Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 25 September 2017

Kenny helps the Hill to extra special title

SUMMERHILL 0-14, DUNSHAUGHLIN 1-9
Meath SFC final replay (AET)

Sean Wall

AFTER a gap of 25 years, Summerhill were finally crowned champions after this extra-time final replay victory at Pairc Tailteann yesterday.

After an intensely fought encounter, Summerhill forced the game into 20 minutes of additional time following a pointed-free from Micheal Byrne in second-half added time.

The Hill then made the dash for the winning post with four points in the opening period of extra-time which proved enough to clinch the title.

Veteran attacker Adrian Kenny -- captain when Summerhill lost the 2008 decider -- proved the match-winner with six points, five of which came in normal time.

The former inter-county panellist switched to wing-back in the third quarter, but it didn't lessen his impact on the scoresheet. Kenny accounted for the game's three opening points and his side eventually led by 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter.

The game was 14 minutes old before Fergus Toolan got Dunshaughlin off the mark from a free and the only goal of the two matches arrived just two minutes later when Tommy Johnson prised open the Hill defence.

That score levelled matters and while Dunshaughlin failed to add to their first-half tally after that, Kenny, David Larkin and Brian Ennis had points to give the eventual winners a 0-7 to 1-1 interval lead.

Dunshaughlin upped their performance considerably after the interval and outscored their opponents four points to one in the third quarter to get on level terms, 0-8 to 1-5.

Trevor Dowd (two frees), Tommy Johnson and John Crimmins picked off points, while Summerhill's only return in the same period was a Micheal Byrne pointed-free.

Trevor Dowd, with his third pointed-free of the half, put Dunshaughlin ahead for the first time on 48 minutes and they doubled that advantage after captain Ray Maloney broke from midfield to shoot a fine point.

With both sides finding scores extremely difficult to come by, the game looked beyond the reach of Summerhill at that stage. But they dug deep and Kenny reduced the margin to one before Conor Gillespie was fouled as he attempted to burst through and Byrne converted the resultant free.

Summerhill dominated the opening 10 minutes of additional time with Kenny pointing them ahead and David Larkin, Byrne and Gillespie all adding scores to open up a four-point advantage.

Dunshaughlin tried valiantly to get back into contention in the final 10 minutes of the game and had points from substitute Eoin Hegarty and Cathal O'Dwyer.

They tried desperately for a match-winning goal and had a late chance from Cathal O'Dwyer which Summerhill goalkeeper Tony McDonnell saved comfortably.

SCORERS -- Summerhill: A Kenny 0-6, M Byrne 0-4 (2f), D Larkin 0-2, C Gillespie, B Ennis (f) 0-1 each. Dunshaughlin: T Johnson 1-1, T Dowd 0-3 (3f), J Crimmins, R Maloney, F Toolan (1f), C O'Dwyer, E Hegarty 0-1 each.

SUMMERHILL -- T McDonnell; D Dalton, C Young, W Ryan; S Husband, R Hatton, M Gorman; P Comey, C Gillespie; D Larkin, B Ennis, M Byrne; P Rispin, S Kennedy, A Kenny. Subs: C Malone for Husband (23), S Dalton for Gorman (42), B Lyons for Comey (53), P Larkin for Rispin (e-t), G Rispin for Malone (e-t).

DUNSHAUGHLIN -- R Gogan; A Doyle, K McTigue, M Ahern; A Johnson, C King, D Kealy; J Crimmins, R Maloney; F Toolan, T Dowd, C Deveraux; T Johnson, N Murphy, C O'Dwyer. Subs: N Kelly for T Johnson (59), T O Duishlaine for Dowd (60), E Hegarty for Toolan (e-t), R Kealy for A Johnson (e-t).

REF -- D Gough

Irish Independent

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