Na Fianna outclass favourites Ballyboden for first Dublin final spot in 17 years

David Lacey's late goal glossed the scoreline slightly though Na Fianna were comfortable throughout.
Na Fianna outclass favourites Ballyboden for first Dublin final spot in 17 years

How sweet it is: David Lacey of Na Fianna celebrates with supporters after the Dublin County Senior Club Football Championship Semi-Final match between Ballyboden St Endas and Na Fianna at Parnell Park in Dublin. Pic: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Dublin SFC SF — Na Fianna 1-14 Ballyboden St Endas 0-7 

A thrilling first-half performance allowed Na Fianna to ease beyond favourites Ballyboden St Endas and through to a first Dublin SFC final since 2005.

David Lacey's late goal, when he punished Ballyboden netminder Darragh Gogan for leaving his goals unattended, glossed the scoreline slightly though Na Fianna were comfortable throughout.

They laid the foundation for the landmark win with a strong first-half performance, moving 0-10 to 0-1 clear at the interval.

Ex-Dublin attacker Conor McHugh opened the scoring for the Glasnevin side who had the strong wind behind them and they surged clear.

McHugh finished with five points while Lacey took his tally to 1-3 overall, helping to seal a final spot against holders Kilmacud Crokes or Thomas Davis who meet in the second semi-final tomorrow afternoon.

Ballyboden were chasing a third final spot in four seasons but struggled badly initially and failed to score from play in the opening half.

Their solitary point in the first half came from a stoppage time Colm Basquel free.

That score drew ironic cheers from the Firhouse Road faithful after watching a slick and organised Na Fianna capitalise on the stiff wind by registering 10 points in a row.

It wasn't vintage Na Fianna but the Mobhi Road men, who last won the title in 2001, were efficient in attack and converted the majority of the chances that came their way.

Lacey shot three wides but those were the only blots on Na Fianna's record as six different players split the posts including goalkeeper David O'Hanlon.

Paddy Quinn punched the air in delight when he struck Na Fianna's sixth consecutive point in the 21st minute, putting them into an ominous 0-6 to 0-0 lead.

'Boden had the wind behind them after the break and briefly raised a gallop when they restarted with points from Alan Flood and Basquel.

They brought veteran Conal Keaney on from the bench too but while the 40-year-old sniped a point, he was unable to inspire a comeback win.

Lacey scored the game's only goal in the third minute of stoppage time for Na Fianna - ending 'Boden's dreams of a double of senior football and hurling titles though that dream is still alive for Na Fianna.

Na Fianna scorers: D Lacey (1-3, 0-1 free); C McHugh (0-5, 2 frees); G O'Reilly, D O'Hanlon (1 free, 1 45)(0-2 each); P Quinn, A Fitzgerald (0-1 each).

Ballyboden St Endas scorers: C Basquel (1 free), R McGarry (0-2 each); A Flood, R O'Dwyer, C Keaney (0-1 each).

Na Fianna: D O'Hanlon; G Farrell, E O'Dea, E Murchan; A Fitzgerald, J Cooper, A Rafter; M Day, P Quinn; D Quinn, A Byrne, D Lacey; G O'Reilly, C McHugh, B O'Leary.

Subs: S Caffrey for McHugh (17-19, blood); Caffrey for O'Reilly (38); D Kennedy for Farrell (48); D Ryan for D Quinn (51); D Ryan for Rafter (57).

Ballyboden St Endas: D Gogan; B Bobbett, S Clayton, C Flaherty; J Holland, A Gavin, P Dunleavy; L O'Donoghue, MD Macauley; A Flood, J Madden, C Basquel; R McGarry, D O'Reilly, W Egan.

Subs: R O'Dwyer for O'Reilly (36); R Baynes for Holland (44); C Keaney for O'Donoghue (48); D McCabe for Madden (51); M McDonald for Flood (61).

Ref: B Tiernan.

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