Skryne keep their eyes on two-in-a-row
SKRYNE ... 2-9 SIMONSTOWN ... 0-10 THE likelihood of a repeat of last years SFC final between Skryne and Dunshaughlin increased greatly at Pairc Tailteann on Tuesday evening of last week when the holders got the better of Simonstown in this quarter final tie.
Skryne never produced their best form but always looked capable of upping the tempo if needed - something which could prove worrying for the other title contenders considering that they rarely looked in danger of relinquishing their crown at any stage.
They scored two opening half goals, both of the fortuitous variety, but Simonstown managed to stay in touch until the closing stages when Skryne notched the three last points of the match to quench any ideas the Town side had of a late revival.
Eric O’Reilly opening the Simonstown account in the first attack of the match and the losers led 0-3 to 0-2 and were playing well until disaster struck at the end of the opening quarter.
Trevor Giles, who started at fullforward but played his usual roving role, sent a great ball to Brian Smyth and his pass found Paul O’Donnell whose shot was deflected by defender Alan Meade past his own keeper for the games opening goal.
The winners had the ball in the net again in the 23rd minute when two Simonstown defenders collided, giving Mick O’Dowd a free run to shoot past a helpless David Brady.
That goal put Skryne ahead 2-3 to 0-4 and they eventually went on to lead 2-4 to 0-6 at the break.
Ciaran Murphy (two), O’Donnell and O’Dowd accounted for the winners opening half points, while Simonstown’s other first half scorers were Paul O’Brien (two), Ned Kearney, Hank Traynor and O’Reilly.
Simonstown got within two points on two occasions in the second half but Skryne seemed to have enough in reserve whenever danger loomed.
A fine Eric O’Reilly effort was added to by another point from Paul O’Brien to leave it 2-4 to 0-8, and it took Skryne a full thirteen minutes before Giles opened their second half account from a free.
That was the winners only score of the third quarter and Murphy, with his third point of the match, again left four between the sides in the 46th minute.
The efforts of Paul Meade, Cian and Ronan McGrath, Hank Traynor, Ned Kearney and Eric O’Reilly ensured that Simonstown were still in contention going into that final quarter.
Skryne had a let off in the 47th minute when a fine John Lunney effort rebounded off the crossbar.
The Town side kept up the pressure and Ned Kearney converted a sideline kick before Colm Keys pointed a close range free to leave just two points between the sides.
That was the end of the Simonstown challenge though and when they failed to clear their lines in the 52nd minute Trevor Giles took advantage to point from a free.
Giles from another free, and the impressive Mick O’Dowd added further points to ease the holders into the semi-finals and a clash with either Dunderry or Kilmainhamwood.
Scorers: Skryne: Mick O’Dowd (1-2), Paul O’Donnell (1-1), Trevor Giles, Ciaran Murphy (0-3 each).
Simonstown: Eric O’Reilly, Paul O’Brien (0-3 each), Ned Kearney (0-2), Hank Traynor, Colm Keys (0-1 each).
Skryne: P. Kinsella, P. Donnelly, K. Pentony, M. Mulvany, G. Geraghty, R. Mulvany, D. Donnelly, J. McDermott, P. O’Donnell, B. Smyth, M. O’Dowd, S. Lynch, K. O’Connell, T. Giles, C. Murphy.
Sub: M. Harrington for Lynch.
Simonstown: D. Brady, M. Gorman, R. McGrath, A. Meade, S. Kenny, C. McGrath, H. Traynor, P. Meade, S. Kennedy, C. Keys, P. O’Brien, H.J. O’Reilly, N. Kearney, J. Lunney, E. O’Reilly.
Subs: M. Byrne for Kennedy, D. O’Brien for H. J. O’Reilly, K. Cantwell for A. Meade.
Referee: Jimmy Henry.
DUNDERRY ... 0-12
KILMAINHAMWOOD ... 1-9
MEATH legend Brian Stafford helped rescue Kilmainhamwood’s Keegan Cup challenge when scoring a goal five minutes from the finish of this exciting SFC quarter final at Pairc Tailteann on Friday evening last.
36 year-old Stafford was sprung from the bench with ten minutes to go. Five minutes later he rewarded the selectors with a goal which turned the tie around.
The ‘Wood appeared to be on the way out of the championship race when trailing by six points near the end of the third quarter. However with the help of that Stafford goal they staged a great recovery to draw with hot favourites Dunderry.
Dunderry looked to be cruising through to join Skryne and Dunshaughlin in the last four when 0-10 to 0-4 to the good and were four clear when Stafford made his timely introduction.
A couple of well struck points from current Meath forward Ray McGee were also crucial in the comeback and the corner forward had a shot saved by Martin Kelly before Stafford finished to the net.
Then Francis Owens took a pass from McGee before sending over the levelling score.
At the final whistle Dunderry were probably the more relieved of the two sides.
Kilmainhamwood coach Eamonn McEneaney missed the game because he was away on holidays and Louth manager Paddy Clarke was drafted in to help out.
Clarke coached the ‘Wood to an IFC success in 1994 and SFC glory in ‘96.
The Wee County boss saw both sides make a number of elementary errors and the North Meath side over indulging in short passing before adopting more direct methods in the second half.
With Damien Clarke taking over from Tommy Dowd as their main strike force, Dunderry had the better of the first half and led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.
The ‘Wood defence performed very solidly with Gerard Owens, Liam Shankey and Ray Madden giving little away.
Still the introduction of substitute Ivan McCormack, who scored three points, in the third quarter appeared to give Dunderry a winning edge.
Suddenly McGee, who had been quiet for most of the match, began to come good and young Michael Shankey was another to impress in attack.
Dunderry - M. Kelly, K. Slattery, K. Callaghan, G. Newman, C. Harte (0-1), D. Callaghan, E. Howley, K. Dowd, S. O’Rourke, D. Clarke (0-3), B. Callaghan (0-1), T. Conaty (0-1), E. Murray, T. Dowd (0-1), K. Folan (0-2).
Subs - I. McCormack (0-3) for Conaty, N. Howley for O’Rourke, S. Harte for K. Callaghan.
Kilmainhamwood - R. Finnegan, G. Owens, L. Shankey, S. Rafferty, P. Shankey, R. Madden, A. Rogers, M. Curtis, K. Russell (0-1), A. Crosbie, C. Gilcreest, J. Corrigan, R. McGee (0-3), F. Owens (0-3), M. Shankey (0-2).
Subs - D. Cunningham for Rogers, L. McCormack for Corrigan, B. Stafford (1-0) for Curtis, S. Russell for Rafferty.
Referee - D. Coldrick (Blackhall Gaels).