NDSL U-11A League

29 Feb 2004

Celtic tops in Titanic Clash

Castleknock Celtic  4   Dundalk  2

With manager, Arnie Brady away in Cork for the weekend, it was left to Frank O'Connor and Noel Murray to step into management mode for the day.  And boy, did they love it, well the result anyway!

The first half was shaded by the visiting Dundalk team, and it was reflected in the 1-0 scoreline at half-time.  Nevertheless, Celtic had their chances, one in particular when the ball was scooped out for a corner when the home side looked certain to score.  This was followed by a break by Dundalk and Willie Omatayo just missed with his effort.  But the break-through came just on half time for Dundalk.  It was well crafted, with Dundalk star Simon O'Shaughnessy shooting down the right and whipping in a lovely cross for Willie O to finish in style.  This was just after Adam O'Callaghan had volleyed onto the crossbar for Celtic.  Half-time 0-1.

But you could see the fire in the belly of Celtic players as they came out for the second half.  And after only 2 minutes, they were on level terms with a fine effort from Paul Murray.  Another attack followed soon after, and it was Paul Murray again who was the executioner when his corner went in through a crowded and confused goalmouth.  2-1.

Five minutes later, Dundalk's David Taaffe was in the thick of the action on the left hand side.  He twisted in a tight corner, and looped his cross over the Celtic keeper Mark Moore.  2-2.  Dundalk were pressing hard, and Moore was again at full stretch to make a brilliant stop when a Dundalk goal looked certain as they sprung the offside trap. The defensive qualities of the home side were very evident at this time, with Ian Flood magnificent at centre half, with Conor Daly alongside forming an effective partnership.  Colin Fennell was urging his colleagues to greater endeavour and making lots of decisive tackles.  Simon Fleming was always prominent in the middle of the park. Andy Weldon was giving no quarter in the right full area.  Cyril Teo fought for every ball at left full, until Stephen Fogarty came on in the second half and gave everything he had.  Until he was replaced in the second half by Danny Kenny, Greg Robinson had fought for every ball and ran himself into the ground.

Vahan Tchrakian who was in hospital last week with a burst appendix was not at home licking his hospital wounds, but he was shouting encouragement to his team mates, and it paid dividends.  Adam O'Callaghan broke on the left hand side, battled through the Dundalk defence, and unselfishly laid it on for his twin brother, Steve, who made no mistake.  3-2.

It was helter skelter stuff.  And the Celtic boys had the bit between their teeth.  Adam O'Callaghan again made a decisive break and gave the Dundalk keeper no chance (see photo).  It was obvious that the fitness of the Celtic side was again the difference.  Arnie has these boys in good shape for the run in and they are well positioned for the final games of the season.  They are in the semi final of the Dublin Cup and challenging strongly for the league title as well.