14 May Ace Sports Awards Masters Division 1 Coill Dubh AFC 0 Naas AFC 1
Feature game Leinster Leader
Coill Dubh AFc 0 V Naas AFC 1
Naas AFC secured all three points in this hard fought Masters Division 1 tie played at Cusack Park, Coill Dubh on Saturday evening.
Naas AFC arrived at Cusack park, Coil Dubh with the sun splitting the trees offering the perfect example of why one calendar year football is the way to go. The pitch looked resplendent basking in the sun, freshly cut grass and two teams eager to warm up and the game going.
Naas coming into the game unbeaten but with no goals conceded or scored and in need of something to kick start their season and Coill Dubh taking nothing from their first two outings were keen to set their stall out early albeit without their regular keeper David Tiernan, following an injury picked up the week before. Trevor McLoughlin stood in between the stick for this tie.
Eddie O’Sullivan the ref kicked the game off and from the start Naas set up in an unfamiliar 442 against 451 and from the beginning Naas showed their intent as they pressed high and were flying up both wings as Charlie DeCourcy swopped right back for right wing as he decamped and despite hard work, tricky skills and leaving the Coill Dubh left full for dead couldn’t find the final ball into the box.
Similar Jay Keane was swinging the ball in from right full deep into the danger zone but Coil Dubh back two dealt with and the one time they didn’t, Luke Keegan found him with a glorious chance but to miskick. The opening ten to fifteen minutes was a tame affair and an injury to Darren McManus for Naas made an early change and Kenny Finnucance came on. Naas midfield started to try and play some ball. John Corkish tried to get to grips with things and he and Luke Keegan started to find the feet of mick Curran and Alan Kavanagh but a combination of decent defending, low intensity of movement off the ball and the odd poor pass was giving the ball back. Moving through the thirds Naas looked comfy but just decision making as they approached the final third was letting them down but this was a good example of masters football and an exciting game as Coill Dubh tried to counter attack at every chance and midway through the half they had a glorious chance when a great move down the right wing starting with a stunning pass from Stephen McCabe put Anto Flynn away free on the right wing only to see his cross-headed softly into the keeper’s hands by Joe Mullen and the half petered out at 0-0 to the break
Early in the second half a wonderful break by Naas’s Mick Curran when a sneaky ball from Lennox set him free, he did the full back for pace and as the keeper came out chipped him lovely but alas the ball kissed the top of the cross bar. The visitors enjoyed a period of possession but were guilty of some woeful finishing and you could see the frustration building in their attack. Soon after Naas were reduced to ten men following a challenge of Coill Dibh’s Neil Barnby and within minutes they could have edged ahead as Barnby put Terry Ward through only for the Naas keeper to pull off a top drawer save to keep his side in the game.
With less than five minutes on the clock Naas were pounding Coill Dubh with attack after attack and Tom Maher at left full was a serious danger. Perfectly time tackles, headers and charging up and down the wing. One of these attacked saw charlie deep into the box and for the first time the keeper was not there and Mick Curran rose to nod down past Coill Dubh defenders Noel Brereton and Noel Morgan and into the net what would become a winner to the relief of Naas. Best for Naas was scorer Curran and for Coill Dubh Graham Gill, Ciaran Swords and James Gill excelled