Mearnóg march on to Kevin's decider
Naomh Mearnóg and Kevin's will contest the (2011) Dublin U21 'C' Hurling Championship Final after they recorded last four wins over Clontarf and St Sylvester's respectively last Saturday afternoon.
In Portmarnock, the hosts produced a spirited second-half performance in eventually accounting for a battling Clontarf by 4-14 to 3-13 after trailing by six points at the interval.
Central to their victory was the display of Eanna Slattery, who accounted for 2-11 of his side's tally, including 1-10 from placed balls, and his contribution was pivotal given the topsy-turvy nature of the encounter.
The visitors were dominant in the opening exchanges with the excellent defensive displays of Craig McConnell, Aidan O'Halloran and Aidan O'Donoghue being rewarded at the opposite end through two goals from Ciarán Johnston.
Mearnóg remained in the hunt through Slattery's first-half penalty and settled the ship sufficiently through the efforts of their half-back line of John Owens, Mark Fitzgibbon and Mark Shaw to trail by just six points, 2-9 to 1-6, at the interval.
It was a different scenario after the break, with Marcus Fitzmaurice tightening matters from full-back and further goals from Slattery and Niall Sullivan in addition to points from Eamon McFadden and Jamie Travers maintaining the home side's momentum.
A Ronan O'Grady goal and scores from Brian Forde, Eoin Cronin, John Wall and Conor Cronin kept Clontarf in the hunt but their fate was sealed when Michael O'Donoghue followed up well to flick to the net for the clinching score.
At Dolphin Park, the old adage of goals win games was particularly apt with the hosts' 3-9 to 0-10 victory built on two early goals by Robbie Purcell and Shane Watson as Kevin's led 2-2 to 0-5 at the interval.
Syls remained in contention largely through placed balls, but the hosts began to dominate with centre-back Brian Óg Flannery, midfielder David Reid and John Óg Flannery sharing eight points over the hour.
Matthew Brennan, David Kearns, Chris Byrne and Graham Harrington were all to the fore as Kevin's maintained their advantage, and the tie was settled in the 58th minute when Alex Foley netted to ensure an eight-point victory.