Rathmullan Celtic’s player manager Dara Patton’s late penalty strike salvaged a crucial point for the Hoops to cancel out Damien Crossan’s early strike for,the Tigers in a result that keeps the Seasiders hopes of survival alive while Kildrum now face a winner takes all battle against Castlefin in order to clinch the coveted Premier League title.
Rathmullan Celtic 1 Kildrum Tigers 1
In pristine conditions at the Seaside, the Hoops knew a point if not all three was crucial to their survival hopes to remain on the top flight following Kilmac’s win over Drumoghill.
In what was a nervy opener, KIldrum took a huge early advantage on 10 minutes when William Lynch looped a ball over the Hoops defence with Crossan quickest to react and the striker rounded Hoops keeper Sean Gallagher to calmly finish in the bottom corner.
Dream start for the visitors which the Hoops duly had to deal,with but no real chances were created with Gavin O’Donnell and James McCahill marshalling the Tigers attacks in midfield with aplomb.
The second half saw the Hoops fight for their survival in what was their best performance of the season with Eamonn Sheridan holding up the play and releasing Niall Carruthers and Kevin Doran to set up the attacks, however the Tigers defence commanded by Gary Crossan at right back proved a tough task to break down.
Kildrum had to soak up,the pressure but almost took advantage of the attacks from the Hoops when on two quick counter attacks on 70 and 75 minutes, Lynch was denied on both occasions by crucial goal stopping tackles and clearances from Alan Boal and Dylan Hegarty much to the relief of the Seaside faithful.
The Hoops endeavours were rewarded on 80 minutes when Patton, who replaced Sheridan through injury on 75 minutes, controlled O’Donnell’s pass out to the right wing before whipping in a cross which Crossan handled.
Patton dispatched the penalty giving Tigers keeper Sean Friel no chance and set up a high octane finale as the Hoops sensed a winner imminent. It was not to be as both sides settled for a point apiece and refocus attentions to proceedings at the very opposite ends of the top flight.