Killough Enjoy Away Win Over Celtic Bhoys

Killough fight back to beat Celtic Bhoys in a tight match

Killough fight back to beat Celtic Bhoys in a tight match

Newcastle and District Amateur Football League.

League Match, Ballyhornan.

Celtic Bhoys 2 3 Killough FC.

This was an electric local derby clash between two teams expected to be challenging for the Premier League title by the end of the season writes Cyril McKinney.

The game did not disappoint. The action had everything with both teams chasing and hunting down the opposition, combative, feisty and late match drama.

For long periods it looked as though Killough would not have a good day at the office just having gone 2-0 down inside the first 20 minutes, but their never-say-die attitude of the visitors kept going and they clawed their way back into contention deservedly to take the points late on.

Killough’s Ruairi Sharvin takes a shot at the Celtic Bhoys goal. (Photos by Cyril McKinney.)

Both teams started brightly but Celtic Boys went ahead after 11 minutes when poor ball control on the edge of the box from Doyle in the Killough nets left Conaill Kerr able to pick his spot and fire a snapshot into an empty net.

Killough continued to press forward at pace but could not find their way past some resolute defending. Gareth George tried his luck from the edge of the box on 19 minutes but his shot was narrowly wide.

Less than a minute later Killough were caught out by a Casey pass out wide right where Sean McMahon caught his marker flat footed and as he cut inside unleashed a fantastic curling left footed shot which nestled in the back of the Killough net with Doyle motionless.

Killough midfielder Riain Burns takes on Celtic Bhoys forward Jordan McCoubrey.

This was a fantastic finish from a player clearly in form. But driven forward by Tony McIlhone and Michael Burns in the middle of the park, Killough responded on 29 minutes.

Gareth George whipped a great right wing cross across the Celtic Boys six yard box which evaded everyone apart from Declan Looney who was lurking at the back post to cooly nod home to make it 2-1.

Minutes later Celtic Boys playmaker Peter Casey went off injured to be replaced by Craig Millar. As half-time approached, Killough were in the ascendancy and were taking the game to the home side.

Daniel Taggart got free on the right and fired in a cross on the edge of the six yard box but Looney skied his effort high and wide as he slid in at the back post.

In the opening five minutes of the second half Killough had three opportunities to equalise but Taggart then Kelly and then George all missed the target without testing the home keeper Fitzpatrick.

The game was becoming increasingly feisty and every refereeing decision was challenged both on the pitch and from along the line by spectators.

Peter Casey in action for Celtic Bhoys challenged by Killough’s Tony McIlhone.

Both sides struggled for clear cut opportunities but the visitors eventually drew level on 74 minutes through Conor Kelly with a classy finish from the right edge of the box with a curling left foot shot.

It was no more than what Killough deserved and with the momentum they looked like the likely winners and the game was set for a frantic finish.

The turnaround was complete on 83 minutes when Killough won a free kick wide left near halfway.

Gareth George fizzed in the ball to a crowded box and there was Tony McIlhone rising high with perfect precision to nod the ball home past the advancing keeper Fitzpatrick to put the visitors in front with the clock ticking.

Try as they might Celtic Boys could not respond and Killough left Ballyhornan with both points.

There were some great performances from the visitors including McIlhone who deserved his goal and George who had three assists.

Celtic Boys were well served by Kerr, Loudon and Megahey, and Sean McMahon who continued his scoring form.

Celtic Boys: Caolain Fitzpatrick, Taylor Loudon, Ruarai Quinn, Caolain Logue, Shaun Megahey, Jay Gibney, Sean Ferris, Peter Casey, Sean McMahon, Jordan McCoubrey, Conaill Kerr. Subs: Daibhi Ennis, Niall Morrison for Jordan McCoubrey, Craig Millar for Peter Casey

Killough FC: Conor Doyle, Gareth George, Conor Black, Kevin Groves, Matt McKiernan, Ruairi Sharvin, Connor Kelly, Michael Burns, Tony McIlhone, Daniel Taggart, Declan Looney. Subs: Gerard McAuley for Connor Kelly, Ryan McIlhone for Michael Burns, Riain Burns for Matt McKiernan.