independent

Monday 23 July 2018

Carthy keeps his cool to win it for St Maur's

St Maur's 1-9 St Jude's 1-8

Ciaran Reddin of St Maur’s scored a crucial goal against St Jude’s
Ciaran Reddin of St Maur’s scored a crucial goal against St Jude’s

Rory Kerr in Rush

Of his dead ball specialist Chris Carthy, St Maur's manager Gregory McGonigle said 'He hits his frees like a golfer strikes a ball' and how right he was as Chris Carthy, as he proved against Skerries Harps earlier on in the season, showed nerves of steel to send over the winning point with virtually the last kick of the game.

It will be St Maur's second final appearance in four seasons, having lost to Na Fianna in 2014 with Alan Durnin in charge, and under McGonigle 2017 will be viewed as one of considerable success before the ball is thrown in for the final with Kilmacud Crokes.

Crokes enjoyed a 3-13 to 3-7 over Ballymun Kickhams, with veteran intercounty forward Pat Burke the key turn for the Stillorgan men.

And Crokes manager Gabriel Bannigan will know all about the Rush men, against whom his St Sylvester's side enjoyed many riveting battles during his time in charge there.

Sunday's game, played in bright conditions, produced some intriguing individual battles.

Jude's full back Paul Cunningham was certainly a thorn in the Maur's side in the first half with a fine display, although the introduction of former Dublin Under-21 Danny Byrne would lessen his influence in the latter stages of the game.

Nonetheless, the Judes number three was a man possessed in the opening stages as Maur's hard-working attack struggled inside approaching half-time.

Still, the home side were very quick out the blocks as they raced into an early three-point lead.

Eoin Fletcher, who had a very productive if somewhat bruising day in the number 10 jersey, had opened the scoring for the hosts before Mikey Reilly broke down the middle to clear the keeper's crossbar with a strong effort on the run.

A free from Conor McGuire would put further distance between the two, before Judes corner forward Diarmuid McLoughlin opened his team's account on 12 minutes after Maur's had failed to clear their lines fully.

However, the hosts would restore their three-point advantage through Carthy before former Dublin underage keeper JB Carthy spread himself to deny McGuire after he had received a diagonal ball off Ciaran Reddin at the midway point in the first half.

McGuire would then move the gap out to four when, off a pass from Fletcher, he turned his marker before slotting over.

However, with Judes exerting more pressure now in the middle third, so too did the screw turn slowly, with Colm Murphy scoring off the right following a patient build-up.

His midfield partner Paul Courtney then won possession off the next kickout to set up another close-in score before McLouglin converted a free off the ground to leave just a point between the sides at the break, 0-5 to 0-4 to Maur's.

Judes began the second half with three unanswered points, with an impressive run from Mark Sweemey setting up McLoughlin for his second score in as many minutes.

After Carthy and Tom Lahiff had traded points, that left Judes two in front, although they will look back on that spell of territorial dominance with some regret as they hit back-to-back wides while also dropping a shot into the keeper's hands.

And it would ultimately prove costly, with Maur's striking for the opening goal of the game on 49 minutes when a well-timed pass from McGuire released Reddin on a one-on-one with the keeper and he duly delivered a left-footed drive into Carty's left-hand corner, 1-6 to 0-8.

A fine retrieve from the endline by Byrne then set up Fletcher as Maur's doubled their advantage, before a spill by the St Maur's keeper allowed Lahiff to convert from close in to put Judes back in front once more with four minutes to go.

However, Maur's showed their batling qualities when it mattered most and after Carthy had levelled proceedings with a central kick he then sent through Maur's through to the final after Judes had handled on the ground in the dying stages of the game.

St MAUR'S: Mark Butterly, Seamus Harford, David McGuinness, Barry Cronin, Thomas O'Neill, Cathal Sweetman, Kevin Nugent, David O'Donnell, Mikey Reilly 0-1, Eoin Fletcher 0-3, Mark McGrath, Ciaran Reddin 1-0, Chris Carthy 0-3(0-3f), Conor McGuire 0-2(0-1f), David Carthy. Subs: Conor McGuinness, Danny Byrne, Conor McGuinness, Finbar Harford.

Fingal Independent

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