The Firsts kept up their pursuit of the Premier League title with a superb victory over one of their closest rivals Celtic Bhoys in Downpatrick at the weekend – taking their run to nine league games unbeaten.
Celtic started off in confident fashion and looked dangerous especially coming down the left hand side but only carved out one chance of any note that goalkeeper Odhran Devlin made a good save in what turned out to be their last real effort of the first half.
Colts took control of the game and produced some great attacking football and took the lead when skipper Rory McDonnell got on the end of a great free kick by Darragh Brownlee and he headed home the opener.
Kealan Devlin and Michael Deeny were controlling the middle of the part and it wasn’t long until the Colts doubled their lead with an unbelievable finish from Brownlee. Stevie Doherty had made a great run down the right and his shot was saved by the goalkeeper – the rebound reached the striker on the edge of the box and he flicked the ball in the air and hit a wonderful half volley into the net off the post. This was as good a strike as you will see at any level of football.
Celtic came out in the second half determined to get back into the game but Devlin in goals was in fine form, ably supported by great performance by the back four of Joe Sweeney, playing his first game since the middle of October, McDonnell, Conor Cassidy and the highly impressive youngster Jack Crompton. Conor Magee, Nico McDaid and Arrron Waddell all got called into action to ensure Carryduff secured another great victory in a memorable season to date.
Up front, Sean Irwin was immense, never giving the Celtic defence a minute’s peace to earn the man of the match accolade. But he only just pipped that man Brownlee who capped a terrific performance with a chip over the goalkeeper 15 minutes from the end to seal the points and join Stevie Doherty as top scorer on 13 goals.
The only disappointment was that the outstanding Calum McSorley had to be taken off injured after a shocking tackle which is likely to see him out for a number of weeks.
Colts will be aiming to keep this great run going when they take on Tollymore on Saturday at Lough Moss in their first home game for a month.
Colts: O.Devlin, Sweeney, Crompton, McDonnell, Cassidy, Deeny (Magee), McSorley (Waddell), K.Devlin, Irwin (McDaid), Doherty, Brownlee
Colts Seconds kept up their push at the top of the table with a terrific 4-2 win over Valley Rangers at Kilkeel.
The visitors went 1-0 down to a penalty and were finding it hard on a difficult pitch until Jonny Henry fired in an equaliser before half time when he headed home a great cross from Jamie Maynes.
Carryduff really found their feet in the second half and went 2-1 home from another Henry header from a Luke Holding corner.
Caleb Keating came on with 30 minutes remaining and really lit up the game and made it 3-1 shortly after. Valley rangers then pulled one back, but Henry then completed his hat-trick when he got on the end of pass by Jordy Toal and finished. He almost had a fourth goal for himself with a wonderful scissor kick volley but the keeper made a great save.
Goalkeeper John Mulholland was outstanding throughout as was Stevie Laverty, but man of the match was hat-trick hero Henry.