Naas relieved to hold on for narrow victory

Dean Goodison in St. Patrick's Park

Published 13/02/2016 | 00:00

Brandon O'Connor challenges Bobby Keating of Naas C.B.S
Brandon O'Connor challenges Bobby Keating of Naas C.B.S

St Mary's C.B.S. slipped out of the Leinster Post Primary Schools Senior 'B' football championship with a semi-final defeat at the hands of Naas in St. Patrick's Park.

Naas C.B.S. 0-7 St. Mary's C.B.S. 0-6

The Enniscorthy town school put in a tremendous effort in extremely heavy conditions and stopped their opponents scoring in the final 22 minutes. However, they just failed to find the required scores at the other end as a well-drilled visiting team clung to victory.

Naas were first on the board in the second minute when Darragh Merriman floated over a mid-range free, but the hosts responded almost immediately when Ronan Gahan fed Seamus Casey and the Oylegate-Glenbrien man hit the target.

Enniscorthy achieved their only lead when Cathal Walshe converted an eighth-minute dead ball, but the Kildare school responded with their best spell featuring three points in as many minutes.

Ciarán Doyle started the run with a nice effort before Kevin Foley ended a build-up through the middle with a point, and Dallan Gallagher made it 0-4 to 0-2 at the end of the quarter.

Connal Flood went close to a goal for St. Mary's when drilling wide from Patrick Cullen's pass, but his side did pull within a point when Cormac Kehoe lofted one over Luke Mullins' crossbar in the 24th minute.

Niall Murphy's injury-time free gave the travelling side a 0-5 to 0-3 half-time advantage but Naas were dealt a blow right before the interval when star midfielder Conor Kenny was black-carded.

Callum McClintock and Casey exchanged points early in the second-half but, when Kevin Foley added his second point in the 38th minute, Naas had the momentum and a 0-7 to 0-4 lead.

Yet slowly the pattern of the match changed and Enniscorthy dominated territorially. Casey and Dean Doyle both came close to grabbing a vital goal but when no score was forthcoming frustration started to show and the former was sent-off for an off-the-ball incident.

Still, Enniscorthy kept pressing and a pair of late frees from Tim Bowler and Cathal Walshe got them within one heading into added time.

St. Mary's continued to push for the leveller but came up against a determined Naas defence and fell one point short of forcing extra-time.

St. Mary's C.B.S.: Darragh Byrne; Ricky Murphy, Peter Breen, Ryan Murray; Brandon O'Connor, Damien Reck, Ronan Gahan; Tim Bowler (0-1 free), Cathal Walshe (0-2 frees); Nick Doyle, Dylan McVeigh, Connal Flood; Patrick Cullen, Seamus Casey (capt., 0-2), Cormac Kehoe (0-1). Subs. - Dean Doyle for McVeigh (15), Diarmuid Byrne for Cullen (39), James Kelly for Kehoe (39), Darren Fortune for Murphy, inj. (53).

Naas C.B.S.: Luke Mullins; Simon Lacey, Andrew Cregg, Jack Cotter; Darragh Merriman (0-1 free), Caolin Halpin, David Shaw (capt.); Conor Kenny, Kevin Foley (0-2); Darragh Doyle, Callum McClintock (0-1), Dallan Gallagher (0-1); Ciarán Doyle (0-1), Niall Murphy (0-1 free), Pádraig Tuohy. Subs. - Joe Broderick for Cregg, inj. (23), James Burke for Kenny, black card (30+5), David Foley for D. Doyle (51), Eoin Healy for McClintock (60+1).

Referee: David Hickey (Carlow).

Wexford People

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