ST SYLVESTER’S 0-17
A MEMBER of Dublin’s victorious U21 All-Ireland winning squad under Jim Gavin in 2012, Raheny dual player Eoin Keogh has long marked himself out as a consistent performer with his club.
Sunday’s clash at Broomfield saw the durable wing forward give a terrific display as the north Dublin club made it back-to-back wins.
Fittingly Keogh would have a hand in his side’s third goal, his superb endline pass finding Liam Dunne who duly drove the ball past David Kennedy in the Sylvester’s goal with five minutes to go.
By then the contest was beyond Sylvester’s reach and, lying third bottom, they will be looking to get a few more points under their belt if they are to maintain their senior league status.
It was a frustrating end to the game for Sylvester’s. Ciaran McLoughney, their energetic corner forward, profited well off the long diagonal ball that went into him during the first half, but a seasoned Raheny team filled with experienced hands like Keogh and Greg Bennett soon started to get on top after the break.
The story of the game, however, was Dunne’s goal just before half-time.
Playing into the breeze, Raheny would crucially cut Sylvester’s lead back to a point at half-time and that seemed to have a bit of a deflating effect on the home side.
In essence it was a tale of the two full forward lines. Raheny had, in Dunne and Ferghal Smyth, two big men inside who were certainly were a handful on the day.
By contrast, Sylvester’s – without a target man up front – sought to pick off Raheny from further out and it was a ploy that worked well early on.
The home side were on level terms following points from McLoughney and Liam Foley. but following a point at the other end Smyth then struck for Raheny’s first goal of the game to open up a four-point lead for the visitors.
Sylvester’s slowly got back into the game after that, with the half back line made up of the two other McLoughneys – Darragh and Eamon – sending some good ball up the field.
And with Sylvester’s midfielder pair Killian O’Flynn and Luke Hughes both chipping in with scores Syls had moved two points clear by the time Eamon McLoughney sent over back-to-back frees mid-way through the first half.
Further points from O’Flynn and Ciarán McLoughney (after Hughes had found the latter with a long pass out to the right touchline) each side of a Raheny effort had extended the Sylvester’s lead to four points before Cullen beat Kennedy with an emphatic finish.
A subsequent free from Raheny midfielder Eoghan Smith made it a one-point after the break.
And after levelling soon after the restart, Raheny continued their run of scores through Cullen and the mobile Keogh before emerging talent Cian Whitney pointed from the right for Syls to leave just a point between the sides.
That was as close as they got after that as a Raheny side featuring players from last year’s U21 and Minor winning teams began to pull away, with Eoghan Smyth registering a fine score off the left.
Sylvester’s attempted to improve things up front with the second-half introductions of Sean Graham, Conor Meaney and Sean O’Donnell, but it wasn’t to be their day.
St SYLVESTER’S: David Kennedy, Conor Hoyne, Seán Foley, Kieran Falvey, Darragh McLoughney, Eamon McLoughney 0-3 (3f), Mikey Meaney, Killian O Flynn 0-2, Luke Hughes 0-1, Cian Whitney 0-1, Eoghan Buckley, Michael Shalloe, Liam Foley O-4, Conor Buckley, Ciaran McLoughney 0-6 (2f). Subs: Seán Graham, Conor Meaney, Seán O’Donnell.