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11th Sep 2023

Na Fianna left to rue injuries to key players after big shock in Dublin championship


Kilmacud Crokes completed their third successive victory in Group 2 of the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Football Championship following their hard-earned 1-17 to 0-17 win over Skerries Harps in Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.

Crokes enjoyed a 1-9 to 0-9 interval lead, with Hugh Kenny netting in the 28th minute and points early in the second-half by Paul Mannion and Shane Wash extended their lead to six points.

However, they struggled to maintain their control in the final quarter as Harps battled back through points by Eoghan McGinley, Adam Fearon and Killian McGinnis. The holders held on, however, despite some late pressure on their goal.

Walsh top scored with 0-7 for Kilmacud with Mannion’s five points and three by influential captain Shane Cunningham proving sufficient on the day.

In O’Toole Park, Castleknock confirmed second spot in Group 2 as they edged St Sylvester’s by 1-12 to 1-10.

Tommy McDaniel proved their match-winner with 1-5 from play and while Alex Wright converted a penalty for Syls, Castleknock did enough to prevail thanks to the scoring contributions of Ger McDermottroe (0-3) and Conor Chawke (0-2).

Earlier in Donnycarney, last year’s beaten finalists Na Fianna were dumped out in the group stages, as they succumbed to local rivals St Vincent’s by 1-16 to 0-18.

Photo courtesy: Michael Moran

Without overly impressing, Na Fianna built up a 0-11 to 0-7 advantage by half-time with David Lacey and Aaron Byrne heavily involved. They struggled to impose themselves after the break against an inspired Vinnies team, however.

Cian Dunne’s nine points helped St Vincent’s gradually reel in their opponents, with a brilliant Sean Lambe goal in the 43rd minute adding to their momentum.

The lead exchanged hands a number of times in a frantic final quarter and while Conor Early looked to have salvaged a vital share of the spoils for Na Fianna when levelling in the fourth minute of added time, Shane O’Leary was on hand to kick the all-decisive score for the Marino side with the final kick of the game.

A run of bad luck with injuries, which saw Jonny Cooper, Eoin Murchan, Conor McHugh and James Doran miss the game eventually caught up on the last year’s beaten finalists, who’s 22 year drought without a title goes on.

St Vincent’s are joined in the last eight by a St Jude’s side that claimed their third group win when edging Whitehall Colmcille by 1-12 to 1-9 at O’Toole Park.

Sean Kirwan netted for a Jude’s team that had already secured their qualification and with Darragh Rooney adding eight points from frees, they did enough to hold on despite an Eddie Moran goal and a strong showing by Whitehall’s Eoghan O’Donnell at full-forward.

On Sunday, Ballymun Kickhams claimed the last quarter-final spot on offer, as they defeated Ballinteer St John’s by 1-12 to 0-11 at Parnell Park.

Robbie Bolger scored 1-3 for Ballymun including a 10th minute goal and with Dean Rock adding 0-5, Kickhams finished on the front foot with Carl Keeley scoring two vital points from wing-back in the final quarter.

The curtain-raiser saw Raheny and Lucan Sarsfields entertain from the outset, with the former pulling away in the second-half to complete a resounding 7-15 to 2-6 win.

Photo courtesy: Michael Moran

Raheny led by 3-8 to 2-5 at half-time with their goals coming through Cian Ivers (2) and Alan McLoughlin, while Harry Ladd and Conor Gallagher replied at the opposite end for Lucan.

Points from Ivers and Darren Lunney extended the Raheny advantage after the break and the latter was on hand to palm home in the 42nd minute after a telling incision from Brian Fenton.

It proved a procession from that point as Ivers completed his hat-trick in the 44th minute and with Lunney adding a sixth goal two minutes later, the contest petered out with Lucan restricted to a solitary Brendan Gallagher free in the second-half.

The other game in Group 3 saw Cuala claim a 1-13 to 0-12 victory over previously unbeaten Thomas Davis at O’Toole Park, clinching a quarter-final place in the process.

The Dalkey side raced into an early 1-3 to 0-0 lead with their goal coming through Cal Doran and with Con O’Callaghan and Luke Keating impressing, they built up a 1-10 to 0-9 interval lead.

However, Cuala failed to score in the third quarter, seeing their lead reduce to a solitary point. They did finish strongly however, with Con O’Callaghan scoring 0-6 in total while Keating added 0-3 and Niall O’Callaghan 0-2.

In the day’s other game at O’Toole Park, Ballyboden St Endas made it three wins from three in their group, with a 3-17 to 2-07 victory over Templeogue Synge St.

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