“Sport can be cruel…”
Summerhill travelled to Dunganny on Tuesday evening to take on the St Mary’s/Rathkenny combination in the Division 3 Minor Final in a game that turned out to be a classic. Summerhill had lost to this team in the group stages of the competition and knew they had a tough task ahead of them. St Mary’s/Rathkenny outfit dominated the early proceedings and by the 10th minutes they were leading by 1-5 to a single point scored by Daniel Gaffney. Summerhill slowly but surely started to drag themselves back into the game with a number of fine points from Darragh Tormey, Josh Coughlin and Bobby O’Shea. However, on the stroke of half time the St Mary’s/Rathkenny outfit struck for their second goal to extend their lead 8 points. At the break the score was Summerhill 0-6 St Mary’s/Rathkenny 2-8. Summerhill knew at the break that they had a mountain to climb but also knew it was not over as in previous matches they often come good in the second half.
Summerhill started the second-half with much more intent with corner forward Cormac Murray firing narrowly wide after two minutes as they went in search of the goals that they would need to bring them back into the match. In the third minute of the half following good work out to field from Mark McDonald Darragh Tormey hit the back of the net for Summerhill’s has first goal. St Mary’s/Rathkenny hit back with two points of their own to push the lead out again but in the 11th minute of the half Manny Magno who was been well marshalled by the opposition full back hit the back of the net again for Summerhill to cut the deficit once again. Five minutes later Summerhill ‘s third goal arrives courtesy of Daniel Gaffney to cut the lead to a single point with 15 minutes left on the clock. A further St Mary’s/Rathkenny point was cancelled out by an excellent 45 from Darragh Tormey. From the resulting kick out Summerhill scored their fourth goal when Daniel Gaffney grabbed his second of the evening this put the Summerhill lads in the lead for the first time in the game by two points. Summerhill were well on top at this stage with goalkeeper Michael Madden and defenders Lewis Ryan and Jake Lyons been particularly prominent in repelling St Mary’s/Rathkenny attacks. To their credit the St Mary’s/Rathkenny lads hit back with three frees to take the lead again with time almost up. Summerhill went on the attack looking for the equalising score as the final whistle was about to be blown. A Darragh Tormey 45 dropped agonisingly short, but Summerhill were awarded a free which, under the severest of pressure Tormey put over to tie the game at full time Summerhill 4-8 to St Mary’s/Rathkenny 2-14.
Summerhill dominated the early stages of extra time adding two points in the first half. Another Darragh Tormey free from distance early in the second period of extra time pushed the Summerhill lead out to three. Once again to their credit the St Mary’s/Rathkenny lads fought back. As has had been the trend all evening they seemed to find frees easy to come and their excellent free taker duly dispatched two more. With time up at the end of extra time the St Mary’s/Rathkenny scored the equalising point. The huge effort that the Summerhill lads put into the second-half to claw their way back into the game was starting to take its toll with players going down with cramp all over the field. With penalties looking likely, in the third minute of added time at the end of the extra time St Mary’s/Rathkenny scored the winning point with referee David Gough blowing the final whistle on the kick out leaving the Summerhill lads distraught and triggering great celebrations in the St Mary’s/Rathkenny camp.
Sport can be cruel especially when it comes to underage games on this was one of the cruellest that left the Summerhill lads devastated at the end. It will be of little consolation for them to know they were involved in one of the best games you are likely to see at any level this year. Huge credit must go to the lads who gave it absolutely everything, they never gave in and fought to the bitter end. They can be very proud of themselves and are a credit to their families and the club. Huge credit must also go their coaches Adrian Byrne, Willie Crowell, Cha Gaffney, Tom McVann and physio Chrissy for a fantastic job they have done with these lads all year.
Congratulations to St Mary’s/Rathkenny on the win.
Full-time score: Summerhill 4-11 St Mary’s Rathkenny 2-18.
Team: Michael Madden, Jake Lyons, Brian Quinn, Sean Conboy, Jake Ryan, Lewis Ryan, Mark Mc Donald, Darragh Tormey (captain) (1-6, 3f 2 45), Darragh Horgan, Josh Coughlan (0-1), Bobby O’Shea (0-1), Daniel Gaffney (2-2), Cormac Murray (0-1), Manny Mango (1-0), Declan Byrne.
Subs: Adam Barry, Jamie Byrne, Ross Byrne, Conor Quinn, Callum Farrell, Mike Feeney, Harry Gray, Aaron Hussey, Sennan Loughery, Ben McQuaid, Ethan O’Connor, James O Connor.