the end of a great pass from Matty Dowling but his goal bound shot was deflected narrowly wide on 16 minutes.

Within minutes, the Parkville 'keeper had made a great save to prevent Burrin's Sean Foley from breaking the deadlock.

The home side began to find its bearings with veteran Burrin 'keeper Frank Fanning making a number of telling interventions and saves to preserve the status quo at half time.

Burrin's James Nolan was denied by a wonderful save by the United keeper and this was the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock

St. Fiacc's ..........................................................4

Nurney Villa..................................................... 6

Villa took a fourth minute lead when John Miley took advantage of a goalkeeping error to net. Fiacc's recovered well and were back on level terms on eleven minutes. Nicky Brannigan put over a cross which Jamie Parr volleyed home.

Nurney regained the lead on 28 minutes, Richard Kearney released Sean Kinsella in space and Kinsella lobbed the Saints 'keeper from the edge of the area.

Four minutes later and the sides were level again when the Villa 'keeper raced outside his area to clear the ball but was dispossessed and the ball fell to Matthew Power who put it into an empty net. Fiacc's came out strongly in the second half and tem minutes in were 4-2 ahead.

Patrick Scully put a penalty away and Matthew Power scored his second goal of the game. Miley pulled a goal back fro Nurney and Val Fleming levelled from close range. Willie Kearney then put Villa ahead before Fiacc's were reduced to eight players.

John Miley closed the scoring for Nurney completing his hat trick on 88 minutes.

The match did witness five red cards with St Fiacc's having three players dismissed and Nurney with two, but, in fairness, it was more indiscipline that anything which led to the sendings off.

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