FIFTEEN minutes after mid-day and this MDY SFC 2nd round clash between Celbridge and Ballymore Eustace got under way at St. Conleth’s Park and if the early start had anything to do with this offering maybe we should play more games at this time because this was a cracking contest from start to finish, writes Tommy Callaghan.
MDY Construction Senior Football Championship Round 2
Ballymore Eustace: 1-10
Underdogs, Ballymore certainly began like they meant business hitting the two opening points of the game through Colin Clarke and and Shane Kavanagh as Celbridge struggled to find their early rhythm.
A fine move involving Conor Brophy and David Byrne ended with Cormac McEvoy getting the boys in blue on the score board and when Tom Fitzgerald added another the sides were level after nine minutes.
James Kavanag converted a free but again Celbridge hit back, this time with a Shane Harte converted free.
Shane Kavanagh, who was giving the Celbridge defence a torrid time, got his second mid-way through but Mick Wright had them all abord again with a lovely long range effort.
Corner back, Niall Donnelly, had Celbridge in front for the first time after 22 minutes but Ballymore Eustace responded brilliantly with a top class three man move involving Shane Kavanagh, Tadhg Grace ended with Mark McCarville finding the net to put side ahead 1-4 to 0-5 after 25 minutes.
David Hughes and Mark McCarville exchanged points before two Shane Harte scores had the sides level at the break, Ballymore Eustace 1-5 Celbrige 0-8.
David Byrne and a James Kavanagh exchanged points before Celbridge opened up a two point lead with points from Fergal Conway (just on the pitch) and Shane Harte, David Byrne, now opeating at no. 14 with Conor Brophy moving to midfield.
James reduced the deficit with a ponted free but a Celbridge attack saw Tom Fitzgerald through on goal but he blasted his effort left and wide.
Ballymore were back on level terms on 47 minutes with Stehen Dwyer setting up Shane Kavanag for the equaliser.
Hugh McGrillen had a great opportunity to get on the score sheet but he miss-directed a hand pass when a score looked on the cards.
Shane Harte edged Celbridge ahead again but two minutes later Eoin Kavanagh tied them up once again.
It could have gone either way at this side. David Byrne drifted out to gather and his a brilliant point but Keith Conway responded in kind to leave up again with just two minutes left on the clock.
Michael Konstantin got foward, taking a pass from Hugh McGrillen to push Celbridge back on top.
Ballymore came storming back and a chance to equalise but Peter Lawler’s long range effort drifted right and wide and while Hugh McGrillen had a chance to extend the lead, he too failed to find the target as the full time whistle arrived, much it has to be said, to a very relieved Celbridge side.
Celbridge, Shane Harte 0-6 (3 frees), Cormac McEvoy 0-1, Tom Fitzgerald 0-1, Michael Wright 0-1, Niall Donnelly 0-1, David Hughes 0-1, Fergal Conway 0-1, Michael Konstantin; 0-1, David Byrne 0-1.
Ballymore Eustace, Mark McCarville 1-1, James Kavanagh 0-3 (3 frees), Shane Kavanagh 0-3, Colin Clarke 0-1, Keith Conway 0-1, Eoin Kavanagh 0-1.
Shane McNamara; Niall Donnelly, Michael O’Grady, Ollie Lyons; Daragh McEvoy cpt, Hugh McGrillen, Michael Konstantin; David Byrne Michael Wright; Conor Brophy, Pádraig Fitzgerald, Cormac McEvoy; David Hughes, Tom Fitzgerald, Shane Harte. Subs: David Wright for Cormac McEvoy (half time); Fergal Conway for Padraig Fitzgerald (37 minute); Mark O’Sullivan for David Hughes (56 minute).
Maurice Murray; Keith Fennell, Tim Gorman, Jamie Balfe; Colin Clarke, John Doyle, Keith Conway; Tadhg Grace, James Kavanagh; Gerry Fennell, Peter Lawler, Stephen Dwyer; Mark McCarville, Shane Kavanagh, Eoin Kavanagh. Subs: Paul Moloney blood subs for James Kavanagh (46-50 minutes); Jamie Curran for Gerry Fennell (61 minute).