Castleisland win a classic contest

Premier A: Killarney Celtic 4 Castleisland 5

Most soccer fans and pundits thought Killarney Celtic were invincible on the domestic soccer front after going through all last season unbeaten and were unbeaten in their seven games so far this season.

However, Castleisland pulled off the shock of the season in Killarney when they inflicted the first defeat in eighteen months on Killarney Celtic in a nine-goal thriller.

The home side were red hot favourites going into this game after beating Castleisland 3-0 a few weeks ago, but they got more than their bargained for against a spirited Castleisland side who were good value for their win at the end.

Castleisland got off to an explosive start with Tommy Feehan putting them ahead after four minutes with a fantastic team goal. Then things got even better two minutes later with a dangerous Mike Hanifin cross deflected into he net.

The game was even for the next 25 minutes, but in the 30th minute a Feehan shot took another deflection and wound up in the back of the net and Castleisland were three goals to the good.

They then had strong claims for a penalty kick but the referee was not interested. The islanders were comfortable despite a few scares up to half-time. Celtic came out strong in the second half and pulled one back with a Wayne Sparling goal. However, Pierce Brosnan restored Castleisland's three goal advantage with a close in header.

Once again the home side responded quickly and deserved to get it to 4-2 on 55 minutes after Stevie O'Mahony bundled in a cross. Ten minutes later Tommy Feehan found the net again putting Castleisland in a very strong position leading 5-2.

However, Killarney Celtic are not league champions for nothing and they struck back again in the 75th minute with Stephen McCarthy scoring with a bullet of a free kick. Then in the 83rd minute McCarthy struck again and the game was delicately balanced 5-4 going into the concluding stages.

It looked as if Celtic would equalise as they piled on the pressure on the Castleisland rearguard. Despite having to endure six minutes of added time Castleisland remained rock solid at the back with Stephen Bartlett making a couple of good saves as Celtic peppered the Castleisland goals.

Overall it was a fantastic game which provided edge of the seat entertainment and a great advert for Kerry soccer with the large crowd that were present treated to an epic game that was not for the feint hearted.

Castleisland admitted that they got the rub of the green on the night with one of their goals but they were full value for their win at the end. Celtic had the chances to equalise but they just could not find the net.

Castleisland manager Edmond Hartnett speaking after the game said that Celtic probably deserved a draw, but when you look at the strength of the Celtic bench compared to ours the luck we got was fully deserved he added.

Now Castleisland are in joint second place with Killarney Athletic and just three points behind the leaders with a couple of games in hand. Their big win also came at a good time for Castleisland with a few players who had been out with injuries fit again.

Denny Premier B

Camp United 3 AC Athletic 2

Camp United keep in touch with the title contenders with a good win over AC Athletic. Jack Farrell, Gearoid O'Shea and Andrew Finn scored for the West Kerry side. David Egan and Keith Carmody scored for AC Athletic.