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Magnificent Marian make 'D' grade in Belfield bout

Marian College are the Dublin Colleges Senior Football 'D' champions after a hard-fought win over Coláiste Chillian at UCD sports grounds on Friday last.

The game was an entertaining one but at times threatened to spill over as the exchanges became heated.

Referee Timmy McCarthy did well to keep control as there was many off the ball incidents going on all over the field and at one stage supporters became involved in a melee which is not nice to see especially at schools level.

The winners were comfortable by the end but this was far from the case during the early stages as Chillian settled into the game quickly and were playing the better football. Centre-forward Ben ó Cuinn was the main man as he dictated the play and created openings for his team-mates.

Dean ó Ruairc was also displaying his skills as he scored the opening three points of the game. Two came courtesy of the dead ball the other was a brilliant long-range effort.

But Marian gradually found their way and, after missing some good chances, they eventually began to work the umpires and made inroads into the Chillian lead.

Points from captain Lee Harrison and Ken Lyons sandwiched a quick fire brace from rangy full-forward Andrew Coffey as the momentum swung completely in the favour of the Ballsbridge outfit.

A feature of the Marian play was their hard work which began in their full-forward line as they hassled the Chillian defenders into errors which immediately put them on the back foot.

Then came the opening goal of the game. A high ball into the square eluded three players but fell kindly to wing forward Scott Lynch who happily tucked it into the bottom corner.

From here until the break it was all Marian as their opponents failed to score during the remainder of the half. Centre-forward Bobby Lacey displayed his powerful running style with a brilliant individual score to push his side further ahead before Lynch added a point to his earlier goal.

The ultimate turning point in the game soon followed. A brilliant Chillian move almost got them back into the game but Alex ó Cuinn was denied by a wonder save from keeper Michael Kilroy.

In a cruel blow, Marian then went down the field to raise their second green flag and put them in a commanding position. It was a flowing move from back to front with Lyons getting on the end of it, finishing with aplomb to the keeper's right.

It meant that there were nine points between the sides at half-time as the score board read 2-7 to 0-4. It was hard to see any way back into the game for the Clondalkin men but to their credit they did not lie down and battled to the death.

But it seemed that whenever they made inroads into the lead it was immediately restored as Marian displayed a ruthless efficiency during the second half.

The ó Cuinn menaces did all in their power to pull their side back and it was Alex who was fouled to earn his side a penalty. ó Ruairc buried the spot kick to give his side hope. It was to be too little to late however, as further points by Lacey, Lynch and a couple from Lyons secured the win.

Scorers -- Marian College: K Lyons (2f), S Lynch (f), 1-3 each, R Lacey 0-3, A Coffey 0-2, L Harrison 0-1. Coláiste Chillian: D ó Ruairc 1-4 (1 pen, 3f), B ó Cuinn 0-3 (3f).

Marian College: M Kilroy; J McDonagh, A Bolton, D Ianelli; R Kiernan, J Barnes, P Healy; S Flood, L Harrison; D Smyth, R Lacey, S Lynch; D Nangle, A Coffey, K Lyons. Subs: J McCarthy for Nangle (45), P Healy for Lyons (50), R Lawlor for Smyth (51).

Coláiste Chillian: C ó Gabhlain; D Brocklebonk, L ó Ceardbhain, D ó Cléirigh; D Mac an Iomaire, R ó Ceallaigh, M Mac Diarmada; S ó Maonaigh, S ó Briain; P Mac An Ghall, B ó Cuinn, F ó Murchú; D ó Ruairc, A ó Cuinn, C Mac Liam. Subs: R ó Dálaigh for Mac Liam (36), G ó Briain for ó Murchú.

Ref: T McCarthy (St Vincent's).