Leinster club SFC: O'Connor shines as 14-man Moores end Rathnew fairytale

November 26, 2017

Rathnew's Leighton Glynn in action against Moorefield's Mark Dempsey.
©INPHO/Ken Sutton.

Moorefield (Kildare) 2-13

Rathnew (Wicklow) 2-7

Eanna O'Connor showed his star quality once again by scoring eight points as 14-man Moorefield defeated giant-killers Rathnew in Aughrim to qualify for the Leinster club SFC final.

Star of the Moores' surprise quarter-final win over Portlaoise, the full forward and son of former Kerry manager Jack O'Connor defied the awful conditions by slotting over five placed balls in the second half. If Eanna was the hero, his brother Cian was the villian after he received a straight red card seven minutes after the restart and will now miss the final against St. Loman's, who are managed by former Moorefield boss Luke Dempsey.  

Rathnew pulled off a huge shock against holders St. Vincent's at the same venue a fortnight ago, but were always chasing the game after Niall Hurley Lynch scored a deflected goal after just four minutes. O'Connor (free) and Hurley Lynch (two) extended the Kildare champions' lead before 'The Village' rallied to regain parity, with Eddie Doyle scoring three points in what was their best spell of the game.

Points from Ian Meehan and Hurley restored Moorefield's lead before Graham Merrigan scored another deflected goal after being set up by dual star Leighton Glynn to leave it all-square, 1-5 each, at the break.

But despite going down to 14 men after Cian O'Connor clashed with Glynn early in the second half, Ross Glavin's men were the better side by some distance. Rathnew got to within one point when Glynn slotted home a 45th minute penalty after James Stafford had been fouled, but they couldn't get any closer as Eanna O'Connor replied with three points before Mark Dempsey applied the coup de grace with a second goal three minutes into stoppage-time. 

Moorefield - T Kinsella; L Callaghan, L Healy, S Healy; A Masterson, M Dempsey (1-0), J Murray; C O'Connor, D Flynn; I Meehan (0-2), E Heavey, K Murnaghan; R Sweeney, E O'Connor (0-8, 5f, 1'45), N Hurley Lynch (1-3). Subs: D Whyte for A Masterson, S Dempsey for S Healy, P O'Flynn for L Callaghan, A Mullins for N Hurley Lynch.

Rathnew - P Dignam; P Merrigan, D Power, J Snell; W Kavanagh, R O'Brien, E Glynn; J Stafford (0-1), T Smith; G Merrigan (1-0), L Glynn (1-1, 1-0pen), D Staunton (0-1); S Byrne, M Doyle, E Doyle (0-3, 1f). Subs: J Merrigan (0-1) for E Doyle (BC), N Mernagh for S Byrne, J Manley for E Glynn, C Healy for R O'Brien.

Referee - J Hickey.

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