SFC Semi-final 2023

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SFC semi-final: ‘Hill secure return ticket to final
A strong final quarter secured a return to the SFC final for Summerhill at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.

Summerhill ……. 0-10
Donaghmore Ashbourne ………… 0-8

Conor Gillespie’s team outscored Donaghmore-Ashbourne by 0-5 to 0-1 in the latter stages. A trio of Eoghan Frayne pointed frees in this phase were central to the outcome.

The third of these restored Summerhill’s lead, which they held briefly in the opening quarter. Conor Frayne doubled his side’s advantage. Kevin Fenton trimmed the deficit to the minimum in the 58th minute but it proved to be Donaghmore-Ashbourne’s last score.

With stoppage time beckoning Eoghan Frayne’s fifth pointed free earned Summerhill some breathing space. In the third minute of stoppage time Donaghmore-Ashbourne lost Andrew Tormey to a straight red card. The full-forward appeared to strike out an opponent he felt was too slow in returning the ball for a 45 as his team went in search of a dramatic winning goal.

Half of the eventual winners’ tally came from Eoghan Frayne frees. By full-time Summerhill had six different scorers.

From Summerhill’s perspective their goal was to secure a final place. Donaghmore-Ashbourne goalkeeper Andrew Colgan was his team’s top scorer with three frees. They only managed two points from play over the hour.

The first half was another edition of ‘chess’ football. Andrew Colgan was first to score when landing a free from about 40 metres. Summerhill replied positively through Eoghan Frayne (free) and Conor Lyons to lead by 0-2 to 0-1 in the seventh minute.

An Andrew Tormey 10th minute free levelled matters for the second tiime. The Moors kicked on with a trio of points to lead by 0-5 to 0-2 with 22 minutes gone. Summerhill wer the more wasteful side in the first half, recording five wides to Donaghmore-Ashbourne’s single miss which arrived in the 29th minute.

Summerhill doubled their tally in the final minutes of the half with scores from Adam McDonnell (a brilliant effort from the right wing). Then Kevin Ryan trimmed the deficit to the minimum in the 29th minute when assisted by David Larkin.

Leo Reilly’s foot pass set Dylan Brady up for an equisite score that left the team representing the county’s second most populated town leading 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

Donaghmore-Ashbourne only managed two more points, both from sub Kevin Fenton, in the final quarter. Last year’s runners-up chalked up six second-half points
as they earned their fifth final place since their most recent SFC outright success.

Scorers: Summerhill – Eoghan Frayne 0-5 fs; Adam McDonnell 0-1; Barry Dardis 0-1; Conor Frayne 0-1; Conor Lyons 0-1; Kevin Ryan 0-1;
Donaghmrore-Ashbourne – Andrew Colgan 0-3 fs: Andrew Tormey 0-2fs; Kevin Fenton 0-2 (one mark); Dylan Brady 0-1;

Donaghmore-Ashbourne – Andrew Colgan; James Redmond, Shane Melia, Evan Quinn; Thomas McGovern, Sean Curran, Conor Carton; Kevin Cully, Bryan Menton (c); Leo Reilly, Darragh McGovern, Michael Deegan; Jamie Browne, Andrew Tormey, Dylan Brady. Subs – Kevin Fenton for Browne (34), James Crumlish for Deegan (47), Eoin Ryan for Colgan (52), Michael O’Sullivan for Brady (58), Zach Thornton for D McGovern (60).

Summerhill – Sean Muddiman; Iarla Hughes, Ronan Ryan, John Lavelle; Adam McDonnell, Ross Ryan, Padhraig Geraghty (c); Adam Flanagan, Micheal Byrne; David Larkin, Eoghan Frayne, Kevin Ryan; Conor Lyons, Conor Frayne, Barry Dardis. Subs – John Keane for Byrne (ht), Sean Dalton for Lyons (39), Padraig Jennings for Hughes (41), Jamie O’Shea for K Ryan (47), Eamon McDonnell for C Frayne (58).

Referee – Padraic Coyle (Seneschalstown)