Celtic Bhoys Faced a tough opposition in Crumlin Star II.
Junior Shield round 5.
Celtic Bhoys 1 Crumlin Star II 4
Celtic Boys entertained Crumlin Star IIs for this Junior Shield fifth round tie and going into the game they had great hopes and expectations writes Cyril McKinney.
Right from the first whistle both teams were on the front foot and tried to stamp their mark on the game closing their opposition down and not giving them time on the ball to pick their passes.
As the first half unfolded the visitors started to dictate the game more and more. They were quicker to the ball, strong and physical in the tackle and closing down Celtic Boys in every department.
Also they appeared to benefit from many of the 50/50 refereeing decisions much to the disappointment of the home side and their supporters. Celtic Boys did create a chance on 23 minutes when Casey won the ball in midfield and went on a surging run beating three defenders and from the edge of the box flashed his shot wide of McNeill’s left hand post with the keeper rooted to the spot.
However Crumlin Star took control of the game in a three minute spell to go in at half-time two up. On 36 minutes they took the lead from a right wing cross and despite a magnificent double point blank save by Nathan Curran, Crumlin forward Cormac Mullan despatched the ball to the net from close in.
Three minutes later Clarke was sent clear by a ball over the top from Osborne and despite the best efforts of Connolly, he got his shot away from an acute angle which was too powerful for Curran and ended up in the home net.
Five minutes into the second half Crumlin Star increased their lead when Mullan stepped up to take a free kick from just outside the box in front of goal and curled it beautifully round the wall and into the keepers top left hand corner giving Curran no chance – a quality finish.
Try as they might, Celtic Boys could not find a way past the Crumlin rear guard who stayed solid and strong and limited the hosts to a few half chances.
On 58 minutes Celtic Boys front man Gibney was just wide of the mark from the left edge of the box after some good approach work from Casey and Treacy and on 62 minutes Gibney glanced a rasper of a shot off the top of the crossbar when set up by substitute Kelly.
Any hint of a comeback was effectively ended on 67 minutes when that Cormac Mullan completed his hatrick finishing of a neat move and beating Curran from close range.
To their credit Celtic Boys kept pressing forward and were rewarded through an own goal on 80 minutes when a free kick near halfway from Casey glanced off the head of Crumlin defender Martin Coiley and ended up in the back of the visitors net.
Overall Crumlin Star deserved their win as Celtic Bhoys struggled to impose themselves on the game, but it was an invaluable experience for the Celtic squad.
Celtic Boys: Nathan Curran, Shaun Megahey, Ruairi Quinn , Blaine Connolly, Michael Rice, Corey McCartan, Jordan McCoubrey , Peter Casey,, Jay Gibney, Sean McMahon, Barry Treacy. Subs: Eoin Kelly, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Conaill Kerr for Ruairi Quinn, Gary Carberry for Jordan McCoubrey, Jason Degens.
Crumlin Star II: Ciaran McNeill, Padraig Lynch, Pierce McConnell, Martin Coiley, Michael Hawkins, Kevin Osborne, Eamon Clarke, Adrian Gilvary, Finnbarr Brennan, Cormac Mullan , Ciaran Konrad. Subs: Matthew Maguire, Jamie McCormack for Michael Hawkins, Shea Doyle for Adrian Gilvary, Brendan Hamill.