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'Nell's beat Joeys for three in-a-row



PARNELL'S joined the three-in-a-row club on Friday night when they captured the annual St Joseph's/ O'Connell Boys Inner City Football Tournament at Fairview Park.

It was a commanding performance despite a slow opening by Parnell's and they fully deserved to take the trophy back to Coolock for the third year in succession.

For the hosts, Joeys, they will rue some erratic shooting in the opening 15 minutes when they dominated possession but they will hold their hands up and admit they came up against a well-organised defensive unit.

Central to that defence was Parnell's old warhorse, John Campbell, who guarded the edge of the square brilliantly. Time and time again, the big full-back emerged with ball in hand when Joeys went on the attack.

It was the hosts who did hit the front first. Midfielder Alan O'Keefe, who was responsible for every one of his side's six points, swung over a brace of frees inside the opening 10 minutes.

Parnell's, however, were devastating in their response. A free from Marias McGarrell got them off the mark before they hit the first goal of the evening.

It was wonderful in its execution. Full-forward Mark Tiernan fielded a long ball, and he was fouled on his attempt to turn. He took a quick free to Karl Doyle. A point looked the easier option but Doyle found the top corner with a scorching shot.

McGarrell supplemented the lead with a further free in the following attack. Joeys did not lie down, though, and had the final say of the half. O'Keefe hit the score of the day from way out on the left sideline and added a free from 40m to leave a goal between them at the turnaround, 1-4 to 0-4.

McGarrell picked up where he left off upon the restart as he again punished indiscipline in the Joey's defence with a free from the hands.

O'Keefe cut the deficit once more but it was to be in vain as the 'Nells enjoyed a very productive final quarter. Doyle put them in control when he finished to the net for his second goal after a 30-metre run through the heart of the Joeys rearguard.


Substitute Eddie Ryan then showed what he could do with a quickfire double while, fittingly, captain Jason Field got forward to split the posts and ensure the silverware.

Dublin senior footballer Ger Brennan was at hand to present the trophy. Parnell's manager, Brian 'Trapattoni' Power was delighted with the result and dedicate it to Ian Skelly. Ian sadly passed away earlier in the year after a long illness and would have no doubt been heavily involved in the team.

"We had been coming down to this tournament for years without winning it," Power said.

"Now all of a sudden we've won three on the bounce. It is the same at any level of football, when you win something it can lead on to more success.

"But there is one man we want to dedicate this to. Ian Skelly passed away this year and he was here last year watching. This is for him."

Both teams will now turn their attention to their league campaigns and the quest for promotion.