Late goals give Simonstown the edge
Late goals from substitute Mark McCabe and Sean Tobin gave Simonstown a winning start to 2021 as they beat home side Ratoath by 3-12 to 3-7 in the Feis Cup first round in Sean Eiffe Park.
The visitors had wind assistance and had been in control in the opening half, building a 1-8 to 0-3 lead at the break.
Nicky O'Brien got an early goal while Andy Carney, playing at centre-forward, found his range for four points.
Neil Kane also made a welcome return to football after sitting out much of last season and popped over two points from centre-back.
Simonstown didn't have Padraig McKeever, while Shane Gallagher was injured and Brian Conlon was with the Meath seniors but Ratoath were heavily depleted too.
Still, the introduction of Daithi McGowan changed this game as Ratoath hit Simonstown for three third quarter goals.
McGowan got the first and they quickly added two more, one from a kick-out mix-up as Ratoath got to the second water break 3-5 to 1-10 ahead.
But Simonstown hung in with Josh Carolan very effective taking the ball out of defence and Carney bringing his tally to an impressive 0-6, the last a delightful snapshot to restore parity before Ben Hoey put Simonstown 1-12 to 3-5 ahead again.
Ratoath got in front again and looked set for victory but Hoey's catch put Tobin away and as his shot was spinning wide McCabe conjured a trademark goal from nothing with time almost up.
Simonstown were able to exploit the space for another quick goal, this time O'Brien putting Tobin away and McCabe turning creator for Tobin to finish it off.
Simonstown have Skryne at home in the Feis Cup second round on Wednesday night next.
Simonstown scorers - A Carney 0-6, S Tobin 1-1, M McCabe, N O'Brien 1-0 each, B Hoey, N Kane 0-2 each, C Sheridan 0-1.
Simonstown - R Burlingham; J Carolan, S Moran, M Gardiner; B McGrath, N Kane (0-2), R O'Connor; S Conlon, S Tobin (1-1); N O'Brien (1-0), A Carney (0-6), J Lyons; B Hoey (0-2), C Sheridan (0-1), C O'Neill. Subs - R Connor for O'Connor, J Heaney for Lyons, M McCabe (1-0) for O'Neill, S Barry for Sheridan, D Curran for Kane, E Nash for McGrath.