Kelly's eye for scores eases DCU into final
NUI Maynooth 1-6
Hosts NUI Maynooth's dream run in this year's competition came to an end yesterday, but not before they gave DCU's all-star cast a thorough examination.
In the end, it was the shooting talents of Sligo's David Kelly which proved the main difference. Kelly was a big hit in his county's narrow defeat to Kerry in last year's All-Ireland qualifiers and the Maynooth defence could not keep him quiet in the second half.
John Divilly's Maynooth held the whip hand for much of the opening period. Nigel Dunne was particularly impressive and he kicked three of his side's first four points from a free, a '45' and then from play to put them in front on each occasion.
However, each of Dunne's scores -- and wing-back Paul Cashin's -- were quickly cancelled by Brian Sheridan (free), Micheál Lyng, Dermot Sheridan and Paddy Andrews.
The winners finally hit the front for the first time when Cathal Cregg scored in the 23rd minute and that lead had doubled by the time Andrews was fouled for a penalty just before the interval. Brian Sheridan's effort from the spot was dreadful, however, as he dragged his kick well wide.
That let-off seemed to galvanise Maynooth and though Sheridan slotted a free straight after the resumption, some brilliant work by Dunne laid the groundwork for an very well taken goal from Na Fianna's David Quinn.
Mark Hanratty pointed immediately afterwards and for a moment, another shock looked on the cards.
The calibre of player DCU boss Niall Moyna was able to introduce was significant, however, with last year's Cavan captain, Ronan Flanagan, and Roscommon marksman, Donie Shine, among those to enter the fray.
Meanwhile, Kelly began to run riot. He added two fine points to his first half effort and then crashed home a 44th minute goal off the inside of the upright to single-handedly transform a single-point deficit into a four-point advantage.
Maynooth never stopped trying but they couldn't grab the goal they needed, while DCU clipped over another three points to seal the verdict.
Scorers -- DCU: D Kelly 1-3, B Sheridan 0-3f, P Andrews 0-2; C Cregg, M Lyng, D Sheridan, D Shine ('45') 0-1 each. NUI Maynooth: N Dunne 0-4(0-2f, 0-1 '45'); David Quinn (Lucan Sars) 1-0; P Cashin, M Hanratty 0-1 each
DCU -- M Boyle; P McMahon, K Gavin, K Nolan; J Cooper, B Cullen, D Mooney; D Sheridan, H McGrillen; P Flynn, M Lyng, C Cregg; P Andrews, B Sheridan, D Kelly. Subs: H Gill for Mooney (29), R Flanagan for Cregg (39), D Shine for Lyng (42), R Cullivan for Flynn (52), S Roche for B Sheridan (57).
NUI Maynooth -- S Connolly; K Lynch, B Kinahan, C Freeman; P Cashin, N Coyne, T Johnson; G McArdle, C Mullins; David Quinn (Lucan Sars), M Hanratty, G Brennan; David Quinn (Na Fianna), M Newman, N Dunne. Subs: A Walsh for Hanratty (40), T Gallagher for Freeman (47), J Califf for McCardle (52), F Barry for Mullins (57).
Ref -- P Fox (Westmeath)