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Sunday 20 Feb 2022
East Belfast hit Ballymacash for six to reach Intermediate Cup last eight

(Image: East Belfast celebrate this 6-0 win over Ballymacash Rangers. Credit: Gary Hancock)

East Belfast hit Ballymacash Rangers for six at East Park to progress to the quarter-finals of the McComb's Coach Travel Intermediate Cup.

Daniel Purkis, who made the switch from Glenavon in October, helped himself to a hat-trick while Dean Annett, with two, and Joe McWilliams also got on the scoresheet for the NAFL Premier Division side.

Purkis opened the scoring on 18 minutes after taking a few steps to compose himself from Nathan McVeigh's headed pass before firing into bottom left corner.

Ballymacash upped the tempo in search of the equaliser but this left them vulnerable at the back and they were duly punished just before the half-hour mark when McVeigh and Purkis combined again for the latter to double his tally with a low drive.

Purkis then turned supplier just three minutes after that with a swinging pass into the path of Annett who lobbed keeper Rhys Lawson as he advanced.

Not content with that, Annett then added a fourth just before the break after finding himself in space inside the area to clinically bag his second of the afternoon at the near post.

To their credit, the visitors didn't let their heads drop and created a number of chances early in the second half in an attempt to get back into the game.

However, they fell further behind on 68 minutes when Purkis staked his claim for the match ball with a third, this time from the spot.

Then, with eight minutes remaining, McWilliams hit number six for East Belfast to complete the scoring with a header from a free-kick which took a deflection into his path.

East Belfast will be joined in the last eight by Newington, Lisburn Distillery II, Crumlin Star, Limavady United and Armagh City while the two postponed games - Valley Rangers v. Rathfriland Rangers and Coagh United v. Ballymoney United - will be settled on February 26th.

Click here for a full list of Intermediate Cup results and fixtures.