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Monday 06 Feb 2023
Junior Cup | Fifth Round recap

(Image: Harryville Homers celebrate their 2-1 defeat of Shamrock)

The fonaCAB Junior Cup is down to the last eight following Saturday's fifth round ties.

Ballymena side Harryville Homers, holders for three successive seasons between 2013-14 and 2015-16, booked their quarter-final place with a 2-1 defeat of north Belfast outfit Shamrock at Cliftonville Playing Fields.

All three goals came in the first half. Paul McNeill, a veteran of those victorious campaigns, opened the scoring for the Ballymena Saturday Morning League side after just four minutes.

Martin Reilly levelled for Shamrock with 10 minutes of the half remaining before McNeill struck again with what turned out to be the winner in the 42nd minute.

Holders Coalisland Athletic continued their defence of the trophy with a similar win away to Newry Celtic.

Daniel McNulty kicked the scoring off on 32 minutes, and doubled Athletic's lead seven minutes into the second half. Paul O'Rourke pulled one back for Celtic deep into stoppage time but it wasn't enough to spark a last gasp revival.

Tyrone side Strathroy Harps, semi-finalists last season, edged a 1-0 home defeat of another Tyrone team, Tummery Athletic, courtesy of Tommy Murphy's 40th minute finish.

Harps are one of three teams from the Fermanagh & Western League to reach the last eight.

They will be joined by NFC Kesh and Dergview Reserves after they got past Cleary Celtic (Newry) and Ahoghill Thistle respectively.

Grant Ellis fired Kesh in front after four minutes, a lead the Fermanagh side held until the 89th minute when Stephen Hughes looked to have forced extra time only for ex-Ballinamallard United ace Ryan Campbell to bag the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Dergview twice came from behind to defeat Ahoghill at Darragh Park. The visitors moved in front midway through the first half thanks to Dane Archer, with Warner Ballantyne levelling on 35 minutes for Dergview.

Ryan Sands restored Ahoghill's lead moments after that but Dergview hit back again early in the second half through Stuart Mortland.

Former Northern Ireland international Ivan Sproule, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday later this month, then edged the home side in front for the first time on 65 minutes before, with 10 minutes left, Kevin McGuigan made sure with number four for the Tyrone outfit.

There was quite a tussle at the Antrim Forum as FC Antrim defeated Aquinas II by the odd goal in seven after extra time.

The game got off to a blistering start with a couple of goals from Jack McCoy coming either side of a Liam Maguire strike to hand Antrim the lead with just over 15 minutes on the clock.

The unfortunate Conor Leonard then turned the ball into his own net on 34 minutes to extend the home advantage before redeeming himself moments from the break to bring Aquinas back into it.

Maguire struck early in the second half to level things up, and that was how it stayed until the 101st minute when Conor McAuley hit what proved to be FC Antrim's winner against the Belfast side.

Rosario YC II swept to a four-goal victory over Cregagh Wanderers at Orangefield. A couple of goals either side of the half-hour mark from Conor Dornan and Joseph Jennings put the south Belfast team into a strong position against their east Belfast opposition, with Carlos Sanha and Ryan Murray adding to their advantage midway through the second half.

Meanwhile, at Ashfield in another all-Belfast clash, St Matthew's progressed courtesy of a 3-1 defeat of St Oliver Plunkett II. Conall Breen fired Plunkett in front as early as the 11th minute only for Ciaran Vernon to level soon after.

Vernon struck again on 22 minutes before, with just over a quarter of an hour remaining, Daniel McDonald hit a third.

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