It may have taken over 140 minutes of football but Kildare are finally in the Leinster Minor Football final after getting the better of Wicklow.
The backbone of the under 17 side were victorious in the Fr.Manning cup last year and under the tutelage of Padraig Carbury they have impressed immensely throughout the year.
The Clane school teacher was delighted with the resolve that his team showed and also pinpointed Sam Morrissey’s 29th minute goal as a turning point as it ensured Kildare kept in touch with a Wicklow team that were rampant at stages of that opening period.
“The heart is probably marginally better than it was last Sunday”.
“Wicklow got the start that we thought we would get and it put us on the backfoot but credit to the lads as they kept working and they didn’t panic and we got a goal there with fellas expecting the unexpected and following the ball in and it happened on two occasions so it worked out well for us”.
“Sam Morrissey's goal before half-time was very important as it kind of rattled them as they were the ones who had done the scoring up till then so to actually come in and just be a point behind instead of four was a real plus psychologically for us and obviously it probably rattled them a bit and we then settled into the game a bit more and it opened up a little in the second half”.
Matthew Ging and Eoin Darcy were real thorns in the Kildare side during the opening half but credit to the management as they changed things at the break and the Lillywhite defence powered into the game.
“We had done a fair bit of work on video analysis with regards to their dangermen and we also slotted Paddy McDermott back as cover in front of the back line to help ease the pressure”.
“We weren’t as open as a result in the second half”.
“The full back line in particular in John Lynch, Sean Hill and Jack Hamill put in a mighty effort there”, said Carbury.
Muiris Curtin’s role off the bench was crucial in the victory as he kicked 1-2 and with Paidi Behan on his return to the squad also having a big impact and it shows the strength in depth Kildare have.
“Yeah Muiris Curtin did excellently when he came on and that’s the way it goes, Eoghan O’Haire replaced him and won everything that went into him and basically that corner forward position was between the two of them”.
Kildare now go forward to play Meath in the Leinster Final next Saturday in Tullamore and the Longford native feels the extra games and experience of playing in front of such a big crowd is bound to do them the world of good ahead of the Royal challenge.
“I think the extra games will do us good and there is nothing like playing especially the way it ended up last Sunday. Wicklow were celebrating afterwards and it was as if our place was a wake for a little while but we got going again”.
“The prospect of going to Aughrim was a big one but psychologically there is nothing like games and these games will leave the lads in good stead”.
“Some of the lads said they have never played in front of crowds like that before, they are only young lads and that will actually help them a lot going forward”, Carbury said afterwards
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