ON November 3rd 1996 there was action in the shield, league and the Guinness sponsored FAI Junior Cup, writes Finbarr Buckley. Aer Lingus and Postal Workers grabbed the headlines with the Airport outfit reaching the shield final following 3-1 win over Roches Stores and the Workers taking over top spot in division one (now premier division) after a 2-0 win over Apple Computers.
In the first of the shield semi-finals at Pfizers Pk., Aer Lingus had the better of the early exchanges against Roches Stores and deservedly went in front in the 24th minute when Martin Walsh played a ball in behind for Alan O’Sullivan to head in the opener. Roches drew level in the 57th minute after a flowing move ended with Sean O’Farrell setting up former Liebert shield winner John O’Neill to equalize. However, Aer Lingus scored twice through Walsh and Conor O’Connell in the final quarter to set up a final duel with the winners of the Cara Partners/AIB last four encounter.
In the top flight, Postal Workers hit Apple Computers for five at Lakewood, going two up before half-time through John Browne and James McSweeney. Further goals from Gary Connolly, Tony Madden and Cormac Sheehan took the Workers to the summit of the Brendan O’Herlihy Solicitors division one. AIB had a two-nil home win at the Farm over luckless CIE Utd. courtesy of goals from Geoff Morton and Liam Meaney. At the ESB Grds. Garda went three up against ESB after thirty-five minutes through Sean Stack, Mick Comyns and Richie Davis only for the Electricity Board to pull two back though Frank Murphy and Martin Lynch (pen.). However, Garda held on to secure their first win of the campaign in what had been up till then a troubled season.
In league two Youghal Yarns staged in contention following a 4-2 win over Bank of Ireland while Cara Partners retained second spot after a fine 3-1 win over Novartis. At Mahon Pk. CSO Celtic emerged 2-1 winners over EMC, Eddie Ryan and Denis Leonard on target for the winners after Bill O’Connell had given the visitors the lead. Wilton Centre pegged back Co. Council twice through Dermot Corrigan and Aidan Hegarty after Sean O’Sullivan and the late and much missed Jerry Casey had given the visitor’s the lead. Hickeys returned to form with a 3-0 win over Postal Utd. at Topps Pk., Ballincollig.
Pfizers took over top spot in a competitive division three by beating McDonald’s 4-0. Other results included Heiton’s 3; Old Mill 0, QC Data 3; Janssen 2, Plaistow 1; Cork Plastics 1 and McSweeney Bacon 1; Gaelio 1.
League champions Smurfits lost out the AUL side Hill Celtic at Celtic Pk., 3-1 after extra -time in a second round Munster Junior Cup tie.
There was sad news after the announcement of the passing of former Sifco founder member and player-manager Alan O’Rourke.
Pic above: ESB ( First Division & O’Driscoll Cup Winners 1996/97): L to R (Back) : Des Lougheed, Dave Maloney, Keith Lynch, Paul Hurley, Liam O’Rourke, Brian McCarthy, Jim McSweeney, Don Maher, Sean McCarthy, Ross Lynch, Dan Lucey. L to R (Front): Stephen Tyrell, Donie O’Riordan, Martin Lynch, Frank Murphy (capt.), Tom Tyrell, Donal O’Connor, Noel Lucey, Ger Whelan. (pic: Finbarr Buckley)