Summerhill go the extra for victory

NOT a classic in Navan by any means yet a replay that won’t easily be forgotten, 120 energy sapping minutes failing to separate the teams.

Summerhill full-forward Stephen Kennedy did have a chance to kick the winner at the end of normal time from a 45 he kicked it short and referee David Gough blew for full-time at 1-7 to 0-10.

Summerhill’s error wasn’t punished, however, as four unanswered pointsin the first-half of extra-time sealed the win.

Their first title since 1986 represented a victory for substance over style as, just like the drawn game, they trailed Dunshaughlin late in normal time.

They were one down with four minutes to go a fortnight earlier but rescued a replay.

Yesterday, they actually trailed by two after 54 minutes before points from ‘Man of the Match’ Adrian Kenny and then Michael Byrne forced extra-time.

Captain Tony McDonnell – Summerhill’s first title winning skipper since the great Mick Lyons — acknowledged in his victory speech that this was all about the power of the collective.

Dunshaughlin, the three in-a-row champions from 2000-2002, will kick themselves that it’s not them looking forward to playing the Dublin champions on November 13.

They started poorly, struggled at midfield and had little to offer up front when they did get the ball there.

In fact, they clung to Tommy Johnson’s well taken 16th minute goal for dear life as they trailed 1-1 to 0-7 at half-time.

But, aided by a significant breeze in the second-hal, f they opened up with some excellent football to completely turn the game in their favour.

Funnelling their attacks through the small but hugely efficient centre-forward Trevor Dowd, the black and amber men picked off scores at will.

Dowd converted two frees before playing in Johnson for a score. Then John Crimmins nailed a beauty from 50 yards out to level it at 1-5 to 0-8.

Dowd kicked his third point of the half before captain Ray Maloney pumped the air in delight after moving the village side 1-7 to 0-8 clear with the winning line looming.

Just six minutes remained now and having been largely written off at the start of the year brave Dunshaughlin looked destined for a famous win to match their breakthrough 2000 success.

But that two point lead ultimately proved too little, a string of first-half wides and errant kicks coming back to haunt them.

The excellent Kenny looped a kick over Ronan Gogan’s head, and just over the Dunshaughlin cross bar, for Summerhill’s first score in 15 minutes.

Then Byrne kicked the equaliser from a free which was won by Conor Gillespie who had a fine game at midfield.

Still, extra-time was only prolonging the agony as Summerhill, beaten finalists in 2008, finally finished off the contest with four points to no score in the first 10 minutes.

Kenny, David Larkin, Byrne and Gillespie kicked the scores – and they hung on into the teeth of the breeze after the break, limiting their opponents to just two points.

SUMMERHILL: T McDonnell; R Hatton, C Young, D Dalton; S Husband, W Ryan, M Gorman; C Gillespie (0-1), P Comey; D Larkin (0-2), B Ennis (0-1; 1f), M Byrne (0-4; 2f); P Rispin, S Kennedy, A Kenny (0-6).

Subs.: C Malone for Husband 24, S Dalton for Gorman 43, B Lyons for Comey 53. P Larkin for Rispin 75, G Rispin for Malone 81.

DUNSHAUGHLIN: R Gogan; A Doyle, K McTigue, M Ahern; A Johnson, C King, D Kealy; J Crimmins (0-1), R Maloney (0-1); F Toolan (0-1; 1f), T Dowd (0-3; 3f), C Deveraux; C O’Dwyer (0-1), N Murphy, T Johnson (1-1).

Subs.: N Kelly for T Johnson 61, T O Dushlaine for Dowd 63. E Hegarty (0-1) for Toolan h/t e/t, R Kealy for A Johnson 73, K Ward for King 74.

Referee: D Gough (Slane).

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