Summerhill made the long journey to Pilltown to take on St Colmcille’s in Round 3 of the Meath U20 championship. The visitors were hoping to maintain their unbeaten in the competition. Supporters expected a close game between these two sided who had contested the minor division 1 final back in 2019 and they were not disappointed. In a great example of player retention 14 of Summerhill’s starting minor team from that 2019 final featured in the game, 12 of them starting with 2 more coming on as subs. This is something the Summerhill club can be very proud of.
Despite the recent inclement weather, it was a perfect evening for football and this contributed to the quality of the football on show from both teams.
The visitors got off to a good start with a fine point from the boot of Adam McDonnell in the 3rd minute. Cilles began to find their range and added 3 points without reply to take the lead. Another McDonnell point was cancelled out by a Cilles point to push the lead out again. Summerhill were finding it difficult to create scoring chances as the home side defended in numbers and broke forward at pace. Danger man Eoghan Frayne was been double marked and was finding it difficult to get into the game. Summerhill hit a purple patch in the lead up to half time adding 3 further points from Adam McDonnell, Daragh McVann and a first of the game from Eoghan Frayne to lead at the break by 5 points to four.
The home side started the 2nd half brightly with a quick point that was quickly cancelled out by an excellent point from Jamie O’Shea after good work by Donal Matthews. The Cilles men seized the initiative in the game scoring 4 points in a row by the 12th minute of the half to open up a 3-point lead. Things got worse for Summerhill when Adam McDonnell who was having a fine game picked up a black card in the 15th minute.
Despite been a man down Summerhill did not throw in the towel and hit the next two points, both frees from Eoghan Frayne, to cut the deficit to just a point but the Cilles hit back immediately with 2 points of the own to extend the lead back out to 3 with 5 minutes left on the clock. Driven on by the returning McDonnell Summerhill hit 3 points in a row to draw level by the 28th minute. The 3rd of these points was a monster from a line ball by Eoghan Frayne. With the clock in the red the Cilles men won a free which was converted to take the lead once more.
Excitement was at fever pitch at this stage when Adam McDonnell was dragged to the ground as he drove at the hearth of the Cilles defence. The foul resulted in a black card for the Cilles defender but crucially dissent from a Summerhill player resulted in a throw up rather than a Summerhill free. From the throw in the ball broke to McDonnell who again was fouled as he headed for goal. With 35 minutes on the clock Eoghan Frayne landed the free from over 40 meters out to draw the match once again. Referee Liam Reddy blew the final whistle on the kick out to end a terrific game with honours even 12 points apiece. Full credit to both sets of players for serving up such an exciting game.
I don’t know what it is with draws between Summerhill and St Colmcille’s but this is the 3rd time this year at various grades that these clubs have finished level after 60 minutes. It happened in the A-League final where Summerhill went on to win after extra time and also in the Premier 2 final when St Colmcille’s went on to win after extra time.
The draw sees Summerhill qualify for the semi-final and see St Colmcille’s also in a strong position to qualify also.
Half-time score Summerhill 0-5 St Colmcilles 0-4.
Full-time score Summerhill 0-12 St Colmcilles 0-12.
Sean Hughes, Daragh Loughrey, Eoghan Grehan, Darren Chapman, Kevin Mulligan, Gavin McVann, Ben Moran, Adam McDonnell (0-3), Donal Matthews, James Gray, Jamie O’Shea (0-2), Luke Byrne, Darragh McVann (0-1), Eoghan Frayne (0-6, 4f, 1LB),Luke Moran.
Adam Byrne for James Gray; Evan Gaffney for Luke Moran; Oisin Hussey for Luke Byrne.