Harry Goulding was the hero when he pounced on 64 minutes to score the only goal of the game.
Although the scoreline suggests a narrow victory as a result of a close contest, it was not like that at all as the Cork AUL side were by far the better team over the 90 minutes.
They out-thought, out-played and won most of the battles around the pitch over the duration.
Grattan’s defence were on top throughout with a dominant back four that gave very little away.
The middle was a scrap for possession for the most part and up front, John Paul O’Sullivan was such a thorn in the side of the St. .Francis defence.
But, overall, it was a tremendous team performance from the hosts.
Grattan imposed from the first whistle with John Paul O’Sullivan knocking it back for Kent whose sweeping delivery won his side an early corner.
And when Fleming whipped in a dangerous ball that looked destined for John Paul O’Sullivan, it took a timely intervention from James Farrelly to head out at the expense of a corner.
From the ensuing set-piece Harry Goulding just failed to make contact with the goal gaping.
A great chance followed for Grattan minutes later when after great work by John Paul O’Sullivan, a chance was presented to Cian Hawkins, but he failed to get a vital touch with the goal at his mercy.
And after John Paul O’Sullivan’s attempt at an overhead kick sailed over, Goulding headed off target from Fleming’s delivery.
St. Francis were under real pressure at this stage and in fact gave away three corners in quick succession.
Another opportunity came Grattan’s way when John Paul O’Sullivan headed on for Anthony Burns who headed straight at Adam Murphy.
But, after Kent saw his low effort held by Adam Murphy, St. Francis turned defence into attack with Leon O’Brien cracking a decent effort off the post before it was cleared to safety – just minutes to go to the break.
Cian Hawkins got the second half under way with a decent effort that sailed over.
Grattan broke from defence with Kent playing a neat one on for Cian Hawkins who forced a decent save from Adam Murphy.
As Grattan controlled proceedings, Matthew Reynolds found a way through, but a superb top-drawer tackle from Anthony Burns aborted the threat with immediate effect.
Minutes later, Reynolds found Leon O’Brien in a good position, but he skewed well wide of the target.
Grattan continued on the front foot with Christopher Barton and James Farrell called upon to produce big blocks from Mark O’Sullivan and Hawkins.
The inevitable happened in the 64th minute though when from a corner, Mark O’Sullivan headed into the box where Harry Goulding pounced to help home Grattan’s opener.
Grattan did not go behind the ball after that to rest on their laurels and when Michael Kent collected from a throw, he turned inside before rifling over a decent effort from 25 yards.
St. Francis had no choice now, but to chase the game and while in a reasonably good position, Justin Doyle forced James Burns to a low save from his effort after Matthew Reynolds provided the assist.
Another attempt to breach a solid Grattan defence was made by the Dublin side when Matthew Reynold’s effort was blocked by Harry Goulding and almost immediately afterwards, Eric Fleming threw his body on the line to deny Paul Caffrey a shot on target outside the 18 yards box.
But, as St. Francis made every effort possible to find a way through a stubborn, but solid Grattan defence, James Burns did not have to produce any save worthy of note as Grattan managed the game out to perfection in the end.
Grattan Utd: James Burns, Anthony Burns, Harry Goulding, Dean Murray, Michael Kent, Keith Harris, Mark O’Sullivan, Cian Hawkins, Eric Fleming, John Paul O’Sullivan and Gary Coughlan.
Subs: Eric Shinkwin for Anthony Burns (60), Kevin Kenneally for Harry Goulding (78).
St. Francis: Adam Murphy, Sean Flanagan, Christopher Barton, James Farrell, Jack Lawlor, Ronan Smith, Paul Caffrey, Justin Doyle, Leon O’Brien, Sam Kennedy and Matthew Ryenolds.
Subs: Adam Cleary for Ronan Smith (75), Ryan Brady for Jack Lawlor (87).
Referee: Jim O’Connor (Assistants: Brendan O’Regan and Billy Noonan).