November 7, 2018

Naas qualified for an U21 final date with Moorefield after a four point semi-final victory over Maynooth. Two goals from Naas corner forward Dean McHolmes, one in each half, was the deciding factor in a strongly contested game.

 Maynooth, who were strong in the middle of the field with Bankole Agunaoye and Conor Davin, found the Naas defence led by Brian Byrne and Shane Gibbons hard to break down. The Naas full forward line of Barry Murphy, Aidan Begley and Dean McHolmes caused the Maynooth defence all sorts of problems.

Naas started well with points from John Joyce and Dean McHolmes. Maynooth replied with three unanswered points from Johnny Flaherty (2) and Ruadhan O’Giollain to lead 0 – 3 to 0 – 2 after fifteen minutes. Points by Brian Byrne, Barry Murphy and Dean Mc Holmes put Naas two ahead. Two Maynooth points in a minute from Niall Flynn and Johnny Flaherty brought the sides level after twenty five minutes. With one minute remaining in the first half Rory McDermott broke out of defence and found Barry Murphy who beat two Maynooth defenders before passing to McHolmes who scored a vital goal for Naas. At the interval Naas led 1 – 6 to 0 – 6.

Two Mc Holmes points at the start of the second half left five between them. Three unanswered Maynooth points reduced the arrears to two points. Naas replied with a John Joyce point. Two Eoin Donnellan frees put Maynooth one point in arrears with ten minutes left. Up stepped McHolmes with his second goal of the game to put Naas in a four point lead which they never lost.

Naas: Luke Mullins, Johnny Heavey, Shane Gibbons, Simon Lacey, Conor McCarthy, Brian Byrne (0 – 1), David Shaw, Eoghan Bateman, Rory McDermott, Darragh Merriman (0 – 1), Ben Blackbourne, John Joyce (0 – 2), Barry Murphy (0 – 1), Aidan Begley, Dean McHolmes (2 – 4). Subs: Shane Ryan (0 – 1), Dallan Gallagher, Ciaran Doyle, James Burke, Paul Mc Dermott.