Pic courtesy to Conor Ryan
ST VINCENT’S 1-8
Raheny made a welcome return to the last four of the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Football Championship when accounting for near neighbours St Vincent’s by points at Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon.
The contest was delicately poised entering the final quarter but Raheny played the more assured football in the closing stages to close out on a deserved success.
It was Raheny who enjoyed the greater degree of territory and possession in the opening quarter but were far from clinical despite Cian Ivers opening the scoring with a free in the 2nd minute.
The blustery conditions mitigated against free-flowing football as Vinnies opened their own account through a trademark point from distance by Gavin Burke in the 6th minute.
The stuttering start continued with neither side fully managing to establish their patterns of play to any great effect although Brian Fenton briefly stamped his class on proceedings when regaining Raheny’s lead in the 11th minute.
However, a defensive lapse at the opposite end proved costly as Sean Lowry raced through on goal and after being brought down by Glen McNamara, Tomás Quinn confidently despatched the resultant penalty beyond Rob Hennelly.
The former Mayo goalkeeper was to be seen in a more positive light as he kicked two superb frees to keep Raheny in the hunt while Cian Dunne kicked a sublime point for Vinnies, judging the breeze to perfection.
Lowry edged St Vincent’s back in front towards the end of the half but late points from Hennelly (free) and Darren Lunney helped Raheny eke out a marginal 0-7 to 1-3 interval advantage.
Lunney made light work on an acute angle when doubling the Raheny lead within two minutes of the resumption and while Dunne wasn’t generally enjoying his dead-ball duties in the swirling wind, he managed to convert a ‘45’ to leave the bare minimum between the sides once again.
It was Lowry that restored parity in the 39th minute as St Vincent’s looked to be gaining the upper hand but with substitute James O’Kane bringing fresh impetus to the Raheny attack, they regained the initiative thanks to a brace of fine scores from the tireless Brian Talty.
Hennelly popped over another brilliant free in the 50th minute as Raheny extended their advantage to three points but in keeping with the trend of the contest, Vinnies clawed their way back through successive scores from Lowry and Darragh Cummins.
Crucially, Raheny managed to stem the tide as a brace of frees from Lunney and a Sean Grenham point helped build a sufficient buffer and they were never duly untroubled in added time as they saw the game out in relative comfort.
Scorers – Raheny: D Lunney (2f), R Hennelly (4f) 0-4 each, C Ivers (2f), B Talty 0-2 each, B Fenton, S Grenham 0-1 apiece. St Vincent’s: C Dunne (1f, 1 ‘45’), S Lowry 0-3 each, T Quinn 1-0 (pen), D Cummins, G Burke 0-1 apiece.
Raheny: R Hennelly; B McHugh, S McMahon, G McNamara; D Byrne, L Fahy, R Real; B Fenton, B Talty; D Lunney, S Grenham, C Ivers; S McCarthy, P Reid, A McLoughlin. Subs: J O’Kane for McLoughlin (38), D Shatwell for Fahy (43), A McAweeney for McCarthy (48), J Fagan for Talty (57), C Malone for Reid (59).
St Vincent’s: A Smyth; J McCusker, A Cummins, S O’Leary; S Lambe, D Cummins, M Concarr; J Kelly, G Burke; M O’Rowe, C Dunne, A Martin; C Wilson, S Lowry, T Quinn. Subs: K O’Brien for O’Rowe (36), B Bolger for Concarr (43), B Costello for Martin (53).
Referee: Gary McCormack (Naomh Barróg).