St Brigid's braced for Fionnbarra showdown
St Brigid's and Naomh Fionnbarra will contest the Dublin U21 'B' Hurling Championship Final after semi-final wins over Thomas Davis and St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh respectively last Saturday afternoon.
At Russell Park, late points from Daire Plunkett and the outstanding Conor Woodgate saw the hosts record a hard-earned 3-14 to 5-6 victory over a brave Thomas Davis.
There was little to separate the sides throughout with St Brigid's enjoying a four-point lead at the interval thanks to goals from the impressive Ciarán O'Sullivan and Mark Ryan.
The visitors remained in the hunt through goals by Zak Moradi and Peter Obdie and they narrowed the deficit after the break with another goal apiece from the aforementioned duo, rewarding the efforts of Seán Blanchfield, Seán O'Brien and Seán Reilly.
The hosts relied on their excellent half-back line of Woodgate, Cathal Doyle and Ciarán Dolan for increased levels of possession and they looked to have sealed their final berth when Jamie Winters added a third goal.
However, centre-back Gavin Carruth and fellow dual player Adam Fallon drove Davis on with Keith Ward's goal looking to have forced extra-time before the late interventions of Plunkett and Woodgate.
The remaining semi-final was slightly more clear-cut as Naomh Fionnbarra availed of an excellent first-half performance in Cabra to withstand a battling comeback by Plunkett's on a final scoreline of 2-11 to 1-7.
Ger Dodrill's fortunate 12th-minute goal handed the hosts the early initiative and they continued to dominate through the efforts of Aaron Costello, Seán Mac Donnacha and Shane Cummins.
A second goal arrived for the hosts in the 20th minute with Eamon Dillon finishing off an excellent team move with points from Dodrill and Paul Dingle ensuring a 2-5 to 0-2 interval lead for Finbar's.
A Shane Heffernan goal offered Plunkett's a crumb of hope, but a number of points from Shane Bonfill and the contributions of wing-back Seán O'Connor, James Smith and captain éanna Boland proved in vain as Dodrill's frees at the opposite end kept them at arm's length.