A Keegan cup decider for the ages showed that when two teams try and win a match gaelic football is not yet dead.
Hands up like most others Meath Live expected a low scoring bore fest but what we got was a mini classic with drama all the way from Bryan McMahon’s fisted fifth minute goal that had the losers 1-1 to 0-0 ahead.
This was the fourth of the weekends finals and similar to Slane in Saturdays Junior B decider Ratoath hit the net early on the difference being Slane did it again minutes later Ratoath though were unable to find a second goal when they really needed it.
Summerhill made up for last year’s loss with a bounce back from that early concession that saw them make most of the running here. .
As anticipated it was a close contest for the opening at least for the initial hour but in the additional twenty minutes the ‘Hill showed superior power from the bench.
This phase of the game illustrated the strength of their bench in sharp contrast to Ratoath’s. By the end 11 different players were on the new champions’ scoresheet.
Kevin Reilly’s side had eight scorers, but only two managed more than two points as Ratoath fell to their first SFC final defeat.
Ratoath’s recently returned ‘keeper Shane Duffy saved well from David Larkin in the 10th minute. and Kevin Reilly’s side scrambled a few away from the goal line as Summerhill took first half control.
Adam McDonnell’s stoppage time point earned Summerhill a 0-10 to 1-6 interval lead.
Ten minutes into the second half Ratoath opened up a two-point lead again when McMahon registered. Postive interventions by Ben McGowan and goalkeeper Shane Duffy prevented Summerhill making further headway.
The scoring rate dipped in the fourth quarter. In the fifth minute of stoppage time corner Summerhill corner-back John Lavelle edged his team ahead.
It took a 40-metre pointed free from Daithi McGowan, after sub Davy Dalton luckily stayed on following a neck high challenge, a minute later to bring matters to extra time with the score tied, 1-12 to 0-15.
The 0-7 to 0-1 scoreline in the winners favour in the additional period tells its own tale.
Scorers: Summerhill – Eoghan Frayne 0-6 (4fs); Barry Dardis 0-4 (2 marks, 1f); David Larkin 0-2; Conor Frayne 0-2; Conor Lyons 0-2; Adam McDonnell 0-1; Diarmuid McCabe 0-1; John Lavelle 0-1; Diarmuid McCabe 0-1; Davy Dalton 0-1; Padraig Jennings 0-1.
Ratoath – Bryan McMahon 1-1; Daithi McGowan 0-4 (3fs); Jack Flynn 0-2; Cian O’Brien 0-2; Eamon Wallace 0-1; Joey Wallace 0-1;Cian Rogers 0-1; Ciaran O Fearaigh 0-1.
Summerhill – Sean Muddiman; Iarla Hughes, Ronan Ryan, John Lavelle; Adam McDonnell, Ross Ryan, Padhraig Geraghty; Adam Flanagan, John Keane; David Larkin, Eoghan Frayne, Kevin Ryan; Diarmuid McCabe, Conor Frayne, Barry Dardis. Subs – Micheal Byrne for Keane (17), Conor Lyons for K Ryan (40), Padraig Jennings for Hughes (43), Davy Dalton for McCabe (56), Eamon McDonnell for Dardis (bs 60-62). Subs in extra time – Eamon McDonnell for C Frayne (9), Ben Moran for Geraghty (11), Sean Dalton for E Frayne (12).
Ratoath – Shane Duffy; Ben Wyer, Conor McGill, Ciaran O Fearraigh; Andrew Gerrard, Gavin McGowan, Eamon Wallace; Jack Flynn, Ben McGowan; Keith McCabe, Daithi McGowan, Cian O’Brien; Cian Rogers, Joey Wallace, Bryan McMahon. Subs -, Padraig Byrne for Gerrard (45), Bobby O’Brien for McCabe (48), Conor Rooney for C O’Brien (60 + 2). Subs in extra time – Liam Kelly for G McGowan (6), Tom Fadden for J Wallace (9), Ronan Byrne for McMahon (10).
Referee – David Coldrick (Blackhall Gaels)