Syls' late surge sinks Mearnóg as Vincent's conquer Cuala
dublin U15FC 'A'
St Sylvester's advanced to the final of the Dublin Under 15 'A' Football Championship after overcoming near-neighbours Naomh Mearnóg by 1-14 to 1-7 at Páirc Mearnóg last Sunday morning.
The margin of victory was slightly flattering on the visitors given that they trailed for large parts of the game but the manner in which they closed out the match will no doubt give them confidence as they prepare for the decider.
Substitute Cian McLoughlin landed the pivotal score for Sylvester's when netting 10 minutes from time as Mearnóg's challenge faded in the closing stages.
That such a result would occur was unlikely at the break as the excellence of Seán Hawkshaw and Jack O'Brien in attack added to by Gavin Nangle's defensive solidity helped the hosts to a deserved 1-5 to 0-6 interval lead.
Gradually, the away defence began to curb the threat of the home attack with goalkeeper Seán O'Connor a steady presence between the sticks.
Full-back Denis O'Brien, Mikey Dowling and Daniel Danaher also made massive contributions for the visitors while Daniel Brennan chipped in with crucial scores as the Malahide lads gradually began to reel in their opponents.
Ben O'Neill was highly influential during this period, winning a wealth of ball from full-forward, much to the delight of his manager Brian Barnes.
"It was far from comfortable for most of the game but we managed to pull though in the end. We're really looking forward to the final now," added Barnes.
St Sylvester's will meet either Lucan Sarsfields or St Vincent's in the decider after the latter impressed in their 2-12 to 2-9 quarter-final win over Cuala in Thomastown.
In a classic encounter between two well-matched sides, the hosts enjoyed plenty of the ball with Mark Treacy working tirelessly in attack.
Peadar Ó Cofaigh led the team superbly and the goals scored by Peter Stephenson and Eoghan Potts were just reward for the battling efforts provided by Jim Kennedy and Michael Johnson.
However, the visitors were always in contention with Thomas McMorrow and David Rooney excelling in their full-back line while Sean Lambe shone throughout from half-back.
James O'Donnell secured vital possession in the middle third with Mark O'Sullivan the chief beneficiary as he accrued 1-4 over the hour.
The contest remained delicately poised but ultimately Vinnies finished the stronger with Eoghan O'Neill striking a crucial goal to add to points by Cian O'Brien and Evan Ruddle.