CITY CHALLENGE CUP quarter-final
Leeds 5 Inter City Celtic 1
Impressive finishing was the order of the day as Leeds booked their place in the last four of the Murphy’s Stout City Challenge Cup with a 5-1 derby win over Inter City Celtic at Leeds Park on Sunday morning.
Inter found themselves three goals down at the break and were justifiably puzzled. They had played quite well but didn't take their chances as well as the Ballyvolane boys. Besides, home keeper Graham Larkin made a couple of top drawer saves.
The visitors came on strong at the start of the second half but were rocked back when Leeds midfielder Dean Buckley fired home a long range rocket to make it 4-0. Rob Kreigal shot in a close range fifth before Celtic grabbed their consolation.
Leeds manager Donal Riordan was wary of the Inter forward challenge in the lead up to the game and his concerns were underlined in the 8th minute when Damien Whelton freed Eoin Sheehy for a right wing shot that seemed headed for the top corner until keeper Graham Larkin got a vital touch that directed the ball onto the bar from where it bounced to eventual safety.
Barry Lawlor had the first big chance for Leeds in the 15th minute. That was created by a terrific cross from the right by Kevin McGee but Lawlor’s close range touch, though deflecting the ball past the keeper, also took it just wide of the far post.
Lawlor would have much better luck in the next minute. Again the danger came from the right, this time from the boot of Mark Fitzgerald. Lawlor rose at the far spot to power a header back across the keeper and in by the other post.
Inter were making just as many chances at this point and Gordon Lynch should perhaps have equalised in the 26th but his penalty spot header from a free was over the top.
Three minutes later, a close range header by Sheehy saw Larkin make another fine save. The corner broke to Lynch but, under pressure, he hooked it wide.
Leeds made it 2-0 in the 35th minute. Lawlor set up the chance and Liam Ahern’s well controlled shot from the edge of the box flew over the keeper who was slightly off his line.
The home side made it a flattering 3-0 in the last minute of the first half. McGee had an influential first half for the winners and it was his clearance up the right that started the move. Rob Kreigal helped the ball on and the persistent Alan Holland arrived in the box to poke it under the advancing keeper.
The second half would prove to be something of a formality. Inter did try and make a fight of it and, two minutes in, Lynch crossed after a throw ball on the right and Padraig Speight played Brian Milner into the box but keeper Larkin made another great save. Leeds broke from the corner and Kreigal was just off target with a flying shot.
The best shot of the game came in the 62nd minute from Leeds midfielder Dean Buckley. He picked up a return ball some thirty-three yards from goal and his powerful drive flew past the luckless Mark McDonnell to make it 4-0.
Lynch then missed a good chance after Larkin had saved well from Sheehy before Kreigal scored off a Holland cross to make it 5-0 in the 68th minute.
City pulled one back in the next minute, Lynch on target off a Whelton pass, but they failed to add to that consolation and Leeds moved onto the last four.
Leeds: Graham Larkin, Kevin McGee, Colin Chandley, Dean Buckley, Sean Burke (captain), Davie Power, Barry Lawlor, Liam Aherne, Rob Kreigal, Mark Fitzgerald and Alan Holland. Subs: Diarmuid long, Mohammed Adam and Donal Riordan.
Inter City Celtic: Mark McDonnell, Damien Hayes, Brian Buckley, Emmett Herlihy, Barry O’Neill (captain), Eoin Sheehy, Gordon Lynch, Padraig Speight, Brian Milner, Peter Herlihy and Damien Whelton. Subs: Tony Linehan, Aidan O'Brien, Sean Horgan and Shane Myers.
Referee: Michael O’Farrell