Whitehall Colmcille2-7 St Sylvester's2-4
A strong third quarter ensured Whitehall Colmcille deservedly claimed the Feile Division 1 Football title following their three point victory over a brave St Sylvester's at Parnell Park last Sunday.
With the contest delicately poised at the interval, Whitehall took control early in the second-half, kicking four unanswered points that handed them a sufficient buffer to withstand some late, frenetic Syls pressure.
That the contest remained alive right until the final whistle was testimony to the quality of both teams, who displayed savage amounts of fitness following their respective semi-final wins over Clan na Gael Fontenoy and Skerries Harps.
It was the Malahide lads that started more assuredly and they deservedly took the lead through a 3rd minute free by Sean Guidan.
Guiden, son of former Dublin great Niall, was the game's most dominant performer initially and he doubled his own and St Sylvesters' tally when he converted another close-range free two minutes later.
With Syls dominating the individual battles all over the pitch, Whitehall struggled to offer any pressure in their opponents' half and they fell further behind in the 6th minute as a long delivery from Danny Taaffe was allowed to bounce with the predatory Guiden crashing a clinical finish into the roof of the net past a helpless Cathal Hogan.
Far from allowing their collective heads to drop, Colmcille gradually found their feet, helped in part to a wonderful settling score from Kerrie Hannon in the 8th minute, a post-splitting effort from forty metres.
Another noteworthy point arrived for Whitehall through Seán Foran a minute later and from a position of trouble, Colmcille levelled matters in the 13th minute when Hannon weaved his way majestically through the Sylvester's defence with his unstoppable finish from an acute angle, the perfect culmination of his superb run.
It was Syls' turn to show their ability to bounce back from a body blow and they duly delivered three minutes later as some further hesitation in the Whitehall rearguard allowed Taaffe to nip in for a fine finish under Hogan.
It was at this point that Adam McDermott began to exert a huge influence on proceedings with his powerful running while the increasingly dark afternoon was illuminated by a majestic catch from Hogan's kick-out that gained appreciation from both sets of supporters.
McDermott narrowed his side's deficit when converting an 18th minute free and Whitehall entered the break with a narrow 2-3 to 2-2 lead as Sean Bohan cut inside to fire home from eight yards after another enterprising run from Hannon.
The momentum from that goal was maintained in the second-half with Bohan turning sharply to point in the 22nd minute and three minutes later, Sean Giles left three points between the sides with another measured finish from play.
The excellent Aaron Coleman strove valiantly to drive Syls forward but some defensive gaps allowed Whitehall to put further distance between the teams thanks to a classy point by Eddie Moran.
When Niall Carroll inched Colmcille five points to the good in the 32nd minute, it appeared that last year's beaten finalists had done more than enough to claim a deserved success.
However, St Sylvester's found a new lease of life as they lay siege on the Whitehall goal for the remaining nine minutes with wing-back Josh Bannon popping up in defence and attack but lady luck deserted them as Taaffe's shot cannoned off the crossbar in the 37th minute, moments after Mick Shalloe had fired agonisingly wide from an acute angle.
They gained a small degree of reward for their efforts as Guiden added a point from a free and the same player left just a goal between the sides with time almost up.
As hard as they tried, the levelling goal proved elusive with the final whistle of referee Shane Kelly prompting contrasting scenes of jubilation and heartache on either side.
Scorers - Whitehall Colmcille: K Hannon, S Bohan 1-1 each, E Moran, S Foran, A McDermott (f), N Carroll, S Giles 0-1 each. St Sylvester's: S Guiden 1-4 (0-4f), D Taaffe 1-0.
Whitehall Colmcille: C Hogan; D Wehrley, F Swaine, E Power ; M Ajai, M Keogh, N Forristal; E Moran (inset), N Power; T Kellet, S Giles, A McDermott; S Bohan, K Hannon, G Moore. Subs: S Foran, N Carroll, C Sheridan, N Murray.
St Sylvester's: S Murphy; P Clyne, J Boyne, E Farquarson; S Gibson, A Glennon, J Bannon; A Roe, D McLoughney; O Monaghan, D Taaffe, E Buckley; S Guidan, C Hoyne, N Smyth. Subs: J Reid, C Grassick, S McCabe, S O'Neill, D Deneher, M Challoe, A Smith, D Smith.
Mentors - Whitehall Colmcille: Tom Forristal, Arthur Kelly, Gerry Carroll, Sean Hogan. St Sylvester's: Ernie Brenner, Niall Guidan, Pat Hoyne, Eoin Farquarson.
Referee: Shane Kelly (Na Fianna)
Wides: Whitehall Colmcille 4 (2+2) St Sylvester's 7 (1+6)
Conditions: A blustery afternoon.
Player of the Game: Adam McDermott (Whitehall Colmcille)