SENIOR hurling champions Celbridge completed the 2011 double last Wednesday at Naas when they comfortable prevailed against Coill Dubh in last year’s SHL decider, writes Ruth O’Brien.
Coill Dubh: 0-11
A goal from Sean O’Carroll five minutes before half time set the Hazelhatch Road men on route to victory against old rivals Coill Dubh who finished out the encounter a man down when Ruairi Hayden was shown a second yellow card as the game came to its conclusion.
At the interlude Celbridge led by 1-9 to 0-8 and they outscored their opponents nine points to three in the second in a game in which they never looked like losing. Just days after winning the Division 2B title with Kildare Conor Kenny came out and gave a superb performance and chipped in with four points from play, as did midfield man Danny Butler.
Indeed it was Kenny who opened the scoring just a minute in when he struck over from the left but soon after Coill Dubh’s top scorer, Ryan Casey, did likewise to restore early parity.
Early on the teams were neck-in-neck and were still all square with eleven played. Danny Butler and Sam White (free) split the posts for the side in blue, while Ryan Casey and Damien Behan raised white flags for Coill Dubh.
Points from Mark Moloney, Sam White (free), Kenny (two) and Butler left Celbridge leading 0-8 to 0-5 ten minutes before the break and there was even better to come for the senior hurling champions.
Before the interlude O’Carroll knocked over a delightful point from a difficult angle out right and the same player ensured a 1-9 to 0-8 half time lead for Celbridge soon after. In the 25th minute O’Carroll collected possession from Mark Moloney to the left of the posts before sending the ball past Damien Byrne to give the blues a 1-9 to 0-6 advantage.Before the break Coill Dubh responded with a brace of unanswered points, courtesy of Mark Delaney, to reduce the deficit to four (1-9 to 0-8) at half time.
Celbridge introduced their captain Bill White after the break but it was his his brother Sam who extended their lead two minutes in when he knocked over a free and indeed the younger White added to his tally in the 33rd minute when he found himself on the end of Pa Curtin’s clearance before splitting the posts.
With the scoreboard reading 1-10 to 0-8 Coill Dubh were in desperate need of a point to stem the tide and it came from Ryan Casey, whose shot from out right sailed over Niall Lanigan’s cross bar. However, points from Danny Butler and Sam White extended Celbridge’s lead to seven and even with twenty minutes remaining Celbridge were well on course for the title.
Mark Delaney tagged on two for Coill Dubh, the last of those coming in the 44th minute, and that was to be their last score of the afternoon. Down the other end though Celbridge weren’t as quiet.
O’Carroll, Mark Moloney (two), Conor Kenny and Sam White (free) finished out the scoring to ensure a 1-18 to 0-11 victory for the north Kildare side.
Niall Lanigan; Conor Ryan, Fiachra O Muineachain, Pa Curtin; Aidan McDonagh, Donal Moloney, Cathal Earley; Danny Butler 0-4, Leo Quinn; Mark Moloney 0-2, Tony Murphy, Conor Kenny 0-4; Paddy Moloney, Sean O’Carroll 1-2, Sam White 0-6 (4f). Subs: Billy White replaced P Moloney HT, Marcus Kinsella replaced S O’Carroll 54 mins.
Damien Byrne; Shane Kenna, Noel Casey, Dean Regan; Ross Carew, Mark Grace, Eanna O’Neill; Damien Behan 0-1, Barry Cahill; Tom Carew 0-1 (1 ‘65’), Mark Delaney 0-4 (1 ‘65’, 1f), Jamie Kenna; Ryan Casey 0-5, Ruairi Hayden, Chris Byrne. Sub: Kevin O’Toole replaced C Byrne 51 mins.