Richie Ryan (St. Michael's) and Sean Browne (Clonmel Celtic) in a race for possession.
The fact that St Michael’s beat Clonmel Celtic on Sunday was probably not much of a shock to followers of football in South Tipperary. The scale of the victory however, an 8-1 hammering, will have sent shockwaves through those looking in.
Saints always had too much for an understrength Celtic who were never competitive in a one sided game that was over as a contest before half-time.
The game started sluggishly and the opening exchanges on both sides saw a lot of passes going astray. The visitors however were beginning to win the majority of the ball by the time they took the lead in the 11th minute when Paul Breen volleyed a Jimmy Carr free to the net.
Celtic had a chance to level the game shortly after when Niall Prendergast headed just wide from a Darren Burns cross, but the Saints went 2-0 ahead in the 22nd minute when a John O’Brien effort from all of 30 yards managed to beat the home side’s stand-in keeper.
Luke Quinn’s pace saw him make up ground to get on the end of a David Slattery flick on the half hour but his left foot half volley went just wide.
Four minutes later a good move saw O’Brien get to the bye line and he pulled back for Jimmy Carr to easily find the net from six yards to make it 3-0.
The home side pulled one back on 36 minutes when a hopeful long ball saw Jonathan Kennedy’s back header loop over the advancing Adrian Walsh, but the Tipperary town side restored their three goal lead when David Slattery scored the goal of the match with a bending right foot shot from the right of the area just before the break.
Any hope that Clonmel Celtic might make an unlikely comeback in the second period ended six minutes in when John O’Brien got his second and his side’s fifth goal when he was on hand to convert a rebound following a Jimmy Carr shot.
The game as a contest deteriorated as Saints eased up and kept the ball while repeatedly pinning Celtic back in their half. Substitute Richie Ryan burst through from an Ollie O’Driscoll lay off ten minutes from time to easily finish past Hawkins and make it 6-1 and Ollie O’Driscoll then hit a brace of quick goals in the final three minutes to give his side their largest ever win at the Bypass against Celtic.
O’Driscoll’s first was a good header from a Chris Higgins corner and the second was a tap-in from close range as Saints asserted their dominance on the game right to the very end.