Club SFC semi-final: early goals set Vin's up for victory

February 15, 2014

Man of the match Tomas Quinn and Ciaran Dorney bagged goals inside the first 11 minutes.
©INPHO/Donall Farmer.
St. Vincent's 2-14
Ballinderry 1-13

St. Vincent's are just 60 minutes away from claiming their second All-Ireland club football title in six years after seeing off Ballinderry in Newry this evening.

Man of the match Tomas Quinn and Ciaran Dorney bagged goals inside the first 11 minutes as Tommy Conroy's charges withstood a second half fight back by the Derry men to secure a place in the St. Patrick's Day final against Castlebar Mitchel's. The Dublin kingpins were full value for their victory, despite having to take the field without county star Ger Brennan, who cried off before the throw-in and was replaced by Kevin Bonnie.

Quinn gave the Leinster champions an early lead from a '45' before Michael Conlan denied Dorney an early goal when saving with his left knee. Collie Devlin settled Ballinderry with their opening score and then Conleith Gilligan put them in front with a superb effort from outside the 45-metre line.

But before an attendance of 4,331, the Derry men continued to look suspect at the back and when Quinn took a pass from the rampaging Shane Carty, he turned on a sixpence and beat Conlan with a low shot at his near post to give the Dublin outfit a 1-1 to 0-2 lead after seven minutes.

Quinn was dictating the game at this juncture as the Ballinderry defence - and the experienced Kevin McGuckin in particular - struggled to get to grips with him. The former Dublin star had what looked to be a perfectly good point waved wide before his brilliant pass set Dorney up for St. Vincent's second goal in the 11th minute. When Quinn added a free less than a minute later, the Dublin men were six points to the good, 2-2 to 0-2.

Ballinderry's problems were reflected in the fact that they were forced to replace wing back Ryan Scott with Aaron Devlin at the end of the first quarter. But they gradually felt their way back into it with points from towering full forward Ryan Bell, midfielder James Conway and the accurate Devlin.

Shane Carty ended a 13-minute scoring drought with Vin's third point in the 25th minute to put them four ahead again, 2-3 to 0-5. Devlin and Quinn then traded scores before the former nipped in behind the Vincent's defence, only to blaze over with a goal at his mercy.

In first half injury-time, wing back Ballinderry Raymond Wilson got forward to put his name on the scoresheet and leave the minimum between the sides at the interval, 0-9 to 2-4.

St. Vincent's were quickest out of blocks after the restart as Quinn teed up Gavin Burke for a lovely point. Quinn raised another white flag from a 13-metre free before Diarmuid Connolly got in on the scoring act with an excellent score which followed a patient build-up down the right flank of the Vincent's attack.

Ryan Bell finally opened Ballinderry's second half account with a neat score off his right foot in the 37th minute, only for Connolly to reply after rounding full back Conor Nevin. Quinn slotted another brace of frees to restore the Marino men's six-point lead, 2-10 to 0-10, with less than 20 minutes remaining.

The game then suddenly came to life when a Ballinderry '45' was followed by a superb Daniel McKinless goal in the 47th minute. Despite being faced with a wall of Vincent's defenders, the wing forward somehow managed to drill a low shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

It was all to play for now, but the winners remained composed as Connolly and Quinn both landed frees to leave a goal in it, 2-11 to 1-11. As the tension mounted, Michael McIver came up from corner back to score two late points for the Shamrocks, but Vincent's weren't to be denied as Dorney, Quinn (free) and Connolly all found the target in the dying stages to seal the deal.

St. Vincent's - M Savage; K Bonnie, J Curley, H Gill; C Diamond, B Egan, M Concarr; D Murphy, E Fennell; G Burke (0-1), T Diamond, S Carthy (0-1); D Connolly (0-3), C Dorney (1-1), T Quinn (1-8, 0-5f, 1'45). Subs: K Golden for T Diamond, N Mullins for Carthy, A Baxter for Dorney.

Ballinderry - M Conlan; G McKinless, C Nevin, K McGuckin; R Wilson (0-1), D Lawn, R Scott; E Muldoon, J Conway (0-1); C Devlin (0-5, 1f), M McIver, D McGuckin; D McKinless (1-0), R Bell (0-2), C Gilligan (0-2, 1f). Subs: A Devlin (0-2) for Scott, M Harney for McIver.

Referee - Marty Duffy.


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