Waveney Swifts and Harryville Homers will carry the firmus energy Saturday Morning League flag into the new year in the Toals County Antrim Junior Shield.
Goalkeeper Emmet Moyne was the hero for second division Swifts as he saved three penalties in a shootout as the Ballymena men beat Dunmurry YM II on spot kicks after a 2-2 draw.
Homers’ progress was more clear-cut as they thumped Rosario YC II 5-1 in Belfast.
But it was the end of the road in the same competition for Southside Rangers and Carniny Rangers, while Ahoghill Thistle’s scheduled tie was postponed.
TOALS COUNTY ANTRIM JUNIOR SHIELD, ROUND FOUR
Waveney Swifts 2, Dunmurry YM II 2 (Waveney win 3-0 on penalties): Emmet Moyne saved all three of Dunmurry’s spot kicks in the shootout to send Swifts into the last 16.
The BSML side, struggling near the foot of the second division, fell behind early in this game as Dunmurry used the advantage of a strong breeze at their backs in the opening exchanges.
Midway through the half though Swifts hit back when a good move resulted in Sean O’Neill crossing from the left for Gary Boyd who laid the ball back to Richard Fulton to smash home.
The visitors didn’t fold after this and regained the lead just before half time when some slack defending from Swifts let them in to score.
Swifts dominated the second half with the breeze at their backs and they went close soon after the restart when Richard Fulton rattled the crossbar.
Chances were coming regularly for Swifts now with both Gary Boyd and Sean Donegan misfiring when left one on one with the Dunmurry keeper.
With 20 minutes to go Swifts got the equaliser their play deserved. Gary Boyd crossed from the by-line on the left and his cross was met by Michael Law who found the net with a diving header.
Two minutes from time Swifts spurned a great chance to win the game when Gary Boyd was left clear but he fired wide as the game finished in a draw.
The game went straight to a penalty shootout after the 90 minutes and Swifts were dominant with Gary Boyd, Richard Fulton and Emmet Moyne all converting while the visitors were denied on all three occasions by Moyne as Swifts progressed to the next round.
Rosario YC II 1, Harryville Homers 5: Homers blew away the cobwebs after a three week, weather-enforced lay-off to run out convincing winners away to Rosario Seconds in Belfast.
After a few early exchanges it was the visitors that took the lead. Richard Reid skipped past his marker before putting the ball on a plate for strike partner Paul McNeill to score from close range.
Reid was instrumental in assisting with Homers’ second. He held off his opponent on the edge of the box before laying the ball off to Mark McKay, the midfielder then produced a 20-yard cracker into the top right hand corner of the net for two nil.
The Amateur League side were given an early Christmas present just before the interval to give them a glimmer of hope to make it two one.
Homers showed their ruthless side in the second half, as they took the game to Rosario. Richard Reid was again the architect as he raced down the left wing before producing yet another quality ball into the box for Alan Rainey to control and slot home from eight yards out for three one.
The visitors were now blitzing Rosario and the next goal wasn’t far away. Paul McNeill raced onto a through ball and danced around the keeper to open up a three goal lead for Homers.
Alan Rainey put the icing on the cake late on when he made it 5-1 and sent Homers through setting up a mouth watering tie with St Luke’s.
* Don’t miss our preview of the Boxing Day County Antrim Post O’Kane Cup final between Harryville Homers and Carniny Rangers - online later in the week.