Two games, twelve goals and only two points for The Hoops

Niall Lavery in action for Lurgan Celtic.
Niall Lavery in action for Lurgan Celtic.

Celtic travelled to Cookstown and for the second time in a week were involved in a six goal draw only this time they pulled themselves back into the game after going behind three times in a match spoiled by a severe gale force wind.

The previous Tuesday night they surrendered a three goal lead to Sport and Leisure who are still rooted at the bottom of the table.

The match on Saturday started with The Hoops playing into the wind but they looked the more likely to score when they ventured into the Killymoon half but the hosts used the wind to their advantage as Celtic had difficulty clearing the ball. Killymoon took the lead in the 11th minute. Dale Malone had a fierce long range shot rebound off a defender as it went towards goal but Killymoon broke upfield and despite an obvious hand ball Kerr made a save and as the ball hit the post Shane McCabe cleared off the line to the relief of his colleagues.

Niall Lavery levelled when he stepped up to hit a free kick into the top corner of the net despite the efforts of Killymoon’s keeper.

Killymoon then came back and had a free kick well saved by Kerr who with a spectacular leap turned it round the post for a corner. Right on the half hour Killymoon went into the lead again when they played a ball towards the Celtic defence, the wind caught the ball and it changed direction as McCabe went to play it and struck his hand with the official harshly awarding a penalty.

The kick was duly despatched to put the home side 2-1 ahead.

The Hoops then had a good spell of play and were awarded a free kick, Malone took the kick and sent the ball deep into the penalty box where the home centre half headed past his own keeper to level the scores once more.

Two minutes later the home team went ahead for the third time when they moved upfield and despite a hand ball in the build up they gained a free kick which was hit in for the centre forward to score with a free header giving young Kerr no chance.

With the goals coming thick and fast it was no surprise that the Hoops levelled the score for a third time with yet another set play. Niall Lavery showed quick thinking by taking the kick immediately and sent a long searching ball to the far side and Raymond Fitzpatrick despite the attentions of two defenders and the goalkeeper slotted home to leave the score at 3-3 going into the half time break.

The second half started with Celtic making most of the running, Killymoon were reduced to having long range shots. Malone, Fitzpatrick and Niall Lavery had shots which on another day they would probably have scored but after the feast of scoring in the first half the second half was a famine although Fitzpatrick had two good efforts when firstly he broke through he home defence and his shot from an acute angle went narrowly past the far post with the keeper beaten and later he took an angled ball and shot against the keeper who got a hand to the ball to concede a corner. Killymoon had two decent long low shots but Kerr dealt very well taking both shots with a degree of comfort and composure. Towards the end the lack of ability to bring on fresh legs started to tell on the Hoops but they had several free kicks which weren’t taken advantage off and the final whistle signalled the end of an eventful game which left Killymoon deep in a relegation battle with Sport and Leisure.

The back four of Declan McVeigh, Conor McAnallen, McCabe and Christopher Coleman who had arguably his best game to date stood up well to a physical battering from the home side but too many goal chances were spurned by Celtic in the second half .

There is no game for Celtic next week but the final match on 10th May sees Banbridge Town coming to Knockramer to bring the curtain down on what has been a very up and down season for the Hoops.