Eire Og Corra Choill 1-10
Haven Hire Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
A blistering final ten minutes where they scored 1-6 helped Naas get the better of Eire Og Corrachoill in the second Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final in St.Conleths Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was a fast finish that was badly needed for Naas as an Eire Og goal from Liam Power in the 42nd minute looked like it was going to give the Donore based outfit a shock victory.
Eire Og only scored three points after that goal though with Naas reeling them in and Jack Sheridan was the main protagonist in that role.
Sheridan has bundles of talent and he finished with 1-8 to his name and of that tally it included a perfectly converted sideline cut and a quite sublime goal that put the seal on the result.
Naas have been accused of having a soft underbelly over the last few seasons so the way they dug out the win where they had to show bundles of character will have given them great belief as they head into a final against Coill Dubh.
Conditions were absolutely horrendous throughout with rain coming down for almost the entirety and as a result scores were very much at a premium.
The sides shared the first two points with Cathal Dowling scoring from distance for Naas with Tim Hennessy responding for Eire Og.
A couple of points including a well take sideline from Jack Sheridan then pushed Naas ahead on the scoreboard at 0-3 to 0-1 but Eire Og were stubborn opposition all the way through and Liam Dempsey emphasised this with three points in a row.
Cathal Dowling with his second of the half levelled things up in the 12th minute but once more Eire Og had an answer in Dempsey and Liam Power.
Naas had plenty of the ball but the combination of poor attacking play and a defiant Eire Og defence was frustrating Colm Rourke’s outfit.
Sheridan had a good game but in the first period he seemed to be taking on too much for himself and he missed the target on a couple of opportunities while Eire Og were much more economical with a point from play by Dempsey leaving them three clear approaching the break.
Sheridan did eventually get his eye in with his first free of the day and the last puck of the half meant Eire Og had a two point buffer as they went into the dressing rooms.
Both teams moved into their change strip upon the resumption as a result of the weather but it was Naas who got used to the change of scenery quicker with the first four points.
Sheridan with a quickfire free and 65 levelled the game at 0-7 apiece before both Mick Purcell and Simon Leacy scored from play as Naas moved 0-9 to 0-7 ahead.
There was a thought that Naas might kick on from that position but it never transpired as twelve minutes into the second half they were talking the ball from their own net when Liam Power rather brilliantly won a ball near goal and after going round one defender he did the same with keeper Cormac Gallagher and whacked a shot home to put Eire Og back in front.
Sheridan missed a scoreable free afterwards and when both Dempsey and Paul Kennedy scored Eire Og looked in the driving seat with three points at their back.
Naas rallied brilliantly inside the final quarter though with a pair of Sheridan frees getting the gap back to one.
The Naas bench had a huge impact as they scored 0-3 and after Purcell pointed earlier Brian Byrne followed suit to equalise with five minutes left.
Purcell and Sheridan added further points and the three point deficit had been turned into a two point lead in a matter of minutes.
A grandstand finish was then averted as Brian Byrne found Sheridan and although the forward had two men facing him he took them both on successfully before shooting past Paul Dermody for a wonderful individual goal.
Eire Og replied with a free from Dempsey who was very good for the beaten side but Naas had the last say with Shane Ryan knocking a fine score from distance that rounded off on an incredibly hard fought win for his team.
Naas: Cormac Gallagher; Conor Gormley, Richard Hogan, Donal McSweeney, Paul Sullivan, Rian Boran, Simon Leacy 0-1, Shane Broderick, Cathal Dowling 0-2, Jack Sheridan 1-8 (0-4fs, 0-2 65’s), Ross Kelly, Phillip Cocoman, Conor Dowling, James Burke, Shane Ryan 0-1.
Subs used: Mick Purcell 0-2 for Conor Dowling 36 mins, Sean Gainey for Cocoman 49 mins, Brian Byrne 0-1 for Sullivan 53 mins, Mark Nevin for McSweeney 64 mins.
Eire Og Corra Choill: Paul Dermody; Cathal McGrath, James Dolan, Ben Noone, JP Crotty, Kevin Connor, Danny Boyle, Conor Kielty, Brian Fitzpatrick, Tim Hennessy 0-1, Barry Cormack, Paul Kennedy 0-1, Liam Dempsey 0-7 (0-4fs), Liam Power 1-1, Rory O’Neill.
Subs used: Murray O’Byrne for Crotty 43 mins.
Ref: Ray Kelly