Senior Football League Division 1 Final Preview: Underage promise on the verge of Senior success for Niall Cronin and Naas ahead of a tilt at League glory

Senior Football League Division 1 Final Preview: Underage promise on the verge of Senior success for Niall Cronin and Naas ahead of a tilt at League glory

The Naas Senior Football team that defeated Sarsfields in last weekends Division 1 Senior Football League Semi-Final

Naas have being in the wilderness for longer than they would have liked but there are clear signs that they are on the verge of achieving something big and victory in Sunday's Division 1 League Final against Carbury would certainly be a start.

Naas have invested hugely a underage and they have been very successful with two Minor Championships and one Under 21 Title landing over the last few years.

The current Senior Boss Niall Cronin oversaw all of those teams successes and he is hoping they can produce something similar on Sunday but after looking back at the semi-final win over Sarsfields he admits that the weather had a huge part to play. 

"It's nice to get to a League Final as they are rare enough but sure all it's only another match and that's what it is".

"I suppose consistency has been a difficulty with having dual players and a couple of County players coming in and out so it was probably hard to be consistent and that was really proven in the League as our results were a bit up and down but look the conditions were horrible to play in and they had a role to play in the match and I don't know was it a fair reflection on either team really as it was just a bit of luck there at the end and luckily it came our way but it could have easily been Sarsfields on another day".

Three second half goals helped Naas to the 4-10 to 1-10 victory but Colm Joyce's effort just before half-time proved crucial in keeping Naas ahead and despite being lucky on a few occasions the County Town were able to kick on with the aid of the wind.

"Colm Joyce's goal before half-time was a bit of a turning point I suppose but we were probably blessed as they missed a couple of chances aswell and although they had the wind it probably cost them as it was hard to kick into it and then the rain came and took it away".

"It made it fortunate for us in that regard with the bite being taken out of the wind and if some of their first half misses went over it could have been a bit different", Cronin admitted.

Naas and Carbury are pretty familiar foes as they played out a thrilling Minor League Final two years ago which Naas won and there was six players on each side involved in last week's semi-finals and it's that youthful exuberance which Naas are revelling in.

"We have an awful lot of young lads and having seven in with the Under 20 Football Squad was obstructive but it's great to have them back being enthusiastic and energetic and the whole lot".

"It's a nice mix as we have Eoin Doyle and Eamonn Callaghan that bring a bit of experience so they interchange well".

It comes as no shock to those in Naas that Carbury are their opponents this weekend with selector and former Mayo star Liam McHale of the opinion that they were one of the best teams they faced after drawing with each other at the start of the League and for the Manager it means even more with having family links on the Carbury side.

"Carbury are very well drilled under Phillip Wolfe and I have two cousins in Jack and Mark Cully playing for them and they are like brothers to me so it will be very much a family affair and it's funny the way things turn out.

"Liam McHale would be neutral to Kildare Football and he has consistently said that they were one of the better teams we played all year so he wasn't surprised at all that they beat Moorefield".

"Carbury needed a big win in Athy just to get to the semi-finals and they dug it out so they are definitely a coming side and deserve to be in the Final", the Naas boss said.

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.