THINGS ARE heating up in the Charlie Bishop Cup with the four semi-finalists having been decided last weekend.
Division 1 clubs Wicklow Town and Celtic Stars will be hoping they can upset the odds in the last four should they come up against Arklow Town or Rathnew AFC A of the Premier Division.
Wicklow Town faced the most heart-stopping journey to the penultimate round. They trailed Arklow United by two goals to one going into the dying minutes of their clash in Finlay Park but Cathal Doyle swooped in to force extra time. Nobody was able to make themselves a hero during extra time but Ian Corkish came to the fore during the penalty shoot out; saving two of United's efforts. Conor Dickenson then dispatched the winning penalty for Town.
Shane Dunne had scored Town's other effort. Ger Earls and Mark Nolan were the Arklow side's marksmen.
Celtic Stars only required the 90 minutes to overcome Roundwood AFC. Goals from Lukasz Niewiadomski and Paddy Byrne saw the Division 1 hopefuls advance against the Division 2 outfit.
Premier Division champions Arklow Town faced current Premier Division table-toppers St. Anthony's at Finn Park in their quarter final clash. Darren Doyle headed the visitors into an early lead and the same man was on the score sheet once again soon afterwards. And then just before half time Anto Kenny struck to give the Bridgewater Centre Park side an extremely commanding lead at the break.
This Kilcoole side are no strangers to comebacks though. In a league tie in December, they were staring down the barrel of a 0-4 defeat against BBK United but 45 mesmerising minutes later the Saints had won 5-4. On Sunday though, they fell just short. Martin Gregory and Matt Mannix pulled goals back but they couldn't muster a third to force extra time and therefore they bowed out of the competition.
With Oscar Traynor duties now completed, the players from Rathnew AFC can fully concentrate on club matters and one of those matters shall be a semi final of the Charlie Bishop Cup thanks to their relatively straightforward 2-6 win over Ashford Rovers. Brothers Jody and Paul Merrigan plundered half of their side's tally, with Jody netting two and Paul managing one. Former Ashford star Jay Taylor returned to haunt his former side with a single, and Chris Gregory and Shane Doyle were also on target for the Villagers.