Friday 22 September 2017

Connolly class the difference as Vincent's edge into final

St Vincent’s attacker Diarmuid Connolly (right) is fouled by Jason Whelan of Ballymun Kickhams, resulting in a red card during the Dublin SFC semi-final at Parnell Park last night. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
St Vincent’s attacker Diarmuid Connolly (right) is fouled by Jason Whelan of Ballymun Kickhams, resulting in a red card during the Dublin SFC semi-final at Parnell Park last night. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Diarmuid Connolly was at his irresistible best, kicking four exquisite points to help St Vincent’s book their place in the decider after eventually grinding down Ballymun Kickhams in Parnell Park last night.

St Vincent's 0-12 Ballymun Kickhams 0-11

In a clash between the 2014 All-Ireland kingpins against the 2013 All-Ireland finalists, it was Connolly’s class that proved the difference in the closing period.

The sides were tied nine times, and it was heading for extra-time as Dublin team-mates Dean Rock and Connolly traded scores but substitute Albert Martin came up trumps with the winner for the Marino outfit.

Ballymun spurned two glorious goal chances in the opening minutes when All-Star wing-back James McCarthy blazed wide, while Alan Hubbard’s effort was smothered by Dublin reserve keeper Michael Savage.

Connolly opened the scoring and Ruairí Trainor was unlucky to not hit the Ballymun net when firing over before Rock and Tomás Quinn traded frees to leave it 0-5 apiece at the break as Jason Whelan’s 24th-minute dismissal had minimal effect on proceedings.

Ted Furman fired over two points on the resumption but it was tit for tat, with Connolly, now wearing No 35 after ripping his shirt, causing John Small all sorts of trouble and firing a hat-trick of points, while Rock was unerring from frees.

When Quinn was dismissed for two harsh yellow cards within 60 seconds it looked like the tide could turn, and Rock levelled affairs with injury-time approaching but Martin stepped up to secure the win for Tommy Conroy’s side, who will play the winners of tonight’s other semi-final, pitting St Jude’s and surprise packets Castleknock.

SCORERS – St Vincent’s – D Connolly 0-4, T Quinn 0-3 (2fs), E Varley 0-2 (1f), R Trainor, G Brennan, A Martin 0-1 each. Ballymun – D Rock 0-8 (6fs, 1 ‘45’), T Furman 0-2 , J Burke 0-1.

ST VINCENT’S – M Savage; M Concarr, J Curley, C Wilson; B Egan, G Brennan, C Diamond; D Murphy, S Carthy; G Burke, D Connolly, C Diamond, R Trainor, E Varley, T Quinn. Subs: J Feeney for Burke (41), A Martin for Murphy (48), K Golden for Diamond (60), J McCusker for Trainor (62).

BALLYMUN – S Currie; K Connolly, E Dolan, P McMahon; D Byrne, J Small, J Burke; A Elliot, J McCarthy; D Rock, J Whelan, K Leahy; P Small, T Furman, A Hubbard. Subs: L O’Donovan for Byrne (BC 21), D Keating for O’Donovan (50), E Reilly for Leahy (57), L Young for K Connolly (61)

REF –  B Tiernan

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