Under 10 Premier: Quay Celtic 0 – 1 Rock Celtic
The U10 Premier league leaders kept up their winning streak with a 0-1 away win at Clancy Park on Sunday morning. Only one goal separated the sides in the end but it was a fine one. After winning possession in midfield Josh Hanna picked out striker Mark Leavy with a great through ball. Mark took the ball in his stride before coolly slotting it into the bottom corner. Within minutes Rock’s other starting striker, Mark Gallagher saw two efforts hit the post after a great solo run, while a fine left foot free kick from Josh was tipped just over the bar. With Fiachra O’Hanlon and Dara Quinn battling hard in midfield throughout the first half, the Rock lads continued to pile on the pressure and looked certain to increase their lead. Quay made a number of changes at half time and were much more competitive in the second half. Sennan Carroll introduced at half time for Rock combined very well upfront with Mark Leavy who was in great form out on the wings. While the Rock defence of Adam, Jamie and Cillian were relatively untroubled throughout the first half, the second half trio of Gavin, Adam and Eoin found themselves much more on the backfoot as Quay pressed for the equaliser, particularly late in the game. On the few occasions when the Rock defence looked to be in trouble help was close at hand with Josh dropping deep and putting in a fine display in “sweeper” mode. Layo Adebanjo did well in midfield when introduced and linked up well with the forwards. Further scoring chances fell for Josh, Fiachra, Mark Leavy and Sennan however they just couldn’t get that second goal to take the pressure off. Within the last minute of the game a rare mix up between the Rock defence and midfield resulted in Quay bearing down on the Rock goal with only defender Eoin Byrne and keeper Jack Donohoe to beat. A good strike from the Quay forward bobbled just wide of Jack’s right post and as it turned out that was to be the last kick of the game. Despite the nervy end to the game the Rock lads put in another fine performance playing some great football at times and picking up a well deserved win.
Under 11 Premier: Ardee Celtic 0 – Rock Celtic 4
On a cold February morning the Rock lads made the trip to face their opponents, Ardee Celtic. Last time out, these two teams fought a hard battle but Rock finished the game well and took all the points with a 2 – 1 victory. Today’s surface was very different, the Ardee pitch was in good shape but very wide. The game kicked off with Ardee applying pressure straight from the start – Rock’s mid field and defence were not at their best for the opening minutes and only for some great work by Neil McQuillian between the posts for Rock, Ardee could have went 1 – 0 up. After 15 minutes, Rock began to find their feet and became a more even match for this Ardee side. Declan Curtain and Donal Leavy worked hard in mid field while up front Charlie Murdock chased everything. Murdock’s chasing paid dividends when a through ball from midfield left Charlie one on one against the Ardee keeper to put Rock ahead 1 – 0.
Rock, still not at their best, the management team had some harsh words at half time and made a number of changes. Conal McCaul moved into midfield for the second half and made a real difference to the game. Cillian Duffy slotted into left full and used his pace well. Rock were playing much better and began to dominate the game. The improved passing and closing down the opposition was to result in Rock increasing their lead to 2 – 0 early in the second half – it was that man Charlie Murdock again. Charlie scored two last week and two more this week to cap a man of the match performance today. Donal Leavy battled hard for every ball and pressed forward in the second half, distributing the ball left and right giving Declan Curtain and Patrick Mullen plenty of opportunities. It was Declan who scored next – receiving a ball to his feet, dancing round the Ardee defence to fire the ball low and hard to the back of the net. Adam Gartlan made way for Alex Kierian to come on and Alex did a great job marking the speedy Ardee right winger. With 5 minutes to go, Leavy took the ball in mid field, powered down the left wing and put a cross into the box for the incoming Patrick Mullen to blast to the back of the net.
Final score Rock Celtic 4 Ardee Celtic 0. Despite the tame performance in the first half, this Rock team really stepped up a gear in the second half to dominate the game. It was a solid performance by a Rock team who should be very proud of themselves. Best for Rock were – Conal McCaul, Donal Leavy and two goal hero Charlie Murdock.