Patrick Rafferty’s double ensured Glencar Celtic reached the Ulster Junior Shield Cup final with a hard-earned local derby victory over neighbours Oldtown Celtic at Diamond Park, Ballyare.
Glencar Celtic 2-0 Oldtown FC
It was an evenly contested first 20 minutes, neither keeper troubled. Then came a great chance for Oldtown Celtic when a long ball forward was misjudged by Glencar ‘s central defenders which left Sean Cleary racing through. The advancing goalkeeper Blake Forkan blocked his shot with his feet.
Following another period of plenty of effort by both teams but no clear-cut chances another mix-up in the 40th minute almost proved costly for Glencar Celtic.
Goalkeeper Forkan clearly called for the ball in the air but defender Liam Paul Ferry decided to head clear, only to find Oldtown’s Ronan Curran – he who shot just over as the keeper retreated.
A minute later Glencar took the lead with their first real effort on target and what a goal it was. Patrick Rafferty collected possession just outside the Oldtown penalty area, stepped around a defender and lashed a cracking piledriver past Michael Gibson.
A minute later it should have been two. Eddie McLaughlin chased down a long ball, flicked it into the path of Paddy Collins in the box and was upended by John Boyle but Graham Cullen’s poorly struck penalty was easily saved by Gibson.
In the last action of the half Cullen almost made amends but his cracking drive from the edge of the box was just wide, it remained 1-0 to Glencar Celtic at the break.
Oldtown has a good start to the second-half with several promising attacks with no reward and fifteen minutes in it was that man Rafferty who again made them pay.
He had just created a chance for Eddie McLaughlin with a pin-point cross, his goalbound header was blocked near the goal line by Paddy McLaughlin.
When Rory Gallagher returned the ball into the box Rafferty first touch was perfect and he side stepped two defenders before sliding the ball to the net for 2-0 to Glencar Celtic and a mountain to climb for Oldtown Celtic it would seem.
They got the chance of a lifeline in the 73rd minute when Sean Cleary did well in the box and his shot hit the hand of a defender. However, Mick Howe blasted the penalty high over the bar.
Oldtown kept trying but Glencar saw the game out comfortable after that to earn both the local bragging rights and a place in the final against Quigley Point Swifts.
Glencar Celtic: Blake Forkan; Garvan Grieve, Rory Gallagher (Liam Doherty 90), Liam Paul Ferry, Ray Quinn, Kevin Rafferty, Ciaran Maloney (Marty Brogan 80), Graham Cullen, Eddie McLaughlin (Odhran Barron 75), Patrick Rafferty (Jordan McGinley 85) , Paddy Collins.
Oldtown Celtic: Michael Gibson, John Boyle (Ciaran Gibson 70), Paddy McLaughlin, Mick Howe , Charles McLaughlin , Krissi McLaughlin , Ronan Curran ( Bernard McMenamin (70) , Joe McCarron, Shea O Donnell (Thomas McLaughlin h/t), , Sean Cleary , Luke Nelis (Luke Friel 80).
Referee: Martin: McAuley.