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Naas Pull Off Remarkable Comeback To Reach Kildare Semi-Final

Naas Pull Off Remarkable Comeback To Reach Kildare Semi-Final
By PJ Browne Updated
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Despite being six points down at half-time to Sarsfields, and losing Darragh Kirwan to a red card, and Alex Beirne to a black card in the second half, Naas progressed to the semi-finals of the Kildare SFC.

Defending champions Naas won the quarter-final 1-14 to 1-11 with 39-year-old Eamonn Callaghan kicking seven points in the second half.

"I think we found ourselves lucky today," Callaghan told RTÉ Radio One's Sunday Sport.

"Sarsfields played very well with the wind in the first half, and we struggled big time. We didn't really get the scoreboard ticking, we dropped an awful lot of balls short. I think we were six down at half-time.

"At half-time, there was no roaring, shouting or major panic. We just said that we'd keep doing what we're doing, and point by point, we'd get ourselves back into the game.

"We knew that if we kept our structure, and kept playing the way we can, I knew we might get back into it. We started very well in the second half, and that gave us the platform.

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"One we got back into it, we had the red card, another black card, and things never seemed to go our way. But in fairness, the lads just kept going and going.

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"The penalty at the end was the winning of the game. We're just delighted to pull back from that."

8 January 2022; Eamonn Callaghan of Naas in action against Craig Dias, left, and Cillian O’Shea of Kilmacud Crokes during the AIB Leinster GAA Football Senior Club Championship Final match between Kilmacud Crokes and Naas at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Last season, Naas won their first Kildare senior title since 1990, and went on to reach the Leinster final. Callaghan says his thoughts, and that of his teammates, are not venturing beyond the county semi-final against Celbridge.

'Kildare is a competitive championship'

"There's no such thing as talking about Leinster in Naas," said Callaghan.

"This is going to be our third semi-final in Kildare in about 40 years. We have no business to be talking about anything else but a semi-final.

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"It's about getting back to the drawing board on Tuesday night, and getting ready for the semi-final because Kildare is a competitive championship, and Celbridge are one of the best teams in it. We're not looking beyond that."

In the other Kildare SFC semi-final, Athy will face Clane.

In Pictures: Decisive Weekend In The Dublin Football Championship

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