Sandy Lane was in superb condition to host last Wednesday night’s LMFM Kilmessan Shield semi-final between Rock Celtic and Woodview Celtic and it was the visitors who secured their place in the final with a 3-1 win.
Both teams adopted an attacking philosophy right from the outset and Rock’s Derek Delany tested Padraig Gorham with a blistering drive that was tipped over the bar while at he other end Colin Finan saw his curling effort drift narrowly wide of John Rogers’ goal.
League champions Woodview broke the deadlock when some excellent interplay between Alan McCartney and Billy Smith saw the latter deliver a cross into the heart of the Rock penalty area and Mickey O’Kane’s sublime first touch and shot left Rogers with no chance.
With the half drawing to a close, and the home side under pressure, Rock were almost given a reprieve. The jet-heeled Ger McSorley picked the ball up deep inside his own half and set off on a 70-yard solo run that saw him leave a number of Woodview defenders in his wake.
The talented attacker found let fly from the edge of the penalty area but Gorham somehow managed to push the ball away for a corner kick and deny what would have been one of the goals of the season.
David Hoey’s side didn’t take long to draw level after the restart, equalizing within 60 seconds of kick-off. Raiding left-back Cormac McArdle was the provider, whipping in a cross that was met by a thumping header from David Ward that left Gorham clawing fresh air.
Rock the seized the initiative and they forced Woodview to defend in numbers for the next 15 minutes and McArdle himself was thwarted by Gorham when the goalkeeper did well to save a 25-yard free-kick.
Having weathered the storm, Woodview eased their way back into the game and when O’Kane and Paudie Hearty linked up to create an opening for Smith he struck a rocket past Rogers to make it 2-1.
The home side responded and McSorley skated past a number of defenders yet again to create a scoring chance only to be denied once again by Gorham.
With ten minutes left to play the game was put to bed as the old firm of O’Kane and Hearty carved open the Rock defence and substitute Conor Macken was on hand to power home the insurance goal for Raymond Trimble’s side.
Rock Celtic: John Rogers, David Asare (Michael Osobe), Cormac McArdle, Ed Maguire (Conor Hackett), David McGeough, Paddy Reilly, Ger McSorley, Kevin McArdle, Derek Delany (Mark McGeown), David Ward, Ciaran Clarke.
Woodview Celtic: Padraig Gorham, Alan McCartney, Paul Warnock, Chris Caulfield, Alan McKenna, Johnny Lynch, Colin Finan (Michael O’Connor), Owen Armstrong (Conor Macken), Paudie Hearty, Mickey O’Kane, Billy Smith (Tommy O’Hare).