Metropolitan Cup: Junior Champions upset the Orchard

by Gazette Reporter
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Usher Celtic 4 – Cherry Orchard 1

BY Jonny Stapleton

Reigning FAI Junior Cup champions Usher Celtic made an Intermediate statement of sorts last Friday night when registering the upset of the Metro Cup first round. 

The fourth-tier side put four past top-flight outfit Cherry Orchard in the provincial cup competition to continue their impressive start to Intermediate life and progress to round two in the process.

Former AUL champions Usher got the job done as early as the first half, scoring four goals before half-time.

Former Athlone Town attacker Calvin Douglas opened the scoring when he burst into the box, rounded the keeper and finished with relative ease.

Mark Higgins doubled the LSL Senior 1B league leaders advantage when he nodded home a left-wing cross after Orchard failed to clear their lines properly just 10 minutes later.

  The Orchard pulled one back but it wasn’t long before the two-goal cushion was restored, Wayne Walker the latest to have success in the inside left channel.

Gareth Kilkenny then made all but sure of Usher’s place in the next round when he extended the lead to three, scoring the host’s fourth just before halftime.

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The goals dried up in the second half with neither side finding the back of the net after the switch. 

Still, it’s another impressive display by the side that playout of Grangegorman and suggests they are ready to emulate the likes of former AUL rivals Sheriff YC and Kilbarrack make a top flight Intermediate charge. 

At one stage on Sunday it looked like reigning champions Crumlin could have been victims of the scalping knife as they trailed Newbridge by two goals on the half hour mark. 

However, they managed to turn things around, scored five without reply, and eventually finished with a five-goal cushion.

In-form Jamie Henderson was the hat-trick hero, while Gareth Fulham and recent Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame inductee Alan McGreal also found the back of the net. 

There were also seven goals, a comeback ad a hat trick in a brilliant game between St Mochtas and Collinstown. Ger ‘Horse’ Short hit a treble as the Clondalkin side cantered into a comfortable lead against divisionally superior opposition. 

However, just like their fellow Senior Sunday title hopeful, Mochta’s hit back and eventually won by the odd goal in seven. Former Bohs and Usher striker Steven Donnelly and Gareth ‘Redser’ Brady with a brace apiece for the Saints. 

Malahide United couldn’t prevent the upset and exited at the first hurlde, losing to Greystones at home, while Kilbarrack, 

Home Farm and Killester Donnycarney progressed alongside Liffey Wanderers and Sacred Heart Firhouse Clover.

Calvin Douglas (left) opened the scoring for Usher Celtic in their Metro Cup win over Cherry Orchard last weekend

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