O'Mahonys set for a Summerhill showdown

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan

Wednesday, 10th August, 2011 3:59pm

O'Mahonys set for a Summerhill showdown

Gary O'Brien was in excellent form for Navan O'Mahonys on Sunday.

Navan O'Mahonys manager Davy Nelson believes his team will not get carried away despite the demolition of Dunshaughlin in the SFC at Dunsany on Sunday.

Nelson's men produced a devastating display of power-packed football to end any arguments as to who were the best team in Group B.

Now O'Mahonys face Summerhill in the quarter-finals and will go into that encounter as red-hot favourites following this exhibition of total football they would be fancied to prevail no matter who they were paired with.

All too often in the past O'Mahonys have produced scintillating displays at the group stages only to falter at the business end of the championship.

"These lads are experienced. They know not to get ahead of themselves, they will know that a quarter-final tie is a completely different proposition," he said after the demolition of Dunshaughlin.

"This was a good performance after a ropey start, but we will look to build on this, keep the momentum going. The players have had their pain in the past losing big games and they know what to expect and what to be wary of."

O'Mahonys could have been forgiven if they approached this game with a little less intensity than other matches.

They, like Dunshaughlin, were already through to the quarter-finals, it was just a matter of who would finish in what position.

Yet the Brews Hills side played like the Keegan Cup itself was up for grabs producing their best display of the year so far - certainly their best second-half display of the year.

And that is the perplexing thing for Dunshaughlin. For most of the first-half Gary Farrelly's side stood toe-to-toe with their opponents only to later collapse.

The origins of O'Mahonys' dominance can be pin-pointed to the last minute of the opening half. Caomhin King went to get a ball, he slipped Kevin Reilly won possession, crossed to Darragh Smyth who in turn set up Alan Forde and he finished to the net. That left O'Mahonys ahead by 'only' 1-6 to 0-7 with little indication of the whirlwind to come.

Cathal O'Dwyer was lively early on and shot over three points for Dunshaughlin while Conor Devereux, Fergus Toolan and Trevor Dowd also pointed.

However, from the restart there was only one team in the game. Smyth himself added a second goal early in the second-half when Dunshaughlin goalkeeper Ronan Gogan couldn't hold a centre from Barry Regan.

Soon after some excellent play by Stephen Bray and Paddy Smyth ended with the highly impressive Gary O'Brien (pictured) waltzing in for a third goal.

From then on O'Mahonys unlocked their box of tricks, displaying some teriffic support play to create chance after chance after chance.

Bray (three), O'Brien, Smyth and Forde all proceeded to fire over points as the play flowed in one direction only.

The only score shell-shocked Dunshaughlin could manage in that second-half was a solitary point from Martin Reilly in the 58th minute. It couldn't be even considered a consolation.

Dunshaughlin will look back at the first-quarter of this game and recall how they were ahead in the early stages. It's some crumb of comfort as the quarter-finals loom.

Navan O'Mahonys - M Brennan; S O'Toole, S MacGabhann, I Matthews; A Rogers, C McGuinness (0-1), G O'Brien (1-2); S Moran, M Ward; D Maguire, B Regan, D Smyth (1-2); S Bray (0-5), K Reilly (0-1), A Forde (1-2). Subs - P Smyth (0-1) for MacGabhann 9 mins; J Regan for Forde 53m.

Dunshaughlin - R Gogan; A Doyle, K McTigue, M Ahern; T Johnson, C King, D Kealy; J Crimmins, R Maloney; T O Dushlaine, T Dowd (0-1), C Devereux (0-2); F Toolan (0-1, free), N Murphy, C O'Dwyer (0-3). Subs - A Johnson for Murphy half-time; M Reilly (0-1) for O Dushlaine 34m; E Hagarty for T Johnson 45m; R Kealy for McTigue 40m; P McHale for Dowd.

Referee - Cormac Reilly (St Mary's).

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