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IFC final: Na Fianna fend off Trim rally

28 October 2012

Trim's Stephen Farrell closes in on Na Fianna's Ollie Lewis during the Meath IFC final at Pairc Tailteann. TO VIEW A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS GAME CLICK HERE
Na Fianna ........ 1-12
Trim .................. 1-10

Na Fianna claimed the Meade Potato Company IFC title when resisting a strong Trim rally in the final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.

Na Fianna looked to be coasting to victory when leading by ten points at half-time before showing the necessary resolve to resist a spirted Trim rally.

Crucially John Andrews men never regained parity in their bid to make an immediate return to the senior ranks. They pared the margin to the minimum on three occasions in the final quarter.

First when experienced wing-back Ronan Fitzsimons pointed from about 40 metres in the 52nd minute. Further scores from Mark Gilsenan and Michael Lowther (free) left a point in it with hour up.

In the three minutes of stoppage time, Lowther saw his attempt from a free close to the left sideline to level matters drop into the arms of Na Fianna 'keeper Shane Geraghty.

It was left Daniel Queeney, the final's top scorer, to conclude the scoring with his fourth pointed free that provided the cue for celebrations for the club.

Na Fianna went 23 second-half minutes before adding to their interval tally, through Dean Hendrick and leave them 1-10 to 1-8 ahead. However, they had the wherewithal to withstand Trim's rally.

Trim were first out of the blocks with team captain Michael Lowther pointing a close range free, at the hospital end, after he himself was fouled.

Wind-assisted Na Fianna responded with a magnificent point from Jamie Queeney in the fourth minute. The team respresenting Enfield-Baconstown and Rathmoylon hit the front for the first time when Daniel Queeney landed a free two minutes later.

Though listed as number 4, Dean Hendrick lined at centre-forward and after a searing run through the Trim rearguard he saw his goal attempt deflected for a 45, which yielded nothing.

Na Fianna's hopes of playing senior football next year were boosted in the 13th minute when Dalton McDonagh cut in from the left before firing past former county 'keeper Brendan Murphy to the net.

Before the opening quarter ended Shane Barrett tagged on his second point to leave it 1-4 to 0-1 to the south county side.

John Lyons' charges continued to capitalise with Daniel Queeney landing another free after McDonagh's run was halted by a foul.

Just before a third of the hour had passed Hendrick sent over after corner-back Diarmuid Bailey provided the assist was a strong forward run.

Trim could have pulled a goal back but Shane Kennedy's effort went low to the left of the posts. Seconds later Conor Downey became the sixth Na Fianna player to get on the scoresheet.

When wing-back Michael Farley joined the list ten points separated the sides, 1-8 to 0-1, with 23 minutes gone.

Trim's first score from play arrived in the 27th minute with Mark Gilsenan registering with back up from Lowther and Derek Donohoe.

A moment of controversy followed when an excellent Jamie Queeney point was given initially as wide. It was then given good on the word of linesman Patrick Neilis, much to the dismay of the Trim contingent.

When the interval arrived the board read 1-9 to 0-2 and the Mattie McDonnell Cup and senior status appeared to be in Na Fianna's grasp.

With the wind at the backs Trim set about whittling down the deficit. They started with points from Derek Donohoe and wing-back Ronan Fitzsimons to leave just eight in it within three minutes of the restart.

Fitzsimons then provided the assist for Mark Gilsenan to post his second point, Trim hopes soared after James Toher landed a free from the right. It was followed by an Eoin McGrath goal to leave just three points in it, 1-6 to 1-9, with 42 minutes gone.

Na Fianna - S. Geraghty; D. Bailey, C. Cosgrave, D. Hendrick (0-2); M. Farley (0-1), M. Foley, J. Baldwin; D. Queeney (0-4 fs), J. Queeney (0-2); C. Downey (0-1), H. Silke, B. Queeney; S. Barrett (0-2), T. Cosgrave, D. McDonagh (1-0). Subs - O. Lewis for B. Queeney (46).

Trim - B. Murphy; C. O'Flaherty, R. Brennan, S. Downes; M. Power, S. Farrell, R. Fitzsimons (0-2); F. Murphy, J. Toher (0 2fs); S. Kennedy, K. Joyce, M. Lowther (0-2 fs); M. Gilsenan (0-3), D. Donohue (0-1), N. Heffernan. Subs - P. Flanagan for Power, E. McGrath (1-0) for Kennedy (both 24), D. Foley for Donohoe (39), P. Gilsenan for Toher (57).

Referee - C. McManus (Gaeil Colmcille)