THE FAI Junior Cup dreams of Castlebar Celtic, Manulla and Westport United for 2016 were ended today after all three were dumped out of the competition on home soil.
Westport United lost in the cruellest of circumstances, going down 4-3 on penalties after their game against St. Peter's FC (Athlone) finished 2-2 following normal and extra time.
The visitors went ahead but United fought back to lead 2-1 thanks to an own goal followed by a Jamie Fallon strike only for St. Peter's to equalise and force extra time. The game yielded no more goals and St. Peter's won the shootout to go through to the last 16.
Castlebar Celtic appeared to be in command of their game at home to Inishowen League champions Glengad United at half-time as the enjoyed a 3-1 lead thanks to goals by Jordan Loftus, Colm Nevin and an OG from a driven Steve Ryan cross. But Glengad, for whom Terence Doherty had scored in the first half to cancel out Loftus' early goal, always looked dangerous and they were level by the midway point of the second half, Paddy McDermott and Doherty again with the goals.
The game went to extra time and appeared to be heading for penalties only for Glengad substitute Seamus Doherty to pop up with the winner, heading in a corner delivered by the excellent Christopher McLaughlin.
There were five minutes left for Celtic to try and rescue the game and they went mightily close when Nevin's free from the right-hand side evaded everyone in the area but also missed the inside of the post, if only by inches. Claims for a penalty were also waved away as substitute Tommy O'Reilly went down when challenged as he was about to shoot, and with it went Celtic's final chance.
At Carramore, meanwhile, Manulla were well beaten in the end by a slick Salthill Devon side. Having fallen behind, the home equalised from the penalty spot thanks to Gerry Canavan on the stroke of half-time but instead of that acting as a fillip for the second period, it only pushed Salthill on to greater things as they scored five without reply to win 6-1 and book a place in the last 16 of the competition.