Summerhill put an end to their Royal famine

Frank Roche

A ROYAL famine stretching back 25 years finally ended for Summerhill who were crowned Meath SFC champions after a marathon duel with Dunshaughlin.

The decider had ended in deadlock two weeks ago, and the two sides were still inseparable after an hour at Páirc Tailteann yesterday before the 'Hill pushed for home in extra-time, eventually prevailing by 0-14 to 1-9.

Former inter-county panellist Adrian Kenny proved their match-winner with a six-point haul -- all from play -- even though, as in the original stalemate, Summerhill were made sweat all the way.

They led by 0-7 to 1-1 at half-time, the goal coming from Tommy Johnson, but Dunshaughlin upped the ante on the resumption and looked poised for victory when leading by two points entering the home straight.

But then points from Kenny and Michael Byrne, with an injury-time free, pushed the tie into extra-time where Summerhill made a decisive break with four points in the opening period.

It proved enough, despite another valiant charge from Dunshaughlin who had a chance to sneak victory at the death only for Tony McDonnell to make a comfortable save from Cathal O'Dwyer.

lPADDY KEENAN has kept St Patrick's Louth SFC dream alive after yesterday's tension-soaked decider with Newtown Blues ended all square, 0-10 to 1-7. The All Star midfielder kicked seven of their 10 points, five from play, including a 57th-minute equaliser to ensure a replay. Despite some wayward shooting, Blues led 1-4 to 0-5 at the break thanks to a 27th-minute penalty converted by John Kermode.

lHORESWOOD dethroned Castletown in a marvellous Wexford SFC final, finishing with a scoring flourish to win by a somewhat flattering 3-9 to 0-11. They led by 1-4 to 0-2 at the break, aided by an Eddie Shiely goal, only for Castletown to storm back and draw level with nine minutes remaining. But then late goals from David Shannon, following a goalkeeping fumble, and Declan Murphy sealed victory for the underdogs.

lOLD LEIGHLIN are Carlow SFC champions for a third time after withstanding a late rally from Tinryland to win by 1-8 to 1-7 at Dr Cullen Park.

lCOOLDERRY retained their Offaly SHC title in dramatic fashion at O'Connor Park, repelling a second-half charge from former kingpins Birr.

The holders were full value for their 1-11 to 0-7 interval lead, only for Birr to catch fire during the third quarter with six unanswered points. Birr were just a point down with all the momentum before a brilliantly taken injury-time goal from substitute Kevin Connolly sealed a 2-14 to 0-16 win for Coolderry.

lHALF-TIME substitute Alan Dowdall proved the game-breaker for Clonkill in yesterday's Westmeath SHC final, scoring the all-important 35th-minute goal that propelled them to a 1-13 to 0-14 victory over Castletown-Geoghegan.