NAAS moved a step closer to the semi finals of the Kildare Senior Hurling Championship after recording a late, late win over Ardclough in Celbridge on Saturday.
Naas, who defeated Confey in the opening round, appeared on the brink of defeat when Martin Fitzgerald pointed a free three minutes into stoppage time that restored parity for the first time since the 43rd minute.
That Fitzgerald score was Ardclough’s fourth on the spin after they staged a late rally to turn the momentum in their favour on a score lin eof Naas 2-10 Ardclough 1-12.
However, even though they won the next puck out as they sought to shoot a dramatic winner of their own, it was Naas who turned over possession before the ball was eventually worked to midfielder, Paul Sullivan who managed to get his decisive shot away despite increased Ardclough pressure.
Scorers: Naas: Sean Gainey 0-5 (4f), Philip Cocoman 1-0, Kevin Byrne 1-0, Ross Kelly 0-2, Peadar Downey 0-1, Mick Purcell 0-1, Paul Sullivan 0-1;
Ardclough: Paul Fitzgerald 1-3, Martin Fitzgerald 0-4 (3f), Tony Spain 0-2, Richie Hoban 0-1, Brendan Byrne 0-1, Colm Buggy 0-1.
NAAS: Cormac Gallagher; Andrew Doyle, Mark Carter, Donal McSweeney; Eamon Leamy, John O’Malley, John Dunne; Paul Sullivan, Kevin Whelan; Peadar Downey, Ross Kelly, Philip Cocoman; Sean Gainey, Mick Purcell, Stephen Piggott. Subs: Kevin Byrne for Piggott (h/t); Darrach MacDonnadh for Dunne (48 mins).
ARDCLOUGH: Aidan Buggle; Niall Coulston, Sean Buggle, Peter Coleman; Enda Hoey, Richie Hoban, Kailyn Domican; Martin Fitzgerald, Ronan O’Malley; Paul Fitzgerald, Brian Coulston, Tony Spain; Brendan Byrne, Colm Buggy, Sean Buggy. Subs: Johnny Reeves for Brian Coulston (blood-sub, 14-17 mins); Johnny Reeves for Sean Buggy (51 mins); Philip Fitzgerald for Hoey (inj, 58 mins).
Meanwhile Confey got their SHC hopes back on track with a comfortable 11-point win over Coill Dubh at Radley Park, Leixlip last Saturday afternoon.
Beaten by Naas in their opening fixture, Confey entered this affair against the former flag-bearers of Kildare hurling knowing that defeat here would all but end their interest in this year’s campaign.
Yet, even with such a possibility looming over them, the 2007 and ’08 champions prevailed with relative ease, a strong finish to the first half setting them on their way to a valuable victory on a score line of Confey 2-16 Coill Dubh 0-11.
Scorers, Confey: Paul Divilly 1-7 (1-4f), Paraic Keegan 0-3, Anto Hoare 1-0, Darragh Nolan 0-2, Kieran Divilly 0-1, Eoin Fitzpatrick 0-1, Colm Chan 0-1, Niall Glennon 0-1;
Coill Dubh: Mark Delaney 0-8 (6f), Declan Flaherty 0-1, Barry Cahill, Ryan Casey 0-1 (1f)
Confey: Ian Baker; Sean Leamy, Paul Keegan, Brian Dowd; Colm Can, Michael Divilly, Kevin Chan; Paul Divilly, Kieran Divilly; John O’Neill, Philip Quigley, Eoin Fitzpatrick; Paraic Keegan, Niall Glennon, Darragh Nolan. Subs: Anto Hoare for O’Neill (46 mins); Cillian MacSuibhne for Colm Chan (56 mins); Robbie Connolly for Baker (57 mins).
Coill Dukbh: Chris Byrne; Darren Fox, Antoine Carew, David Bruder; Barry Cahill, Mark Grace, Ross Carew; Damien Behan, Eanna O’Neill; Declan Flaherty, Mark Delaney, Morgan O’Callaghan; Ruairi Hayden, Adrian Sullivan, Ryan Casey. Subs: Dean Regan for Bruder (35 mins); Adrian McAndrew for O’Callaghan (50 mins); Luke O’Reilly for Fox (54 mins); Killian Hayden for Grace (54 mins); Brendan O’Toole for Ruairi Hayden (54 mins).
Full match reports in Tuesday’s Leinster Leader.