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Chord Celtic beat the odds to land league honours

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Chord Celtic celebrate as club captain Neil Donnelly puts them 1-0 against Ardee Celtic on Friday.

Chord Celtic celebrate as club captain Neil Donnelly puts them 1-0 against Ardee Celtic on Friday.

Chord’s Shaun Bannon keeps the ball away from Ardee’s Ciaran McConnon.

Chord’s Shaun Bannon keeps the ball away from Ardee’s Ciaran McConnon.

Chord Celtic captain Neil Donnelly knocks the ball past the outstretched leg of Ardee Celtic’s Lorcan Myles.

Chord Celtic captain Neil Donnelly knocks the ball past the outstretched leg of Ardee Celtic’s Lorcan Myles.

Helder Mota of Chord Celtic and Liam Kiernan in action on Friday.

Helder Mota of Chord Celtic and Liam Kiernan in action on Friday.

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Chord Celtic celebrate as club captain Neil Donnelly puts them 1-0 against Ardee Celtic on Friday.

droghedaindependent

CHORD CELTIC3

ARDEE CELTIC 0

Chord Celtic were crowned First Division champions on Saturday as OMP failed to beat Donacarney Celtic fter Chord had beaten Ardee Celtic the night before.

It’s a fantastic achievement by the Drogheda side to win the league with a game to spare, especially considering they were hit with a six-point deduction earlier in the season.

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A delighted Chord manager Fiachra Jein hailed the achievement as “unreal” on Saturday evening when the result was confirmed.

Chord had only been beaten once in the league, that coming away to Ardee Celtic earlier in the season.

“The lads have been excellent all season and for Chord now to be league champions and in the Premier Division for the first time, it’s a great feeling,” he added.

Jein was in work on Saturday, phone in hand getting updates from Donacarney.

“I’d say there was a lot of shouting for Donacarney from the lads who were out there,” he laughed.

Another who had to miss the game on Saturday was long-time Chord servant Cormac Reid, someone Jein has singled out for praise for all his work both on and off the field for Chord.

Reid was in Castlebellingham to watch his son play in the U15 championship final for Newtown Blues, a match that finished in a draw.

But it was still a day of double celebration as, following the game, Reid went to Carrickmacross to see the Chord’s second team book a place in the Reserve Cup Final.

“I’m just delighted for so many people, in particular our club secretary Ian Delaney who has done so much for the club and our chairman John Monaghan,” said a jubilant Reid.

Chord welcomed Ardee to DIFE with the visitors only playing for pride. Chord dominated all the early possession, while Ardee certainly made it difficult for them.

The deadlock was broken on 35 minutes when Cormac Reid whipped in a corner and Neil Donnelly rose highest to power a header home.

There was a huge sense of relief with the goal, such was the importance of the game to the club.

Ardee, while they were defensively solid, offered little going forward.

Chord scored their second goal in the final 10 minutes when Adam O’Connor got the first of his two goals.

Then, with the clock ticking down, Chord won a penalty as Eoghan Mulroy was bundled over, and O’Connor stepped up and sent Caolan MacMullan the wrong way.

Attention now turns to the cup competitions, with Chord looking to land a first ever Challenge Cup.

“The league is done and dusted, we enjoyed ourselves Friday night and celebrated on Saturday, but now we face Muirhevnamor at DIFE on Friday in the quarter-finals and if we win that it could be Trim Celtic or Robinstown in the semi-final.

“We just want to keep on winning, we’re a winning team and we go into every game trying to win.”

The last time Reid won the first division was with Newfoundwell and in that season they too went on to win the Challenge Cup, and both men would love a repeat of that.

Chord: Dean Martin, Jake Devine, Adam O’Connor, Dean Haggins, Morgan Browne, Helder Mota, Neil Donnelly, Cormac Reid, Eoghan Mulroy, Aaron Dale, Shaun Bannon

Ardee: Caolan McMullan, Brendan Matthews, James Russel, Cuan O’Reilly, Ciaran McConnon, Shauni Dowdall, Lorcan Myles, Paul McArdle, Janicks Dursis, Cian Kirwan, Brian O’Connor.


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