Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park
St Patrick's Athletic cruised to the semi-finals of the Leinster Senior Cup with a 5-0 win over First Division Wexford in a game that could have seen the Saints hit double figures.
Liam Buckley made eight changes from the side that ran Dundalk close on Friday and the fresh legs told as Ian Turner, Graham Kelly, Thomas Byrne and Michael Leahy all scored within half an hour.
Substitute Jake Keegan added a fifth five minutes from time during a second half in which the Saints' intensity dipped but their willingness to create chances continued unrelented.
Wexford could only name five of their alotted seven substitutes, and three of those had never played a senior game before, and their inferior freshness and experience showed during a difficult first half.
The game was just seconds old when Turner, who would torment left-full John Morgan until his substitution midway through the second half, forced a corner.
Captain Ian Bermingham – one of three players to retain their place from Friday – crossed for Leahy, but the centre-half planted his free header above the crossbar.
Pats continued to create through the width of Turner and James Doona, and it was no surprise the former Limerick and Cork City man was involved in the opener.
A beautiful through ball from Darragh Markey found the winger veering in off the right and he had time to trap the ball before sending a low shot squirming past Colum Feeney.
Morgan showed Turner a clean set of heels before overhitting the ball and plowing into Jamie Lennon, and received a yellow card for his trouble.
It was to prove doubly costly as Michael Barker found Turner from the free kick, and his cross was nodded in at the back post by a leaping Kelly.
Wexford had barely kicked off before Feeney was picking the ball out of his net once more, Turner beating Morgan to the endline again and crossing for Byrne to finish with his studs.
And the Saints had a fourth before the half-hour as Bermingham's cross was nodded back goalward by Kelly, and Leahy was on hand to nod into an unguarded net.
As if the evening wasn't difficult enough for Morgan, who was on a booking, Turner switched flanks with the more elusive James Doona, but Wexford made it to the break just four in arrears.
Brian Maher had nothing to do first half in the Saints goal but he was called into action early in the second half with a wonderful diving stop to deny Danny Doyle's goalward header.
If the intensity dropped in the second half, it didn't dull the Saints' attacking instincts, and often Buckley's side thrive when the opposition feels the pace of their attacks slow.
Feeney did brilliantly to get a leg to Doona's low shot and turn it over the bar, and he denied Markey from close distance either side of missed headers from Leahy and Bermingham.
The unfortunate Doona seemed to do everything but get on the scoresheet, and he was sure he'd broken his duck only for a Wexford boot to block the ball and send it crashing back into his face.
The Saints did eventually find a fifth near the end as substitute Keegan got on the end of – and it couldn't be anyone else – Turner's cross to bring up the half-decade.
Pats are now into the open draw for the semis, where they will face one of Dundalk, Bluebell United or the winner of holders Shelbourne and Longford Town.
St Patrick's Athletic: Brian Maher; Michael Barker, Kevin Toner (Paul Cleary 70), Michael Leahy, Ian Bermingham (Joe Manley 46); Jamie Lennon, Graham Kelly, Darragh Markey; Ian Turner, James Doona, Thomas Byrne (Jake Keegan 50).
Subs not used: Brendan Clarke (gk), Lee Desmond, Conan Byrne, Dean Clarke.
Booked: Thomas Byrne (36).
Wexford: Colum Feeney; Mark Slater, Owen McCormack, Conor Sutton, John Morgan (Sean Kelly 67); Mikey Byrne (Craig O'Reilly 74), Dean Kelly, Aaron O'Connor; Danny Doyle, Dean George, Ryan Nolan (Adham Masood 46).
Subs not used: Corey Chambers (gk), Michael Carroll.
Booked: John Morgan (21), Owen McCormack (66).
Referee: Alex Patchel.
Attendance: 200 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Ian Turner (St Patrick's Athletic).