Jay Donnelly claimed a hat-trick and elder brother Rory banked the first goal of his second spell with Cliftonville as Knockbreda were hit for six in tonight’s County Antrim Shield First Round tie at Solitude.
Rory teed his younger brother up for the 13th minute opener and then hit the second himself before a fine individual strike from Ross Lavery made it 3-0.
The Donnellys combined again as Jay made it 4-0 before half-time and Rory also provided the cross for Jay to head home his third ahead of Ciaran Caldwell wrapping things up with a delightful chip.
It was, however, former Reds striker Ciaran Murray who had the night’s first opportunity but, when his attempt was charged down by Chris Ramsey, Patrick Cafolla saw his follow-up turned behind by Levi Ives.
The deadlock was broken when Chris Curran’s cross was nodded down by Rory Donnelly and Jay was on hand to slam the ball beyond goalkeeper David Ferguson.
Rory’s snapshot from Lavery’s low cross doubled Cliftonville’s advantage before the winger got on the scoresheet himself; spinning past Karl Hamill and surging into the area to blast in via the base of the post.
It was 4-0 when Levi Ives’ long ball forward was touched on by Rory Donnelly, with Jay’s touch taking him away from a defender for another well-taken finish.
The striker completed his hat-trick just past the hour with a towering header from his sibling’s cross and the night’s scoring was complete soon later when substitute Daniel Hughes threaded Caldwell through for a beautifully dinked effort over the keeper.
CLIFTONVILLE: Neeson, Ives, Ramsey, Harney, Curran, Caldwell, Winchester, J Donnelly, Lavery, Cosgrove, R Donnelly. Subs: Dunne, McGovern, Hughes (J Donnelly, 62 mins), M Donnelly (Curran, 62 mins), Gormley (R Donnelly, 62 mins).
Sean Graham Man of the Match: Jay Donnelly
Half-Gate Draw Number: 48183