Sheedy and O’Donnell guide Whitehall to victory
DUBLIN SHC GROUP 2
CONOR Sheedy and Niall O’Donnell registered two goals apiece at Parnell Park last night as Whitehall Colmcille retained their Senior Hurling Championship status with a convincing triumph against Naomh Fionnbarra.
Although a slender interval cushion ensured that their eventual win wasn’t always set in stone, the scoring prowess of Sheedy and O’Donnell guided them over the line – and consequently sent Fionnbarra into a forthcoming relegation semi-final.
Fresh from his appearance in last Sunday’s Sam Maguire success over Tyrone, Cormac Costello was listed on the substitutes’ bench for Whitehall. After Sean Gray and Cathal Ryan traded scores with Fionnbarra duo Ryan Curley and Christopher O’Brien. Sheedy’s superb individual goal helped the Collins Avenue men to create early daylight.
Following additional scores from Gray (two), Lee Gannon (two) and Patrick Spellacy, Sheedy rattled the net for a second time on 19 minutes. With a 10-point advantage (2-9 to 0-5) already at their disposal, Whitehall were primed to push on for the remainder of the half.
However, after Dillon re-ignited their challenge with a superb three-point finish, Pierce O’Brien added another goal to leave Fionnbarra just two points in arrears (2-11 to 2-9) at the break.
The gap was then reduced to the bare minimum by Christopher O’Brien on the resumption, but by the end of the third-quarter, Whitehall had once again assumed firm control on the scoreboard. Nine minutes into the half, O’Donnell profited from Niall O’Connor’s excellent approach work to fire beyond the reach of Lar Sweetman.
O’Donnell’s second goal – his side’s fourth – then placed them back into a seemingly unassailable position, ahead of Costello’s introduction on 46 minutes. Though Dillon continued to fly the flag for Fionnbarra, a brace of points by the five-time Celtic Cross winner raised the decibel levels in the Donnycarney stand.
Gray’s dead-ball accuracy gave him a haul of 0-10, but it was fitting that Sheedy brought the curtain down on Whitehall’s success with a stoppage-time point.
Scorers – Whitehall Colmcille: S Gray 0-10 (8f), C Sheedy 2-1, N O’Donnell 2-0, P Spellacy 0-3, L Gannon, C Ryan, C Costello 0-2 each. Naomh Fionnbarra: E Dillon 1-6 (0-5f), R Curley 0-4, P O’Brien 1-0, C O’Brien 0-2, A Milne, C Carberry 0-1 each.
WHITEHALL COLMCILLE: C Cummins; N Molloy, D Constantine, S Kellett; L McCarthy, D Gray, S Scallan; L Gannon, E McKeown; N O’Connor, C Sheedy, S Gray; Cathal Ryan, N O’Donnell, P Spellacy. Subs: S Power for Ryan (6-12, blood), C Costello for Ryan (46), Cormac Ryan for Scallan, C McCarthy for O’Connor (both 55), M Noonan for Spellacy (57).
NAOMH FIONNBARRA: L Sweetman; B Owens, J Fitzsimons, C Peppard Leonard; Ger Dodrill, T O’Neill, A Milne; D Curley, Glen Dodrill; C Carberry, A Costello, R Curley; P O’Brien, E Dillon, C O’Brien. Subs: J Roe for P O’Brien, D Owens for O’Neill (both 47).
Referee: PJ Murray (St Finian’s, Swords).