"Celtic are crowned Grehan Cup Champions"
Celtic started the game as under-dogs against the league leaders, and the omens were not good when they went 1-0 down after five minutes from a Niall Jones goal. For some time, Celtic, though competing always, were second best, with Dunboyne looking the more likely.
On 30 mins however, the game changed radically. Celtic always fancy themselves from set pieces, and it was from a corner that Conor 'sniffer' Mooney, a la Leeds Utd's Alan Clark, ghosted in at the far post to put the sides level on 30 mins.
Dunboyne responded immediately, but as happened so often during the game, they were denied as Dame Fortune failed to smile on them, with the ball coming back off the crossbar. Celtic went in at half time very happy to be level.
The second half started with Dunboyne looking like they were going to reassert themselves when they thought they had got a good goal, only to have their deflected strike ruled out for offside. It was Celtic's turn to respond immediately when they struck after 48 mins. A cross from the left was met by Brian Moriarty. His mis-directed shot was met by Ichi Murungu, whose flicked header found the net, just evading the Dunboyne keeper. 2-1
Celtic were continuing to live dangerously, and Dunboyne were yet again denied by heroic defending and miraculous escapes. They hit the woodwork at least 3 times, and after one fabulous move on the right hand side of the park, the striker had only to tap in, but he managed only to spoon his shot over the bar.
The insurance goal came on 63 mins when Darragh McGowan was on hand to head home from close range to put his side 3-1 ahead. This crowned a fantastic performance that narrowly edged the man of the match award for Darragh over his team-mate in the midfield, Kevin O'Connell, brother of Dublin star and former Celtic player, Ross. Both demonstrated 110 per cent commitment to the cause, attending to defence and attack in equal measure.
In fairness, Celtic were not 2 goals superior to their neighbours Dunboyne, and the Meath side fought to the bitter end, only to be denied by a team that had something to prove. When the final whistle blew, there was unbounded joy in the Castleknock ranks, including the big support of club members, parents, family and friends, that had travelled to cheer on the Hoops.
Celtic's management team of Jack Moriarty and Aidan Waters were delighted for their 16-member squad who got their just reward, all of whom played their part in this Cup Final, which shows their strength in depth. Castleknock Celtic is rightly proud of each of them for their achievement which came from a resolute will by all of them to win the day.
Team: Mark Bowe, Paul Conway, Fiacra Costello, Kevin Gallagher, Ian Martin, Brian Moriarty, Darragh McGowan, Kevin McConnell, Vadym Pogorily, Dan Simpson, Patrick Waters, Callum Zambra, Conor Mooney, Hisham Murungu, Pride Minyuku, James O'Mahony.
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