On a memorable final day of action in the Brian McCormick Sports Division, Rathmullan Celtic clinched a first ever Premier League title with victory in Glenea.
Glenea United 0
Rathmullan Celtic 2
Going into this game, they knew that the title would be their’s if they bettered Lifford Celtic’s result against Kilmacrennan.
And as the final whistle blew at the end of Sunday’s contest, the rush of the Rathmullan bench and supporters to the pitch soon let the players know they had done enough to claim the title in dramatic fashion.
Rathmullan’s 2-0 victory sealed the deal in a hard-fought match and there were ecstatic scenes as Rathmullan captain Shea Coyle lifted the league trophy aloft.
The game itself was a close affair and with so much at stake, it took a little time for both teams to settle.
The first opportunity fell the way of the visitors but when the ball fell to Paddy Sheridan following a corner, Glenea cleared the threat.
Glenea’s first chance fell to Ryan McFadden when he picked up Sean McBride’s pass in the 14th minute, but he failed to trouble Ian Strain’s goal.
Rathmullan began to dominate possession for a spell and although they began to increase the pressure on their hosts, some stout defending meant little by way of clear goal opportunities came their way.
As the action heated up Rathmullan suffered a major set back when player/co-manager Paddy Sheridan landed very awkwardly when leaping to challenge in the air. Straight away referee Mick Lagan signalled to the bench for help and it was clear his match was over and on came Ryan Connolly.
In the 35th minute Rathmullan took they lead. They won a free wide on the right hand corner and Davis Miller’s looping cross caused Joe Coll to flap at it and the ball fell behind him and into the net. Rathmullan’s Eamonn Sheridan came close with a header minutes later from a Connolly cross.
In the second half Rathmullan began to look more comfortable on the ball and within eight minutes of the restart, they were 2-0 up after Darragh Patton latched onto a slick Eoin Sheridan pass to hit a low powerful drive into the corner.
That goal put Rathmullan into a strong position and they almost scored again when Chris Barrett’s shot clipped the Glenea post.
All that was now needed was the right result from Lifford’s game and the reaction from the visiting bench and travelling supporters suggested that’s exactly what had happened.
It was a famous win for Rathmullan Celtic who have now won three league titles and the Brian McCormick Cup in the past four seasons.
Glenea United: Joe Coll, John Harley (Jason McGee 45 mins), Eugene Maguire, Padraig McGee, Sean Coll, Shaun Maguire, Sean McBride (Eamonn McHugh 75), Kevin Mulhern (Dean Gallagher 65), Ryan McFadden, Daniel Coll, Darren McGeever.
Rathmullan Celtic: Ian Strain, David Miller), Patrick Patton, Kieran Gorman, Shea Coyle, Christopher Barrett, Paddy Sheridan (Ryan Connolly 27), Eoin Sheridan (Niall Doherty 80), Eamonn Sheridan (Kevin McCarry 80), Glen Boviard, Darragh Patton.
Referee: Mick Lagan.