Sunday 19 November 2017

Super Saints march to promotion

A SEASON that began rather indifferently with defeats to St Anne's and St Finians has turned around in no uncertain terms for Donabate.

Saturday's seven point victory away to Erins Isle, their eleventh straight win of the campaign, elevated them to Division 1 status and in doing so earned Adrian Henchy's men their third successive promotion on the trot.

Two seasons ago they were chosen as Dublin's entrants for Celebrity Bainisteoir where they battled it out on the waters at the River Liffey with Oughterard in a bid to gain home advantage.

The Galway men would win that particular battle and the ensuing game but what it did was to galvanise a community behind the boys in green.

On Saturday they were out on force once more to cheer on Donabate in Finglas where a draw would be sufficient to earn them the title.

Finglas is a particularly tough venue to play in, the tight environs making it an inhospitable venue for travelling teams.

But Donabate as they proved against Skerries Harps and Cuala not only won but won in style as they held the home side scoreless for all but five minutes of the second half.

There had been little between the two sides early on but with the score at four points each, Donabate pushed on and with the aid of the strong breeze posted four points without reply.,

With Jesse Corcoran acting as the third man in midfield, Donabate were to grab hold of the reigns with Dinny Corcoran and Paul Knight cleaning up front.

To the second half where former Dublin minor keeper, Colin Murphy was to pull off a crucial save and with Conor Dowling scoring an excellent point from wing forward, Pat's were to close out the game.

A special mention to Dinny Corcoran who scored 1-4 on the day and speaking yesterday, Henchy stated that the season has surpassed all expectations.

'Our aim at the start of the season was to stay up so to win the league off an eleven game unbeaten game is exceptional'

Having spent what seemed like an eternity in Division 5, Donabate's rise up the leagues has been phenomenal. And Henchy believes the conversion of Leon Knight to centre back was crucial.

'The best thing I did was to reposition him. He is a class player who can anticipate danger but as a former forward also knows when forwards are going to make their runs. So overall his reading of the game is first class.'

And the former Na Fianna man believes the great unity in squad was also a contributing factor

'We've won a lot of games by one or two point margins and I think that is down to the amount of sets of brothers we have on the team'

'We have the likes of the Dowlings, the Lynders and Corcorans so all are prepared to fight for each other'

'And the commitment from the squad has been excellent. Dean Styles cut short his first holiday abroad by three days to make it back for this game and he was excellent out there on Saturday'

St Pat's Donabate: Colin Murphy, Adam Darby, Eric Hendricks, Darragh Mahon, Brendan Rodgers, Leon Knight, Thomas Murphy, Dean Styles, John Lynders, Sean Keogh, Niall Collins, Joey Collins, Dinny Corcoran, Jesse Corcoran, Paul Knight. Subs; Conor Dowling for Hendricks, Wayne Knight for Paul Knight, Shane McGrath for Sean Keogh, Colin Dowling for Thomas Murphy.

Fingal Independent

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