It was on a warm Sunday in May 2012 when a small club in north Tipperary made history by claiming their first ever Tipperary Cup. Sallypark was founded in 2001 and to claim such a prestigious title in that time is a momentous achievement.
The competition started in January with a total of 40 teams from all over Tipperary taking part. Our campaign started with a tough home tie against Shannon Rangers. We prevailed as 3 0 winners with Padraig Ryan grabbing a hat – trick on the day.
Our next game was an away game to a fancied Moneygall team who were in red hot form. This was a much tougher test than Shannon Rangers. The game was tied at 0 0 coming into the final ten minutes. The goal came with five minutes left to play when Paddy Rohan played a through ball to me and I scored the winner and qualify Sallypark into the quarter final of Tipperary Cup. I played very well that game as part of a front three partnership with Davy Keogh and Simon O Meara.
Our next game was by far our toughest. We hosted Nenagh Town B in the last eight. The game ended 1 1 after normal time with Eoin Ryan on the scoresheet from a corner which I took. We played 30 minutes of extra time and we still couldn’t be separated so penalties had to decide the outcome of this quarter final. We won the penalty shootout 4 2 with our keeper Damien Corcoran pulling off two fantastic saves. I took the third penalty and stuck it in the bottom right hand side and was very proud of this.
The semi-final took place in mid-April away to Holycross who knocked out massive favourites Nenagh Celtic in the Quarter Final. We beat Holycross 1 0 with Davy Keogh scoring the winning goal on the hour mark. The final whistle marked wild celebrations as we had reached our first ever Tipperary Cup Final. I feel I played ok on the day and hopefully did enough to earn a start in the final.
The day had arrived, Tipperary Cup final day for Sallypark. Clonmore were our opponents on the day with game being played in Ballymackey. There was big support for both teams on the day. I started the game up front and was thrilled to be playing but also very nervous. We made the breakthrough on the half hour mark when Padraig Ryan struck a free kick into the top corner of the Clonmore net. Chances were few and far between from then on. It was on the hour mark that the game changed when Kieran Ryan fouled inside the box which resulted in a penalty for Clonmore from which they equalised from. But the biggest moment of the game came five minutes from time when I swung a cross onto the head of Davy Keogh and stuck it into the top of the net to send fans and players into party mode. We held out till the final whistle to mark off a great day for the club. Damien Corcoran was presented with the cup to mark the start of wild celebrations for the club.