Over the last few days Castlerea Celtic took a major step towards retaining the Roscommon Soccer League and Cup double with two big wins.
By Vincent Brooks
A win in their last Premier Division game at home to Ballinasloe Town will seal the Championship. However any slip up and Ballymoe FC can become Champions by beating Moore United.
Castlerea Celtic’s quest did not begin as planned on Thursday night. In their game against Moore United Kevin Brennan gave the losers a 1 – 0 lead after six minutes of play. The experienced Ronan Curran scored for Castlerea Celtic with three minutes left to play in the first half. Nathan Bligh added their second within three minutes of the restart and Dominic Bligh added their third with seventy four played. Moore pulled a goal back through Shane Mulvey but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Niall Higgins volleyed in a fourth for Castlerea Celtic near the end.
In the Cup Semi-Final Castlerea Celtic faced the Division 2 side Moylough 79. With only one player over twenty four in the panel Moylough played really well and despite having the majority of play it took thirty two minutes of play before Castlerea Celtic tested the Moylough keeper. At the other end Adam Connolly Dean Donnellan and James Fahy kept Evan Curran on his toes in the Castlerea goals. Castlerea Celtic finally broke down the Moylough defence with thirty six minutes played in the second half when an Eoghan O’Connell cross reached Ronan Curran and he headed past the advancing keeper. Just two minutes before the end of normal time Castlerea conceded a free kick outside their penalty area and Marcus Finn levelled the game with a stunning strike. The game went to extra time and Eoghan O’Connell both started and finished off a fine passing move with just two minutes played. With Moylough emptying their subs bench Dominic Bligh added two more before the end of the game.
In the other Semi-Final Premier Division side Ballymoe FC beat Division 1 side Lough Harps 1 – 0 at Lecarrow. As a result we have a repeat of last season’s final. The Ballinlough side defended for most of the game with Gerry Gallagher, Gerry Cunningham and Caoileann Fitzmaurice playing really well. The only goal of the game came after thirty nine minutes of play when a neat through ball from Robbie Keenan reached James Connaughton and he volleyed past Rory Mannion in the Lough Harps goal.
Moore United advanced to the Semi-Finals of the Premier Division Cup with a 3–1 extra time win over Shiven Rovers at Falty Park Moore. There were no goals in normal time but with five minutes played in the first period of extra time David O’Brien scored for Moore. Philip Heavey levelled the game early in the second period but Darragh Concannon and Shane Mulvey sealed a win for the Cup Holders with two late goals.
Roscommon and District Football League Premier Division side Ballinasloe Town are through to the Connacht Cup Final following and extra time win over the Galway League Premier Division Champions St Bernard’s away at Abbeyknockmoy. The only goal of the game with just four minutes left in the second period of extra time. A deep cross by Cormac Clogher reached Liam Lynch at the back post and he headed the winner.
Local side Boyle Celtic were knocked out of the competition, losing 3-2 to West United after Extra Time. Goals from Mick Corrigan and Aaron Caplin gave them a 2-0 lead at half-time however the home side equalised with two goals in the last five minutes of normal time. The winner also came late – with three minutes remaining in Extra Time.
Cam Celtic’s great run in the Connacht Shield came to an end when they were beaten 2 – 1 away to the Galway side Cois Fharraige. Despite playing on an uncomfortable artificial surface Cam took the lead with seventy minutes played through Darren Donnelly. The Renmore side won and converted a penalty kick five minutes later and then scored the winner two minutes later. Cam knew it was not to be their day when they had shots come back off the cross bar and goal post near the end.