Castlebar Celtic 5
By Paul O‘Malley at Celtic Park
The Super League title has gone the way of Castlebar Celtic for the first time since 2011 after Michael McNicholas’s side confirmed their triumph with a victory over Claremorris on Sunday.
Jordan Loftus has all but claimed the Golden Boot after his hat trick brought him to 28 for the season while Liam Flatley and Stevie Ryan were also on the scoresheet. Flatley was in fine form and picked up a hat trick of assists to go with his goal. Claremorris got two of their own through Rokas Mikuckis and Gavin Brady but it was not enough to make a difference as they ended their season in sixth place.
The party started early for Castlebar Celtic and it was the combination of Jason Hunt, Loftus and Flatley that handed them the lead after just fifteen minutes. Hunt’s cross found Flatley who took it down perfectly and laid the ball on a plate for Loftus to tap in.
It was all Celtic in this period and they made their dominance count and doubled their lead when Flatley sent a corner flying in and Stevie Ryan pounced on it to smash it into the back of the net.
Claremorris were yet to have a sniff at goal and Celtic continued to lay waste to their opposition. Jason Hunt was the provider for the third goal, he played a through pass to Jordan Loftus who did what he has done best this year. He fired a low shot beyond the keeper and wheeled away in celebration, his arms outstretched.
They couldn’t get carried away too early and Claremorris got a goal in somewhat fortunate circumstances. Ben Murphy’s pass back to Gerard O‘Boyle was intercepted by Finian Brady. Brady played Rokas Mikuckis clear through on goal. Mikuckis fired past Ultan McKenna from just outside the box to score his 15th of the campaign.
Claremorris failed to capitalize on any nerves that might have sunk into Castlebar Celtic at this stage and the home side put away two more goals to wrap up a brilliant season in the second half. Stevie Ryan leaped powerfully to head down a Claremorris goal kick and Liam Flatley instinctively flicked the ball on with the side of his foot. Jordan Loftus charged at full speed towards goal and buried his hat-trick goal.
“It’s coming home” was the exclamation of Michael McNIcholas when Liam Flatley scored his sides fifth. He robbed Harvey O‘Brien blind and raced through on goal. Flatley didn’t mess around and shot confidently past Keith Saunders.
Castlebar Celtic were headed for dream land and even a goal from Gavin Brady to make it 5-2 could not dampen their spirits. They have come through an impressive campaign, with their 16 wins and two losses meaning that they have picked up 48 points from a possible 54.
CASTLEBAR CELTIC: Ultan McKenna, Rory Nevin, Ger O‘Boyle, Stevie Ryan, Mark Howley, Nicky Canning, Ben Murphy, Johnny Cocozza, Liam Flatley, Jordan Loftus, Jason Hunt. Subs used: Lerlah Hey (for Hunt 73), Corey Scahill (for Cocozza 76), Barry McLoughlin (for Loftus 87)
CLAREMORRIS: Keith Saunders, Noel Mellett, Danny Broderick, Harvey O‘Brien, Brandon Walsh, Finian Brady, Oisin Brady, Rokas Mikuckis, Gavin Brady, David McCracken, Dean Roddy.