Pre-Season Friendly

Donegal Celtic 0-4 Crumlin Star 

SATURDAY'S pre-season friendly against Donegal Celtic showed Crumlin Star still have what it takes, after finishing third in this year’s NAFL Premier Division last season.

Star immediately set the pace for the game within the first five minutes, launching into the attack and working hard to break down the stubborn defence from Celtic. Ten minutes in their first chance presented itself and Aidan McNeill took a shot at goal, only for it to be saved by Celtic’s ‘keeper Gerard McKeown.

In the first half, Star dominated on possession, working hard to ensure Celtic never got a chance at the ball.

However, Celtic rallied at 18 minutes after being awarded a free kick, but the chance went wide.

A few minutes later, Celtic got another good chance when Star’s goalkeeper Ciaran McNeill ran out of the box to intercept a tackle, only for Celtic to brilliantly work the ball around leaving the goal open, and a goal would have been had for the West Belfast men if it wasn’t for the quick thinking of Star’s defence who intercepted at the last moment.

Things began to unravel for Celtic after this, when their goalkeeper Gerard McKeown fouled Barry McKervey inside the box resulting in a penalty, which saw McKervey put the ball into the back of the net, putting the North Belfast men into the lead.

Crumlin Star kept up the pressure after this, hoping to crack Celtic, and this led to some amazing attempts by the North Belfast men, with Barry McKervey orchestrating a brilliant run, catching the ball mid-air, and turning and rapidly shooting at goal, only for it to narrowly miss by going over.

Near half-time, Star's Kevin Lynch engineered a fantastic run, taking Celtic’s defence by surprise, allowing him to put the ball into the back of the net, setting the North Belfast men two up at the end of the half.

The second half got going with Donegal Celtic keen to try and claw back some goals to put down Star’s lead, and there was a brilliant chance from Niall Dixon who caught the North Belfast men unawares, but the shot was just too high by inches.

Seeing this, Star immediately hit back immediately when James Doyle took a run for Celtic’s net, got past the defenders, but hit the shot so it looked like it was just about to go wide of the post when out of nowhere Eamon Clarke hit the ball full pelt with a sliding double footed tackle, whacking it into the back of the net, putting the North Belfast men three up.

Only moments after that goal, Star hit back again with another when Paul Scullion took a run, outmanoeuvring Celtic’s defence and putting away a fourth goal for the side.

By this time, it was pretty much all over, and although Celtic attempted another few forays in a bid to change the scoreline, it couldn’t get through the Star defence and the game ended shortly afterwards.

Donegal Celtic: G McKeown, T Larkin, P McPeake, C Savage, S Burns, R McAuley, B Breen, C Walsh, M Skillen, M Gallagher, C Glenholmes

Subs: C Giniff, A Philpot, S Morelli, N Dixon, C Young, E O’Halloran

Crumlin Star: C McNeill, P McConnell, M Lyons, K Trainor, P McIlkenny, B McKervey, J McNeill, G McGuire, A McNeill, S Smith, K Lynch 

Subs: P Scullion, J Doyle, K Hagan, E Clarke

Goals: B McKervey 10, K Lynch 42, E Clarke 84, P Scullion 86