YOU could forgive Joey Collins for his exuberant soccer style celebrations after his clinching goal sealed a famous victory for St Pat's on Mobhi Road on Sunday.
ST PAT'S DONABATE 2-10 NA FIANNA 0-11
As in the semi-final seven days previously, Collins had been forced to bide his time patiently from the sideline due to an on-going groin injury. And while last Sunday week's semifinal with Olaf's was a somewhat painful one for the former Parnells men, this was a day to remember. Admittedly there was a bit of fortune to his goal with Wayne Knight's crossfield pass taking a lucky bounce over the defence. Collins, however, didn't hang about and his emphatic shot gave the Na Fianna 'keeper no chance. Collins and his brother Niall will feel vindicated by their choice to return to the club where they won a Junior 'A' Championship medal under Charlie Redmond. The duo have indeed been central to Donabate's success this season, but overall coach Adrian Henchy has got it spot on with a perfect blend of youth and experience. The loss through injury of young defender Adam Darby, who had been ever present in their 2012 campaign, might have proved costly but Leon Knight did a terrific job filling in. Knight was dominant in the centre back position and on a day when conditions were at times treacherous on a very wet surface, his distribution into the forwards was spot on. Overall Pat's worked extremely hard against a Na Fianna team who at times defended en-masse. But with Jesse Corcoran keeping his team moving at all times, Donabate would gradually wear the home side down. And overall Henchy who has now taken Pat's up from Division 4 to senior league football in just three seasons was delighted with the team's display. 'It's an incredible achievement to have gone up from Division 3 at the first attempt. I don't think there was a weak link. 'Dean (Styles) was superb in the middle of the park and I was particularly impressed with Darryl O'Hara who was just outstanding in the second half. Since the Fingallians game in Parnell Park he just gone from strength to strength.' And Henchy, up against his former club, believes the timing of the first goal had a significant bearing on the game. 'Na Fianna are a very good side and I felt they were starting to get a march on us before Jesse (Corcoran) got the goal.' Indeed Na Fianna had gone two points up before Corcoran found the back of the net five minutes into the game after a great move down the left with Dinny Corcoran giving in the final pass. Pats continued to press after that with Dean Styles winning a lot of ball in the middle. And having converted a free from the left, he then played in Corcoran to put Pat's back in front. Mark Hender was another to impress for the visitors, the roving wing back keeping tight on his marker in what was a competitive first half. Nonetheless Na Fianna finished strongly in the final five minutes to lead 0-8 to 1-4 at the break with a Na Fianna sub then doubling their advantage shortly after the turnaround. Pat's had then a good goal chance nine minutes into the second half when the impressive Shane McGrath played in Dinny Corcoran, who tried to roll the ball soccer style past the keeper but somehow the Na Fianna net minder managed to put the ball away for a 45'. Corcoran showed good presence to convert the subsequent dead ball and now operating in a two man inside line with Wayne Knight began to see plenty of ball with Niall Collins moved out into the middle third. And slowly but surely Pat's began to turn the screw with frees from Styles and Corcoran drawing them level 0-10 to 1-7 midway through the half. Corcoran then curled in a terrific point to edge Pat's back in front before landing another 45. By now Na Fianna couldn't buy possession and went a goal down when Niall Collins took one look up before raising the white flag. Moments later brother Joey sealed the deal to kill off the game as a contest. ST PAT'S DONABATE: Adam Sullivan, Darryl O'Hara, Darragh Mahon, Eric Hendricks, Mark Hender, Leon Knight, Thomas Murphy, Mark Brunty 0-1, Dean Styles 0-2f, Sean Keogh, Wayne Knight, Shane McGrath, Jesse Corcoran 1-0, Dinny Corcoran 0-6 (0-1f, 0-2 '45'), Niall Collins 0-1. Subs: Colin Dowling for Hendricks, Joey Collins 1-0 for Brunty.