SFC Group C: Devine stroke saves Na Fianna

August 14, 2017

Skryne's Aidan Tuite with Ethan Devine Na Fianna during the Meath SFC game at Pairc Tailteann.

Ethan Devine's stoppage time 45 earned Na Fianna a draw with Skryne in this SFC clash at Pairc Tailteann on Monday night.

Skyrne .......... 0-14
Na Fianna ..... 0-14

If there was a 'winner' here it was Na Fianna who rallied from five points down after 43 minutes on a difficult evening. Devine's 45, in the seventh minute of added time, comfortably cleared the crossbar at the old swimming pool end.

Apart from forcing the draw - their second of the campaign - Na Fianna gained more from this fixture as the result moves the south county side onto two points, one more than Skryne

To compound matters for Skryne they lost Paddy O'Rourke to a straight red card after the game which is set to rule him out of their meeting with neighbours Ratoath next time out.

Skryne had Mark Battersby dismissed near the end following the receipt of a black card that went along with an earlier yellow.

The Tara-men made most of the running here. Apart from conceding the opening score, they were never headed thereafter. On a difficult night for scoring Skryne were five points ahead on two occasions in their bid to record a first win of the campaign.

It was relatively calm, but the persistent rain made it dark and difficult for all concerned. Na Fianna's economy sustained them while Skryne were more wasteful, particularly in the third quarter.

From the restart, Skryne built on their 0-10 to 0-6 interval lead. However, a more measured approach might have diminished their number of third quarter wides, five.

Despite these misses, Skryne led by 0-12 to 0-7 with 42 minutes after Paddy O'Rourke pointed a 45-metre free.

Goalkeeper Des McAvinney was arguably Skryne's best player with a number of blocks on Na Fianna goal attempts, notably from Conor Downey in the 15th minute and Dan Queeney midway through the second period.

Overall it was an absorbing contest after a slow start. However, there could have been few compaints if the match was abandoned due the poor light.

Dan Queeney's free pointed Na Fianna in front in the third minute. Skyrne's responded with five points on the spin. Ciaran Lenehan's fith minute leveller (45) was the only other occasion that scores were level.  Mark Battersby's 14th minute effort was the pick of that early sequence.

The first-half improved as the clock ticked on. But the light diminished as the half wore on and some concern was expressed at the break. Na Fianna landed five points from the 17th minute to the interval.

Ethan Devine got the sequence going with an effort that hit the upright before dropping on the 'right' side. Sean Martin's cut the deficit to a single score. Battersby posted the last score of the half with help from Eoin Smyth.

In the fourth round Skryne face neighbours Ratoath while Na Fianna take on Dunboyne.

Skryne - Des McAvinney; Timmy Lennon, Eoghan Greene, Declan Morley; Paddy Carpenter (0-2), Darragh Campion, Dermot Brennan; Ciaran Lenehan (0-2, 1f), Aidan Tuite; Eoin Smyth,  Paddy Fox, Colm Craigie; Jason Fox (0-2 fs), Paddy O'Rourke (0-6, 3fs), Mark Battersby (0-2). Subs - Robbie Clarke for Lennon (23), Frank Carty for Fox (49).

Na Fianna - Shane Geraghty; John Baldwin (0-1), Evan Mullally, Mickey Collins; Barry Slevin, James Geagan, Dan Devine (0-1); Owen McDonnell, Ethan Devine (0-4, 1 45); Damien Downey, Conor Downey (0-1), Andy Glynn; Sean Martin (0-2), Michael Farley, Dan Queeney (0-5,4fs) . Subs -  Barry Clancy for Glynn (ht), Mark Slevin for Mullally (ht), Dean Barrett for Collins (46).
Referee - Richard Morris (Blackhall Gaels)

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