Cumann na mBunscol Finals: Naomh Eoin best in end-to-end decider
Four years from their last victory Scoil Naomh Eoin Navan regained the Boys Div 2/3 Shield title with an impressive victory over Ashbourne Educate Together in Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.
Scores were scarce in the opening half, but there was no shortage of excitement, intensity or entertainment as both sides went hell for leather in search of the victory.
The play ebbed and flowed one way and then the other, but Scoil Naomh Eoin defended superbly to keep Ashbourne scoreless.
The Navan side did have plenty of chances, but were wayward in their shooting as they kicked five wides in the opening half.
Such profligacy looked unlikely when Aaron McMahon pointed a free in the fourth minute, but they only managed one more score in the half as Ashbourne defended resolutely.
Ioachim Birsan did have a snap shot well saved by Vlad Furtuna in the sixth minute and six minutes later he could do nothing to prevent a Naomh Eoin goal as Alfie Murtagh wheeled away in celebration following a goalmouth scramble that also included Kayden Dempsey.
The Navan side continued to add to their wide tally in the remaining 14 minutes of the half, but they were deserving of their 1-1 to 0-0 interval advantage.
After a paucity of scores in the opening half the floodgates practically opened after the restart as there were more scores in the opening five minutes of the second-half than there was in the whole opening period.
It took Brooklyn Gavin just nine seconds to extend Naomh Eoin's lead with an outstanding point. Gavin almost added a second goal a minute later, but his shot was saved by Furtuna. However Ashbourne didn't clear their lines and it was Birsan who added to Naomh Eoin's tally with a fine point.
Ashbourne eventually got off the mark in the 29th minute when Finn O'Sullivan-Bartley lofted over from a huge distance. Like a Dublin bus the second score for Ashbourne followed promptly as O'Sullivan =-Bartley again found the range, but the Navan boys quickly reasserted their authority.
Jack Gavin had a cheeky lob cleared off the line, but a minute later McMahon did have the ball in the net when his free dropped over the line for a 2-3 to 0-2 lead.
Gavin extended Naomh Eoin's lead with nine minutes remaining and with just four minutes left on the clock Odhran Callan put the icing on the cake when he finished to the net after Dempsey had hit the crossbar.
Joe May did grab a late consolation point from a free for Ashbourne, but there was to be no denying Naomh Eoin from Navan.
Scoil Naomh Eoin Navan - David Toth; David Burke, Michael Stokes; MJ Farrell-McNally, Tommy Stokes, Jack Gavin; Aaron McMahon (1-1 frees), Ioachim Birsan (0-1); Daniel Guerin-Breheny, Alfie Murtagh (1-0), Nathan Gavin; Brooklyn Gavin (0-2), Kayden Dempsey. Lee Keegan, Dylan Maguire, Jake McEntegart, Tristan English, Caiden Mulhall, Ellis Milascon, David Sharkey, Ciaran Reaney, Odhran Callan (1-0), David McDonagh, Shayne Berigan. Mentors - Niall McGrane, Ray Beirne, Denis Beirne.
Ashbourne Educate Together - Vlad Furtuna; Kornal Olak, Darren Gramas; Patrik Sitov, Vision Williams, Finn O'Sullivan-Bartley (0-2); Philip Ilea Sabo, Amine Bounouane; Laisvis Levsinas, Ignacy Wieteska, Joe May (0-1 free); Gabriel Urbanowicz, Natas Gaidys. Subs - Cian Lanigan, Harry Greene, Nathan Flood, Louis O'Connor, Kaleb Phoenix Prior, Evan Keogh, Fionn Daly, Dylan Secrieru. Mentors - Michael Gleeson, Brandon McCann, Amy Carolan.
Referee - Padraig Farrell (St Oliver's Navan).