Ratoath 1 CCFC 2
Castleknock Celtic travelled to Ratoath Harps for this Lummy O’Reilly Cup quarter final, their first official competitive game after the Pandemic break. The teams had a healthy respect for each other, both in the LSL Senior 1B Sunday league. The game was quite even for the first 20 minutes with few chances at either end. Then Castleknock picked up the pace and dominated for the rest of the half. Niall Conran was causing the Ratoath defence all sorts of problems with his dribbling and pace. On the half hour mark, Conran cut in from the left wing beating a player and then from just outside the corner of the box he unleashed a beautiful shot with his right foot and it ended up in the top right hand corner giving the Harps keeper, Aaron Davis, no chance.
10 mins later and Celtic were two up. Again it was the ubiquitous Conran who ran at the Harps’ defence and as he tried to cut inside he was up-ended by the defender in the box. Davy Costello stepped up to take the penalty and the excellent Davis in goal made a superb diving save to his right but unluckily for Harps, the ball fell kindly for Celtic and he hammered home the rebound.
Castleknock continued on top at the start of the second half and had a couple of great chances to go three up. But Ratoath showed mettle and started to get into the game. They pushed Castleknock right back and started to create some chances of their own. Although Ratoath were on top at this stage Castleknock still looked dangerous on the break. Ratoath continued to press and were given a lifeline about 15 minutes from time when Darren Tinnelly chased what looked a lost cause. Just as it seemed he wasn’t going to get there in time, Tinnelly got a touch on the ball to put it past wrong-footed Celtic keeper Paddy Dunne and it was 2-1. Game on. Celtic could have increased their advantage when they had a couple of chances that fell to centre forward Kevin Long, but he was foiled by Harps’ Davis diving at the striker’s feet, while his other chance was just wide of the post. Ratoath continued to toil for an equaliser, but the Castleknock defence, marshalled by John Byrne, held firm and made it over the line into the semi final. Man of the match was Niall Conran for his industry and no little skill and pace.
Castleknock Celtic’s Children’s Football Academy for 4-7 year old boys and girls resumed in Porterstown Park on Saturday and continues each week at 10am. New children very welcome where they can learn to play the beautiful game in a fun-filled environment.
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