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Rampant O’Reilly helps fire Saints into last four of Wicklow Cup

ST. ANTHONY’S KILCOOLE UTD FC… 10 ARKLOW UTD A… 1

KYLE O’Reilly bagged four goals as St. Anthony’s powered their way into the Wicklow Cup Semi Finals.

In the battle of the United’s on Sunday at Finn Park in Kilcoole, the Saint’s fired in six unanswered goals after the break having led 4-1 at the interval.

There was confusion before kick-off as the hosts were ready for an 11.00am start.

Originally fixed for 12.30pm, Arklow claimed they had not been officially informed of the change. By the time they arrived at the venue, the game did not start until 12 noon.

Having last reached the final back in 1993, Kilcoole broke the dead-lock in the 15th minute. Lee Dutton whipped in a corner from the left right footed, and Dan Lacey bundled in at the front post.

Andy McEvoy Premier Division Arklow fielded six Youths (U18) players in their panel of 15 with another five players aged U21.

One of them – former John Tobin Youth player of the year Cian Li – spotted Robert McNamee off his line with an audacious 40-yard lob to equalise in the 19thminute.

But the Saint’s went back in front in the 27th minute. After Lacey and Dutton linked on the left flank, a clearing header landed 20-yards out to Patrick Woods. The striker controlled before blasting to the roof of the net with a stunning half volley.

Two late goals for the home team put a gloss on a great opening period. On 41 minutes, Lacey played a one-two with Woods to burst into the box from the left-wing, and poke low past Dean Flood-Hayes.

Then right on the interval, former Wicklow League player of the year Darren Collopy worked well with Declan Roper on the right to release O’Reilly. He cut in from the by-line to score from a tight angle at the near upright.

The floodgates opened in the second half.

Collopy set-up O’Reilly in the 50th minute to claim a near carbon copy of his opening score.

Lacey’s 54th minute cross wasn’t cut-out which allowed Collopy to tap-in at the back stick. The veteran showed his still has the scoring instinct by glancing in a header off Roper’s delivery.

Another Roper cross on 69saw the ball drop to O’Reilly who completed his treble with a 16-yard low drive.

Defender Cillian Thompson lashed in a wonderful 25-yards shot on 72 minutes before O’Reilly’s exquisite chip from 15-yards wrapped up matters eight minutes from full-time.

The result means that holders Newtown United A; 2018 beaten finalists Glencormac United and former Cup kingpins Rathnew AFC will contest the last four of the Blue riband event in the Garden County alongside St. Anthony’s.

ST. ANTHONY’S KILCOOLE UNITED FC: Robbie McNamee; Declan Roper, Stafford Quaid, Stephen Hunt, Cillian Thompson; Dan Lacey, Lee Dutton, Lorcan Kenna, Kyle O’Reilly; Patrick Woods, Darren Collopy. SUBS: Darren Byrne (for Woods 59 mins), Mick Rooney (for Collopy), Craig Meehan (for Dutton) (both 62 mins), Tom O’Brien (for Lacey 66 mins).

ARKLOW UNITED A: Dean Flood-Hayes; Aaron Bermingham, Eddie McLoughlin, Shane Connolly, Trevor Fitzgerald; Conor McLoughlin, Cian Li, Conor Blaney, Dylan Smith; Zach Kilbride, Alan O’Neill. SUBS: Nathan Carr (for Bermingham), Leigh Nolan (for Conor McLoughlin) (both half time), John Boyle (for Connolly 59 mins), Jamie Redmond (for O’Neill 70 mins).

REFEREE: Dominic Lachaussee.

By PAUL DOWLING

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