| 11.2°C Dublin

FIANNA flying!

Scorers - Na Fianna: Aaron Byrne 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 '45'), A Fitzgerald 1-2, P O'Dea 1-0, G O'Reilly 0-1. Kilmacud Crokes: A McGowan 1-0, T Fox, C Kelly 0-2 each, C O'Connor (f), B Shovlin 0-1 each.

Na Fianna: J Carey; K McDonnell, M Oliver, J Connell; P Wade, E Murchan, G O'Reilly; S Ryan, C Doran; P O'Hanlon, A Byrne, C Dolan; S Caffrey, A Fitzgerald, P O'Dea. Subs: E McHugh for Caffrey (43), G King for Dolan (49), P Buggy for O'Reilly (53), K Stacey for Wade (55), D Gray for O'Dea and I Jesson for O'Hanlon (59).

Kilmacud Crokes: K Creasey; G Fallon, E Allen, S Daly; C O'Shea, R Murphy, E Sheehy; B Shovlin, A McGowan; C O'Connor, C Kelly, D O'Brien; B Sultan, C Pearson, T Fox. Subs: F O'Reilly for Allen (42), S Keating for O'Brien (52), M Frawley for Sultan (55), H Kelly for McGowan (56).

Mentors - Na Fianna: John Caffrey, Niall Cooper, John Murchan, Tommo Lynch, Senan Coughlan, Joseph McGuirk. Kilmacud Crokes: Pat Duggan, Maurice Leahy, Finian Daly, Rory Kelleher, Liam Dunne, Enda Kelly, Tom Moriarty.

Referee: Dan Stynes (St Peregrine's)

Wides - Na Fianna: 8 (4+4) Kilmacud Crokes: 3 (2+1)

Conditions: Breezy enough but generally decent conditions.

Player of the Game: Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

Na Fianna delivered a mature and confident display when coming from behind to defeat Kilmacud Crokes by 2-9 to 1-6 in their Dublin Minor 'A' Football Championship Final at O'Toole Park last Sunday afternoon.

The victory secured a dual code double for the Glasnevin outfit with Crokes once again the beaten finalists when Na Fianna claimed the hurling title five weeks ago.

Kilmacud could have few arguments at the final whistle given the control that their opponents exerted for large parts of the game with Eoin Murchan delivering a typically assured and influential display for Na Fianna from the pivotal centre-back position.


Throughout the field, the winners enjoyed a decided advantage and despite trailing by three points at the interval, they gradually reeled in Kilmacud with the six point winning margin a fair refection of their dominance.

Na Fianna enjoyed a monopoly on possession in the early stages, despite playing into the teeth of a stiff breeze and they deservedly opened the scoring in the 4th minute thanks to an excellent score from wing-back Glenn O'Reilly, whose classy dummy allowed him sufficient space to fire over from twenty metres. That advantage was doubled four minutes later through an Aaron Byrne free with Murchan and Sean Ryan enjoying numerous possessions against a defensively-occupied Kilmacud team.


With Crokes surprisingly reluctant to offer quick ball into their two-man full-forward line, chances were at a premium but they eventually opened their own account in the 11th minute as Andrew McGowan found Conor Kelly in space and the centre-forward popped over a fine score from forty metres.

Matters improved further for Crokes as Tom Fox added a superb score to level matters a minute later but normal services was resumed as Byrne fired over after a clever incision by Conor Dolan five minutes later.

After Kelly had restored parity two minutes later, Crokes benefitted from a misjudgement by Na Fianna goalkeeper Jack Carey in the 25th minute as he stepped over his goal-line when fielding a point attempt by McGowan that dropped short.

Despite Alistair Fitzgerald landing a sublime score in reply, Kilmacud ended the half on a high as Fox picked up the scraps to point in injury time, ensuring a 1-4 to 0-4 interval lead for his side.

Any hopes that Kilmacud could build on that momentum were punctured within a minute of the restart as O'Reilly raced in behind the Crokes defence and although his powerful effort was well blocked by Kevin Creasey, Paul O'Dea was on hand to fire home from close range for a levelling score.

Crokes' response was as immediate as it was impressive with Cian O'Connor firing over a free to regain his side's advantage a minute later and midfielder Ben Shovlin joined the attack to telling effect with an excellent point to double Kilmacud's lead.

However, the calibre inherent in the Na Fianna ranks would not be denied and after Byrne had halved their deficit with another free, Fitzgerald rose superbly in the 39th minute to outfield Eamonn Allen with is subsequent finish from eight yards leaving Creasey helpless.

That concession seemed to knock Kilmacud's confidence hugely as they struggled to gain primary possession in the middle third and it was of scant surprise to see Byrne add another free as the classy Fitzgerald began to enjoy a huge bearing on events.

His aerial prowess was highlighted as he palmed over for another score in the 50th minute with the depth in the Na Fianna panel reflected in the second-half introduction of Eoghan McHugh.

With Kilmacud looking for the oxygen that a goal might provide, their efforts grew in desperation against an assured Na Fianna reargaurd in which Matthew Oliver impressed from full-back.

Byrne's '45' seven minutes from time proved the final score of the game as Na Fianna eased home to confirm their favourites tag by the final whistle.