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  • Tuesday March 11th, 2014 @ 1:11

5 Star Saints Win!

Liam Buckley's Saints advanced to the Setanta Sports Cup semi-finals after conviningly seeing off the challenge of Irish Premiership side Ballinamallard United on a 5-0 scoreline - 6-0 on aggregate.

It was a good night all round for the Saints as midfielder Conan Byrne netted twice, striker Mark Quigley also managed to grab a brace, while Daryl Kavanagh rounded off the scoring with a late goal.

See all our goals from the 5-0 win on our youtube channel here

Leading 1-0 from the first leg in Ferney Park, the Saints made 6 changes from their opening league game against Cork City last Friday, Rene Gilmartin, Derek Foran, Daryl Kavanagh, James Chambers, Conor McCormack and striker Mark Quigley all coming into the starting line-up.

Despite having the home advantage however, it was Ballinamallard who started off the brighter of the two sides, threatening to score early on. With only three minutes on the clock, a surging run forward by Mallards' midfielder David Kee saw him force Gilmartin to come off his line and bring the attack to an abrupt halt.

Moments later, Ballinamallard threatened again as a cross by Ryan Campbell looked set to find Stuart Hutchinson in front of goal, however the midfielder failed to react quickly enough to connect with the loose ball in the penalty area and the chance went by. Liam Martin's header from a Kee free hit the post moments later, however the effort was ruled offside anyway.

The Mallards' positive play up seemed to wake Buckley's side up from then on, as the SSE Airtricity League champions dominated from then on. Ger O'Brien first threatened the visitors' goal with a long range shot, which Mallards' keeper Alvin Rouse nearly spilled into his own net. The effort was to prove to be just the beginning of the onslaught on Rouse's goal.

The Saints opened the scoring on 12 minutes. After Lee Lynch was sythed down by Hutchison on the edge of the box, Quigley stepped up to drill home the free from 20 yards out and score his first goal for the Saints since returning to the club.

It was 2-0 to the Saints on 33 minutes as Ian Bermingham got in behind the Mallards' defence. The left full-back's shot could only be parried by Rouse, and Conan Byrne was on hand to tap home from yards out.

Byrne netted again just six minutes later, as after some neat build-up play, Quigley played in to the right winger who finished well past Rouse to effectively seal the Saints progress to the next round of the competition.

After the half-time break, Buckley rang the changes by bringing on Greg Bolger and Chris Forrester for Lynch and Conor McCormack. However the substitutes only further strenghtened the home side's performance as there proved to be no let up.

After Byrne put Forrester through, the Republic of Ireland U21 international played in Quigley who couldn't miss from 5 yards out to give the Saints a 4-0 lead.

Buckley made his final change as Byrne was withdrawn for Marco Chindea, and the youngster helped round off the scoring with the Saints' best goal of the night. After Chindea broke the offside trap, he pulled back for Quigley - the striker deftly running over the pull-back in order to tee up Daryl Kavanagh whose shot on the edge of the box comfortably found the corner of the net.

The final whistle followed shortly after as the Saints progressed to the Setanta Sports Cup semi-finals where they have now be drawn with fellow SSE Airtricity League side, Sligo Rovers.

St Patrick's Athletic: Gilmartin; O'Brien (c), Foran, Oman, Bermingham; Kavanagh, McCormack (Forrester 50), Lynch (Bolger 53), Chambers, Byrne (Chindea 79); Quigley.
Subs not used: Jennings, Browne, Durrad, Verdon.

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St Patrick's Athletic FC

Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

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