Naomh Mearnog take big step to C double

by Cóilín Duffy

Under-21 C Hurling Final
Naomh Mearnog 3-14
Craobh Chiarain 1-16

NAOMH MEARNÓG Under 21s are aiming for a C championship double in a week, as the Portmarnock club are aiming to back-up their hurling success last weekend, with a football triumph this Sunday.

The hurlers bounced back from last year’s two-point final loss to Craobh Chiaráin, to claim Under-21 C hurling championship honours, thanks to a 3-14 to 1-16 win over their Donnycarney counterparts at Broomfield, Malahide on Saturday.

Naomh Mearnóg’s footballers, with many of the same players on board helped book their place in the decider, by dethroning last year’s winners Erin’s Isle by three-points in Tuesday’s group final at Alfie Byrne Road.

A strong second quarter was key to victory for the Portmarnock club’s hurlers, after Craobh Chiarain made a positive start.

Craobh led by 0-4 to 0-1 after six minutes, and although Naomh Mearnóg equalised thanks to a goal a minute later, they fell in arrears soon after, conceding the next two points.

But Naomh Mearnóg upped their game and scored 1-8 unanswered to move into a nine-point lead after 29 minutes.

This provided a solid basis for victory, although Craobh Chiaráin understandably mounted a strong defence of their title on the restart, before a Chris O’Sullivan goal in the 50th minute sent Naomh Mearnóg on their way to victory, despite conceding a goal late on.

Centre forward Cian Derwin was solid for Craobh Chiaráin in the opening moments, but a Ross Hayden goal, after good work by Mark Phelan settled Naomh Mearnóg.

By the end of the contest, all three players on the Naomh Mearnóg full-forward line would find the back of the Craobh Chiaráin net, with Phelan finding the net on the way to a 2-9 to 0-7 interval lead.

Craobh dominated the third quarter, and outscored their opponents by 0-8 to 0-1 during this spell, with Mearnóg free-taker Shane Kavanagh delivering his sides only scores.

Chris Sullivan grabbed Naomh Mearnóg’s third goal, and although Keith Cooling found the net, it was too late for Craobh Chiaráin.

After the game Naomh Mearnóg captain Mark Phelan received the Cup from Dublin GAA Chairman Sean Shanley.

Phelan and some of his Naomh Mearnóg colleagues are aiming to be back on the receiving end of silverware, where they face Templeogue Synge St. in the Under 21 C Football Championship final next Sunday at 11am in O’Toole Park.

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