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Naas Reclaim Br Bosco Cup

February 10th, 2023

Leinster Post Primary Schools Senior “A” Final

Naas CBS            0-11

Moate CS            0-9

Kevin Egan reports from Laois Hire O’Moore Park

For the second week in succession, a Leinster Schools “A” final came right down to the wire this afternoon at Laois Hire O’Moore Park. Last week it was the Offaly Combined Schools who edged out St. Kieran’s in a thrilling decider, and this afternoon Naas CBS just about held off a late comeback from Moate Community School, in no small part because of one late Moate goal attempt that crashed off the upright, and another that was repelled by a match-winning block from substitute Daire Gilmartin.

It’s incredible to think that for the first 98 years of this prestigious competition, just one school from Kildare – St. Thomas’ of Newbridge, all the way back in 1923 – prevailed.

That has all changed in recent years as Naas CBS have become the dominant force, competing in the last five finals and winning the fourth of those five this afternoon.

Just two starters remained from the side that won last year’s Leinster and All-Ireland schools titles this year so it was a new-look Naas CBS side that embarked on their 2023 campaign. Yet with one current Kildare U-20 footballer, one current Wicklow U-20 player, and eight former Kildare minors in their ranks, they were still hotly fancied to overcome a Moate side that was relatively unheralded at the start of the year, but who gathered serious momentum during the knockout stages.

The midlanders certainly carried that momentum into the first quarter of this tie, as a brace of frees and a well-taken point from Conor Fox helped them into an 0-3 to 0-1 lead. However Naas CBS began to get their rhythm going from that stage, and they took control of the tie with some outstanding defensive work from players like Eoin Lawlor and Cian Boran, as well as patient and accurate possession football up front, carving out good scoring chances.

Inside forwards Stephen Kelly and Callum Barrett found the target with a couple of points each, while Tom Kelly and Ryan Sinkey both fired over excellent kicks from intermediate range to push them 0-8 to 0-4 ahead at half-time.

David O’Reilly, Donal Shirley and Adam Daly were all working hard to win ball at midfield and O’Reilly’s incredible fielding in particular helped Moate CS to stay in the game, but once Carl Lennox struck twice from a free and from play, Naas pushed their lead out to five points and looked to be completely in control.

The final 20 minutes belonged to Moate however, as they emptied themselves in a bid to find their way back into the contest. O’Reilly, a Westmeath senior hurling panelist, continued to be their talisman, but an inspirational point from Aodhán Curran and some heroic defensive turnovers saw them chip away at the lead, reducing it to one solitary point going into the last five minutes.

Goals win games however, and in this instance, Moate CS fell just short of winning because of their two goal chances that they failed to take. Ronan Murray looked like he had done enough when he took a pass and held off a defender before looping an angled shot over the head of Fintan Quinn, only to watch in agony as the ball bounced back off the post and into play.

Substitute Dean O’Neill had their other opportunity as a mishit shot bounced perfectly into his path, but in this instance an incredible full-length diving block from Daire Gilmartin saved Naas CBS, and ensured that they kept their noses in front right up until Ryan Sinkey’s late point on the break confirmed their win, and their passage to a Hogan Cup semi-final against the winners of Sunday’s MacRory Cup Final between Holy Trinity Cookstown and Omagh CBS.

Scorers for Naas CBS: Ryan Sinkey (1f) and Carl Lennox (2f) 0-3 each; Stephen Kelly and Callum Barrett 0-2 each; Tom Kelly 0-1.

Scorers for Moate CS: David O’Reilly 0-4 (3f); Conor Fox, Donal Shirley, Tiernan O’Donovan, Aodhán Curran and Eoin Bracken (f) 0-1 each.

NAAS CBS : Fintan Quinn; Niall Cramer, Charlie Murphy, Cian Boran; Daniel Hamill, Eoin Lawlor, Evan Ó Bríain; Austin Brennan, Tom Kelly; Fionn McCarthy, Carl Lennox, Ryan Sinkey; Stephen Kelly, Evan Gilmartin, Callum Barrett.

Subs: Jamie McGuirk for Murphy (26), Daire Gilmartin for E Gilmartin (34), Cian O’Reilly for McCarthy (48), Finn Ryan for Barrett (56).

MOATE CS: James Mitchell; Tom Gorman, Adam Keane, Cathal Guinan; Donal Shirley, Adam Daly, Aodhán Curran; David O’Reilly, Daragh Lowry; Conaire Martin, Eoin Bracken, Padraig McLoughlin; Tiernan O’Donovan, Conor Fox, Ronan Murray.

Sub:  Dean O’Neill for Martin (46).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).


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