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Inside job from Syls

FOUR second-half goals helped St Sylvester's cruise past Raheny 5-12 to 0-5 in their one-sided Evening Herald Dublin Senior Football Championship third round encounter at a blustery Parnell Park last night.

With just a three-point advantage to their name at the turnaround, Syls turned on the style with the wind at their backs after the break to comprehensively account for an abject Raheny who missed the considerable influence of David Henry, Gavin Ivory and Paddy O'Higgins.

Most of the damage was done by Syls' inside-forward line of Conor Daly, Offaly senior Nigel Dunne and Dublin senior panellist Miceál McCarthy, who shared a massive collective tally of 5-9 over the 60 minutes, with Dunne helping himself to a second-half hat-trick as the floodgates opened and the walls came tumbling down on top of Ciarán Whelan's youthful outfit.

That Raheny's forward line failed to muster a score from play over the hour was as accurate an indicator as to their travails over the course of the evening with only corner-back Seán Swords finding the target with an excellent score in the 24th minute.

Despite a promising start by the St Anne's Park men, they failed to trouble the umpires as both sides struggled to adapt to a tricky breeze and eight scoreless minutes of below-par football was eventually ended as McCarthy tapped over a close-range free.

It took another six minutes for the opening score from play to arrive with McCarthy turning adroitly to fire over a smart point. Daly illuminated the poor contest with a wonderful goal in the 17th minute, jinking far too easily through the Raheny rearguard before clincally finding the roof of the net from 10 metres.

There was little flow to either sides' play at this juncture but Raheny eventually opened their account through a 21st-minute free from Eoin Delaney, which was instantly negated by another telling score by the lively Daly.

Swords' point briefly raised Raheny hopes but McCarthy landed the score of the evening with a sublime effort from an acute angle to reward the platform provided around the middle third by Ross Hazely and Brian Sexton.

Despite landing the final two scores of the half through placed balls from Eoin Keogh and Donal Ryan, Raheny, having played with the benefit of the elements, looked set for a tricky second 30 minutes.

So it proved with Shane O'Connor adding two points within 50 seconds of each other at the 35th minute mark and a McCarthy free soon after had the Malahide men six points to the good as their opponents' options looked increasingly limited.

In the 43rd minute, calamitous defending effectively settled the issue as four Sylvester's players raced through on goal and Russell Cleere fed Dunne for the simplest of finishes beyond the horribly-exposed John O'Donoghue.

After Daly had tagged on another point, Dunne showcased his talents, availing of another defensive slip to hammer a cracking left-footed shot into O'Donoghue's top left-hand corner and the Offaly man registered his third goal in the 53rd minute as he cut inside to wrong-foot the Raheny netminder from eight yards.

A sumptuous McCarthy pass allowed Daly to steal in for his second goal of the night two minutes from time.

Raheny's woes were encapsulated in injury time as David Shawell was unlucky to see his powerful drive cannon off Robert Wallace's crossbar.

There was sufficient time for Sylvester's to add two late points through McCarthy and substitute John Coughlan to complete a satisfactory evening's work for Gabriel Bannigan's men.


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