Fintan's sink Clongeen to reach quarter-finals
St Fintan's 2-10 Clongeen 0-11
St Fintan's ensured their quarter-final place with a win over bottom-placed Clongeen in Group A of the Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship in Cushinstown on Friday.
The Ballymore-Mayglass side registered majors with both their first and their last scores of the game, and these goals proved the difference.
Paul Curtis briefly put Clongeen ahead in the second minute before St. Fintan's crafted that opening score. Robert Coakley started the move before finding Eoin O'Callaghan who handpassed inside for Shane Sinnott to finish low.
Sinnott was the first Fintan's man to point but was quickly joined by Niall Moore in the ninth minute.
Clongeen only reached four points by the break, as Curtis scored his only other minor while Willie McDonald and Shane Kilkenny got their firsts.
Meanwhile, Donal Shanley had found his range, as he knocked over two frees and two well-taken '45s to give St. Fintan's a convincing 1-7 to 0-4 lead at the break.
Nobody really expected a Clongeen fight-back, least all the Fintan's, and it was perhaps this complacency which made a game of it in the second-half.
St. Fintan's, who only scored once before the 50th minute, were pegged back to just a one point lead.
Clongeen shared their points around during this mini-renaissance, as McDonald scored a brace while Enda Murphy, Shane Cahill and Paudie Cullen all got in on the act.
McDonald gave his opponents an even bigger scare midway through the half when he cut in on his right and thumped the post, only to see his effort rebound away and let the Fintan's off the hook.
Two more Shanley points were required to steady the ship before the second goal in the 57th minute made the scoreline look more routine than the reality. Shanley ran from attack to defence before finding Cathal O'Brien who finished low to guarantee St. Fintan's quarter-final spot.
St. Fintan's: Patrick McDonnell (capt.); Jimmy Staples, Frank Staples, Brian Lacey; Peter Goldsmith, Kevin Day, Pádhraic Rossiter; Pádraig Doyle, Robert Coakley; Eoin O'Callaghan, Shane Sinnott (1-3), Donal Shanley (0-6, 3 frees, 2 '45s); Niall Moore (0-1), Jason Pettit, David Moore. Subs. - Adrian Murphy for Pettit (41), Cathal O'Brien (1-0) for D. Moore (41), Shane Sinnott for Lacey (46), Paddy Keane for Doyle (49), Joey Wadding for N. Moore (50).
Clongeen: Ricky Rochford; Marty Reville, Barry Foxe, Jamie Keating; Robert Farrell, Anton Stafford, Donal Whelan; Shane Kilkenny (0-1), Shane Cahill (capt., 0-2), Ger Foxe, Paul Curtis (0-2 frees), Jamesie Rochford; Enda Murphy (0-1), Leon Stafford, Willie McDonald (0-3, 1 free, 1 '45). Subs. - Paudie Cullen (0-1) for G. Foxe (31), James O'Grady (0-1) for L. Stafford (31), Jim Bennett for J. Rochford (42), Tommy O'Gorman for McDonald (54).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).