Gorey Rangers' fantastic run in the FAI New Balance Junior Cup came to an end on Sunday as they lost out 3-2 in their quarter-final clash against Usher Celtic at Grangegorman IT in Dublin.
A poor start played a big part in the downfall of the Wexford side, as they trailed 2-0 midway through the opening half, and although they battled back to parity, they succumbed to a 67th minute winner.
Usher illustrated their attacking intent when Stephen Donnelly rattled the crossbar with a volley with just eleven minutes on the clock, and they then took the lead in fortuitous fashion on 20 minutes when an attempted cross from the right from Graham Curran looped over the head of goalkeeper Seán Allen and into the net.
It got even worse for the visitors three minutes later when Celtic doubled their advantage. A Stephen Donnelly pass put Jordan Buckley in the clear, and although Allen got a hand to his initial effort, he was quickly on to the rebound to turn it home.
Gorey Rangers are made of stern stuff, however, and they halved the deficit moments before the break, when Gary Murphy teed up Stephen Kinsella and he rifled a super strike to the corner of the net.
The Gorey outfit were back on level terms inside two minutes of the re-start, with Kinsella volleying home his second of the game, and it looked like all the momentum was with them.
Usher re-grouped, however, and after Leroy Staunton saw his effort come back off the crossbar, they got their noses back in front with 23 minutes remaining, when an Anthony Grouse cross came off a defender and found the net. Usher managed to keep Rangers at bay thereafter, while also creating a couple more chances of their own, and they now face fellow Dublin side Oliver Bond Celtic in the semi-final.
Usher Celtic: Silviu Voidad, Graham Curran, Darren McDonnell, Stephen Doyle, Leroy Staunton, Seán Martin, Anthony Grouse, Calvin Douglas, Jordan Buckley, Stephen Donnelly, Wayne Walker. Subs. - Adrian Alfarez, Ger Jordan, Barry Fox, Fintan Kennedy, Jon Long, Gareth Kilkenny, David Doyle.
Gorey Rangers: Seán Allen, Conor Casserly, Ryan Cullen, Gavin O'Brien, Jonathan Savage, Stephen Moloney, Mark Woods, Stephen Kinsella, Paul Brennan, Gary Murphy, Adam Territ. Subs. - Dylan Vickers, Ethan Vickers, Glen O'Brien, Joe Bolger, Craig Foster, David Behan, Gavin Griffiths.
Referee: Mark Houlihan.