Holders Na Fianna off to bright start


By Rónán Mac Lochlainn

League holders NA FIANNA got the defence of their Dublin Minor Football League Division 1 title off to a winning start as they overcame a dogged CUALA by 0-8 to 0-6 on an energy-sapping pitch in Shankill last Sunday morning.

With scores at a premium throughout, it was hardly surprising that defences proved largely on top with the away defence excelling in their discipline and blocking.

Dual player Matthew Oliver was hugely impressive as full-back for Na Fianna and a strong defensive spine was completed by Peter O'Hanlon.

With Peter Feeney and Gavin King combining intelligently at midfield, the visitors, who enjoyed a 0-4 to 0-3 interval advantage, managed to secure a generous amount of possession with Seán Caffrey proving their scorer-in-chief, largely through placed balls while centre-forward Jack Brophy worked tirelessly in winning crucial possession in the second-half.

The hosts remained in contention throughout with Enda Kelly once again displaying his promise with another magnificent showing at full-back.

Jack Flynn battled gamely in midfield over the hour and the Dalkey outfit were also well served by both Peter McKeown and Jack Hartnett.

"It was a dogged enough affair," was the assessment of Na Fianna mentor John Murchan.

"It was a heavy pitch so free-flowing football wasn't too evident but I thought that all our defence were excellent throughout and it was a very positive way for us to start the year," he added.

There was another away victory in St Anne's Park as KILMACUD CROKES highlighted their scoring potential in a 3-14 to 2-7 success over CLONTARF.

Dual player Tom Fox led the way in attack, accruing 1-5 over the hour with the other goals provided by Paul Leonard and Elliot Higgins.

Kilmacud enjoyed a ten-point interval lead and they maintained their control with points by Callum Pearson, Andy Fox, Dan O'Brien, Jack Bradley and Harry Kelly.

Across the park, it was a far tighter affair with Leon Young, Ryan O'Leary, Aaron Elliott, Dillon Keating and Colm Hulton all to the fore as BALLYMUN KICKHAMS defeated RAHENY by 3-13 to 3-10.

The only home success was secured by BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S in their 2-17 to 1-7 win over ST BRIGID'S.

MFL1: Raheny 3-10 Ballymun Kickhams 3-13; Na Fianna 0-8 Cuala 0-6; Clontarf 2-7 Kilmacud Crokes 3-14; Ballyboden St Enda's 2-17 St Brigid's 1-7.