LEINSTER SCHOOLS JUNIOR LEAGUE DIVISION 2A FINAL
Naas CBS add more silverware to collection
ARDSCOIL NA TRIONOIDE……………….0
By Daire Walsh
FOLLOWING a dominant display at Energia Park last Thursday afternoon, Naas CBS were crowned Leinster Schools Junior League Division 2A champions at the expense of county rivals Ardscoil na Trionoide.
This completes an outstanding season of rugby for this Naas team, who had already added the Fr Godfrey Cup and Duff Cup to their trophy cabinet. They had to overcome Salesian College of Celbridge to claim top honours in the latter and they produced another accomplished display in Donnybrook to earn the bragging rights in Kildare schools rugby.
Whereas Adam Byrne is a notable past student of CBS, Ardscoil list current Munster duo Joey Carbery and Jeremy Loughman amongst their alumni. Carbery’s younger brother Culann led the side at out-half but with Naas dominating possession and territory, there was little room for creative play during the early exchanges.
They established a firm footing inside the Ardscoil ’22’ and broke the deadlock with just four minutes gone on the clock. With space in the central channel proving limited, the ball was switched out towards the left-flank.
Lock Paddy McMahon was on hand to touch down in clinical style and although Andrew Osborne was off-target from the subsequent conversion, the early signs were ominous for Ardscoil. Props Calum Stout and Adel Mahmoud made a series of powerful carries to keep Naas on the front-foot moving into the second-quarter. Despite being under the cosh, Ardscoil were beginning to hold firm in defence. The wet conditions led to a number of handling errors by Naas, which in turn presented Carbery and number eight Seamus Hickey with opportunities to showcase their undoubted abilities.
They were struggling to make an impact inside the Naas half, however, and they ultimately leaked a second try on the stroke of half-time. At the tail end of another sustained attack on the left-flank, McMahon crossed over for his second try of the contest.
Osborne made amends for his earlier miss with a stunning touchline effort – lifting Naas into a 12-0 lead as a consequence. An already tricky situation for Ardscoil was made more difficult on the restart when Naas grabbed their third try on 36 minutes.
When replacement scrum-half Oscar Cawley discovered a gap on the right-wing, he glided over the whitewash for an impressive five-pointer. McKevitt was entrusted with kicking duties in the aftermath of this score and he added the bonuses to give Naas an unassailable 19-point buffer.
An injury to Naas flanker Jamie Carroll on 43 minutes led to an extended delay, but they remained in control against their Athy counterparts when the play resumed. The fleet footwork of Carbery almost created an opening for Ardscoil, though the relentless CBS defence ensured they were living off scraps.
Niall O Geallachoir and Mahmoud were narrowly denied a fourth try in the dying moments as Ardscoil continued to dig their heels in. Having unloaded their replacements bench well before the end of the proceedings, Naas CBS eased over the line to complete an unprecedented treble triumph.
NAAS CBS: Andrew Osborne; Eoin Clarke, Charlie Sheridan, James Forde, Sam Dunne; Jack McKevitt, Ethan Travers; Calum Stout, Simon Hughes, Adel Mahmoud; Brian Doonan, Paddy McMahon; Jamie Carroll, Mark Alexander, Odhran Kelly.
Replacements: Conor Phelan, Darragh McDonnell, Niall O Geallachoir, Mark Keogh, Austin Brennan, Oscar Cawley, Pierce Mooney, Tim Ryan.
ARDSCOIL NA TRIONOIDE: Cormac Byrne, Oisin Grufferty, Aidan Henry, Lochlann Kelleher, Conor Watchorn; Culann Carbery, James Harris; Kieran Doyle, Jack Henry, Darragh Ashton; James Walsh, Adam Healy; Harry Bradbury, Niall O’Hanlon, Seamus Hickey.
Replacements: Ger-Jack Walsh, Eoin Cobbe, Conor Kelly, Dara Nolan-Kelly, James McGrath, Szymon Zdrajkowski, Shane Kavanagh, Christopher Wilson.
Referee: Joe Lyons (Leinster Rugby Referees).