Ryan himself almost extended the lead on the hour mark before Higgins injury reduced the visitors to ten men because they had already used the requisite number of substitutes allowed.

This gave the home side a bit more impetus in attack and they pinned Saints back for long period of the last half hour. Alas they had nothing to show for their efforts outside of a few good chances, which were dealt with by Walsh.

The champions finally ended the game as a contest with two minutes to go when Shane Neville sprung the offside trap and beat Eoin Power from close in. This ensures another cup final early in the season, and Michael’s will have the luxury of waiting to see their opponents when the Thurles derby goes ahead on Wednesday night at 7 pm between Thurles Town v Peake Villa.

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