Cuala 1-10 Celbridge 0-10
A last minute penalty by talismatic corner-forward Paul James sealed victory for Cualas’ U21A footballers against a well heeled Celbridge last night in Kildare. This was the U21A’s first competitive challenge of the year as they continue their preparation for the Championship in three weeks time.
Celbridge, last years’ Kildare U21A Champions, are well into their U21 season after a comprehensive victory over Kilcock in the first round of the Kildare U21A championship so the
Cuala were slow out of the blocks and trailed by 0-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes. But with backs Dylan Treacy and the charismatic Cillian O’Farrell getting into their stride, Cuala soon found their rythym. Colm Cronin was imperious when moving to midfield and after Conall O Giolláin tacked on a rare left footed point, Cuala soon found themselves level at 4 points apiece.  Sean Magee, who was causing all sorts of damage, damaged himself after a brave challenge in the middle of the pitch and Cuala went in at the break two points down, 0-6 to 0-4.
After some stern words at half time, Dylan Kennedy, fresh from a plate of bacon and cabbage, came out of the traps like a bear possessed and drove at Celbridge from the off.  Oisin Breathnach too, was having a stormer at full backand the James’ were causing havoc up front for the Celbridge defence. After wonderful efforts from Anto Higgins and Fergus Spillane respectively, Cuala found themselves level again. Just as the game ticked into injury time up stepped Paulie James to slot into the corner and secure victory in a very worthwhile exercise as the U21 championship looms large.
A. McMahon, D. Treacy, O. Breathnach, J. Brennan, F. Spillane, C. O’Farrell, C. Brock, C. Ó Giolláin, C. McKenna, C. Ó Giolláin, C. Cronin, D. Kennedy, P. James, S. Magee, K. Sullivan. Subs: N. James for Magee (inj), P. Gahan for Cronin, A. Higgins for McKenna.