Three goals in a seven minute spell soon after the break shocked the more fancied Athlone IT and helped put National College of Ireland well on the way to earning a second round place in the Colleges FAI B Team Cup.
Before Christmas the Midlanders were pipped on goal difference by GMIT Castlebar for the Division One West title but qualified for the play offs and are set to face IT Tallaght 'B' side in a League Quarter Final tie at Tallaght Stadium to-morrow (Tuesday).
NCI managed just one win in their league Division Two campaign,a 5-3 victory over bottom side Bray Institute in November.
But the underdog tag never appeared to trouble the home side and after surviving a few opening half scares went into the break a goal infront.
Paraic Galvin was on target to beat Ian Durkin from close range on 37 minutes after a Shane Doyle corner was flicked on by Gavin O'Keeffe. Earlier Eoin Smith and Jay Phol had both gone close after striking the bar with fierce drives with Athlone dominating the early play.
But it all changed in the second half as NCI took control and quickly raced into a four goal lead that rocked the visitors.First striker Gavin O'Keeffe struck with two quick goals and then Ciaran Mulqueen followed up with another.
Three minutes into the half O'Keeffe was tumbled in the box and the striker got up to place the spot kick well out of Durkin's reach.
Minutes later he struck again this time after running on to a fine through ball from Chris Anako and shooting low past Durkin.
The fourth arrivied on 55 minutes when Mulqueen netted the goal of the game a firmly struck drive after Galvin had crossed from the right.
Substitute Peter Geraghty sealed the win for NCI with a fifth goal in the closing minutes as Athlone bowed out still wondering where it all went wrong.
NCI 'B': Ferdia White, Robbie Carson, Neil Doyle, Sean Murphy, Rory Larkin, Chris Anaku, Paraic Galvin, Niall O'Connell, Gavin O'Keeffe, Ciaran Mulqueen, Shane Doyle,Subs: Peter Geraghty (for Mulqueen 60), Diarmuid Fullerton (for Larkin 60), Paul Boyle (for O'Keeffe 71), Mark Devlin (for O'Connell 71), Stephen Feenan, Stephen Kenny.
ATHLONE IT 'B': Ian Durkin, Wbana Saudes, Shaka Maleta, Padraig Geraghty, Chris Ferncombe, Darren Pearse, Jay Pohl, Greg Mhiterson, Eoin Smith, Jack Mendy, Xavi Morata. Subs: Johnny Low (for Mendy ht), Shaun Akinbode (for Saudes ht), Nasser Issipi (for Smith 52), Simon Gaugeer, Denis Walsh, Keith Noone, Nigel Hegarty.
Referee: Sean O'Connor (Dublin).
COLLEGES & UNIES LEAGUE
TUESDAY JAN 26 (2.0)
Division One Quarter Finals: GMIT Castlebar v NCI, GMIT Sportsground. RTBA; Mary Immaculate College v Cork College of Commerce, Limerick IT Sportsground. RTBA; IT Tallaght 'B' v Athlone IT 'B', Tallaght Stadium.T McGuinness, D Fisher, M Burke.
Bob Eustace Cup First Round: Inchicore College v Rathmines College, Pearse Park All Weather.
WEDNESDAY JAN 27 (2.0)
Premier Division Quarter Finals: UU Jordanstown v Univ of Limerick, AUL Complex,Dublin (2.30) D Fisher, T McGuinness, M Burke; Athlone IT v IT Carlow, Athlone IT All Weather.RTBA; DIT v Letterkenny IT, Grangegorman (1.0). F Cunningham; UCC v UCD, The Mardyke,Cork (2.30). K Callan.
Premier Division North: Belfast Metropolitan College v UU Coleraine, Crusaders FC, Seaview.
Division Two Quarter Final: Senior College Dun Laoghaire v Dundalk IT 'B', Irishtown Stadium,Ringsend (3.0). R Glynn.
Bob Eustace Cup First Round: Griffith College v DIT, Pearse Park All Weather.
THURSDAY JAN 28 (2.0)
Division Two Quarter Final:Northside Campus of FE v IT Tallaght 'C', Northside Campus, Cork.E McNally; IT Blanchardstown v IT Tralee 'B', IT Blanchardstown Campus.T McGuinness, D Fisher, M Burke.
Colleges FAI Umbro Plate
First Round:Cork College of Commerce 4 ( M O'Sullivan 2, T Coveney, J Tamaiva) GMIT Galway 0.
Colleges FAI B Teams Cup
First Round : NCI B 5 ( G O'Keeffe 2, P Galvin, C Mulqueen, P Geraghty) Athlone IT B 0.