SFC: Great start for Na Fianna

April 23, 2019

Na Fianna's Ethan Devine and David Toner Curraha contest the high ball during the Meath SFC game at Pairc Tailteann

Na Fianna 2-15   Curraha 3-11

On a fine sunny afternoon Na Fianna started their second outing of the championship in Pairc Tailteann taking on Curraha. The Dudley Farrell trained outfit defeated St. Colmcilles in the opening round.

Direct from the throw in Michael Collins starting in the middle of the field exchanged passes with Owen McDonnell and duly scored the first point of the game. Na Fianna hadn't long to wait to increase their lead when in the 2nd minute Curraha gave Na Fianna a free from which Ethan Devine delivered directly into the waiting Shane Walsh who rounded his player and finished directly into the net.

Curraha needed to respond quickly and went on the attack. Their effort was rewarded when following two fouls by Na Fianna backs Curraha scored two points in quick succession from frees. Despite the heat the game was being played at a fast pace and a Shane Walsh point from play was quickly followed when Michael Collins scored his second point. Conor Downey increased Na Fianna's lead to seven point when he got onto a through ball and placed his kick beyond the reach of the Curraha goalkeeper.

To their credit Curraha didn’t let the start put them off their game. They started to pressure the Na Fianna goal however some resolute and clean defending saw Curraha hit several wides . Na Fiannas next score came from good ball movement in the forwards and the ball was pointed by Luke Kelly, to increase the lead to 8 points. Curraha were undeterred and opened the Na Fianna defence to score their first goal. Direct from the restart Na Fianna fouled and gave Curraha another free which they duly scored to bring the gap to 4 points with only 13 minutes on the clock. The next few minutes of the game saw Curraha score a point to narrow the deficit to 3 points. Na Fianna responded due to a long range Ethan Devine point.

In the 19th minute during a Curraha attack Na Fianna where deemed to have fouled in the square and a penalty was awarded. Curraha made no mistake and finished to the net bringing the gap to the minimum. As Na Fianna started to move the ball back up the pitch some hard defending and a very hard tackle on Owen McDonnell gave Na Fianna a free which Ethan Devine delivered into Shane Walsh who pointed , this was followed by a Connor Downey point to give Na Fianna a 3 point lead.

Curraha scored the next two points from frees and the gap was again the minimum and with Shane Walsh scoring at one end and Curraha pointing at the other end to finish the half with Na Fianna holding the one point lead at 2 Goals 8 Points to Curraha 2 Goals 7 Points. Na Fianna started the second half with Oran Smullen launching an attack from the back and moved the ball up to Shane Walsh who got the first score of the 2nd half. Followed by another point from Connor Downey.

At the other end Curraha scored another point from a free and the action continued as Curraha once again brought the gap to one score when they scored another point. The next few minutes saw the Na Fianna defence put under pressure but with resolute defending and hard work from all the backs they were able to repel the attacks and with both sides opportunities going wide the score remained static for 13 minutes until Shane Walsh scored a free for Na Fianna in the 19th minute. Curraha needed a quick response and went on the attack, they were rewarded when Na Fianna were deemed to have fouled in the square for a second time and Curraha where awarded a penalty. Making no mistake from the spot Curraha scored the goal. This gave them a point advantage and the lead for the first time in the game. Curraha scored the next point giving them a 2 point lead.

It was the 23rd minute before Na Fianna's Connor Downey scored a point and followed with a Shane Walsh free bringing the game level in the 28th minute. The last minutes of the game where full of action and could have gone either way with Oisin Mc Closkey scoring a point , then Curraha scoring at the other end but it was a free in the 35th minute which Shane Walsh pointed that proved to be the decider.

Na Fianna scorers: Shane Walsh 1-7, Connor Downey 1-3, Michaels Collins 0-2, Luke Kelly, Ethan Devine, and Oisin Mc Closkey 0-1 each

Na Fianna: Shane Geraghty, Johnny Baldwin, Sean Raftery, Oisin Mc Closkey, Oran Smullen, Anthony Neary, Sean Martin, Owen McDonnell, Michael Collins, Ethan Devine, Peter Slevin, Connor Downey, James Geagan, Shane Walsh, Luke Kelly. Subs Used: Jamie Queeney for Johnny Baldwin, Jack McNally  for Sean Raftery
Scorers
Shane Walsh 1Goal 7 points(3 Frees), Connor Downey 1 Goal 3 Points, Luke Kelly 1 Points, Ethan Devine 1 point, Michael Collins 2 points, Oisin Mc Closkey 1 point
 



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