O'Flaherty's perfect ten sees classy Carbury through
Eoghan O'Flaherty registered 10 points as Carbury sent last year's winners Athy packing to join Sarsfields in the Kildare SFC final. It was sweet revenge for Stephen Darby's charges, who were Athy's victims in last year's decider.
Their south Kildare opponents didn't relinquish their crown without a fight, though, and having trailed by nine points at one stage in the second half, scored six on the trot to reduce the margin to three. They were unable to make any further inroads and Carbury deservedly saw the game out by 0-15 to 0-12.
The sides were very evenly matched early on but after getting to 20 minutes on 0-4 apiece, it was Carbury who put their foot on the accelerator to score the next four points and lead by 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time.
O'Flaherty had six on the board by the interval and he continued to impress from both placed balls and play as the Offaly-border outfit added five points in six minutes after the resumption. Athy dug deep though and, with Darroch Mulhall among the scorers, kicked the next six points to trail by just three with 10 minutes remaining. Willie Groome stopped the rot though, and Carbury were able to see out the game.
Sarsfields, meanwhile, just came out on top in a nail-biting clash with St Laurence's on a 1-11 to 1-9 scoreline. Goalkeeper Paddy O'Sullivan was called upon as early as the second minute when Gary White fouled Shaun Fahey to concede a penalty. Fahey took the kick but O'Sullivan made the save.
Padraig Fogarty started brilliantly for the Larries with three excellent points, but Sarsfields maintained their composure and were level at half-time.
Alan Smith pounced for a Sarsfields goal in the 39th minute but Ronnie Lawler responded in kind five minutes later to edge Laurence's in front once more. It was Sarsfields who finished the strongest, however, and points from Smith and Ray Cahill secured their final place.