29/9/02

Castleknock Celtic  5   Swords Rovers  2

This U-11D Brenfer League game was played in perfect conditions in Porterstown as Celtic tried to continue their good start to the season.

Celtic were on top early on and had a number of good attacking moves which almost resulted in goals Tom Mooney going closest.  Unfortunately, after about 10 minutes Swords launched their first attack and after some good passing involving 3 players the number 10 scored with a low shot from close range.  Within minutes Celtic were level. Graham Walsh collected the ball in mid-field, beat two opponents before shooting from just outside the box and scoring just inside the post.  Five minutes later Celtic were in front.  Building from mid-field, Craig McGivern sent a good ball out to the right wing, where Paul McGrath collected.  He easily beat the defender and headed for goal.  As the goalie rushed towards him, Paul coolly chipped the ball over his head and into the net.  2-1 to Celtic.  Five minutes before the break, it was all square again.  A long ball from defence appeared to reach a Rovers player in an offside position, but he ran 20 yards before scoring from just inside the area.

Celtic started the second half in impressive fashion and were rewarded after 5minutes. Some good play up the left saw Cormac Digney pass to Johnny Cooper.  He beat 2 defenders before blasting to the roof of the net.  Johnny celebrated in true Robbie Keane fashion, a bit like his Big Brother, Steve! Celtic continued the good work and five minutes later Paul McGrath got his second from close in after sustained Celtic pressure in the Rovers box.  Rovers came more into the game after this and had two great chances but could not beat the brilliant Celtic keeper, Paul Stanley.  Celtic finished the stronger and with five minutes remaining a shot from the left by Ross McCarthy (who had replaced Tom Mooney) was dropped by the keeper and that man Paul McGrath was on hand to side foot the ball to the net for his hat trick.  The Celtic defence of Colm Lyons, Michael Kennelly, Imar Coleman and Kevin Miller had to withstand sustained pressure in the final minutes but were well up to the task.