Celts - Locals Give Glasgow Friends a Football Lesson
was a thousand pities that an incessant downpour from midnight on Sunday
swept the city, and so almost cut in half the attendance which assembled
at Celtic Park last evening to greet the
Scottish cupholders. Glasgow
Celtic in their annual visit to play their Belfast namesakes in aid of
a crowd of 12,000 despite the heavy rain, which, as Mr
Devlin, in the appropriate after the game speech said might have
deterred anyone except the most enthusiastic football follower turned up
to pay their mite to the Nazareth Lodge Funds, and the receipts of more
than £400 proved an agreeable surprise considering the inclemency of the
weather. Give a good evening-with
the added attraction of two attractive greyhound races, the attendance
would have probably reached the 20,000 mark, and drawn close on £1,000. It was certainly one of the most eventful evenings in the history
of the Belfast Celtic Club.
Earl's victory in the flat race for the Ring Cup came as no bigger turn-up
to the punters than the defeat of the Scottish Cup Holders, who were taken
clean out of their stride by the fast moving and confident local Celts. It was a surprising victory, but thoroughly well deserved on the
run of the play. Early in the game
Belfast Celtic, one could plainly see, declared to win. They set reputations at nought and, confident that they would be
given a chance to play football as the ethics of the game insisted,
provided a really splendid exhibition of the finer points.
am paying them a big-but not an undeserved in stating that the Glasgow
Celts were at no period on equal terms with the Irish League Champions. It was something apart from the usual "friendly" game. It was a cup-tie between two great rivals fighting out the issue
with the spirit of chivalry uppermost, and as an instance of the fine
sporting spirit of the visitors, it may perhaps be stated that no
spectators in the ground cheered harder-or louder than Johnny McFarlane,
or Jimmy McGrory, two famous Glasgow Celts, who were unable to play
through injuries, when Sam Curran drew out Thomson to score Celtic's
fourth goal, and his century of goals for the club. Glasgow Celtic were without Hilley, McFarlane and McInally of their
Scottish Cup winning team. Callaghan,
Donoghue and McColgan deputised.
Scottish Cup holders played six players who have represented their country
in International and Inter-League games in W. McStay, Wilson, J.McStay,
Connolly, A.Thomson, and McLean.
reappeared after a month's absence in the Celtic defence and the usual
forward formation was reverted to. Mr
W.Cowan had charge of the following teams:-
Celtic - Diffin, Scott, Ferguson, Moore, Hamill,
Inch, McGrillen, Ferris, Curran, S.Mahood and J.Mahood.
Celtic - Thomson, W.McStay, Callaghan, Wilson, Donoghue, J. McStay,
Connolly, A.Thomson, McColgan, McMenemy and McLean.
Mr W.Cowan. Linesmen: Messrs.
T Liggett and Matt Loughlin.
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first noteworthy incident was a delightful Ferris movement in midfield, in
which he neatly tricked McMenemy, Thompson and McStay, and sent forward a
deft pass to Curran which the latter was a fraction of a second too slow
in picking up. The game gave early promise of exceptional interest, as the
locals proved both fast and clever, and were by no means overawed by the
reputation of their famous namesakes.
Celtic in fact, might have taken an early lead but for sheer bad luck.
First Curran tried his luck with a first-time shot but skimmed the
bar. Next Stanley Mahood headed a cross from McGrillen just outside the
posts. Diffen then, after a
great McMenemy run, scooped out a shot which McLean was running in to
clinch. An ugly situation was
averted at the expense of a corner.
who was in International form, after fifteen minutes set McGrillen moving.
The latter rounded Callaghan, raced along and crossed a low ball in
front of goal. Curran,
running in, just missed, but Jack Mahood arrived on the spot to pilot the
the First Belfast Celtic Goal, Amidst
was seen the real Glasgow Celtic. For
ten minutes they kept Diffen on tenderhooks, and the local Celtic keeper
was nearly beaten by Connolly after a great run by the latter.
He fell on the ball, turned on it, and scraped it clear.
At this stage, and for the remainder of the game, no player
excelled Ferris in footwork. He
played the Scots at their own game and beat them.
Every movement of the Irish team was initiated by him and he showed
form which would have sent a cross-channel agent, had there been one
present, into raptures over him.
was no mere friendly game. It
was a battle between rival Celts of Glasgow and Belfast, and there was an
appreciable element of clean sporting "needle" rivalry
conditions underfoot - a quagmire in places - did not suit the short
passing Scottish Champions. The
ball ran short for them, and left them guessing, and Scott and Ferguson
intercepted on many occasions when things looked bad for the locals.
After half an hour, Callaghan, in a desperate effort to stop a
winning shot from Ferris, handled in the penalty area and Curran netted
from the spot kick. Five minutes later from a cross by McLean near the corner
flag, McColgan headed through for Glasgow Celtic's opening score.
At this period, Connolly, showing amazing speed raced through the
Celtic defence, but Diffen cut the air like a bird, landed at the Celt's
foot and effected a spectacular clearance.
Half-time Belfast Celtic 2 Glasgow Celtic 1.
a prolonged interval during which the hurdle race took place for the
Glasgow Celtic Cup, the game was resumed.
Belfast Celtic took up the running on the resumption, and Ferris
inside five minutes, initiated the movement which brought the third goal.
Back heeling down the left wing when pressed by W.McStay and
Wilson; he left Inch nicely placed to send over to McGrillen on the other
flank. The ball was returned across the Glasgow goalmouth, was
scrambled for by half a dozen players, and ultimately driven home by Jack
minutes later following a free kick awarded for an infringement by Ferris
upon McMenemy, McStay dropped the ball into the home goal, and Hamill in
attempting to clear headed into his own goal net. The game still continued
as keen as any Cup tie and Celtic exploring the "W" formation in
disconcerting fashion went further ahead.
From a long swinging pass Jack Mahood touched across to Curran.
The latter beat Callaghan, drew Thomson, and as the goalie advanced
shot past him into the empty net. He
was hurt in the effort but must have felt heartened by the terrific
outburst of cheering from every part of the ground which greeted his
hundreth goal in the Celtic colours.
The Belfast team now did as they liked.
Curran, had he been sound, must have surely scored another when
McGrillen crossed low and invitingly across the goalmouth.
He dived headlong into the net but was just a fraction of a second
too late. Hamill later struck the crossbar from 25 yards range.
Celtic made a last despairing rally, and in the last five minutes, Hamill
broke up a clever McColgan and Connolly movement and kicked towards the
corner flag. The ball was
returned, and the game finished in a scramble, with Diffen clearing on the
goal line with two or three Scottish players on top of him.
Belfast Celtic 4 Glasgow
- Belfast: J.Mahood 2, Curran
: McColgan, Hamill (own
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the Pavilion after the match, Mr
Joseph Devlin, M.P., expressed warm gratitude to the directors and
players of Glasgow Celtic for their characteristic kindness in coming
across to play the match. When
they considered the inclement weather, he was sure the visitors would
realise to the full how profoundly everybody appreciated their visit and
their high position in the football world by the magnificent attendance.
They all hoped that Glasgow Celtic would long occupy their position
of pride and pre-eminence which they now held. He especially welcomed Mr
Tom White, chairman of the Glasgow Celtic Club, and President, Scottish
White, in reply, said it was only a delight to them to come over at any
time they could and play for such a deserving charity.
He hoped they would soon be able to come back again and enjoy such
another pleasurable time despite the defeat of their team.
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one sees the Scottish Cup and the Glasgow Cup carried round the ground in
triumph, prior to the start of the game, and looked at the composition of
the cupholders' team, one wondered at the temerity of the Belfast Celtic
eleven in tackling such doughty opponents.
the local Celts were quietly confident. They remembered the narrow Glasgow
victory in the closing minutes of last year's game, and gambled on
reversing the verdict. At the
outset they shaped as confidently as their famous Glasgow brethern.
No player afield excelled Ferris in neat dainty movement, no
Glasgow half-back bettered Hamill's craft and anticipation. No Scottish
winger - neither McLean or Connolly - knew half the tricks which McGrillen
brought forth. Nor did Billy
McStay, the Scottish International back, outshine either Scott or Ferguson.
locals were the more evenly balanced team-not a weak joint in the
armour-while Callaghan was never at home against the Celtic right wing.
He was early left guessing by the clever inter-passing movements of
Ferris and McGrillen, and after a bad start never recovered his balance.
McStay was so busily occupied in defence covering up this weakness that he
was never seen as an attacking force.
The result was that McMenemy and McLean were neglected.
Donoghue was only a breaker-up, nothing more.
McColgan was a poor leader, and never got out of the grip of Hamill,
in Last Evenings Game was the Hamill We Knew Ten Years Ago
owed their victory in great part to the experience of Hamill and Ferris.
The younger players nobly performed their parts, and there was not
a weak spot in the team. They
demonstrated that, given the chance to play a game as it should be played,
there is more ability than is generally imagined in Irish football.
The victory brings me back to a suggestion very much scoffed at,
but true nevertheless, that the Irish League selectors in their
representative games might have fared much better had they selected the
Celtic team en bloc. At the
finish of the game the referee, Mr Cowan, and the linesmen, Messrs.
T.Liggett and Matt Loughlin, handed back their fees.
McMenemy ("Napoleon") the old Celtic international was
surprised at the display of the locals.
He had no idea, he said, that the standard of Irish football was so
high. He thought that there
was real talent in the Belfast Celtic team if properly developed.
He thought them a well-trained lot and a credit to their club.
Callaghan: "McGrillen is a regular bag of weasels.
I did not know what new trick he was going to pull off next.
We have few better outside men in Scotland".
McGrory: "Sorry, I am not playing.
The Belfast boys seem to improve every year.
Was delighted to see Sam Curran scoring his hundreth goal although
it was against my own club. A fellow-feeling makes wondrous kind".
McStay:" A real good team. Not much, if any, behind the standard
of the old days. Ferris is still a great player.
The Glasgow Celtic boys look forward to their annual visit as one
of the prizes after season's work".
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