Having already played host to Millwall and Leeds Utd, Shelbourne finished up their series of Summer friendlies on Wednesday night with a game against a Glasgow Celtic XI.
With Alan Keely, Franco Georgescu, Philly Gorman and Anto Flood all nursing injuries, Dermot Keely opted for a much weaker line up than he did recently against Leeds. Robbie Hedderman, Gary McCabe and Alan Byrne were the only players involved that could be considered first team regulars. Also in their starting eleven was recent St Pats signing Jaro Bialek. Celtics squad didn't include any Irish or first team players.
On loan midfielder David McAllister had an early shot for the hosts, but it didn't trouble Celtic 'keeper Scott Fox. Gary McCabe looked lively right from the start. He got on the end of a Darren Forsyth flick on after five minutes, but his low cross was cleared for a corner.
Michael McGlinchey and Derek Riordan combined well for Celtic after ten minutes - but Riordan then foolishly strayed offside. McGlinchey tried his luck from distance a few minutes later, but the Shels goal remained unthreatened.
Former Derry and Linfield midfielder Ryan Semple was guesting for Shelbourne, he clipped the crossbar with a drive from twenty yards. Celtic full back Ritchie Towell was next to have a go from outside the box, he broke free on the right, but his curling effort was always moving away from Vinny Whelans goal.
The two sides continued to trade chances as the half progressed. McGlinchey was close to getting on to a neat through ball, but Whelan was quick off his line and out of his box, clearing the danger at the last second. Alan Byrne then wasted a good position for Shelbourne. He shot high and wide from thirty yards - when he had team mates in much better positions on either flank.
Celtics Mark Millar followed up the play nicely on the half hour mark and shot from thirty yards - but once again Whelan pulled off a fine save.
Keelys side took the lead just before the break. Byrne saw his header from seven yards saved magnificently by Fox. Shelbourne kept the attack alive and sent in another teasing cross from the right. Forsyth got ahead of his marker, and despite the cross having gotten a flick at the front post, he sent his header into the net, giving Fox little chance.
Celtic came out for the second half and immediately looked more intent on doing damage. A couple of early half chances were followed up on fifty three minutes by a fine finish from midfielder Rocco Quinn. Riordan played an infield ball and Quinn feinted to shoot with his right foot, before dragging it on to his left and firing past substitute keeper Fred Davis.
Riordan came close with twenty minutes remaining, but Davis smothered the ball well at the strikers feet. Riordan had two or three further chances to get his name on the score sheet - but a combination of fine saves, and poor finishing meant he didn't get the goal that his performance deserved. Then in the final five minutes a great covering tackle by Sean Young denied him just as he was about to take aim.
Shelbourne: Vinny Whelan (Fred Davis Jnr 46); O'Reilly, Dean Lawrence, Alan Byrne, Robbie Hedderman (Sean Young 46); Gary McCabe (Stephen Doran 43), Jaroslaw Bialek, David McAllister (Murray 46), Ryan Semple, Darren Forsyth (Gavin 63), Brian Farrell.
Celtic XI: Scott Fox; Richie Towell (Matt Hughes 71), Laurence Gaughan, Scott Cuthbert, Ryan Conroy; Rocco Quinn, Simon Ferry, Mark Millar, Kevin Cawley; Derek Riordan, Michael McGlinchey. Subs not used: Ryan Marshall, Carlo Monti, Michael Tidser, Graham.