Denny Premier A 2013/14 , Killarney Celtic v St Brendans Park
By Tommy Naughton .
Killarney Celtic have moved back into the title race when they took all three points against St Brendans Park in an exciting clash of the Premier A heavyweights last night. Before yesterday’s game Celtic had lost four league games and knew defeat would all but halt any hopes they had of retaining the title.
Celtic started the better and hit the crossbar on 4 minutes when Pa McGrath rose highest to meet a Stephen Hayes corner. The home side believed they should have been awarded a penalty ten minutes later when Steve Divane played Gintarus Paketarus in on goal and as he crossed in front of the last defender inside the penalty area he went down, but was waved away by the match referee.
It was all Killarney at this stage and the Park couldn’t seem to get out of their own half or even keep possession. Jamie Kelly made the first of many good saves on a busy night when he had to react quickly to save from Gary Keane after good work from Peter McCarthy.
Twenty five minutes gone and finally an attack of meaning by the visitors , Shane Brosnan hit a long free out of his own half which Anthony Murphy managed to flick onwards into the penalty area to the on rushing David Rogers, but Roy Kelliher did well to dive out and intercept his low ball across the box.
On the half hour mark John McDonagh played a one two with Gintarus Paketarus but McDonagh’s low shot was saved by the feet of Kelly. A minute later Peter McCarthy got on the end of a Gary Keane free but his header across the box was anticipated by any one and the ball was cleared. The final chance of the half fell to Celtic when Peter McCarthy’s snap shot was saved again by Kelly. The half time whistle went with Killarney dominating everywhere except on the score sheet.
Celtic came out in the second half and picked up where they had left off by putting their opponents on the back foot. It just took three minutes of the half before the deadlock was broken. Stephen Hayes swung a corner into the penalty area, Con Barrett headed away but the ball fell to John McDonagh outside the box. He controlled and smashed the ball home for a great opening goal. It was almost two nil minutes later when Peter McCarthy shot was headed over by Barrett when it seemed destined for the top corner. But it wasn’t long before Celtic had their lead doubled and again it came from a corner. This time the ball broke in the box and David Hayes was in the perfect spot to take advantage, finishing home via a slight deflection.
The visitors immediately made a double substitution and changed formation putting two upfront trying to get back into the game . On the hour mark Kelly again saved but this time from a Steve Divane volley from just inside the box as Celtic looked like they could run away with the game .
However, The Park have not been one of the best teams in the county for the past number of years without having self belief and in the 62nd minute they pulled a goal back. Con Barrett got on the end of a Graham o Leary corner only for Roy Kelliher to save but couldn’t hold the ball which left Pa McCarthy the easy task of finishing home from close range .
Jamie Kelly again had to produce another great save and this time it was the save of the night from a John McDonagh free kick. McDonagh stuck a low curling shot which seemed like it would find the bottom corner only for Kelly to dive to his right after seeing it very late and push it around the post for a corner.
The Park began to get more possession in the opposition half as they went in search of the equalizing goal and it came with fifteen minutes left. Gary Keane went to play a ball forward on the half way line only for it to cannon of a Park player and loop back over the defence to where Pa McCarthy was standing. McCarthy showed great composure and lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper to give the visitors a equalizer that seemed would have been impossible after an hour into the match.
From here Celtic knew they had nothing to lose as they need the points while a draw might have been sufficient for the Park . Paketarus sent Peter McCarthy down the side of the box with nine minutes remaining and his pull back to Tony Brosnan was side footed wide of the far post. With five minutes to go Celtic got the winner, Brian Spillane sent a long ball up the pitch where Shane Brosnan won the header to clear the ball, but it cannoned of the back of Peter McCarthy’s head and into the path of Paketarus who made no mistake from just inside the box.
The final chance for the Park came in the last minute when David Magee sent a long ball into the box where the ball broke to David Rogers just outside the six yard box with the keeper to beat . His shot was somehow blocked by Brian Spillane who threw himself in front of the ball which broke to Pa McCarthy whose who shot under pressure was saved by Roy Kelliher .
Killarney Celtic: Roy Kelliher, Gary Keane , David Hayes, Brian Spillane , John McDonagh , Stephen Hayes, Pa McGrath, Jamie Spillane , Steve Divane, Peter McCarthy, Gintarus Paketarus . Subs Tony Brosnan for Steve Divane (77 Mins) , Pat Fuller for Pa McGrath (78 Mins) , Eoin o Connell for Stephen Hayes (89 Mins ) .
St Brendans Park Fc: Jamie Kelly , David Magee, Con Barrett, Shane Brosnan , Graham o Leary , Fiachra Dunne, David Rogers , David McLoughin, Pa McCarthy, Fergal Maunsell , Antony Murphy . Subs Mark o Sullivan for David McLoughin (57 Mins) , Mike Conway for Fiachra Dunne (57 Mins) , Wayne Guthrie for Antony Murphy (78Mins) .