IHC final: Na Fianna clear final hurdle

October 06, 2018

Na Fianna full back Evan Mullallly and Liam Ferguson Gaeil Colmcille collide during the Meath IHC final at Pairc Tailteann

Runners-up last year, Na Fianna claimed the IHC title with a decisive win over Gaeil Colmcille at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday afternoon.

Na Fianna ............ 2-19
Gaeil Colmcille ...... 1-9

The Baconstown-Enfield club made most of the running. They were never headed, though they were briefly pegged back to level terms midway through the first-half. 

Their positive response meant the outcome was done-and-dusted long before the end. 

Five points ahead at the interval, Na Fianna outscored their Kells-opponents by 0-11 to 0-3 in the second-half. 

Midfielder Barry Slevin contributed 12 points while Peter and Mark Slevin pitched in with a goal apiece

Na Fianna lost to O'Mahonys after a replay last year. On this occasion they weren't lacking in determination and discipline

The only downside, was that on a sunny evening it was difficult to identify the Na Fianna. T

In the first-half Na Fianna had whatever benefit the wind offered and set about building a lead. A rally Gaeil Colmcille temporarily halted the south county men's momentum.

Having regained the lead in the 20th minute, Na Fianna continued to extend their advantage. Gaeil Colmcille lost narrowly when the sides met in the group stage. 

The chance of a close climax this time was quickly put to bed as Na Fianna moved nine points clear early in the final quarter.  Gaeil Colmcille lost Barry Tormay and Liam Ferguson in the latter stages, each dismissed on receipt of second yellow cards.

Playing into the town goal, Na Fianna got off to a flying start, posting 1-2 without reply in the opening three minutes. Mark Slevin's goal at the town end was sandwiched between two Ronan Byrne points.

Five minutes in Gaeil Colmcille were boosted by a Stephen Reddy goal after a sideline cut broke to him. The Kells-men were further lifted when Fionn Ferguson pointed a 65. A Keith Reilly shot forced the 65. 

One of Barry Slevin's four first-half frees temporarily interupted the Gaeil Colmcille momentum. The Kells-men regrouped to get on level terms, 1-3-each, by the 18th minute, thanks to a Stephen Reddy free.  

Na Fianna - Eoin Reilly; Sean Coffey, Evan Mullally, Stephen Slevin; Diarmuid Bailey, Daniel Glesson, Noel O'Sullivan; Ethan Devine (0-1), Barry Slevin (0-12, 8fs); Jonathan McCloskey, Peter Slevin (1-1), Cian Slattery (0-1); Sean Martin (0-2), Mark Slevin (1-0), Ronan Byrne (0-2). Subs - Kean Flynn for J McCloskey (40), Christopher Cosgrave (60), Shane Burke (0-1) for Byrne (60), Niall Reilly for Bailey (60), Kevin Coffey for Devine (60).

Gaeil Colmcille - Conor Murray; Adam Muldoon, Michael Foley, Darren Tormay; Daniel Muldoon, Barry Smith, Paul Tormay (0-1); Evan Sheridan (0-2), Liam Ferguson; Dylan Roche (0-1), Fionn Ferguson (0-3, 1f 1 65), Keith Reilly; Stephen Reddy (1-1, 0-1f), Barry Tormay (0-1), Gary McGovern. Subs - Seamus Mattimoe for G McGovern (34), John Murray for Muldoon (54), Evan Keegan for K Reilly (58), James Hennigan for S Reddy (61)

Referee - Sean Gahan (Ratoath)

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