Enniskillen Rangers 0 St. Michael's AFC (Tipperary) 3

It’s a long way from Tipperary but that made no difference to FAI Junior Cup champions St. Michael’s who deservedly won the second Presidents’ Cup with a 3-0 win over IFA champions Enniskillen Rangers at Ferney Park

The 3-0 final score was a little harsh on Rangers who had the chances to go in at least level at the break and while they did create a few opportunities in the second period, they failed to trouble the impressive St. Michael’s keeper Adrian Walsh.

St. Michael’s on the other hand were dangerous throughout with man of the match Shane Ryan a driving force in midfield and when excellent substitute Gavin Dillon pounced on some Gareth Barbour hesitancy to make it 2-0 midway through the second half, there was only going to be one winner.

The game was sealed in the 94th minute as Ryan fired a superb shot into the top corner of the net after picking up a poor clearance from Phillip Beacom to send the visitors home with some silverware and the title of the best junior footballing team in Ireland.

Rangers manager Michael Kerr felt that the 3-0 scoreline flattered their opponents.

“In the first half we had chances to go in level at least and if we had taken one of those then it could have been a different game.

“They took their chances then in the second half and I felt we were punished for our mistakes which happens when you play against a good side like this.

“I think the 3-0 scoreline flattered them although they were deserving winners. We won’t get too deflated about the result, the game showed us plenty that we need to work on and improve on and that’s what we will take from it,” said Kerr.

After a quiet opening few minutes, St. Michael’s started to assert their authority on the game, trying to get runners in behind the Rangers rearguard.

David Joyce fired wide with the first attempt on goal of the game before flying winger William Arshaw cut in from the right and fired a fine left footed effort over the bar.

Rangers slowly played their way into the game, looking dangerous themselves when they were able to get a footing in midfield.

Christopher Currie’s diagonal ball found Jason Keenan in the box but his shot was blocked and then Jake Brown and Currie combined to create an opening for Stuart Rainey but Walsh saved.

At the other end, St. Michael’s were to take the lead in the 25th minute when an inswinging corner saw Sean Guerins challenge Gareth Barbour in the air with ball and Barbour ending up in the net and the goal stood despite the protestations of the Rangers players.

Despite the setback, Rangers continued to play some good football with Currie, Conor Watson and Keenan linking well to set up Mark Cutler but he did not get the power on his shot that he wanted.

The visitors were not without their chances and Ryan powered a header over the bar before Rangers created a double chance just before the break. Richard Johnston played in Currie whose initial effort was saved and then the ball broke to Rainey but again Walsh was on hand to thwart Rangers again.

One down at the break, Rangers started well in the second half and Rainey did well to win the ball on the edge of the box but lifted his shot over the bar. Browne then fired over from distance as Rangers struggled to test the Tipperary keeper.

Barbour saved well from Ryan when he was played through and substitute Dillon flashed a shot wide when set up by Armshaw.

However, minutes later Dillon made no mistake as he latched on to a through ball as Barbour hesitated he confidently chipped the ball over the keeper for 2-0 and a neat finish.

Rangers were now up against it and Michael Kerr rang the changes, including bringing on new signings Nathan Khan and Eoin McManus.

In truth though they failed to create any meaningful chances or to trouble Walsh in the St. Michael’s goal.

The game was sealed late on with a goal fit to grace any game as Ryan hit a cracker into the top for St. Michael’s whose long journey home was shortened no doubt by some silverware and the title of top junior team on the island.

It is back to IFA Junior Cup matters this Saturday for the ‘Gers with a home game against Colin Valley II and the three in a row champions are keen for another run in the competition this season.

“The Junior Cup has been good to us over the last three years and the good thing for us is that we have home advantage. We will be going out to try and win the game and we would love to do something again in the competition this season,” added Kerr.