na fianna hit back of the net
Jamieson-Murphy goal halts Enda's fightback as Mobhi boys plunder spoils
NA FIANNA 3-7
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S 0-14
A 57th-minute goal from Andrew Jamieson-Murphy proved pivotal as Na Fianna overcame a brave Ballyboden St Enda's by two points in the Dublin Minor 'A' Hurling Championship Final at a blustery Chanel College last Sunday morning.
Boden had clawed their way back into contention to trim their arrears to a solitary point but Jamieson-Murphy showed his predatory instincts to avail of hesitation in the St Enda's defence and sweep to the net for the game's defining score.
In addition to extending his side's advantage, Jamieson-Murphy punctured the momentum generated by 'Boden when reeling in a seven-point interval deficit with late points by Eoin Murphy and the impressive James Roche proving in vain.
The victory completed a historic achievement for the Glasnevin club, with the 2012 U15 and U16 titles already secured, and given the relatively youthful make-up of their panel, they could well repeat their minor success in 12 months' time.
For 'Boden, the pain of defeat will be all the more acute given this particular side has experienced final heartache on a number occasions in recent years.
But there was certainly consolation to be derived from the manner of their battling but ultimately futile comeback.
Facing the elements in the opening half, Ballyboden opened the scoring through a glorious point from distance by Dublin minor Roche before Eoghan McHugh, one of Na Fianna's celebrated U16 dual players, restored parity in the fourth minute.
St Enda's continued to impress with corner-back Cathal Bergan reflecting his side's work ethic, and they deservedly restored their advantage through Eoin Murphy's eighth-minute score.
However, goals were always likely to prove vital on such a day and it was Na Fianna who raised the first green flag a minute later, when the towering Seán Ryan flicked adroitly to the net from close range after an inviting delivery by Luke Carey.
Points from Aaron Jesson and Seamie O'Sullivan ensued as Na Fianna looked to gain maximum benefit from their favourable conditions, with a free from Roche keeping Boden in the hunt at the end of the first quarter.
Their chances were given a serious body blow in the 21st minute, however, when Conor McHugh was manhandled inside the square.
Jonathan Treacy made the long trip from his own goal worth his while with an unerring strike to the roof of Keith Robinson's net.
Na Fianna continued to thrive with Shane Barrett impressing from centre-back, and their lead was increasingly daunting as Jamieson-Murphy and Eoghan McHugh tagged on points as the half progressed.
St Enda's almost produced the perfect riposte approaching the break as Jonathon O'Driscoll worked wonders in finding Boden's own Conor McHugh, but his first-time shot was inches above the crossbar as Na Fianna secured a healthy seven-point interval lead, 2-6 to 0-5 .
With Jamieson-Murphy roving to telling effect upon the restart, Na Fianna looked to have weathered Boden's early onslaught.
But slowly and surely their lead was eroded with Roche, Keith McCarron, Murphy and Robinson all finding the target.
Conor McHugh broke Na Fianna's second-half duck with a 48th-minute point, but with Roche and Darragh Bolger also tagging on scores in reply, the scene was set for a grandstand finish.
Sadly for Ballyboden, Roche failed to convert a 59th-minute penalty with Carey blocking his low shot and Na Fianna weathered the ensuing storm sufficiently.
By the final blow of Eddie Walker's whistle, the old adage 'goals win games' was never more pertinent than on this occasion.