Rock Celtic finish season unbeaten

Published 21/05/2014 | 05:20

Both Mida Fajobi, Quay Celtic and Layo Adebanjo, Rock Celtic were both fine after this challenge. Photo: Ken Finegan
Both Mida Fajobi, Quay Celtic and Layo Adebanjo, Rock Celtic were both fine after this challenge. Photo: Ken Finegan

THIS result followed the formbook as the runaway league champions Rock Celtic completed the double and finished the season with an unbeaten record - but Quay put up a resolute challenge before succumbing to the only goal of the decider at Bellew Park on Saturday.

THIS result followed the formbook as the runaway league champions Rock Celtic completed the double and finished the season with an unbeaten record - but Quay put up a resolute challenge before succumbing to the only goal of the decider at Bellew Park on Saturday.

Only for the excellent goalkeeping of Rock's Jack O'Donoghue and a vital goal-line clearance by Eoin Byrne near the end, they could have pulled off a big upset after starting the better side, but fell behind and then launched a sustained rally after the more cohesive Rock gained control of the play.

The all-important goal arrived after 18 minutes as Quay took the game to the champions and twice in quick succession O'Donoghue was stretched to keep them out as he first parried Oisin Monaghan's dangerous cross from the left at his near post. Rock were unable to clear the ball and from the other side O'Donoghue did well to push a cross over from underneath his bar.

Earlier the goalkeeper was well positioned to comfortably gather a long-range shot by Adam McSkane, and Quay dangerman Mida Fajobi made a break from near half-way, only to be halted as he went to enter the penalty box.

Rock's first meaningful attack produced the goal that was to separate the sides. Gavin Gilmore nipped inside his marker on the right and rolled a tantalising low centre across the front of goal for Evan McEnteggart to slide in front of a defender and divert it past the wrong-footed Conor O'Neill.

The Rock celebrations barely died down when Fajobi broke away down the middle, but O'Donoghue rushed off his line, stood tall and gave him little room to place his shot which the goalkeeper parried and the ball was cleared to safety.

O'Neill almost immediately at the other end showed wonderful reflexes to turn away for a corner an attempted clearance by Sean Cunningham as a diagonal ball came off the defender's head.

Rock's superior teamwork and control started to show, with Josh Hanna orchestrating midfield and Layo Adebanjo, commanding in defence, sealing off danger with his fine reading of the play and his strength.

But a piercing run down the right wing by Daniel Nordone set up a good shooting opportunity for Adam McSkane, but he was well off target.

A great opportunity then fell to Quay's Oisin Monaghan as a result of a mis-kick by Hanna. Alone to the left of goal, he failed also to hit the target from no more than eight yards with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Quay increased the pressure, and forced the one error that O'Donoghue made. Challenged by two opponents he dropped a high ball just outside his six-yard box, but Eoin Byrne came to his rescue, clearing off the goal-line. That settled the outcome and enabled Rock to lift the trophy.

Rock: Jack O'Donoghue, Eoin Byrne, Cillian Duffy, Alex Gough, Layo Adebanjo, Dara Quinn, Josh Hanna, Gavin Gilmore, Mark Leavy, Sennan Carroll, Evan McEnteggart, Shane Sharkey.

Quay Celtic: Conor O'Neill, Alan Reilly, Sean Cunningham, Craig Gray, Adam McSkane, Ruari Kierans, Oisin Breen, Oisin Monaghan, Mida Fajobi, Tiernan Watters, Liam Corbett, Calum Smith, Daniel Nordone, Leon Duffy, Elliot Guest, Joseph McGeown. Ref: Colm McConville.

The Argus

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