Fingal travelled to Markievicz Park, Sligo on Sunday afternoon and a good second half performance resulted in an eight point victory to give Dublin hurling a second win in the NHL for the day.
However, their performance in the first half gave no indication of such a clearcut result. Failing to develop any momentum they could never impose themselves on the home team. Their discipline also left them down in conceding thirteen frees in the first thirty five minutes. Sligo opened the scoring with a pointed free in the third minute but two Martin Ormonde points pushed Fingal a point clear after ten minutes. The game then descended into a very stop- start affair with both sides being guilty of errors and sloppy play. In the last ten minute period of the half Fingal pushed on with three points (Ormonde 2 frees and Paul MacAllister from play) but their concession of frees gave Sligo a brace of points from their Kilkenny native free taker, Colin Herity. A slender one point lead, five to four, was probably a fair reflection of the disappointing fare provided by both teams in that period.
A refocused Fingal squad took the field for the second thirty five. Although conceding another free to Herity to level the game, the switch of McAllister to midfield was generating more play for the Fingal front six. They hit a rich vein of form with five unanswered points to lead by double scores at the three quarter mark.The consistent number 11 Ormonde added two of these points which were complimented by good scores from Colm Foley, Emmet McCabe and McAllister. Sligo then got their first score from play with a good point from corner forward Mark Gordon and another Herity brace reduced the deficit to three.
The major incident of the game arrived on the 26th minute of the half when Fingal substitute, Eanna Slattery, played a great 40m cross field pass to fellow substitute Brian McCarthy who offloaded to Dara de Burca and with a first time strike he found the Sligo net. Despite a reply from Herity with another pointed free the momentum was with Fingal and they finished out the game impressively with points from Ormonde (3) and McAllister.
Fingal are out again in six days time in the refixed game against Wicklow in Swords on Saturday at 2.30pm. If they are to overcome a Wicklow side trying to bounce straight back up to Division 3A the Fingal lads will have to produce an effort like their second half effort today for the full seventy next weekend.
Best for the Fingallians today were the youthful duo of Niall Ring and Michael Cussen in defence, the hard working Ross McGarry at midfield, and Colm Foley and Paul McAllister in attack in the second half. However the most impressive performer was Ormonde who supplemented his excellent free-taking with four great points from play.
Fingal Team and Scorers:
1 Willie Burke St. Brigids
2 Peter Coyne Trinity Gaels
3 David Markey Fingallians
4 Niall Ring Naomh Barrog
5 Michael Cussen St. Brigids
6 Dermot Vaughan Fingallians
7 Brian Powell Naomh Mearnog
8 Ross McGarry Skerries Harps
9 Dara de Burca Setanta (1-0)
10 Colm Foley St. Peregrines (0-1)
11 Martin Ormonde St. Sylvesters (0-9 5f)
12 Paul McAllister Naomh Maur (0-3)
13 Emmet McCabe Naomh Barrog (0-2)
14 Peter Daly Fingallians
15 Cian O’Mahony St. Brigids
16 Craig Harford Naomh Maur
17 Paddy Sheridan Naomh Maur
18 Alan Morris St. Sylvesters
19 Eanna Slattery Naomh Mearnog ( for Daly)
20 Eoghan Cullen Fingallians ( for Vaughan inj.)
21 Brian McCarthy Naomh Mearnog ( for O’Mahony)
22 Matthew Lambe Wild Geese
23 Paul Garbutt Naomh Barrog
24 Rory Noonan Skerries Harps
Sligo: Colin Herity 0-8f, Mark Gordon and Joe Bannerton 0-1 each