Five-goal Furlong on fire as Wexford Youths run riot
The records came tumbling down in Ferrycarrig Park on Friday when Wexford Youths maintained their push towards the bright lights of Premier Division football with a stunning victory over Airtricity League newcomers Cabinteely.
The rampant home players were intent on pleasing their loyal band of supporters and duly delivered in style with a magnificent 7-0 win, having hit three goals without reply in the first-half.
And the resounding nature of the win was full redemption after the south Dublin outfit had surprised Youths with a 1-0 win when they met on a poor surface in Stradbrook on the opening day of the season.
Friday's outcome marked the biggest-ever league victory for Youths, going one better than a 6-0 thrashing of south-east neighbours Waterford United.
And it was a personal triumph for ace attacker Danny Furlong who scored an incredible five goals on a night when he also beat Paul 'Patsy' Malone's club appearance record by moving on to the 170 mark.
The Rosslare Strand native had 54 career goals before the new season started, and he had added another five to his tally before doubling that figure in a remarkable display of finishing which lit up an otherwise gloomy evening.
Furlong is now odds-on to be Youths' top league scorer for a record fourth season after previously topping the charts in 2011 with ten, 2012 with 13, and 2014 with 18. He was joint leading marksman in the First Division along with Seán Maguire of Waterford United and Kevin McHugh (Finn Harps) in 2012, while last year he finished second behind David O'Sullivan of Longford Town who scored 21 times.
Furlong's five-goal haul was an individual record for a Youths player, with the 25-year-old having scored three league hat-tricks last season against Shamrock Rovers 'B', Waterford United and Finn Harps.
It was only the third time in the history of the league for a player to score five goals or more in a First Division game. Dave Warren of Cobh Ramblers holds the record with six against Monaghan United in 2004, while Pat O'Connor of Home Farm smashed five past Longford Town in the 1988 season.
The runaway victory leaves Youths ideally placed for Friday's local derby when they journey to the RSC in Waterford intent on repeating their 2014 form at the same venue when they recorded 2-1 and 3-0 victories respectively over the side currently placed bottom of the table after a dismal start to the campaign.
Danny Furlong scored once in the first tie and added a hat-trick in the second, so the Waterford defenders will be on high alert as Youths' local hero continues the form that should leave him on the shortlist for the division's player of the year accolade come season's end.
This record-breaking victory came one day after talented Curracloe teenager Kevin O'Connor completed a move to Premier Division Cork City, following in the footsteps of one of Wexford soccer's favourite sons, Kevin Doyle.