Donaghmore/Ashbourne captain Bryan Menton receives the Feis Cup from Co Board's Conor Tormey.

Tormey pounces late to secure silverware for Donaghmore/Ashbourne

Defending is an admirable art, but it was only when a game of football broke out in the final quarter of tonight's lacklustre Feis Cup final that Donaghmore/Ashbourne capitalised on a huge stroke of luck to claim the first piece of silverware of the season with a 1-10 to 0-9 victory over hosts Simonstown.

There was little in the way of excitement to warm the small crowd in Simonstown until the closing stages when Sean Tyrell's short point attempt was spilled by Robbie Burlingham and Andy Tormey pounced to fire the rebound to the net.

It was cruel luck for the normally reliable Simonstown custodian and it was always going to take a mistake or a moment of genius to prove decisive in a game that more resembled a chess match than a football clash.

Both sides enjoyed plenty of possession, but after they moved their men into attacking positions they found their way way invariably blocked by walls of pawns who were willing to sacrifice themselves rather than concede a score.

The opening quarter produced just two scores with Sean Tobin registering from a '45' in the ninth minute before the excellent and most inventive player of the evening Aaron Farrelly doubled Simonstown's lead five minutes later.

Bother sides were guilty of wayward shooting as they often ran out patience with their own ponderous build-up play and the road blocks that obstructed them and it wasn't until the 16th minute when Darragh O'Sullivan opened Donaghmore/Ashbourne's account with a long range score that detoured the mass defence in front of him.

Simonstown's Brian McGrath is tackled by Donaghmore/Ashbourne's Bryan Menton. Photo Gerry Shanahan /

Another seven minutes elapsed before a counter-charge, led by the impressive Evan Quinn, set up Kevin Fenton for an equalising point and in the 28th minute Donaghmore/Ashbourne hit the front for the first time when Conor Carton won a kick-out and drove on to loft over himself - direct football paid dividends.

However that lead lasted less that two minutes as Farrelly replied for Simonstown to ensure parity, 0-3 each, at the end of a slow-burning half.

The scoring rate improved after the break as both sides tired and mistakes materialised.

Tobin and Zach Thornton traded frees in the opening four minutes of the second period as parity was maintained and in the 38th minute another converted free, this time from Shane McEnery edged Simonstown ahead again, 0-5 to 0-4.

Simonstown's Jimmy Heaney holds off Donaghmore/Ashbourne's Sean Curran. Photo Gerry Shanahan /

Sean Curran clipped over a great score on the run to level it up again for Donaghmore/Ashbourne, but Simonstown looked to take control again as Farrelly and Padraig McKeever (free) made it -7 to 0-5 at the three-quarters mark.

Donaghmore/Ashbourne didn't panic. They stuck to their process, but sprinkled it with a little more risk.

James Redmond kicked a great score to close the gap to the minimum and with eight minutes remaining Andy Colgan landed a long range free to make it 0-7 each.

There was the sense that a goal would be decisive and Simonstown went close to getting it when Mark Devlin's flick from a dangerous centre sailed just over the bar in the 55th minute.

However the winning goal did come down the other end, the town end, two minutes later when Tormey pounced on Burlingham's rare error to make it 1-7 to 0-8.

Donaghmore/Ashbourne's Conor Carton clears his lines against Simonstown. Photo Gerry Shanahan /

McKeever did close the gap with a point a minute later, but Simonstown were out on their feet. As they went in search of a match saving goal, Donaghmore/Ashbourne picked them off with points from Bryan Menton, Colgan (free) and Tyrell ensured they left with the silverware.

Donaghmore/Ashbourne - Andy Colgan (0-2 frees); Aaron McLoughlin, Evan Quinn, Luke Barrett; James Redmond (0-1), Conor Carton (0-1), Darragh McGovern; Sean Curran (0-1), Bryan Menton (0-1); Darragh O'Sullivan (0-1), Zach Thornton (0-2 frees), James Crumlish; Josh Lancaster, Kevin Fenton (0-1), Michael O'Sullivan. Subs - Shane Melia for Lancaster half-time, Sean Tyrell (0-1) for D McGovern 44m, Andy Tormey (1-0) for D O'Sullivan 54m, Thomas McGovern for Crumlish 59m, Shaun Byrne for Fenton 60m.

Simonstown - Robbie Burlingham; Mark Devlin (0-1), Stephen Moran, Aaron Chinchilla; Brian McGrath, Josh Carolan, David McKeever; Brian Conlon, Tadhg Hanrahan; Jimmy Heaney, Sean Tobin (0-2 one free, one '45'), Shane McEnery (0-1 free); Luke Caffrey, Padraig McKeever (0-2 one free), Aaron Farrelly (0-3). Subs - Shane Barry for Hanrahan 38m, Eoghan Gough for McKeever, Michael Gavigan for Caffrey both 42m, Ben Hoey for McEnery 54m, David Kavanagh for Heaney 62m.

Referee - Robbie Purfield (St Patrick's).