PREVIEW | Rock Celtic v Ardee Celtic

Rock Celtic v Ardee Celtic | U17 Dundalk Schoolboys League title decider | Saturday, April 22nd — 2pm | Sandy Lane, Blackrock

Rock Celtic’s Aidan Curtin gets ahead of Lorcan Donnelly of Ardee Celtic in the game between the two sides at Sandy Lane in February. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Rock Celtic go into Saturday’s Dundalk Schoolboys League U17 Premier Division title decider with Ardee Celtic as favourites to lift the trophy.

The Seasiders only need a draw at their home ground in Sandy Lane to see off the Deesiders who missed the chance to go top of the table after losing to Glenmuir on Wednesday night.

Rock Celtic were runners-up in last season’s U16 Premier Division but they are no strangers to winning league titles in the past.

Under the guidance of former Dundalk FC player, Brendan O’Callaghan, many of the current Rock players were part of the squad that won four successive league titles at U12, U13, U14 U15 level.

Rock Celtic’s Peter McStravick (left) is congratulated by Neil Smyth after completing his hat trick in the 5–0 win against Ardee Celtic back in February. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Top striker Kizito Ekwueme can be a handful for any defence and has already played several games this season for Rock Celtic’s first-team in the North East Football League.

Rock did lose their midfield general, Liam O’Callaghan, to the Monaghan/Cavan U17 League of Ireland team but Oisin Meegan has stepped up and they also have the best left winger operating in the U17 League in Aidan Curtin.

Ardee Celtic will be hurting after their heavy midweek defeat to Glenmuir but this game is the ideal opportunity for them to bounce back and retain their league trophy.

Ardee Celtic’s John McMahon and Joseph Osat of Rock Celtic. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

The mid-Louth side also lost one on their main players during the season when Neil Kerr signed for Dundalk FC’s U17 team but they still possess lots of quality in their ranks.

The Blackrock outfit were 3–0 winners the last time these two teams met but, on their day, Ardee Celtic can be a match for any team.

The partnership of former Drogheda United player Tristan Knowles and former Dundalk Schoolboys League Milk Cup player Jamie Farrell is capable of opening up any defence.

Kick-off at Sandy Lane on Saturday is at 2pm.

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