Celtics move on to the John Joe McGovern final after a win that was easy to the touch. Kenny Cox led the way with an impressive performance in front of goal, and the battle between his side and St. Barnabas promises to me in intense and interesting one. 

It was all Celtics in the first half. They led 0-9 to 0-3 at the break and had a high shooting percentage in front of goal. 

St. Raymond’s did open the scoring with an excellent CJ Doherty point, but it was a short-lived lead.  Cox put on a shooting class in the first 20 minutes with three of the next six scores. He also had a goal chance, but it went a begging as Danny McGinty crowded him on his shot and it hit the outside of the post and wide. 

After another Doherty score, this time a free with his right foot, Celtics had three of the final four points of the half. They also had another golden goal chance, but John McArdle was denied by McGinty in the Ray’s goal. 

St. Raymond’s had the first score again in the second half. A long ball from Denis Kilkenny fell to Conor Bowden. He crashed the ball to the net and had his side within three. 

They were so close to level minutes later when Shea Furlong was released by Steve Gomez. His thundering shot was deflected wide by a diving Kevin McArdle for a crucial save. 

It was the let off that Celtics needed as they proceeded to kick six wides before their next score. It finally arrived of the boot of Danny O’Sullivan. It was the start of an avalanche. 

Cox followed with a goal when Cathal Loughnane set him free after a solo run down the left wing, and four further points were scored as the side extended their lead to 1-14 to 1-3. 

While Doherty had the final Raymond’s score, another free when Shea Furlong was fouled, Celtics closed the game out with a final 1-2 burst with Gary Nugent taking his goal very well.  

St. Ray’s were missing a slew of players. It showed, but the lads that they had on hand battled. Thomas Huvane, Mike Ryan, Steve Gomez and Shea Furlong, who continues to impress at senior and junior, were prominent.  CJ Doherty is back to his best, he just needs ball in his direction. 

Celtics had a huge panel on hand. Sean Coyle, Ger McCullough, Kenny Cox, who turned back the clock with a very good display, and Gary Nugent were excellent. 

Celtics: 1 Kevin McArdle, 2 Sean Coyle, 4 Mike Burke, 5 Ryan Green, 6 Ger McCullough, 7 Rory Creegan, 8 Derek McKenna (0-1), 9 Cathal Loughnane, 10 Gary Nugent (1-4), 11 Ryan Logue, 12 Kenny Cox (1-6), 13 John McArdle (0-2), 15 Denis Sullivan. Subs: Richie Morgan (0-1), Danny O’Sullivan (0-1), Keith Lang (0-1).  

St. Raymond’s: 1 Danny McGinty, 2 Lou Bruno, 4 Thomas Huvane, 5 Roger Slattery, 6 Denis Kilkenny, 7 Mike Ryan, 8 Richie Gaule, 9 Steve Gomez, 10 Conor Bowden, 11 Shea Furlong, 12 Pat Ryan, 13 CJ Doherty, 15 Dave Ryan.

Man of the match: Kenny Cox (Celtics).

Referee: Martin O’Connor.

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