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Aaron Byrne inspires Na Fianna to Dublin SFC semis berth

The corner-forward burst into life between the 41st and 45th minutes.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

​GAA Dublin senior football championship quarter-final​:

Na Fianna 1-9
St Judes 0-7

AARON BYRNE FIRED 1-2 in a four-minute second-half spell to keep Na Fianna’s hopes of a first Dublin SFC title since 2001 intact.

The corner-forward burst into life with that entire tally between the 41st and 45th minutes to put ‘Pillar’ Caffrey’s side at their ease late on.

There was just two points in it before his intervention but in a low scoring quarter-final tie, which was equally low on excitement, it was a decisive blast.

Na Fianna dominated the Dublin championship at the turn of the century with a three-in-a-row between 1999 and 2001. But their last semi-final appearance was almost a decade ago in 2006.

Wins over Thomas Davis and UCD, the latter by 20 points, signalled their intention to go deep into this year’s championship though and they duly hit the ground running at Parnell Park.

JJ Martin, Conor McHugh, Adam Caffrey and Tomas Brady pointed to move the Glasnevin outfit 0-4 to no score clear after 13 minutes.

A dull encounter petered out from there though with just one more score before half-time, a Kevin McManamon converted free.

County star McManamon endured a frustrating afternoon with fellow Sam Maguire winner Jonny Cooper marking him tightly and holding the goal poacher to just a point from play.

Na Fianna stretched their 0-4 to 0-1 half-time lead with a Jack Caffrey point but Judes frees from McManamon and Declan Donnelly left them 0-5 to 0-3 back.

But their hopes of a fourth consecutive semi-final spot were dashed as Na Fianna moved four clear again through Byrne and Adam Caffrey points.

And Byrne’s 43rd minute goal after a clever lay off by ex-Dublin U21 star McHugh killed the contest as Na Fianna led 1-7 to 0-3.

A bad day for Judes was summed up by county hurling star Danny Sutcliffe’s 47th minute black card, 11 minutes after his introduction.

—–

Scorers for Na Fianna: Aaron Byrne 1-2, Adam Caffrey 0-3 (0-2f), JJ Martin 0-1, Conor McHugh 0-1, Tomas Brady 0-1, Jack Caffrey 0-1.

Scorers for St Judes: Kevin McManamon 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 45), Enda Dalton 0-2, Declan Donnelly 0-1 (0-1f).

NA FIANNA

1. Ryan O’Flaherty

2. Jonny Cooper
3. Niall Cooper
4. Eoin Murchan

5. Emile Mullan
6. Niall McGovern
7. Glen O’Reilly

8. JJ Martin
9. Carl O’Connor

10. Jack Caffrey
11. David Quinn
12. Tomas Brady

13. Aaron Byrne
14. Adam Caffrey
15. Conor McHugh

Subs
24. Eoghan Neville for Jack Caffrey (53 mins)
17. Eoin Connolly for O’Reilly (57 mins)
23. Neil Flannery for McHugh (59 mins)
18. John Kelly for Mullan (61 mins, black card)
22. Eric Caffrey for Adam Caffrey (62 mins, black card)

ST JUDES

1. Paul Copeland

4. Paul Cunningham
3. Paul Courtney
2. Oisin Mannin

5. Niall O’Shea
6. Chris Guckian
7. Robert Finnegan

8. Colm Murphy
9. Seamus Ryan

10. Thomas Lahiff
11. Ronan Joyce
15. Billy Sheehan

12. Mark Sweeney
13. Paul Maguire
14. Kevin McManamon

Subs
19. Declan Donnelly for Lahiff (h/t)
22. Niall Cronin for Courtney (h/t)
17. Danny Sutcliffe for Murphy (36 mins)
24. Conor McBride for Manning (46 mins)
20. Enda Dalton for Sutcliffe (47 mins, black card)
28. Brendan McManamon for Joyce (50 mins)

Referee: David O’Connor (Naomh Mearnog).

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Paul Keane

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