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No Connolly once again as ex-Mayo forward Varley hits 1-8 to see Vincent's past Na Fianna

The Marino club defeated Na Fianna in the Dublin SFC for the fourth year running.

St Vincent’s 2-17

Na Fianna 2-15

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park

THREE-IN-A-row chasing St Vincent’s had to call on all their experience to see off a determined young Na Fianna outfit and seal their place in the Dublin SFC quarter-finals.

Conor McHugh and Jarlath Curley Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

In a game littered with young Na Fianna talent, it was the experienced duo of Enda Varley (1-8) and Tomas Quinn (1-4) who shot 2-12 between them to give the Marino club their second victory from two games in Group 1.

They’ll likely be joined by Na Fianna in the knock-out stages should the Glasnevin outfit beat Skerries Harps as expected in the final round of games when the competition resumes in a few months’ time.

Once again Diarmuid Connolly was not part of the St Vincent’s squad as his spell away from the game continues but they had enough in the tank to defeat Na Fianna in this competition for a fourth straight year.

Lorcan Galvin and Sean Caffrey Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

This contest pitted the wily winners of four of the last five titles, against an up-and-coming Na Fianna side with a handful of Dublin U21 All-Ireland winners and Leinster minor champions from last season in their ranks.

Glenn O’Reilly scored five points for Na Fianna while Conor McHugh bagged 1-4 and set-up Sean Caffrey’s goal. James Doran, a talented Leinster-winning Dublin minor from 2017, and U21 Footballer of the Year Aaron Byrne were key cogs in this extremely lively outfit.

Backboned by 2016 All-Star Jonny Cooper at centre-back, Na Fianna look destined to become a major force in Dublin football over the next few years.

The most entertaining match-up on show was between county team-mates Eoin Murchan and Shane Carthy, with Murchan getting the upper hand despite his size disadvantage.

Conor McHugh and Nathan Mullins Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Carthy was named at full-forward but withdrew to the middle in a free-role, leaving St Vincent’s with a two-man full-forward line of Quinn and Varley.

Quinn turns 37 this year but looks as fit as ever and rarely misses a scoring opportunity. He has struck up a fine partnership with Varley since the former Mayo player transferred to the club in 2016.

Varley has pedigree on the inter-county scene and scored two points for Mayo in the 2012 All-Ireland final against Donegal.

McHugh had the ball in the net early on for the Glasnevin club, but St Vincent’s scored two goals of their own through veterans Quinn and Varley to lead by 2-2 to 1-2 after 10 minutes.

Varley added a couple of curling efforts before Na Fianna enjoyed their most dominant spell of the half. O’Reilly’s striking of the ball was outstanding and he hit 0-4 during a productive nine-minute spell to bring Na Fianna on level terms.

Sean Caffrey and James McCusker Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

St Vincent’s went into the interval in front by 2-8 to 1-9 after late scores from Varley, Quinn (free) and two from Lorcan Smyth.

McHugh’s industry set-up Sean Caffrey for Na Fianna’s second goal shortly after half-time, but four St Vincent’s scores in as many minutes left them three ahead by the 34th minute.

Varley brought his tally to 1-7 with a further two scores, while Na Fianna registered a brace apiece from McHugh and O’Reilly. Nathan Mullins jinked away from his man and clipped over, before Michael Deegan responded for Na Fianna.

Eoin Murchan hobbled off with a calf problem in the 57th minute and, while Deegan and McHugh pulled Na Fianna to within a point entering stoppage-time, Varley scored his eighth point of the afternoon to seal the two-point win.

Scorers for St Vincent’s: Enda Varley 1-8 (0-2f), Tomas Quinn 1-4, Lorcan Smyth 0-3, Shane Carthy, Nathan Mullins 0-1 each.

Scorers for Na Fianna: Glenn O’Reilly 0-6 (0-3f), Conor McHugh 1-4 (0-1f), Sean Caffrey 1-0, James Doran, Michael Deegan 0-2 each, Eoin Murchan 0-1.

St Vincent’s

1. Michael Savage

5. James McCusker
3. Jarlath Curley
4. Craig Wilson

7. Brendan Egan
6. Ger Brennan
2. Michael Concarr

8. Nathan Mullins
23. Eamonn Fennell

22. Joe Feeney
11. Lorcan Smyth
12. Cormac Diamond

14. Shane Carthy

15. Tomas Quinn
13. Enda Varley

Subs

26. Albert Martin for Feeney (ht)

Na Fianna

1. David O’Hanlon

2. Darragh Kennedy
3. Niall McGovern
4. Eoin Murchan

7. Paul O’Hanlon
6. Jonny Cooper
5. Aaron Byrne

8. Eoghan McHugh
23. JJ Martin

14. Timothy Foran
13. Michael Deegan
12. Glenn O’Reilly

11. James Doran
10. Conor McHugh
15. Sean Caffrey

Subs

25. Eoin O’Dea for Foran (38)
24. Eoghan Neville for Murchan (57)
22. Jimmy Higgins for O’Reilly (60)

Referee: Darragh Sheppard

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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