Treaty United made it to the last four of the Extra.ie FAI Cup for the first time in the club’s short history when they defeated Premier Division UCD 4-1 at the Markets Field on Friday night. Due to UCD’s topflight status, Treaty were underdogs for the game but on the basis of the 95 minutes of play, were fully deserving winners. Enda Curran stole the show with a hattrick while Willie Armshaw also capped a brilliant individual display with a goal. Thomas Lonergan pulled one back for the visitors.
Treaty began the game brightly and Armshaw pounced upon a sloppy pass in midfield before driving at the heart of the UCD defence and he skipped beyond Sam Todd but was denied by the onrushing goalkeeper Kian Moore while Curran will be disappointed with his finish from the rebound. UCD created their first chance with a set piece when Dara Keane spurned a good chance from a Dylan Duffy delivery.
Andy Myler’s side were struggling to deal with the dribbling ability of Armshaw who beat Evan Osam on the right before crossing for Dean Goerge whose low header was saved by Moore. Thomas Lonergan forced a first save of the evening from Conor Winn as UCD appeared to be targeting the right-hand side of the home defence in the first half.
As we approached the half hour mark, Tommy Barrett’s side took the lead when Armshaw was fouled inside the penalty area by Osam and Curran smashed the penalty low and hard past Moore. The Treaty front three were causing a lot of problems for the Students and George did well to retrieve a pass from Armshaw and he crossed for Curran to head over.
Five minutes later, Treaty doubled their lead when UCD surrendered possession in midfield and Armshaw pounced on possession but just as it looked like Sam Todd had read the danger, a poor clearance from the centre-back fell to Curran who coolly lifted the ball above Moore and it hit the net via the post.
Five minutes into the second period, Treaty and Curran in particular put the game beyond UCD as he managed to grab his hattrick in great style. Armshaw once again drove to the byline and when the visitors only half cleared, Curran rifled a superb shot into the roof of the net to send the sizeable Markets Field crowd wild.
UCD had a spell of possession and looked dangerous from a succession of corners with Todd heading off the crossbar and Winn saving from Sean Brennan. Myler tried to change the pattern of the game by introducing Donal Higgins and Alex Nolan. The Students played attractive football in the middle third but never troubled a comfortable Treaty defence.
With 15 minutes remaining, Treaty put the icing on the cake when George set Christopher away and he unselfishly squared the ball for the supporting Armshaw who finished into an empty net to joyous scenes. With ten minutes remaining, UCD pulled a goal back when Higgins crossed for Lonergan to score at the near post.
That proved to be the last action of note on a sensational night for Tommy Barrett and his team who now await the draw for the semi-final stages. Fellow first division side Waterford FC will also be in the draw following an impressive 3-2 win over Dundalk at the RSC. Treaty will now turn their attentions to securing their play-off spot when they travel to Longford next Saturday evening.
Treaty United: Conor Winn, Ben O’Riordan, Sean Guerins, Callum McNamara, Marc Ludden, Mark Walsh, Lee Devitt (Joel Coustrain 88), Steven Christopher (Matt Keane 88), Willie Armshaw (Joe Collins 79), Dean George (Conor Melody 79), Enda Curran (Success Edogun 60)
UCD: Kian Moore, Alex Dunne (Alex Nolan 54), Jack Keaney, Sam Todd, Evan Osam, Evan Caffrey, Sean Brennan (Harry O’Connor 74), Dara Keane, Mark Dignam (Donal Higgins 54), Dylan Duffy, Thomas Lonergan