A STIRRING second-half display from St Sylvester's saw them win through to the U-21 decider after defeating Vincents on their own patch in Marino on Sunday morning.
MINOR 'A' FC SEMI-FINAL ST SYLVESTER'S 1-8 ST VINCENT'S 1-4
The Malahide boys showed terrific character, particularly after trailing by three points early in the second half. It was a considerable margin given the competitiveness of this battle and it was a tribute to the Syls defence that a dangerous Vincents attack was held to just a point for the majority of the second half. Vincents had certainly won a good share of the possession in midfield early on, but Syls ability to build attacks from the back served them well in the end. And a crucial save from Eoin O'Byrne in the first half was to prove of huge importance in the overall scheme of things. Vincents spurned a chance of an early goal when their corner forward pulled his shot across the face of the goal. O Byrne then landed a 45' to open Syls account before Vincents responded with a well taken score from the left from Sean O'Meara A good piece of fielding from Jack Hazley then set up a free for Mark Hazley which he converted. Syls defender, Conor Quinn then turned over possession from a Vincents attack to put Syls on the front foot. The ball was then moved up to centre forward, Dave Sexton, who swung over a terrific effort to open up a two point lead for the visitors. O'Byrne was then on hand to tip an almost certain goal over the bar, but in the next attack of the game on 22 minutes Vincents struck gold. O'Byrne did well to keep out O'Meara's initial effort but wing forward, Stephen Moore was on hand to scramble the loose ball over the line to leave Vincents up 1-2 to 0-3 up at the break. The home side began the second half with a free but with Jack Hazley starting to push further forward, Sylvesters started to make significant inroads. And it was his good work which set up Syl's fourth score with hard working corner forward Mark Hazley taking a return pass off the midfielder before converting from the left. A Mark Hazley free was then followed by a Syl's goal on 47 minutes, made possible by a terrific drive from wing back Colm Ryan. His shot for a point dropped short but the Vins keeper spilled the ball, allowing Colm Byrne to slot into the empty net. 2012 Dublin minor, Stephen Cunningham, who was now beginning to win the midfield battle then linked up with co-captain Kevin O'Flynn to set up Mark Hazley for another terrific score. And while a score off a Sylvester's kick out was to see Vincents cancel out an earlier Mark Hazley free, Sylvesters closed the game out with a late free from Dylan Connolly to win the day.
Eoin O Byrne 0-1 (0-1 '45'), Niall Kelly, Conor Quinn, Eoin Hamill, Alan Kavanagh, Kevin O Flynn, Conor Ryan, Stephen Cunnigham, Jack Hazley, Oisin O'Toole, Dave Sexton 0-1, Conor Mullarkey, Colm Byrne 1-0, Pierce Gibney, Mark Hazley 0-5 (0-3f). Subs: Dylan Connolly 0-1f for Oisin O'Toole, Darragh Walshe for Conor Mullarkey.