NEFL Division One

McKeown hat-trick nudges Rock a step closer to Premier Division return

Navan Town 1 Rock Celtic 5

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McKeown hat-trick nudges Rock a step closer to Premier Division return

Rock Celtic's Des McKeown. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)

NEFL Division One

Navan Town 1 Rock Celtic 5

Des McKeown scored a hat-trick as Rock Celtic nudged themselves a step closer to an immediate return to the Premier Division on Sunday afternoon.

The striker was instrumental in Paudie Gollogley's side turning around an early deficit as the Blackrock side cut loose in the second half.

Result-pending, Rock could be promoted automatically as early as next week with Carrick Rovers having lost ground in the title-race with defeat on Sunday.

However, the league leaders began this outing sluggishly and went behind having failed to sufficiently clear a corner as Navan dispatched the opener to the net after a spell of pinball in the penalty area.

Chances fell either way before Rock took a foothold in the game, equalising through McKeown's clever header shortly before half-time.

Left winger Aidan Curtin played a key role in Rock drawing level and he continued to pose the hosts problems after the break.
Brendan Rogers steered a McKeown effort home to put the league leaders in front and from that point onwards, the Sandy Lane outfit were in cruise control.

McKeown latched onto a ball over the top to extend the gap to 3-1 before he completed his three goal haul with 15 minutes remaining, capitalising on another lofted delivery.

Derek Delany completed the rout in the closing moments after neat play between Curtin and David Ward.

Rock Celtic: Shane McCoy; Conor McDonald, Shane O'Callaghan, Paddy Reilly, Ódhrán Duffy; Brendan Rogers, Liam Keenan, Derek Delany, Aidan Curtin; Des McKeown, David Ward

Subs: Conor Rafferty, Gary Lennon, Jamie McCaul, David McGeough, Kizito Ekwueme