Whelan goal key for John's
Ballinteer St John's withstood a brave second-half rally by Na Fianna to prevail by 1-15 to 0-15 in their Dublin Senior Hurling Championship relegation play-off at O'Toole Park yesterday morning, writes Rónán Mac Lochlainn.
St John's dominated the first-half and but for some errant shooting, they could have been further ahead than 1-13 to 0-7 at the break with the impressive Glenn Whelan accounting for their goal.
Na Fianna were a far improved proposition upon the resumption with goalkeeper Jonathan Treacy in superb form between the sticks while fellow Dublin minor Shane Barrett was another to excel for Na Fianna.
The Glasnevin outfit his six unanswered scores to trim their arrears as AJ Murphy impressed in their attack but St John's managed to close out the game thanks to positive contributions by Ronan Collins, Whelan, Fionán Clabby, Joe Maher and midfielder Fergal Chambers.
It was slightly more straighforward in the remaining play-off as Craobh Chiaráin recovered from a poor start to eventually prevail by 1-20 to 2-10 against St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh.
Alan McCrabbe struck 1-4 for the winners who were indebted to Peter O'Boyle, Robbie Mahon, James Ryan, Francis Usanga, Stephen Kirwan, Ger Ennis and Stephen Kelly as they repelled a stubborn Plunkett's challenge in a sometimes heated encounter.
Elsewhere, the central attacking pair of Mark Coughlan and Barra Ó Leidhin were in flying form at Parnell Park, as their combined tally of 1-7 propelled Kilmacud Crokes towards the Dublin Senior 'B' Hurling Championship crown following an entertaining battle with Setanta as they prevailed by 1-16 to 0-14.
SHC Relegation: Ballinteer St John's 1-15 Na Fianna 0-15; Craobh Chiaráin 1-20 St Oliver Plunkett's/ER 2-10. SHC 'B' Final: Kilmacud Crokes 1-16 Setanta 0-14 AHL2: Nh Fionnbarra 2-21 Whitehall Colmcille 1-10; Nh Mearnóg 1-9 Parnells 0-15.