Having overcome Colaiste Mhuire Johnstown Kilkenny, on a blustery and wet afternoon last Sunday, the Naas CBS Senior hurling bandwagon rolls on to the Leinster decider this Friday in Blanchardstown Institute of Technology. Standing in their way are the powerful winners of the Dublin A hurling Championship Colaiste Eoin from Stillorgan Dublin. This is the first time that the Naas School have got to a Leinster B hurling final, at senior level. The under 16 hurlers won their Leinster Final before Christmas having to work hard against a brave and talented CBS Enniscorthy side.
A run of Leinster senior hurling games that began at the end of October 2016 has seen the Naas lads account for experienced campaigners such as Heywood C.S, Mountrath C.S, and Killina Presentation Offaly in their league games. Quarter final opponents were F.C.J. Bunclody and the semi-final was played against Colaiste Choilm Tullamore, where both teams battled for 80 mins after the game ended in deadlock. The Naas men eventually ran out as 5 point winners thanks to a strong finish in extra time.
Sunday’s game in Eire OG GAA Carlow was played at a hectic pace where having won the toss the Naas lads chose to play into storm Ewan in the first half. Johnstown started brightly with a strong breeze at their backs and raced into a 4 point to 1 lead after ten minutes. The CBS men got their sleeves rolled up and ran at the Johnstown defence where Ciaran Doyle was awarded a penalty after being pulled down. James Burke had only one thing on his mind as he stepped up, with the sliotar crashing to the Johnstown net.
Both sides worked hard until half time, but Naas CBS gave themselves a great chance going in, just one point behind having played into a huge breeze. Having reflected on the pros and cons of their first half performance, the Naas men came bouncing out of the dressing room for the second half. Shane Ryan got his team off to a flying start within seconds making a powerful run and smashing a low ball into the Johnstown net. The game ebbed and flowed with both sides trading points and goals. Naas CBS had built up a 3 point cushion by the 60th minute mark. Injury time of four and a half minutes had seen this dwindle to a single point but heroic Naas defending saw the men in blue and yellow hold out for an historic Rest of Leinster victory.
The upcoming match on Friday lifts Naas CBS to a full Leinster Final at 2pm in Blanchardstown I.T. This should be an epic encounter against seasoned campaigners Colaiste Eoin of Stillorgan. Any hurling enthusiasts should finish work early and get to the Dublin venue.