Full time Score: Summerhill 3-12 Donaghmore-Ashbourne 2-6
Barry Dardis scored 2-6 to return Summerhlll to the SFC final with a bit to spare over Donaghmore-Ashbourne at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.
Last year’s runners-up scored 1-7 without reply between the 16th and 35th minutes to secure their merited final meeting with Dunboyne. It left Summerhill 1-8 to 0-3 to the good.
Thereafter the outcome was never in doubt. Gary Sweeney’s 38th minute goal for Donaghmore-Ashbourne came with assistance from Andrew Tormey. However, it only provided temporary respite for the men from Meath’s second largest town.
Two Dardis goals in quick succession around the 50th minute eased Summerhill to the finish line. An Andrew Tormey goal, after James Crumlish’s 55th minute effort was parried by Tony McDonnell, softened the scoreline for Gabriel Brannigan’s men.
David Larkin closed Summerhill’s account, while the man who got the scoring underway. Donaghmore-Ashbourne’s Paul Gilligan completed the sequence.
Playing into increasingly strong wind in the first-half, Donaghmore-Ashbourne made the first impression on the scoreboard with Paul Gilligan’s second minute pointed free. Summerhill responded through Kevin Ryan, levelling matters for the first of two times in the opening 30 minutes.
Donaghmore-Ashbourne went on to shade the opening quarter adding points from play through Gilligan and Bryan Melia leaving it 0-3 to 0-1 heading into the second quarter.
Upping their game, Summerhill responded with five unanswered points with Sean Dalton getting the sequence going in the 16th minute.
The highlight of this quarter was a Barry Dardis’ 25th minute effort from play that put Summerhill for the first time, 0-4 to 0-3.
Two Dardis frees enhanced Summerhill’s positiion. Donaghmore-Ashbourne’s Colm O Mealoid had two chances in quick succession to bag a goal. His first was parried by Summerhill ‘keeper Tony McDonnell. John Keane intervened to prevent the second attempt.
Summerhill led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.
Donaghmore-Ashbourne resumed with promise, Gary Sweeney and Andrew Tormey combining to set up Gilligan with a goal chance.
Tony McDonnell parried it at the expense of a 45 that proved fruitless. Instead of regaining parity, Donaghmore-Ashbourne soon found themselves six points down.
David Larkin’s low delivery was spilled by county ‘keeper Jack Hannigan. Davy Dalton availed to fire to the net to leave it 1-6 to 0-3 after 33 minutes.
Summerhill – Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Caolan Young, John Lavelle; Stephen Husband, Willie Ryan, Padraig Geraghty; Michael Byrne, John Keane; Kevin Ryan (0-2), David Larkin (0-1), Cian Devlin; Sean Dalton (0-2), Barry Dardis ( 2-6, 3fs), Davy Dalton (1-1). Subs – Ross Ryan for Husband (40), Liam Shaw for S Dalton (56), Ciaran Gillespie for Keane (60), Paul Larkin for D Dalton (60 + 1)
Don-Ashbourne – Jack Hannigan; Iarlaith O’Donnell, Cormac McGill, Sean Curran; Conor Carton, Colm O Mealoid, Paul Gilligan (0-3, 2fs); Shane Melia (C) (0-1), Bryan Menton (0-1); James Crumlish, Darragh McGovern, Thomas McGovern; Dylan Reilly (0-1), Andrew Tormey (1-0), Gary Sweeney (1-0). Subs – Jack Giles for O Mealoid (37), Stephen Carton (0-1) for O’Donnell (44), Leo Reilly for Crumlish (44), Kevin Lannigan for Brady (56)
Referee – David Coldrick (Blackhall Gaels)