Naas CBS 2-12
Wicklow Schools 1-9
After Extra Time
Br.Bosco Cup Senior A Football Championship Final
Naas CBS created a bit of history as they claimed back to back Leinster Championship Titles with an extra-time victory over a stubborn Wicklow Schools side.
It was a nip and tuck affair that was eventually decided when 1-3 without reply in the first period of added on time pushed Naas clear with Alex Beirne getting the goal.
Harry Carroll got the other goal but Naas will feel they shouldn't have needed extra-time at all after they led by four points entering stoppage time but an Aaron Kennedy goal and a brilliant point from Eoin Darcy brought Wicklow back level.
Wicklow will have a lot of regrets on the final result after Oisin McGraynor missed a second half penalty that would have put them ahead at the time and after the miss Naas kicked a few points in response so it was pretty crucial.
It's an even bigger achievement for Naas when you factor in that Wicklow had all the schools in the county available to them and had 12 of them represented on the starting team but nothing was going to stop the Kildare School as they completed a remarkable achievement.
It was a tight and tactical beginning to proceedings with the combination side having the first real chance when a long ball in towards the Naas square was flicked on from Eoin Darcy and with a goal on St.Laurerence’s Aaron Kennedy shot too high as the Wicklow team took the lead.
Oisin McGraynor then extended that advantage with a lovely effort from distance before Naas finally got off the mark in the 6th minute with a Dermot Hanifin score after he brilliantly shimmied his way into a scoring position.
Wicklow again went close for goal moments later though as Gavin Fogarty came forward and although he lost possession of the ball he let fly on the ground but Naas’s David Morrissey produced a miraculous save to deny the wing back.
Naas responded with an Alex Beirne shot from range levelling up matters and that same player looked to have a goal chance halfway through the half when he received a pass over the top from Drew Costello but he lost his footing at a crucial stage and the change went abegging.
Sean Doody and Eoin Conneff then exchanged points to leave the score at 0-3 apiece before the defending champions began to take control around the midfield area.
Dermot Hanifin palmed a shot past the Wicklow post after a Drew Costello shot dropped short and that would have gave the Kildare School a deserved lead at that stage but as a whole they were pretty wasteful in front of goal with six first half wides.
Eoin Darcy who was Wicklow’s prime forward threat put the first time finalists back in front before it was cancelled out by a Mikey McGovern free.
Darcy also looked to have a mini penalty claim before the break but Carlow ref David Hickey waved it away as the sides went into the dressing rooms deadlocked.
Naas ramped up the pressure on the resumption and they were almost in for goal when Eoin Conneff went on a run before feeding Eoin Archbold but the defender’s effort was well blocked.
Drew Costello did however convert the subsequent 45 to put Naas into the lead for the first time before Kevin Quinn doubled the advantage with a beautifully curled effort from wide near the sideline.
Both sides also had goal chances during that period but they were out of luck.
Wicklow then had a glorious chance to retake the lead after a Darcy 45 dropped into the hands of Oisin McGrayor and after he was fouled as he took the ball, a penalty was awarded.
McGraynor took the penalty himself but he could only drag the spot kick wide of the far post.
Naas sub Harry Carroll then had a shot saved before Darcy and Beirne shared points as Ronan Joyce’s men took a two point lead into the final few minutes.
Darcy was being marked by Naas captain Jack Hamill and he was proving to be a considerable threat and he was out of luck when a rasper of a left footed attempt just went past the post.
That missed opportunity looked to be curtains for Wicklow when McGovern kicked two quickfire points but there was still late drama.
Normally if you have a four point lead entering stoppage you’d expect to be comfortable but not here as Wicklow struck for goal in the 61st minute with Kildare man Aaron Kennedy kicking a shot to the net after a ball from out the field rebounded off the crossbar.
That gave the Garden County School all the momentum they needed and after Jack Cleary pulled a shot wide, they struck the equaliser when a mistake in the Naas defence led to a sideline ball and Darcy did a quick interchange with a fellow teammate before kicking a cracking score off his right foot to force extra-time.
Naas dominated the opening period of the added on time as they kicked 1-3 without response to put one hand on the Cup.
Frees from McGovern and Beirne were added to by a point from play by Eoin Conneff after the Eadestown man took advantage of a poor kickout.
Beirne then exploded onto the scene with a brilliant individual goal and although Wicklow hit back with a Darcy free, Naas held a five point lead at the halfway mark of extra-time.
Wicklow didn't throw in the towel though and they were soon back within three points after Darcy and Brian Crowe kicked points.
Aaron Kennedy and Daire Wright were also out of luck with goal chances before Naas put the icing on the cake with sub Harry Carroll flighting a shot into the top corner beyond the reach of Ben Fennell.
The final whistle went moments later to huge euphoria as Naas capped off an amazing two years for the school.
They will now play Pobailscoil Chorcha Duibhne in the Sem-Final.
Naas CBS: David Morrissey (Naas); Jack Hamill (Raheens), Conall O’Gallchobhair (Blessington), John Lawler (Eadestown), Kevin Kelleher (Ballymore Eustace), Eoin Archbold (Naas), Kevin Quinn 0-1 (Blessington), Liam Broderick (Ballymore Eustace), Jack Cleary (Naas), Alex Beirne 1-3 (0-1f) (Naas), Drew Costello 0-1 (0-1 45)(Naas), Tony O’Connor (Two Mile House), Dermot Hanifin 0-1 (Naas), Eoin Conneff 0-2 (Eadestown), Mikey McGovern 0-4 (0-2fs)(Raheens).
Subs used: Harry Carroll 1-0(Eadestown) for Broderick 44 mins, Simon Murphy (Ballymore Eustace) for Hanifin 48 mins, Murray O’Byrne (Robertstown) for Costello 54 mins, Conan Boran (Eadestown) for Lawler 58 mins, Aidan Cassidy (Eadestown) for McGovern 63 mins, Rian Monagahan (Naas) for Quinn 63 mins, Conor Murphy (Raheens) for Beirne 79 mins.
Wicklow Schools: Ben Fennell; Cillian McDonald, Andy Maher, Andy Conway, Gavin Fogarty, Mark Reid, Oisin Cullen, Sean Doody 0-1, Ciaran Coffey, Patrick O’Keane, Oisin McGraynor 0-1, Darragh Rochford, Eoin Darcy 0-5 (0-2fs), Aaron Kennedy 1-1, James Hedderman.
Subs used: Craig Maguire for Cullen 38 mins, Brian Crowe 0-1 for Rochford 38 mins, John Doyle for Coffey 45 mins, Tadhg O’Toole for O’Keane 54 mins, Tadhg Barrett for Conway 58 mins, Daire Wright for Doody 69 mins, Oisin Cullen for McDonald 72 mins, Patrick O’Keane for Hedderman 80 mins.
Ref: David Hickey (Carlow)
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