MIGHTY QUINN TO THE RESCUE
Alex’s stoppage-time equaliser keeps his side’s unbeaten record and denies plucky Parnell’s an away win
GOOD COUNSEL/LIFFEY GAELS 0-11
THE outstanding Alex Quinn kicked a stoppage-time point at Galtymore Road on Saturday evening to earn Good Counsel/Liffey Gaels a share of the spoils with Parnell’s in Division Three of the Adult Football League.
When they developed a two-point cushion on the hour mark, Parnell’s looked set to squeeze through. This was the cue for a late flourish from Counsel, however, and Quinn fired over a brace to dramatically maintain his side’s unbeaten home record for 2019.
It had been a difficult build-up to the game for Parnell’s following the sad passing of club legend Mark O’Hanlon on Thursday morning. A key member of the club’s successful Dublin and Leinster SFC campaigns of 1987 and 1988, O’Hanlon also represented the Sky Blues at inter-county level.
In advance of the game, a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both teams in his honour. This encounter also arrived on the weekend that Stephen Cluxton made an historic 100th championship appearance for Dublin.
He was marked absent for this trip to the southside and, in a tentative opening, the Coolock men fell behind to a fourth-minute Alex Quinn free. They quickly responded through Stephen Duffy at the opposite end, before Counsel edged themselves back in front.
After he added a second place-ball effort, Alex Quinn found the target at a tight angle. Parnell’s then lost corner-back Craig Nolan to injury on 12 minutes.
Alex Hutton made a telling impact off the bench and once they got to grips with the Counsel kick-out, the northsiders established a foothold in attack. Following a neat one-two with Darragh Joyce, Gary Collins curled a right-footed strike between the uprights.
He immediately added a long-distance point and the aforementioned Joyce converted a routine free to edged move Parnell’s into the ascendancy for the very first time. Despite seeing their lead slip away, Counsel restored parity with an Adam Skelly single.
Even though Parnell’s midfielder Andy Myler clipped a point to round off a fast-paced counter attack, Ben Quinn – twin brother of Alex – ventured forward from centre-back to do likewise for the hosts.
Nevertheless, it was Parnell’s who finished the opening period on a high. Mark Heron joined half-forward partner Collins on the scoresheet, giving the Chanel College outfit a slender 0-6 to 0-5 interval buffer.
While they were pegged back on the resumption by Barry O’Reilly, it didn’t take Parnell’s long to reinforce their position.
Myler was in excellent form throughout and registered his second point of the tie at a distance of 35 metres. Heron’s excellent individual score created some daylight, until Alex Quinn once again came up trumps for Counsel – sprinting past the retreating Joyce on his way to raising another white flag.
With just two points separating them in the table (Counsel holding a slight advantage), there was inevitable tension as the action progressed. Alex Quinn eventually levelled matters with a superb point off the outside of his left boot, but Parnell’s regained momentum with another mini-scoring blitz.
Capitalising on Collins’ terrific turnover in midfield, centre-forward Thomas Davis hit an impressive point on the run. A Hutton free had them within sight of a fifth league win, though the 58th-minute dismissal of Graham George did leave them hamstrung late on.
Traded points between O’Reilly and Heron kept Parnell’s in pole position, only for Counsel to persevere with their challenge. Ben Quinn was now operating in tandem with his sibling Alex and the latter’s 0-2 salvo raised the stakes in additional time.
There were opportunities to decide the contest at either end, but both camps were ultimately forced to be content with a draw. Next up for Good Counsel/Liffey Gaels is an away trip to O’Toole’s tomorrow week (June 19).
On the same evening, Parnell’s welcome Fingal Ravens to Chanel.
Scorers – Good Counsel/Liffey Gaels: A Quinn 0-7 (2f), B O’Reilly 0-2 (1f), B Quinn, A Skelly 0-1 each. Parnell’s: M Heron 0-3, A Myler, G Collins 0-2 each, D Joyce (f), A Hutton (f), T Davis, S Duffy 0-1 each.
GOOD COUNSEL/LIFFEY GAELS: J Murphy; D Charles, P McMahon, R Kelly; L Blood, B Quinn, P Mullin; V Ivers, C Dowling; A Skelly, R Ryder, D Keirns; A Quinn, D Blood, B O’Reilly.
Subs: D Doran for Dowling (48), S O’Kane for D Blood, M Noster for Keirns (both 53).
PARNELL’S: E Walsh; C Nolan, S McGrath, A Lee; G George, C McDonald, A Doyle; B McCarthy, A Myler; G Collins, T Davis, M Heron; S Duffy, D Joyce, J Sammon.
Subs: A Hutton for Nolan (12), C Hunt for Duffy (48).
MENTORS – Good Counsel/Liffey Gaels: Gavin Ruth, Derek Meehan, Johnny McGlynn, Thomas Smyth. Parnell’s: Jimmy McGrane, Ger Power, Paul Rigney.
Referee: Philip Carr (Round Tower Clondalkin).
WIDES – Good Counsel/Liffey Gaels: 8 (5+3). Parnell’s: 11 (6+5).
CONDITIONS: Bright and sunny throughout, but windy at times.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Alex Quinn (Good Counsel/Liffey Gaels).