Tarf back in SFC semis

by Gazette Reporter

CLONTARF cruised into the last four of the Dublin senior football championship thanks to a convincing 0-19 to 0-7 win over St Anne’s on Saturday.
Parnell Park played host to all four SFC quarter-finals over the weekend but Clontarf’s performance was the most dominant over the two days. The win means Noel McCaffrey has led the club to their first SFC semi-final since 1991.
Speaking to GazetteSport after the match, McCaffrey noted that the good start made by his side played a key role in the win. “Starting so quickly gave us great momentum which definitely put us on the front-foot for the rest of the game,” he said.
“In fairness to Anne’s there is very little between the two teams but they were missing a couple of key players with injuries. So I think when things were going against them they really missed that strength in depth that they would have had otherwise.”
Clontarf started brightly with Andy Foley pulling the strings in midfield. Dublin star Jack McCaffrey’s relentless running was causing havoc in the Anne’s backline while Maitias Mac Donncha began the scoring.
After 16 minutes, Clontarf led 0-7 to 0-2 thanks to a couple of scores from Mac Donncha and the lively Ciaran Johnston, who finished the game with seven points. Both of Anne’s scores had come from Craig McKeown, who did well with limited service.
Being five points behind with the wind on their backs, you felt Anne’s needed a goal before the break if they were to have any chance. They almost got one with four minutes left in the half when McKeown’s long-range free looked to be heading straight for the net but for a goal-line clearance from McCaffrey.
It was 0-9 to 0-4 at the start of the second half but before long, Clontarf stretched their lead by scoring the first four points of the half. Johnston grabbed two while Foley and McCaffrey added one each.
Anne’s Scott Fulham interrupted Clontarf’s flow with a fine points after a mazy run while in possession. There were a couple of goal chances too for the Bohernabreena men through first Darragh Fulham and then Scott three minutes later but the first hit the side net and the second was saved well by Ross O’Hanlon.
Kevin McGrath then went close to raising the green flag for Clontarf but his palmed effort was well saved by Lorcan Molloy. It didn’t matter much, however, as late points from Padraic Syron and Ciaran Finan put the gloss on a fine win.
Clontarf will now face Ballyboden St Enda’s in Sunday’s semi-final. Throw in is at 2.15pm in Parnell Park, with the other semi-final, Ballyboden vs Na Fianna immediately following it.

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