Dublin senior club football championship semi-final

by Jonny Stapleton
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Na Fianna will face defending champions Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin Senior Football Championship decider on October 16 after both teams came through their semi-finals with flying colours at the weekend.

Na Fianna defeated Ballyboden St Enda’s with 10 points to spare at Parnell Park on Saturday, while Crokes were 0-12 to 1-3 winners at the expense of Thomas Davis a day later (see report below).

This forthcoming showdown is a repeat of the 2005 decider, which coincidentally was also the last time the Stillorgan club completed back-to-back titles. Kilmacud triumphed on a final scoreline of 1-14 to 0-9 17 years ago, but will have reason to be wary of the challenge Na Fianna will pose based on what transpired in the Donnycarney venue in the past few days.

Na Fianna earned a third consecutive Dublin SFC crown back in 2001, but are still searching for their sixth top-tier success despite some strong performances in recent seasons. 

Ballyboden have been county champions on three occasions since Na Fianna last climbed the Parnell steps – as well as winning two Leinster crowns and an All-Ireland – but were facing into a stiff breeze during the opening period of their encounter with the Glasnevin men.

Na Fianna brought a commanding 0-10 to 0-1 buffer into the interval. 

Although the signs were ominous for Ballyboden, they did play with a lot more energy on the resumption. 

Michael Day of Na Fianna in action against Michael Darragh Macauley, left, and Luke Donoghue of Ballyboden St Enda’s during the Dublin County Senior Club Football Championship Semi-Final match between Ballyboden St Endas and Na Fianna at Parnell Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Wing-forwards Alan Flood and Basquel were both on target to give Enda’s a glimmer of hope.

Kenny Naughton’s side were starting to create numerous opportunities, but Na Fianna were popping up with scores at crucial junctures to ensure they remained in charge. Either side of a point from substitute Ryan O’Dwyer, O’Hanlon and Lacey found the range to leave the St Mobhi Road men eight points in front (0-12 to 0-4) inside the final-quarter.

‘Boden did their best to stem the tide with scores from Ross McGarry (two) and evergreen substitute Conal Keaney, only for Na Fianna to add further singles courtesy of Lacey and McHugh. 

Former Dublin underage footballer Lacey had three points to his name by this stage and enhanced his already impressive tally with a goal on 63 minutes to put the seal on an emphatic triumph.

McHugh and Lacey ended the contest with 1-8 between them, and will be two players to watch out for in that upcoming final.

Michael Day of Na Fianna in action against Michael Darragh Macauley (left) and Luke Donoghue of Ballyboden 

St Enda’s during the Dublin County Senior Club Football Championship Semi-Final at Parnell Park on Sunday. 

Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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