Denny Premier A
Listowel Celtic 2
The Park 2
WHEN you get two sides that keep the ball on the deck and they have a superb pitch to play on you normally get a very good game and that was what transpired at Pat Kennedy Park on Sunday with Listowel Celtic and The Park serving up a great game.
At the end of a thrilling contest the home side were left wondering why they did not claim the three points in this game as they were the better side on the day creating an abundance of good scoring chances, but they were caught in the fourth minute of added time when The Park equalised from a free kick.
In an action packed encounter Celtic were denied twice by the post and The Park missed a penalty for good measure. After a lively opening the home side went ahead after six minutes when Mike Woods made a great run which produced a corner kick.
This was swept into the goalmouth by Paudie Quinn and it broke out to the verge of the box where Bryan Murphy won possession and he drilled the ball across the danger zone again and it broke out to Micheál Lynch and he fired the ball home in a packed goalmouth.
They almost doubled their lead three minutes later when they again opened The Park rear-guard and Bryan Murphy was unlucky to see his shot come back off the post. The Park went close in the 11th minute with Mark O'Sullivan just a whisker away with a free kick from just outside the box.
Three minutes later Graham O'Leary floated in a free kick from the sideline and a glancing header by Mark O'Sullivan was not too far away. Then the woodwork came to the rescue again for The Park when the excellent Bryan Murphy spread-eagled the Tralee side's defence with a great through ball to Ian Murphy who clipped the ball delightfully over the advancing keeper, but his shot came back off the butt of the post.
Celtic had the ball in the net shortly afterwards, but Bryan Murphy was ruled offside by referee Stuart Templeman. Celtic forced two successive corners leading up to the break and Kevin Bambury latched onto the second one, but his header missed the target.
Celtic had a great chance early in the second half when Paudie Quinn put Bryan Murphy in one on one with The Park goalie but he dragged his shot low and wide.
The Park hit on the break with Fergal Maunsell making a great run to release Anthony Murphy and he was grounded inside the box and a penalty was awarded. David Rogers hit the spot kick low for the bottom corner, but Celtic custodian Darragh O'Shea threw himself full length to his right making a brilliant save.
Shortly after the tip off Celtic put a penetrating attack together with Bryan Murphy doing the spadework to put in Ian Murphy and he planted the ball in the bottom corner of the net. Celtic took the foot off the gas a bit after this and The Park began to get a grip on the game with Fergal Maunsell marauding down the left flank of midfield on a regular basis and setting up chances.
Anthony Murphy had a great chance to score, but he was denied by a great block by the Celtic goalie. The Park now began to get a good few free kicks and Con Barrett was moving up front for all of them they carried a serious threat.
They almost pulled one back in the 84th minute when Fiachra Dunne set up sub David Doyle but his header was wide of the target. However, they gave themselves a glimmer of hope in the 88thminute when Fergal Maunsell left everyone in his wake with a lightening run from midfield and when he cut the ball across the goalmouth sub Jesse O'Sullivan pounced and found the net.
The Park continued to pile on the pressure and when David Rogers was fouled on the verge of the box in the 94th minute this was their last chance to get something from the game. Graham O'Leary's took the crucial free kick and it deflected off the defensive wall and gave the Celtic goalie no chance ending up in the back of the net.
It was a disappointing draw for the home side while The Park were delighted to pick up a point in this dramatic fashion. Listowel Celtic play great football and have shown that they are as good as most teams in the county but they will have to be more clinical up front if silverware is to come their way this season.
The Park will be happy with the point they got and will be in the pecking order in the battle for making it to the Premier A final at the end of the season.
Listowel Celtic: Darragh O'Shea, Pa Burns, (Martin Loughnane 34 mins) Seamus Keane, Michael Lynch, Kevin McCarthy, Adam Toomey, Paudie Quinn, Bryan Murphy, Ian Murphy, Kevin Bambury (Craig Sheehy 77mins). Mike Woods, (Jamie Barry 46th min)
The Park: Jamie Kelly, Paudie Bailey, Mark O'Sullivan, (Jesse O'Sullivan 83 mins), Con Barrett, Graham O'Leary, Fergal Maunsell. Fiachra Dunne, David Rogers, Greg Healy, (Adam O'Rourke 46 min), Anthony Murphy, (David Doyle 77mins) Giavmne, Chauvelau
Referee: Stuart Templeman