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Quarter-final pairings confirmed in Dublin football as Na Fianna come good against Raheny

Na Fianna will face Kilmacud Crokes in the last eight of the Dublin SFC.

Na Fianna’s Alistair Fitzgerald wins the throw-in over Brian Fenton.
Na Fianna’s Alistair Fitzgerald wins the throw-in over Brian Fenton.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Updated Sun 7:01 PM

Na Fianna 0-17

Raheny 0-11

A DESERVED SIX-point win over Raheny was enough to seal Na Fianna’s qualification to the Dublin SFC quarter-finals and set up a showdown with Kilmacud Crokes.

Raheny’s midweek draw with Ballyboden St Enda’s gave them every chance of advancing from this difficult Group 1, but Na Fianna’s quality saw them over the line.

Ballyboden’s convincing win over Whitehall Colmcilles – who were missing Cormac Costello and Eoghan O’Donnell – left them on top of the group, with Na Fianna sealing second place.

After falling five points behind early on, Raheny fought back and were just two behind after 49 minutes. The Glasnevin side turned on the style in the final quarter, controlling the finale where they outscored their opponents by 0-6 to 0-2.

This was Raheny’s second game in the space of four days following their replayed clash against Ballyboden on Wednesday night, so it wasn’t a surprise to see them tire in the closing stages.

Na Fianna had star quality all over the field in Jonny Cooper, Eoin Murchan, James Doran, Aaron Byrne and youngster Brian O’Leary, who was their most dangerous forward.

conor-mchugh-reacts-to-missed-opportunity Na Fianna sub Conor McHugh reacts to a missed goal chance. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The former Dublin U20 forward clipped over five points from play and his performance meant that Na Fianna didn’t miss Conor McHugh, who only arrived off the bench in the 43rd minute.

Na Fianna are behind the likes of Ballymun Kickhams, Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyboden in the pecking order for the Dublin SFC title, yet they’ll still take beating. 

With Dublin stars Brian Fenton and Brian Howard giving them the best club midfield in the country, and arguably of all-time, Raheny battled all the way but ultimately their forwards only scored 0-4 from play.

Starting without ace forward McHugh, Na Fianna were the sharper side from the off. They raced into a five point lead inside the opening 12 minutes, with the lively O’Leary contributing 0-3. 

Raheny, who were without Dublin defender Sean McMahon, were unlucky not to raise a green flag as Dave O’Hanlon saved well from Cian Ivers and minutes later Patrick Reid fired a rasper off the post.

Howard was hauled down by Alistair Fitzgerald as he burst through, resulting in a black card for the Na Fianna midfielder. The extra man gave Raheny life and they reeled off three of the next four scores with Eoin Keogh particularly dangerous in attack.

Raheny’s Ben McHugh shipped a black card just before the interval for dragging down James Doran on the edge of the area. It was a wise foul by McHugh, as Doran was clean through on goal only for the cynical challenge.

Raheny made light of their numerical disadvantage by hitting the first two scores after the restart to leave them two behind, 0-8 to 0-6.

O’Leary continued to cause problems and he fired over a quick fire brace to help Na Fianna four clear. By the second water break, Fenton and Sean Grenham (free) added a score apiece to leave Raheny three behind. 

sean-mccarthy-and-brian-fenton-dejected The championship is over for Raheny. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The Glanevin outfit sprang McHugh off the bench in the second-half, but when O’Kane drilled over a lovely effort to bring his side within two, the Raheny support sensed an upset.

However, that was as good as things got for Raheny.

McHugh opened his account with a flick over the bar, but his reaction indicated he was disappointed not to find the net. 

As game entered the final 10 minutes, McHugh fed Aaron Byrne for a nice score from a tight angle. Eoin O’Dea was fouled as he broke forward and Byrne applied the finish to leave five between the teams. 

Byrne, James Doran and Sean Caffrey added efforts in the closing stages. Sean Grenham brought his tally to five frees for Raheny, whose challenge faded long before the final whistle.

Scorers for Na Fianna: Brian O’Leary and Aaron Byrne (0-2f, 0-1 45) 0-5 each, James Doran and David Lacey (0-2f) 0-2 each, Conor McHugh, Darragh Kennedy and Sean Caffrey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Raheny: Sean Grenham (0-5f) 0-5, James O’Kane 0-3, Eoin Keogh, Darren Byrne and Brian Fenton 0-1 each.

Na Fianna 

1. Dave O’Hanlon 

4. Adam Rafter, 3. Jonny Cooper, 18. Eoin O’Dea

7. John kelly, 6. Eoin Murchan, 5. Donal Ryan

8. Paddy Quinn, 9. Alistair Fitzgerald

2. Darragh Kennedy, 11. David Lacey, 12. Niall McGovern

13. James Doran, 14, Aaron Byrne, 15. Brian O’Leary

Subs

25. Dean Ryan for Kelly (20)

19. David Quinn for Fitzgerald (40)

21. Conor McHugh for Lacey (43)

22. Sean Caffrey for Quinn (56)

20. Gus Farrell for McGovern (58)

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Raheny

1. Andrew Carroll

6. David Shatwell, 17. Ben McHugh, 4. Darren Byrne

21. Jack Kearney, 2. Ben MacMahon, 5. Rutherson Real

8. Brian Fenton, 9. Brian Howard

13. Eoin Keogh, 11. Cian Ivers, 10. Sean McCarthy

15. Sean Grenham, 14. Patrick Reid, 12, James O’Kane

Subs

20. Jack Dalton for MacMahon (49)

24. Michael Grenham for Kearney (59)

18. Brian Talty for Keogh (62)

Referee: David O’Connor

Dublin SFC quarter-final pairings confirmed

Na Fianna will take on 2018 champions Kilmacud Crokes in the last eight while holders Ballymun Kickhams will face Lucan Sarsfields.

St Judes will face 2019 finalists Thomas Davis in the quarter-final, with Ballyboden St Enda’s forced to wait to find out their opponents.

Former Cork forward Niall Coakley grabbed a goal as St Jude’s hammered Round Towers Lusk by 2-23 to 0-7 to join Na Fianna in the quarter-finals of the Dublin SFC.

Caslteknock and Ballinteer St John’s will meet in a pay-off to decide the remaining spot in the last eight. Neither side could be separated in the final Group 2 standings.

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Parnell Park

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