Clontarf advanced to the semi-finals of the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 2 Football Championship when getting the better of St Brigid’s by 2-7 to 0-7 at a blustery O’Toole Park on Sunday afternoon.
In a game dominated by the wind, St Brigid’s failed to take full advantage of the gale at their backs as they entered the break with what appeared an insufficient 0-6 to 0-3 lead.
So it proved after the break as Clontarf took control thanks to excellent individual performances from Matthew McMahon, Liam Howley, Mattias Mac Donncha and Nathan Doran.
The introduction from the bench of Conor Rooney also had a massive bearing on proceedings as he chipped in with a valuable 1-1 while 1-3 from Kieran McKeon saw Clontarf into the last four with relative ease.
Their reward is a semi-final against a Naomh Barróg side that edged a thriller against Round Towers Lusk in Balgriffin on Saturday afternoon, prevailing by 2-12 to 1-14 by the final whistle.
There was rarely much to separate the well-matched teams throughout with an early Sean Gallagher point and a goal from Harry Nolan giving Barróg a marginal 1-2 to 0-3 lead by the end of the first quarter.
It remained tight for the rest of the half as points by Sean McHugh, Paul Tolan and Killian Foran ensured that the Kilbarrack side entered the break with a 1-7 to 0-8 advantage.
Barróg kept their noses in front as Ciaran Gallagher worked wonders in setting up Foran for a palmed finish to the net but Towers clawed their way back into contention to take a one-point lead entering added time.
However, there was to be one final twist as Barróg levelled matters before Paul Tolan converted a superb free for his sixth point of the game and more crucially, a precious semi-final spot in the process.
Events were similarly tight in Garristown as Fingallians finished strongly when defeating St Patrick’s Donabate by 3-14 to 1-15.
St Pat’s started brightly through points from Sean Walsh and Clyde Burke with points from Matt Molloy and Colm Kavanagh keeping them on the front foot.
However, Fins began to find their form as they kicked three points on the bounce before a goal by Lewis Nugent Byrne in the 24th minute edged them 1-6 to 0-7 ahead at the interval.
Donabate resumed in an impressive manner once again thanks to points from Molloy and Kavanagh and they moved three points clear by the end of the third quarter as Stephen Dempsey, Molloy and Burke all added scores.
The free-taking of Oisin Lynch, alongside the impact of substitutes Dillon Staunton and Darragh Power, saw Fingallians overtake their opponents by the 52nd minute but a wonderful run from Ollie Brookes allowed Walsh to fire home and regain the initiative for St Pat’s.
A point from Kavanagh stretched their lead to three points but some late pressure on the kickout from Fins was rewarded as Brian Walzer nipped in for two goals inside a minute to settle the issue in the most dramatic of fashions.
The Swords outfit will now play Naomh Olaf for a place in the final as the Balally side enjoyed a comfortable 2-12 to 1-8 win over Round Towers Clondalkin.
The relegation issues were also decided as a Sean Bugler-inspired St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh defeated St Anne’s while Erin’s Isle edged Naomh Mearnóg by 0-19 to 1-15.
SFC2 quarter-finals: Naomh Olaf 2-12 Round Towers Clondalkin 1-8; Clontarf 2-7 St Brigid’s 0-7; St Patrick’s Donabate 1-15 Fingallians 3-14; Naomh Barróg 2-12 Round Towers Lusk 1-14.
SFC2 relegation play-offs: Naomh Mearnóg 1-15 Erin’s Isle 0-19; St Anne’s 0-11 St Oliver Plunkett’s/ER 6-19.