St Jude’s 0-16
Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park
ST JUDE’S ARE back in the last four of the Dublin senior football championship for a second year in succession.
Kevin McManamon’s club are one game away from featuring in only a second senior county final in their history – their last appearance coming in the 2009 defeat to Ballyboden.
Cork native Niall Coakley, who started for the Rebels in their Munster final defeat to Kerry during the summer, hit 0-5 while his fellow inside forward Declan Donnelly chipped in with six points but missed a penalty.
Five-time All-Ireland winner McManamon (0-2) started at corner-forward but did most of his good work further out the field as a link man in between the half and full-forward lines.
Con O’Callaghan had a fine opening 40 minutes or so, scoring 0-3 and laying on a goal for Dublin U21 Dara Spillane, before he faded from the game as St Jude’s took control. O’Callaghan did have a late goal disallowed but it would have only been a consolation for the losers.
Cuala pitched Dublin full-back Michael Fitzsimons into the full-forward line alongside O’Callaghan in a desperate attempt to find a late goal but the winning defence held firm.
Cuala lost Dublin panellist Mark Schutte, presumably due to injury, in the 16th minute and it robbed them of a serious attacking option. They went the majority of the second-half with a score as Jude’s were happy to sit deep and hit them on the break.
St Jude’s failed to convert a couple of goal chances inside the opening ten minutes, but a score from each of their inside forwards left them 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.
Con O’Callaghan was the only bright spark in the Cuala attack in the first-half, and he had 0-3 on the board by the interval, two of them from play.
Jude’s dropped bodies back when they lost possession and four frees from Cork senior Coakley was enough to leave them five in front at half-time, 0-9 to 0-4.
There was a bizarre opening to the second period when Paul Cunningham cleared the rebound from Niall O’Callaghan’s strike on goal over his own bar for an own point. From the next attack McManamon had a legitimate point waved wide by both umpires before the referee intervened and awarded a score.
Cuala responded with Dublin centre-forward O’Callaghan catching a long delivery inside, spinning away from his marker and feeding Dara Spillane, nephew of Pat and son of Mick, for an easy finish at the back post.
That brought Cuala to within two, 1-5 to 0-10, but they wouldn’t score again for 27 minutes. Declan Donnelly fired over four points but hit a late spot-kick wide. It mattered little for Jude’s who ran out comfortable winners.
Scorers for St Jude’s: Declan Donnelly 0-6 (0-2f), Niall Coakley 0-5 (0-4f), Kevin McManamon 0-2, Mark Sweeney, Ross O’Brien and Kieran Doherty 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cuala: Con O’Callaghan 0-4 (0-2f), Dara Spillane 1-0, Conor Mulally 0-2, Paul Cunningham (St Jude’s) own point.
1. Paul Copeland
2. Ciaran Fitzpatrick
3. Paul Cunningham
4. Rob Martina
10. Mark Sweeney
6. Chris Guckian
7. Niall O’Shea
8. Colm Murphy
9. Seamus Ryan
18. Kieran Doherty
12. Ross O’Brien
19. Ronan Joyce
13. Niall Coakley
15. Declan Donnelly
11. Kevin McManamon
25. Diarmuid McLoughlin for O’Brien (48)
5. Paul Courtney for Murphy (54)
17. Oisin Manning for Fitzpatrick (56)
1. Luke Kelly
3. Michael Fitzsimons
4. Luke Tracey
2. Sean Drummond
5. Eoghan Breannacht
6. Conor Mulally
7. John Fitzsimons
9. James Power
17. Oisin Manning
10. Mark Schutte
11. Colm Sheanon
8. John Sheanon
12. Dara Spillane
14. Con O’Callaghan
13. Niall O’Callaghan
21. Alan Benson for Schutte (16)
20. Niall James for Kiernan (ht)
18. Niall Carthy for Fitzsimons (44)
23. Liam McHugh for Sheanon (44)
26. Cathal OGiollain for Niall O’Callaghan (59)
Referee: David Sweeney
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