U-15 National Cup Quarter Final
Cherry Orchard 2
Killarney Celtic 0
DESPITE a spirited performance by Killarney Celtic their National Cup – and Kerry's – interest in the competition has come to an end.
Celtic made the trip to Leixlip's all weather ground where the game was switched to and started very brightly. Cathal O'Shea was the first to threaten followed by a Luke Doran free kick that was just a bit too long and another Doran free kick that was headed on by Peter McCarthy but Craddock in the Cherry Orchard goal saved easily. The Dublin sides best effort of the opening exchanges saw Liam Brady, a brother of Robbie, shoot just over after a good move.
Indeed Brady, who lives up to his auspicious name, would be a constant threat to Celtic all day. And it was the same player who opened the scoring on the 12th minute. Ntimba's run and cross was deflected onto the Celtic bar by a combination of David Spillane in the Celtic goal and one of his defenders. Brady was first to pounce on the loose ball to give his side the lead. And Celtic hadn't time to recover before they found themselves 2-0 down. A move down the left wing saw Ntimba cross low and the ball went in of a Celtic player.
Credit to the Celtic players from here on as they could have folded but they didn't. Cathal O'Shea did well to get a dangerous cross in but there was no one there. O'Shea then combined with Peter McCarthy to set up Mikey Moynihan but his shot was just wide. Cian Gammell, who was introduced mid-way through the half, settled down the midfield and he combined with Luke Doran and Dion Marcos but the latter's shot was cleared away.
After the break the game became very open with Celtic pushing to get back into the game and Cherry Orchard looking for the insurance goal. Celtic had keeper David Spillane to thank on a number of occasions, making two exceptionally good saves from Wilson and O'Reilly. The turning point came when Celtic won a free kick about 25 yards out. Conor McCarthy his a screamer over the wall but it crashed back off the crossbar with the keeper beaten. David Clifford was unlucky to see his follow up effort flash wide through a crowd of players.
Celtic introduced Thando Dube and Mark Harnett and is was Harnett who got into some good positions but the Cherry Orchard defence stood firm. He also chested a ball down to Peter McCarthy but his volley was wide. Time ran out for Celtic who needed to get the first goal back to really put pressure on Cherry Orchard. This did not come and the Dublin side ran out deserved, if narrow, winners.
Celtic will be a little disappointed that they didn't hit the target as often as they had done in previous rounds and that a few players did not perform to the high standards they have set. Also they let themselves be dragged into individual battles which resulted in them being less successful for the team. They will have to learn that banter and niggling tackles are part of the game and they need to be more savvy in how they deal with such opposition.
But credit to Celtic for being the last Kerry side standing in this season's National Cups and as they came away from Dublin very disappointed with result they know that they can live with the marquee teams at national level.
Killarney Celtic: David Spillane, Dara Moynihan, David Clifford, Luke Doran, Chris O'Donoghue, Peter McCarthy, Dion Marcos, Gary Mathews, Cathal O,Shea, Conor McCathy and Mickey Moynihan