Celtic all but secure final berth

Denny Premier A: Dingle Bay Rovers 2 Killarney Celtic 5

The clash of last season's league finalists was a star attraction at Mounthawk Park on Friday night and it was a game Dingle needed to win to remain in contention for the league final.

Both sides were without a number of regular players but this game showed that Celtic have strength in depth and have players on the bench that can fill anyone's shoes.

They won this game in very comfortable fashion and are now seven points clear of joint-second placed Castleisland and Killarney Athletic and will qualify for the final with plenty to spare.

Celtic got off to an explosive start to this game and were three goals to the good after just 13 minutes. They went ahead after nine minutes after a quickly taken free kick by James Sugrue found Stephen McCarthy who played in Pádraig O'Connor and he applied a great finish.

They doubled their lead two minutes later when a superb over the top ball by Cathal O'Shea put Stephen McCarthy through on goals and he tucked away his shot from close range.

Another goal came two minutes later after another free kick Pa McGrath stole a march on the Dingle defence and drilled his shot low to the bottom corner of the net. It now looked as if it was going to be a rout by Celtic, but Dingle steadied the ship as the half progressed and created a few good scoring chances.

A bit of a mix up at the back by Celtic allowed Seán Fitzgerald a sight on goals and his rasper of a shot was pushed over the crossbar by Celtic goalie David Spillane.

They should have pulled a goal back in the 17th minute when Seán Fitzgerald latched on to a Joe Sheehy corner kick, but he put his header wide from six yards with the goals at his mercy.

Then Dingle got a free kick just outside the box, which was sweetly hit by James Duggan and skimmed the crossbar. Joe Sheehy made a great run from midfield and showed great vision to spot the run of James Duggan who was clear through on goals but he was denied by a great block by the Celtic keeper David Spillane.

Seán Fitzgerald had another chance on the half hour mark but he was unable to hit the target. James Duggan then got in behind the Celtic defence and his low shot was just inches wide.

Celtic made Dingle pay for their wastefulness two minutes from the break when Stephen McCarthy set up Danny Roche and he made it 4-0 and the game as a contest looked over.

However, Celtic seemed to take the foot off the gas in the second half and Dingle began to create chances.

They pulled one back seven minutes into the second half when James Duggan turned on the ball just inside the box and he drilled his low shot past the Celtic keeper. Things got even better for the West Kerry side 10 minutes later when Seán Fitzgerald's glancing header from a Joe Sheehy corner kick found the net.

Now Celtic were beginning to feel the pressure and they began to use their bench to try and protect their lead. Celtic were only inches away from extending their lead in the 65th minute when Pádraig O'Connor met a Conor McCarthy corner kick and his header was just fractionally wide.

Dingle then got a free kick on the verge of the box, but Greg Horan's shot was blocked by the Celtic defensive wall. Celtic put the game to bed in the 85th minute when sub Wayne Sparling waltzed his way through the Dingle defence and buried his shot from close range.

Now Celtic are almost certainties to make it to the final and it will be a close battle between, Castleisland, Killarney Athletic, Dingle and perhaps Listowel Celtic for that second place in the decider.

Castleisland are favourites at the moment as they have a couple of games in hand. However, they have to play Dingle twice and with a long way to go there are likely to be more twists and turns in the this division before the finalists are known.

There is a huge game in the title race at Celtic Park next Sunday morning when Killarney Celtic meet Killarney Athletic in the huge Killarney local derby with the kick off at 11 30am.

Dingle Bay Rovers: Billy Galvin, Darragh O'Brien, James Rusk, Colm Ó Muircheartaigh, Rian O'Sullivan, Joe Sheehy, Jr Tshikato, James Duggan, Greg Horan, Adam O'Rourke, Sean Fitzgerald

Killarney Celtic: David Spillane, Sean Maloney, Brendan Falvey, Stevie O'Mahoney, Shane Brosnan, James Sugrue (Liam Spillane, 86), Pa McGrath (Wayne Sparling, 59), Cathal O'Shea, Padraig O'Connor, Stephen McCarthy (Conor McCarthy, 59), Danny Roche, (Ryan Kelliher, 81)

Referee: Anthony Morrison