Sylvester’s progress with ease to SFC quarters

by Stephen Findlater

ST SYLVESTER’S advanced to a quarter-final date with St Vincent’s with the minimum of fuss as they had too many scoring options for Ballinteer St John’s with Eugene Keating and Nigel Dunne shooting out the Balgriffin lights last Friday night.

It meant that, despite Paul Cronin’s seventh minute penalty, Ballinteer struggled to gain a foothold against their AFL1 opposition and never threatened a repeat of their stunning first-round win over St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh.

Dunne started off with a trio of points but Ballinteer were in front when Stephen Finnegan fumbled a long ball into the square under pressure from Shane McCann. He grabbed the loose ball and was subsequently hauled down, allowing Cronin to comprehensively net the ensuing penalty.

It was as good as it got for his side, though, as Syl’s nabbed their goal within three minutes with Eoin Fanning clattering home off the back of Keating’s assist.

The Cavan man duly added a pair of points while Glen Hazley burst forward to weigh in with another, putting five points between the sides with scarcely 15 minutes on the clock.

And the Malahide men added a further six points before the break – all six of their starting forwards on the mark – to build a 1-12 to 1-3 lead at the break.

With the hill in Ballinteer’s favour, the second period was slightly more evenly matched though the match reduced in intensity as time wore on. Nonetheless, Fionn Carney was in strong form at the base of the Syl’s defence while Pauric O’Connor chipped in with four points for Ballinteer.

But they could not get Fearghal Duffy going after he had some early joy, Ronan Walsh switched to mark him with particular effect.

Keating kept chipping away with three particularly tidy second half scores before Dunne closed proceedings with just the third free scored on the night.

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