Moville Celtic will drown their shamrocks as the Strand Hotel Division One champions after a Michael McNaught hat-trick fired them to the title.
Gleneely Colts 0 Moville Celtic 4
By Chris McNulty at Glenview Park
The Glencrow outfit have been on course for glory for some time now and make their return to the top flight as champions after a St Patrick’s Day win over Gleneely at Glenview.
McNaught’s treble and a Connor Lafferty goal sealed the deal for John L Coyle’s team, who have dropped just four points all season.
With just a home game against Glengad Reserves to come, could end their League campaign unbeaten.
Moville got the opener they craved and deserved on 33 minutes as McNaught crashed home from Caolan Doherty’s cross.
Any doubts were firmly extinguished when Lafferty lobbed Ben Miller, the Gleneely ‘keeper, for a cheeky second after the hosts failed to clear from McNaught’s cross ten minutes into the second half.
Miller saved well from Nathan Harkin, who was put clear by a long ball out of the Moville defence as the visitors sought a third.
They got their third in the 68th minute as McNaught tucked home after Miller parried from Caolan Doherty.
Twelve minutes from the end, McNaught rounded Miller, after Antonio Rea’s ball up the left channel, and tapped home to complete the rout – and take Moville’s goals tally to 66 in 17 games.
This fixture was only pencilled in at the eleventh hour with Moville initially having been slated to meet Aileach Reserves in the Charlie O’Donnell Cup final. However, an unplayable pitch at Maginn Park yesterday evening meant the final was cancelled and the clash at Glenview hastily arranged.
Moville fashioned an opening inside the first 30 seconds as Canning and Connor Lafferty combined to tee up Caolan Doherty, who was put off his stride at the vital moment.
Lafferty flashed inches wide and Doherty arched dangerously across goal with Moville’s intent clear from the get-go.
Gleneely, though, weren’t going to surrender. Nor, indeed, were they going to give Moville a free pass to the silverware.
JJ Doherty headed narrowly over from a fine deliver by Dylan McDaid. Doherty was closer still when, with an improvised first-time shot, it momentarily seemed as if he would find the top corner. Ryan Coyle, the Moville ‘keeper, was able to stop.
But the warning shots stung Moville into gear again.
McNaught, picked out by Harkin’s diagonal pass, was denied by a brave block by John Doherty while Canning whizzed a deflected effort into Miller’s arms.
After McNaught’s opener, Miller, somehow, prevented a second.
First, Miller denied Caolan Doherty with his feet. When Doherty centred for McNaught from the rebound, Miller remarkable stuck a foot out to thwart the Moville attacker.
They couldn’t keep Lafferty as bay as bagged a second and Moville were firmly on their way.
Gleneely Colts: Ben Miller, Eddie McNamee (Gavin McLaughlin 50), Kevin Doherty, John Doherty, Jordan O’Brien, Adrian Duffy (Nathan McLaughlin 78), Dylan McDaid (Chris Connor 82), JJ Doherty, Corey O’Brien, Joe McLaughlin, Paul Gamble.
Moville Celtic: Ryan Coyle, Ryan McColgan (Paurick Skelly 79), Antonio Rea, Charlie Gill, Fin McLaughlin, Shane Canning, Michael McNaught (Matthew McLaughlin 79), Nathan Harkin, Caolan Doherty, Connor Lafferty (Ryan Killen 74), Connor Doherty (Norbert Indyka 64).
Referee: George McLaughlin.Tags: