TOGHER CELTIC 2
BEARA UNITED 0
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
TWO Robbie Lucey goals fired Togher Celtic into the Beamish Cup semi-finals following victory over Beara United in the Race Field.
This quarter-final was played out amid constant rain but Togher remained patient and booked their semi-final berth courtesy of a Lucey brace. Ian Crowley, Cathal Daly, Jamie and Robbie Lucey’s combined efforts ensured Premier Division outfit Togher remain on the hunt for cup glory.
As for an understrength Beara, the Championship team gave a fine account of themselves despite numerous absentees. Dean Murphy, David McCarthy, Gary Hurley and David Green worked tirelessly for the Castletownbere team.
The 2019 Beamish Cup winners are within two victories of getting their hands on the famous trophy once again. Celtic manager Johnny Collins was pleased to reach the semi-finals following a tough encounter.
‘Once you reach the last four, it is the business end and we will be ready to try and get back to another Beamish Cup final,’ Collins told The Southern Star.
‘It will be a neutral venue but it is just nice to be back there once again. We had to fight hard for our win today. I thought we were on top in the first half but didn’t convert our chances.
‘We kept going and that was the most important thing. Robbie Lucey got the two goals for us and, maybe, we could have scored a few more.’
This was no day for attractive one-touch football amid awful weather conditions. Instead, Sunday’s Beamish Cup tie came down to a battle of wills and who would better adapt to the constant rain and slippery playing surface.
Chances were limited during a frantic opening quarter in which both teams took time to settle. The home side threatened from set-pieces with Jamie Lucey and Robbie Lucey deliveries forcing United to clear their penalty area. Next, a superb cross was met by Cathal Daly but the Celtic midfielder’s flicked header shaved the upright. A 0-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of an even first 25 minutes.
United defended an increasing number of attacks thanks to their well-organised back four. Cornelius Sullivan, David McCarthy, Gary Hurley and Adam Donegan gave little away throughout the afternoon. Goalkeeper Dean Murphy proved a safe pair of hands whenever Togher did manage to break through.
A first-time Liam Creedon effort missed the Beara goal by inches as the hosts looked the more likely to score. Beara struggled to make any inroads at the opposite end. Too often, lone striker David Green was left isolated as wingers Aitor Rodriguez and James Spencer worked hard to quell Togher’s advances on either flank.
Creditably, the visitors maintained their shape and restricted Celtic to long-range attempts before Luke Hurley crashed an effort against the crossbar to conclude a goalless first half.
Beara United’s resistance was finally broken with two goals close to the hour mark. Robbie Lucey slid home Togher’s opener following a period of sustained pressure. Next, the young Celtic striker was on the end of a swift move to tap home his and Togher’s second after 62 minutes.
Beara responded positively with David Green shooting wide and Aitor Rodriguez dragging an effort across the face of Celtic’s goal. Togher were equally wasteful during a scrappy ending. Luke Hurley saw a free-kick tipped over the crossbar and that was the closest the home side came to making it 3-0.
Now, a Beamish Cup semi-final awaits a Togher Celtic team capable of beating any other West Cork League side in a one-off tie.
Togher Celtic: Darren Kelly, Kevin Cotter, Ian Crowley, Jamie Lucey, Peter Collins, Liam Creedon, Luke Hurley, Cathal Daly, Eoin Murray, Robbie Lucey, Shane Crowley. Subs: David Mawe, Danny Horgan, Niall Hurley, Dan McSweeney, Paudie Crowley, Johnny Collins.
Beara United: Dean Murphy, Cornelius O’Sullivan, David McCarthy, Gary Hurley, Adam Donegan, Kieran O’Sullivan, Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Michael John Hanley, James Spencer, David Green, Aitor Rodriguez. Sub: Seamus Spencer.
Referee: Sean Doyle.