NEWCOMERS Orchard Rovers’ dreams of making a winning start to life in the Kilkenny & District League were cruelly dashed as two goals in ten minutes gave Deen Celtic B the spoils on Sunday.
The city side, making their competitive debut in Division Three, got off to a dream start in Castlecomer when Chris Brennan latched on to Harry Cook’s pass and split the home defence before firing home from ten yards.
The visitors pressed on, and could have made it 2-0 when Shaun Brennan rose to meet a Corey Dwyer corner, but his header flashed over the bar.
Celtic came to life after that, but couldn’t find a way back into the game. Joe Finnegan’s quick feet saw him make room in the box, but his shot was stopped by Rovers ’keeper Brian Hayes.
At the opposite end Celtic had their netminder Ciaran Stone to thank for keeping them in the game after he expertly turned a Harry Cook effort around his left hand post before the half-time whistle blew.
Deen turned up the heat in the second half, but Orchard still had their fair share of chances. The visitors produced a well-worked corner that saw Jamie Edwards combine nicely with Terry James before Tony Frizelle stung the hands of netminder Stone from outside the box.
Just when Rovers looked like making off with all three points, Celtic struck. John Deevey equalised for the hosts after being played in behind the Orchard defence. Hayes came off his line to meet the oncoming attacker, but was left stranded by the clever chip.
The visitors were left reeling when Celtic made sure of all three points late on. The hosts grabbed the win when Hayes could only parry Jack Brennan’s effort into the path of Chris Rochford, who tucked away the rebound.
There was still time for Rovers to launch a final wave of attacks, but Johnny Murtagh and Darren Rowe’s late efforts were dealt with by home ’keeper Stone.