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On glorious day in Cooke park. Cahir park and Bansha Celtic met to do battle to see who would remain in the premier division and who would be relegated to the first division. it was vital from our point of view that the park won this game, as we want to be playing in the top flight next year , when we will be celebrating our centenary year. the opening ten minutes of this game was a very tense affair, which was understandable considering how much was at stake, and we had an extra setback to cope with after 15 minutes when our captain James Darcy had to retire with an injury, but little did any of us realise the impact his replacement Andy Fitzpatrick was going to have on the game. only two minutes after gracing the field, Andy Fitz made an immediate impact on the game when he received the ball on the left and waltzed past his defender and then found Brian Sweeney close to the end line , and from an impossible angle Sweeney some how dispatched the ball to the net. I must also give a special mention to Brian Sweeney , who amazingly in the first game of the season , ironically against Bansha actually played on goal for us, he then went on to star outfield for the B team ,and score a wonderful tally of 18 goals for them, and when he got the call up to the A team , he answered the call and his critics in the best way possible by hitting the back of the oppositions net. for the next 20 minutes we totally dominated the game and should have increased our lead on several occasions , but like for a lot of the season our failing has been not putting teams away when we are on top, and we were punished after 35 minutes when we conceded a free kick to Bansha in our half, the ball was floated to our back post and Tango Peters rose unchallenged at the back post to level up the game. To our credit we still continued to take the game to Bansha, and with Andy Fitz on the left wing and another star for us this season 17 year old Shane Murphy on the right wing, both causing havoc, we deservedly regained the lead in the 38th minute when yet again Andy Fitz turned his defender inside out , and put a pinpoint pass on to the foot of Mark Costigan, who raced clear of the Bansha defence, his well struck shot was parried by the keeper , but like all good strikers Brian Sweeney was alert and latched on to the rebound and coolly slotted the ball home to give us the lead again. we were well in control at this stage , and we were well worth our lead at half-time.
The second half started in the same fashion and we had most of the play, but could not increase our lead, Fitzpatrick and Murphy were still causing havoc, and with Benny Ryan showing just why so many top club would like to sign him, there looked to be only one conclusion to this game. As the half went on and with only the one goal in it we started to look a bit nervous, and Bansha started to come into the game a bit more. now it was the turn of our defence to shine and they did not let us down, Barry McCormack and Davy Williams at the centre of our defence were rock solid, and considering Davy Williams very nearly had to come off with a rib injury at half-time, his display in the second half was all the more noteworthy, Bansha had a great chance with 15 minutes to , when after some lovely one two football , Tony Egan raced into the penalty area, and only for the combination of the right back Eanna O' Gorman, (another player who is not yet 18 years old and who has been outstanding for us this season)and our keeper Ritchie Tobin, who managed to exert enough pressure on him to make him shoot wide, at this stage we went to one up front and dropped the excellent and always reliable Mark Costigan back into midfield to try and close out the game. then with 5 minutes left on the clock the result was put beyond doubt, when a long ball out of defence from another player who has be a credit to himself and the club all season Paul Conway, found Keith McGuire who passed to Benny Ryan and he struck an unstoppable shot from 25 yards into the roof of the Bansha net, we easily saw out the remaining minutes of the game, and at the final whistle there more of a sense of relief than joy at keeping our club in the premier division. Well done to everyone involved, it's been a tough season, but with all the young talent coming through, the only way is up for this great club.
TEAM:RICHIE TOBIN, EANNA O GORMAN, PAUL CONWAY, DAVEY WILLIAMS, BARRY MCCORMACK, BENNY RYAN, PAKIE O DYWER, JAMES DARCY ( CAPT.)SHANE MURPHY, MARK COSTIGAN, BRIAN SWEENEY, SUBS: ANDY FITZPATRICK FOR JAMES DARCY, KEITH MCGUIRE FOR BRIAN SWEENEY, STEPHEN BURKE FOR PAKIE O DYWER, PAUL MCEVOY, GAVIN BERRY.