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Friday 18 August 2017

Fins eke out that little bit extra to beat Ballyboden

dublin ifc semi-final

Fingallians qualified for their third successive Dublin Intermediate Football Championship final following their 1-10 to 1-5 success over Ballyboden St Enda's after extra-time in Parnell Park last Friday evening.

That the equitable result was arrived upon could not be questioned but Fingallians will concern themselves with the manner in which they struggled to win possession in the second-half, allowing Boden to remain competitive throughout.

The dreadful conditions ensured a mediocre affair in which both forward lines struggled for fluidity but St Enda's were unfortunate not to enjoy the perfect start when Carl Molony's snapshot in the third minute struck the butt of Rossa Kelleher's left-hand upright.

However, Ballyboden gained reward for some early pressure when Séamus Keane opened the scoring in the fifth minute and it took seven further minutes for Fingallians to open their account through Mark Gibson's close-in free.

The Swords outfit began to impress from that point and they took the lead for the first time in the 17th minute after a trademark long-distance score by Paul Flynn.

Dónall Keane, so influential in Fingallians' quarter-final victory over Na Fianna, stamped his class on proceedings when recording two sublime scores from play as the half progressed before full-forward Donal Farrell spurned a glorious goal chance in the 26th minute, dragging wide with the goal at his mercy.

Propelled

Another Gibson point propelled Fins into a four-point lead but a lack of concentration a minute before the break almost allowed Cormac Smyth in. However, the centre-forward lacked composure with just Kelleher to beat.

The second-half saw St Enda's enjoy a marked advantage in terms of possession and after goalkeeper Daragh Grogan had reduced their arrears, Keane restored parity in the 33rd minute when rising highest to palm home a lengthy delivery by the impressive Dan Buckingham.

Keane then added a superb point soon after to inch his side ahead with Eamonn Creamer finally settling Fingallians nerves when pointing at the end of the third quarter.

Chances were missed with increasing regularity as the half developed with Gibson appearing to have landed the decisive blow when converting a free deep into injury time.

However, Molony's wonderful score over his shoulder earned St Enda's a shot at extra-time.

That period could not have started worse for them as Ciarán McLoughlin netted in the first minute and Fins pulled away from that juncture through scores by Flynn and Darragh Deasy.

Scorers - Fingallians: C McLoughlin 1-1 (0-1f); M Gibson 0-3 (2f); D Keane, P Flynn 0-2 each; E Creamer, D Deasy 0-1 each. Ballyboden St Enda's: S Keane 1-2, D Grogan 0-2 (2 '45'), C Molony 0-1.

Fingallians: R Kelleher; D Fagan, D Clarke, N Fagan; G Campbell, C Costello, D Keane; D Campion, E Sweeney; C McLoughlin, D Killeen, P Flynn; E Creamer, D Farrell, M Gibson. Subs: D Markey for Sweeney (49), D Deasy for Costello (60), R Deasy for Clarke (67), C O'Neill for Creamer (79).

Ballyboden St Enda's: D Grogan; D Buckingham, M Fitzgerald, D McGuinness; D Manley, J O'Hara, F Haran; S Keane, I Clarke; D Kilduff, C Smyth, S Cullen; C Molony, C Archbold, J Madden. Subs: D Devlin for Archbold (51), C O'Neill for Kilduff (56), E Crowley for Smyth (60+1, BC), Archbold for Haran (62), S Hogan for Madden (70), C McBride for Crowley (75), G Ryan for Molony (80).

REF: D O'Connor (Naomh Mearnóg)

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