Trim Celtic’s Reserves put last week’s disappointment behind them to lift the Gerry Reilly Memorial Cup for the first time. Despite the scoreline there were few clearcut chances for either side with Celtic proving deadly from set pieces and with the chances they got.
The opening goal came on 12 minutes when Anthony Craig’s shot found the net via a deflection. Dimmy Higgins struck a fierce shot just wide from the edge of the area before Lee Dixon superbly curled home a feee kick to double the Hoops’ advantage. Dixon had another chance shortly after but struck wide. A well-struck Kingscourt effort from the edge of the box was luckily straight at Celtic keeper Rob Westphal. Three minutes before the break Craig O’Hanlon superbly curled home a free kick from 30 yards to give Celtic a comfortable halftime lead.
Early in the second half Celtic again caused set pieces difficulties for their opponents from as Dixon forced a save from the keeper. Dixon then turned provider with a bullet cross which Dan Mac Grianna met with a diving header that clipped the bar and went over. Kingscourt exerted a period of pressure on the Celtic defence which was resolute throughout and kept Westphal’s goal intact. With fifteen minutes to go a rash challenge saw Dixon upended in the box with top scorer Dimmy Higgins’ penalty too good for the keeper who guessed the right way. Anthony Craig grabbed his second when set up by the busy Dixon with Conor Rattigan rounding up the scoring following up on Mark Corrigan’s free kick which was saved by the keeper. The final whistle was met with a huge roar from the Celtic support for a well deserved win for the whole squad and the management team of Stephen Moriarty, Jimmy Hyland, Paul Munnelly and Sean FitzGerald. All that was left was for Anthony Craig and Paul Bartley to receive the cup from NEFL Fixtures Secretary Declan Jordan who paid a poignant tribute to the Gerry Reilly, a former player in the league who was taken too soon, who’s name is inscribed on the cup.
Trim Celtic team: Rob Westphal, Leon O’Neill, John Regan, Paul Bartley, Mark Corrigan, Dan Mac Grianna, Dimmy Higgins, Anthony Craig, Dominic Fagan, Craig O’Hanlon, Lee Dixon.
Subs: Luke Mahon (for O’Hanlon), Aaron Ryan (for Mac Grianna), Kian Malone (for Regan), Conor Rattigan (for Higgins), Gavin Meehan (for Dixon)