MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP Classic FC 0 Listowel Celtic 4 THE final scoreline in this game might suggest that Listowel Celtic won it easily, but that was not the case as it was a close game for a long period and it was a late flurry of goals that put a gloss on it for the Fealesiders.
By and large it was a poor game, but that was not the fault of the players as they had very heavy underfoot conditions to contend with at Mounthawk Park with and they must be commended for the effort they put in against all the odds. The muddy conditions in the middle of the pitch made it very difficult to play the ball on the ground and consequently both sides took no chances and got rid of the ball quickly when in possession.
Both sides were without a few regulars but it allowed the management of both sides to try out new players and Listowel Celtic must be very pleased as their two young subs that came on with Youth players Joe Coulson and Mike Woods both scoring goals in their debut at senior level. They lads have been excellening with the Celtic Youth sides and the club were disappointed that they did not get a call up for the Kerry team in the Inter League Cup Competition. Ian Murphy also had a great game and he missed out on a call up also.
Celtic should have gone ahead in the sixth minute when a deft back heel by Ian Murphy put Kevin Dillon in but he shot wide with the goals at his mercy. Classic then went on to force a couple of corners but they did not put them to much use with the Celtic defence dealing with them comfortably.
After this the sides cancelled each other out with most of the play in the midfield area and very few scoring chances created. However, Celtic went ahead in the 29th minute when Stephen Lonergan and Eddie Joe Walsh created an opening for Conor O'Neill and as he flew into the box he was taken down by Billy Clifford and referee Stuart Teampleman had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Paudie Quinn gave Classic goalie Gary Kissane no chance firing the ball low and right into the bottom corner. A few minutes later Classic had the ball in the net but Don Quinn had strayed offside and it did not count. Then they forced a corner which was floated in by Gary O'Brien and while Timmy Lynch won the aeriel battle his header went high and wide. Classic were only a whisker away from scoring shortly afterwards when Alan O'Shea latched onto a Timmy Lynch free kick and his low shot was agonisingly just inches outside the right hand post with the Celtic keeper beaten.
Just before half-time Classic goalie Gary Kissane had to make a great save to deny Paudie Quinn and at the start of the second half he was called into action again to deny the same player. Then Classic forced a corner which Gary O'Brien sent in, but Timmy Ltynch was unable to keep his header down. Classic's chances of getting back into the game took a serious setback in the 75th minute when Gary O'Brien got a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Conor O'Neill and Classic felt it was a very harsh decision.
Three minutes later Celtic doubled their lead with Eddie Joe Walsh combining with Paudie Quinn to create and opening for sub Joe Coulson and he tucked it away neatly to put Celtic in the driving seat. Another Celtic sub Mike Woods made the limelight after the kick off when he linked in at the end of a great move and had no difficulty finding the net from close range. Celtic blotted their copbook near the end when Pa Burns was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
In the final minute Celtic struck on the break with Paudie Quin firing home his second goal.
Celtc now play Tralee Dynamos in the semi-final in Listowel next Sunday. LISTOWEL CELTIC: Chris Mason, Pa Burns, Seamus Keane, Kevin McCarthy, Tommy Keane, Stephen Lonergan, Kevin Dillon, Conor O'Neill, Paudie Quinn, Eddie Joe Walsh, Ian Murphy. Subs: Joe Coulson for Ian Murphy and Mike Woods CLASSIC FC: Gary Kissane, Kenneth Leahy, Billy Clifford, Darren Lynch, Sean Foley, Ashton Mugabe, Gary O'Brien, Timmy Lynch, Damian Reid, Alan O'Shea, Don Quinn. Subs: Ruari Hennessy for Don Quinn, Sam Quirke for Alan O'Shea REFEREE: Stuart Templeman