U21 Football

November 8, 2018

Athy U/21’s were defeated in the first round of the championship by Balyna after a tight battle in Ellistown. Athy were very slow to start and after just 11 minutes they found themselves 5 points to nil down. They finally got to grips with the Balyna strategy and as the defence tightened up and the ball was moved up the field the Athy forwards started to show their worth with 4 unanswered points of their own, one each from Darroch Mulhall, James Eaton, James Byrne and James Kelly. A killer blow came after 19 minutes when the Athy defence were slack on marking and let in a soft goal to leave the sore 1-5 to 0-4. Eaton then replied with a pointed free but two more Balyna points left the half time score 1-7 to 0-5.

For the first 15 minutes of the second half Athy outscored their opponents by 3 to 2, with Brian Kinahan, Darroch Mulhall and Daniel O’Keefe getting Athy’s scores. Then in the 17th minute Athy’s big moment came when Cian Reynolds was fouled in the square and James Eaton gladly struck the resulting penalty to the roof of the net. 1-8 to 1-9 and it was game on. Balyna reacted best however and seemed determined to win the game no matter what as they pulled away with another two points, leaving Athy three points behind with 4 minutes to go. Points from James Eaton and Eddie Delahunt reduced the gap to a single point and it was an anxious and tense final minute as Athy pushed for the equaliser. The Balyna defence stood solid however and after weathering several Athy storms on the goal they broke away up the field to score a point of their own and leave Athy needing a goal. Athy got an opportunity to go for it when they were allowed time to kick in a 45’ but when the Balyna men caught the dropping ball in the full back line the referee said that’s it and blew the final whistle on the game and Athy’s short-lived U/21 championship.

Athy team: Paul Clynch, Conor Ronan, Joe Kinahan, David Holligan, Shane O’Brien, David McGovern, Eddie Delahunt(0-1), Daniel O’Keefe(0-1), Brian Kinahan(0-1), Cian Reynolds, James Byrne(0-1), James Kelly(0-1), Darroch Mulhall(0-2), Peter Dunne, James Eaton(1-3; 1f).      

Subs used: Corey Moore.