The first round of the North Louth League cup saw Faughart Rovers face off against Castletown Knights on a wet and windy Sunday morning at the Lumpers field in Ravensdale. Castletown had overcome Carlingford in a previous fixture to enter the cup and came into the game in high spirits.
The first half had Faughart playing with the wind and they took full advantage, securing a four nil lead by half time. Fergal Donnelly and Shane McGurk linked up well in the Faughart forward line, with McGuirk playing a good ball through to Donnelly, who's fine strike low to the left corner left the keeper no chance.
After some solid midfield position and passing from Faughart, Brent Kieran broke down the right wing and delivered an inch perfect pass to Donnelly who headed home with ease from close range.
Faughart's third goal and Donnellys hat trick was the result of sustained pressure from the Faughart midfield which found Donnelly with space and although he had some work to do, in this form he wouldn't be denied.
The fourth goal was from a corner kick, the ball spun loose to Alan Norman and after an awkward first touch he recovered to deliver a precision strike to bring the game to four nil and leaving Castletown with little hope of a comeback.
Castletown had a hard time in the first half and this was a combination of factors; a stingy Faughart defence, playing into a strong wind and in no small part to how slow they started the game. They had a lot to do in the second half, however, even with the wind at their backs, there was a sense that Castletown were now only playing for pride.
They applied a lot of pressure and found space in midfield due to good work from Ciaran Lee. Owen Martin in the Castletown forward line stretched the defence as best he good but all too often the ball never came.
Despite a much better second half from Castletown they could not find a way past Andy Gray's well organised defence and could try only a few long range efforts that debut Faughart goalkeeper, Sean Matthews, dealt with easily.
Castletown produced some moments of quality in the second half but these were too few and far between, in short, a bad day at the office for Castletown. Faughart had a blistering start to the first half and made no mistake of capitalising on it. More importantly for Faughart who have been able to score goals this year but have conceded all too regularly in the league this was a masterful display of defending throughout the team. They will advance to the next round of the cup with renewed confidence.