Stunning late goal by sub Hannon seals the MFC ‘A’ title for Colmcille
DUBLIN MFC ‘A’ FINAL
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S……………………..0-12
KERRIE Hannon’s 59th-minute goal helped Whitehall Colmcille to claim the Dublin Minor ‘A’ Football Championship title in dramatic fashion at a sunny Parnell Park on Sunday morning.
Despite finding themselves four points in front (1-6 to 0-5) at the beginning of the second half, Whitehall subsequently trailed their opponents – Ballyboden St Enda’s – during the closing stages.
However, with his first touch of the contest, Hannon swung the outcome in Colmcille’s favour by unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top right-hand corner of the ‘Boden net.
Both teams had already met in the group stages of the competition, when Whitehall squeezed past their southside counterparts at Pairc Ui Murchu (1-7 to 0-7).
‘Boden were hoping for better luck than their Minor ‘A’ hurling decider a fortnight earlier – which ended in defeat at the hands of Kilmacud Crokes.
Ten of the players who featured in that encounter were back in harness at the Donnycarney venue, but they were staring into an early deficit against the Collins Avenue outfit. Courtesy of back-to-back points from Sean Foran and Lee Gannon, Whitehall hit the ground running in considerable style.
‘Boden had wasted a couple of initial opportunities, before dependable corner-forward John McGinn brought them back on level terms with a brace of successful frees. They then moved into the ascendancy thanks to McGinn’s latest set-piece score, only for Adam McDermott and Jamie Byrne to respond at the opposite end.
The latter point also coincided with Pearce Christie’s black card for a late tackle on Foran – his place in the ‘Boden attack taken by Malachy Codd. During a tentative second-quarter, McGinn raised white flags either side of an Oisin Murray effort to keep the sides on level terms.
It looked set to stay this way at the interval, but the impressive Byrne had something else in mind. After executing a sharp turn close to the ‘Boden posts, he fired past opposing netminder Jake Turley with much aplomb.
This offered Liam Murphy’s charges a 1-5 to 0-5 interval buffer and this was immediately enhanced on the restart by a second Gannon point. While they appeared to be in control of their own destiny, ‘Boden discovered an extra gear as the second period progressed.
McGinn continued to bolster his personal haul off placed-balls and roving corner-back Sean O’Donnell curled an inspirational point on the left-flank to reduce the gap to a minimum. Whitehall’s attacking influence gradually started to wane and McGinn’s seventh of the play eventually restored parity on 47 minutes.
This was the cue for inside forward Enda Cashman to burst into life. In the space of 60 seconds, he recorded a stunning 0-2 salvo to edge his side into the driving seat.
Whitehall had gone all of 22 minutes without registering a score, but this was finally ended by Byrne’s fine individual point on the run. A single from half-time substitute Cillian Wall provided ‘Boden with breathing space once again, though it is always difficult to full rely on a two-point cushion.
Hannon’s introduction on 58 minutes gave him limited time on the field, but he left an indelible mark on the proceedings. His outstanding three-pointer arrived at the end of a prolonged move and consquently sent the Whitehall faithful into raptures.
They were kept on tenterhooks during an extended spell of stoppage-time, with Ballyboden desperately seeking an equaliser. Whitehall managed to hold firm under pressure, though – custodian Mark Kenny gathering McGinn’s late attempt to seal a nail-biting triumph.
Scorers – Whitehall Colmcille: J Byrne 1-2, K Hannon 1-0, L Gannon 0-2, A McDermott, S Foran, O Murray 0-1 each. Ballyboden St Enda’s: J McGinn 0-7 (7f), E Cashman 0-2, S O’Donnell, M Walsh, C Wall 0-1 each.
WHITEHALL COLMCILLE: M Kenny; S Giles, S Lyons, Cian Murphy; J Murray, D O’Connell, J Thorpe; Ciaran Murphy, A McNally; A McDermott, S Foran, O Murray; D Foster Carroll, L Gannon, J Byrne.
Subs: J Leonard for Foster Carroll (42), K Hannon for J Murray (58).
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: J Turley; K Desmond, C Kirwan, S O’Donnell; C Hanrahan, P Dunleavy, C Maher; M Walsh, C Lowe; P Christie, C O’Reilly, L McDwyer; P Gannon, E Cashman, J McGinn.
Subs: M Codd for Christie (20, BC), C Wall for Gannon (h-t).
MENTORS – Whitehall Colmcille: Liam Murphy, Andy Cullen, Joe Lyons, Diarmuid Murphy, Harry Bodie, Conor Lyons. Ballyboden St Enda’s: Liam Carter, Paul McLoughlin, Eamon O’Reilly.
Referee: Finbar Gaffney (Na Fianna).
WIDES – Whitehall Colmcille: 9 (3+6). Ballyboden St Enda’s: 8 (4+4).
CONDITIONS: Bright and sunny with a gentle breeze.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Jamie Byrne (Whitehall Colmcille).