Strand Celtic….3 Boyle Celtic….4
Strand Celtic welcomed current champions Boyle Celtic to Strandhill on Saturday night for this title clash in The Great Southern Hotel Sligo Super League and it was indeed a game of two halves.
Strand were the dominant force in the first forty-five minutes starting at a high tempo and taking the lead on nine minutes with a blistering finish from the very brave Mark Mc Callion who was substituted immediately after with an injury.
Young Matthew Conlon Oates made an immediate impact when coming on making some very good runs but it was the silver fox himself Gareth Kelly who rattled home the second goal for Strand giving Kyle Suffin no chance in the Boyle Celtic goals.
Boyle came back into the game briefly on sixteen minutes when the ever-alert Mick Corrigan tapped home past Oisin Conway in the Strand goals.
Four minutes later Boyle Celtic lost right full Aaron Murrin with an injury and he was replaced by Gerard Mc Dermottroe. Eight minutes from half time the Strand Celtic keeper played a pin point kick out to Mark Mc Goldrick he completely outpaced his marker to fire home an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the Boyle net. Three goals to one at half time and it looked all over for Boyle.
However, it’s hard to keep a good team down and the second half was a minute old when a high ball into the Strand goals caused havoc keeper Oisin Conway was unable to claim it and once again Mick Corrigan was on hand to steal the vital touch and it was game on.
Boyle were now on fire and on fifty minutes a cross from the left was met by the head of Mick Corrigan who grabbed his hat trick and levelled the game.
Strand were under pressure losing Gareth Kelly with injury. Ryan Mc Manus had a brilliant game at the centre of defence while Barry O Mahoney was superb in midfield prompting some excellent runs from Aaron O Boyle and Mark Mc Goldrick.
But Boyle Celtic stood solid with Lochlann Conboy making countless interceptions at the heart of their defence and right full Dessie Carlos also had an outstanding game.
Both sides were now in open attacking mode and victory fell to Boyle Celtic nineteen minutes from time with a superb run down the right wing and a sublime finish from Shane Battles and took all three points.
This was indeed a great game of football from both sides welled refereed by Paul Kilcoyne and both sets of players were a credit to their clubs.
(Match report courtesy Sligo Leitrim and District Soccer League)