St Sylvester’s were crowned (2016) Dublin U21 ‘B’ football champions after defeating Raheny 2-13 to 0-13 in Saturday night’s entertaining decider at Alfie Byrne Park.
Bar one decisive 'purple patch' for Syls during the first half there was little between the sides throughout and going into the dying minutes Raheny were pushing strong as they trailed by three points.
However, a well-executed breakaway move by Syls culminated in sub Cian Wallnutt firing to the net to give the Malahide lads victory.
The game started at a great tempo with a Kevin Doran point opening the scoring for Raheny before the impressive Colm Byrne replied for Syls.
A superb Seán McMahon point, at the end of a surging 70-metre run, pushed Raheny back in front before Alex Wright brought the game level again.
Raheny slotted the next three scores through Darragh Keogh and two from Matt Collins, the first a free the second from play following excellent defensive work by Glenn McNamara.
But midway into the half Colm Byrne fielded a high ball into the square and clinically finished to the net to bring his side level.
It was the catalyst for Syls best spell as Alex Wright (free), Colm Byrne, Wright with another free, two from Luke Troy, Dylan Connolly and Wright again from deadball all found the target to see the Malahide men move 1-9 to 0-5 clear by the 26th minute.
During that spell of dominance for Syls, with midfielder Jack Hazley prominent in terms of securing primary possession, their opponents did muster one goal-scoring opportunity but Aran Kelly was denied by the butt of the upright as his low, angled drive rebounded to safety off the inside of the post.
Before the break Raheny battled back with points from the lively Seán McCarthy (two) and Matt Collins to leave Syls 1-9 to 0-8 to the good at the break.
Rahenythought faced into the second period with 14 men after corner-back Evan Cumiskey was red-carded in the 25th minute.
Colm Byrne opened the second half scoring for Syls but Raheny replied with scores from Seán McCarthy and James O’Kane (free).
Byrne convered a ‘45’ and then a free to strengthen their lead before Alex Wright showed his pace with a score to move his side 1-13 to 0-10 clear with just over ten minutes remaining.
Raheny though did not give up and laid siege in the final minutes with scores from James O’Kane and Matt Collins (two frees) but were denied of scores by the woodwork on two further occasions.
Any hopes that Raheny had of snatching victory were extinguished in the final minute when sub Cian Wallnutt found the net to seal victory for St Sylvester’s.
In the curtain-raiser Na Fianna were too strong for Trinity Gaels in the (2016) Dublin U21FC ‘D’ decider running out 2-20 to 0-13 victors.