Home Sport GAA Finlay magic sees O’Dempsey’s to ACFL Division 1A glory

Finlay magic sees O’Dempsey’s to ACFL Division 1A glory

The O'Dempsey's team who played St Joseph's in the ACFL Division 1A final this evening
The O'Dempsey's team who played St Joseph's in the ACFL Division 1A last year

O’Dempsey’s 1-11 St Joseph’s 0-10

ACFL Division 1A Final

O’Dempsey’s were crowned ACFL Division 1A champions after defeating St Joseph’s in the decider in O’Moore Park this evening.

Matthew and Micheal Finlay were their chief scorers as they amassed 1-6 between them on the night.

But undoubtedly the game’s turning point came after 13 minutes when St Joseph’s were reduced to 14 men after Colin Campion was shown a straight red card.

It took two minutes for St Joseph’s to open the scoring through a Dan Dunne free and the same player then doubled the lead after five minutes with another.

Indeed Dunne was giving an exhibition early on and he kicked a third from 35 metres before Matthew Finlay opened O’Dempsey’s account after 10 minutes after a great catch in midfield from Eugene Nolan.

But st Joseph’s were reduced to 14 men after 13 minutes when linesman John Flynn spotted something off the ball and Colin Campion was sent off by referee Seamus Mulhare.

And Michael Finlay left one between them at the midpoint of the half when he kicked one off his left foot.

St Joseph’s responded when Brian Daly slotted a free to open his account for his new club after his recent transfer from Barrowhouse.

And they continued their place kicking exploits as Dan Dunne slotted his fourth but Robbie Kehoe kept O’Dempsey’s in it with one from distance.

Eugene Nolan then reduced the gap to the minimum after his shot from an acute angle went over and they were level in the final minute of the half through Barry Kelly.

And that was the final act of the first half as the sides headed for the dressing rooms with the score reading 0-5 each.

The St Joseph's team who played O'Dempsey's this evening
The St Joseph’s team who played O’Dempsey’s this evening

The rain cleared at half time and St Joseph’s scored their first point from play straight from the throw when Dylan Doyle charged forward and laid the ball off to Matty Campion who scored.

O’Dempsey’s were wasteful and they kicked five bad wides before Matthew Finlay levelled the game after 36 minutes.

And they then took the lead when Shane Nerney picked out Michael Finlay before St Joseph’s were awarded a penalty.

Dylan Doyle was upended en route to goal but Brian Daly’s thunderbolt came back off the crossbar and O’Dempsey’s eventually cleared the ball.

O’Dempsey’s went down the other end and opened up a two point lead as Michael Finlay kicked another with 15 minutes to play.

Brian Nugent and Stephen O’Leary both split the posts to put O’Dempsey’s four ahead but Brendan Hickey made it a three point game as we entered the last ten minutes.

Micheal Finlay re-established O’Dempsey’s four point lead with his fourth of the evening and the Killenard men settled the game with five minutes to go.

Matthew Finlay played a low ball into Michael Finlay who rounded Willie McDonald and, with keeper Aaron Cooney advancing, squared ball to Matthew Finlay who smashed it into an empty net.

St Joseph’s got the next three scores as Brendan Hickey kicked a brace and Matty Campion the other.

But it was goals they needed and they never came as O’Dempsey’s ran out four point winners.

SCORERS – O’DEMPSEY’S: Matthew Finlay 1-2, Michael Finlay 0-4, Robbie Kehoe 0-1, Eugene Nolan 0-1, Barry Kelly 0-1, Brian Nugent 0-1, Stephen O’Leary 0-1 ST JOSEPH’S: Dan Dunne 0-4 (0-4 frees), Brian Daly 0-2 (0-2 frees), Matty Campion 0-1, Brendan Hickey 0-3

O’DEMPSEY’S: Pauric Bannon; Cormac O’Hora, Shane Nerney, Tommy Kehoe; Johnny Kelly, Robbie Kehoe, Barry Kelly; Eoin Finlay, Brian Nugent; Michael Finlay, Eugene Nolan, Matthew Finlay; Stephen O’Leary, Peter O’Leary, Darren Fitzpatrick. Subs: Diarmuid Kelly for Fitzpatrick (50mins), Bobby Sweeney for Nolan (54mins)

ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; James Kelly, Tom Dunne, Willie McDonald; Aidan Brennan, Cathal Fleming, Dan Dunne; James Smith, Brian Daly; Liam Kealy, Paddy Hickey, Dylan Doyle; Matty Campion, Brendan Hickey, Colin Campion. Subs: Ian Donnelly for Fleming (46mins), Enda Butler for P. Hickey (46mins), Peter Kealy for Doyle (54mins), Pat Maher for S. O’Leary (57mins)

Referee: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)

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