A Brendan Lacumber treble was enough to ease Ballybrittas through to the third round of the CCFL Counties Cup as they saw off the challenge of visiting Killeigh Ramblers on Sunday afternoon.
O'NEILLS/JOHN FARRELL CCFL CUP ROUND 2
(Lacumber 10, 36, 63pen, McCormack 30)
Killiegh Ramblers 2
(Cunningham 77, O'Brien 83)
The prolific striker bagged two in the first half as the hosts outclassed their opponents and his penalty midway through the second meant that even a brave Ramblers fightback late on wasn't enough to deny Noel Whelehan's men a place in the next round.
Kick-off was delayed until midday for this fixture to allow the frosty surface extra time to thaw out, but Killeigh must quickly have wished that the game was abandoned altogether as they floundered early on and found themselves two goals behind inside the opening half hour.
Lacumber notched the first of his tally ten minutes in when he guided a sublime Ger King cross from the left into the far corner of the net to get the show on the road, and Paul 'Dippy' McCormack added another to underline the hosts superiority twenty minutes later with a superb looping finish after fine work down the right flank from the impressive Brian Mahoney.
Killeigh were all at sea and when Lacumber bagged his second seven minutes later, the tie was effectively over. After the intricate build-up play that created the first two, this one was more direct when McCormack flicked on Paul Foley's long ball down the middle and Lacumber outpaced three Ramblers defenders to race clear and expertly fire under Killeigh stopper Joe White.
Even without the likes of Brendan McNair and Brian Farrell in the starting eleven, Ballybrittas looked much too strong for their opponents and although Ramblers improved after the interval, the hosts were merciless and they cemented their passage to the third round when Lacumber converted a 63rd minute spot-kick to complete his hat-trick.
Brian Mahoney was again instrumental and when he was hauled down in the box by Niall O'Rourke, Lacumber stepped up and made no mistake from twelve yards to bag his third hat-trick of the season.
Killeigh continued to plug away and were rewarded for their efforts with two late strikes from Nigel Cunningham and Killian O'Brien but it was Ballybrittas' day and they marched on to the next round in convincing style.
BALLYBRITTAS: Steven Slevin, Des McNair, Padraig Dunne (Alan Gaynor '45), Paddy Wilson, Paul Foley, Paul McCormack, Brian Mahoney, Darren Finlay (Brian Farrell '57), Ger King (Colin Keogh '57), Brendan Lacumber (David McNair '69), Trevor White (Anton Ryan '66).
KILLEIGH RAMBLERS: Joe White, Padraig Horan, Niall O'Rourke (Paul Shortt '72), Darragh O'Brien, James Dillon, Glen Rafferty (Marcus Walsh '45), Nigel Cunningham, Kevin Daly, Kevin Keenehan (Brendan Kenny '72), Eddie Keenehan, Killian O'Brien.
Man of the Match: Brian Mahoney (Ballybrittas)
Referee: Davey Bryant