St Vincent's 2-14 Ballinderry 1-13

Updated: Saturday, 15 Feb 2014 19:44 | Comments

Ballinderry's Raymond Wilson and St Vincent's Shane Byrne
Ballinderry's Raymond Wilson and St Vincent's Shane Byrne

Tomas Quinn kicked 1-08 as St. Vincent’s beat Ballinderry, 2-14 to 1-13 to book their place in the AIB All-Ireland Club SFC final.

Quinn and Ciaran Dorney scored early goals in Newry, but the Dubliners had to withstand a brave recovery from the Ulster champions.

St Vincent’s led 2-04 to 0-09 at the break and Diarmuid Connolly hit 0-03 from play in the second half.

Daniel McKinless netted for Ballinderry after 48 minutes, but scores from Quinn and Connolly sealed St Vincent's progress.

Quinn produced a superb performance over the hour at Páirc Esler, while Connolly came to life in the second half, scoring after a quiet opening 30 minutes.

St Vincent's fielded without their captain, Ger Brennan, who lost his battle to regain full fitness after minor hip surgery at Christmas.

However, the Dublin and Leinster champions had a dream start with two goals inside the opening 11 minutes from Quinn and Dorney.

In front of an attendance of 4,331, St Vincent's chose to play against the wind in the first half and the tactic paid off with the two early goals.

Quinn scored the first in the seventh minute, his low shot through a crowded large square creeping inside Michael Conlan's right hand post.

Quinn then delivered the pass of the match to Dorney for their second goal four minutes later. His defence-splitting pass completely took defender Kevin McGuckin out of the game and Dorney was able to pick the ball up and smash it into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.

A Quinn free a minute later had the Dublin champions cruising at 2-02 to 0-02 ahead.

However, the Derry side regrouped well from the early blows and held their opponents scoreless for the next 13 minutes.

During that time, they scored three points from Ryan Bell, James Conway and Colin Devlin. Devlin had a fine first half, hitting 0-04 from play.

Ballinderry got to grips with St Vincent's crowded defence with Conleth Gilligan, Daniel McKinless and Devlin starting to punch a few holes and find some room.

Devlin got on the end of a well-worked move after a St Vincent's attack broke down to close the deficit to two points with the half drawing to a close.

In injury-time, Devlin crashed a shot onto the crossbar, with the ball bouncing over the bar. A Raymond Wilson point narrowed the gap further with St Vincent's holding a slender 2-04 to 0-09 lead at the interval.

Connolly took centre stage with two quick-fire points as the Dubliners pointed four times in the first seven minutes after the break to stretch their lead out to six points again.

But for the second time in the game, the Ulster champions fought back through a McKinless goal after 48 minutes.

The closest the 2002 All-Ireland champions got, however, was to within two points of the Leinster side. Quinn's frees and points from Connolly and Dorney put them through to their first All-Ireland final since winning the competition in 2008.

ST. VINCENT'S: M Savage; K Bonnie, J Curley, H Gill; C Diamond, B Egan, M Concarr; D Murphy, E Fennell; G Burke (0-01), T Diamond, S Carthy (0-01); D Connolly (0-03), C Dorney (1-01), T Quinn (1-08, 0-05f, 0-01 '45').

Subs used: K Golden for T Diamond (58 mins), N Mullins for Carthy, A Baxter for Dorney (both 60).

BALLINDERRY: M Conlan; G McKinless, C Nevin, K McGuckin; R Wilson (0-01), D Lawn, R Scott; E Muldoon, J Conway (0-01); C Devlin (0-05, 0-01f), M McIver, D McGuckin; D McKinless (1-00), R Bell (0-02), C Gilligan (0-02, 0-01f).

Subs: A Devlin (0-02) for Scott (16 mins), M Harney for McIver (42).

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)

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