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Na Fianna rally to edge out Olaf bid

Na Fianna 'C' defeated Naomh Olaf 'B' in the U16FC 'D' final but had to do it the hard way before eventually prevailing 1-11 to 3-3 in Parnell Park.

Olaf's keeper Adam O'Callaghan, the official man of the match, may have finished on the losing side but was a superb last line of defence for the southsiders and his heroics almost helped his team to victory.

On several occasions O'Callaghan denied the best the St Mobhí Road lads could throw at him.

A blistering start from the winners saw them claim a 0-4 to 0-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, with Ruadhan Clerkin, Eanna Ó Donnacha and Darragh McHugh to the fore.

Olaf's hit back with two goals in quick succession from Sean Sutton and David Breathnach, to give them a narrow interval lead, 2-2 to 0-6.

Centre-forward Ted O'Donohue, meanwhile, gave an exhibition of fielding throughout. It was McHugh who made many of the key plays for Na Fianna, as he kicked some lovely scores, and also served as the creative hub for his team by setting up a number of others for his team-mates. Cameron Maxwell was also central to much of his team's good work with a fine display.

Despite this, a third goal, Breathnach's second, lifted the Stillorgan men and pushed them further clear entering the final quarter.

With Darragh Coleman and Jack Byrne excelling at full-back and midfield respectively, it looked a long way back for Na Fianna, whose numbers included Frank Farrell, son of the legendary Dessie.

The Mobhí Road outfit refused to panic, though, and O'Callaghan was finally beaten with a great finish from Clerkin.

Olaf's almost pinched victory late on but Sam Bruton made a brilliant save with an outstretched left boot to deny sub Jamie Roche.

Donal Ó Maolalaí, Dillon Foy and Dillon Brady put in heroic showings to help Na Fianna hang on.


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