saints spread the load
Anne's repel late pressure to cement top spot after Bohernabreena battle
St Anne's moved clear at the summit of the Dublin Minor Football League Division 3A table following their hard-earned three-point victory over an impressive Naomh Fionnbarra in Bohernabreena last Wednesday evening.
Ultimately, it was a fortuitous goal by midfielder Conor Lee in the 49th minute that turned the tide in the home team's favour, with the visitors perhaps unfortunate not to leave without at least a share of the spoils, given their second-half showing.
However, their inability to take advantage of presentable goal chances, especially in the first half, proved costly while there was too much dependence on full-forward Ciaran Horan for scores.
In contrast, seven St Anne's players managed to contribute scores from play with Caoilte Teague opening the scoring in the 3rd minute for the home team.
With a reasonable wind at their backs, the visitors struggled for fluency in the early stages but an excellent solo score by Glen Dodrill hinted at the potency of their attack, given an adequate supply of possession.
That possession failed to materialise in the early stages as St Anne's enjoyed a marked dominance with wing-backs Seán Delappe and Seán Doran showing well while Lee and Kevin Jones eclipsed their direct opponents at centrefield.
This control allowed the hosts to pierce the Fionnbarra defence on occasion with points by Shane Corcoran and Gordon Robinson inching the hosts two points clear by the seventh minute.
Horan added an excellent point in reply for the Cabra outfit and they would have taken the lead in the 11th minute but for Andrew Jones' sprawling save to repel Chris O'Brien's well-placed shot.
The ebb and flow was maintained with Horan adding two points in quick succession and another fine point by Dodrill handed the visitors the lead for the first time in the 24th minute.
Not surprisingly, the half ended the deadlock as the classy Dylan Baker and Lee briefly restored the home lead with Horan adding an injury-time free to leave an 0-7 apiece interval stalemate.
With the winds at their backs for the second-half, St Anne's wasted little time in turning that advantage into scores as substitute Darren Fullam kicked the score of the game in the 33rd minute, a masterful catch and shot on the turn that split the posts from fifty metres.
Teague and Baker pushed the hosts three clear as the half ensued but Finbarrs gained a foothold when the impressive Dylan Curley released Glen Lyons for a levelling goal in the 46th minute.
Howver, Lee's lucky strike stalled the away team's momentum and although Horan kept Fionnbarra in the hunt, late points on the counter-attack from Baker and Lee kept Anne's narrowly in front before Robinson converted an injury-time free to ensure St Anne's handed themselves breathing space at the top of the table.
Scorers: St Anne's: C Lee 1-2 (1-0f), G Robinson (0-2f), D Baker 0-4 each, C Teague 0-2, S Corcoran, D Fullam, G Perry 0-1 each. Naomh Fionnbarra: C Horan 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 '45'), G Lyons 1-0, G Dodrill 0-2, S McDonnell 0-1.
St Anne's: A Jones; N McKeown, J Cannon, C Cooke; S Delappe, S Corcoran, S Doran; C Lee, K Jones; J Carroll, D Baker, G Robinson; G Perry, C Teague, E Doyle. Subs: D Fullam for Perry (half-time), Perry for Carroll (39), J Golden for Doyle (51), Carroll for Doran (57).
Naomh Fionnbarra: D Lyons; S Dempsey, J Fitzsimons, G Longmore; C Callanan, D Curley, S Carey; S McDonnell, J Roe; A Ruth, J Duque, C O'Brien; G Lyons, C Horan, G Dodrill. Subs: D Langan for Ruth (half-time), M O'Neill for Carey (46).
Mentors: St Anne's: Colin Corcoran, Ross Lynch, Joe McNally. Naomh Fionnbarra: Séamus McGrattan, Shane Langan, Anto Keogh, Sue Keogh.
Referee: Darren Malone (St Mary's Saggart)
Wides: St Anne's7 (3+4) Naomh Fionnbarra 5 (3+2)
Conditions: A glorious sunny evening and pitch in superb condition.
Player of the Game: Dylan Baker (St Anne's)