BRIL­LIANT BALTO

Un­der-20 side see off Bless­ing­ton to seal fi­nal berth

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

BALT­IN­GLASS qual­i­fied for the fi­nal of the newly formed Un­der-20 Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship after a solid dis­play against Bless­ing­ton on Sun­day morn­ing last.

Balt­in­glass de­liv­ered a blis­ter­ing third quar­ter that proved cru­cial to the out­come in the end, on a beau­ti­ful fresh morn­ing, with ideal con­di­tions for foot­ball and with a good vo­cal sup­port for each side.

The game burst into life as Daniel Kelly got the vis­i­tors of to a fly­ing start when he lofted in a shot that crept in un­der the cross­bar in the open­ing minute fol­low­ing a good ball in from Karl Fur­long.

Bless­ing­ton broke straight up the field from the kick-out, and Jor­dan McGarr had a great chance to level, but fired wide of the tar­get - a huge let off for Balt­in­glass.

Both de­fences were on top in the early stages, with nei­ther stand­ing off. Even­tu­ally in the seventh minute, the blues reg­is­tered with Jor­dan McGarr tap­ping over after good work from Kevin Quinn.

Sean Doody made a dash­ing run up the mid­dle and was fouled. A yel­low card was is­sued to a Bless­ing­ton de­fender, be­fore goalie Mark Jack­son fired over the re­sul­tant free.

Danielius Sarkauskas dropped a high ball into the dan­ger zone where Adam Boland col­lected what looked like off the ground, and laid off to Jor­dan McGarr, whose pow­er­ful shot was par­ried by Mark Jack­son, who then brought off a dou­ble save to clear his lines.

The foot­ball ebbed and flowed from end to end, but again both de­fences were do­ing their job.

Stephen Car­roll cut over a sweet point for the Blues after a good move by Ciaran Mescall. The ref­eree seemed some­what harsh with steps rule as both sides were reg­u­larly blown up.

Mark Jack­son crashed a 55-me­ter free back out off the up­right with 18 min­utes played in a low-scor­ing pe­riod. Ethan Cot­ter won pos­ses­sion and turned on a six­pence and fired over Bless­ing­ton’s third point to re­duce the lead to a sin­gle score.

Balt­in­glass found a bit of mo­men­tum how­ever, but they landed three bad wides in a row to let their op­po­nents of the hook.

The Slaneyside­r’s were gifted the next two scores, as first a Bless­ing­ton de­fender col­lected the ball in­side the 21 from a kick­out, Jor­dan Deans won the re­sul­tant throw in and was fouled, Adam McHugh fired over his first point of the game.

Then a rushed kick-out was in­ter­cepted by the lively Tadgh O’Toole who dis­patched the ball be­tween the up­rights with great com­po­sure to stretch the lead back out to three.

An­other brace of yel­low cards fol­lowed. Balt­in­glass started to dom­i­nate around the mid­field sec­tor, go­ing into the clos­ing stages. Adam McHugh pulled a shot wide, how­ever play was called back, and McHugh found the tar­get from the free.

Daniel Kelly drew a pow­er­ful save from Adam Mur­phy in the Bless­ing­ton goal, who cleared up the field where the in­dus­tri­ous Kevin Quinn ri­fled over the last point of the open­ing half, with the score read­ing 0-4 to 1-4 in favour of Balt­in­glass.

Just as they fin­ished the first half, Balt­in­glass vir­tu­ally owned the third quar­ter. They hit the ground run­ning on the restart, tag­ging on three white flags in the open­ing three min­utes, the first from Tadgh O’Toole, the sec­ond from the boot of the dy­namic Sean Doody, the third, and pick of the three, a beast of a score from Adam McHugh out on the wing.

Jor­dan McGarr replied with a point for the home side. That only slightly dented Balt­in­glass’ mo­men­tum, as the defin­ing mo­ments of the game fol­lowed, in a blis­ter­ing two-minute spell. Firstly, Cian Lee laid off to Jor­dan Deans, who turned and ran at goal, hit­ting the tar­get from six me­ters out.

Sean Doody gath­ered the kick­out and was fouled, yet again the ball went for­ward 13 good me­ters. A quickly taken free was gath­ered by Jack Flem­ing, who rocked the onion sack for the sec­ond time in a two-minute spell, to rock Bless­ing­ton to the core.

Balt­in­glass in­tro­duced a cou­ple of fresh legs. The home side broke the dom­i­nant hold by Balt­in­glass around mid­field and Kevin Quinn and Sean Price each pointed to close out the third quar­ter with the score read­ing 0-7 to 3-8.

Sean Mescall had a great chance of a goal, but Pat Kir­wan put in a cru­cial block to clear the dan­ger. Bless­ing­ton lost their cen­tre half-back to a black card, again the ball went for­ward for dis­sent. Johnny Keogh jinked through and split the posts for Balt­in­glass.

Again, Mark Jack­son saved bril­liantly from a James Mul­li­gan piledriver, go­ing into the fi­nal five min­utes. Bless­ing­ton then lost Jor­dan McGarr to a sec­ond yel­low. Adam McHugh fisted over Balto’s last point in the 59th minute.

Craig Maguire was cut­ting through when Glen Far­rell hauled him down, he some­how es­caped with a yel­low, that didn’t go down well with the home side’s man­age­ment. Stephen Car­roll fired over the re­sul­tant free as the fi­nal whis­tle sounded to send Balt­in­glass for­ward to the fi­nal where they will face AGB this week­end.

Scor­ers - Bless­ing­ton: Jor­dan McGarr 0-2, Stephen Car­roll 0-2 Kevin Quinn 0-2, Ethan Cot­ter 0-1, Sean Price 0-1.

Balt­in­glass: Dan Kelly 1-1, Adam McHugh 0-3, Jor­dan Deans 1-0, Jack Flem­ing 1-0, Tadgh O’Toole 0-2, Sean Doody 0-1, John Keogh 0-1, Adam Bar­rett 0 -1, Mark Jack­son 0-1.

BLESS­ING­TON: Adam Mur­phy; Aaron Cur­ran, Con­all O Gall­chobair, Ciaran Mescall; Ruairi Fi­nan, Ethan Cot­ter, Glen Far­rell; Danielius Sarkauskas, Craig Maguire; James Mul­li­gan, Kevin Quinn, Stephen Car­roll; Sean Mescall, Adam Boland, Jor­dan McGarr. Subs: Brian Bo­han, Fionn Walshe, Sean Price.

BALT­IN­GLASS: Mark Jack­son; Ja­son Steed, Pat Kir­wan, Chris Grimes; Karl Fur­long, Dara Doyle, Aaron Bar­rett; Cian Lee, Sean Doody; Dan Kelly, Johnny Keogh, Tadgh O’Toole; Alan Bar­ret, Adam McHugh, Jor­dan Deans. Subs: Jack Flem­ing, Dian Marcu, Ciaran Ger­maine, Ja­son Sin­nott, Wes­ley Balfe, Liam Fisher. REF­EREE: Ea­mon Doyle (Kil­te­gan)

The Balt­in­glass un­der-20 foot­ballers who de­feated Bless­ing­ton to seal their place in the fi­nal against AGB this week­end.

Bless­ing­ton, who fell to Balt­in­glass in the un­der-20 semi-fi­nal.

Aaron Bar­rett, Ea­monn Doyle and Mark Jack­son in Bless­ing­ton.

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