FIRST-HALF goals from Conor Davin and Owen Byrne paved the way at the DCU Sportsgrounds on Tuesday afternoon, as Maynooth Post Primary overcame the determined challenge of Portmarnock Community School in a fiercely contested Dublin Schools Senior Football 'A' decider.
DUBLIN SCHOOLS SENIOR FOOTBALL 'A' FINAL
MAYNOOTH POST PRIMARY 2-7 PORTMARNOCK CS 0-8
Maynooth had been extremely impressive in their 1-15 to 0-4 semi-final triumph over close rivals Salesian College, but Portmarnock were every bit as effective in defeating five-in-a-row-chasing holders St Benildus College 1-10 to 0-5 in their penultimate round encounter.
Maynooth had lost out narrowly to Benildus after extra-time in the 2011 final, and seemed hell-bent on going one better this year, but Portmarnock were victorious in the competition as recently as 2008, and weren't going to be dismissed lightly.
It was Maynooth who had the better of the opening exchanges, as a third-minute pointed free from corner-forward Neil Flynn was added to almost immediately by midfielder Davin's flicked finish past stranded Portmarnock netminder Luke Kavanagh.
This was a hammer blow for the Carrickhill Road Upper boys to receive at such an early stage, and even though centre-forward Shane Carthy (who featured for Jim Gavin's Dublin in last Saturday's O'Byrne Cup Final) got them up and running with a brace of terrific scores, the equally dependable Flynn was on hand to cancel them out with similar efforts of his own.
This was followed on 19 minutes by Maynooth's second major of the day, when pacy half-forward Byrne finished neatly to the bottom corner of the net following enterprising approach play by Paddy Kellehar, and with the reliable boot of Flynn supplying a trio of scores from placed balls late on in the half, the north Kildare school's advantage had increased to nine (2-6 to 0-3) as the second period beckoned.
However, due to the strength of the wind they were playing against (which picked up considerably during the break), Maynooth were a long way from being home and dry, and with 10 minutes remaining Portmarnock had reduced the deficit to five thanks to fine efforts from Darragh Scanlon, Aaron Mulvey and Carthy (2).
With torrential rain now pouring down at the northside venue, Portmarnock narrowed the margin even further with another score from prodigious Naomh Mearnóg club man Carthy on 53 minutes, but Maynooth maintained their composure and a seventh Flynn point two minutes later (their only score of the half) halted Portmarnock's potential comeback.
The closing stages saw the dismissals of Maynooth full-forward Shane Monaghan (second yellow) and Portmarnock's Denis Redmond (straight red), but the excellent start by the Moyglare Road side paid dividends in the end, as they had more than enough in the tank to secure the title.
Scorers - Maynooth PP: N Flynn 0-7 (6f), C Davin, O Byrne 1-0. Portmarnock CS: S Carthy 0-6 (4f), D Scanlon, A Mulvey 0-1 each.
MAYNOOTH PP - C Breen; C Coyle, D Maguire, P Murray; C Whelan, R Maguire, P Murphy; C Davin, P Mescal; P Kellehar, B Agunsoye, O Byrne; C Canning, S Monaghan, N Flynn. Subs: D Bradley for Kellehar (40), A Dunne for Coyle (47).
PORTMARNOCK CS - L Kavanagh; A Killeen, C Grant, H Bradshaw; L Dowd, J Briggs, E Shiels; D Scanlon, J Mullins; P Rusk, S Carthy, S Nangle; A Mulvey, L Nangle, D Redmond.
REF - F McGreevy (St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh).