Cool end to season
Celtic came up with feelgood story
One good sign that a sport is in a healthy state is the emergence of relatively small clubs into the role of winners. Coolgreany Celtic, in their 20th year since re-forming, fit the mould and were one of the feel-good stories of the season.
Many will have only noticed their accomplishments from afar. Interest certainly peaked when they made the Wexford Cup quarter-finals and were drawn against Shamrock Rovers. They held their own against the eventual winners, were deadlocked for 40 minutes but didn't get the rub of the green with decisions and eventually went down 3-0.
It was the bread and butter of League Division 3 that helped them end the season on a high. Crucial games came early. A last-gasp goal from Stephen Redmond - who went on to bag a staggering 45 goals but didn't get league 'player of the year' - helped his side to a hard-earned victory over runners-up Fastnet Rovers.
At Christmas Coolgreany still sat ten points from the summit but a string of victories saw the gap narrow. Two massive wins came down the stretch. They trailed Bree 3-0 only to come back and take a 4-3 victory with Redmond netting the winner again.
The champions also came from behind twice against Cushinstown to eventually win the game courtesy of an injury-time strike from Jamesie 'The Bossman' Nolan who, along with Conor Byrne, were two of the most improved performers as the season went on.
There's not many secrets in football but it can sometimes be forgotten how important commitment to the cause is and the Coolgreany lads showed it this season. That was rewarded with manager Garrett Acton rotating the team to give everyone their chance to contribute and the whole squad repaid that trust on the field.
As well as Coolgreany and Fastnet moving up to Division 2A, there was disappointment at the other end of the table where Camolin Celtic and Crossabeg 'B' were cut adrift and will ply their trade in Division 3A next term.
Squad: Carl Coates, Ally Molloy, Colly Molloy, Gavin O'Toole, Robert Barnes, Shane Fleming, Jimmy O'Rourke, John Joe McCarthy, Keith Mordaunt, Seán Mulligan, Colin Fleming, Ger Mudiman, Conor Byrne, James Nolan, Paddy Bergin, Greg O'Rourke, Stephen Redmond, Anthony Masterson, Paul Nugent, Dec Keogh, Conor Cleary, Danny Dixon.
Management: Garrett Acton, Paul Hughes, Robert Barnes.