By John Mooney
UCFL Division 2
BLACK FORGE FC 1 v ROC CELTIC 3
ROC Celtic returned from the short trip from Ballyfermot to Walkinstown Park to face Black Forge FC with a 3-1 success in their opening UCFL Division 2 section tie.
This game was a cracking affair with two well matched sides going at each other from the off, and it wasn’t decided until the final 10 minutes when the Celts bagged their third of the morning.
The visitors got off to the best possible start when they hit the front inside the opening eight minutes.
Keeper Peter Maxwell played the ball into the Forge area, Keith O’Connor gathered and fired goalwards but John Luke Hynes was equal to the effort. The defence failed to clear the loose ball, however, and when it came out to the edge of the area, Shane Callaghan delivered it into the roof of the net.
Forge almost hit back two minutes later with a good free kick from Ryan McCormack that flew inches over the crossbar.
Chances came and went before it was all square on 25 minutes with a beauty from Ross Oglesby, when he volleyed home a centre from Joe Fagan.
Then ROC’s Keith O’Connor saw a header just miss the target with five minutes to go to half time while, at the other end, a fantastic sliding tackle from Craig O’Brien denied McCormack from giving the home side the lead.
Three minutes after the restart, the Celts went in front again, this time from the penalty spot, when Zak Furey was taken down on the edge of the area. Paul Hoolahan stepped up to dispatch the ball beyond the reach of Hynes.
It meant the Forge had to do it all again. Within two minutes, they went agonisingly close to drawing level but for a good save by Maxwell to deny Eoin McDonnell.
Then McCormack got on the end of a good move and, as Maxwell came out to meet him, he slipped the ball beyond him, but he could only look on as the ball trickled the wrong slide of the upright.
It was at this point the visitors replaced their left full back and centre back and it gave the home side the initiative as, for 10 minutes, they pinned the Celts back.
But they failed to press home their advantage and with 10 minutes remaining they were made to pay as ROC delivered the final blow.
Hoolahan won the ball out on the right side and sent in a cross that was controlled by Furey who turned a defender and smashed home from just inside the area.
It’s fair to say that the game died from that point as there was no denying the visitors a great opening day win.