CASTLEDERMOT caused a mild shock when dismissing Naas in this season’s U21 Football Championship by a single point at a dry, sunny but extremely cold Naas on Saturday afternoon, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Under 21 Football Championship
And while there was just a single point in it at the end of the day if Castledermot had lost this one they would have had only themselves to blame as they kicked at least six second half wides, both from open play and placed balls, that had their sideline mentors scratching their collective heads in near disbelief.
The winners had in midfielder Gavin Farrell the best player on the field. His fielding and distribution was top class and while the Naas midfield did come into in in parts in the secnd half overall the winners held the upper hand in this area through Farrell and his partner Mikey Wall.
It was that other Farrell, Ian, who got the winners off on the scoring board converting a free after a minute but Naas hit back with a goal when county senior man, Eoin Doyle made a brilliant block which started the move that ended with Philip Cocoman finding the right hand corner of David Doyle’s net.
A fine move involving Eoin Grogan, Brian Kane and Ronan Joyce ended with Kane popping over a point to leave it Naas 1-1 Castledermot 0-1 after just ten.
Castledermot, however began to get a grip around the middle and with the Naas defence inclined to foul Ian Farrell made no mitake to reduce the deficit to a single white flag.
Ronan Joyce increased that to two mid-way through but again it was reduced when Fionn O’Gorman came storming through the middle and knock one over with his left peg; Mikey Wall then set up Ian Farrell on 18 the sides were level.
Naas then lost possession opting for a quick free and in a flowing move Castledermot advanced with Eugene Mahon showing great handlng skills set up David Keating who made no mistake from close range to give Castledermot the lead, 1-5 to 1-2.
From here to the break it was all Casteldermot and they stretched that lead to five with white flags from David Keating and Emmet O’Keeffe to leave the half time reading Castledermot 1-7 Naas 1-2.
It was a different Naas side that re-emerged for the second half however. Looking hungrier and certainly stepping up a gear they hit three quick points from Ronan Joyce (free), Conor McIntyre and Brian Kane to leave just two between the sides after some 37 minutes. In between the flurry of points a fine move involving Eoin Doyle and Conor McIntyre saw the latter denied a goal by ‘Dermot ‘keeper, David Doyle.
Slowly Castledermot worked their way into the game but they certainly seem to have left their shooting boots in the dressing room.
A brilliant catch by Ross Kelly set up substitute Alan McDermot who left a single point between the sides midway through.
David Keating finally got Castledermot’s first point of the second half and it was indeed a vital one as it was the south of the county team’s only score of the second half.
Eoin Doyle fed Ross Bergin who hit a brilliant effort from close to the side line to again leave just a single point separting the sides. with just six minutes remaining.
It was nail biting stuff from here to the end but try as they might Naas just could not get that vital equaliser while at the same time Casteldermot continued to squander chances.
Near the end Castledermot were reduced to 14 when Thomas Murphy got a red card following a ‘clash’ with Oisín Gill but the resultant free from Ronan Joyce never looked like reaching its intended target and Castledermot deservedly held on to march on in this year’s U21 championship while Naas will now compete in the shield.
Castledermot, David Keating 1-3, Ian Farrel 0-4 (3 frees), Emmet O’Keeffe 0-1. Naas, Philip Cocoman 1-0, Brian Kane 0-2, Ronan Joyce 0-2 (2 frees), Conor McIntyre 0-1, Alan McDermott 0-1, Ross Bergin 0-1.
David Doyle; Barry Nolan, William Kelly, Thomas Murphy; Brian Nolan, Pauric Murphy, Niall Dooley; Gavin Farrell, Mikey Wall; Ian Farrell, Paddy Whelan, David Keating; Finn O’Gorman, Eugene Mahon, Emmet O’Keeffe.
Seán Whitson; John Quinn, Adam Denver, Danny Sheehan; Seán Gainey, Eoin Doyle, Conor Ferguson; Ross Kelly, Philip Cocoman; Brian Kane, Ronan Joyce, Oisín Gill; Ross Bergin, Eoin Grogan, Conor McIntyre. Subs: Eoghan Bateman for JohnQuinn (half time); Alan McDermot for Eoin Grogan (45 minute); Fiachra Piggott for Brian Kane (60minute).