Sweet relief as Simonstown win first ever Meath title

Simonstown Gaels 1-14 Donaghmore/Ashbourne 0-8: Simonstown Gaels made no mistake at the third time of asking when capturing their first ever Meath SFC title before a crowd of 6,000 at Páirc Tailteann yesterday.

Sweet relief as Simonstown win first ever Meath title

It was an emotional day for Royal legend and winning manager Colm O’Rourke whose son Shane playing a prominent role in the breakthrough victory.

O’Rourke was also boss when the north Navan outfit contested their two previous deciders — in the first of those, in 2003, they lost a nine-point interval lead.

They had a cushion of 10 points to spare at half-time in this one and it was an advantage they never looked like relinquishing on this occasion.

Simonstown went into the game as outsiders but they opened the scoring inside 10 seconds with a point from Pauric McKeever.

The game burst to life when Andrew Tormey was hauled down for a penalty on two minutes. However the inter-county star had his spot-kick well saved by Simonstown keeper Robert Burlingham.

With the Australian Rules-bound Conor Nash, and Shane O’Rourke dominating the midfield exchanges, Simonstown took control for the remainder of the half to build up an interval lead of 1-9 to 0-2.

Top scorer McKeever accounted for five points while the vital goal came from captain Joe Lyons after an Ashbourne defender failed to cut out a cross field delivery from Mark McCabe.

Nash and McKeever increased the Simonstown lead on the restart and there was simply no way back for a disappointing Ashbourne outfit after that.

Michael Deegan notched three points and Tormey accounted for two in the second half but the goal that Ashbourne needed to make a game of it never materialised.

Nash was black carded on 48 minutes but that setback failed to stymie their dominance. The Simonstown rearguard held firm as Ashbourne attempted to find the net — the closest they came was from Deegan but the Dublin inter-county star had two goal efforts charged down in the final quarter.

Scorers for Simonstown:

P McKeever 0-6 (4f), J Lyons 1-0, S O’Rourke, C Nash 0-2 each, C Sheridan (’45), S Kenny, B McGrath, M Brennan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donaghmore/Ashbourne:

M Deegan 0-3 (2f), A Tormey 0-2, J Colgan, C Carey, D Brady 0-1 each.

SIMONSTOWN GAELS:

R Burlingham; S Gallagher, N McMahon, S Moran; M O’Rourke, B Conlon, N Kane; S O’Rourke, C Nash; J Lyons, S Kenny, M McCabe; P McKeever, C Sheridan, E Donoghue.

Subs:

S Tobin for Sheridan (38), B McGrath for M O’Rourke (44), M Brennan for Nash (BC 48), S Barry for Lyons (58).

DONAGHMORE/ASHBOURNE:

J Hannigan; S Curran, J Colgan, JP Casserly; D McGovern, T McGovern, P Gilligan; C Carey, D Morgan; C Field, M Deegan, C Carton; D Brady, A Tormey, B Menton.

Subs:

C McGill for Morgan (14), E Riordan for Casserly (25), C Ellis for Field (h-t), A Hughes for Carton (45), J Giles for D McGovern (48), S Melia for Gilligan (56).

Referee:

C Reilly (St Mary’s)

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