Denny Division 2B League Final Replay 2013-2014
By Tommy Naughton
Tralee Celtic were crowned Division 2B league champions after they finally overcame the challenge of Mitchels Avenue in the league final replay on Sunday afternoon. In the first game Mitchels Avenue were just 30 seconds away from being crowned champions when Tralee Celtic scored to take it to a replay but this time out Tralee Celtic took control of the game early on and never let their grip on the game slip.
In fairness Mitchels Avenue started the better of the two sides with a strong breeze to their backs and had the first real chance when Sean O’Reilly whipped in a free kick which was headed out by James O’Mahony to Chris O’Sullivan at the edge of the box but his snap shot was off target.
David Hennessey went closest to breaking the deal lock but his goal bound header was away by Daire Dunne. Mitchels had all the possession as Tralee Celtic were finding it hard to get high up the field. Robert O’Sullivan again came close when his header from a Sean O’Reilly free just flew over the crossbar.
Tralee Celtic’s first real chance of the game came after twenty minutes when a free by James O’Mahony was headed back across goal by Steven O’Mahony but Fergal Moynihan’s flick goal wards rolled the wrong side of the far post. The dead lock was finally broken with nine minutes to the break. Jamie Blake played a long ball forward and their seemed no danger but a mistimed jump and header by Aaron O’Connor let Fergal Moynihan through with only the keeper to beat. Moynihan side stepped the advancing keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net to give Tralee Celtic the lead.
The first half scoring wasn’t over and with two minutes to the break it was all square. Lorcan Seymour’s corner was swung deep to the back post where Sean O’Reilly rose highest and his looping header found the far corner. Mitchels were still celebrating their equaliser when they found themselves behind again as with in thirty seconds Tralee Celtic scored again. Jamie Blake flicked a ball over the top for Stephen O’Sullivan whose shot was weak as he didn’t connect fully with the ball but it rolled under the legs of keeper Chris Hegarty who had spread his body expecting a much stronger shot and Sullivan ran away to celebrate with his teams mates.
The first chance of the second half saw Fergal Moynihan volley over from outside the box after being set up by Jamie Blake. Tralee Celtic now with the wind to their backs began to pour on the pressure looking to try kill the game off. Steven O’Mahony came close to doing that but his free kick from the edge of the box bounces of the top of the bar.
Both teams began to make changes in the second half as players tries and Aidan O’Sullivan with his first touch played Daire Dunne through, his low shot was half blocked by Chris Hegarty and Peter Murphy had to be alive to clear of the line to keep the Avenue boys still in the game. With ten minutes to go Steven O’Mahony made a surging run from his own half , he was fouled twice from behind but referee Stuart Templeman played the advantage as he kept going, O Mahoney rolled the ball in front of Billy Stack who with only the keeper to beat saw his low shot saved by Hegarty at the expense of a corner.
The referee however called back Liam O’Sullivan for his tackle on O’Mahony in the build up to the attack and showed the player his second yellow card followed by a red and Mitchels were now a goal behind and down to ten men.
Tralee Celtic were not sitting back as time was running out and kept looking for the killer third goal and Hegarty again had to save from a Derek O’Connor header. David Hennessey saw his free kick in the 90th minute sail over the bar as Mitchels Avenue were running out of time quickly. Their final chance came in the 92nd minute when Sean O’Reilly picked out the run of Jake Moran with a ball over the top, as he got into the penalty area he cut back onto his left leg which gave the defence the time to get back and put pressure on him and his effort was easily saved by Dermot Ragget. The final whistle went moments later and a proud captain Derek o Connor received the league trophy.
Tralee Celtic; Dermot Ragget, Barry Leahy, James o Mahony, Derek o Connor, Greg Powell, Steven Moriarty, Stephen o Sullivan, Steven o Mahoney, Daire Dunne, Jamie Blake, Fergal Moynihan . Subs; Billy Stack for Steven Moriarty (73 mins), Aidan o Sullivan for Stephen Moriarty (73 mins) , Jordan Murphy for Jamie Blake (78 mins) .
Mitchels Avenue; Chris Hegarty , Peter Murphy, David Hennessey, Aaron o Connor, Liam o Sullivan , Lorcan Seymour, Robert o Sullivan , Darren Breen , Chris o Sullivan , Jake Moran , Sean o Reilly . Subs; Craig Locke for Robert o Sullivan ( 72 mins) , Danny o Se for Peter Murphy ( 86 mins) , Mark o Sullivan for Lorcan Seymour ( 87 mins) .
Referee; Stuart Templeman
Assistant; Kevin Cunningham
Assistant; Tom o Sullivan