BALLINTEER ST JOHN'S 2-14
NAOMH OLAF 0-3
CONFIDENT Ballinteer made a short and fruitful journey to Balally as they enjoyed a comfortable 17-point win over Naomh Olaf in their Dublin JFC 'A' first-round encounter last Sunday.
The hosts were always likely to struggle given their opponents' placement three divisions higher in the league, and so it proved from the outset with St John's reeling off five excellent scores within the opening nine minutes.
That early promise wasn't replicated throughout with Ballinteer easing off as the match progressed while Olaf's battled gamely to the final whistle, with their efforts not necessarily translated on the scoreboard.
The visitors served early notice of their intentions through an excellent third-minute point from influential midfielder Peter McGlynn, and the lively Conall Dee doubled that advantage within a minute following a clever pass from Frankie Ward.
Seán O'Reilly kicked Ballinteer's third point in as many minutes with a lovely score from the right flank, and from that same area St John's created the first goal chance in the eighth minute with Patrick Donohue producing a superb save to deny John Hickey, although Ward was on hand to swing over the rebound.
St John's were rampant at this juncture with wing-back John O'Brien joining the attack to telling effect to kick a fi\ne score a minute later, but their momentum stalled from that point with Ward ending an eight-minute scoreless period by converting a 17th minute free.
The goal that had been threatening duly arrived two minutes later, as O'Reilly scrambled home from close range despite the best efforts of Donohue and Peter Gordon with the hosts struggling to make headway against a dominant St John's rearguard.
Niall Dunphy, who passed superbly throughout from centre-forward, gained reward for his display with a classy score in injury time, as the Marley men enjoyed a 1-8 to 0-0 interval advantage.
The second-half resumed in a similar fashion although a degree of sloppiness began to hinder Ballinteer's approach play. O'Reilly will have been disappointed to blaze over when unmarked 10 metres from goal within five minutes of the restart.
Despite their perilous position, Naomh Olaf continued to battle with Gordon, Mousa Patel and substitute Tim Courtney driving their side forward and they finally troubled the scorers through Denis Kelleher's 37th minute free.
A glimpse of their potential followed within a minute as Niall Gallagher kicked the score of the game, a sublime effort from close to the end line that split the posts. Sadly those moments were too few and far between for the hosts to entertain genuine hopes of a comeback.
So it proved, despite Kelleher's second point, as St John's roused themselves, ending a 13-minute period of scoreless play through a long-range free from substitute Rónán Clabby in the 48th minute.
Points from Clabby and the tireless McGlynn pushed St John's further clear before the tie was effectively settled in the 58th minute, with a superb run from sub Seán Naughton seeing Dee gain possession behind the Olaf's defence to find the net despite Donohue's best efforts. The game finished as it started with St John's in dominant form and Clabby's sumptuous point in injury-time confirmed an impressive win for the visitors.