Tuesday, 17 August 2010 14:10
Castlebar Celtic garnered what could well be a vital point at Pat Quigley Park on Saturday evening as Damien Burke's troops continue their mission to escape the dreaded relegation zone.
Both sides were eager to collect the full quotation of league points on offer, but in a game that was a real end to end encounter, perhaps a draw was a fair result.
Ballyheane were well fired up for this encounter and just one minute into proceedings, the hosts could well have netted the opening goal.
Following some neat build-up play, David Sheridan received possession but his strike flashed agonisingly wide.
Less than a minute later, Castlebar's Seamus Staunton released Kevin Lynch whose sizzling strike crashing against the crossbar, much to the relief of Declan Dillon.
Encouraged by the effort, Castlebar continued to apply pressure on the home defence and their persistence paid dividends on five minutes.
The busy Lynch received possession and the striker's sublime long-range chipped effort ended up in the back of the net, much to the dismay of the beaten Dillon.
Moments later, Maloney could well have added a second goal for the Hoops but from outside the area, his drive was just marginally off target.
Ballyheane's Johnny Nolan, gave an industrious display throughout and he could well have found the back of the net on nine and 12 minutes respectively, but his efforts were aptly saved by Conor Ward.
Undeterred, Nolan continued to go in search of the levelling strike, however following some neat build-up play from John Oosten and Sheridan, Nolan saw his strike once again denied by the alert Ward.
In what was proving to be a real end to end game, Celtic could well have added a second goal on 30 minutes.
A free kick by Barry McLoughlin broke kindly for the poaching Maloney but his close-range effort lacked the required accuracy, much to the relief of the under-pressure Dillon.
With the game finely balanced, Ballyheane could well have restored parity on 36 minutes. Theorin Coghill released Sheridan, with the latter's inviting ball across the face of goal just missing out on a vital touch from the inrushing Keith Cagney.
Ballyheane began the second period in a positive fashion and on 53 minutes, the hosts levelled matters.
A free kick by Brian Murphy, found the poaching Sheridan and the latter's header flew past Dillon, and into the back of the net.
Ballyheane began to gain a foothold on proceedings and they could well have filched a second goal on 72 minutes, but this time Sheridan was denied by the alert Ward.
Castlebar were also eager to try and collect a vital victory, with the busy Ollie Cunningham creating a couple of chances, but the defender's efforts lacked the required accuracy.
During the dying embers of the game, Castlebar's Fintan McHale and John Daly could well have snatched the victory for their team-mates, but their respective efforts failed to trouble Dillon.
Celtic were reduced to ten players when Barry McLoughlin received his second yellow, followed by a red card, from referee Damien McGrath.
In the end, both sides had to be content with a share of the spoils as an intriguing relegation battle continues.
Castlebar Celtic 1
Ballyheane: D. Dillon, N. Tuffy, M. Roche, P. Burke, S. Conroy, B. Murphy, J. Oosten, J. Nolan, K. Cagney, D. Sheridan, T. Coghill.
Sub used: C. Compos.
Castlebar Celtic: C. Ward, O. Cunningham, J. Daly, K. Hopkins, P. Neary, B. McLoughlin, R. Baba, S. Staunton, K. Lynch, S. Smith, J. Maloney.
Subs used: E. Crean, F. McHale, A. Gallagher.
Ref: D. McGrath (Barnatra)
Star rating: David Sheridan. . .industrious display and netted a vital equaliser.