U13 Premier Division
Rock Celtic 4 Bellurgan Celtic 2
There may have been a two-goal difference between the teams at the final whistle, but this result wasn’t a true reflection on a fairly even and exciting U13 encounter at Blackrock on Saturday morning.
This open game of football produced six-goals and it could have been more as both sides created many chances throughout the game with both ‘keepers called into action regularly.
Rock Celtic made the better start with lots of possession; “We are holding back the tide” said Bellurgan manager Niall Gorham as he watched James Loughran produce a fine save to deny Francis Lynch scoring for the Seasiders in the 14th minute and Lynch was in action again minutes later to push a stinging effort from Lee O’Donoghue around the post.
The hosts took a deserved lead in the 18th minute when O’Donoghue latched on to a precise pass from former Woodview player Cian Walsh to hammer the ball home.
But Bellurgan soon settled and began to play good, attractive football with quick fire attacks and Cian Gorham almost levelled the game on 21 minutes when he raced on to a threaded pass from Jamie Molloy, but Rock ‘keeper Shane O’Connor timed his run to perfection to make a block, the rebound fell to Killian Hynes but O’Connor reacted again to smother the ball.
The away side then produced two more scoring opportunities with Gorham again denied by O’Connor while another Hynes effort was intercepted by Rock Celtic defender Ryan Doran.
This before the hosts doubled their lead before the half-time whistle - against the run of play - when Francis Lynch scored from a Walsh pass and it got worse for Bellurgan two-minutes after the break when hesitancy in the defence presented a chance for Evan Kearney and he accepted the gift, firing high into the roof of the Bellurgan net.
However, Bellurgan never let their heads drop and they were rewardrf when a neat lay off from Gorham was drilled home by Jamie Molloy and it was soon 3-2 when Seán Fearon struck a shot on the turn just inside the penalty area to find the bottom corner of the Rock net and make it 3-2.
Bellurgan were now playing with confidence and they almost equalised in the 48th minute from a Killian Hynes free-kick, but Eoin McDonnell was in the right place to hack the ball away.
The hosts then upped their performance and Ben Cahill scored a fourth goal when he raced onto a high delivery to finish from inside the box with a firm, low shot to make it 4-2.
Ronan O’ Callaghan nearly extended Rock’s lead, but was denied by James Loughran and at the other end Gorham saw his shot saved by O’Connor.
Rock Celtic: Shane O’Connor, Evan Kearney, Daniel Cartwright, Eoin McDonnell, Ryan Doran, Ronan Callaghan, Francis Lynch, Thomas McNamara, Sean McKeever, Adam Donoghue, Ben Cahill, Cian Walsh, Sam Twibill, Liam McNamara, Lee O’Donoghue and Tom Cunniffe
Bellurgan Celtic: James Loughran, Oisin Carroll, Cian McGuinness, James McBride, Dayna Ferguson, Jamie Molloy, Sean Fearon, James McGeown, Jack Craven, Cian Gorham, Killian Hynes, Tom Bradley, Oisin Hardy, Jake Bothwell and Darragh Roddy
Referee: Niall Minto