North End add another scalp
Dempsey's double crucial
Two Shane Dempsey second-half goals helped North End United to maintain their marvellous cup campaign as they saw off highly-rated Tolka Rovers to move into the last 16 of the Leinster Junior Cup at Belvedere on Sunday.
North End United 4 - Tolka Rovers 0
Already through to the last 16 of the F.A.I. Junior Cup alongside the Leinster Senior Cup, North End are enjoying one of their best-ever seasons, as they are also odds-on favourites to win their third successive domestic league title.
North End's winning formation is now becoming a very difficult one as many of the leading Junior clubs in the country are finding out to their cost. It's highly effective, with a solid back four, an inventive midfield, and a strike force that is tormenting the best of defensive set-ups.
As they pursued further cup glory, North End set about their task from the opening minutes, pushing forward relentlessly and subjecting the visitors' back four to a period of pressure. Keeping a good shape despite the defensive formation set by the visitors, they came close on a couple of occasions during the opening 15 minutes as both Paul Murphy and Adam Beary had shots on target, both of which were capably dealt with by 'keeper John Brown.
Tolka Rovers, having survived the early onslaught, built their attacks from deep in defence, and the manner in which they played the ball about always suggested they were going to pose a real threat on the break. However, not once during the opening 45 minutes did they trouble home 'keeper Lee Walker with a direct shot on goal.
But on the half-hour mark a fast break out of midfield from Paul Murphy set up John Fenlon who tucked his shot neatly into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, making it 1-0 which was how it remained to the interval.
Now a goal adrift, Tolka Rovers had to come out with more abandon in the second-half. Their passes were quick and progressive, leading them to create more space in the home side's half as both Patrick Collins and David O'Hara tested Walker with shots from the edge of the area.
As the game entered the closing 15 minutes, North End managed to conjure up more attacks. Ten minutes from the end a superb Shane Dempsey free-kick from the right edge of the area found its way to the top left-hand corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Now seeing they were on the road to victory, North End exploded in the final ten minutes. A superb timed run from Adam Beary saw him beat the offside trap from the half-way line, going on to shoot low to the net and making it 3-0.
And minutes from the end substitute Andy Moore played a low pass into the path of Shane Dempsey who in turn applied an excellent finish for the fourth.
North End are contributing to a huge season through their marvellous journey in the respective cup competitions.
Through to the last 16 of the F.A.I. Junior Cup, they have been drawn against the winners of Listowel Celtic or Crettyard United - a game they will look forward to with real confidence.
Having qualified for the final 16 of the L.F.A. Junior Cup on Sunday, they still await their opponents with the draw expected to be made this week.
But having taken all that into account, they are ready and waiting for a dream derby clash with Division 1 League outfit, Wexford Youths, in the Leinster Cup.
The game was originally fixed for Belvedere on February 8, but has been deferred to February 22.
The club would like to extend its sympathy to the family of Eamon Murphy, a former club manager, who died over the weekend.
North End United: Lee Walker, Warren Broaders, Robin Dempsey, Declan Downes, Keith Kearney, John Fenlon, Adam Beary, Shane Dempsey, Jason Murphy, Paul Murphy, Kyle Dempsey. Subs. - Lee Aust, Stuart Lawlor, Lee Wadding, Andy Moore, Dylan Owens.
Tolka Rovers: John Brown, Seán Gannon, John Kelly, Seán Kelly, Aaron Henderson, Robert Keegan, Robert McGuinness, David O'Hara, Patrick Collins, Robert McGearty, Mark Kiernan. Subs. - Paul Fitzgerald, Anthony Collins, Jack Cunningham, Eden Burke, Christian Hendry.
Referee: Noel O'Connor.