Celtic’s u-17 side kicked off their marathon end to the season with a 6-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
Michael O’Halloran’s side have got six more matches to get through this month including trips to Aberdeen and Sevco knowing that five wins from those matches will deliver the title.
After the disappointment of Scotland’s exit from the u-17 European Championships in Croatia it was back to domestic business for Stephen Welsh, Robbie Deas, Kerr McInroy and Jack Aitchison while Daniel Church sat the match out through injury.
It was a sluggish start from the hoops but that changed in the 25th minute when they took the lead with a brilliant goal. Ewan Henderson and Kerr McInroy showed great close control to open up the Killie defence with Henderson taking the ball in close before poking a shot low into the net.
Henderson and McInroy were causing the home defence all sorts of bother and each had chances to add to the lead.
Three minutes from the break Aitchison took advantage of some sloppy defending to slam the ball home from 12 yards out after a McInroy shot broke into his path.
On the hour mark Celtic went on a scoring spree, first up in the 57th minute a corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty box, when Robbie Deas returned it into the penalty box Welsh tucking the chance away at the back post.
Within a minute Henderson completed his hat trick with two well timed runs into the Kilmarnock defence which were matched by his composed finishes.
After that burst of goals Celtic made five outfield substitutions as they utilised the squad to the maximum with a demanding schedule ahead
With two minutes left to play substitute Kieran McGrath completed the scoring.
On Thursday night Celtic face Motherwell at Braidhurst High School.
CELTIC: McAdams; Potter Welsh (McGrath 68) Duffy Deas; Marku (Forrest 81, McInroy (Kennedy 62); Cafferty, Henderson (Robertson 74), McKay Aitchison (Diver 62)