St Pats lost 3-1 at Bridgewater in the third round of the CAFL League Cup.

The home side fired in front after 23 minutes, before Ryan Deeley equalised before the half-hour mark.

But Bridgewater reclaimed the lead just a minute after the restart, before killing off the tie when Paul Stewart fired the ball in off the post.

With only two minutes gone, Dom McElroy surged forward but his low drive was palmed clear by the goalkeeper into the path of MacGuire, who blasted the ball high and wide.  Play flowed from end to end and Dom would get another chance against a stout defence before Bridgewater got a vital opening goal in the 23rd minute.

A throw-in near the left-hand corner flag seemed to deceive a static St Pats defence and Paul Stewart was on hand to head the ball home.

Five minutes later, St Pats were back on level terms.  Kevin McElroy produced a bit of magic but Black managed to clear. However, the ball remained in play, enabling Ruane to put in a quality cross that left Ryan Deeley to finish with a super header.

Play remained open and exciting up to the break but into the second half, the hosts seized the game by the scruff of the neck, pressing high up the pitch and forcing their opponents into basic errors.  Within a minute they were back in front when Marc Stone won possession on the edge of the box before driving home from an acute angle.

The Erskine men soon followed up with a third as Paul Stewart drove through the middle before crashing the ball off Proctor’s left-hand post and into the net.

Luck had also deserted St Pats but, to their credit, they refused to throw in the towel. Kevin McElroy remained the likeliest source for a recovery but every time he got near the ball he was swarmed by Bridgewater players.  Basic teamwork seemed to have deserted the visitors, while the home team gave a lesson in the art of working for each other and deserved a place in the next round of the cup.

It’s back to league business against Harestanes at Posties on Saturday.

ST PATS: Proctor, Docherty, McIntyre, Allan, Ruane, Ward, MacGuire, D McElroy, K McElroy, R Deeley, Willis.

Subs: King, Jeremy, Hannaway, B Deeley.