St. Vincent’s vs St. Sylvester’s – Analysis Report
*this and our original report from this game had mixed up Lorcan Galvin and Luke Sheehy. We had followed the official match program which had numbers 26 and 27 mixed up, but having not seen either play before, we didn’t recognise the error. Both articles have now edited this error*
St Vincent’s 0-20 St Sylvester’s 0-7
St Vincent’s, as many would have expected, progressed to the Senior Championship semi-final on Friday night at the expense of St Sylvester’s.
The Malahide men set up defensively from the outset, with Ronan Palmer playing as an out and out sweeper in front of his full back line. Gary Sweeney dropped very deep from centre forward and both wing forwards funneled back, as all modern wing forwards tend to do. This left a large gap between their defence and two-man full forward line of Michael McCarthy and Alex Wright.
St Vincent’s, as ever, held a textbook 3-3-2-3-3 formation, with Craig Wilson/Jarleth Curley and Ger Brennan occupying the space in their defence. Up front, Diarmuid Connolly was marked by Carlow man Daniel St Ledger, and Enda Varley was picked up by Paudi White.
Throughout the match, Vincent’s forwards pressed high on Sylvester’s kick outs, attempting to cut off the short passes and force them long to a midfield where Nathan Mullins and Lorcan Galvin looked dominant.
Sylvester’s, owing to their sparse numbers up front, allowed Vincent’s the short kick outs for the most part. There were elements of feeling each other out for the opening 15 minutes as Vincent’s built a 6 point to 4 lead.
Mossy Quinn’s 11th minute point came as a result of a trade mark defence splitting pass from Diarmuid Connolly.
Vincent’s would own the rest of the half as their defence, marshaled as ever by Ger Brennan, became dominant and gave their forwards plenty of opportunities to attack.
Sylvester’s attack, although greatly outnumbered, lacked incision and laboured in trying to make inroads into the Vincent’s half. Quinn, Rúairí Trainor and Varley seemed in perpetual motion and made life difficult for the Sylvester’s sweeper to cover them. In fact, there were occasions when Vincent’s attacked with no players inside the Sylvester’s 21-yard line. This left Ronan Palmer almost redundant sitting in front of his own keeper.
As the half wore on, Sylvester’s tried to push up on the Vincents’ kick-out. This was punished in the 27th minute when Savage in the Vincents’ goal, with no short option, played a long ball to Connolly just inside the Sylvester’s half. Ger Brennan kicked a point within 7 seconds. Quinn would finish the half with 6 points, three from play, to leave the score-line at 0-12 to 0-4.
The second half started as the first ended, with Vincent’s solid defence giving them a platform from which to attack. Enda Varley, being marked by the physically bigger Conor Quinn, showed well for the ball and would be a menace throughout the half.
The supremely athletic Shane Carthy would begin to stretch his legs from wing forward in this half and make several impressive runs. One such run ended in the only real goal chance of the game. However Michael Shiel saved well to his right.
Sylvester’s maintained their defensive shape throughout the second half, up until the 55th minute when they moved the towering Jack Hazley to the edge of the square. Jarleth Curley, however, successfully defended the bigger man for any long balls played in.
The 48th minute saw the introduction of Éamon Fennell for his first sight of championship football in some time. He marked the occasion with one point and one mark.
As Sylvester’s started to introduce substitutes, they began to run the ball more directly, particularly through Ed Walsh and Jamie Kennedy. Their three points in the second half, however, were representative of a team who were outplayed in almost every element of the game.
Vincent’s, putting up eight points in the second half, and closing the match with the efficiency we’re accustomed to from Brennan, Egan and co., did more than enough to qualify for the semi-final and a meeting with St Judes.
St Vincent’s: Michael Savage, Michael Concarr, Jarleth Curley, Craig Wilson, Brendan Egan, Ger Brennan (0-1), Cameron Diamond, Nathan Mullins, Lorcan Galvin, Shane Carthy (0-1), Diarmuid Connolly (0-2), Cormac Diamond (0-2), Ruairi Trainor, Enda Varley (0-4 2f), Tomás Quinn (0-8 3f), Gavin Burke (Trainor 40) Joe Feeney (Cormac Diamond 44) Eamon Fennell (0-1) (Sheehy 48) Luke Sheehy (Egan 56) Mark Loftus (Mullins 59) Lorcan Smyth (Varley 59)
St Sylvester’s: Michael Shiel, Colm McIntyre, Paudi White (0-1), Conor Quinn, Andrew Cunningham, Daniel St Ledger, Brian Sexton, Stephen Cunningham, Jack Hazley, Glen Hazley, Gary Sweeney (0-2), Shane Doyle, Michael McCarthy, Ronan Palmer, Alex Wright (0-2 2f), Ed Walsh (0-1) (S Cunningham 27) Alan Foy (0-1) (Wright 35) Jamie Kennedy (Sexton 40) Ciarán McArdle (St Ledger 48) Dylan Connolly (McCarthy 49) Niall Coughlan (A Cunnigham 59)
By Conor Dunne