Stephen Bray’s brilliant 49th minute goal was central to Navan O’Mahonys win over Na Fianna in the Feis Cup final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.
Navan O’Mahonys ………….. 2-12 Na Fianna …………………. 1-11
Sub Darragh Smyth provided the assist for the score that ensured O’Mahonys retained the Feis Cup and cushioned David Nelson’s men against a late charge from Na Fianna.
Bray’s goal left it 2-10 to 0-8 and though Na Fianna got within a goal of O’Mahonys by the 59th minute, David Bray’s second point of the hour proved to be the insurance score.
While Stephen Bray took the scoring plaudits with 1-4, a tenacious defence, with full-back and team captain Niall McKeigue prominent, ensured the SFC runners-up had to settle for second place in their first ever Feis Cup final.
After Ruairi O Coileain opened the scoring in the first minute, O’Mahonys were never reeled in and were further boosted when Shane Gillespie expertly netted with a low shot into the old swimming pool gool.
Kevin Reilly – who had a productive hour at midfield and figured in the build-up to several scores – and Jake Regan played supporting roles in the execution of this sixth minute goal. By the 17th minute Na Fianna got the deficit down to a single point when Tommy Cosgrave sent over.
Na Fianna hit eight first-half wides to O’Mahonys’ one. This counted against the south county side as the Brews Hill boys chalked up an additional five points to lead by 1-7 to 0-5 at the break.
John Lyons’ men had the better of the third quarter. Within 12 minutes of the resumption they had their deficit down to just two points. A Gary O’Brien point settled O’Mahonys.
It was the start of a productive spell that yielded 1-3 in six minutes and concluded with Stephen Bray’s goal. That eight-point lead quickly began to evaporate but wasn’t completely eroded.
A couple of fine saved by Marcas Brennan earlier in the game and some stalwart defending late on ensured the seniors were able to claim their second piece of silverware of the year, adding to the A FL Division 1 title won three ago.
O’Mahonys – Marcas Brennan; Stephen O’Toole, Niall McKeigue (C), Shane Crosby; James O’Reilly (0-1), Stephen MacGabhann, Gary O’Brien (0-1); Darragh Maguire, Kevin Reilly; Shane Gillespie (1-1), Stephen Bray (1-4, 2fs), Ross Geraghty; David Bray (0-2), Jake Regan (0-1), Ruairi O Coileain (0-1). Subs – Paddy Smyth for Regan, Darragh Smyth (0-1) for Geraghty (42), Stephen Monaghan for Smyth (58).
Na Fianna – Shane Geraghty; Diarmuid Bailey, Christy Cosgrave, John Baldwin; Michael Farley, Michael Foley (C), Dean Henrick; Ollie Lewis, Jamie Queeney (0-2) ; Brian Queeney (0-1); Shane Barrett (0-3, 2fs), Conor Downey (0-2); Dean Barrett, Tommy Cosgrove (0-1), Dalton McDonagh (1-2). Subs – Sean Griffin for Henrick (45).
Referee – Liam O’Brien (Duleek-Bellewstown)