Late O'Gara strike seals Street party
Templeogue Synge Street 3-9
Naomh Mearnóg 3-7
Fergal O'Gara was the hero for Templeogue Synge St as his last minute goal secured victory at the end of a pulsating 80 minutes of Evening Herald Dublin SFC first round action at O'Toole Park on Saturday evening.
It will be a tough pill to swallow for Mearnóg as they will feel they left the game behind them with a host of missed chances as well as having the lead entering the final minute of both normal and extra-time.
Although it wasn't a game for the purists, the winners will be delighted with the morale-boosting victory and will hope to build on it for the remainder of the season.
Templeogue started well and Dublin senior Dennis Bastick scored an inspirational first-minute point. Dispossessing his marker in midfield, Bastick set off on a 60-metre run which resulted in him splitting the posts with his left boot.
But the Portmarnock men were to have the better of the play for the remainder of the half. They were guilty of poor shooting in the early stages but Dan Barry and Ronan O'Reilly gave them the lead before the arrival of the first of the game's six goals.
Referee Dave Conway spotted a foul on full-forward Stephen McHale and the same player dusted himself off to convert the resulting spot kick.
The southsiders fought hard to get back in the game and midfielder Alan O'Brien was in fine form scoring four points before the break, two courtesy of dead balls.
But they succumbed to a sucker punch on the stroke of half-time. A high ball in to the square by John Madden was somehow bundled into the net by Ryan O'Sullivan to give Mearnóg a 2-4 to 0-6 lead at the break.
But the game was to be turned on its head within 10 minutes of the restart. Bastick expertly finished a penalty to the roof of the net after corner-forward John Mannion was brought down.
Then wing-back Conor McKiernan drove forward from the back and, after some neat interchanges, found himself through on goal and he made no mistake to give his side a two-point advantage.
There was to be no score for 14 minutes until the game saw its third penalty. Mearnóg were the beneficiaries, and McHale was again given the honours with the same successful result as his first-half effort. Mannion then looked to have won the day for his team with a long range free. But there was time for Templeogue to force extra-time and Eoin McKiernan got on the end of move that spanned the full length of the pitch to leave the full-time score reading 3-6 to 2-9.
Mearnóg took the lead in the first minute of the additional 20 through Barry, but it was to be their final score of the game as O'Gara's late intervention snatched the victory for Synger.
Scorers - Templeogue Synge Street: A O'Brien (3f) 0-7, D Bastick (1-0 pen) 1-1, C McKiernan, F O'Gara 1-0 each, E McKiernan 0-1. Naomh Mearnóg: S McHale (2-0 pen) 2-1, R O'Sullivan 1-0, J Madden (1f), D Barry 0-2 each, R O'Reilly, J Walsh 0-1 each.
Templeogue Synge St: C Murphy; C Donohue, O Fallon, K Devine; C McKiernan, K Byrne, M Cannon; D Bastick, A O'Brien; E McKiernan, C Morley, D O'Reilly; F O'Gara, B McKiernan, J Mannion. Subs: B Fitzgerald for Donohue (ht), D Coughlan for O'Gara (ht), C O'Reilly for Mannion (75), Donohue for Cannon (76), O'Gara for D O'Reilly(76).
Naomh Mearnóg: R O'Neill; F Doyle, M Doyle, E Byrne; M O'Reilly, C Fahy, N Houlihan; E Forde, F McGowan; D Barry, R O'Reilly, R O'Sullivan; J Walsh, S McHale, J Madden. Subs: B Slattery for McHale (60), A Brennan for O'Reilly (70), P Morgan for Slattery (74).
Referee: D Conway (Ballinteer St John's).