In a little taster before they clash in next Sunday's NEFL Challenge Cup final at the MDL (12pm) nine-man Trim Celtic denied 10-man Muirhevnamor the Premier Division title with a stunning 4-2 victory on Wednesday night, writes Justin Burke.
Needing all three points to pip Boyne Harps to the Premier title the Dundalk men came up short and handed the psychological edge to Trim Celtic ahead of Sunday's cup final.
Muirhevnamor started the match with a high tempo and fizzed the ball around at pace, but were unable to breach the Trim defence.
Trim Celtic settled into the game and took the lead after 36 minutes when Derek Donohoe picked out Dean Courtney who controlled the ball before crossing where Anto Burke's header was saved by Michael Cooney, but Burke followed up the rebound to fire to the roof of the net.
Muirhevnamor had a goal disallowed for offside a minute later and their bad luck continued when Aaron Williams centred for Burke to grab his second goal and double Trim's lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Louth side before the break when Robbie Gavagan picked up a yellow card for dissent and moments later he was issued a second caution and a red card for a late challenge on Dean Courtney as his side trailed 0-2 at the break.
Within a minute of the restart Trim's lead was three when once again the inspirational Donohoe was involved with his deflected pass falling kindly for Aaron Williams who scored from close range.
Seven minutes later it was 4-0 as Leon Farmer-O'Neill's clearance was chased down by Donoghoe and he knocked the ball past Muirhevnamor 'keeper Cooney and tapped the ball into an empty net.
Muirhevnamor pulled a goal back when Jimmy Cooney's corner kick was dropped to the net by Celtic goalkeeper Aaron Ryan.
Celtic were then reduced to 10 men when Dominic Peppard was yellow carded following an altercation with Muirhevnamor's Martin Smith and after Peppard left the field without permission referee Conor Byrne issued him with a second yellow card and subsequent red.
Moments later Trim were reduced to nine players when goalkeeper Ryan was sent-off for pulling back Martin Smith. Scott O'Leary deputised in goals, but could prevent the spot kick from being scored and suddenly Trim's lead was down to two and they were down to nine players.
However, Celtic held on to secure the morale boosting win, but will now be without both Ryan and Peppard for the cup final.
Trim Celtic - Aaron Ryan; Leon Farmer-O'Neill, James Goggins, Sean Fitzgerald, Robert Dillon, Ciaran O'Connell, Anthony Burke, Paul Munnelly, Aaron Williams, Derek Donohoe, Dean Courtney. Subs - Colm Carney, Luke Dempsey, Eoin O'Connor, Dominic Peppard, Anthony Craig, Cillian Corcoran, Scott O'Leary, Gary Connell.
Muirhevnamor - Michael Cooney; Brian Begley, James Cooney, Niall Hearty, Robbie Gavigan, Philip Duffy, Gary Clarke, Cody McGill, Mickey O'Kane, Tiernan Mulvenna, Vinny Smith. Subs - Martin Smith, Billy Smith, Brendan Hughes, Nathan Murphy, Thomas McShane, Colin Finan, Adrian Rafferty.
Match Officials - Conor Byrne, Michael Bryan, Derek Gaff.