Naomh Barróg 3-14 Na Fianna 1-8
DEAN FLOOD struck 1-10 as Naomh Barróg enjoyed a well-merited 10-point win over Na Fianna in their Dublin Adult Hurling League Division 3 encounter at St Mobhi Road last Saturday evening.
The 2010 Dublin minor was part of a vibrant Barróg attack that took the game to their opponents from the opening whistle and the win helped maintain their position at the top of the league table.
The hosts struggled to gain possession in the middle third for large parts of the encounter but despite the inevitability of the result, they continued to battle until the final whistle regardless of being reduced to 14 men for the final 10 minutes.
Naomh Barróg served early notice of their intent as a well-worked move in the second minute allowed Flood to open his side's account with a fine score from the right wing.
The hosts responded impressively as Dara Kennedy levelled matters within a minute with the wing-forward benefiting from an intelligent delivery into space by Niall Ó Ceallacháin.
However, there were early signs that the physical dominance of the Barróg side was beginning to influence matters with Paul Ryan and Richie Timmons exerting a stranglehold on the tight exchanges in midfield.
That their possession did not translate into scores initially was down to a disciplined showing from the home full-back line with Eamonn Cassidy (pictured above) in particular working tirelessly to curb the threat of his opposite number, Michael McCarthy.
A free from Flood in the fourth minute restored the visitors' lead with both sides guilty of some errant shooting in the ensuing five minutes.
Finally, James Mooney increased Barróg's lead with a fine point on the turn before the Kilbarrack outfit put daylight between the teams with a goal of the highest quality in the 11th minute.
Its origin lay in a pass by Timmons into McCarthy, who managed to shrug off the attentions of Cassidy before passing to the in-rushing Colm Cleary, whose low finish from 12 yards left Eoin Skelly helpless in the home goal.
Na Fianna were struggling to contain their opponents at this stage and a glorious score by Flood two minutes later increased their difficulties.
The hosts regrouped admirably, however, with Kennedy doubling their tally in the 15th minute after a lively run down the right flank.
They were almost handed a route back into the encounter eight minutes before the break as confusion in the away defence saw Liam Burns fire a low shot towards goal.
Jake Garnett worked wonders in deflecting that shot away from a central position with the umpires in disagreement over whether the ball had managed to sneak inside or outside Garnett's right-hand upright.
Eventually, after much consultation, referee Thomas Gleeson decided to award a '65' with the hosts gaining a modicum of consolation as Paddy Sherry split the posts for his side's third score of the evening.
Naomh Barróg replied through a well-worked team score from wing-back Stephen Wyse in the 28th minute with a late free by Sherry trimming Na Fianna's arrears to just five points by the interval, 1-6 to 0-4.
Any hopes the hosts had a launching a second-half comeback were quickly dispelled upon the restart, though, as Flood took control of the contest for the initial 10 minutes.
A 32nd-minute free was followed two minutes later by an emphatic finish beyond Skelly as Flood took advantage of the excellent approach play by Timmins.
Flood added further scores from a free and a sublime sideline cut but Na Fianna managed to claw their way back into contention when Shane Dunphy fired home in the 40th minute.
A long-distance point by Colm O'Keeffe and another free by Sherry narrowed those arrears further but O'Keeffe's needless dismissal in the 50th minute effectively sealed their fate.
The visitors took advantage of their numerical superiority with Cleary adding his second goal in the 52nd minute while McCarthy gained reward for his efforts two minutes from time .
Late points from Sherry were of mere consolation value to the hosts.
Scorers - Naomh Barróg: D Flood 1-10 (0-7f, 0-1 sideline); C Cleary 2-1; J Mooney, S Wyse, M McCarthy 0-1 each. Na Fianna: P Sherry 0-5 (3f, 1 '65'); S Dunphy 1-0; D Kennedy 0-2; C O'Keeffe 0-1.
Naomh Barróg: J Garnett; T Manton, J Stewart, S Deering; S Wyse, N Ring, C Gallagher; P Ryan, R Timmons; D Flood, C Cleary, C Manton; L Nolan, M McCarthy, J Mooney. Subs: None.
Na Fianna: E Skelly; L Carey, E Cassidy, K McDonnell; C Baxter, K O'Driscoll, E O'Leary; N Ó Ceallacháin, P Sherry; D Kennedy, C O'Keeffe, S Dunphy; E Meleady, L Burns, S Cummins. Subs: C Hanpton for Cummins (28), N McKenna for Burns and M Gaffney for Meleady (37), Burns for Baxter (46).
Mentors - Naomh Barróg: Rory Cannon, Tony Kirwan, John Kiernan, Sean Manton, Gerry Healy. Na Fianna: Finbarr Gaffney, Dick Shanahan, Frank Foley, Eamonn Boyce, David Doran.
REF : Thomas Gleeson (Naomh Fionnbarra).
Wides - Naomh Barróg: 8 (5+3). Na Fianna: 11 (5+6).
Conditions: Showery but pitch in immaculate condition.
Player of the Game: Dean Flood (Naomh Barróg).