A Shaun Kelly hat-trick secured a Boxing Day trip to the Bowl for Ayre United as they swept aside St Mary’s in the Plum Properties Railway Cup semi-final on Saturday.

With the game having twice been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, the third game was played on what even the home side would have to admit was not the best surface as the pitch started to cut up early on.

The first chance came the way of Mary’s as Chris Walsh played in Dar Phumsai but he fired over with Nay Teare doing well to close down the angle.

A scrappy game with few real chances for either side came to life as Ayre took the lead when Jed Fisher’s cross was brought down by Kelly, he took his time to pick his spot and slot it past Ste Collister to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Soon after, Declan Cummins had a half chance to add to the scoreline, but his volley from the edge of the D just flashed over the bar.

Mary’s began to turn the screw and Karl Clark looked to have drawn them level when he climbed highest from a long throw, only to see his effort come back off the post with the Tangerines happy to put it behind for a corner.

Football is a cruel sport and from that corner Ayre broke and won a penalty as Collister brought down Kelly. It could be argued he didn’t need to make the challenge, but the usually dependable Mary’s keeper dived in for a ball that Kelly nipped away from him and referee Andy Lodge had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Kelly, as is the cliché, dusted himself down and sent Collister the wrong way to make it 2-0 to the home side.

That goal sparked something in the Saints as Adam Adebiyi showed great strength, determination and skill to dig out a cross for Frank Jones, but the FC Isle of Man skipper wanted too long and his shot was smothered by Christian Penswick. That block saw the ball cleared to the edge of the box and, when Jones was fouled, Teare pulled off a good save to stop Walsh’s goal-bound free-kick.

Jones would have the final chance of the half as he was picked out from a Phumsai cross, but he fired over to leave the game 2-0 at half-time.

The second half had even fewer real chances that the first, with neither keeper seeing much action, Tyrese Thompson had the best effort for the Saints, but his volley went wide. Kelly grabbed his third to wrap up the game when his free-kick from wide was whipped across goal and into the far side of Collister’s net, leaving the Mary’s keeper with no chance and the game at 3-0, as it would finish.

Ayre will play Peel in the final at 2pm on Boxing Day with Ayre looking to secure their first piece of silverware this season, while Peel will be hoping to add to their Charity Shield success in August.