Snugboro United 3
Castlebar Celtic 2
Five goals, a red card, a controversial goal and one team missing their numbers off the back of their shirts, it could only be a local derby. And while Snugboro United were the ones who took the three points on the sun baked Saturday evening, their management team will be disappointed by the way they let Celtic back into the game despite having a man advantage and a two goal lead with 24 minutes to go.
Both sides didn't want to loose face in this local derby, and despite the game lacking the overall quality and composure on the ball one would like to see in a game, the passion and heart shown by both sides made sure that this was to be a very entertaining encounter. Up until ten minutes before time when Snugboro United decided on the field that the game was won and stopped playing for a couple of minutes much to the anger of their bench.
The turning point in the game came in the 58th minute when the ball seemed to cross the line on the left flank and the linesman raised his flag to signal a throw in to the urban side only to put it straight down again. Some of the Celtic players stopped playing, but the hosts kept going down the wing Paul Walsh was able to feed the ball into David Felczerk who had his first shot blocked down, before he drove his second attempt to the back of the net to the disgust of the Celtic bench and players. Celtic goalkeeper Kevin Stenson took particular exception to the decision and was given a straight card by referee Damien McGrath for dissent, forcing Celtic into a reshuffle. Eamon Crean had to move from midfield to between the sticks for the rest of the game.
Not to long after Snugboro United grabbed their third goal of the game to put them two clear through Mark McGreal on 66 minutes. David Roughneen won a corner out on the left wing, the ball was floated across the goal by Kevin Curry where McGreal met it with a strong header which looped past Crean in the Celtic goal and over a defender on the line. Celtic had to go for broke after that goal and went to three at the back as Snugboro started to sit back and invite the pressure on instead of going for a killer fourth goal.
The Celtic pressure paid off five minutes before the end, a corner whipped into the box saw Gary Price rise high to direct the ball towards the goal, in the tangle of bodies in the box a Celtic arm stuck out and struck the ball, leaving Damien McGrath to point at the spot. Keith Hopkins stepped up and drove the ball hard to the left past the diving Niall Gallagher to set up a nervey final five minutes plus injury time for the home side.
Celtic's goal did kick Snugboro out of their mini-slumber as they got control of the ball again and limited Celtic to only half chances as they went looking for the leveler to hold out for the three points.
The home side opened the game well and were rewarded with the first strike of the game seven minutes in, Kevin Curry picked up the ball just inside the Celtic half, held off the challenge of a defender and slipped in his brother Sean who beat two defenders to the ball before driving it low past Stenson from the edge of the area. Both sides were going at each other at this stage and it didn't take long for Celtic to equalize, Mark Towey cut down the left wing and played the ball into the box where Eamon Crane knocked it down to Connor Griffin who finished to the net from close range. But this early brace of goals was only warm up for the excitement of the second half.
Snugboro United: Niall Gallagher; Colin Corrigan, Padraic Conway, Robert Coyne, Paul Walsh; David Felczerk, Mark McGreal, David Roughneen, Kevin Curry; Sean Curry, Eamon Conway. Subs: Austin Lucy, Johnny Gielty, Ronan McTigue,
Castlebar Celtic: Kevin Stenson; James McGurren, Keith Hopkins, Shane McCarney, John Daly; Mark Towey, Eamon Crean, Wesley Hurst, Stephen Fitzgerald; Conor Griffin, Gary Price. Subs: Francis Bonner, Terry Maughan, Thomas Delaney.
Ref: Damien McGrath (Inver United )