Gorey coast to Leinster crown
Gorey CS 2-20 Naas CBS 2-7
Gorey Community School proved way to dynamic for Naas CBS in the Top Oil Leinster Post Primary Schools Junior 'B' hurling championship final in Bray Emmets GAA Club on Friday lunchtime.
The North Wexford School probably expected a seriously stern test against the defending champions and they got it for long spells. Yet, eventually their superior class told and Gorey eased into the clear.
A glance through the team list will show a plethora of lads that have tasted success at club level in the last few months so it was hardly any surprise that they transferred that form into the schools game.
There was no real secret to Gorey's success, it was simply down to superior quality and hard work. Playing with this type of determination they could face the Kildare school ten times and lose none but they were thrown over a little speed bump here.
Astroturf makes Gaelic football a different game but, arguably, it has even more effect on hurling.
Playing on the artificial surface certainly got Gorey's attention and it took them a while to come to terms with the speedy winter conditions.
That said, the surface didn't suit Naas either. While Gorey needed time to adjust, the Astro accentuates deficiencies in skill levels and while Naas weren't without talent, they couldn't match the champions in that department.
Gorey played like a team with no apparent weakness. Right throughout their starting 15 they got performances, without ever needing one or two player to take control of the game and that quality was evident after the a shaky first few minutes.
They had to show their grit too. Within 90 seconds they found themselves a goal down after Liam Walsh's long free found its way to the net. Kevin Quinn made it 1-1 to nil but there was no panic whatsoever from Gorey.
Cian Molloy had three of this 11 scores on the board, Caellum Travers-Devlin registered from the right and Joe Burke was on target as the County Wexford school levelled the game at the end of the opening quarter.
A slalom run and fine long range finish from Eamonn Doran gave Gorey their first lead in the 20th minute (0-6 to 1-2) and they kept up the pressure as the half wound down. Joe Curtis, Molloy (2) and goalkeeper Aaron Hall all raised white flags before the interval.
After coming to terms with the extra Naas man around the middle of the field, Gorey were fully deserving of their 0-10 to 1-2 interval lead. However, Naas responded with four of the first five scores after the break to give themselves hope.
Crucially, the one score Gorey did manage was a cracking Burke bullet to the top corner of the Naas net after strong work from Kyle Moore and Cian Molloy. It meant that when Darragh Levingston found his sides first point of the haldf in the 42nd minute they still led by five (1-11 to 1-6).
It was pretty much all Gorey in the final quarter. Five frees were scored after relentless pressure on the Naas goal before Caellum Travers-Devlin pulled home from Caleb Byrne Murphy's long ball forward to end the game as a contest.
Things got chippy late on with Naas losing both Alex Bernie and Sam Morrissey to red cards, either side of an Aodán Whitty point. The Kildare side did scrambled a second goal through Walsh but it was fitting that the game ended with a Gorey score and Cathal Stokes provided it with a tidy point.
Unfortunately, there's no further for Gorey to go after this.
There is no 'B' All-Ireland series which is a real pity because this side would have everything necessary to go all the way and claim a national crown.
Gorey CS: Aaron Hall (0-2 frees); Cian Browne, Ben Morris, Daragh Canavan; Darragh Byrne, Eamonn Doran (0-1, capt.), Cathal Stokes (0-1); Darragh Levingston (0-1), Jack Doran; Kyle Moore, Joe Burke (1-1), Cian Molloy (0-11, 10 frees); Joe Curtis (0-1), Caellum Travers-Devlin (1-1), Aodán Whitty (0-1). Subs: Caleb Byrne Murphy for Moore (45), K. Moore for Curtis, temp (47-48), David Meleady for D. Byrne (57), Alex Murphy for Curtis (57), Pat Doyle for Whitty (60+1), Mikey Cushe for Travers-Devlin (60+1), also, Martin O'Loughlin, Micheál Rowsome, Jack Fleming, Sean O'Hagan, Patrick D'Arcy, Jake Kinsella, Conor Gregan, Jack Fanning.
Naas CBS: Colm Nolan; Michael McGovern, Conan Boran, Jack Cleary; Jack Higgins, Drew Costello, Sean Conway; Sean O Domhnaill, Alex Bernie; Farren O'Sullivan, Sam Morrissey (0-1), Liam Walsh (2-4, 1-3 frees); Kevin Quinn (0-1), Aaron Lowry, Ben Noone. Subs. - Paddy McDermott (0-1) for Quinn (34), Enda O'Neill for Lowry (45), Rossa Stapleton for Noone (57), Cathal O Luasa for McGovern (57), also, Tadhg Comerford, Peter O'Donoghue, Adam Malone, Matthew Whelan, James Dalton, Harry Whelan.
Referee: David Sweeney (Dublin)