Under 21 Football Championship Round 1
Celbridge fought off a late Balyna comeback to book their place in the Semi-Finals of the Under 21 Football Championship.
Only two points separated the sides come the end so as a result Ross Maycock’s goal was incredibly crucial in helping Celbridge make the next round.
With the aid of that Maycock goal Celbridge led 1-10 to 0-7 at the break but they only scored two points in the second half as Balyna with the help of Jack Robinson who scored 0-10 came roaring back.
Celbridge were without Tony Archbold but they dug deep to secure the win that sets up a last eight meeting with Carbury.
Balyna started the better and could have had a goal after only two minutes when Jack Robinson shot for goal but his effort was stopped on the line before the dangerous full forward eventually took his point.
That spurred Celbridge into life and they scored the next six points with Ross Maycock, Darragh Archbold, Dean O’Donoghue, Kevin Gorman and Sam McHugh all on target to give the hosts a five point lead.
Robinson and Maycock then shared scores as Celbridge led 0-7 to 0-3 halfway through the half.
A 17th minute Balyna point from Sam Doran had the Johnstownbridge and Clogherinkoe amalgamation within three points but they were hit with a sucker punch when a Celbridge counter attack resulted in Ross Maycock finding the net.
Conor Doyle added to that goal with a point and Celbridge had all of a sudden opened up a seven point advantage.
Balyna kicked further points from Doran and Robinson but again Celbridge had a response and efforts from Archbold and Liam O’Flynn had the North Kildare side ahead 1-10 to 0-7 at the break.
Celbridge really should have put the game to bed in the opening minutes of the second half after Maycock had a couple of opportunities for goals but he firstly crashed a shot off the bar before then palming wide from a dropping Archbold point attempt.
Archbold did split the posts in the 36th minute but one point was scant consolation for the dominance they were putting on Balyna at that stage.
Consecutive Robinson frees then had Balyna back to within five points and although Conor Doyle steadied the Celbridge ship it was mostly Balyna for the last quarter.
Robinson with three more frees got his side back in the game as they trailed 1-12 to 0-12 entering the last five minutes and when Mark Grehan brought the gap back to two it looked like they might be able to snatch a result.
Celbridge defended well in the closing stages though and they were able to shut down Balyna’s threat and seal a place in the next round.
Celbridge: Tadhg Halpin; Adam Synott, Lee Maycock, Sam McHugh 0-1, Kevin Gorman 0-1, Cian Powell, John Clarke, Darragh Murphy, Dean O’Donoghue 0-2 (0-1f), Darragh Archbold 0-3, Paddy Wall, Conor Doyle 0-2, Cillian Devlin, Liam O’Flynn 0-1, Ross Maycock 1-2.
Balyna: Tom McDonnell; Mark Newman, Elian Scanlon, Jack Sutton, Jamie Boyle, Killian Galligan, Sean Scanlon, Mark Grehan 0-1, Sean Holton, Shane O’Neill, Sam Doran 0-2, Aedan Boyle, Ashley Langan, Jack Robinson 0-10 (0-8fs), Shane Flynn.
Subs used: Jack Donegan for Langan 38 mins, Karl Langan for O’Neill 45 mins.
Ref; Conor Daly