Summerhill welcomed neighbors Na Fianna on a cool but dry Saturday afternoon for the first round of A-League. The home side welcomed back several first team regulars who had missed the match against Ashbourne the previous week. Summerhill began brightly with points from Barry Dardis and Liam Shaw. Na Fianna were struggling to get into the game but they struck for a goal in the 4th minute that saw them take the lead. Summerhill produced an excellent response to the concession of the goal by scoring the next 4 points, one from Kevin Ryan and 3 from Liam Shaw who was having a great half. Na Fianna hit back with a point but the home side soon replied putting over two more points one from Kevin Ryan a 45 from Barry Dardis to push the lead out to four points as the halftime whistle approached. In the minutes leading up to the halftime break the visitor put over two points in quick succession to close the gap to just two points at the break. Half time score Summerhill 0-8 Na Fianna 1-3.
Summerhill started the second-half well adding two more points to stretch the lead. Despite several other decent chances Summerhill failed to add to their tally for the next 15 minutes hitting 4 wides in a row. These misses allowed Na Fianna to slowly but surely eat into the lead, hitting three points without reply to close the gap a just single point with 10 minutes remaining. Summerhill finally got the score board moving again with a good point from Jamie O’Shea who was having an excellent game. This was soon cancelled out by a Na Fianna point to reduce the gap to the minimum. Another Barry Dardis point was soon followed by what turned out to be the decisive score of the game. With seven minutes left on the clock a well worked moved in involving Conor Lyons and second-half substitute Ronan Ryan resulted in Liam Shaw finding himself one-on-one with the Na Fianna keeper. He made no mistake as he coolly fired to the back of the net to finally put some daylight between the two teams. Now trailing by five points the visitors threw everything into attack in the search for scores but despite the pressure the only managed to add one more score to their tally to leave the final score Summerhill 1-12 Na Fianna 1-8.
Summerhill would be happy to get their defense of the A-League off to a good start but know improvement will be needed as the league progresses. Next up for Summerhill is an away trip to Dunshaughlin next weekend.
Team: Tony McDonnell, John Lavelle, Iarla Hughes, Mark Donoghue, Padhraig Geraghty, Conor McNally, Jamie O’Shea (0-1), Adam Flanagan,Diarmuid McCabe, David Larkin, Conor Lyons (0-1), Kevin Ryan (0-2), Conor Frayne, Barry Dardis (0-4, 1f, 1 45), LiamShaw (1-4).
Subs: Darragh McVann for McCabe, Ronan Ryan for McNally, Jack Davies for Conor Lyons.