Here’s the story of how they claimed the title:
The season opened on the 11th March and Virginia were the visitors to the MDL where two goals from James Murray and one from 14 Premier player Ciaran Caulfield sealing a 3-1 win. There was a two week break to the next match where the boys played a Kingscourt side in their own back yard. Celtic were dealt a blow in the build up to the game when Mark Cunningham picked up a bad knee injury which would rule him out for the season. The Harps side had also won their opening game and ran out 2-0 winners as the Hoops dropped the first and only points they would all season.
Next up were Borora Juniors on April 1st but there was no time for fooling around as a hat-trick from Luke Doyle, braces for Cian Russell, Oran Kirby and Evan DeCourcey Tobin along with goals from James Murray and Fionn McEvoy saw Celtic back to winning ways. Bottom side Enfield Celtic provided a sterner test than their league position reflected but an early goal by Liam Reilly and a late one by skipper Evan DeCourcey Tobin sealing a 2-0 victory away from home.
Johnstown were the next opponents as the sides faced off at yhe MDL where Celtic were the away team. Oran Kirby’s hat-trick was outdone by a 4 goal haul for Evan DeCourcey Tobin while the opening goal came from an Andrew Gibney free-kick. With Kingscourt idle this victory sent Celtic top of the league. A large home support was in attendance on a fine Wednesday evening as Cloghertown visited the MDL. After a scoreless first half a fortuitous looping effort from Oran Kirby got Celtic off the mark but they were pegged back when Cloghertown equalised from a corner. Fionn McEvoy gave Celtic the lead with ten minutes remaining and Evan DeCourcey Tobin sealed the victory in injury time with his 8th goal in 4 matches.
Two goals apiece for Evan deCourcey Tobin, Oran Kirby and Eoghan Lenehan alongside strikes from Conor McGinley and Fionn McEvoy saw Celtic comfortably across the line in an away match against a Borora side who are certainly not lacking in character. On the same day there was a big result as Celtic’s next opponents Kingscourt suffered their first defeat of the season. A first defeat for Kingscourt soon became a second as Celtic gained revenge with a 2-0 victory. Conor McGinley opened the scoring in a wind assisted first half and while some heroic defending was needed to keep that lead a Cian Russell strike with 5 minutes left sealed a massive win
Next up was a visit to Virginia where with 6 players missing a little help was needed to field a team. A few of the 14s boys answered the call with two of them, Sean Tully and Conor O’Hare, on the scoresheet alongside Evan DeCourcey Tobin in a hard fought 3-2 win. After a 2 year absence Celtic returned to Tully Park and put on a fine show as two goals from Cian Russell and one each from Evan DeCourcey Tobin, Conor McGinley and a first of the season for Adam Wilson saw Celtic score five without a reply past stand-in keeper James Murray.
Celtic scored five goals for the second game in succession with Cian Russell producing a man of the match performance with his first hat-trick for the hoops while Oran Kirby ran him close with a hat-trick of assists. Conor McGinley was also on target as was Andrew Gibney who rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot. Following a nervy start at a packed Tully Park in which visitors Enfield rattled the bar and saved a Trim penalty Conor McGinley goal eased the pressure and the hoops went on to seal the title in fine style with McGinley completing his hat-trick, while there were goals from Cian Russell, James Murray and a first ever for James Brady.
When the whistle finally came there were great scenes as this bunch of lads, the majority of whom have been together since Under 8’s, got the chance to get their hands on the league trophy. It was a special moment for captain Evan deCourcey Tobin as he finally got to deliver his award winning speech to his audience. It was a really well deserved prize in a season which saw them win eleven out of the twelve league games they played including ten wins in a row following their solitary defeat to Kingscourt.