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Pat's beat Na Fianna to senior heights

History was made on Mobhi Road on Sunday morning as St Patrick's Donabate took their place in the senior ranks of Dublin football for the first time in their 88-year existence.

It came thanks to a well-deserved 2-11 to 0-12 victory over Na Fianna in the AFL 3 promotion final, and marks the club's second consecutive promotion having come up from AFL 4 only 12 months ago.


Team manager Derek Keogh was ecstatic after the victory. "This is after a lot of hard work, the lads put in a savage effort," he said.

"It's the first time we are in senior football and we are all in shock, to be honest. The quality of the opposition in this division is incredible and I genuinely think it is the hardest division to come out of."

The future is indeed bright for the Donabate men. Of the team that secured the victory, eight are still eligible for under-21.

And they showed all their determination after falling behind early on.

A goal from captain Mark Hender, however, dragged them back into the tie.

From there, Pat's were the better side and midfielder Dean Stiles was immense, kicking three points in an action-packed display.

At the back, Wayne Hender and Daryl O'Hara were immovable objects while at the other end, Dinny Corcoran scored four crucial points, two from 45s.


The orchestrator was veteran centre-forward Wayne Knight, and his peach of a pass set up the crowning moment when Joey Collins brilliantly chipped the Na Fianna goalkeeper to secure the victory.

Ironically, a man who Keogh reserved special praise for is a Na Fianna clubman.

"Adrian Henchy really came in and stitched everything together," he said.

"His expertise really brought this team to another level."

Brian McDonnell was another who made a massive contribution throughout the season, while Jerry Linders, a club stalwart, ensured that no stone was left unturned in getting the best for the team.