herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Mobhi maestros hit
jackpot in fab final

Na Fianna county champs for the third time after terrific tussle

A CRACKER of a Dublin Senior Championship final. And there have been a few.

It was at the home of the champions. Fingallians had beaten Na Fianna in last year's replayed final.

"It's certainly a much better feeling this time," remarked Na Fianna manager, Ray Dorney. "It's nice to come out on the right side of it for a change."

It was a repeat of the 2012 final which the Fox Cabs won. On this occasion, the Glasnevin girls took the Michael Murphy Memorial Cup by two points, 1-11 to 1-9.

"It was an outstanding game. The quality of football from both sides was amazing," added Ray.

"We are thrilled. The work that the girls put in over the last six or seven months was phenomenal. They put their lives on hold. They fully deserved it."

The shirt-sleeved audience enjoyed the Friday night concert. The smell of burgers wafted around Lawless Memorial Park.

The pitch was in excellent order. There was a bright programme. The electric score-board, just like the match, lit up the night. The tannoy worked perfectly.

There was culture at every turn. Ray Dorney's management ticket included Lyn Savage, Niall Williams and the Dublin All-Ireland winner and All-Star, Bernie Finlay.

The Cabinteely dugout also oozed of wisdom. The boss-man, Pat Ring, was joined by former Dublin chief, Peter Clarke, Niall Callan, Ena Brophy, Colm Kearney and Dublin super star, Angie McNally.

Pat Ring declared that the better team won. Early in the second half, it looked as if the Mobhi club had one hand on the Claret Jug, but Foxrock Cabinteely kept chiselling.

The industry of both teams was fabulous to see. Sinead Goldrick's block in the first second set the gold standard.

Na Fianna pressed high up the pitch. So much so that Foxrock found it hard to get out of their own hall door.

Na Fianna's use of the ball was exceptional. They brought such pace to their passing. Express delivery.

The floodlights came on ten minutes into the first period. They injected an extra slice of theatre. They were level three times.

Fox Cab attacked the pavilion end in the opening half. They led by three points to one when their goalkeeper, Carol Manning, made a brilliant penalty save from Nadine Doherty. Then Anne Marie Murphy produced a nugget of a point to see them lead by four points to two.

But it was the North Dubliners who led at the break, 0-6 to 0-4, as they hit four points without reply - two from Claire O'Hara, and one each from Lucy Collins and Orlagh Egan.

Two minutes into the second half, the Foxes were back ahead, thanks to a tidy goal from Amy Ring. But a charming point from Doherty saw parity for the last time.

O'Hara and Egan then clipped on two quick points for Na Fianna before Orla Cullen scored the goal-of-the-decade.

She was about 25 yards out. With not much of a back-lift, she made the perfect connection and the ball roared to the sack. The strike was as sweet as a sherry trifle.

It put five points between them. Amy Connolly and Egan swapped two points each, and there was still five points in it on 50 minutes.

Two points from Ring, plus a Connolly, free, reduced Foxrock's deficit to two points on 54 minutes.

The last few pages were riveting just like the opening chapters.

Like the tasty burgers, it was a Swords sizzler.

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