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Ardclough turn the tables on Naas

Ardclough upset the odds to claim 11th Kildare title

Ardclough 1-15 Naas 1-12

Ardclough produced a stunning upset in the Kildare hurling final in Newbridge on Sunday when they beat hot favourites Naas to lift their 11th title, and first since 2006.

Few outside the Ardclough camp gave them a chance against a Naas side who lost last year’s final and who had beaten Ardclough three times already this year.

Naas couldn’t have wished for a better start as Richie Ryan rattled the back of the Ardclough net after just two minutes. He added a point a minute later to settle Naas into the game but with the Fitzgerald brothers, Paul and Martin, starting to find their form Ardclough came right back into the game.

Ryan’s goal was the only difference between the teams at half time as Naas led 1-8 to 0-8.

After Paul Fitzgerald and Ryan swapped early scores, both teams were reduced to 14 men when Ardclough’s Johnny Reeves and Naas’ Kieran Maher were sent off for an off-the-ball incident.

Fitzgerald then levelled the game for the one and only time with a 39th minute goal. He then added a point a minute later to put Ardclough ahead for the first time and from there, they never looked back.

As well as the two Fitzgerald’s, Colm Buggy hit two important scores late on. Naas did get back to within a point at one stage but Ardclough had moved into another gear and a frustrating day for Naas saw them finish the game with 13 men following a red card shown to Jack Sheridan in injury time.

Ardclough: A Buggle; E Walsh, D Collins, R Spain; P Aylward, R Hoban, R Maguire; P Ryan, J Reeves; T Spain (0-1), M Fitzgerald (0-7, 5f), C Buggy (0-3); N Delahunt, L Hanley, P Fitzgerald (1-4). Subs: M Stapleton for Aylward (27 mins); S Buggy for Stapleton (55 mins); S Crowe for C Buggy (60 mins).

Naas: C Gallagher; D McSweeney, R Bergin (0-1), P Sullivan; D McDonncha, S Walsh, S Gainey; E O’Hehir (0-1), M Nevin; S Ryan, M Purcell (0-1), S Lacey; K Maher, J Sheridan (0-1, 1sc), R Ryan (1-8, 7f). Subs: B Byrne for McSweeney (33 mins); J O’Malley for Bergin (41 mins); K Aherne for Nevin (51 mins); C Tobin for S Ryan (51 mins); K Byrne for O’Hehir (59 mins).

Referee: D. Peppard