Danesfort got the better of the Fenians in Saturday's senior relegation final. Photo: Pat Moore
Danesfort 1-18, Fenians 1-12
The second time proved to be a charm as Danesfort dug out the win to retain their senior hurling status.
A week after they had let the Fenians (Johnstown) claw their way back into the relegation final, the 'Fort went back to Palmerstown to get the job done in a tense replay.
They had Richie Hogan to thank for a large part. The 2015 Hurler of the Year helped himself to 13 points (eight frees) to help his side get past a Fenians side who have become something of a specialist when it comes to dodging the drop.
In a tense first half the sides went toe to toe, James Mullally scoring an early goal for 'Fort only for Conor Tobin to wipe it out when he crashed home a 26th minute penalty. It was only the second time the Fenians took the lead but it would also be the last, as points from Robbie Walsh and Hogan (free) saw Danesfort go in 1-7 to 1-6 up at half-time.
Spurred on by Hogan Danesfort increased their lead to three points (1-12 to 1-9) by the 43rd minute, but a string of four scores in as many minutes pushed them towards the finish line. The run was sandwiched by two Hogan frees, but a brace of fine points from James Mullally helped break the Fenians resolve.
The Johnstown fought to the end - they always do - but the battle to stay up was beyond them this time. They will play in the intermediate grade in 2017.
SCORERS: Danesfort - Richie Hogan (0-13, 0-8 frees); James Mullally (1-2); Colm Phelan, Paddy Hickey, Robbie Walsh (0-1 each). Fenians - Conor Tobin (1-2, 1-0 pen, 0-1 free); Mark Webster (0-4, frees); Sean Tobin, Darragh Tobin (0-2 each); Kieran Grehan (0-1); Willie Brennan (0-1, 65).