Jack McArdle celebrates after scoring Quay Celtic's third goal against Ardee Celtic. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
U14 Premier Division title decider
Quay Celtic 3 Ardee Celtic 2
A cracking goal from Jack McArdle two minutes from time saw Quay Celtic clinch the U14 Premier Division title in a five-goal thriller on Sunday morning.
The fourth meeting of the teams this season, Quay bossed the first half with Óisín Coleman and Kieran McArdle pulling the strings in midfield and it was the former who went closest to making the breakthrough early on when his thunderous effort was pushed away by Shane Halpenny.
Quay Celtic captain Kieran McArdle receives the cup from Tony Hoban (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Quay would take the lead, however, when Jack Watters headed Scott Hearty's cross to the net, before the same pair combined moments later as Watters passed up a chance to extend the advantage further.
The lead was extended on 31 minutes when Hearty scored from close range after neat-interchange play between McArdle and Watters in the build-up.
Quay Celtic, Dundalk Schoolboys League U14 Premier Division champions. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Trailing 2-0, Ardee were much better in the second half and they seized the initiative after Quay made several changes in personnel. James Rogers pulled a goal back before the hour mark and, with their tails up, Ardee levelled when Daniel Clinton fired home.
Extra-time looked inevitable at this point, but Coleman had other ideas when he won the ball and played McArdle through on goal, and he swiftly slotted by Halpenny.
Desperate to get back on level terms, Ardee applied serious pressure in the closing minutes, however, it was a case of too little too late as Quay held on to take the league title.
Quay Celtic: Daniel Shields, Conor Devlin, Sam Malone, Morgan Tobin, Tiernan Cassidy, Evan Wynne, Óisín Coleman, Kieran McArdle, Jack Watters, Cathal Bradley, Scott Hearty, Nathan Quinn, Conall O’Callaghan, Jack McArdle, Luke O’Connell
Ardee Celtic: Shane Halpenny, James Russell, Cillian Taaffe, David Magee, Matthew Kane, Ryan Halpenny, Daniel Clinton, Tadgh Kellett, James Rogers, Óisín Lynch, James O’Callaghan, Jamie Durnin, Noah Coyle, Aaron Levins
Referee: Stephen Donnan. Assistants: Niall Minto and Eoin Quigley