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Whitehall off to a flyer

WHITEHALL COLMCILLE 4-10; NAOMH IOSOLDE 3-8

A blistering opening five minutes by Whitehall Colmcille created an insurmountable obstacle for Naomh Iosolde to negotiate in their Dublin Minor 'C' Football Championship semi-final at Glenauline Park on Sunday morning.

Whitehall hit 2-3 in that period, using the wind to devastating effect, and it stunned Iosolde, who are an amalgamation of St Patrick's Palmerstown and Liffey Gaels.

And to their credit, an excellent second-half showing saw them emerge from the tie with their pride intact.

But in truth, the game was only ever going one way after that opening blitz. Full-forward Eoghan O'Donnell started it off after 30 seconds. The star turn of Dublin's All-Ireland win, Cormac Costello, was instrumental as he won the throw in and sent a long ball into O'Donnell.

The full-forward still had much to do, though, and he showed great skill to beat his marker before applying a clinical finish. Seán Moran added a point almost immediately but the Iosolde net would be rattled again within a minute.

Costello again found time and space and again he looked for O'Donnell.

This time, though, the ball deceived everyone and bounced into the top corner. Disaster for the home side.

Costello and O'Donnell inflicted further damage before Brian Gregg stopped the rot for Iosolde through a pointed free. A powerful run by centre-back Andy Helebert made the chance for Craig Lawlor to add a second.

But it only served as brief interruption to the Whitehall juggernaut. Costello kicked two long-distance frees before some quick thinking with a '45' saw him provide the assist for Peter Corry to open his account.

Then O'Donnell struck once more on 24 minutes. Again, his pace provided him with the room to shoot but there was a touch of fortune about the finish as it ricocheted off two Iosolde defenders on its way to the net. Another Corry point rounded off the half, with the winners heading into the break with a 3-8 to 0-2 advantage.

But they wouldn't score again until the 46th minute. Iosolde took control and three frees by Gregg and a fine effort from Lawlor cut the deficit.

The wind was taken out of their sails again, though, when Whitehall awoke from their slumber and O'Donnell grabbed his third goal and a point in quick succession.

The final 10 minutes were full of drama, however. James Dunphy and Cian Walsh both found the net for Iosolde. And while Costello fisted a point after a 40-metre solo run, still Iosolde came back. Gregg scored what was an absolutely cracking goal with a shot from a seemingly impossible angle. Walsh and Gregg then both raised further white flags in injury-time.

They ran out of time, however, and Whitehall rode the storm to take their place in the final where St Finian's of Newcastle lie in wait.


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