Deen Celtic A 2
Freebooters B 1
DEEN Celtic’s drive to stay in the Premier Division gathered pace when they scored a vital top flight win at the weekend.
The Castlecomer club – the last side other than Freebooters A and Evergreen A to win the Premier Division – may be at the bottom of the table, but gave their survival hopes a real shot in the arm on Sunday afternoon with a vital result against Freebooters B.
Andrew Carron was the Celtic hero, curling a sweet shot into the bottom right corner which secured the spoils. It was only his side’s second win of the campaign – and first since they beat East End in August – but it was worth waiting for.
More importantly, the win also ensured that Deen have plenty left to fight for. Although short on games there are just three points between Deen and Freebooters B, who are fourth from bottom. With Bridge United A and Evergreen B sandwiched inbetween, the battle to beat the drop still has plenty of twists and turns left.
First home win
It was just on the hour mark that Carron struck the goal that gave Deen their first home win of the league campaign. Ronan Phelan’s quick throw-in was held up on the fringe of the box by Jonny Kavanagh. He spotted Carron free on his right, supplying the perfect pass for his colleague to curl into the far corner of Diarmuid Molloy’s net.
In a game where Deen Celtic should have been ahead inside 20 minutes – Caleb Roche went close with a powerful header that crashed back off a post – all three goals were condensed into a 15-minute spell.
It was the visitors who drew first blood. ’Booters, who were also looking for a win to ease their own relegation woes, took the lead with a sweet goal on 44 minutes. Jamie Lynch made the opening, threading a low ball in from the wing for Aidan Nolan, who was inside the D.
Although with his back to goal, Nolan knew where the target was. A quick turn saw his lose his marker, before he drilled an unstoppable shot past Robbie Lynch.
That goal should have been enough to see the Blues go in with the lead at half-time. Instead, they lost it within 60 seconds.
Charging forward from the kick-off, Deen Celtic put the pressure on the city side’s defence. It paid off, as Stevie Ruth latched on to a rushed clearance and delivered an impressive equaliser, chipping Diarmuid Molloy, who was left stranded in no man’s land.
All guns blazing
Although shocked by that goal, the last act of the opening half, Freebooters came out with all guns blazing after the restart. Aidan Nolan almost doubled his tally when he got on the end of sub Martin Doyle’s excellent cross within seconds of kick-off, but Robbie Lynch made a great save to push the ball away.
Doyle, brought on to lend his pace to the second half, had a great chance to get on the scoresheet himself just five minutes later. Moving well down the left Chris Lanigan pushed a ball down the flank for Nolan to fire across the six yard box, but although Doyle got there first he couldn’t stop his shot from flying over the bar.
The Blues were left to rue that miss when they fell behind not long after, but they continued to create scoring opportunities. Nolan and Lanigan had great joy down the left and combined again on 74 minutes, when Lanigan overlapped his colleague and whipped in a cross, but his delivery crashed off the Celtic crossbar.
’Booters refused to throw in the towel, but couldn’t find a way past Robbie Lynch. Paddy Kiely created two good chances for the visitors, but both Jason Hennessy and Niall Kiely saw their shots well held by the ’Comer Number One, who helped his side hold on to those three valuable points.
Deen Celtic A: Robbie Lynch, Ronan Phelan, Anthony Kavanagh, John Deevy, Caleb Roche, James Sherwood, Eric Kavanagh (Ciaran Stone, 88 mins), Andrew Carron, Johnny Kavanagh, Graham Lawlor (Robbie O’Keeffe, 46 mins), Stevie Ruth.
Freebooters B: Diarmuid Molloy, Jamie Lynch (Robbie Hayes, 68 mins), Chris Lanigan, Stephen Delaney, Stephen Dawson, Chris Valentine (Jason Hennessy, 62 mins), Aidan Nolan, Dean Woods, Niall Kiely, Nicky Walsh (Martin Doyle, 46 mins), Paddy Kiely.
Referee: Eugene Coyne.