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Trinity and Na Fianna save their status

TRINITY GAELS and Na Fianna confirmed their AFL1 status for the coming year after narrow relegation play-off victories over Raheny and Erin's Isle respectively yesterday morning.

At Druimnigh, Trinity Gaels recovered from an 0-7 to 0-5 interval deficit to eventually prevail by 0-12 to 0-9 in a dogged encounter in which defences were largely dominant.

The visitors, playing with the benefit of the elements in the opening half, looked lively with points from Donal Ryan, John Ryan and Eoin Keogh supplementing the fine work of Seán Swords in defence while Ciarán Whelan featured well in what was his first game back from injury.

However, Raheny were left to rue numerous missed chances at the start of the second-half and with Brian McCann and David Mongey excelling in the home defence, Gaels pushed on through scores from Brendan O'Brien, Mervyn Forde and Graham Dillon to deservedly pull away for a three point win.

It was an even tighter affair at St Mobhi Road as Na Fianna required extra-time to eventually preserve their top flight position with a 1-18 to 1-9 win over a dogged Erin's Isle.

Two early points from Ciarán Duignan set the hosts on the road but Johnny Noonan did likewise for Isles, who added points through Niall Crossan as the half developed.

Points from Duignan, Tomás Brady and Paddy Quinn either side of half-time looked to have given the Glasnevin men the initiative but they were rocked by a 48th minute Crossan goal which swung the tie back in the favour of the Finglas club.

Late points by Brady and Quinn rescued Na Fianna from a precarious position, forcing extra-time with Brady's goal in the first minute, added to by points by Jonny Cooper, Mick Jarocki, Joey Boland, Quinn and Jeff Harte finally getting the hosts over the line by a nine-point margin.