Lennie McMillan holds off St Mochta’s Noel Murray Picture: Martin Doherty

FAI Intermediate cup
Killester Donnycarney 4
St Mochta’s 3

Killester Donnycarney came out the better side of a seven-goal FAI Intermediate Cup thriller as they edged past St Mochta’s at Hadden Park to book a spot in the quarter-final draw.

The two LSL Sunday Senior heavyweights faced off in what looked, from the initial draw, the most evenly-matched of the last 16 ties and that was borne out on Sunday afternoon.

A brace from Dean Gibbons and a goal each for John Brophy and Lennie McMillian saw Gary Howlett’s side to victory after fighting back from 2-0 down at half time.

Kenny Carr and Philly Hughes had put the Blanch side in a commanding position at the break, but they wouldn’t score again until David Somers netted a consolation four minutes from time.

Killester have enjoyed the stronger opening to the season and remain within touching distance of leaders Crumlin United, while Mochta’s are seventh but have a string of games in hand.

Both sides had chances in the opening exchanges, with Killester midfielder Steven Chambers clipping a free kick inches wide of the post when any touch would have resulted in the opening goal.

Evan Whelan then did well to deny Mochta’s striker Dean Kelly, before Chambers shaved the edge of the post with a well-struck shot from distance.

St Mochta’s took the lead ten minutes before half time when former Newbridge Town winger Carr latched onto Karl Somers’ through-ball and lifted his shot over the advancing Whelan.

Noel Murray was denied by the busy Whelan before Hughes doubled the advantage a minute from half time as she showed poise to evade a tackler and find the net.

The game was turned on its head after the break and Killester needed just five minutes to halve the deficit as Brophy beat Mochta’s keeper Craig Hyland.

Six minutes later, they were level as full-back Gibbons scored the first of his two goals, a spectacular effort from outside the box into the top corner that left Hyland with no chance.

Killester led for the first time in the game just past the hour mark as former Irish junior international McMillian was first to a loose ball and slotted home.

And Gibbons doubled his tally, and his tally of spectacular goals, as he once again beat Hyland from distance to put Killester 4-2 in front.

The drama wasn’t finished as David Somers got in on the action for minutes from time but, despite pushing hard in the final moments, they could not find the fourth goal to take the tie back to Blanch.

Killester Donnycarney go into the hat for the quarter-final with Collinstown, Crumlin, Maynooth Town, UCC, Rockmount, Avondale United and the winner of Glebe North and Midleton.