NA FIANNA 2-11, FAUGHS 1-10 - Na Fianna survived the sending off of county star Tomás Brady to overcome the challenge of Faughs in a hard-fought Dublin SHC 'A' Group D clash at Parnell Park yesterday afternoon.
Brady, who is continuing his return from long-term injury, was positioned at full-forward for the game as opposed to his more accustomed defensive role and was thriving, having notched up 1-1.
The umpires however, drew the attention of referee Eamon MacSuibhne to an off the ball incident that resulted in Brady receiving a straight red card midway through the second half.
At that point it appeared that it could derail the Glasnevin men, after Faughs had recovered from a slow start - at one point they trailed by nine - to come within a point of the winners. But to their credit, Na Fianna kept their composure and outscored their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 in the final quarter to seal the win.
They got off to the perfect start when Brady found the net inside the opening minute with a low finish past Trevor Donohue. Aidan Keogh, a brace of Mikey Brennan frees, and a point from Brady put them well in control before Brennan found the net after 10 minutes.
Faughs appeared shell-shocked but their challenge got back on track thanks to a wonderful solo goal from Fergal Heavey who won his own puck out before carrying for 50 metres and firing an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net.
Na Fianna corner-forward Fergal Breathnach split the posts twice in a minute to edge his side further ahead.
But the Templeogue men finished the half strongly with four points without reply before the turnaround, through Heavey and three Tom Kearns frees to leave them within four at the break, 2-6 to 1-5.
Faughs' challenge gathered further momentum after the restart as former Dublin minor Heavey, who was dominating the middle third, slotted over three points to leave the minimum between the sides.
When Brady received his marching orders, Faughs looked primed to go on and take the spoils, but Na Fianna held their nerve and, thanks largely to the unerring accuracy of Brennan from placed balls, finished strongly for a deserved victory.
SCORERS - Na Fianna: M Brennan 1-6 (0-6f), T Brady 1-1, F Breathnach 0-3, A Keogh 0-1. Faughs: F Heavey 1-6 (0-4f), T Kearns 0-4 (0-3f)
NA FIANNA: A Flaherty; E O'Leary, E Rutledge, D Flaherty; W Lyons, J Boland, S Bruke; N Ó Ceallacháin, M Quilty; E Cassidy, A Keogh, K Murphy; F Breathnach, T Brady, M Brennan. Subs: P Downes for Cassidy (55).
FAUGHS: T Donohue; J Robinson, D Burke, S White; P Robinson, E McKenna, H O'Leary; F Heavey, B Dillon; P Donoghue, M O'Brien, C Devane; T Kearns, M Connolly, C Brennan. Subs: L Heavey for Burke (16), C Heavey for Kearns (ht), J Kelly for Connolly (40), E Prendergast for O'Brien (52).
REFEREE: E MacSuibhne (St Jude's).