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Summerhill advance to SFC semi-final with victory over O'Mahonys

Story by Fergal Lynch

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017 10:50pm

Summerhill advance to SFC semi-final with victory over O'Mahonys

The Summerhill players prepare to celebrate victory over Navan O'Mahonys in Ashbourne tonight.

Almost five weeks since they last played in the SFC Summerhill showed few signs of rustiness at Ashbourne tonight as they brushed off the challenge of Navan O'Mahonys by 2-12 to 1-10 to book their place in next Sunday's SFC semi-final against Gaeil Colmcille in Pairc Tailteann at 3pm.

It didn't look promising for Summerhill in the opening minutes as their long lay off looked to have caused them more harm than good as they fell four points in arrears and played second fiddle for most of the early stages.

Boosted by an impressive return to form of late O'Mahonys burst from the traps with a goal from Shane Gillespie inside 90 seconds and they soon added a point from Ruairi O Coileain to take a firm grip on proceedings.

However that slap in the face woke Summerhill from their early evening slumber and after Barry Dardis nailed an impressive '45' against the wind and Brian Ennis converted a free they gave themselves a real boost with brilliant goal from Dardis following a sublime pass from David Larkin.

The next few minutes were nip and tuck as magnificent scores from Conor Finnegan and James O'Reilly either side of another Dardis free left the teams tied, 1-3 each, after 22 minutes, but then Summerhill hit a purple patch with four points in five minutes putting them in the driving seat.

Two from the outstanding Seanie Dalton and a brace of frees from Ennis following careless fouling by O'Mahonys pushed Summerhill into a 1-7 to 1-3 lead and even though Cormac McGuinness replied with a fine score it was Dardis who had the last say of the half from a free to make it 1-8 to 1-4 at the interval.

Resuming with the wind at their backs Summerhill got off to a dream start when the Dalton brothers Davy and Seanie combined for the latter to fire low beyond Mark Brennan to open up a seven-point lead.

Instead of providing the spark to kick on and romp to victory Summerhill became nervous and struggled to win a kickout or a breaking ball.

They managed just one more point in the next 23 minutes as O'Mahonys dominated the third quarter and introduced David Bray from the bench to add some punch to their attack.

However, instead of capitalising on their supremacy O'Mahonys were too lethargic and overly careful in their build-up, they had Summerhill by the throat, but they didn't take advantage.

Points from the lively Paul Whelehan and O'Coileain (free) were answered with a score from Larkin which left it 2-9 to 1-6 in the 38th minute.

Whelehan hit the crossbar with a dipping point attempt and Dylan Regan's followed up was swallowed by Tony McDonnell. Seanie Dalton had an effort ruled wide, even though it looked over the bar, but O'Mahonys were the better side in that spell.

Another O Coileain free was followed by scores from Gillespie and Whelehan, with the point of the night, which closed the gap to 1-9 to 2-9 with 13 minutes remaining.

Conor Lyons settled Summerhill with a 20 metre free after McGuinness picked up a yellow card for hauling down Dardis in the 55th minute and after O Coileain cancelled out that score O'Mahonys were reduced to 14 men when McGuinness received a black card and subsequent red for stopping an off-the-ball run in midfield.

With a man down and chasing a three-point deficit O'Mahonys ran out of ideas and it Summerhill who finished strongly with Ciaran Gillespie having a goal chance saved by Brennan before two more frees from Lyons ensured Summerhill eased over the line and into next Sunday's SFC semi-final against Gaeil Colmcille.

Summerhill - Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Willie Ryan, Ronan Ryan; Padraig Geraghty, Richie Hatton, Ross Ryan; Micheal Byrne, Brian Ennis (0-3 frees); David Larkin (0-1), Barry Dardis (1-3 two frees, one '45'), Kevin Lyons; Seanie Dalton (1-2), Liam Shaw, Davy Dalton. Subs – Caolan Young for K Lyons 43 mins, Conor Lyons (0-3 frees) for Shaw 48m, Ciaran Gillespie for Ennis 49m.

Navan O'Mahonys - Mark Brennan; Ian Matthews, Niall McKeigue, James O'Malley; James O'Reilly (0-1), Gary O'Brien, Darragh Maguire; Conor Finnegan (0-1), Stephen Monaghan; Ruairi O Coileain (0-4 two frees), Paul Whelehan (0-2), Dylan Regan; Shane Gillespie (1-1), Stephen Bray, Cormac McGuinness (0-1). Subs – Brian Dillon for S Bray 20 mins, Darragh Smith for O'Malley half-time, David Bray for Finnegan 34m, Jake Regan for D Regan 45m.

Referee - Paul Mooney (Syddan).


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