IT WAS double celebration for Castleknock Celtic as their Under-16 Premier and B teams won through to their respective cup finals recently, played in the picturesque setting of Frank Cox Park in Rathcoole with the Dublin mountains as the backdrop.
Celtic’s Premier side came up against league leaders St Francis FC but just came up short, despite a goal from Danny Ursu, a long-serving player with the Castleknock side. Celtic finally went down 1-3 against worthy Nilfix Cup winners St Francis.
In the Redmond Cup final, Celtic’s Under-16B lined up with their stalwart keeper Sabin Ghet in goal. The opposition had strengthened since the league fixture between them, and it soon became clear that the tried and trusted Dwyer, McCormick, Woodger frontline wasn’t going to break down a much improved defence.
The introduction of Danny O’ Mahony and Pablo Carcoba made more inroads into the Transport defence but it was an unfortunate defensive mix up from the Celtic backline that gave Transport the lead before half time.
After the break, a decision to put five at the back seemed to give Celtic the momentum.
It was from a set piece that Celtic restored parity with a bullet header by Alex Conroy from a perfectly delivered corner from Kristers Grinbergs.
With the game heading to extra time, Mark O Connor hit the post and Sabin produced an exceptional low save to keep matters tied at 1-1 after regulation time.
In extra time, with Ashraf Darfalla and Kacper Pzykepwpowicz now driving Celtic forward, it seemed a matter of.time before the Dublin 15 side would gain the advantage.
A neat combination between Gavin Cameron and Finn Woodger on the right, produced a great cross that everyone missed, apart from Carcoba lurking on the edge of the box.
His crisp left foot drive into the corner of the net sent the visiting fans from Castleknock into raptures.
Despite an expected Transport barrage into Celtic’s defence, Colvin, Ursache and the three centre backs held firm. It was left to a marauding Woodger run into the box, to finally finish the scoring at 3-1. Celtic rang the changes, bringing on Mark Gillan, Ryan Shields and Hamza Madkour to see out the game.
It was an exceptional achievement for the side to win five consecutive matches during their Junior Cert period.
Celtic are taking on new players for the season beginning in September after the summer break. Information at www.castleknockceltic.com including contact details for their new Girls Teams for those born in 2009/2010.