SFC semi-final: O'Mahonys see off Gaels to advance to second successive decider

September 19, 2016

Sean O'Mahonys' Ben McLaughlin gets the better of David McComish of Dundalk Gaels during the Louth SFC semi-final at McGeough Park, Haggardstown.



Sean O'Mahonys made it back to the Senior Championship Final after beating local rivals Dundalk Gaels in the semi-final at Haggardstown on Saturday evening.

The Point Road side remains on course to make up for the disappointment of losing last year's final and will go in as favourites after producing another strong display.

The O'Mahonys made a bright start to the game and after opening up a four point lead, they always appeared to be in control. With the scoring power of Ben McLaughlin and Conor Finnegan they were always able to keep the Gaels at arm's length.

The Ramparts side will be disappointed that they were unable to produce their best form on the night and just couldn't threaten the goal they needed to spark their performance. Much of the credit for that must go to the commitment and intensity displayed by the Seans throughout the game.

It was the O'Mahonys who came flying out of the blocks with McLaughlin and Finnegan setting the standard for the remainder of the game with points inside five minutes.

McLaughlin struck two more to give his side what proved to be a crucial four-point cushion with less then 12 minutes on the clock.

The Gaels finally got themselves into the game and after getting off the mark through Gerard McSorley, they added points from Sean McCann and Jason Clarke to reduce the gap to 0-5 to 0-3 four minutes from the break.

However, Conor Crawley and Finnegan responded before Clarke hit the final point of the half for the Gaels to leave the gap at 0-7 to 0-4.

That trend continued throughout the second half as each time the Gaels threatened to get back into the game, the Point Road side were able to counter with a score of their own.

When Ben McLaughlin pointed on 52 minutes, his side was 0-10 to 0-6 in front but Derek Crilly and Eanna McArdle pointed to cut the deficit to two points.

That raised the hopes of Gaels supporters of a dramatic comeback but they were to be disappointed as late scores from Finnegan and Stephen Fisher put an end to their chances and the O'Mahonys booked their place in the final.

SEAN O'MAHONYS: Kevin Brennan; Kurt Murphy, Ronan Byrne, Mickey Clarke; Liam Dullaghan, John O'Brien, Barry O'Brien; Conor Martin, Shane Brennan; Conor Finnegan 0-4 (4f), Ben McLaughlin 0-5, Stephen Fisher 0-1; Stephen Kilcoyne 0-1, Conor Crawley 0-1, Johnny Connolly. Subs: Pat O'Brien for B O'Brien, David Dowling for J Connolly.

DUNDALK GAELS: Paul Burke; Eamonn Kenny, David McComish, Jamie Faulkner; Peter McGinnity, Derek Crilly (0-1), David Moloney; James Stewart, Sean McCann (0-2); Niall Hearty, Gerard McSorley (0-1), Shane Rice (0-1); Errol Boyle, Sean Fee, Jason Clarke (0-2). Subs: Oisin Murray, Eanna McArdle (0-2), Chris Sweeney, Sean Murray, James Lynch, Tony McSorley.

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