Tonight's four goal hero Ciaran Kilduff (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Thomastown United 0
Ciaran Kilduff's quadruple helped Dundalk to a place in the semi-final of the Leinster Senior Cup at Oriel Park tonight as Stephen Kenny's men stuck six goals past Kilkenny minnows Thomastown United.
The Lilywhites, who handed first competitive starts to Emmet Hughes and Gavin Smith, were dominant throughout and led 4-0 at the break with Kilduff notching a brace to complement strikes from Shane Grimes and Thomas Stewart.
A similar pattern of play emerged after the interval with the hosts completely on top and Kilduff completed his hat-trick just past the hour before he added a fourth to his tally right on full-time.
The striker made the breakthrough on 11 minutes, tapping home a cross from Keith Dalton. The goal had been inevitable though with Conor Clifford (2) and Gavin Smith having efforts at visiting keeper Paul Dunne beforehand.
Shane Grimes made it 2-0 in the 21st minute as he danced past a few tacklers before slamming the ball to the net from 12 yards before Kilduff had the easiest of finishes two-minutes later, sliding the ball to the net after Thomastown custodian Dunne had pulled off two fine saves.
The hosts extended their advantage to four on 29 minutes through Stewart, who slammed a Carlton Ubaezuono cross to the net from close range.
And, while the visitors kept Dundalk out for the remainder of the half, the match was over bar the shouting at the break with the League of Ireland outfit continuing to monopolise the play against their hard-working opponents.
Thomastown, to their credit, repelled the home side for the most part of the second-half and broke away on a few occasions, although Gabriel Sava was never troubled in the Dundalk goal.
Kilduff brought his season's tally to nine with another close range finish on 66 minutes before completing his four goal haul a minute into stoppage time when the unfortunate Dunne dropped possession, giving the frontman the enviable task of passing to an empty net.
Dundalk: Gabriel Sava; Seán Gannon, Gavin Smith, Emmet Hughes, Shane Grimes (Jack O'Keefe 60); Conor Clifford, Stephen O'Donnell (Jake O'Connor 60); Keith Dalton, Thomas Stewart, Carlton Ubaezuono (Eric Whelan 72); Ciaran Kilduff
Subs not used: Ben Kelly (gk), Cian Flynn, James Woods
Thomastown United: Paul Dunne; Nathan Sherry, Robbie Kavanagh, Derek Brennan, CJ Browne, Paul Dempsey; Andy Kavanagh, Aaron Kehoe (Davy Kavanagh 67), Dessie Walsh, Michael O'Neill (Adam Power 80); Seán Brennan (Ronan Monks 67)
Subs not used: Mark Delahunty, Marty Lawrence, Ollie Kirwan, Stephen Kyress