Na Fianna blast back to burn off Mearnóg
NA FIANNA produced a dominant second-half performance when overcoming a battling Naomh Mearnóg by 2-13 to 0-9 in their Dublin Minor Football League Division 1 final at St Mobhi Road on Sunday morning.
The hosts trailed at the break by 0-7 to 0-6 but a much-improved showing upon the restart proved sufficient to gain the honours against a brave-but-flagging Mearnóg outfit.
The visitors impressed from the opening whistle with Denis Redmond highlighting his class with three superb points from play while centre-back Andy Killeen and full-back Conor Grant were others to excel for the Portmarnock lads.
Critically, the hosts managed to end the half with three unanswered scores and Na Fianna started the second half as they finished the first, with two quick points apiece from AJ Murphy and man-of-the-match Andy Baxter consolidating their comeback.
That momentum was maintained as Alistair Fitzgerald and Eric Caffrey netted for the Glasnevin side, benefitting from Eoghan McHugh's control at midfield and their defence tightened up immeasurably with both Jamie Ward and Eoin Murchan to the fore.
Despite Jamie Storey, Redmond, Eoin Sheils and Jordan Biggs continuing to take the game to their opponents, their efforts proved in vain, to the disappointment of team mentor Tadhg Dennehy.
"We delivered a great first half, especially for a team that was missing five regular starters," he said.
"However, our efforts took their toll in the second half and Na Fianna were without doubt the better side.
"But at least we kept it competitive throughout," he added.
"It's nice to win the Minor Football League Division 1 two years in-a-row but of course we are disappointed that we left the championship behind us this year," said Na Fianna manager Jimmy Ward.
"They are a good, talented bunch of lads to work with and hopefully they can carry this through to their adult football years in Na Fianna."