The Dicksboro minor team that achieved Division 1 league success. Pic: Willie Dempsey
Dicksboro and Naas clashed in UPMC Nowlan Park in a highly entertaining Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor League final.
In a game that ebbed and flowed, a goal and a point from Kilkenny minor captain Harry Shine proved to be the game changer after he was relocated to his natural home of the full forward line.
Shine got the team clad in maroon and white off to a perfect start when he fired over a free from close in. Alan Tobin instantly responded with a point of his own to level but the dynamic midfielder had the Kildare outfit in front when he landed a monster of a point from just on the half way line. Matthew Kelleher sent the white flag waving with a point of his own after some neat play by captain Cillian Hackett.
Fionn Maher and Kelleher swapped points as the hectic nature of the game continued. Hackett and Shine added further points to see the City side up 0-6 to 0-3 at the end of the first water break.
In a blink of an eye the Naas men had pulled level with Killian Harrington, Maher and Sean Murphy all splitting the posts before Shine and Tobin converted placed balls in quick succession. A long range point from the rampaging half back Sean Keenan was soon followed by a Shine free.
Maher briefly lifted the siege that was starting to develop on the Naas goal with a point as the ’Boro men threatened to suck the life out of the Kildare challenge. Conor Kavanagh had the final say of the half pointing after fine work from Johnny Keane to leave Dicksboro 0-10 to 0-8 ahead.
McGarry pointed before Shine helped himself to a hat-trick of points. Maher briefly responded and Shine added a further two points to his tally.
The waterbreak came at the right time for Naas and a Charlie Carroll goal brought them right back into things. Shine took the gloss of the big score with a quick point but the dander was up on the challengers with Maher and Cian Boran all pointing.
Shine was looking menacing at the edge of the square and he duly goaled but before the celebrations had died down Seamus Kelleher had sent the green flag waving down the other end of the field.
The next score was going to be vital, Matthew Kelleher got a fine point for the ’Boro men before Shine finished off the scoring.
In what was a well contested game the home side were on balance the better value for the win and will go into their championship clash with Young Irelands as favourites to retain their title against last year’s beaten finalists.
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