Heartbreak for Naas CBS as St.Michael's hang on to secure Hogan Cup

Robert Cribbin

Reporter:

Robert Cribbin

St Michael’s College Enniskillen 1-12 Naas CBS 1-11 Masita GAA All Ireland Post-Primary Schools Hogan Cup Final There was disappointment for Naas CBS as they fell to St.Michaels of Enniskillen in the Hogan Cup Final at Croke Park. Naas CBS never truly found their usual groove and St.Michaels ran out deserved winners. Michael Glynn was a constant threat for the winners and his seven point tally earned him the man of the match award as the Ulster side landed their first title. Despite being second best for much of the contest Naas still had chances to force extra time but Tony O’Connor had a goal chance saved while Alex Beirne kicked a shot wide with practically the last kick of the game. It was clear to see that big match nerves were playing a big part in the game as a scrappy opening stanza resulted with both teams kicking a couple of routine wides which included St.Michael’s centre forward Michael Glynn rattling a shot off the post. It was Naas who eventually opened the scoring with Eoin Conneff brilliantly working space for himself in the 6 th minute before finding the target off his right foot. St.Michael’s responded almost immediately with a Glynn free before Paddy McDermott stormed forward for Naas but the wing back could only shoot wide after the decision went to Hawkeye. St.Michael’s retook the lead with an effort from range by centre back Josh Largo-Ellis but Naas responded with a point from Dermot Hanifin. From the resulting kickout Naas struck for goal with the ball from Sean McNally going into the hands of Conneff and the Eadestown attacker made no mistake in finding the net. The Fermanagh side didn’t let the heads drop though and a free from Glynn was followed up by a goal of their own with Tom Keenan finding Darragh O’Brien in space and his shot was too hot to handle for David Morrissey as St.Michaels moved into a 1-3 to 1-2 lead halfway through the half. Naas did get back level with a fine score from Tony O’Connor but St.Michael’s were gradually taking control and they almost had their second goal when a shot from Conor Love went just wide. The Enniskillen based team weren’t out of luck for long though and they were soon two points clear with scores from Glynn and Paul McKerney. Naas rallied with a Drew Costello free but Glynn who had a fabulous game kicked the last two points of the half as St. Michaels went into the break with a narrow 1-6 to 1-4 lead. Played in front of a crowd of 7,649 St.Michaels made a push for home at the beginning of the second half with the first two points. Glynn kicked both efforts from play as the St.Michaels attack proved a real handful for the Naas defence. Naas never quit though and points from Conneff, Mikey McGovern and Paddy McDermott kept them in touch either side of a couple of efforts from Glynn, McBrien and Conor Love. Enniskillen also had a great goal chance at this juncture when a blistering counter attack resulted in the ball landing into the hands of Love but under severe pressure from Jack Hamill he could only fire the shot wide of the goal. That left St.Michaels with a 1-11 to 1-7 lead but Naas’s bench changed the momentum and they came roaring back. Naas centre back Eoin Archbold narrowed the deficit with a fine point from range before Tony O’Connor got free but his shot was well saved by Sean McNally. The Naas onslaught continued apace though with points from McDermott and sub Aidan Cassidy  getting the deficit back to just a point entering stoppage time. St.Michaels always looked to have that bit extra and a point from Love in the fourth minute of stoppage time looked to have settled the result. It ended up that there was six extra minutes with McGovern kicking his second free before Alex Beirne had a golden chance to force extra-time but his shot veered wide as Naas fell just short.    St.Michael’s Enniskillen: Sean McNally; Luke Flanagan, Garrett Cavanagh, Josh Horan, Aichlinn O’Cathain, Josh Largo-Ellis 0-1, Ronan McHugh, Brandon Horan, Joe McDade, Caolan Duffy, Michael Glynn 0-7 (0-5f), Darragh McBrien 1-1, Paul McKervey 0-1, Conor Love 0-2, Tom Keenan. Subs used: Glenn Treacey for McKervey 36 mins, Garvan Quigley for Keenan 42 mins, Conor McAloon for Duffy 62 mins. Naas CBS: David Morrissey (Naas); John Lawler (Eadestown), Conall O’Gallachobhair (Blessington), Jack Hamill (Raheens), Kevin Quinn (Blessington), Eoin Archbold 0-1 (Naas), Paddy McDermott 0-2 (Naas), Jack Cleary (Naas), Liam Broderick (Ballymore), Tony O’Connor 0-1 (Two Mile House), Alex Beirne (Naas), Drew Costello 0-1 (0-1f) (Naas), Mikey McGovern 0-2 (0-2fs) (Raheens), Dermot Hanifin 0-1 (Naas), Eoin Conneff 1-2 (Eadestown). Subs used: Simon Murphy (Ballymore) for Hanifin 36 mins, Conan Boran (Eadestown) for Gallagher 40 mins, Rian Monaghan (Naas) for Broderick 43 mins, Aidan Cassidy 0-1 (Eadestown) for Costello 48 mins, Harry Carroll (Eadestown) for Archbold 56 mins, Conor Murphy (Raheens) for Conneff 60 mins. Ref: Rory Hickey (Clare)