Fingal capture Division 3A title
FINGAL 1-9 DONEGAL 1-5
Fingal were crowned Allianz HL Division 3A champions when they edged out Donegal in Saturday’s decicer at a wind-swept Breffni Park.
The Dubs were reduced to 14 men when Dave Smyth was dismissed in the second half but battled successfully to the finish.
Donegal opened the scoring with a Lee Henderson free after 90 seconds, but Fingal claimed the lead by the sixth minute thanks to points from John Michael Sheridan and Brian McCarthy.
Donegal regained the lead thanks to Ronan McDermott’s 11th-minute goal, before Fingal moved back in front by the 19th minute.
Fingal held a 0-5 to 1-1 lead, with a Smyth point pushing his side in front. Defences were firmly on top before the break, with Donegal owning the ball in front of the posts but failing to break down a strong Fingal rearguard.
A 37th minute Smyth point gave Fingal a 0-6 to 1-1 half-time advantage, but Donegal again responded on the restart.
Points from Henderson and Paddy Hannigan tied the game in the 39th minute but Fingal took a lead they would not relinquish, adding 1-2 without reply over the next 15 minutes.
Fingal’s goal came from Peter Daly, with his side soon reduced to 14 men following Smyth’s dismissal.
Substitute Ciarán Mathewson kept Donegal in touch, but Fingal held that extra edge and were resilient in the closing quarter with Kevin Campbell denied a late goal as the determined Dubliners held out for a four-point victory.
FINGAL: H Murray-Hession ; A Morris, D Markey, G Morris; N Ring, D Vaughan, P Sheridan; K O’Flynn, A Richardson; D Flood (0-3), P Daly (1-0), C Foley; JM Sheridan (0-2, 0-1f); D Smyth (0-2), B McCarthy (0-2). Subs: K O’Flynn for Foley (50 mins), P McAllister for McCarthy (60), N Feeney for Morris (65), R Sheridan for Daly (73).
DONEGAL: P Burns; M McGrath, J McGee, B Herigan; C McDermott, J Boyle, J Donnelly; P Sheridan, D Cullen; S McVeigh, E McDermott, L Henderson (0-2, 0-2f); S Boyle, P Hannigan (0-1), R McDermott (1-0). Subs: C Mathewson (0-2) for McDermott (40 mins), K Campbell for Boyle (61).
REF: G Chapman (Sligo).