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Howard goal sees Raheny past 'Mun

Raheny confirmed their favourite's tag as they comfortably overcame a battling Ballymun Kickhams by 1-15 to 1-5 in their Dublin Under 21 'A' Football Championship semi-final at the Alfie Byrne Road last Sunday lunch-time.

The winners started off in the ascendancy, building an early five-point lead, and although Kickhams produced some bright passages of play, especially after the break, they never managed to close the gap sufficiently to enable them to launch a comeback.

"We're all delighted to get through to the final as it is the first U21 'A' Football Championship final that the club have ever been in," said Raheny manager Colin McMahon. "We got a good foothold in midfield from the start and that allowed us to control large parts of the game," he added.

That foothold was provided by the excellence of Brian Fenton and Paddy O'Higgins in the pivotal middle third area with the former embellishing an inspired effort by kicking four points for the winners.

The early scores were shared by Fenton and Gavin Ivory and a decent gap developed between the sides when Dublin minor Brian Howard netted at the end of the first quarter.

powerless

Rutherson Real and Brian Talty kept things tight at the back for the winners, although they were powerless to prevent Dean O'Brien getting a goal early in the second half to breath fresh life into the Ballymun challenge.

That score was just reward for the efforts of Andrew O'Brien, Conor Kavanagh, Andrew O'Brien and Dean O'Brien but as team mentor Simon Lawlor reflected after the game, it was always going to prove an uphill battle for Kickhams.

"Raheny are a very good side and they showed that on the day.

They had a very strong midfield and we just couldn't get our hands on the ball for long enough and we were beaten by the better team.

"We played for a period in the second-half but it took an awful lot out of the lads and while they are largely a genuine Under 21 team, we were relying on too many minors on our team," said Lawlor.

For Raheny, a final date against either Ballyboden St Enda's or Kilmacud Crokes awaits them after they finished the game in the ascendancy through late scores from Simon Deignan, Howard, Fenton and Ivory while full-back Rob Diffley was an assured presence at full-back.


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