ST VINCENT'S 2-11 NA FIANNA 0-12
County champions St Vincent's kept their back-to-back dreams alive when they held off a very spirited Na Fianna in Thursday night's Dublin SFC second round at Parnell Park.
Two first half goals from the Tomás Quinn/Diarmuid Connolly double act did the damage for Vinnies while their St Mobhi Road opponents were left to reflect on a number of potential goal-scoring situations that they failed to capitalize on.
Na Fianna opened smartly to kick the first two points of the game with Glenn O'Reilly and Conor McHugh on target. However, Quinn's sixth minute goal settled Vincent's following a superb crossfield pass from Enda Varley.
Connolly, who finished with 1-4 from play, got their second goal in the 17th minute when Quinn's 45-metre delivery was fielded by his team-mate who worked the opening close to goal before finishing clinically to the net.
The first of Na Fianna's clear goal sighting arrived in the 20th minute but after brilliantly carving through the Vincent's defence Dublin U21 Aaron Byrne was denied by keeper Mick Savage before he chipped over the rebound with his left foot.
By the break Vincent's were seven points up, 2-6 to 0-5, following points from Shane Carthy, Varley and Connolly.
Na Fianna, at times, struggled during the first period to secure possession off their own kickouts with Nathan Mullins' aerial ability central to two crucial scores for the Marino men.
But Na Fianna came out fully recharged in the second half and really carried the game to their opponents.
While Vincent's were held scoreless for 18 minutes Na Fianna threatened regularly with points from McHugh (two, one free), O'Reilly and Byrne cutting the gap to just three points going into the last quarter.
Na Fianna had their goal chances also with Byrne hitting the inside of the post while both Gus Farrell and Conor McHugh elected to take points when in the danger zone.
But Vincent's showed their experience to lift themselves over the conclusion of the game with a Shane Carthy point ending their barren spell.
Daithi Murphy, Connolly and Shane Carthy added further points as the Brian Mullins-managed Vincent's progressed to the quarter-finals.
SCORERS – St Vincent’s: D Connolly 1-4, S Carthy 0-3, T Quinn 1-0, G Burke, E Varley (0-1f), Cameron Diamond, D Murphy 0-1 each. Na Fianna: C McHugh 0-6 (0-2f), G O’Reilly 0-3, A Byrne 0-2, G Farrell 0-1.
ST VINCENT'S: M Savage; C Wilson, J Curley, M Concarr; Cameron Diamond, G Brennan, N Mullins; D Murphy, S Carthy; G Burke, D Connolly, Cormac Diamond; E Varley, A Martin, T Quinn. Subs: T Diamond for Martin (39), J Feeney for Burke (51), F Breathnach for Cameron Diamond (51), R Trainor for Varley (60).
NA FIANNA: C McCarville; N Cooper, J Kelly, D Kennedy; N McGovern, E Murchan, S Coughlan; C O’Connor, T Brady; A Byrne, G Farrell, G O’Reilly; C McHugh, A Fitzgerald, E Neville. Subs: P O’Hanlon for Kennedy (14), JJ Martin for O’Connor (37), O Ó Maoiléidigh for Neville (40), M Deegan for Farrell (55), A Baxter for Coughlan (59).
REF: Barry Tiernan (O’Dwyer’s).