TIGHT games like these are often decided on small moments and at Parnell Park on Tuesday night it was a case of what might have been at one end and what happened at another.
In a derby that certainly lived up to expectations, it seemed for a while that Fingallians might suffer a similar fate to the one they endured against Finians in the first round. Leading by a single score with full time looming, Donabate had a golden opportunity to put daylight between the sides when a ball was played into John Lynders.
The pacy wing forward although well marked still had enough room to swing over the score but in a moment of panic he failed to find the target. Immediately Fingallians broke up field with Donal Keane landing a late point to send the game into extra time. The Swords men never looked back after Donal Farrell's goal early into the second period left Pats with too much to do. And Pat's manager, Adrian Henchy, could only reflect on what might have been. 'We were a point up with a minute to go and if that score had gone over, the game was over. 'In the last two games there have been instances when our forwards needed to think better on their feet in certain instances. 'We should have really have put the game beyond Fingallians in the first 10 minutes.
We had two clear goal chances which we should have put away even though their goalkeeper pulled off a good save in one instance. 'And in John's credit, he ran their defence ragged in the first fifteen minutes, they just couldn't get near them. 'We just needed to show a little bit more composure. But it wasn't for lack of effort and their work rate was tremendous.' Indeed one thing that Donabate have never been lacking in any of their games is heart and bolstered by a terrific young support from the stands, it was certainly squeaky bum time for Fingallians in the first quarter. Lynders was their spark in that period with himself and Paul Flynn trading points, Lynders then saw a goal bound effort turned around the posts by Rossa Kelleher. But with sweeper, Jesse Corcoran, influential in the middle third, Donabate continued to call the shots and after Dinny Corcoran sent over a free, Niall Collins curled over a point from the left. Then came Donabate's second goal chance when Lynders, took a pass from Collins, and cut in from the wing before blasting against the crossbar.
Donal Farrell, who had a big bearing on the game, then reduced the arrears before Donabate finally got the goal their efforts deserved. It had come as a result of a ball over the top from Dinny Corcoran with Collins then converting soccer style past the keeper. Fingallians lost corner back David Fagan but Fingal hurler, Peter Daly, certainly impressed in his place. And while Lynder's distribution and general play was to see Donabate maintain their cushion, Fingallians slowly began to get more into the game with Farrell showing very well at the full forward position. Nonetheless the young Donabate full back line and in particular, Darryl O Hara, acquitted themselves very well against what was a very experienced Fingallians attack and by half time, Donabate led 1-6 to 0-6. Donal Keane then opened the scoring for Fingallians but Donabate were again cursing their luck when Lynders send an effort over via the crossbar. Fingallians, however, were level by the 47th minute through Barry Clarke, before Collins floated over a terrific score from just inside the right hand touchline.
However, Keane's late score handed Fins a reprieve, making it 0-12 to 1-9 at full-time, and after Danny Campion had edged Fins in front in extra time, Flynn then outfielded his marker before swinging over a fine point from the forty. Fins pace was now beginning to hurt Pats with a fine point on the run by Gary Donnelly making it a three-point game. Flynn, who was now in his element, then put further distance between the sides and while Collins and Corcoran responded for Donabate, a David Killeen point ensured a 0-17 to 1-11 lead at the turnaround. However, it all went a bit pearshaped for Donabate after that and while Corcoran put two points between the sides, some rushed shooting saw them fail to close the gap. And the game was as good as over when David Killeen sent a long ball into Donal Farrell who raced clear and rounded the keeper.