Sam McNeice scored a hat-trick for the second week in succession as Southside Rangers clinched a place in the South Belfast Youth League Supplementary Cup.
Colin Stewart’s side ensured their prgress to the knockout stages with a hard-fought 3-2 win over St Patrick’s in their final group game on Saturday.
St Pats had the better of the early exchanges and Stuart Wylie in the Southside goal came to the rescue of a couple of occasions as the home side threatened from a series of corners.
It was no surprise when the home side went ahead on 28 minutes, finally beating big Stuart with a low drive.
St Pats deservedly increased the lead on 34 minutes when again poor play allowed the home striker a clear run on goal.
Southside got a lifeline just a minute before the break when Sam McNiece latched onto a Dylan Graham cross to rifle home low into the bottom corner.
That goal gave Southside a significant lift and five minutes into the second half they were level when again the prolific McNiece was cleverly picked out by Richard Wilson and he made no mistake finding the back of the net.
With the winner of the match destined for the semi-finals, Southside struck the decisive blow with five minutes left. Completing his second hat trick in consecutive games, Sam managed to shot home inside the box following a poor clearance from the St Pats defender.
But if McNiece’s hat-trick was instrumental in securing the win, the same could be said at the other end of Corey McDowell, who headed off his own goal-line in the closing stages to ensure the win.
With a break from SBYL action next week the boys travel to Newry for the experience of the Irish Junior Cup when they take on Killowen Celtic.
Southside: Wylie, Hamill, Livingstone, McCready, Allen, Graham, Williams, Hogg, Wilson, Corrigan, McNiece, Kirk, McDowell, Kennedy, Erwin, R Stewart.