slick Raheny topple tower's
RAHENY1-15 ROUND TOWER CLONDALKIN0-8
A HELICOPTER flew over Parnell Park on Friday. People wondered was it Gentleman Jim keeping an eye on his beloved Tower's.
Playing in defence for the Clondalkin club was Alan Milton, the GAA media chief.
In the number 11 shirt for Raheny was PR supremo, Mick O'Keeffe. Both gents showed that they can not only talk a good game.
Alan was solid at corner-back. He didn't give away a sausage. He was swift to the ball and efficient with it.
Mick played with Crokes and Dublin. He was humming in the second half, finding team-mates with deliciously measured passes.
The press release for Dublin 5 made for brighter reading. It was their first adult football championship title since 1996.
Raheny showed their quality after half-time as they began to pull away. They started to spread the play with strawberry jam.
They never trailed. The game was level once - on 28 minutes.
Grey clouds hovered in Donnycarney. There was a good atmosphere in the stand. The lights came on for the second period. And they certainly brought an extra sparkle to the victors.
From the opening pages, their full-forward, Colm Donegan, was a focal point.
If a colleague had possession and was looking for an option, Colm was always available. He's well able to find a pocket of space.
He took watching, and he was very accurate off the tee. He didn't miss a green all night. John Ryan excelled at centre half-back for the winners. He read the play superbly and his crisp distribution began many a move.
Tower's were presented with very little small change by a solid rearguard.
They found themselves four points to one down after 20 minutes. But three points on the spin into the scoreboard end brought parity.
The scores came from Chris Johnson, Ger Hickey and Fergal Power. Johnson's effort was a gem. Mark Healy's delicate chip had released him down the right sideline.
Healy has calibre on the laces. Mick Hallows also toiled hard for openings.
Yet a fine strike from Colm Hanley, who hit right through the ball, and a Donegan free gave Raheny their interval advantage, 0-6 to 0-4.
Raheny struck the first seven points of the restart without reply. That was the winning and losing of it.
The last of their seven-score burst brought a goal.
Brian Howard, a Dublin minor this year, had come off the bench at the break. And with decent effect. He has plenty of pace in the legs.
He was tumbled on 42 minutes, earning a penalty. Up stepped Donegan, and he thumped the ball high down the middle - 1-12 to 0-4. That looked to have put the tin-foil on it.
Tower's responded with points from Healy, Ray Davis (2) and Simon Owens.
But there was no doubting that the prize was going Northside.
Shortly after he entered the action, Paddy Murray lost his boot.
But he had it back on in time to send over a tasty late point.
All the Raheny players who were substituted received a generous ovation as they left the stage, including the maestro O'Keeffe.
He set up Kevin Doran for Raheny's 10th point. Doran took out the curling tongs as he bent it between the sticks.
Doran struck the last point of the hour. Accepting the trophy, captain, Stephen O'Brien, talked about the hard work since January. It showed.
SCORERS - Raheny: D Donegan 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-6f); C Hanley 0-3; K Doran, S Homan 0-2 each; N Fitzsimons, P Murray 0-1. Round Tower (C): M Healy, R Davis (2f) 0-2 each; F Power, S Owens, G Hickey, C Johnson 0-1 each.
RAHENY: G Sheedy; S O'Brien, K Welsh, P McCabe; D Gaffney, J Ryan, C McElhinney; C Hanley, K Doran; M Staunton, M O'Keeffe, N Fitzsimons; S Homan, C Donegan, F Smyth. Subs: C Killeen for Smyth (ht); B Howard for Staunton (ht); D Heffernan for O'Keeffe (44); C McNally for Fitzsimons (51); P Murray for Donegan (56); D McGrath for Ryan (59).
ROUND TOWER (C): D Corr; S Breslin, N Gill, A Milton; G Minahan, F Power, S Owens; D Murray, M Kelly; M Hallows, G Hickey, M Healy; J Mockler, J Fleming, C Johnson. Subs: A Egan for Gill (39); A Davis for Johnson (45); R Davis for Fleming (inj, 47); S Homan for Hickey (52); D Costigan for Breslin (60).
MENTORS - Raheny: Richie Kenny, Andrew Dowling, Declan Gallagher, Rob O'Neill. Round Towers (C): Willie Kennedy, Mark Bassett, Neil Reilly, Mick McAdam.
REFEREE: L Aherne Clarke (Ballyboughal)
WIDES - Raheny: 8 (5+3); Round Towers (C): 9 (7+2).
CONDITIONS: Dull. Mild enough. Stayed dry.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: John Ryan (Raheny).