Celtic Park was in its customary pristine condition when the two sets of teams walked down the tunnel, cheered on by their friends and families on hand to give the Bhoys a cheer. They were joined by club legends Danny McGrain, George McCluskey and John Kennedy, familiar faces at Parkhead and with everyone in good spirits it was shaping up to be a great afternoon.
Sunday 9th May 2010
Celtic Home v Celtic Away
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Legends: Danny McGrain, George McCluskey and John Kennedy
Match Officials: David Munro, Craig Napier, Ross McLeod and Liam Butler
After both teams took part in the traditional pre-match huddle, they started the match in high spirits. However it was the Away team who got off to the better start when not before long they had taken the lead from a well worked goal. No 8 Jimmy Murray picked the ball up on the halfway line and started to drive forward, easily shrugging off the opposition. He then played the ball wide to Danny Shields whose first time return ball found Murray in space, the Left Midfielder spotted goalkeeper James Ryan advancing from his line and cheekily lobbed the ball first time over the head of Ryan and into the back of the net (0-1).
The Home team, sporting the famous hoops, responded well and almost grabbed an equalizer from a good strike by Martin Brown. Ryan McConville played a lovely ball through to the captain who struck from the edge of the box but his low effort could only hit the outside of the post and go behind for a goal-kick.
It was the Away team who threatened next but they were denied by the side-netting. Paul McManus gathered the ball from goalkeeper Peter Bunting before carrying it forward towards the halfway line. The right-back then sent a fantastic looping ball forward which James Derby collected on the edge of the box before hammering his shot towards goal; the No 6 had the option to square it but going for glory he missed out narrowly.
The home team continued to battle for that equalizer, creating some really good chances. A corner resulted in a goalmouth scramble where Kevin MacRury managed to squeeze a shot through the wall of defenders but his effort hit the post before being cleared by the Away defenders.
Moments later and they came close to leveling the scoring again; some good play from McCluskey allowed Gerard Diamond Jr to tussle with the defenders before striking a shot at goal but Bunting got down well and saved.
Half-Time: Celtic Home 0 - 1 Celtic Away
It was the Home team that got the second-half underway, determined to grab an equalizer and level the scoring, but unfortunately some words of wisdom from Danny McGrain at half-time had spurred the Away team on and it was to be the team in White that got the first goal of the half. Captain Sean Conaghan gathered the ball and played it to legend George McCluskey who had changed teams at half time. He in turn played a great ball through to Jimmy Murray who showed great skill to chip the ball up and volley home with a powerful left-footed effort for his and his team's second goal of the game (0-2).
A third goal followed soon after for the Away team when George McCluskey collected a kick out from opposition goalkeeper James Ryan just inside the opposition's half. McCluskey showed his striking prowess by driving forward with the ball before striking with force from 20 yards into the net (0-3).
Paul McManus was the next player on the scoresheet for the Away team. The right-back found himself in an unusual position, being one-on-one with the goalkeeper after No 9 Jimmy Murray played a searching ball through. McManus then closed in on Ryan before rounding him and placing the ball into the empty net; very composed for a right-back in the penalty area! (0-4)
The Away team continued to dominate and despite the Home team keeping their heads held high they found it hard to weather the storm. Tony Curran gathered the ball in the middle of the park and sprayed it forward to Shields; the striker then closed in on the goalkeeper and struck well but Ryan saved well with feet. The rebound then fell for Hollywood actor Curran and he made no mistake with a first time effort to make it five (0-5).
Jimmy Murray was next to increase the lead for the Away team, confirming his hat-trick. A lovely link up in the middle of the park with George McCluskey allowed the skillful midfielder to close in on the keeper and lob the ball over Ryan and into the net; the keeper got a hand to it but unfortunately for the Home team it wasn't enough to keep it out of the net (0-6).
The Home team finally grabbed a consolation goal and it was arguably the best goal of the game! Mark Bavis intercepted the ball around twenty yards out and struck a sweet shot into the top right corner of the net, leaving goalkeeper Peter Bunting with no chance at all (1-6).
George McCluskey then showed why he totaled 141 professional goals in his career when he bagged his second goal of the game. The former Celt and Leeds United man intercepted the ball from Robertson before striking right-footed past the outstretched arm of the keeper from the edge of the area (1-7).
That was to be the last of the scoring in a highly entertaining and impressive second half performance by the Away team. The warm handshakes at the end highlighting the tremendous spirit that the match had been played in.
Full-Time: Celtic Home 1 - 7 Celtic AwayMan of the Match Home: Mark Bavis
Home Team: James Ryan, Ken McGowan, Michael McCready, Daniel McLaughlin, Stuart Murray, Ryan McConville, Kevin MacRury, Martin Brown, Mark Bavis, Gerard Diamond, Stephen Roberts, Peter McCready, Martin MacRury
Mascot: Finn McCool
Away Team: Peter Bunting, Paul McManus, Sean Conaghan, Barry Johnston, James Derby, Craig Kerrigan, Jimmy Murray, Jimmy Murray, Neil MacDonald, Danny Shields, Stephen Hutchison, Thomas Ferns, Emo Ros
Mascot: Paul Hutchinson