Ratoath Harps ... ... ... ................ ... 3
Balscadden Boys ... ... ...................2
Ratoath Harps fought off a late comeback from Balscadden Boys to claim all three points in this NDSL Under-12 encounter on Skryne Road last Wednesday evening.
And while the home side should have possibly had the victory sewn up well before the final whistle, in the end it took a penalty to give them the win with Alex Grendon proving the hero firing his spot-kick home with 10 minutes left.
In fact Grendon was one of the hosts' highlights with his fine performance being capped with a brace of goals, including that decisive third.
Grendon was involved in the opening goal too. His shot after 16 minutes was saved by Balscadden 'keeper, Jack Sherlock, but the ball rebounded into the path of Karl Schmeider who drilled home from close range.
At that stage the goal was exactly what the game needed as both sides struggled to get into any rhythm with only Ratoath's Leon Morris's effort and Balscadden's Yunka Adelodun's attempts inside the first 15 minutes creating any excitement.
Schmeider's strike changed the game, however, and no sooner had Harps hit the front than they doubled their advantage.
This time Grendon was the scorer as his long-range effort found the far corner to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.
After 21 minutes, though, the boys from Balscadden almost halved the deficit. Their man with the lethal free-kick, Yunka Adelodun, came close to pulling one back, but his effort from 20-yards struck the a post.
As the interval neared, though, it was the home side that were on the front foot again.
Darragh Valance crossed to Schmeider, but his curled effort with the outside of his foot was tipped away acrobatically by the flying Sherlock in the away goal.
Moments later, Schmeider was denied his second by the frame of the goal.
The half-time break then saw the usual change of ends and on this occasion it also brought a change of fortune.
Just six minutes after the restart, Balscadden pulled one back. A long through ball from Luke O'Farrell allowed Anthony Ryan to bear down on goal and he just got there before Adam Carroll in the home goal to make it 2-1.
Immediately, Ratoath went forward in an attempt to restore their two-goal cushion, but firstly Alex Darby fired over and then Sherlock tipped over Schmeider's 44th-minute effort.
Then, with just 12 minutes remaining, Balscadden made it 2-2. Out of nothing, Josh Ayodele let a shot fly towards goal and saw it nestle in the top corner to leave the Balscadden side-line jumping for joy.
Unfortunately for the visitors, it was a short-lived celebration as just two minutes later, Ratoath were awarded a penalty and up stepped the impressive Grendon to fire low into the bottom corner to give his side the win.
Ratoath Harps: Adam Carroll, Alex Darby, Alex Grendon, Karl Schmeider, Darragh Valance, Leon Morris, Tom Fleming, Sam Phillips.
Balscadden Boys: Jack Sherlock, Valentino Farrell, Adam Grimes, Darragh Carolan, Ethan McGrath, Robert Byrne, Yunka Adelodun, Anthony Ryan, Luke O'Farrell, Jake White, Josh Ayodele.
Referee: Colm Davis.