Killarney Celtic the first to do the 'double double' in 42 years

Denny Premier A League Final Replay: Killarney Celtic 1 Castleisland 0

Killarney Celtic celebrate winning the Premier A title after their replayed final win over Castleisland at Mounthawk Park. Photos by Domnick Walsh
Killarney Celtic celebrate winning the Premier A title after their replayed final win over Castleisland at Mounthawk Park. Photos by Domnick Walsh

It is 42 years since any Kerry side has won consecutive back to back League and Cup titles and Killarney Celtic now have that remarkable achievement in their CV after they were crowned Premier A champions at Mounthawk Park on Friday evening after an impressive win over Castleisland in an entertaining final replay.

St Brendans Park were the last side to attain this enormous feat and given the strength of this Celtic side they could be going for a hat trick of doubles next season.

While only a single goal separated the sides at the end Celtic were by far the better side on the night and were very worthy champions at the end.

However when you meet a Castleisland side managed by Edmond Harnett you will earn your salt and Celtic had to use all their resources to deal with their route one game and aerial bombardment.

Over the 90 minutes the Celtic goalie Roy Kelliher had very little to do while Castleisland keeper Stephen Bartlett had to make a number of great saves to keep his side in the game.

Celtic began the game strongly building up attacks from midfield and they had two early chances but Danny Roche and Stephen McCarthy were unable to test the Castleisland goalie.

Castleisland's first chance came in the 12th minute when Tommy Feehan found Adam O'Donoghue with a clever ball but his effort on goal was taken off the line by John McDonagh conceding a corner kick.

This was drilled ito the goalmouth by Danny Feehan with Aidan O'Callaghan finishing it to the net but he was pulled back for a foul on a defender.

Celtic went ahead in the 25th minute with a well crafted goal.

Wayne Sparling used his dainty footwork to release Stephen McCarthy inside the box producing a corner kick.

McCarthy's delivery was headed out to the edge of the box where James Sugrue ran on to it and he unleashed a rocket of a shot which looked destined for the top corner of the net but Castleisland goalie Stephen Bartlett made an absolutely brilliant save clawing the ball out but it fell invitingly to ace marksman Danny Roche and he drilled his low shot to the bottom corner of the net.

Celtic continued to display the biggest threat and Castleisland were relying on route one attacks and high balls into the box from free kicks.

They almost doubled their lead in the 38th minute when a clever ball by Cathal O'Shea created an opening for Wayne Sparling and his shot was just inches wide.

Just before half time Danny Roche opened up the Castleisland defence with an electrifying run and his shot crashed back off the crossbar.

Immediately Celtic players were screaming for a penalty kick when it appeared that Pierce Brosnan handled a Wayne Sparling shot in the goalmouth but referee Eddie O'Mahony allowed play to continue.

However his attention was called upon by linesman Thomas Sheehy who saw the incident from another angle and after the consultation the decision was a penalty kick.

Celtic players were calling for a red card to be produced but none emerged which did not please their players and supporters

The spot kick was taken by Stevie O'Mahoney but Castleisland keeper Stephen Bartlett played mind games with his opponent pretending to move to his left but remained in a central position and consequently O'Mahony went down the middle and the keeper made a great save pushing the ball away with a strong hand while Aidan O'Callaghan cleared it to safety.

This was a huge let off for Castleisland right on the stroke of half time as if Celtic had scored they would be in a very snug position at the break.

Castleisland started the second half on the front foot and they were only a whisker away from equalising in the 50th minute when Michael Walsh latched on to a Tommy Feehan free kick and his looping header was only inches wide.

As the half moved on the game got very scrappy and Celtic went close to doubling their lead in the 58 minute after great build up play Gary Keane shot narrowly wide.

Then played moved down the other end and a long throw in from Pierce Brosnan found Adam O'Donoghue but his header missed the target.

By now both sides introduced substitutions and with just a goal in it Castleisland were still in with a chance.

However they were finding it very hard to get the ball down the pitch as Celtic were slowing down play and using their passing game to good effect.

A great run by Mike Hannifan created a good scoring chance for sub Stan Divane but his shot was blocked brilliantly by John McDonagh.

Castleisland had a half chance with two minutes to go when sub Colm Murphy got on to the end of a Stephen Bartlett free kick but his volley from just outside the box went a foot wide.

At the end Celtic were very worthy winners and there was a great reception for the captain of the side John McDonagh as he was presented with the cup by the chairman of the KDL Sean O'Keeffe.

Killarney Celtic: Roy Kelliher, Padraig O'Connor, Brendan Falvey, John McDonagh, Stevie O'Mahony, James Sugrue (Matt Keane, 57) Gary Keane, Wayne Sparling (Shane Brosnan, 88), Stephen McCarthy (Ryan Kelliher, 81), Cathal O'Shea, Danny Roche

Castleisland: Stephen Bartlett, Pierce Brosnan, Paul Carmody, Aidan O'Callaghan, Michael Walsh (Dean Poolman, 86), Ray Huggard (Pa Hickey, 83) Mike Hanifan, Luke Lyons (Cathal O'Donoghue, 84), Adam O'Donoghue (Stan Divane, 70), Eamon Nolan (Colm Murphy, 70), Tommy Feehan.

Referee: Eddie O'Mahony

Kerryman

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