STEPHEN McCarthy was a hat-trick hero as bang-in-form Killarney Celtic FC advanced to the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup with an emphatic 4- victory over Buncrana Hearts this afternoon.
Despite the very long toad trip to Donegal, which necessitated an overnight stay, Celtic looked fresh and up for the challenge and Brian Spillane’s talented charges were great value for this win against Stephen McNutt’s finely-tuned Hearts.
Danny Roche went close with a header early on – following good approach with by Wayne Sparling – but the lethal McCarthy made no mistake when he rounded Buncrana keeper Eoin O’Doherty to nudge the ball to the net after 25 minutes.
McCarthy was on target again three minutes before the break when he latched on to a Wayne Sparking cross to give the Killarney club a great advantage.
Danny Roche popped up for the third after 63 minutes to all but put the game beyond the reach of home side and Stephen McCarthy completed a memorable hat-trick five minutes later with a convincing strike.
Declan Fullerton notched late consolation for Hearts but it was very much Killarney’s day and they now face another road trip, this time to Laois, where Crettyard United will provide the last 16 opposition on a date to be confirmed.
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