RUSHLIGHT CELTIC F.C. GEAR UP FOR THE TREBLE
RUSHLIGHT CELTIC assistant manager Robert Fenton Will ask his players to go out and make history as they take on Apollo F.C in the McCrystal Cup Final at Allan park, 2pm Sunday
The West Belfast side claimed their second Belfast Sunday Premier League title at the weekend, with Stevie Dynes grabbing both goals in a 2-0 win over St Matthew’s. And in doing so, they have taken the second step towards an unprecedented treble, having already secured the Reggie Quinn Memorial Shield earlier in the season.
Of course Apollo will fancy their chances of causing an upset, but that’s exactly what it would be - given that Rushlight have won all of their games in all competitions, except for one defeat. Captain Barry Begley remembers that fateful day against Adelaide in the first half of the season only too clearly, and after hoisting the league trophy aloft on Sunday, he recalled that it wasn’t the worst thing that could have happen to them. He smiled: “It actually turned out to be a good thing, because it made it us pull the finger out for the rest of the season.” And his manager agreed: “We thought we were playing well up until that stage, but we weren’t killing teams off — we were only beating them one and two-nil. “That game gave us a shake-up, and showed us that we needed to show respect to any opposition we come up against, because they had only just been promoted from the previous season.” No doubt, then, the team will be wary of the favourites tag they so deservedly wear ‘ going into Sunday’s game, and will be “ entirely focussed on becoming the first team to complete this achievement.
But what has been the secret of Rushlight’s success.? What has put them in this potentially historic position.? “The biggest reason is probably having such a consistent team with an impeccable discipline” claimed the proud Manager. Joe Graham. “Last season our discipline wasn’t as good as it could, so we addressed that, and it has really paid of for us.” There have been plenty of other contributing factors to Rushlight’s speedy rise to prominence in this season’s Sunday League.
One pleasant surprise has been the emergence of promising 16-year-old winger Graham Boyce. Paying tribute to his impressive first season, at the club, skipper Begley said: “I think with him being so young, the idea was to bring him in gradually. “But he has been so good that it’s made it difficult to leave him out of the side. The wee lad is a machine!” However, the major factor is undoubtedly the pedigree of players that Fenton has at his disposal.
To name just a few, both Brendan Adams and Hugo Dargan are Malachians players, Barry Begley plays for Rosario, and Stevie Dynes (who has netted over 30 goals for the club this term) is with West Belfast. And while in the English Premiership it maybe considered a disadvantage to have players who feature in two 90-minute spells over a 48-hour period, Rushlight’s manager sees it as quite the opposite. He said: “The fact that they choose to play with us on a Sunday shows they realty want to do it , ‘There are plenty of other things they could be doing with their day off yet they choose to join us. It means there are no half hearted players at our club, and that helps us out a lot.
“in my opinion the Sunday football is more relaxed than on Saturdays., we understand that ther players put their Saturday games first, and that the players have to have a life.” ‘We are just grateful that they turn out for us on a Sunday.” There once was a time when Rushlight had a team for Saturdays and one for Sundays, but this proved unfeasible, and the new arrangement has worked out much more favourably for them.
Fenton said: “We used to have a team in the Belfast and District League, but we pulled the plug on it a couple of years ago, because we were putting more emphasis on one team over the other. “Now we are able to concentrate on our Sunday League team, and we are seeing the benefits of it. ‘Sunday football is so well organised and you are guaranteed a referee and linesmen at every match.” So it seems that this progressive team are more than happy to stay put in the realms of the Sunday League. Which is bad news for anyone else who wants to get their hands on their silverware next season.
Fifth time winners of Reggie Quinn Perpetual Shield.
Marty Quinn, son of the legendary Reggie Quinn and referee in the B.S.P.L. presents Rushlight Capt, Tony Heagney, with the Reggie Quinn Perpetual Shield
Rushlight striker Stevie Dynes sets up another Rushlight attack
It was a tight game between Rushlight Celtic and Carrick Hill F.C which was played at Chimney Corner's F.C pitch, Sunday 4th March. At the end of play it was 1. 1. and went into penalty shootout.
Rushlight won the penalty shoot out, with Goalkeeper,Thomas Tracey.(Above) saving two penalties, much to the cheers of Rushlight players and supporters.
Sean Walls, Joe Graham and Rab Fenton.
Patrick McKiernan and Patrick Jnr. soak up the atmosphere
An earlier Rushlight Celtic team with some past and present players