Friday 19 January 2018

St Pat's still eyeing knockouts

IT'S mostly as you were in Group C of the SFC with all to play for in the final round of matches following this draw at Dunshaughlin on Saturday evening.

With Na Fianna and Moynalvey also sharing the points, all four teams are still in contention to join Donaghmore/Ashbourne in the knockout stages and even table-proppers Rathkenny still have an outside chance of advancing.

Niall Mooney saved a point for St Patrick's when converting a free into the breeze with time almost up to keep alive their championship hopes.

Summerhill should have had the game sealed by that stage as they battled back from a two-point half-time deficit to dominate the second half.

Brian Ennis' penalty put Summerhill in front and the reigning champions were two points up in the dying minutes but couldn't see off their dogged opponents.

Both sides were vastly under-strength, with St Patrick's having a lengthy list of injuries as well as a number of players only due to return from abroad this week.

Conor Gillespie, Padraig Geraghty and Micheál Byrne were among those absent from the 'Hill line up. Experienced campaigners Gary Rispin, Damien Byrne and Davy Dalton were called in, while Eamonn McDonnell and Ronan Ryan made their championship debuts.

It was 17-year-old Ryan who gave Summerhill the lead early on, but Declan McCabe's men found it hard to score against the wind. Full-forward Gary Rispin fisted over Summerhill's second point in a low-scoring first half, while Niall Mooney and Niall Whearty both registered a brace of points for St Patrick's who should have been much further ahead than 0-4 to 0-2 at the break.

Gary Rispin got his second point straight from the throw-in after cutting inside his marker. Soon after Kevin Ryan was hauled to the ground in the penalty area and Brian Ennis stepped up and buried his spot kick to the goalkeeper's right.

Summerhill now had the lead and the breeze in their favour, but St Patrick's hung in despite playing second fiddle for long spells.

David Larkin (two), Paul Rispin and Barry Dardis kicked points for the 'Hill, but with Whearty, Donal Landy and a great effort from wing back Finian Everard the Stamullen men managed to stay in touch. Their persistence was rewarded when Mooney kept his cool to equalise right at the death.

St Patrick's take on Donaghmore/Ashbourne in their final group match, while Summerhill face neighbours Moynalvey.

ST PATRICK'S: Seamus Byrne; Andrew Mooney, Ciaran Calvey, Shane Mc Ginty; Finian Everard 0-1, Darren Hagan, Keith Whearty; Shane Dowling, Kieran Lynch; David Stafford, Daithi Whyte, Barry Mooney; Niall Whearty 0-4 (2f), Donal Landy 0-1, Niall Mooney 0-4 (2f). Subs: Ray Russell for Whyte, Michael Hagan for K Whearty

SUMMERHILL: Tony McDonnell; Padraigh Jennings, Caolan Young, Eamonn McDonnell; Davy Dalton, Willie Ryan, Ronan Ryan 0-1; Damien Byrne, Brian Ennis 1-0 pen; Adrian Kenny, Paul Rispin 0-1, David Larkin 0-2; Kevin Ryan, Gary Rispin 0-2, Barry Dardis 0-1. Subs: Alan Lyons for W Ryan, Ross Ryan for Lyons, Jack Fagan for G Rispin, Lyons for D Byrne (BC).

Drogheda Independent

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