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NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF KILDARE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS OF FIFTY YEARS AGO

Leinster Leader 21 August 2008
 
 
KILCOCK AND ROUND TOWERS ADVANCE AT EXPENSE OF NAAS AND ATHY
BY
LIAM KENNY
 

The Kildare county championships were hotting up in August 1958 with the Leader carrying reports of two key championship games under the heading: ‘ Kilock reach final: Round Towers win narrowly.’
Two county senior championships matches were decided when Round Towers beat Athy and Kilcock entered their second successive final by their defeat of a Naas side that never looked like taking the honours after the first half. Naas, fancied to win this match as a result of their good previous form, threw away golden opportunities of points in the first moiety, only to find in the later stages that the Kilcock defence had their forwards well and truly held.
Kilcock were the quicker to settle down and they had four points before Naas could get an opening score. The defence of Kilcock, led by Foley, was giving nothing away and fully ten minutes had gone before Naas could register their first point. Then when Naas settled down they gradually lessened the Kilock lead, until towards the end only a goal divided them. Naas fought frantically to level up but the astute Kilock backs barred the way and were victorious when the final whistle sounded. It was inexperience that lost the match for Naas, according to the Leader GAA correspondent. Indeed had they settled down quickly at the start Kilcock might not have got such a favourable lead on them but such is the luck of any aspiring team. 
However the Leader writer gave every encouragement to the men from the county town’s team notwithstanding their defeat at the hands of the Kilcock side: ‘ It is good to see the metropolis of the county trying to hard to bring back the great name held by the town’s team, some thirty years ago, and the present youthful team has nothing to fear for the future. If they keep together they should yet make a name for themselves.’’  The two Higgins in the backs with Kevin Smith, the culbaire, were the best on the Naas side. Curtis, Hogan and Jackie Bracken were also prominent. L McCormack, Noel Moran, Paddy Gibbons and Foley were outstanding for Kilcock who ran out winners by nine points to six, gaining a place in the county final in the process.
A more high score affair took place in Newbridge with Round Towers pitted against Athy. Round Towers’ supporters were on pins and needles for fully fifty minutes in this senior championship game. Up to then Athy led the Towers a merry dance, and it was doubtful, had the Athy backs not committed foolish petty fouls within range of their goal, if Towers would have survived. 
The game was very fast and from the start Athy, who were fairly accurate, kept the ball moving. Athy were first to score: a splendid long range point was shortly followed by another. Then Towers had a good point per Treacy but Athy kept up the pressure and at half time led by 1-3 to four points. Resuming Athy attacked and from a close-in free the ball entered the Towers net, to give them a commanding lead of five points. Then Athy seemed to tire and Towers began to narrow the lead. Athy, however still fought back but the Towers defence was still on top and the attacks went for nought. A habit of fouling within short range of their goal was now the undoing of Athy, as Finlay for Towers was in deadly form with his frees and soon had the scores level at ten points each. The Athy defence seemed to falter after this and Towers had two points in the closing minutes to give them victory  in what was described as a ‘splendid, clean-fought game.’
For Towers, Treacy, P. Loughlin, Aldridge, Finlay, and Lindy were best. For Athy, Kehoe and Carolan caught the eye. The Athy culbaire, O’Keeffe, kept a good goal, and Round Towers, try as they could could not find the net. Had the defence been as vigilant in the last ten minutes as they had been at the beginning Athy could have won. However Round Towers clocked up the points winning out 0-12 points to 2-4. There was encouragement nonetheless for the losers from the Leader’s ever supportive GAA correspondent: ‘ It is good to see Athy, the home of former stylists of county fame, again in the limelight. Their players are all on the youthful side and with more experience seem destined to have the name of Athy again in the forefront of Kildare football.’
Series No. 81.

Newspaper coverage of the 1958 Kildare County Championships is examined by Liam Kenny in his regular column 'Nothng New Under the Sun in the Leinster Leader dated 21 August 2008


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