David Ryan of Skryne and PJ McAuley of Simonstown Gaels tussle for possession during Sunday's SFC first round game at Seneschalstown.

Stalemate after slow start

Slow burning would be one description that could be applied to this first round SFC clash at Seneschalstown on Sunday between Simonstown Gaels and Skryne which ended in a draw. There was the extra dimension of family rivalries with the O'Rourke clan well represented on each side and a draw was probably the fairest outcome. Simonstown created more chances in the opening half, but were unable to capitalise and they trailed by 0-4 to 0-7 at the interval. They even had a couple of goal chances, but Phelim O'Rourke saved comfortably from Stephen Moran and Shane Barry, none the worse for his exertions for Meath minors against Kilkenny on Saturday, hit the post. Some basic errors at the back by Simonstown also contributed to Skryne's interval advantage as Ian Davis (three), Paddy O'Rourke (two), Kevin Mulvaney and David McGoldrick split the posts for Liam Harnan's side. Points from Shane O'Rourke (two), Shane O'Neill and Wayne McCarthy represented a poor return for all the energy Simonstown expended and the pattern continued after the break when Mulvaney and McCarthy traded third-quarter points. Simonstown manager Sean Barry deployed Shane O'Rourke at full-forward for the second-half with Shane O'Neill taking up a position between midfield and the half-forward line. Padraig McKeever dragged a goal effort wide before Shane O'Rourke drew the sides level (1-5 to 0-8) when he bulged the net midway through the half. Each side enjoyed brief periods of dominance for the remainder as they matched each other on the scoreboard with a brace of points from play apiece and one each from a free. David Ryan's late point gave Skryne the edge, but McCarthy drew the sides level for the sixth time when he kept his composure ahead of the final whistle. "We have a very young team and they showed great character to get back into the game two or three times, they will improve for the experience," Simonstown manager Sean Barry told the Meath Chronicle. "The family rivalry in the game is what makes the GAA and I suppose a draw was better than a defeat," he added. Skryne manager Liam Harnan was satisfied with the result although he felt both teams can produce better football. "I'm happy enough to get something out of the game, I don't think either team played particularly well, it was poor enough actually," he suggested. Skryne - P O'Rourke; A Curry, V O'Reilly, M Jordan; D Morley, C Lenehan, A Carty; A Tuite, D McGoldrick (0-1); D Ryan (0-1), I Davis (0-4 three frees), J Hegarty; P O'Rourke (0-3 one free, one '45'), K Mulvaney (0-2), M Battersby. Subs - J Looby for Carty 40 mins, T Giles for Hegarty 50m. Simonstown Gaels - G Lynch; M O'Rourke, S Carr, S McGivney; J Lyons, S Kenny, S Tobin; M McCabe, PJ McAuley; P McKeever, S O'Rourke (1-4), S Barry; S Moran, S O'Neill (0-1), W McCarthy (0-3 frees). Sub - N Kearney for Moran 38 mins. Referee - John Farrelly (Syddan)