2002 Boys Division 1 vs Parkvilla

vs
October 14, 2017
Score: 5 - 3

Match Report

Every now and then comes a game which just takes your breath away and yesterday's Premier Shield Quarter final was certainly one of those occasions as Celtic went from being two minutes away from going through to being ten seconds from going out in one of the craziest of finishes to normal time probably ever seen at Tully Park. This was a tie which pitted Celtic's first division title winners against a Parkvilla side with a great chance of finishing as Premier league champions and was going to prove a useful barometer for the task ahead next season. The first half was very tight and gave no indication of the drama that was to follow as both sides passed the ball well and threatened from set pieces with Parkvilla coming particularly close late on from a scrambled corner.
Early in the second half Parkvilla took the lead with a well taken header although Celtic will be kicking themselves for allowing a free header in their own penalty area. The home side then re-grouped and as they have so often this season pulled up their sleeves and fought hard for each other. The comeback was started with an excellent Andrew Gibney free kick fifteen minutes into the second half. All of twenty five yards out Gibney crashed an unstoppable shot off the underside of the bar and up into the roof of the net. This was no more than the hoops deserved and it got even better ten minutes later when Conor McGinley, in a rich vein of scoring form, ran down the left hand channel and drew the 'keeper out before clipping a lovely left foot shot into the far corner. Celtic were controlling the game now but Parkvilla are an excellent side and showed some great resilience of their own forcing an equaliser with just two minutes left on the clock. Celtic were shell-shocked after being so close to knocking out their Premier league opponents and it got even more heart-breaking in injury time as Parkvilla pushed up and scored what must be the winning goal. If there is one thing this Celtic team is not lacking it's character and, while many sides would have collapsed in the face of such adversity, they continued to push on and in the fourth minute of injury time were awarded a free kick thirty yards out. With every player except Hoops 'keeper Kevin Dalton in the Parkvilla penalty area Gibney delivered his second pin-point free kick of the afternoon and the ball was somehow prodded home by Cian Russell as Tully Park erupted. There was just about time for a re-start when the referee blew his full time whistle and extra time beckoned.
The first period of extra time was fairly muted as both teams tried to come to terms with what went before but just two minutes after the re-start Celtic were to go in front again. Another Gibney set piece, this time a corner, was headed home at the far post by Celtic's captain Evan deCourcey Tobin. Tobin, like so many of his team-mates, was having an excellent game tackling and closing down shots from the first whistle to the last and was run very close for man-of-the-match by Gibney and Adam Wilson. Four minutes later Celtic finally got a firm grip on the game when Oran Kirby strode through from midfield to hit a twenty yard drive right into the bottom corner to round off the scoring. There were chaotic scenes at the final whistle as the nature of the finish to the game led to some wild celebrations as all the home players momentarily forgot about their aching limbs and bumps and bruises to make the most of what had been an extraordinary game, with Parkvilla more than playing their part.
Trim Celtic: Kevin Dalton, Eoghan Lenehan, Andrew Gibney, Adam Wilson, Eoin Gaffney, Conor McGinley, Oran Kirby, Evan deCourcey Tobin, Liam Reilly, Fionn McEvoy, Cian Russell
Subs: James Murray (for Russell), Jack Vaughan, Kevin McGowan, James Brady

Ground

Tully Park
Summerhill Rd, Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland