A better return from forwards in terms of scoring power was the main difference between these teams at the end of an absorbing Group D encounter in Pairc Tailteann yesterday. This was especially true of Summerhill in the second half, having emerged for the second period two points down. The first half was a difficult one for the Hill boys, going 7 points down by the 15th minute courtesy of Senechalstown goals, one of which was of the ‘soft’ variety.
Things got worse after the first sos uisce when John Keane was sin binned for the remainder of the half. The numerical disadvantage seemed to spur on Summerhill and they upped the tempo, caused a turnover in the scoring zone which yielded a pointed free from the accurate Conor Lyons . This was followed by a great goal on 27 minutes by Eoghan Frayne after an assist by his brother Conor who received the perfect ball at the end of a sweeping move starting from the kick out. In the first quarter Brian Sheridan was causing problems in the full forward line where the direct ball was the play of choice. Cathal Finnegan was also doing damage, underlining his Meath form earlier in the summer. Summerhill were simply not winning enough around the middle, but after the water break and Keane’s black card Micheál Byrne took over and caught several kick out balls that turned the game and put the Hill in a much better place going into the half time break.
Although the Yellow Furze men were first to score after the break, Summerhill form before half time was in the ascendant. Back to full compliment of players they continued the midfield dominance, winning most of the breaking ball in that sector. Half forward Davy Larkin added to his first half point with a lovely left foot effort, while Lyons added a brace from play, split by a point from a free which gave his side a lead they were never to relinquish. Another one from Paul Larkin who was everywhere in his new sweeper role left the score at the second water break 1-11 to 2-6.
Senechalstown were now forcing the play a little, had a number of wides into the hospital end, and were relying on free kicks to keep the game alive. The Summerhill defence, led by Ronan Ryan, Caolan Young and Padraig Jennings was resolute, snuffing out several attacks, while at the other end the introduction of Diarmuid McCabe for the mighty Micheál Byrne resulted in a point off the left with his first touch. McCabe followed up with another from close in on 29 minutes. Eoghan Frayne had just added to his first half goal with a lovely point from play, and finished the winners score with a last minute free with the game entering injury time.
Full Time Score: Summerhill 1-15 Senechalstown 2-9
Half time Score: Summerhill 1-5 Senechalstown 2-4
Summerhill Scores: Conor Lyons 0-6(4f) Eoghan Frayne 1-2(1f), Conor Frayne 0-2, Davy Larkin 0-2, Diarmuid McCabe 0-2, Adam McDonnell 0-1.
Team: Tony McDonnell, Caolan Young, Ronan Ryan, Padraig Jennings, Ross Ryan, John Keane, John Lavelle, Micheál Byrne, Adam Mc Donnell, David Larkin, Paul Larkin, Conor Lyons, Conor Frayne, David Dalton, Eoghan Frayne.
Subs: Diarmuid McCabe for Micheál Byrne, Jamie O’Shea for Conor Frayne, Liam Shaw for Conor Lyons.
Picture from hoganstand.com