CELTIC’S hopes of retaining their Development League title were dashed when they were held to a 2-2 stalemate by Kilmarnock last night.
The young Hoops realised they had to win against their Rugby Park counterparts to hold onto the trophy they lifted last season with a 26-point margin.
In the 14th minute, Killie took the lead through Scott McLean who left Ross Doohan helpless with a strong effort. It got worse for the Parkhead kids when Greg Kiltie netted again shortly after the turnaround.
Calvin Miller pulled one back with a neat effort and Regan Hendry levelled in the 78th minute.
The youngsters were denied the points, despite laying siege to their opponents’ goal in the remaining moments. Keeper Devlin Mackay repelled attempts from Hendry and Aidan McIlduff in the closing stages.
The trophy will now go to either Ross County or Hamilton Accies.
The Dingwall side also needed a win against third-placed Accies to secure the title, but went down 2-1, leaving their victors requiring a win over Celtic on Thursday to be crowned champions.
Celtic continued their policy of developing players with a handful of the team that defeated Sevco Rangers in the Scottish Youth Cup Final at Hampden last week rested last night.
And the club have this season sent many of the more experienced younger players out on loan so that they can gain first team experience and to give them a better chance of making the breakthrough at Celtic.
Brendan Rodgers has insisted that this is the way forward for the Development side at Celtic.
Congratulations to both Hamilton and Ross County in their efforts to develop young players in Scotland. Both sides are in the top division with very small fan bases so the Development side is crucial and they are clearly getting it right.