Goals by Dave Duffy and Sam Sneed propelled Manhattan Celtic to an historic 2-0 victory over Westchester Kick in the Flamhaft Cup final at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Paul Cowler and Phil James had the assists in the cup victory that made up for the Second Division side's agonizing failure to return to the Cosmopolitan Soccer League [CSL] top flight. Celtic were pipped by United FC on goal difference for the second promotion spot at the end of the season.
The Flamhaft Cup is the first major silverware lifted by the Celts -- who were formed in 1998 -- and the first triumph ever by a CSL club in the New York State-wide competition open to Second Division and Division One reserve teams.
Pat Kelly, a club director and full back, said the entire team had put in a dominant effort.
"Our first trophy was a very sweet one indeed [and] our most disciplined performance of the season," said team manager James Whiteley. "Celtic saved the best for last against a well-organized [and] efficient, if slightly aging opponent."
He lauded the midfield trio of Phil James, David Linn and Yannick Diese for snuffing out Westchester's main threat.
"The team defended as a unit making [goalie] Ed Shone's afternoon one of his easiest of the season," Whiteley added.
Ian Woodcock, Celtic's chairman, toasted his side for a grand effort against their resilient Eastern District Soccer League [EDSL] opponents.
"The lads dug really deep in the second half to find a way through a solid Westchester defense. It was a great performance from the lads and in the end a well deserved win," said the Bray native.
Former Lansdowne Bhoys player-coach Tommy McMenemy was instrumental in Celtic's run to the final with a club-high five goals in as many matches. Cup final scorer Duffy had four goals.
Celtic, meanwhile, won't be sitting on their laurels.
"We are going to add new players to each of our teams this summer," said Woodcock.
The club will be holding weekly trials on Thursday nights [7 pm to 8:30 pm] at Pier 40. Visit www.manhattanceltic.com for more information.
Celtic, who are sponsored by the mid-Manhattan establishment Peter Dillon's [40th and Lexington Ave.], are planning another strong push for promotion. They spent one season in the First Division before being relegated at the end of the 2009-2010 campaign.