Naomh Olaf’s Under-16 footballers celebrate their success

Naomh Olaf saw off a tenacious Clontarf side to win a very exciting Under-16B football championship final in Parnell Park last Saturday in a fantastic two point win.

This was a thriller from start to finish with the issue in doubt right to the final whistle.

Finn Murphy in midfield provided his cousin, Luke Murphy, with quality ball and he tormented the Clontarf backs in the first half and full back Eric Betts marshalled Clontarf’s dangerous Daragh Fagan throughout but these were only two of many facets of an absorbing game.

The northsiders squandered a penalty opportunity and another open goal chance which left the Naomh Olaf lads leading by 0-10 to 0-6 at half time.

The lead was stretched to six early in the second half with Fionn Marriott and Liam O’Hagan raiding up the right but a Clontarf goal sparked a spirited resurgence which left the teams level coming in to the last three minutes.

The intensity grew with goalmouth saves, shots coming back off the crossbar and both teams fighting tooth and nail for every ball.

No quarter asked or given and supporters on the edge of their seats as two excellent teams dug deep and deeper again.

However it was the Naomh Olaf team who grabbed the vital scores in those magical final minutes to record a brilliant victory by 0-16 to 1-11.

The Dublin County Board’s Bernie McLoghlin described it as the best exhibition by two teams at underage level for many a year and Luke Murphy added to the day’s celebration by picking up a deserved man of the match award.