LETTERKENNY Institute of Technology suffered a disappointing Cup semi-final loss this afternoon.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1 NUIG 4
By Chris McNulty at LYIT. Pictures by Joe Boland, North West Newspix
Ruairi Casserly and Dean Kelly netted as NUIG ended LyIT’s involvement in the competition.
Kelly scored a second-half hat-trick as NUIG soared into the final on a forgettable day for the home side.
Liam Walsh smashed home a late penalty that was a mere consolation for LYIT.
NUIG threw an early warning across the LYIT brows.
Colin Kelly let fly from 25 minutes and his thundering effort was turned onto the crossbar by Jamie Bell’s fingertips.
Maurice Nugent headed narrowly wide after connecting with a tidy Kelly free on 15 minutes.
Nugent tried his luck again moments later, but a tame half-volley failed to trouble Bell.
NUIG broke the stalemate on 25 minutes.
Nugent fed Kelly with a fine diagonal ball that caught out an indecisive LyIT rearguard.
Kelly’s centre was turned home at close range by Casserly.
BJ Banda blasted a free kick wide as LyIT sought a way back into it.
LyIT were without Corey McBride and Lee McLaughlin, but Banda whizzed narrowly over just before the break.
The game was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of Terry O’Doherty, a Lifford native who had founded the soccer club at UCG in 1944.
Shaun McBride bent over the top as the home side began a decent spell of pressure in the early stages of the second half.
Banda flashed wide after ghosting in on the left-hand side.
LyIT spurned a big chance on 68 minutes when a fortunate deflection presented Liam Walsh with the opening. However, the Institute attacker rolled wide of the far post.
With 15 minutes remaining, Kelly put the game beyond LyIT’s reach as he fired across Bell to the far corner.
Kieran Farren almost pulled a goal back when a header flew just over the top.
Kelly scored two breakaway goals to seal the NUIG advancement before Walsh’s late penalty completed the day.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology: Jamie Bell, Connor Gormley, Keelan McGill, Kieran Farren, Fionn McClure, Stephen Doherty, Shaun McBride (Davitt Walsh 76), Lorcan Towey, BJ Banda, Liam Walsh, Pat Loughrey (Gabriel Aduaka 76).
NUIG: Michael Garrity, Mikey Whelan, Callum Crowe, Cillian Doyle, Adam Rooney, Sheagh O’Connor, Caoilfhionn O’Dea, Maurice Nugent, Ruairi Casserly, Colin Kelly, Eoin Whelan.
Referee: Michael Connolly.