Arklow on course to retain cup
ARKLOW TOWN remain on course to defend their LFA Youth Cup crown after a fourth round demolition of Portmarnock AFC on Saturday.
The visitors currently sit second in the U18 DDSL Premier but they proved no match for Brian Byrne's side - who lifted the trophy last season in Dalymount Park after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Recent bad weather made playing conditions difficult but the hosts adjusted and broke the deadlock in the 21st minute.
Midfielder Keith Armstrong won possession in the middle of the park and released Dara Verney with a brilliant through-ball. Verney then finished off the move by smashing it past the Portmarnock goalkeeper.
The Dubliners were denied a leveller in the 25th minute by a great save from home custodian Cormac O'Brien and Town then opened up a five goal lead in a hectic ten- minute spell.
On 34 minutes, Alan Sunderland drilled home from 18 yards and then three minutes later Sunderland doubled his tally when he volleyed home Verney's low cross.
Andy Mulligan was then felled in the penalty area; presenting Niall Murphy the perfect chance to add a fourth from the spot and the youngster did not disappoint.
Keith Armstrong then all but put the result beyond doubt a minute before the half time break. Adam Hanlon surged down the right wing and crossed for Armstrong, who saw his header saved brilliantly. Armstrong followed up however to blast home the rebound and make it 5-0.
And after a controlled performance in the second period, Andy Mulligan made it a half dozen of goals for the Bridgewater Centre Park side when his cracking leftfooted strike found the back of the net ten minutes from time.
Arklow Town now await confirmation of their quarter-final opponents.