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Na Fianna advance to the semi-finals of the AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship

Na Fianna advance to the semi-finals of the AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship

Sun, 12th November 2023



Na Fianna advanced to the semi-finals of the AIB Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship when overcoming Raharney by eight points in their last-eight encounter at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar on Sunday afternoon.

The Dublin champions were warm favourites heading into the game but were pushed all the way before Brian Ryan settled the issue with the game’s solitary goal in the 59th minute.

The midfielder played a key role for Na Fianna, finishing the contest with 1-3 to his name, while Colin Currie’s nine frees helped mitigate against the absence once again through injury of Donal Burke.

While far from their fluent best, Na Fianna will appreciate coming through an encounter that was punctuated with skirmishes and that remained heavily physical right up until the final whistle with Raharney finishing the game a man down after the late dismissal of Killian Doyle.

Doyle proved a constant headache for Na Fianna, accumulating twelve points in total as the visitors failed to build on a positive start that saw them build an early four-point advantage.

John Tierney and AJ Murphy were the key attackers in the opening quarter, scoring two points apiece before Doyle began to influence matters both from play and placed balls.

An excellent Eamon Cunneen sideline score added momentum to the Raharney challenge with Doyle and Eoghan Aherne also on target as they reduced their arrears to two points as the half progressed.

However, Colin Currie kept the Na Fianna scoreboard ticking over as they entered the break with an 0-14 to 0-11 lead.

That margin was reduced to the slimmest of margins early in the second-half after Ciaran Stacey had spurned a golden opportunity to net for Na Fianna but crucially, Raharney never managed to get back on level terms.

A delightful Sean Currie sideline left three points between the sides by the end of the third quarter and while Doyle continued to add to the home tally, Na Fianna continued to give themselves breathing room thanks to Colin Currie and Murphy.

Ryan burst through the middle to finally settle the issue on a day when he produced his best performance of the year while the unsung full-back line of Na Fianna continued to highlight their efficiency with another crucial clean sheet ahead of Jonno Tracey.

SCORERS - Na Fianna: C Currie 0-9 (9f), B Ryan 1-3, AJ Murphy, S Currie (1 sideline) 0-4 each, J Tierney 0-2, P Feeney, C Stacey 0-1 each. Raharney: K Doyle 0-12 (9f, 1 ‘65’), E Aherne 0-4, J Boyle, E Cunneen (sideline), C Boyle 0-1 each.

NA FIANNA: J Tracey; D Clerkin, S Burke, C McHugh; P O’Dea, L Rushe, K Burke; B Ryan, P Feeney; J Tierney, S Currie, G King; C Currie, AJ Murphy, C Stacey. Subs: S Barrett for King (40), S Baxter for Stacey (47), J Burke for Tierney (51), D Ryan for Clerkin (58), C Kelly for Ryan (63).

RAHARNEY: A McHugh; C McKeogh, J Mulkearns, D Finn; C Boyle, R Greville, D Hickey; E Cunneen, G Greville; J Boyle, C Doyle, K Doyle; E Aherne, E Keyes, B McGrath. Subs: R Keyes for Hickey (51), D Hill for C Doyle (inj 61), M Doherty for C Boyle (64).

Referee: Padraig Dunne (Laois).

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