Stars say goodbye as Donegal Celtic ready for play-off
Published 30/04/2013 | 07:59
Glenavon 3 Donegal Celtic 1: Two old war horses and a rising star waved farewell to supporters at Mourneview Park on Saturday.
Glenavon veteran Davy O'Hare and Celtic's Paul McVeigh were given a sympathetic guard of honour to mark their retirement.
But for Mark Haughey there was a standing ovation when manager Gary Hamilton substituted off a minute from time.
Unlike the other two, 22-year-old Haughey is sure to be back but as part of the Linfield revolution.
Haughey's departure is a massive blow for Glenavon but the comforting fact was the emergence of the ice cool kid being ear marked to take his place. Jordan Dane, just 18 and recently named in Stephen Craigan's Northern Ireland U19 squad, looks ready made for the challenge.
Glenavon won with goals from Grant Gardiner and two from sub Matthew Rooney.
As for Celtic, for whom McVeigh scored from the penalty spot, their focus was more on the Premiership survival play-off with either Institute or Warrenpoint Town.
That's why manager Pat McAllister left more than half his regular starters sitting in the stand.
This latest defeat was Celtic's 23rd in their 38 starts, with only won six matches all season.
Even so, McAllister insisted: "Yes we are faced with a massive challenge to stay in the Premiership but we are more than good enough to beat either Institute or Warrenpoint over two legs.
"No motivation is needed for everyone is aware of the importance this club attaches to staying in the Premiership."
• GLENAVON have signed winger Adam Foley (23) from Glebe North, a member of the Republic's Regions Cup team. Gary Hamilton has also agreed terms with a second player but won't name him until he has signed.