Joe Mallon SFC round three
Naas showed what they are capable of on Saturday evening in Hawkfield as they got their championship back on track with a fairly comprehensive eight-point victory over 14-man Carbury.
They led from almost start to finish in this tie as their opponents levelled the game for just a couple of minutes in the second half, and it was early goals from Conor Mellett and Aidan Begley that made all the difference as Naas powered their way through to the quarter-final stage.
Carbury’s challenge wasn’t helped by the 25th minute dismissal of Mickey Kelly, and they eventually tired in the second half as Naas enjoyed complete final quarter dominance where they outscored their opponents by 0-9 to 0-2.
Carbury began brightly as Naas struggled to really find a rhythm, and that was much the case for the entirety of the first half as neither side gained any discernible measure of control i the opening 30 minutes.
The only time Carbury led was in the first four minutes as Andy Dermody opened their account with a neat effort before Tom Colleary landed a superb point from long range to double their lead. Naas finally did settle into the game after that, and they bagged the game's first goal in superb fashion five minutes in. Aidan Begley gave a real display of pace to break through the heat of the Carbury defence before offloading the ball to Ronan Joyce who in turn slipped the ball across to Mellett to fire home from right on the line.
Eoghan O’Flaherty and Eoghan Bateman were enjoying a thrilling one on one battle as both players were winning their fair share of possession off each other, but the Carbury man shook off his marker for long enough in the 10th minute to angle over a point from the left wing. Naas gained some form of momentum over the next eight minutes as they enjoyed probably their best spell of the half when they outscored their opponents by 1-3 to 0-1 in that period.
County man Eamonn Callaghan started off the purple patch with a fine point, before Ronan Joyce clipped over his first of the day from close range. Joyce doubled his personal tally with another score after a neat exchange with Joey Cocoman, and while O’Flaherty responded with a free at the other end immediately after.
Declan McCabe’s charges stormed into a five-point lead in the 18th minute however, as they netted their second goal in what was almost a carven copy of their first. Brian Kane superbly bet a Carbury defender to the ball and brought it down the left wing, before offloading to Mellett and he fed Begley in the centre who drove the ball low to the net.
They failed to trouble the scorekeeper for the remainder of the half however, as Carbury wrestled back control of the game and scored four points on the trot. Morgan O’Flaherty raised a couple of white flags in the space of a minute as he firstly pointed from long range, before then scoring straight from the resultant Naas kickout. They were then dealt a blow as Mickey Kelly received a second yellow card and a subsequent red for a high tackle on John Joyce, leaving Carbury to play from the 25th minute onwards with 14 men.
Naas failed to make their numerical advantage count however, and it was Carbury who finished the half in the ascendancy as Eoghan O’Flaherty scored two fine points before the interval to leave the scores at 2-3 to 0-8 in Naas’ favour.
It remained extremely tight for the entirety of the third quarter as Carbury still battled manfully against the extra man that Naas had, and they levelled matters within a couple of minutes of the restart when O’Flaherty slotted over a free. Naas quickly regained the lead with a couple of fast scores, the first of which came from John Joyce after the industrious duo of Kane and Ailin McDermott had battled manfully to set him up. Callaghan drove over another point for the County Town side, and they would never lose the lead after that.
Dermody responded with his second point of the evening but Joyce knocked over a free at the other end to cancel that out soon after. When O’Flaherty drew Carbury to within a point with 19 minutes left on the clock nobody would have thought that that would be their last score the next 20 minutes, but Naas locked their defence down superbly and began to tag on point after point to surge towards the winning line.
Shane Bergin began a spell in which they scored seven points in a row as the corner-back drove over a ’45, and Ronan Joyce showed unerring accuracy and superb composure over the next few minutes as he slotted over four frees in a row to really kill the game off as a contest. Eoin Doyle, who had been sitting on front of the Naas full-back line as the extra man, was sent to the line with a black card late on, but it failed to make too much difference as Naas continued to dominate. Three fine points from play helped to push them over the line with plenty to spare, as David Shaw, Mellett and McDermott all raised white flags in the closing stages to power them into the last eight.
Scorers for Carbury: E O’Flaherty 0-7(3f), A Dermody and M O’Flaherty 0-2 each, T Colleary 0-1.
Scorers for Naas: R Joyce 0-7(5f), C Mellett 1-1, A Begley 1-0, E Callaghan 0-2, S Bergin(1f), J Joyce, D Shaw and A McDermott 0-1 each.
D Conroy; D Boyle, C Kearney, W Groome; M Kelly, M O'Flaherty, S Moore; T Colleary, S Cummins(J Cully 34mins) ; E O'Flaherty, B O'Flaherty, D Redmond; A Dermody(J Kelly 50mins), A Kearney(S Costello 50mins), S McGlynn(T Rossiter HT).
L Mullins; E Bateman, S Bergin, B Byrne; B Kane, E Doyle(P Sullivan BC 54mins), A McDermott; R Bergin(D Shaw 9mins inj), P McDermott(J Burke 60mins); J Cocoman(W Murtagh 60mins), E Callaghan, J Joyce; C Mellett, R Joyce, A Begley.
If you have a story or want to send photos or videos to us please contact the KildareNow editorial team. via our Facebook, via our email at [email protected] or on 045 409350 during office hours.