Swords’ mission accomplished

by Stephen Findlater
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WHILE Swords Celtic achieved their “ultimate goal” last Sunday with a 3-1 win over Maynooth Town, landing promotion up to intermediate football, manager Larry Clare says that there has been no celebrating just yet in the club.
The result was their fifth win inside a fortnight with goals from Phil Nolan, Mark Gibson and Barry Caulfield all on the mark and continued their incredible unbeaten run this season, making it 15 wins from 18 outings.
It guaranteed promotion from the LSL Sunday Major division but Clare is now keen his side kicks on and claims the league title outright.
“We didn’t really celebrate on Sunday,” he told GazetteSport. “In fairness, it’s a fairly professional set up and the lads are really focussed on winning the league. Promotion is fantastic and, at the start of the season, it was our ultimate goal. But now we won’t be satisfied until we’ve won the league.”
To that end, his side need four points from the remaining four games having amassed a nine point lead over nearest rivals Dublin University, the only side that can deny them now.
They meet on Sunday, the middle game in a quickfire three game series that sees Celtic in action on this Thursday and then again on Tuesday evening.
And Clare is delighted with how his side have managed a series of what will be eight games in three and a half weeks.
“It’s been a very good run of form. A couple of lads have stepped up to the plate and we’ve a got a great squad of 18 or 19 guys who we rotate. Some of them need it from time to time and so everyone has bought into the rotation policy. We’re lucky enough. In the wintertime, it’s hard to keep all the lads happy but when games are coming thick and fast, it’s a little easier.
“The boys are fit at this stage; if they weren’t we’d be in trouble. Simon Madden has come back from suspension and is a quality player for the run in. Neale Fenn came back on board after being very heavily involved with coaching in the NDSL but being more available recently has been a great boost.”
The run was kick-started by a 2-1 win over Tullamore Town after two successive draws. From there, though, the form has been imperious while others have struggled, recording big wins over Parkvale, Enniskerry and Hyde Park.
“The Tullamore win was one where we came back in the last few minutes and smashed a winner. It steeled us for the run in.
“Dublin University have fallen away a bit and we’re playing them on Sunday in Balheary. A draw and a win there on Sunday and we’ll win it mathematically but they still also have to play third and fourth position sides as well so they’re not out of the woods yet.”

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