Kilcullen AFC 2
Caragh Celtic 0
October 19th, 2013 and this saw the debut of one Josh Finan to the team for the away match to Kilcullen, Josh also captained a side that was fresh and full of confidence after their unbeaten run this season. The last time these two sides met it was Caragh Celtic that left the grounds with the glory, would that formidable win be repeated today?
The first quarter saw Kilcullen really impose themselves on Celtic, wanting to prove that they were the home team and were not going to leave this ground without a fight! The goal keeping skills of Brian Merrigan were really challenged and he was forced to make 4 saves that anyone playing for an English premiership team would have been proud of. Defenders, Niall Cramer and Aaron Conway were constantly under pressure from the onslaught of the Kilcullen attack and captain Josh Finan had to drop back from midfield into defense a few times to help quench the raging fire of the Kilcullen strikers. Midfielder Adam Fleming produced some lovely quick balls up the line for awaiting strikers Luke Martin and Ben Morrell but the Kilcullen team were proving too strong at this stage for any penetration to be made up front. It was a lucky escape for Celtic, not to have been at least one goal down at the end of the first quarter as Kilcullen were quite unlucky when shooting at target, aside from the great saves made by the Celtic Keeper. Niall Cramer did well in trying to turn defense into attack by moving the ball down the left hand side.
The second quarter saw the introduction of Jack Arnold and he made a few great saves in goal and provided Celtic with that air of safety by ensuring the ball was placed firmly into the Kilcullen defence with his goal kicks. He was partnered in defense with Adam Carbery and Captain, Josh Finan. Both players worked well together in making sure the Kilcullen strikers were having to do their best to make any ground. Midfielders Luke Martin and Ben Morrell created some good chances for strikers Niall Cramer and Brian Merrigan, but once again the Kilcullen defense were proving too hot to handle.
The third quarter proved to be the quarter where Kilcullen cemented their pressure with a goal. Keeper Aaron Conway who was earlier beaten by a cracking goal from the home side later went on to make a courageous save, putting his body on the line and denying Kilcullen what looked to be a certain second goal. Defenders Ben Morrell and Adam Fleming gave the Kilcullen team a torrid time by keeping the ball up the line and ensuring that strikers, Adam Carbery and Josh Finan got some decent ball in to challenge the Kilcullen side. Ben Morrell dug deep into the Kilcullen defense and gave them a thing of two to think about delivering the ball well to the awaiting strikers. The ever dancing feet of Jack Arnold created some chances from the Celtic half by outsmarting the Kilcullen attack and turning defense from Celtic into attack on the Kilcullen side. He was partnered with Brian Merrigan in mid field and Brian gave his usual energetic display on the day.
The fourth quarter saw a promising start for Caragh Celtic with them getting a real rhythm going. Adam Carbery and Josh Finan played another significant role in this quarter in keeping the ball at bay from Kilcullen with Adam Carbery making some courageous tackles and keeping the Kilcullen side having to try harder to make an impact. He also made a lot of ground in this quarter and played a significant role in ensuring that Kilcullen had it all to do if they were to get out of this with a win. There was a great chance at goal for Celtic with Midfielder Aaron Conway and strikers Jack Arnold and Niall Cramer making a 1 2 3 on attack but luck was not on the side for the Caragh side and the ball coasted over the woodwork after the shot from Adam Fleming. Goalkeeper Luke Martin was given a tremendous task against the Kilcullen side and eventually the ball was hit into goal for Kilcullen. He later went on to make a number of great saves against this thundering Kilcullen side. Celtic did not give up and created another chance but the shot from the boot of Niall Cramer too was denied by Lady Luck on the day.
Overall, a challenging day for Caragh Celtic with this their toughest contest this season. The heads of the players were not dropped but full of hope and eagerly awaiting their next outing.
Final score, Kilcullen 2 Caragh Celtic 0