BOTH sides were without key players for this game and it was a rather poor affair with far too much hit and miss and little in the way of quality football but to be fair they had to play in testing underfoot conditions in Castleisland.
MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP Castleisland 0 Killarney Celtic 1
In a tempestuous and foul ridden first half tempers flared at times as old wounds were openend and referee Adrian Grimes had to quell a potential inferno before the half was over.
The big talking point came late on when a Celtic player became the victim of an alleged altercation in the Castleisland goalmouth out of the referees vision which left him holding his head on the ground after which it looked like the game would get out of control as players from both sides rushed in to debate the matter in a hostile atmosphere. The player who was the victim of the alleged incident had to be physically restrained by his colleagues and was subsequently substituted as if he continued his protestations and try to exact his own retribution he would be sent off.
Eventually common sense prevailed and the managers of both sides were glad to hear the half time whistle so that they would get a chance to allow their teams to cool off.
There was a good bite in exchanges from the very beginning of the game between the two arch rivals and it took a few yellow cards to restore the status quo as hard tackles began to be put in by both sides. Neither side looked like scoring in the first half where scoring chances were as few as ice on the desert.
Early on Pat McCarthy tried a bicycle kick for Castleisland but it did not bother the Celtic goalie while at the other end efforts by Stephen Hayes and Tony Brosnan missed the intended target. Celtic goalie Roy Kelliher was called into action in the 20th minute when he tipped over a Pat McCarthy free kick while minutes later Stan Devane was off the mark from close in. Then Celtic forced a corner out on the right which Terence Moriarty floated in and Stephen Hayes headed wide.
Then Castleisland got a free kick five yards outside the box, which was taken by Pat McCarthy and was a swerving shot which was just inches wide. Then came all the controversy which held up play and full marks to referee Adrian Grimes who handed the affair very well.
The hostility subsided in the second half and Celtic began to call the shots and exert a lot of pressure on the Castleisland defence where Aidan O'Callaghan usually a centreforward was filling in a centre half role very well.
Celtic went on to force a series of corners which Castleisland defended well and for a long time it looked as if the game might end in stalemate and go into extra-time. However, the vital breaklthrough for Celtic came in the 80th minute when a swift move caught the home side on the hop and when sub Scott O'Mahony entered the box he was bundled over and referee Adrian Grimes had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Peter McCarthy gave the Castleisland goalie Kevin Moran no chance with a clinical finish. Castleisland tried hard in the final 10 minutes to try and get an equaliser but they never looked like getting it and Killarney Celtic ran out deserving winners in a disappointing game. This is a game that won't rest in the memory very long for either side as they will meet again twice more in the league and perhaps in cup competitions also.
Celtic will now be at home to Dingle Bay Rovers or The Park in the next round KILLARNEY CELTIC: Roy Kelliher, Terence Moriarty, Brian Spillane, David O'Sullivan, Robert Watson, Tony Brosnan, Gary Keane, Stephen Devane, Stephen Hayes, Ginatus Paketaurus, Peter McCarthy Subs: Jack O'Neill for Ginatus Paketaurus, Scott O'Mahony for Stephen Devane and David Hayes for Peter McCarthy CASTLEISLAND: Kevin Moran, Mike Hannifan, Paul Carmody, Mike C McCarthy, Aidan O'Callaghan Tim O'Donoghue,, Shane Loughlin, Stan Devane, Pat McCarthy, Mazza Moriarty, Dean Poolman Subs: Stephen Devane for Tim O'Donoghue and Jack Cooney for Mazza Moriarty REFEREE: Adrian Grimes