Summerhill ease into senior decider

Story by Fergal Lynch

Wednesday, 14th September, 2011 4:53pm

Summerhill ease into senior decider

Willie Ryan of Summerhill applies the pressure on Cian Ward of Wolfe Tones in a battle for possession.

Fine margins determined that Summerhill secured a place in the SFC final following this rousing semi-final victory over Wolfe Tones at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday afternoon.

With the game in the balance 17 minutes from the end Summerhill saw their four-point lead cut to 0-6 to 0-4, but then Stephen Husband embarked on a superb run and produced an exquisite finish to fire the only goal.

Two minutes later Wolfe Tones were further demoralised when Ciaran McLoughlin was handed a second yellow card to leave his side chasing a forlorn cause.

The numerical supremacy and the cushion of a five-point lead proved to be enough for Summerhill.

Wolfe Tones had their opportunities, but ace marksman Cian Ward was surprisingly off form and missed several decent chances.

Even in the dying embers Wolfe Tones were awarded a penalty to help salvage some pride, but ward's spot kick was superbly saved by Tony McDonnell and the Summerhill goalkeeper also kept out Ward's follow up.

That miss summed up Wolfe Tones and Ward's day while Summerhill were clinically efficient and professional in their approach.

In every sector they had heroes. Davy Dalton, Husband and Richie Hatton were excellent, while Conor Gillespie lorded midfield.

Brian Ennis dropped back and did a lot of good work around the middle and after a slow start Stephen Kennedy and Adrian Kenny proved to be a handful.

The monotony of the opening minutes was lightened somewhat when Ward made amends for two earlier misses by converting a free from 30 metres to give Wolfe Tones an early lead.

Within 30 seconds Kenny restored parity after great work by Gillespie and Seanie Dalton before David Larkin used the wind to good effect to edge Summerhill ahead for the first time.

Davy Dalton then set up his brother Seanie for an excellent score to make it 0-3 to 0-1.

The errors from placed balls started to effect Summerhill with Michéal Byrne off target from 40 metres, but they continued to pull clear when Stephen Kennedy started to exploit a bit of space to score on the turn.

Cian Ward finally got Wolfe Tones opening score from play in the 29th minute, but it was Stephen Kennedy who had the last word of the half when he brilliantly kept in Hatton's wayward attempt before pointing from a narrow angle to make it 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time.

The action was interrupted after four minutes after the resumption by a bizarre incident that involved Eoghan Harrington and Michéal Byrne which saw the Wolfe Tones man cautioned by referee David Gough.

Harrington was left bloodied by an accidential clash of heads with his colleague Darren McGrath, but as the blood streamed down his face he confronted Byrne and stuck his head in his chest to wipe his brow.

Byrne understandably reacted angrily to Harrington's actions and Gough took the lenient action of booking the Wolfe Tones man when another flash of red might have been warranted?

When the action finally resumed it was Summerhill who started better with Maurice Kennedy forcing David Nolan into a bright save.

After eight scoreless minutes it was Summerhill who stretched their lead when Paul Rispin pointed, but Wolfe Tones stayed in touch with Niall McLoughlin and Cian Ward (free) closing the gap to 0-4 to 0-6.

Husband's stunning goal was crucial and when Ciaran McLoughlin was sent-off following his second yellow card it handed the initiative to Summerhill who added just one further point from a Micheal Byrne free.

They weren't seriously tested subsequently as Cian Ward's wayward finishing ensured no way back for Wolfe Tones.

The missed penalty compounded their misery.

Summerhill - T McDonnell; D Dalton, C Young, W Ryan; S Husband (1-0), R Hatton, M Gorman; M Byrne (0-1 free), C Gillespie; D Larkin (0-1), B Ennis, M Kennedy; S Dalton (0-1), S Kennedy (0-2), A Kenny (0-1). Subs - P Rispin (0-1) for S Dalton 29 mins, G Rispin for S Kennedy 56m, S Dalton for Kenny 59m.

Wolfe Tones - D Nolan; Eoghan Harrington, C McLoughlin, P Caffrey; G Beggy, S Sheppard, N McLoughlin (0-1); S Corrigan, A Callaghan; C Blaney, D McGrath, A Fox; Eanna Harrington, F Ward, C Ward (0-4 three frees). Subs - M McNally for F Ward 38 mins, D Coleman (0-1) for Blaney 46m.

Referee - David Gough (Slane).

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