Ballymena & Provincial League, Intermediate Division

Belfast Celtic 7-1 Desertmartin

BELFAST Celtic took on Desertmartin in the hopes of rekindling their push for promotion in this season's Intermediate Division.

The home side started tremendously with early pressure as Anthony McGonnell linked up with Eamonn Kelly who came close in the fourth minute. 

It didn’t take long for Belfast Celtic to start their onslaught of the league strugglers. Templeton linked up well with Shane McKernan who fizzed in a cross which was met brilliantly by Kelly who opened the scoring.

In the 10th minute, their lead was doubled. A poorly cleared corner fell to Shane McKernan who hit a fantastic volley into the near post. 

Midfielder Jonathan McClean curled an effort which clipped the bar for Desertmartin, proving to be his side's only real threat in the first period of the game.

Belfast Celtic had hit their stride early on and continued their fantastic start. Before long it was 3-0.  Fullback switched to Fullback as Anthony McGonnells cross found a lurking Sean Hawkins who couldn’t miss, 3-0 inside the first 20 minutes.


Barry Webb almost made it four, as he rounded the Desertmartin keeper who rushed out of his box. Unfortunately, Webb’s effort whistled just wide.

Webb broke through the Desertmartin defence and moments after his miss he rectified his chance and squared the ball to Eamonn Kelly prodding the ball into the empty net. Kelly made it his second and Celtic's fourth of the first half.

The Hoops were rampant, and they didn’t stop there. Desertmartin gifted the ball to McKernan after a mix-up between the centre half and the keeper allowed the winger to knock the ball around the keeper and roll the ball into the empty goal. 5-0 in the 38th minute.

McKernan claimed his hat trick minutes before the halftime whistle blew. Barry Webb’s effort was palmed straight into McKernan's path. He made no mistake and thundered it past McIllhatton making it 6-0 at half-time.

The second half was more of the same relentlessness from the Hoops. Captain, Emmett Templeton got in on the action straight into the second period. In the 47th minute when Denver Taggart caught a half-volley and found the 7th goal for his side. 

Paul McLaughlin saw a much busier second half as Desertmartin began to play with much better intensity after a really poor first half. O’Kane stung the wrists of the keeper with a powerful effort from distance for the away side.

On the hour mark, Webb once again proved to have no luck in a Belfast Celtic goal fest. Substitute Brendan Glackin dribbled inside and thumped an effort at goal which was saved and pushed into the path of the target man Webb, his effort ricocheted just wide shaving the post.  


In the 64th minute, Craig O’Kane reduced the deficit to 6 after he thundered an effort past Paul McLaughlin killing the hopes of a clean sheet. But a mere consolation for Desertmartin which reduced the score to 7-1.

Glackin looked to make it 8-1 after Webb proved to be the provider once again, but the substitute was deemed offside after slotting underneath the Desertmartin goalkeeper.

The game played out at 7-1 but Belfast Celtic put in a near-perfect performance. The performance will put them in good stead for the remainder of the season. Something to build on as they can begin to look up the table.

BELFAST CELTIC: P McGlaughlin, S Hawkins, A McGonnell, L O’Brien, C Mulligan, P Nesbitt, E Kelly, E Templeton, S McKernan, B Webb, D Taggart

Subs: D Snoddon, S Beatty, B Glackin, C McAnena, S Tully, K Farrelly

Goals: E Kelly 7, 33; S Hawkins 21; S McKernan 11, 38, 40; D Taggart 47

DESERTMARTIN: C McIlhatton, M Sloan, M Stewart, K Irvine, A Rowe, B Jones, C Stewart, J McClean, K Neill, C O’Kane, C O’Loan

Subs: D Robinson, M Scott, J Taylor, S McIlhatton, C Jones, P McClarnon

Goal: C O’Kane 64