Familiar faces so crucial in Quay's league triumph
Quay Celtic were crowned Dundalk Summer League champions without playing their final match after opponents Cox's withdrew from the league, and the winners were due to be presented with the league trophy last night (Monday).
The success bridged a 23-year gap since Quay last got their hands on the title in 1995 and they proved worthy champions over the course of a truncated campaign, as one of the few teams with a settled side from last season.
They held onto largely the same squad, strengthened by a couple of valuable additions who know all about winning the league, namely Adrian Rafferty and Gary Clarke, members of the all-conquering Muirhevnamor team who opted not to compete this summer.
Joint managers Robbie Rafferty junior and Cormac Malone also made a couple of other significant acquisitions. One was Mikey Nulty from Ardee Celtic who made his mark from left-back, scoring goals, which ironically dried up when he moved into midfield.
They also signed up the vastly experienced North East League central defender Paddy O'Boyle who was injured but is expected to be available for the McConville Cup this week and boost their chances of completing the double.
The semi-final pits them against Woodview who ran them closest in the league, and it looks like the winner of the tie will lift the cup.
In O'Boyle's absence, Oisin McGee followed up an impressive season last year by being Quay's mainstay in the heart of their defence, and he was their outstanding player.
Also, a key contribution was made by striker Que Olula with his goals, which included a double hat-trick against Fane, the highest individual haul in one game this season by a player.
His fellow striker Vinny Smith also shone, along with Paddy Connor in mid-field.
The winning Quay squad included Kevin Mullen, Gavin Toner, Oisin McGee, Mickey Nulty, Brian McCloskey, Mikey Nulty, Shaun O'Connor (captain), Paddy Connor, Johnny Winters, Sean Matthews, Bernard Osborne, Vinny Smith, Mario Kolak, Barry Carr, Cormac Reid, Alfonso Crespo, Gary Clarke, Que Olula, Robbie Rafferty, Shane McKenna, Ian Devine, Adam Brady and Paddy O'Boyle.
Rock Celtic, already safely through to the knockout stages of the under-19 league, clinched top spot in their section with a convincing 4-0 win over Glenmuir at Glenmuir Park.
Shamrocks, who are Rock's semi-final opponents at Fatima this Friday, finished their group on a high with a resounding 9-1 win over Woodview.
The first semi-final is on this Tuesday, with favourites Muirhevnamor meeting Redeemer at Gorman Park.
With the first semi-final of the McConville Cup - Quay v Woodview - due to be played last night at Clancy Park, attention now turns to the second semi at the same venue tonight (Tuesday) as Rampart take on Fane.
A new name will be inscribed on the Clancy Cup, with the final this coming Saturday featuring Fane - last year's beaten finalists - and Woodview. The kick-off is 7.30pm.
Fixtures (7.30 unless stated)
McConville Cup semi-final
Rampart v Fane Clancy Park
Redeemer v Muirhevnamor, Gorman Park.
Under-19 Bottom 4
Glenmuir v Quay, Glenmuir Park.
Shamrocks v Rock, Fatima. (7.15pm).
Clancy Cup Final, Fane v Woodview, Clancy Pk.
Glenmuir 0 Rock 4 (Neill Smith 2, Daniel Mc Donald, Kieran Fee); Woodview 1 (Cain Bromley); Shamrocks 9 (Patrick O Connell, Gavin Markey, Micheal Fernandez, James Murphy, Cian Myles, Taylor Murphy Luke O Brien).