Celtic U-17 Major show True Grit

DDSL – 17 MAJOR NTH: Lucan Utd 2 – 2 Castleknock Celtic FC
“Keano shows Ronaldo how it’s done as Celtic leave it late to earn a point thanks to a great TEAM performance ”

A new season, indeed the first for 2 years!!! The world has experienced such a terrible time over the past 18 months that universally everyone welcomes the return of sport. And today was the day that football returned for many and with it the anticipation , nervousness and excitement for a season start that is reminiscent of the first day of school. For Castleknock there were even more nerves than usual – Player departures and retirements, no friendlies matches since August 2020 meant that fielding a team would be an achievement in itself. The good news was that the challenge was met thanks to 5 newbies ,3 returnees and with 5 veterans. The bad news was that the Celts were facing a Lucan Utd primed, ready and chomping at the bit to get going.
Despite no pre-season Celtic started well as exchanges were shared albeit Lucan looked the more likely. As we entered the second quarter Lucan won four corners in quick succession and from the fourth a Celtic clearance came off the Lucan attacker and into the net. 1-0. One of those things but you need to forget it and move on but unfortunately Castleknock switched off and a minute later it was 2-0. Missed tackles followed by a quality finish from the Lucan winger. 2-0. As the ball nestled in the net matters got worse as Jamie Waters was forced off with an injury to his quad. Lucan went for the jugular and Celtic needed to weather the storm. This they did. As we entered the final 5 minutes of the half the game turned on its head – if Keane Turner’s first touch was good his second to score from 30 yards out was majestic. The hype this week was about Ronaldo coming home to Manchester but perhaps the headline should have been about Keano’s return to Castleknock. For sure the goal was something that Cristiano himself would have been proud of. HT: 2-1.
It was still an uphill battle. Luke Hughes who had played well as a makeshift striker was now off with returning goal poacher Phelim Scott entering the fray. Celtic were enjoying more possession with Zaim Memesivic and Adam Kadar bossing the midfield. Phelim created a great chance for himself with the ball going inches wide. But Lucan too had their chances – following a great move down the right the striker headed against the crossbar and with 15 minutes left Max Ostaphchuk, who had a fine game, made a world class reflex save. The game was on a knife edge. Evan looked like he had won a peno when fouled by the keeper and minutes later Keano was taken down at the edge of the box with Phelims free kick deflected for a corner. With a minute left Keano went on a mazy run down the right before being taken down on the edge of the box again. Up stepped Keano from what looked like an impossible angle and his trusty left foot, a la Mo Salah, curled the ball over the wall into the left hand corner. Cue wild celebrations. FT: 2-2.
A performance of pure character not to mention moments of quality meant that Castleknock were good value for the draw against a good Lucan team although late goals like today are not good for the heart. Great performances from all players with our “Newbies” Evan Mc Grath, Rohan Matthew, Mark Corbite, Thomas “Mossie” Maloney and Sam Lowry all having great debuts. Character was shown again and again as exemplified by Jaden Adekola, playing through the pain barrier while both Luke & Zaim both came back on while clearly not 100% fit . All led admirably by Captain, Ryan Sherlock, who drove his team, never giving up, never giving in and playing to the last second. Many challenges lie ahead and the squad needs to strengthen but for today we applaud the Celtic lads for a wonderful performance given the circumstances and one that had their supporters rightly applauding at the end.