Ravens repel rivals' rally

December 10, 2007
Fingal Ravens repelled a strong rally from local rivals Donaghmore/Ashbourne to claim the Leinster Club IFC title with a goal to spare at Parnell Park, Dublin on Sunday. Fingal Ravens (Dublin) 1-9 Donaghmore/Ashbourne (Meath) 0-9 The North Dublin side took full advantage of the strong wind to lead by 1-6 to 0-1 heading into first-half stoppage time but saw their advantage whittled down to the minimum with time running out at the end of the hour. However, points in second-half stoppage time from Niall Tormey (free) and Ian Kavanagh ensured the Rolestown outfit also put one over their local rivals from just across the county bounds. Donaghmore/Ashbourne's hopes weren't helped by the dismissal of corner-forward Niall Farrell on receipt of a second yellow card in the 40th minute. At that stage the Meath representatives trailed by five points, 0-4 to 1-6, but posted five of the next six scores before running out of gas in the final minutes. Donaghmore/Ashbourne came closest to netting when David Morgan's fly-kick was parried at the expense of a '45' by Ravens' goalkeeper David Mitchell midway through the second-half. Andy McEntee's charges were left to rue a total of 11 wides (seven in the second period) while their more economical opponents had just two (one in each half). Fingal Ravens, managed by former Dublin defender and Ashbourne resident, Mick Deegan were quick out the blocks and had two points on the board within four minutes of the off. Tormey and Ian Kavanagh landed frees before the latter latched onto a long delivery from Darren Daly and beat the out-rushing Padraig Durkan to leave it 1-2 to 0-0 in the 11th minute. Shortly after Donaghmore/Ashbourne opened their account when Kevin Lanigan posted their only score from open play in the opening period. Ravens responded with three points on the spin and when midfield Keith Kavanagh raised a white flag in the 22nd minute he became the fifth different player from the Dublin side to get off the mark. Donaghmore/Ashbourne brought Niall Farrell out from the full-forward line in a swap with Eoin Carroll and finished the opening half with a flourish with Eoin Reilly pointing from a '45' and David Morgan converting a free. That left the Ravens leading by six points, 1-6 to 0-3, at the break but Donaghmore/Ashbourne had the prospect of the backing of the considerable wind blowing from the church end of the ground. When Morgan got his first to Carroll's sideline ball the margin was down to five points seven minutes into the second-half. Then came Farrell's dismissal but despite numerical disadvantage Donaghmore/Ashbourne rallied. Reilly's second point, from a long range free kick-started the recovery and when Morgan pointed from a sideline kick in the 59th minute the margin was down to the minimum. However, the effort took its tool and Fingal Ravens used the ball and the extra man intelligently in the final minutes to carve out a sweet success over their local rivals. Fingal Ravens - D. Mitchell; J. Boland, K. McGrath, S. Maxwell; M. White, D. Daly, C. Prenderville; K. Kavanagh (0-1), P. Brennan; I. Rooney, N. Tormey (0-3, frees), D. Flanagan (0-2); C. Norton (0-1), I. Kavanagh (1-2, 0-1 free), S. Madigan. Subs - R. Norton for Madigan (52 mins), J. Morris for Flanagan (60 mins). Donaghamore/Ashbourne - P. Durkan; J. Long, C. McGill, P. Finn; S. Harmon, C O Mealoid, J. Finnegan; E. Reilly (0-2, 1 '45', 1 free), R. O'Connor; K. Lanigan (0-2), E. Carroll, J. Broderick; I. Dowd, D. Morgan (0-5, 3 frees, 1 sideline), N. Farrell. Subs - A. Tormey for Carroll, M. Lynch for Finnegan, E. Riordan for Harmon (all 53 mins). Referee - Peter Daly (Westmeath).

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