History was made at Pairc Tailteann on Friday evening as new kids on the block Dunshaughlin out-gunned holders Donaghmore / Ashbourne to win the MFC final.
This was the first time Dunshaughlin have won this competition as a single identity. They managed to do the business at the first time of asking too as only last year the break was made from St. Martin"s and Dunshaughlin set out on their maiden voyage.
This is little doubt that they deserved to claim the Delaney Cup on this occasion as they played the more enterprising football and they created enough chances to win by an even bigger margin.
It was that kind of a performance from the fleet-footed Dunshaughlin side, full of verve and self-belief. They took a stranglehold on the game from very early on and while their opponents showed brief signs of revival they didn"t have enough in the tank to overtake the rampaging Dunshaughlin side at any stage.
Donaghmore / Ashbourne are no strangers to success at this level as they were going for their fourth title in-a-row however, on this occasion they lacked the firepower necessary to prevail.
Dunshaughlin led by only a point at the interval, 0-7 to 1-3, but that scoreline hid a huge imbalance in terms of the territory enjoyed by both sides.
An indication of just how well the Dunshaughlin attack moved the ball around all evening could be seen in the fact that four of the six forwards got on the scoresheet with both Eamon Bowe and Niall Murphy helping themselves to three points apiece. Emmet Staunton slotted over two points and Alan O"Brien found the net.
O"Brien"s goal was scored on with 12 minutes remaining and killed the game off as a contest. Conor Devereux and Michael McCarthy were involved in working the ball forward to Bowe who sought to split the posts. The ball rebounded off the upright into the waiting hands of O"Brien who fired high to the net.
Bowe strode forward to fire over another point soon after to put Dunshaughlin 1-12 to 1-5 in front and it was clear that there was no way back for their beleaguered opponents.
Throughout the game Joe O"Brien and Devereux won plenty of possession around midfield.
The hard-working Devereux proved to be a very effective link between midfield and attack and he invariably found a colleague when he sought to deliver a pass.
Joe O"Brien had sent Dunshaughlin on their way with two early points from long-range frees and he later converted a third.
Dunshaughlin could also have added a goal to their account in that opening half when after 18 minutes Devereux passed to Staunton who powered through a wide gap in the Donaghmore / Ashbourne defence. A goal looked the most likely outcome until Staunton opted to aim for the corner only to see the ball trickle inches wide of the post.
Bowe was a busy presence around the central sector and he regularly foraged back in front of his own defence looking for possession.
While Dunshaughlin repeatedly sought to move the ball forward through a neat necklace of passes, Donaghmore / Ashbourne opted for the more direct route. On a few occasions Bryan Menton did well to win the ball before launching it long.
It was a ploy that worked like a dream after just nine minutes when Menton"s long punt forward was latched onto by Cormac Fagan who held off a challenge before skilfully slotting the ball into the corner of the net. Overall though, the route one approach had limited success.
The goal provided Donaghmore / Ashbourne with a morale-boosting score just when they needed it and Fagan was to go on to knock over two more points, a decent return from very limited possession.
Only one other forward got on the scoresheet for Donaghmore / Ashbourne. That was Gavin Kennedy who helped himself to a point each side of the break. Their other point came from Stephen Kavanagh.
When Donaghmore/Ashbourne did construct promising moves they invariably found Dunshaughlin full-back Alistair Doyle or centre-half-back Conor O"Brien guarding the way through the middle.
The game was played at a fast tempo throughout and referee Gerry McGivney did a good job.
Overall it proved to be a memorable evening for Dunshaughlin as the club created a little piece of history in local GAA circles.
Dunshaughlin - A O"Brien (1-1); E Bowe (0-3); N Murphy (0-3); J O"Brien (0-3, all frees); E Staunton (0-2); C Devereux (0-2, one free).
Donaghmore/Ashbourne - C Fagan (1-2); G Kennedy (0-2, one free); S Kavanagh (0-1).
Dunshaughlin - S Clusker; S Joyce, A Doyle, B Jordan; F Toolan, C O"Brien, N Ridgeway; J O"Brien, C Devereux; E Hegarty, E Bowe, E Staunton; A O"Brien, N Murphy, M McCarthy. Subs - D Geraghty for McCarthy 57 mins; K Doherty for Jordan 59m; H Komalafe for Bowe 60m; N Clusker for A O"Brien 60m.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne - S Kent; C Walsh, I Kavanagh, R O"Connor; M Devine, D Carey, O O"Donnell; S Kavanagh, B Menton; C O"Sullivan, G Kennedy, C Buckley; C Fagan, S Rock, H Devoy. Subs - D Murtagh for O"Donnell, half-time; S Hannigan for Rock 59 mins; S Melia for Devoy 59m.
Gerry McGivney (Simonstown).