OUR Lady's of Templemore enjoyed a reasonably comfortable passage to the final, as they were too good for Naas CBS at a bitterly cold Gracefield on Saturday.
Our Lady's laid the foundations for victory in midfield, where John McGrath powered them on with a relentless display, while Colin O Riordain helped out ably to ensure that the Naas CBS forwards enjoyed a very limited supply of ball.
Playing into the wind in the first half, the Templemore students had one foot in the final when they went in at the break leading by 1-5 to 0-5.
Naas were 0-3 to 0-1 up after 14 minutes but that was as good as it got for them as Our Lady's got on top in all areas of the field.
The decisive score of the first half was a well-taken goal from Thomas Nolan in the 17th minute, and Our Lady's would have been further ahead but for a very good save by Liam Power from Sean Patrick Guerins on the stroke of half-time.
In the second half, Our Lady's always looked like winning as they quickly put daylight between the two teams. They were 1-8 to 0-5 up before Naas got their first point and they never allowed the Kildare side a glimmer of hope.
SCORERS – Our Lady's: J McGrath 0-5 (4fs, 1 '45'), T Nolan 1-1, SP Guerins, C O Riordain 0-2 each, JJ Ryan 0-1. Naas CBS: J O'Brien 0-3 (1f), D Boothman 0-2, C Julian (f), D Watson 0-1 each.
OUR LADY'S – L Murphy; M Camption, D Brereton, J Bergin; JJ Ryan, B Kennedy, J Ryan; C O Riordain, J McGrath; J Fogarty, E Moloney, D McEnroe; T Nolan, SP Guerins, B O'Connell.
Subs: T Brett for Fogarty (43), T Maher for O'Connell (48).
NAAS CBS – L Power; A Fitzsimons, S Dunne, J Heavey; J Hill, E Cummins, N Connolly; R McDermott, E Bateman; D McHolmes, A McDermott, D Watson; C Julian, D Boothman, J O'Brien. Subs: M Stewart-Byrne for Hill (48), K Fitzpatrick for O'Brien (51), B Byrnes for McHolmes (57).
REF – F Kelly (Longford).