Kildare JHC final
By Robert Cribbin
Kilcock are the Junior Hurling Championship winners after they battled to a three point victory over Naas in a wet St Conleth's Park.
Kilcock had a storming final five minutes where three points on the bounce got them over the line.
Naas had led at half-time by two points and looked in the driving seat but it all fell apart for them after the break.
A spirited second half performance for the North Kildare Club was the catalyst for the success as they restricted Naas to just a couple of frees.
Man of the Match Declan Keane was immense in the second period and along with Darragh Nolan their scoring threat from play proved too much for Naas.
On a dreadful afternoon for hurling it was Naas who made all the early running and they were into a quick 0-3 to 0-0 lead.
An opening minute Ben O’Reilly free got the ball rolling before the lead was doubled with a Peter Purcell score from play.
Full forward Alex Maher then made it three on the bounce but Kilcock did reply with Darragh Nolan knocking a beautiful effort between the posts on the sideline.
Naas looked more threatening in attack however and they got the opening goal in the 17th minute.
A long dropping free found its way into the hands of Maher and despite being surrounded by a couple of Kilcock players he still managed to get a foot to it and swing the sliotar beyond the reach of David Farrell and into the bottom corner.
The goal gave Naas a five point cushion but Kilcock did get a bit of momentum going before the interval with a brace of frees from John Quane getting them back to three points.
Ciaran Murray then scored from range in stoppage time as Naas went into the break with a 1-3 to 0-4 advantage.
Naas extended the lead within sixty seconds of the restart with a second O’Reilly free after Maher had been fouled.
Naas would go into a slumber from there however as they went scoreless for over twenty minutes.
Kilcock took their time to eat into the lead though with just scores from Nolan and Quane closing the gap.
Naas had a glorious opportunity to speed clear in the 37th minute when a deflected clearance upfield from Mark Hennessy found its way to Declan O’Neill but he didn’t connect properly and Farrell collected easily.
From that miss Kilcock only grew in confidence and although they were guilty of a few careless misses, a brilliant James Kenehan effort brought the teams level.
Declan Keane scored from range to give Kilcock the lead for the first time in the 51st minute but it didn’t last long with O’Reilly converting his third free to draw the teams level at 0-8 to 1-5.
Kilcock sped clear in the final few minutes though with a long range Keane free followed up by scores from play via Nolan and sub Alan Burke.
Naas had a late opportunity to drop the ball into the Kilcock square but in a summation of their second half, Matt Faughan mishit the free and the full time whistle went straight away as Kilcock took the 0-11 to 1-5 victory.
Scorers for Kilcock: D.Nolan 0-3, J Quane 0-3 (0-3fs), D Keane 0-2, C Murray, J Kenehan and A Burke 0-1.
Scorers for Naas: A Maher 1-1, B O’Reilly 0-3 (0-3fs), P Purcell 0-1.
David Farrell; Liam Doyle, Patrick Rowsome, Alan Duff; Patrick Bermingham, Tom Jones, Thomas Geraghty; Rory O’Brien, Niall Doolan; James Murphy, Ciaran Murray, Declan Keane; John Quane, Michael Stokes, Darragh Nolan.
Subs used: Fergal McKenna for Murphy 21 mins, Padraig Norris for O’Brien 42 mins, James Kenehan for Stokes 42 mins, Emmet Keane for Geraghty 46 mins, Alan Burke for Murray 52 mins.
Sean Whelan; Evan Nolan, Brian Ahern, Shane Murphy; Cormac Wren, Pat Mulcahy, Shane Kelly; Matt Faughan, Niall O’Leary; Mark Hennessy, Declan O’Neill, Ben O’Reilly; Niall Goff, Alex Maher, Peter Purcell.
Subs used: Ciaran Kelliher for Wren 38 mins, Eamonn Leamy for Mulcahy 40 mins, Stephen McKiverigan for Purcell 41 mins, John Gavigan for Goff 50 mins.
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