Skerries Harps 4-9 St Pats Donabate 4-6.
It was one of those moments when the whole ground froze is anticipation as Donabate then three points behind, launched one last gasp attack.
Sunday’s Minor C final on the All-weather surface in Ballymun Kickhams was not short on drama but fittingly it reached a gripping climax when with just moments to go, Donabate had got through the Skerries cover.
Dylan Knight looked up to spot the run of Matthew Molloy and as the keeper advanced, his shot over Eoin Dennis seemed destined for the back of the net only for the keeper’s crossbar to come to Harps rescue.
It was cruel luck for Molloy who had earlier beaten Dennis with a cracking effort in Donabate’s period of dominance in the first half. But it wasn’t to be as Harps held out for their first ever championship win under manager Gordon Kehoe who has had them since the age of ten.
Kehoe and his management has preached the virtue of a quick game and in Dublin minor, Stephen Smith, they had the perfect outlet up front. Smith was tightly marked on the day but possessed with endless energy as well as a footballing brain, Smith would prove a constant threat over the course of the sixty or so odd minutes.
Admittedly there times when Skerries wasted possession, and Donabate were quick to capitalise on that. But in the final third and particularly close in to the goal Skerries were at their most dangerous and at times it seemed the ball gravitated to them.
That said they had trailed to a Molloy goal after nine minutes and at that stage Donabate were in their element. But an injury to Eoin McLoughlin in the first half would ultimately turn out to be a blessing in disguise with Darren Coleman giving Skerries that extra bit of steel in the half back division and he was able to disrupt the Donabate attacks with great effect. And from the time Smith had landed a free deep into injury time in the first half, Skerries were never headed despite a late surge from Pat’s.
The game had begun with a score from Smith before Molloy curled over a nice effort from the centre. And while Smith was to restore the Skerries advantage having converted his own free, Donbate were then to find the back of the net of a quick breaking attack with a ball played into Molloy by Evan Connolly, quickly dispatched past the keeper by Molloy.
A cross field ball from Molloy then set up midfield Sean Walsh who pointed from just inside the left hand touchline. But after a score from McDonald, Skerries corner back Fionn Geraghty then broke up a Donabate attack. The ball was then worked up to Smith who duly split the posts with an excellent score from the left.
Smith then brought his tally to five points for the half with a free to leave it 0-6 to 1-2 at the break and then after Rob McKee had doubled the advantage shortly after the restart came Skerries open goal.
It came on 34 minutes after Dublin minor midfielder, Donal McIlgorm, had been pulled down with McDonald duly rolling the ball past the keeper.
Moments later, Darragh Martin came up from the wing back position to grab Skerries second goal only for Donabate to hit back with a goal at the other end from Aaron Page. And then following points at each end of the field, Tom Carroll had fisted home from the edge of the score to leave it at 3-8 to 2-4 with ten minutes to go.
Knight then fisted over the crossbar (although it could have easily gone the other side) and though Rory Woods was to find the back of the net off a well worked Skerries move, Donabate showed tremendous courage in the closing stages. And following a goal from Knight, a free in from Walsh was fisted home by James Foran to set up a grandstand finish.
Skerries Harps sponsored by Moriarty's Supervalu however were able to slow things down a bit with Smith dropping back to the forty where he was equally effective.
Nonetheless Donabate were almost to claim a late draw only for Molloy’s late effort to come crashing back off the crossbar.
Skerries Harps: Eoin Dennis, Fionn Geraghty, Ciaran Frawley, Ruairi Gielty, Kevin Coyne, Eoin McLoughlin, Darragh Martin 1-0, Lorcan Jones, Donal McIlgorm, Rory Woods1-0 , Dean Lacey, Jack Ferguson, Barry McDonald 1-1, Rob McKee 0-2, Stephen Smith 0-6(2f) Darren Coleman, Hugh Lennox Tom Carroll 1-0
St Pats Donabate: Dylan Dempsey, Jamie Smith, Brian Foley, Conor Mahon, Darren Maher, Rory McKeon, Sean Kerr, James Hempton, Sean Walsh 0-2(1f), James Foran 1-0, Dylan Knight 1-1, Evan Connolly, Matthew Molloy 1-3, Adam Dunne, David Foley, Paddy Meighan, Aaron Page 1-0, Tadhg, Daniel Burke.