Rock Celtic went five points clear of their nearest challengers Glenmuir United at the top of the U11 Premier Division on Tuesday night when they turned on the style and swept past Rangers.
Remarkably for the first week in December, due to the unusually dry weather, most of the leagues are now in to the second round of fixtures.
This was Rock’s first game of the second round and their performance showed why they are still unbeaten after 10 games. The strength in depth of the Seasiders was there for all to see in this game and while Rangers will be disappointed by the result, there were many positives to take out of the game for their team.
Defenders Aaron Markey, Jack McKay and Stephen Myles were all excellent and never stopped battling for their team and even though he picked the ball out of the net five times; goalkeeper Ben Dixon was superb throughout.
It could have been a lot worse for the home side but for the heroics of Dixon as he produced several tremendous saves to earn himself the player of the match award.
Dixon produced three good saves early on from Dara Quinn, Evan McEnteggart and Josh Hamill but Quinn and McEnteggart soon built up a 0-2 lead for the Blackrock side in the first ten minutes and two more goals from Josh Hamill and Fiachra O’Hanlon made it 0-4 at half-time.
Rangers refused to lie down and tried desperately to get themselves back into the game. Scott Hearty caused problems for the Rock Celtic defence and Jake McConville was so unlucky to see his fierce shot fly the wrong side of the post.
Dixon showed even greater determination in the second-half and produced save after save to frustrate the Rock Celtic attackers but he could do nothing to prevent Mark Leavy’s brilliant strike in the 49th minute when his elegant effort found the top corner of the Rangers net to make it 0-5 for the goal of the game.
There was also a fine performance from referee Dylan Hayes who was making his debut in the middle of the park.
Rangers: Ben Dixon, Oisin Dixon, Aaron Markey, Colm Conlon, Craig Cunningham, Tony Reilly, Jake McConville, Callum Hoey, Scott Hearty, Stephen Myles, Aaron McGee, Jack McKay.
Rock Celtic: Jack Donohue, Alex Gough, Cillian Dubby, Shane Sharkey, Layo Adelauyo, Dara Quinn, Josh Hamill, Fiachra O’Hanlon, Evan McEnteggart, Mark Leavy, Sean Carroll, Gavin Gilmore, Steve Kamchou.