herald

Friday 24 May 2019

Soaring Saints breeze past the Seagulls

SAINT PATRICK'S Athletic breezed past Bray Wanderers and into the last eight of the FAI Cup with a clinical 3-0 dismissal at the Carlisle Grounds last night.

League form has been impressive from the Saints as the Inchicore faithful put their focus on the priority of winning their first championship since 1999, but ending that Cup hoodoo – Pats have of course not won the competition since 1961 – is very much on the menu as well thanks to this win.

Greg Bolger effectively ended hopes of a Bray upset when he put Pats ahead on 18 minutes and Pats then made sure with a two-goal salvo in the space of six minutes, Conan Byrne (61) and a Killian Brennan penalty (67) making it comfortable on the night for Liam Buckley's side.

Dundalk's dream of a double this season could become a reality, Stephen Kenny's side moving into the quarter-finals on the back of a 5-3 win over Limerick.

It was nervy in the opening stages for Dundalk as a Axel Bossekota goal on 16 minutes cancelled out an early penalty from Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell, but the Lilywhites took control after that and stormed into a 5-1 lead with goals from Richie Towell, Darren Meenan and a two-goal blast from Kurtis Byrne.

Goals from Rory Gaffney got Limerick back into the game, though his night was ended with a 77th-minute red card, so Dundalk marched on.

Shelbourne had only one goal to show for their efforts at home to College Corinthians but that was all they needed, Dean Kelly's fourth-minute strike proving to be the difference between the sides at Tolka Park.

Staying in the top flight is very much the main aim for Shels this season but John McDonnell's side will fancy their chances of making it into the last four if Monday's quarter-final draw can be kind.

Meanwhile, the all-First Division tie between Finn Harps and Cobh Ramblers ended with the result that neither club wanted, a 1-1 draw which forces a replay in Cobh next week. Harps went in front through veteran striker Kevin McHugh but John Meade struck in the second minute of injury time to force a replay.

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