MURRAY’S MAGIC A DAVIS DELIGHT
Full-forward helps Tallaght side to prevail in convincing fashion
DUBLIN MFL DIVISION 1
THOMAS DAVIS 4-11
BALLINTEER ST JOHN’S 2-6
FIONN Murray produced an outstanding display at Kiltipper Road on Sunday morning to guide Thomas Davis towards a comprehensive victory over Ballinteer St John’s in Division One of the Minor Football League.
The influential full-forward amassed an impressive haul of 3-5 for the hosts, while the lively Conor Guilfoyle also posted 1-3 over the course of the hour. Despite Ben Millist and Finan Chambers grabbing goals in each half for Ballinteer, it was Thomas Davis who deservedly claimed the spoils in this league opener.
The commanding nature of their triumph – 11 points – ensures they lead the top-flight table in advance of their trip to St Vincent’s on Sunday week (March 10).
Eager to hit the ground running on home soil, Davis’ created early daylight courtesy of Murray’s clinical three-pointer.
In addition to offering a constant threat at the edge of the square, the dynamic Murray also showcased his unerring accuracy off placed-balls. He converted three frees during the opening period, but it was a ruthlessness in open play that allowed Davis’ to keep their southside rivals at bay.
A Guilfoyle goal kept the scoreboard ticking over and Murray secured his second of the half at the end of a subsequent move. Ballinteer issued a strong response in the shape of a Finan Chambers goal and Liam Fenton’s 0-3 salvo provided further solace.
Nevertheless, thanks to the continued excellence of Murray and Guilfoyle, Davis’ brought a 3-6 to 1-3 cushion into the interval. Though they were chasing the game when the play resumed, a Ballinteer comeback wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
Davis’ netminder Sean Reilly was called into action on a number of occasions, with Millist’s influence starting to grow. Yet, their Tallaght counterparts maintained their cutting edge in attack.
Unanswered points by Guilfoyle and Murray increased the gap between the teams, before Murray found the bottom left-hand corner of the net to complete his hat-trick on the stroke of 40 minutes.
Their momentum was eventually broken as Millist broke through the heart of the Davis’ for a superb individual goal.
A Luke Cullen point soon followed on the third-quarter mark, but Ballinteer still remained 10 points adrift. After Guilfoyle converted a free on the left-hand side, roving defender Liam Walsh replied for John’s at the opposite end.
Murray and Luca Giglione singles bolstered the Davis’ tally, although Fenton did register his fourth point of the tie.
Luke Cullen also rattled the crossbar in stoppage-time, but Thomas Davis were already assured of their success by that stage.
Scorers – Thomas Davis: F Murray 3-5 (0-5f), C Guilfoyle 1-3 (0-1f), D Nugent, S Steward, L Giglione 0-1 each. Ballinteer St John’s: L Fenton 0-4 (4f), B Millist, F Chambers 1-0 each, L Walsh, L Cullen 0-1 each.
Thomas Davis: S Reilly; S Byrne, C Winders, D Hogan; C Davis, L McDonnell, J McDonnell; L Dempsey, A Waddick; D Nugent, P Kennedy, C Guilfoyle; S Steward, F Murray, L Giglione.
Subs: D Horan for Steward (39), C Cronin for L McDonnell (52).
Ballinteer St John’s: O O’Cronin; L Walsh, L Smith, J Graham; C Joyce, H Grant, M Tully; B Millist, A O’Brien; D Casserly, L Fenton, F Chambers; C Browne, L Cullen, R Cullen.
Subs: J Quigley for Tully (42), N Hanan for Browne (49).
MENTORS – Thomas Davis: David Nugent, Danny McCann. Ballinteer St John’s: Colm O’Donnell, Rodney Joyce, Darren Chambers, Aidan Fields.
Referee: John Higgins (Na Fianna).
WIDES – Thomas Davis: 5 (3+2). Ballinteer St John’s: 7 (3+4).
CONDITIONS: Bright and sunny conditions throughout.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Fionn Murray (Thomas Davis).