Tuesday 12 December 2017

Mearnog have edge in basement battle

Naomh Mearnog 0-18 St Brigids 1-11

Rory Kerr

Naomh Mearnog recorded a hugely significant win in Saturday's evening's clash in Torcaill which saw them leapfrog over Brigids to move off the bottom of the table.

The home side were never headed in the second half and while their inside line looked isolated at times, Mearnog compensated with a terrific work ethic on the night as they collected their second league win of the season.

And with inter county player, Cian Hendricken, now available to them following Dublin's exit to Tipperary at the weekend, therer is a more positive glow coming over the squad in what will be an important month for the Portmarnock outfit.

They face Division four leaders, Fingallians, in a crucial championship fixture for both sides and Saturday night's win was a perfect morale booster for them.

It was Hendricken's manager at minor level, Gar O'Driscoll, who played a telling role on the night.

At a time when the Brigid's full back line were shutting their opponents on, O'Driscoll was able to open the play up with some quality passing while popping up with two important points from play.

Added to that was the contribution of the half back line who registered a point each while Killian Neylon having dropped out to the forty was a calming force with some cool finishing.

Nonetheless as the full time result suggests it was a close run thing with a JP Costigan bringing the visitors back into contention back to within a point of their opponents with nine minutes to go.

At that stage Mearnog's wide count was starting to increase and it could have proved costly particularly after the visitors had spurned a good goal opportunity at the death.

Nonetheless Mearnog held on for a deserved victory and they got off to a very positive start when John Owens off a strong drive down the left pointed from just inside the far touchline.

And then following a close in free from Killian Neylon, Shane Ryan having made a terrific take from the centre back position then drove over a massive score from inside his own half.

However Brigids were then to reel off four points without reply before Mearnog regrouped to hit scores from O'Driscoll, Neylon and two from O'Donoghue to lead by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.

And while St Brigids were to begin the second half with a free following good pressure from the attack,

Mearnog began to get the breaks up front to open up three point lead.

And they managed to maintain that gap for most of the game before Costigan's goal put the cat amongst the pigeons.

Mearnog's picked off some vital points in the closing stages through Neylon, O Driscoll and O Donoghue to secure victory.

Naomh Mearnog: Cian O Daly, Marcus Fitzmaurice, David Byrne, Eoin Kelly, John Owens 0-1 Shane Ryan 0-1, Brian Powell 0-1, Shane Warren, Micheal O Donoghue 0-7(0-2f, 0-2 65, 0-1 sideline ball), John Earls 0-2, Arthur Creane, Dylan Kilbride, Gar O'Driscoll 0-2, Killian Neylon 0-4 (0-1f), Simon Fallon. Subs: Mark Fitzgibbon.

Fingal Independent

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