Three fall for Celtic as colts land a treble

AN HISTORIC treble may have eluded Neil Lennon's Celtic during this season's campaign.

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Celtic Under-17s celebrate after beating Ayr United 2-1 in the League Cup final at Somerset Park
Celtic Under-17s celebrate after beating Ayr United 2-1 in the League Cup final at Somerset Park

Yet it would be a feat not outwith the Parkhead club's grasp, courtesy of the efforts from their academy kids who rounded off a hat-trick of titles yesterday afternoon.

After already winning the U19 league as well as the Glasgow Cup in recent weeks, the Celtic U17s finished their campaign in style with a fine 2-1 win over Ayr United in the SPFL U19 League Cup final at Somerset Park.

Despite several of the Bhoys squad being away on Scotland duty in Malta at the European Championship, the Glasgow club showed great character to not only take the lead through Ciaran Lafferty, but to bounce back and nick the win just 60 seconds into extra-time through Luke Donnelly following Ryan Nisbet's leveller for the hosts.

"It feels brilliant. We felt we could have got the job done in 90 minutes but we always knew we could it if did go to extra time," said the cup winner when speaking to the official Celtic website.

"I felt as if I could turn my man and as soon as I do so, I knew I could score and managed to do it.

"Obviously cup finals are going to be tense but you just need to forget about the occasion and play the game and how you play every week.

"That's what I tried to do and luckily my shot went in.

"It's always good to win and to do it in a cup final after all the hard work you have put in over 120 minutes and I felt we deserved it.

"The boys have been excellent and we have been a great team who are very hard to beat.

"We have also done well in the finals when we needed to - we have always pulled it out the bag."

Donnelly also gave praise to stand-ins from the U16 ranks who stepped up to the plate as seven of their senior colleagues were off on international duty.

He said: "Guys like Josh [Kerr] Innes [Murray] and the guys who came off the bench like Theo [Archibald] were excellent and I felt they stepped up to the plate today.

"We knew Ayr would be hard to be beat, be defensively good and strong, but we knew we had the quality to hurt them and eventually we did that.

"It took us a bit longer than we thought, but we managed it.

"We are all very happy."

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