SFC semi: Na Fianna outscore 'Tones to reach first ever final

September 28, 2013

Na Fianna's Tommy Cosgrave with Stephen Sheppard and Patrick Caffrey of Wolfe Tones during the hoganstand.com Meath SFC semi final at Pairc Tailteann.
At Pairc Tailteann on Friday evening Na Fianna reached their first ever hoganstand.com SFC final when proving too strong for Wolfe Tones

Na Fianna ......... 2-19
Wolfe Tones ...... 1-12

Na Fianna shaded the opening half but asserted themselves in the third quarter which ended with them leading by six points. They put further distance between the sides in the final quarter during which time they outscored the 'Tones by 0-7 to 0-3.

The key moments arrived after Eoghan Harrington's 40th minute goal dragged last year's runners-up to within two points, 1-9 to 1-11, of John Lyons' men.

Over the next 12 minutes, Na Fianna tagged on 1-4 without reply to effectively seal their final place just one year after lifting the IFC crown.

It took a fine block in the 58th minute, at the expense of a 45 that yielded nothing, by Stephen Sheppard to prevent Barrett getting another goal.

A curious feature of the Wolfe Tones' tally that players numbered 2 to 6 contributed 1-6 to it. Corner-back Niall O'Reilly finished with five points, that included some top drawer efforts. Wing back Shane Glynn chipped in with a point in addition to Harrington's aforementioned goal.

Eight different players contributed to Na Fianna's impressive tally with Daniel Queeney taking the scoring plaudits on this occasion with 1-6, a total that included two pointed frees. Once again Tommy Cosgrave proved an effective sweeper limiting supply to Wolfe Tones' front line.

His total of 1-4 from play was matched by Shane Barrett and the number 13's goal a tutorial in taking time for find the right moment before dispatching to the net.

Barrett's 20th minute goal with assistance from Jamie Queeney left it 1-4 to 0-5 and Na Fianna remained in front until the end.

Wolfe Tones responded well to Conor Downey's opening point for Na Fianna with similar scores from defenders Niall O'Reilly and Shane Glynn.

Parity was restored via a Daniel Queeney free. The Tones responded with two on the spin with O'Reilly second followed by an Alan Fox point.

The ding-dong nature of the scoring continued the 'Tones going two clear before Na Fianna restored parity through Jamie Queeney and Dalton McDonagh. An Alan Fox effort had Darren Fay's charges back in the lead midway through the opening period, 0-5 to 0-4.

Then came Barrett's goal. He was denied another shortly after when 'Tones' 'keeper David Nolan saved brilliantly at the expense of a point that left four in it for the first time. A Daniel Queeney effort from play further improved Na Fianna's position.

Cian Ward's trio of points (one free) arrived in a five-minute spell and kept Wolfe Tones in contention when just 0-8 to 1-8 in arrears at the break.

Na Fianna resumed on the front foot, registering three times in six minutes. Dalton McDonagh sent over a brace of points after Dean Henrick opened the second-half account.

A brief Wolfe Tones rally, yielding 1-1, promised an exciting final quarter. Na Fianna's response ensured a festive final third for all associated with the club. They emptied the bench before the end with sub Damien Downey posting their penultimate score with assistance from fellow replacement David Lyons.

Na Fianna - Shane Geraghty; Diarmuid Bailey, Christy Cosgrave, John Baldwin; Michael Farley, Michael Foley, Dean Henrick (0-2); Ollie Lewis, Jamie Queeney (0-2); Daniel Queeney (1-6, 0-2 fs), Dean Barrett, Conor Downey (0-1); Shane Barrett (1-4), Tommy Cosgrove, Dalton McDonagh (0-3). Subs - Brian Queeney for D Barrett (10), Michael Collins for McDonagh, Sean Griffin for Farley, David Lyons for B Queeney, Damien Downey (0-1) for S Barrett (all 60).

Wolfe Tones - David Nolan; Niall O'Reilly (0-5), Ciaran McLoughlin, Richard Brady; Shane Glynn (0-1), Eoghan Harrington (1-0), Niall McLoughlin; Stephen Corrigan, Alan Callaghan; Mark Coleman, Stephen Sheppard, Paddy Caffrey; Alan Fox (0-3 1f), Fiachra Ward, Cian Ward (0-3, 1f). David Coleman for N McLoughlin (7), Aodhan McKeown for Brady (48), Darren McGrath for M Coleman (54), David O'Neill for Caffrey (57).

Referee - David Gough (Slane).

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