A Cork soccer resource. This is an archive of mini club histories that I have published over the years. To find your club, check the label list on the left side or else use the "search the blog" box above. If you spot any errors (esp. in dates) contact

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Hill Celtic AFC.

Three heads are better than one. That's the experience at Hill Celtic where a three man selection team has produced a high rate of success in the ten seasons since the Watergrasshill club was founded.

The current three wise men, Donal O'Callaghan, Mick O'Leary, and Moss O'Keeffe, must have thought that the magic touch had deserted them at the start of this season's campaign, their first in Premier A. It could also be their last: five games sped by before their first success and three points from their first eight outings spelt relegation.

But their two most recent performances, a titanic FAI Cup tussle against Greenmount Rangers (Celtic lost 1 - 0) and then a sensational 5 - 1 hammering of title contenders St John Bosco's, have sent spirits soaring in the Celtic camp and boosted their survival chances.

O'Callaghan, who has served the club in many roles, is the club secretary and treasurer and he was the captain when they won 3B in 1993. In the next season, they won the league in 2B and made their first appearance at Turner's Cross but lost to Douglas Hall in the final of the President's Cup.

Successful visits to the Cross followed in 1997 (when they beat Hillington in the St Michael's decider) and in 1998 (when they won the County Cup by beating St John Bosco's B). Last season, they pipped Temple to take the 1B championship and a hard earned place in Premier A.

Two of the three man selection crew, Mick O'Leary (captain) and Moss O'Keeffe, are still playing and that means that O'Callaghan has the major sideline responsibility while games are in progress. The trio also illustrate the loyalty that players have shown to the Watergrasshill club as all three were there in the early years. O'Leary is a rock solid defender while Moss O'Keeffe, quite a good all round performer has, given his relatively modest size, a surprising ability in the air, always a danger when Andrew O'Flynn fires over one of his corner kick specials or one of his amazing long throws.

O'Callaghan isn't the only Celtic man with more than one function. John Barton, popularly known as Johnny B, is quite a handy player for the Watergrasshill outfit; off the field, he is both chairman and PRO. He says that the club "is

kindly sponsored by The Fir Tree Inn. We play all our home games in Celtic Park, which is situated two miles from Watergrasshill - turn left by the Fir Tree and follow the signs - and we have been there since our formation in 1991. We train every Tuesday night in the local hall".

While Celtic did well to get to the penultimate round of the Cork area of the Statoil FAI Junior Cup before going under to Greenmount in a classic, their depleted side fell to Ilen Celtic in the first round of the Munster Junior Cup. Barton reports better luck in the AOH: "We are currently through to the 5th round of the competition but face a tough away trip to Macroom".

The cancellation of fixtures due to the foot and mouth crisis, the reasons well understood by the Celtic players, many of whom work in the agricultural sector, couldn't have come at a worse time according to Barton: "Things were on the up and our last outing was our best victory to date, that convincing 5-1 away win over St John Bosco's. Three goals in a hectic opening ten minutes put us on our way. Our goal-scorers were Pat Walsh (2) and Donal O'Shea (2) and we also had an own goal."

Barton says that, in the longer term, the club wants promotion to the Premier division but stresses that the primary aim for this season "is to preserve our hard earned status in the Premier A division and to enjoy some cup success."

This year's panel consists of John O'Keeffe, Sean Hegarty, Kieran O'Callaghan, Andrew O'Flynn, Mick O'Leary, Brendan Walsh, Willie O'Leary, Ger Crowley, Dinny O'Leary, Kieran Coakley, Terry Broderick, Moss O'Keefe, Donal O'Shea, Johnny Dorgan, John Barton, George Johnson, Pat Walsh (leading scorer on eight).

The club's B team was formed three years back and entered division 3B of the AUL where they are still plying their trade. The team, which is managed by Pat Foley and skippered by Paul Sharkey, is mainly an outlet for the younger talent of the club. If Foley can repeat the feat of 1993, then Hill Celtic are in for another good decade.

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