Castlebar Celtic 0
Straide and Foxford United 2
Two first half goals from Straide and Foxford wrapped up the points for the visitors in the Super League on Sunday afternoon in Celtic Park. In a game where both sides were evenly matched throughout, it was the side in orange who showed clinical finishing when needed to pick up a win in their first outing of the new season.
Straide and Foxford were eliminated from the Connacht Cup last weekend while Celtic were opening their campaign going down to Westport United. The home side started brightly and Ronan O’Boyle tested Darren Flatley in the S&F goal after two minutes when he bent a free kick around the wall which was heading for the back of the net until the intervention of the S&F shot stopper. Paul Moran came close the guests a short time later when he pulled an effort wide of the post, from the edge of the area after seven minutes. Moran’s side was starting to dominate the play at this juncture without really creating much, they went another 12 minutes before mustering an effort of note with Paul Fitzpatrick hitting an effort from outside the area which stung the hands of David Stenson in the Celtic goal. Moran pulled another effort wide of the goal after 25 minutes, but he was about to play a crucial role in the game before the end of the half. Celtic though seemed to have weathered the storm and a cross-cum-shot from Shane Smyth looked to be creeping in under the bar until Stenson clawed the ball away from danger. Ronan O’Boyle also had an effort from a header saved by the custodian.
With Celtic coming back into the game Straide and Foxford hit them for two inside five minutes. Shane Burke, picked up the ball on the left hand side of the field and slipped a line breaking pass into the path of Paul Moran who arrowed the ball to the right hand corner of the net past Stenson in the Celtic goal. Then three minutes before the break Moran doubled his sides lead. A free from James Noone into the area was headed back across goal by Gerard Gallagher into the path of Moran who headed it to the back of the net.
The second half of the contest saw the home side get the bit between their teeth and apply the pressure to their guests, but to no avail. Celtic owned the ball for long periods of the terminal half, and had numerous chances to pull a goal back but they just couldn’t fined the break through. Mark Rowland had a chance early on, but got under his effort from close range. Shane Smyth drilled an effort wide of the post later on. Substitute Nigel Naughton tired a spectacular overhead from close in, but failed to get the required contact on the ball. The closest they came was when Ger O’Boyle used some quick thinking to take a free from the edge of the area before the S&F de fence was ready. With Darren Flatley at his left hand post organising his wall, O’Boyle tried a cheeky effort aimed at the opposite side of the goal, but it flash just wide.
Castlebar Celtic: David Stenson; Adam Gallagher, Ashley Stevenson, Shane Moran, Ger O’Boyle; Mark Rowland, John Maloney, Barry McLoughlin, James McGurren; Shane Smyth, Ronan O’Boyle. Subs: Nigel Naughton for Shane Smyth, Seamus Staunton for John Maloney; Alan Quinn for James McGurren
Straide and Foxford: Darren Flatley; Sean Walshe, Shane Hughes, Declan Smyth, Ashley Atkinson; Pual Fitzpatrick, Shane Burke, Gerard Gaughan, Michael Smyth; James Noone, Paul Moran. Subs: Liam Devanney for Gerard Gaughan.