Prolific Na Fianna forward Donal Burke.
Prolific Na Fianna forward Donal Burke.

Dublin SHC QF: Na Fianna earn victory

Dublin SHC Quarter Final

Na Fianna 1-19 St Vincent's 0-17

By Paul Keane at Parnell Park

Inter-county attackers Donal Burke and Colin Currie did the bulk of the scoring as Na Fianna, beaten in last year's Dublin SHC final, returned to the championship's last four.

All-Star nominee Burke struck eight points at Parnell Park while Currie, who took over from an unusually errant Burke on the frees in the second-half, helped himself to 1-4 overall.

Na Fianna's task was made somewhat easier by the 54th minute dismissal of St Vincent's full-forward John Hetherton, their key attacker and top scorer up to that stage.

Hetherton was booked for a heavy shoulder to the chest of Sean Ryan, his second yellow card of the afternoon.

Just two points separated the teams at that stage and Na Fianna capitalised on their personnel advantage to outscore Vincent's by 0-5 to 0-2 from there on, winning by a five-point margin.

Currie's expertly taken 12th minute solo goal was another significant moment in the game and went a long way towards separating the teams.

Na Fianna have never won the county SHC title and will have to overcome the might of Cuala in the semi-finals.

The draw for the last four also pitted holders Kilmacud Crokes against southside neighbours Ballyboden St Enda's.

Na Fianna are the lone northside club left in the championship and overcome their own neighbours, Vincent's, in a tight encounter.

The sides were tied five times throughout the opening half but Vincent's pulled clear before the break with points from Rian McBride, Brian Bolger and Hetherton to lead 0-12 to 1-6 at half-time.

Powerful Hetherton was picked up by veteran Dublin defender Liam Rushe in an exciting head to head.

Vincent's needed more from those around Hetherton as they registered just five second-half points, three of those coming from the big number 14.

Na Fianna, in turn, took control with scores from Shane Barrett, Burke, Feargal Breathnach and Currie.

Barrett's exit with a worrying leg injury in the closing stages will be a concern for management ahead of the semi-final though it didn't cost them on this occasion with Hetherton's exit allowing Na Fianna to ease through.

Aside from the red card, Vincent's will regret Hetherton's failure to convert a 48th minute penalty.

Na Fianna should have scored more goals than just one though as Vincent's defender Eoghan O'Neill cleared off his goal line while Na Fianna trio Barrett, Burke and Currie all went close with other opportunities.

Scorers for Na Fianna: Donal Burke 0-8 (0-3f, 0-1 65), Colin Currie 1-4 (0-3f), Hugh Fenlon 0-2, Shane Barrett 0-2, F Breathnach 0-1, AJ Murphy 0-1, Sean Baxter 0-1.

Scorers for St Vincent's: John Hetherton 0-5 (0-2f), Rian McBride 0-2, James Mulcahy 0-2, Mark Sweeney 0-2, Cian McBride 0-1, Darach McBride 0-1, Oisin Lanigan 0-1, Conor Burke 0-1, Brian Bolger 0-1, Thomas Connolly 0-1 (0-1f).

Na Fianna: Jonathan Tracey; Sean Burke, Liam Rushe, Matthew Oliver; Micheal Murphy; Diarmuid Clerkin, Conor McHugh, Hugh Fenlon; Sean Currie, Peter Feeney; Tom Brennan, Donal Burke, Shane Barrett; AJ Murphy, Colin Currie.

Subs: Donal Ryan for Oliver 30+2, Feargal Breathnach for Brennan 41, Sean Baxter for Murphy 50, Sean Ryan for Barrett 53.

St Vincent's: Dara de Poire; Eoghan O'Neill, Simon Gormley, Brian Moorehouse-Carroll; Oisin Lanigan, Conor Burke, Darach McBride; Mark Sweeney, Thomas Connolly; James Mulcahy, Rian McBride, Brian Bolger; Alan Moore, John Hetherton, Cian McBride.

Subs: Neil Billings for D McBride 9-10 blood, Sean Mulcahy for Moore 35, Billings for Gormley 47, Stephen McGarry for C McBride 64.

Referee: Sean Stack.