FINGAL RAVENS 0-17
NAOMH BARROG 2-10
Sometimes it’s the one-point wins that mean the most and certainly Fingal Ravens were all smiles after Wednesday night’s affair up in Kilbarrack.
This defeat for Naomh Barrog means that it will require a very big turnaround for them to stay up, and even then results from other games will have to go their way.
Be sure, though, that they won’t go down without a fight and that much was evident last week as they staged a storming rally, only to come up short at the end.
Ravens, it has to be said, could have had the game dead and buried by half-time, with their 11 wides mostly coming from out the field.
Overall, though, there was much to commend about their display, with every sector contributing.
As in previous games, Ian Kavanagh played the roving roll of goalkeeper, although one gentle nudge - if you could call it that - from a Barrog wing forward as he came up the field was a reminder not to be doing that sort of stuff again.
Barrog, who lie bottom of the table, featured their DCU Sigerson Cup panellist Paul Tolan at centre forward, while Dublin under-age defender Noel Hatton was another man who impressed, on a night when he had the rather unenviable task of marking Ravens in-form Dublin U20 forward Sean Kinsella.
Tolan kicked over an early score before Ravens, with the aid of the breeze, picked off two scores in quick succession through the midfield pairing of Caomhin O’Scanaill and Brian Gleeson.
While Tolan would level the scoring off a 45’, Ravens were soon back in front despite some erratic shooting, when a good ball in from Jake Pope saw Kinsella register his first point of the game.
Barrog came close to their first goal when Finn Alexander saw an effort saved by the alert Kavanagh.
And while Kinsella got inside Hatton to double Ravens’ advantage soon after, Barrog stayed in contention courtesy of a good effort from Killian Foran mid-way through the half.
And with the Barrog wing back pushing up on the kickouts, Ravens had to refocus. That they did, with Daire O’Rourke, having moved out to wing back, slotting over from the left before Kinsella showed terrific feet to double his side’s advantage.
A mark from Kinsella made it three unanswered points for the visitors before Jack Lynch - presented with a glorious chance to narrow the gap - scuffed his effort wide after being clean through on goal.
Barrog regained their composure to close out the half with scores from Foran and Tolan and that meant it was 0-7 to 0-5 at the break in favour of Ravens.
The second half saw Tolan cancel out an early effort from Dan Cibotar before Barrog took the lead the lead following a stinging effort from Colin McDonnell.
But with Ravens wing back Dan Sammon showing terrific pace down the left, they came back to record seven of the next eight points, with Cibotar a pivotal figure for them.
And with Ravens sweeper Barry Caulfield making two good interventions at the back, they moved five clear following a point from Sean Griffin and looked to be cruising at that stage.
Howver a point from Richie Timmons and a Michael Tolan goal set up a dramatic finish, only for time to run out in the end for Naomh Barrog.
Fingal RAVENS: Ian Kavanagh, Ciaran Byrne, Adam Lawless, Cian Croughan, Daire O’Rourke 0-1, Ross Begg, Dan Sammon, Caomhin O’Scanaill 0-1, Brian Gleeson 0-2, Dan Cibotar 0-5 (0-1f, 0-1 45’), James O’Donell 0-2 (0-1f), Alan Manning, Jake Pope, Sean Kinsella 0-5 (0-1m). Subs: Luke Griffin 0-1, Sean Griffin, Adam Donohue, Conor Foley, Sam Hannigan.