Fingal battle to Division 3A hurling crown

Allianz Hurling League Division 3A final

Fingal battle to Division 3A hurling crown

Allianz Hurling League Division 3A final

Fingal 1-9 Donegal 1-5

Fingal withstood a strong Donegal charge to earn the Allianz Hurling League Division 3A title at a windy Kingspan Breffni Park today.

The north Dublin outfit may have been reduced to 14 men with full-forward Dave Smyth shown a red card following a wild tackle on Donegal captain Joe Boyle, but Mick Kennedy's charges held out for an historic win.

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.

Ray Durack's Donegal side regained the lead thanks to Ronan McDermott's 11th-minute goal, before Fingal moved back in front by the 19th minute.

They 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.

McDermott and Henderson both had missed opportunities, while Colm Foley and Sheridan erred for Fingal at the opposed end.

A 37th minute Smyth point gave Fingal a 0-6 to 1-1 half-time buffer, 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 lone goal came from the stick of Peter Daly, with his side soon reduced to 14 men following Smyth's dismissal.

Substitute Ciaran 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.

After the game Fingal captain Andrew Richardson accepted the cup from former Ulster GAA Chairman Aogan Farrell.

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 used: 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 used: C Mathewson (0-2) for McDermott (40 mins), K Campbell for Boyle (61).

Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo)

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