By Graham Barnstaple
April 23 2012
Celtic’s Under 19 side beat Queen of the South by a record scoreline of 8-0 to win the Youth Cup at Hampden tonight.
The made a statement of intent after only two minutes when they opened the scoring when Filip Twardzik scored from close range. It then took until the 29th minute until the second goal came along, but in the meantimeQueens had fought hard to keep it level.
Their defenders threw their bodies at every shot and at the other end Liam Park squandered a great opportunity when he was sent clear by a poor pass back but his shot was weak and straight at the keeper.
Celtic made it two thanks to skipper Jackson Irvine who hit a sweet shot from the edge of the box. Two goals in the final two minutes of the half sealed the win for Celtic.
The first came from the impressive Dylan McGeouch who beat a couple of defenders before slipping the ball past the keeper. The second came from the penalty spot after sub James Alabi had been fouled, Callum McGregor making no mistake from the spot.
The difference in class became even more apparent in the second half as Celtic score another four. On 67 minutes John Herron slid in at the far post to score from close range, two minutes later McGeouch scored his second.
McGregor went on to seal his hat trick, first by turning in a cross cum shot from Alabi and then from a second penalty when Alabi had been fouled once again.
There is no doubt the investment Celtic have put into their youth programme is paying dividends at this level. Tony Watt missed the game through suspension but showed what he is about with his two goals against Motherwell yesterday.
Two of the goalscorers on the night have also played in the first team this season, Twardzik and McGeouch, and that is how the real success of the programme will be measured.
It was also good to see Queen’s lose with dignity as they applauded the Celtic players as they made their way up the steps to collect the trophy.