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Na Fianna reach first Dublin final since 2005 after 10-point win over Ballyboden

The senior double is still on for the Glasnevin club.

Na Fianna's Conor McHugh and Cathal Flaherty of Ballyboden St Enda's.
Na Fianna's Conor McHugh and Cathal Flaherty of Ballyboden St Enda's.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Na Fianna 1-14

Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-7

NA FIANNA ARE into their first Dublin football final since 2005 and remain in contention for the double following today’s 10-point semi-final win over Ballyboden St Enda’s. 

They’ll play the winners of tomorrow’s clash between Kilmacud Crokes and Thomas Davis in the decider.  

As impressive as Na Fianna were, Ballyboden were strangely off colour. They went 32 minutes before their first score of the day, only hitting seven points in total and just 0-5 from play.

Their play was sloppy, without any coherent method of attack. Still, if they had taken their many second-half chances they’d have been far closer to the victors. Na Fianna’s goal in the 63rd minute put a gloss on the scoreline, although they were clearly the dominant team throughout.

Ballyboden were without key men in Aaron Waters and Robbie McDaid due to emigration, while Ryan Basquel is out injured.  

They brought in Brisbane Lions player James Madden as a late starter at wing-forward, but he had little impact and was replaced nine minutes before the end.

After a number of close calls in recent years, it’s a major boost for Na Fianna to reach the final. 

michael-darragh-macauley-and-jonny-cooper Michael Darragh Macauley is chased by Jonny Cooper. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

21 years have passed since they were last crowned champions, when a team containing Dessie Farrell, Jason Sherlock and Kieran McGeeney won three titles in succession. 

Na Fianna have a number of fine forwards in Conor McHugh, Aaron Byrne, David Lacey, Glenn O’Reilly, but it was their work-rate that was most impressive.  They tackled like dogs all over the field and never allowed ‘Boden get their running game going. 

Defensively, the likes of Eoin Murchan, Jonny Cooper and Eoin O’Dea won their individual match-ups against Ballyboden danger men.

The damage was done in the opening half when it took Ballyboden until the last kick to open their account. 

Na Fianna were tigerish in their tackling and their forwards all had the beating of their men. 

Their press ensured Ballyboden struggled for clean possession on their own kick-outs, despite the presence of Michael Darragh Macauley at midfield.  

Conor McHugh led the line, scoring four first-half points, as the Glasnevin outfit raced 0-10 to no score in front.  

eoin-odea-and-warren-egan Eoin O'Dea tackles Warren Egan. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

With the last play of the half, ‘Boden finally got off the mark through a free from Colm Basquel. 

They started the second-half with two scores, but were left to rue three poor wides – two of them from Madden as he burst through on goal. 

They reduced the gap to seven on the 45th minute, but Na Fianna rattled off a brace through Lacey, who finished with 1-3.

Ross McGarry pulled two back for the southside club, who were still missing too many chances to make a game of it.  

Na Fianna worked a magnificent team goal in stoppage-time, as David Lacey brought his tally to 1-2 by rounding the keeper after a move that travelled the length of the field.  

Scorers for Na Fianna: David Lacey 1-3 (0-1f), Conor McHugh 0-5 (0-2f), David O’Hanlon (0-1 45, 0-1f) and Glenn O’Reilly 0-2 each, Ali Fitzgerald and Paddy Quinn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda’s: Colm Basquel (0-2f), Ross McGarry 0-2 each, Alan Flood, Conal Keaney and Ryan O’Dwyer 0-1 each.

Na Fianna

1. David O’Hanlon

4. Eoin Murchan, 3. Eoin O’Dea, 2. Gus Farrell

7. Adam Rafter, 6. Jonny Cooper, 5. Ali Fitzgerald

8. Michael Day, 9. Paddy Quinn

19. David Quinn, 15. Brian O’Leary, 12. David Lacey

13. Glenn O’Reilly, 14. Conor McHugh, 11 Aaron Byrne

Subs 

21 Sean Caffrey for O’Reilly (39)

22 Darragh Kennedy for Farrell (48)

26 Donal Ryan for Quinn (51)

24 Dean Ryan for Rafter (57)

18 Vinny Flynn for McHugh (64) 

Ballyboden St Enda’s

1. Darragh Gogan

3. Shane Clayton, 4. Cathal Flaherty, 18. Vinny Flynn

5. James Holland, 6. Alex Gavin, 7. Paddy Dunleavy

8. Luke O’Donoghue, 23. Micheal Darragh Macauley

10. Alan Flood, 12. Colm Basquel, 25. James Madden

11. Ross McGarry, 14. Darren O’Reilly, 15. Warren Egan

Subs

13. Ryan O’Dwyer for O’Reilly (36)

20. Ryan Baynes for Holland (44)

24. Conal Keaney for O’Donoghue (48)

22. Donogh McCabe for Madden (51)

9. Michael McDonald for Flood (61)

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Parnell Park

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