John Brett was the toast of the Kells Road as his 87th thunder-bolt gave Evergreen a place in the next round of the FAI Junior Cup.
Taking on Monksland in Athlone on Saturday night, the ‘Greens made a dream start by storming into a 3-0 lead inside half an hour. David Grincell sent them on their way with an 11th minute opener, Niall Andrews and Chris Whearty following up with the others.
The hosts were stunned, but regained their composure when they pulled back two goals before the break, then completed the comeback via the penalty spot on the hour. That goal could have spelled disaster for Eddie McEvoy’s side, who also had Robbie Quan sent off in the process, but they regrouped and pressed on, getting their reward when Brett scored a 20-yard cracker three minutes from time.
A strong start and equally impressive finish paid dividends as Deen Celtic beat North End United 4-2 in Castlecomer. The hosts made the breakthrough from a David Lynch penalty after 10 minutes, doubling their lead 10 minutes into the second half through Shaun Holden.
At that stage Celtic seemed to take their foot off the gas, allowing the visitors to strike on the double and make it 2-2. However, they woke up in time to take control again, David Lynch netting another penalty before Neil Murtagh made sure of the win late on.
Thomastown United were the biggest winners of the weekend, sailing into the next round with a 6-0 demolition of Enniscorthy United. In front after two minutes thanks to Steven Connolly’s goal they never looked in trouble once Andy Kavanagh made it 2-0 four minutes later. A goal either side of half-time from Dean Broaders made sure of their victory, Kavanagh and Kevin O’Neill adding two more in the last seven minutes to seal an emphatic victory.
Fort Rangers continued their good run of late when they beat Clara Town 3-1 in Wallslough. Goals from Tony Moran, Stephen McKenna and Cathal O’Neill did the trick for Fort, who have now won three games on the spin.
It was another good weekend for Freshford Town, who kept on their winning ways with a 4-1 defeat of Wexford’s Tombrack United.
Three goals up by half-time, Town were too good for their visitors. Paul Guinan was the architect of that run, scoring the first from a free-kick. He turned provider for the second, crossing for Graham O’Flaherty to head home, before Guinan drilled a powerful shot to the net for 3-0.
Although Tombrack did pull a goal back, there was no chance of Freshford letting their lead slip. Eoin Vaughan made sure of that, going on a surging run from inside his own half to make it 4-1.
There was no such joy for the Lions, who crashed to a 5-1 loss against Crettyard United, while Brookville were beaten 9-0 by Willow Park. Stoneyford United also exited the competition, going down 3-0 away to St Peter’s.