An understrength Woodstock Celts lost two valuable points in their challenge for CR Wynne Feeds Senior Division glory when they could only manage a draw against midtable Ballycane Celtic at Ballycane on Sunday.
CR Wynne Feeds Senior Division
Woodstock Celts: 2
Ballycane Celtic: 2
This draw now leaves table toppers Naas United needing only four points to clinch the Senior Division for the first time in their Clubs history.
Without regular ‘keeper Michael Lawless and target man Ricky Moriarty the visitors started well and were unlucky not to take the lead early on when, after five minutes, Craig Dunphy put Darren Donoghue through on goal but his effort was well saved by Marcus Burke in the home goal.
Ballycane were quick to react to this bright start by Celts and Mick Drewitt played a neat ball to Eamon Laabbi however his effort was just over.
The home side continued to apply pressure and after 10 minutes the in form Keelan Noone won the ball 30 yards out but his stinging effort was just wide of Josh Leigh’s uprigh.
Five minutes later Woodstock were unlucky when Martin Brennan’s free kick was well saved by Burke in the home goal.
In end to end action Ballycane had a glorious chance to open their account when Dermot Doyle sent a floating ball into the box however striker Richie Mullins lost his footing with the Leigh beaten and the ball was cleared to safety.
The visitors were stung into action after this let off and eventually took the lead after half an hour when some great work by Michael Brennan in midfield released Corey Lammon who found Michael Walsh in space. Walsh split the Ballycane defence to send the inrushing Brennan in to toe poke home from close range to put the visitors 1-0 up.
Ballycane were on top for the remainder of the half but could not find a way through the visitors defence which was well marshalled by Gary Foley and Liam Leonard and they held out to the break.
Ballycane came out strong in the second half and some great inter-changes by Stephen McGlynn and Wayne Doyle found Richie Mullins in space on the edge of the box and he cooly slot past the outstretched Leigh in the visitors goal to equalise after six minutes.
Woodstock were forced to make some changes and replace the injured Darren Donoghue with James Fennell. Fennell presence was immediately felt and the visitors created a number of good chances through Craig Dunphy and Tommy Nolan before Dunphy had to retire also through injurey to be replaced by Paddy O’Brien.
The visitors went ahead for the second time in the game on 65 minutes when substitute James Fennell went on a run down the wing beating Ciaran Fennell and Stephen McGlynn to fire past Burke in the home goal from 15 yards and put his side 2-1 up.
However Celts were dealt another blow when defender Corey Lammon had to retire through injury he was replaced by player/manager Tommy Connell with 20 minutes remaining, soon after their influential midfielder Martin Brennan was sent for an early shower by referee John Dwane following a second bookable offence and they now found themselves defending their slim lead frantically.
Ballycane with their tails up and the extra man pushed Woodstock’s defence and it finally cracked with three minutes remaining when the home side won a free on the left 20 yards out. Dermot Doyle sent the ball to the back post, it was met by David O Connell who pulled the ball back to the unmarked Ciaran Fennell who controlled the ball beautifully and somehow managed to chip the ball over the stranded Josh Leigh in the visitors goal from six yards to equalised for the second time and give both a share of the spoils.
Best for the home side were man of the match David O’Connell, Ciaran Fennell, Michael Drewitt and Keelan Noone while for a very diappointed Woodstock Celts Josh leigh in goal, Gary Foley and Liam Leonard in defence and Michael Walsh in midfield tried hardest.
Marcus Burke, Patrick Cully, Stephen McGlynn, Kieran Fennell, David O’Connell, Wayne Doyle, Dermot Doyle, Michael Drewitt, Richie Mullins, Keelan Noone, Eamon Laabbi, David Shore, Dean Loughran.
Josh Leigh, Corey Lammon, Liam Leonard, James Lammon, Gary Foley, Jonathan Fennell, Martin Brennan, Michael Walsh, Craig Dunphy, Tommy Nolan, Darren Donoghue, James Fennell, Paddy O’Brien, Jason Moriarty, Tommy F Connell.