South Leinster Secondary Schools ‘B’ semi final
Report by Michael Dwyer
Photos by Gearoid Cullen
Naas CBS 2-16
Gorey Community School 1-10
Gorey Community School’s Senior football campaign ended on Tuesday last as Naas CBS used extra time to defeat the Slaneysiders in the South Leinster ‘B’ semi-final. Naas, who had seen off the attacks of FCJ Bunclody in the previous round, were playing against a gale-force wind in the first half. However, John O’ Brien managed to point a free for the lily-whites in the first minute. Gorey dominance soon prevailed as a ball from Gavin Stamp set up Yusuf Frih for a beautiful point. Both defences worked diligently despite the sheeting rain. Jason Redmond, Conor Devitt and Tomás Morris were effective for Gorey while Kildare’s John Hill and Eoghan Bateman defended valiantly. After fifteen minutes, Gavin Stamp weaved through the Naas defence to raise another white flag. A huge boost to the Gorey advance came in the twenty fifth minute when Ross Bealin picked out Fionn Doyle to plant the ball to the net of Liam Power. Naas’ John O’ Brien’s pointed free was quickly eroded by Yusuf Frih’s high and elegant point which closed the first half. Naas had scoring potential as they missed the target seven times in the first half, but Gorey had the advantage at half time as they led 1-03 to 0-01.
Naas strengthened in the second half with the advantage of the wind direction. John Hill managed to point from the placed ball twice. Gorey’s first free of the entire game was awarded in the fortieth minute and Gavin Stamp made use of the advantage as he pointed. The fierce weather conditions didn’t boost the chances of Naas who recorded nine wides in comparison to Gorey’s single missed opportunity. Gorey were shell shocked by the home side’s advance as Eoghan Bateman, John Hill and John O’ Brien combined for four points. Nevertheless, the sheer passion embedded in Gorey by Conor Wickham and Rory McCarthy yielded a late revival. Conor Devitt and Eoin Conroy fielded strongly in the centre as Mark Nolan sprinted through the Naas defence to kick a marvellous point. With four minutes remaining, controversy sprouted when Gavin Stamp’s kick managed to hit the top of the post. With the umpires divided in opinion, the referee decided that it was wide. Pressure mounted on Gorey’s county minor footballer, Gavin Stamp, as a twenty metre free was awarded in the final minute. With the crowd on tenterhooks, Stamp brought the game to extra time with a steady kick.
Naas exploited the wind in their sails as John O’ Brien promptly kicked a stylish goal. Eoghan Bateman and John Hill added two points each also. Gorey were muted for the first ten minutes but after the resumption Kevin Molloy pointed twice while Eoin Conroy and Gavin Stamp both raised the white flag. However, the Gorey crusade was ended when John Hill earned a major and Eoghan Bateman pointed to the despair of the Slaneysiders. Naas proceed to the Leinster Final while Gorey C.S. have to endure a long Spring.
GOREY C.S.: James Flood, Marc Halpin, Philip Kinsella, Gavin Stamp (0-04), Yusuf Frih (0-02, All Castletown), Mark Nolan (0-01), Ben Egan, Jason Redmond, Fionn Doyle (1-00), Kevin Molloy (0-02), Eoin Conroy (0-01, All Naomh Eanna), Tomás Morris (St Patricks), Dylan Moore (Tara Rocks), Conor Devitt (Kilanerin), Cathal Dunbar (Ballygarrett). SUBS. Ciarán Sheridan, Alan McPartlan, Michael Dwyer, Gearoid Cullen, Conor Kinsella, Mark Woods (All Naomh Eanna), Lee Owley, Rhys Owley (Both Tara Rocks), Liam Condren (Castletown), Dylan Sweeney (Ballygarrett), Michael O’ Brien, Michael Hamilton (Both St Patricks).