IT is often said football is a funny old game and can be harsh and on Saturday the Celtic Club were to find out that that old saying was as true as it ever was as they went out of the Marshall cup with the very last kick of the ball in the second period of extra time.
The match took place at Knockramer Park and began with both teams vying for control of the midfield but neither were totally successful as both teams had pretty much equal possession and no-one was getting the upper hand.
Clear cut chances were few and far between with both clubs looking dangerous on occasions but the respective defences held firm leaving the game all square at 0-0 at half time.
With Dollingstown four divisions above the Celtic Club it was a huge task to expect them to match Dollingstown but they did.
The Celtic Club produced a terrific effort in the second half and were playing the best football of the match but always had to be mindful as Dollingstown showed their Intermediate A class and were very dangerous when they moved forward hitting the post midway through the second half and then a terrific tackle by the Celtic keeper kept the score at 0-0.
The match ebbed and flowed and it was anyone’s guess who would break the deadlock although Dollingstown looked the more likely but a goal never arrived and into extra time it went.
The fitness of the Celtic Club’s players would now be tested and boy were they up to it as they seemed to be getting stronger as they tried to push for a winner.
The first team to score would obviously have won it and in injury time of extra time the Celtic Club got a corner but didn’t make the most of it, only to see Dollingstown go up the pitch and get a corner themselves.
It looked like it was all over and then from the corner Dollingstown headed in a winner at the back post to deflate the entire Celtic Club team.
The whistle was blown as the match was restarted and Dollingstown will now appear in the final. Rough justice for Celtic.
Defeat is never easy to accept but the Celtic Club emerged with tremendous credit and did themselves, their management and club proud.
Although Barry Seeley won the official man of the match it was an award that could have went to any of the Celtic midfielders as Niall McPartland and Kitty O’Neill were also outstanding on the day. The Celtic Club proved they could compete at this level and although disappointed it took a very good team in Dollingstown to beat them.
The Club thanked Oxford/Sunnyside for their hospitality and wished Dollingstown well in the final.