Wednesday October 03 2012
MDL PREMIER DIVISION
KENTSTOWN ROVERS 2 v ROCK CELTIC 7
ROCK Celtic, champions two years in a row, made a big statement of intent in Kentstown on Sunday that they are serious about regaining the Premier Division title that Woodview have won for the past two years.
They romped to an away victory over a Kentstown side who have started promisingly back in the top division, but found out here that there is a big stepup to make when playing the top teams.
The inclusion of two defenders who have joined Celtic following spells across channel, has also further underlined the Seasiders’ title aspirations. Conor Rafferty, who tasted life with English club Wolves, slotted into the heart of the Rock defence, and he was a shining light in a shaky enough rearguard in the first half.
Aaron Mulligan, who played for the Seasiders at schoolboy level before moving across channel for a period with Sheffield Wednesday, also joined him in the winners’ defence when introduced as a second-half substitute.
However, it was a customary source who was the inspiration behind this win, with David Ward chalking up a hat-trick and instrumental particularly in the first half when Rafferty held together the visitors’ defence.
Shane O’Callaghan put Rock ahead on eight minutes when he converted a cross by Kevin McArdle following a short corner kick, and Ward notched his first goal and his side’s second on 15 minutes. He cut in from the left and shot low and hard past the goalkeeper.
His striking partner McArdle also had a fine game. His bravery increased Rock’s advantage as he chased after a good through-ball by David McGeough on the half-hour before finding the net.
Kentstown managed to reduce the leeway five minutes later, but Ward restored Rock’s two-goal advantage just before the break with a similar goal to his first.
David McGeough got his name on the scoresheet, heading in Gerard McSorley’s cross five minutes into the second half, and another cross by McSorley resulted in substitute Conor Smith netting following a scramble in the home goalmouth.
Ward fittingly completed his hat-trick and his side’s tally when he rounded two players and was taken down for a penalty that he tucked away 15 minutes from the end.
John Rogers, Ross Quigley (Aaron Mulligan), Paddy Reilly (Gavin McClelland), Conor Rafferty, David Hoey, Chris Connolly, David McGeough, Shane O’Callaghan, Gerard Mc Sorley, David Ward, Kevin McArdle (Conor Smith).