Rock Celtic's Derek Delany. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
NEFL Division One
Johnstown 0 Rock Celtic 3
David Ward struck twice either side of Derek Delany's penalty conversion as Rock Celtic moved to within three-points of the Division One summit with a comfortable victory over Johnstown in Navan on Friday night.
Paudie Gollogley's men were comfortable throughout, though it took them until past the hour-mark before making their superiority count as Ward dispatched his first with the later strikes dividends for Rock's commanding display.
The Sandy Lane side ought to have been in control at half-time considering the seven or eight clear-cut chances they missed, though, had 'keeper Shane McCoy not been alert, they could well have went to the interval in arrears.
However, the Rock got on top in the second-half and after great play by Aidan Curtin - one of several promising youngsters in the team - on the left-wing, link-up between the evergreen duo of Ward and Delany saw the latter play into Ward's path and he coolly slotted home.
With 15 minutes to go, Rock made it 2-0 when Delany shot home from the spot after Liam Keenan had been fouled. It served as some consolation to the forward who had watched an earlier free-kick excellently tipped onto the post by the home 'stopper.
Ward completed the scoring with 10 minutes to play with Delany providing his second assist of the night. Rock have now scored 24 goals this season, 17 of which have come from Ward and Delany.
Rock Celtic: Shane McCoy; Liam McDonnell, Shane O'Callaghan, Conor Rafferty, Odhran Duffy; Brendan Rogers, Liam Keenan, Paddy Reilly, Aidan Curtin; Derek Delany, David Ward
Subs: Des McKeown, Gary Lennon, Paul Gore, Jamie McCaul