Naas U15’s Hurlers win the Kildare U15 Floodlight League.   25/11/2018

On Saturday the 24th of November Maynooth and Naas played against each other for the second time in the U15 Floodlight league.

Maynooth were the clear victors in the group game in the competition but these two teams were destined to meet again at some point in the competition.

Naas progression through the league saw them play against Sallins in the semi-final on Monday the 19th at home in a game that ended in a tense affair but with Naas coming out on top to see them through to the final v’s Maynooth who overcame Celbridge in the other final.

The conditions on the day were ideal for winter hurling. Both teams were on the pitch at the allocated time and ready to go when the referee and officials were good to commence the game.

Once the ball was thrown in it was obvious that this was going to be a close game due to the excellent levels of skills on display in particular from both sets of players at hooking, blocking and tackling.

It meant that very little room was left for any player to get a clean strike on the ball.

Whilst the scoring was low in the first half it did not mean that chances were not available to players but the choice to try and rattle the net instead of the taking the point ended in both goalies making saves and clearing the ball back out the field.

Naas opened the scoring with a point but this was followed by Maynooth capitalising on a Naas player slipping which allowed space to be created for Maynooth to attack.

Maynooth then added on some more points before Naas with another point. Just before half time Naas scored a goal to leave the score line at half time of Maynooth 0-04 to Naas 1-02.

After the resumption Naas defenders were under enormous pressure from Maynooth whose half time talk obviously lifted their players.

The Naas defenders were resolute and resisted each attack. By weathering this storm the Naas players, management and supporters knew that even though the team went in as underdogs to Maynooth the players were giving their performance of the season.

Both teams swapped points again but Naas had the goal advantage. Then Naas struck again to get a second goal resulting in great work from the full forward line to persist when all seemed to be lost.

A fantastic block resulted in a loose ball which was struck across the Maynooth goal to be then doubled on and into the net. Naas were leading by two goals.

Maynooth came back again to score another point to bring the game back to a 5 point game at 2-05 to 0-06.

However it was Naas who scored next and in the final minutes lead by 2-07 to 0-06. Maynooth claimed the last score of the game leaving Naas as U15 Floodlight champions on a score line of 2-07 to 0-07.

Referee Billy O’Connell ensured that the game flowed and only when play stopped did he offer words of wisdom or caution to players on both sides.

Naas captain Seán Broderick accepted the cup on behalf of the Naas players and thanked Maynooth for a very sporting game, the officials and mentors from both teams.

Goals from Tom O’Donovan and Seán Hanafin plus a man of the match performance from sweeper Cian Boran are worthy of highlighting in a performance that will be remembered by all from Naas who attended the match.

Naas panel: Ben Loughlin, Daire Guerin, Jack Mulvhill, Tomás O’Donovan, Darren Perkins, Jack Rogers, Dáire Kelleghan, Conor Wickham, Seán Broderick, Seán Hanafin, Cathal Berine, Charlie Sheridan, Niall Granger, Liam O’Reilly, Fiachra Tobin, Dylan Gregory, James O’Loughlin, Bill Hennessy, Alan Tobin, Cian Boran, Conor Doyle, Seámus Kelleher, Fionn Maher, Tiarnan O’Rourke, Killian Harrington, Seán Murphy, Mac Dara Moore, Shane Knott, Michael O’Sullivan, Sam Blackburne, Jimmy Hanley.

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