Moloney sets Celbridge on their way to three-in-a-row
Celbridge 2-16 Confey 0-15
Goals from Mark Moloney and Conor Kenny inside the opening seven minutes set Celbridge on their way to their third county title in a row in Newbridge yesterday.
Confey recovered well from that blistering start and closed the gap to just a point by half-time, but Celbridge, under the management of former Dublin goalkeeper Damien Byrne, kicked on again in the second half and went on to record a comfortable win.
Moloney netted a fine individual effort after just two minutes and that was quickly followed by a superb finish by 18-year-old Kenny to put Celbridge 2-1 to 0-2 ahead.
The steady free-taking of Paul Divilly brought Confey right back into the game, and although he scored seven first-half points, his team still trailed Celbridge by 2-5 to 0-10 at the break.
Confey, who lost goalkeeper and captain Robbie Connolly through injury late in the first half, had a chance to level the scores after the restart, but once Divilly put his long-range effort wide, Celbridge scored four in a row and never looked likely to lose the game.
17-year-old Gerry Keegan came off the bench late on and capped the victory with two points for Celbridge, who will now attempt to go one step further in Leinster, having lost last year's intermediate final to Dicksboro of Kilkenny.
Scorers -- Celbridge: B White 0-8 (7f, 1 '65'), C Kenny 1-3, M Moloney 1-0, G Keegan 0-2, L Quinn, J Houlihan, D Butler 0-1 each. Confey: P Divilly 0-10 (9fs), K Divilly 0-2 (1 pen), K Chan, D Nolan, C Feeney 0-1 each.
Celbridge -- N Lanigan; T Finnerty, F O'Muineachain, P Curtin; A McDonagh, D Moloney, N O'Muineachain; D Butler, B White; M Moloney, F Conway, C Kenny; L Quinn, T Murphy, J Houlihan. Subs: G Keegan for Butler (51), P Moore for M Moloney (55), D Kirwan for White (60), K Bracken for Curtin (60), D Kenny for Finnerty (60).
Confey -- R Connolly; A Fennelly, Paul Keegan, B Dowd; S Lawless, N Glennon, K Chan; M Divilly, K Divilly; P Divilly, C Feeney, C Chan; Pauric Keegan, J O'Neill, E Fitzpatrick. Subs: I Baker for Connolly (30), D Nolan for C Chan (38), P Quigley for M Divilly (59).
Ref --T Carew