Celtic Bhoys Crocodiles Snap Up Chances From Killough
The Newcastle and District Amateur Football League.
Premier Division – League Match.
Report by Cyril McKinney.
Celtic Boys 3 1 Killough.
The scoreline does not reflect the story of this local derby league match played in the cold windy sunshine and rain at Ballyhornan.
Killough on another day could easily have come away with at least a share of the spoils but have to admit they made it difficult for themselves by gifting their hosts three chances that were snapped up twice in the first half by Jay Gibney and Shaun Megahey late on in the second half.
Right from the first whistle, both teams signalled their intent with every ball chased down and every tackle completed with intensity and no quarter given and with every referee’s decision challenged by both sets of players and officials. The game was played in a cross wind that caused havoc for both sides trying to play their normal passing game and controlling the ball.
With 7 minutes gone Killough tried to play out form the back but Celtic Bhoys forward Jay Gibney was alert and intercepted a pass out from the Killough keeper and nipped in and smartly finished to the net past the helpless Crangle in the visitors’ nets.
Killough showed great character and went about trying to get back on terms through Daniel Taggart who had a shot well saved by Curran on 10 minutes. Declan Burns shot just over from outside the box from directly in front of goal on 20 minutes and then Jack McLaughlin was denied by a great stop from Curran when put through by Taggart on 36 minutes.
As the game was approaching half-time Celtic Boys doubled their lead again following another error from the backline as Killough tried to pay out from the back and it was Gibney again who reacted quickest of all to a short pass from the keeper and helped himself to another smart finish to leave the score at half time 2-0 to Celtic Bhoys.
Killough started the second half in a positive manner but they were wasteful when in good positions – Taggart was wide from an acute angle on 54minutes and Kelly saw his low drive saved well by Curran in the home nets.
Minutes later Celtic Boys had chances of their own but Kerr was well wide of the target on 58 minutes and Doherty saw his tame shot easily saved by Crangle a minute later.
Killough finally got on the scoresheet on 59 minutes when Daniel Taggart saw his powerful shot brilliantly saved by Nathan Curran, but Kevin Groves was on hand to finish the rebound past the unlucky Curran.
As the rain came Killough continued to press and Celtic Boys were again thankful to Curran with a great save again on 76 minutes from a Kelly solid volley which was heading for the keeper’s top right hand corner of the net only for Nathan Curran to finger-tip it over the bar at full stretch.
At the other end Celtic Boys had a couple of chances to finish off Killough but sub Sean McMahon was wide on 84 minutes from the edge of the box and sub Sean Ferris had a shot saved by Crangle on 88 minutes.
Killough had a chance in the final minute when Jack McLaughlin fired in from close range but again Curran showed his class with a smart save. In the forth minute of injury time Killough tried to play out again from the back and again the keeper misplaced a pass and it fell to Shaun Megahey who kept his composure from thirty yards and sent the ball to the net with the keeper out of position.
Killough will feel unlucky – three mistakes cost them dearly and they competed bravely, but Celtic Boys never gave up in this feisty encounter played in poor weather.
This was a game where both sets of players chased and harried, closed the opposition down and tackled with intensity for the full 90 minutes. Celtic Boys had the Man of the Match award through keeper Nathan Curran with a five star performance who ensured the home side took all three points.
Nathan Curran, Shaun Megahey, Ruairi Quinn, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Michael Rice, Conor Doherty, Barry Tracey, Peter Casey, Jay Gibney, Jordan McCoubrey, Conaill Kerr. Subs: Eoin Kelly for Peter Casey, Sean McMahon for Jordan McCoubrey, Sean Ferris for Conaill Kerr.
James Crangle, Riain Burns, Eamon Gargan, Cillian Burns, Sean Og Burns, Declan Burns, Connor Kelly, Gareth George, Daniel Taggart, Caoimhin Groves, Jack McLaughlin. Subs: Kian Tierney, Declan Looney for Gareth George, Conor Doyle.