Summerhill recover to claim stunning victory
The ravenous hunger for championship action was certainly satisfied at Trim tonight as as Summerhill recovered from a slow start to edge out neighbours Moynalvey by 0-17 to 1-12 in a SFC classic that went right to the wire.
Moynalvey started well and raced into a 0-8 to 0-2 lead when the decisive moment came on the stroke of the first water break when they lost Padraic Harnan to injury and with him off the field they struggled to regain their fluency.
Up to that point Moynalvey were superb as Summerhill struggled. Declan McCabe's side couldn't contain the lively Cillian O'Sullivan and David McLoughlin and failed to find a spark in attack, managing just one point in the opening quarter.
The early stages were all Moynalvey as Cillian O'Sullivan opened the scoring from a free and then restored Moynalvey's lead in the sixth minute after Diarmuid McCabe had levelled for Summerhill.
Adam Murphy and McLoughlin added to Moynalvey's lead before Mark O'Sullivan nailed a '45' and converted a free, either side of a successful free from Cillian O'Sullivan, to make it 0-7 to 0-1 after 13 minutes.
David Larkin, who also impressed, looked to have settled Summerhill with a brilliant point, but the tide turned in Summerhill's favour when Harnan departed.
Cillian O'Sullivan pointed either side of a second superb score from Larkin to make it 0-9 to 0-3, but Summerhill closed the half with three points from Barry Dardis, one from play, one from a free and a superbly struck '45' to close the gap to 0-6 to 0-9 at the interval.
After the break Shaw and Frayne combined with the latter pointing within 27 seconds and a minute later he also blazed a great goal chance wide.
Shaw and Frayne combined to set up Diarmuid McCabe to make it 0-8 to 0-9, but another foul on Cillian O'Sullivan gifted the Meath player a tap over free to restore a two-point cushion for Moynalvey.
However, Summerhill were in control. They upped the tempo and reaped the rewards with Jack Bannon setting up Frayne, Dardis adding a free, Larkin kicking a brilliant point and Frayne adding another to make it 0-12 to 0-10 by the 42nd minute.
Moynalvey didn't panic and managed to restore parity through Mark O'Sullivan and McLoughlin and after Diarmuid McCabe edged Summerhill ahead again it was Moynalvey who looked like claiming victory when Cillian O'Sullivan converted a penalty with 12 minutes remaining after McLoughlin had been fouled by Ross Ryan.
However, Moynalvey failed to score again as Dardis (free) and Diarmuid McCabe restored parity before another Dardis free and a superb score from Frayne pushed Summerhill two clear.
The winners finished the game with 14 men after Larkin picked up a late black card, but they weathered the closing storm and held on for a deserved, hard earned victory.
Summerhill – Barry Dardis 0-6 four frees, one '45'; Conor Frayne 0-4; Diarmuid McCabe 0-4; David Larkin 0-3.
Moynalvey – Cillian O'Sullivan 1-6, 1-0 penalty, four frees; Mark O'Sullivan 0-3 two frees; David McLoughlin 0-2; Adam Murphy 0-1.
Summerhill – Tony McDonnell; Ross Ryan, Ronan Ryan, Iarla Hughes; Jack Bannon, John Keane, John Lavelle; Diarmuid McCabe, Micheal Byrne; David Larkin, Liam Shaw, Eamonn McDonnell; Paul Larkin, Conor Frayne, Barry Dardis. Sub – Jamie O'Shea for E McDonnell 50 mins.
Moynalvey – Ray Ryan; Conor Harnan, Robert Lawless, Cathal McCabe; Darren Brennan, Brian Harnan, David Reilly; Padraic Harnan, Donal Smith; David Donoghue, Mark O'Sullivan, Shane Lenehan; Adam Murphy, Cillian O'Sullivan, David McLoughlin. Subs – Fearghal McCabe for P Harnan 17 mins, William Mahady for Conor Harnan 38m, Stephen Donoghue for Smith 42m, Ciaran Harnan for D Donoghue 47m.
Referee – Cormac Reilly (St Mary's).