For the eighth time since 2001 the Kildare SFC final will be a Newbridge derby between Moorefield and Sarsfields after both won their semi-finals.
In miserable weather conditions, Sarsfields became the first side into this year’s decider when they saw off a very disappointing Celbridge outfit 0-9 to 0-5.
Sarsfields, managed by the newly appointed Wicklow manager Davy Burke, pulled clear in the second half after an impressive display. Scores were hard to come by with the weather not lending itself to good football and the teams were tied at 0-3 apiece at the break.
Caoimhin McDonnell, Ben McCormack and Barry Coffey scored to push Sarsfields three clear by the 40th minute and there was no response from Paul Curran’s Celbridge.
Ray Cahill pointed a free in the 53rd minute to put Sarsfields 0-7 to 0-3 ahead and it wasn’t until the 59th and 61st minute that Celbridge scored in the second half, with two Paddy Brophy frees. McDonnell replied in kind for Sarsfields.
Three points behind and in need of a goal, Celbridge remained ponderous on the ball.
Their hopes evaporated when Sarsfields forced a turnover in midfield and Barry Coffey raced away to score the match clinching point.
Their neighbours join them in the final after beating Athy 2-10 to 1-11 in a repeat of last year’s final. Moorefield made the dream start when Niall Hurley-Lynch scored a goal in the fourth minute and the champions went on to dominate the first half.
They led 1-9 to 0-4 at half time and there were only 38 seconds played in the second half when Eanna O’Connor scored their second goal. When O’Connor added a point in the 40th minute Moorefield led by 10 points and seemed set to cruise to the final but Athy staged a late comeback.
They scored three points in a row before Niall Kelly rounded Moorefield goalkeeper Ian McDonnell to score a goal in the 46th minute. James Eaton scored a free and then Kevin Feely fired over in the 56th minute to leave just two points in it but despite Moorefield not scoring in the last 20 minutes plus injury time they just about held on.
Moorefield will now attempt to become the first Kildare team to win three county titles in a row since Sarsfields in the early 1950s, an added bit of spice to a game that scarcely needs it.
Today, Naas won their first Kildare SHC title since 2002 by beating Coill Dubh by 0-15 to 0-12.
The club have been the dominant force in Kildare hurling and this year won Junior, Intermediate and Minor titles but after losing two senior finals in the last four years this was the one they really wanted.
Naas were the better side in the first half and on the balance of play deserved to hold a bigger lead at half than 0-9 to 0-5. They moved 0-12 to 0-7 ahead by the 40th minute but Coill Dubh were much improved in the second half and three Mark Delaney frees in a row cut the lead to two.
Just as Naas looked rattled, Brian Byrne ended 17 minutes without a score and then Mick Purcell and Jack Sheridan scored to seal the win.