Williams ends Bond’s dream Junior Cup run

by Jonny Stapleton
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Oliver Bond Celtic 1

Pike Rovers 2

BY Jonny Stapleton

Robbie Williams did anything but entertain a massive Oliver Bond crowd at Richmond Park last Sunday.

The Pike Rovers player-manager played a vital role in the Limerick side’s hard-fought victory over the  Inner City outfit at the home of St Patrick’s Athletic.

Williams was a man of the match contender and assisted the winner in a high-profile semi-final via a free-kick his endeavor won.

The defeat meant final FAI Junior Cup final four heartache for the progressive and community club for the second year running and also means the centenary decider won’t have any Dublin representation.

Bond, who lost out to near neighbours Usher Celtic at the same stage last year, had fought their way back into the game, Stephen Sandford’s strike canceling out Evan Paterson’s opener.

However, long-serving Rover Eoin ‘Boris’ Hanrahan sealed a massive win for the Limerick giants when he headed home his manager’s set-piece, sending The Hoops into the final for the first time since they lost at the Aviva to the famous Sheriff side of John Rock, John Lester and co in 2016.

This semi-final defeat will hurt Eddie Keogh and his charges that little bit more as they have secured promotion to LSL Senior 1B and the intermediate ranks, meaning they won’t be FAI Junior  Cup eligible next year and may never get the chance to win the biggest cup competition in Europe ever again.  

The result also means Dublin will have to wait to celebrate FAI Junior Cup success again.

The focus for the majority of major clubs in the capital has sifted to intermediate competitions after the mass defection from the AUL to the LSL.

The last time Dublin had a winner was when Sherrif defeated Evergreen in 2017 to make it four FAI Junior Cup wins in six years and two in just 12 months.

With all the AUL defectors no progressing toward the intermediate ranks Dublin’s best hope of FA Junior Cup success may now rest at the feet of a strong Saturday side.

The Oliver Bond Celtic side that lost out to Pike Rovers at Richmond Park

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