Wednesday 16 October 2019

Four-midable Maur's reach the last eight

Senior Football Championships: St Maur's 4-11 Fingallians 0-16

Rory Kerr in Donabate

Dublin Under-20 star Ciaran Archer delivered goals in each half as St Maur's came out on top in Thursday night's Senior 2 group one clash at Ballymastone.

Archer would finish the game on the sidelines after picking up his second yellow in the dying seconds, but by then the damage had already been done as he had completed his brace with a minute to go when beating Ian O'Reilly with an astute finish.

As the saying goes, goals win matches and they proved crucial on the night as Maur's sealed their place in the last eight at Fingallians' expense.

It would be remiss, however, not to mention the contribution of the Maur's defence and particularly Kieran Sweetman.

A first cousin of manager Cathal, Sweetman made a crucial intervention to keep out a pass destined for Paul Flynn, with the Fingallians captain about to pounce close in on goal.

With only 13 minutes to go, Fingallians trailed by just four points and a goal certainly would have put them right back in contention.

As it was Maur's prevailed, but Fingallians never made it easy for them.

The Swords men had got off to the better start, with Oisln Lynch sending over a 45 before Flynn took a pass off the impressive Grimes to double the Fingallians tally.

Archer would open Maur's account six minutes into the game, but with Shane Howard an ideal link-up man for Fingallians they would double their tally of scores through Lynch and Flynn.

Archer would then land a free off the ground, with Danny Byrne then reducing the arrears to a solitary point mid-way through the half.

Points each side of a Dillon Staunton effort from Lynch would restore Fingallians' four point cushion with 10 minutes to go in the half. However, with Conor McGuire starting to trouble the FIngallians defence with his direct running, Maur's got back into the game and with seven minutes to go he won a free for the Rush men.

The referee then advanced the ball following dissent from FIngallians, with Archer capitalising to drive his free past the unsuspecting Ian O'Reilly.

Moments later Archer levelled proceedings, only for Fingallians to dig in deep once more to move two points clear.

However, entering stoppage time Archer and Ciaran sent over points (with a Lynch score sandwiched in between) before a pass from McGuire would see Byrne convert from close range to leave it 2-6 to 0-10 at the interval.

Fingallians out-scored Maur's by three points to one in the first nine minutes of the second half, with O'Reilly landing a free from half-way to make it 2-7 to 0-13.

But the influential Eoghan Conroy would then unlock the Fingallians defence with a pass and Byrne's subsequent knock-down allowed McGuire to slot home for Maur's third goal.

Fingallians remained dogged and mid-way through the second half they had again made it a one-point game following points from Flynn and Lynch.

It was at this stage that Maur's made their decisive push when registering three quick points through Conroy, McGuire and Jack Burke who turned in a tireless display all night at left wing back.

Tellingly, Maur's would hold Fingallians scoreless from play in the final quarter and Archer landed the insurance goal with moments to go.

St Maur's: Mark Butterly, Kieran Sweetman, David McGuinness, Barry Cronin, Jack Burke 0-1, Mark McGrath, Tom O'Neill, Eoghan Conroy 0-1, Vincent Whelan, David Carthy, Chris Carthy 0-1, Ciaran Reddin 0-1, Ciaran Archer 2-5(1-0f, 0-2f), Danny Byrne 1-1, Conor McGuire 1-1. Subs: Adam Kennedy, Kevin Nugent, Gary O'Brien, Cian Savage.

Fingallians: Ian O Reilly 0-1(0-1f), David O Brien, David Killeen, Danny Lynch, Conor Grimes, Sean Hickey, Jamie Cassidy, Cillian Power, Derek Rodgers, Donall Keane, Oisin Lynch 0-9(0-3f, 0-1 45'),Dillon Staunton 0-2, Paul Flynn 0-4, Shane Howard, Karl Connolly. Subs: Coman Brady, Danny Campion, Niall Tormey, Ciaran Murtagh.

Fingal Independent