DENNY PREMIER 'A' Park FC 1 Killarney Celtic 1 THE clash of the two big heavyweights in Premier A at Christy Leahy Park on Sunday lived up to its billing creating top class entertainment with the result hanging on a thread to the very end.
After a cautious start it developed into a fascinating encounter with lots of free flowing football, and a whole host of scoring chances by both sides. The Park held the upperhand at midfied in the first half and consequently they etched out good scoring opportunities but they did not take full advantage of them and were denied on a number of occasions by great saves from Celtic goalie Stephen Bartlett.
The first serious chance came after 15 minutes for Celtic when Peter McCarthy linked up with Jack O'Neill who creatd space for David Hayes, but his shot was over the top. Park debutant Aaron Egan Moriarty showd his class in the 20 minute when he left defenders in his wake down the wing and he cut in and fired low across the advancing Celtic keeper but the ball was just outside the far post.
It was the home side that forged ahead in the 35th minute with a very well crafted score. Stephen O'Sullivan done the donkey work at midfield which provide the opneing for Pa McCarthy to set off on his trademark run down the sideline and he centered to the inrushing Anthony Murphy and from just inside the box he blasted to the net via the underside of the crossbar. The Tralee side should have doubled their lead minutes later when Fergal Maunsell stole a march on the Celtic defence but he was denied by a superb save by Celtic goalie Stephen Bartlett.
The Celtic goalie saved his side again at the start of the second half making saves from Mark O'Sullivan and Adrian Quirke. Celtic got an appealing free kick on the verge of the box and Brian Spillane's effort was just a few inches ovet the top. Then a tactical switch bringing Stephen Hayes into the middle of midfield and the introduction of subs swung the game Celtic's way and they began to play with much more fluency and cohesion.
On the hour mark David O'Sullivan set up Gary Keane, but his effort did not worry the Park custodian Tommy Moriarty. Then The Park had a great chance when Mark O'Sullivan was put through on goals by Bartlett again came to the rescue. However, the game was brought back to parity in the 70th minute after a throw in on the left wing Terence Moriarty swung the ball into the goalmouth.
It was headed down by David Hayes to his brother Stephen and he fired home to set the game up for an excitying conclusion. Now Cetic looked the more likely to win the game and they went close in the 76th minute when David O'Sullivan supplied Terence Moriarty with a great ball and he crossed to Peter McCarthy but his header was superbly saved by Park goalie Tommy Moriarty. The Park had a couple of late free kick chances but they were unable to make them count.
In the final minute Park's Mark O'Sullivan was sent off for a second yellow card offence. THE PARK: Tommy Moriarty, Ryan Downey, Pa Bailey, Adrian Quirke, David Magee, Aaron Eager Moriarty, Fergal Maunsell, Mark O'Sullivan, Stephen O'Sullivan, Pa McCarthy and Anthony Murphy Subs: Fiachra Dunne for Dan Robinson for Pa McCarthy KILLARNEY CELTIC: Stephen Bartlett, Terence Moriarty, Brian Spillane, David O'Sullivan, Padraig O'Connor, Stephen Hayes, David Hayes, Gary Keane, Jack O'Neill, Ginatus Paketaurus, Peter McCarthy Subs: Eoin O'Connell for Ginatus Paketaurus, Kevin Breen for Jack O'Neill REFEREE: Seamus O'Mahony