SFC Final 2023

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SFC final: ‘Hill prevail convincingly over holders
Summerhill claimed the SFC title for the eight time and first since 2013 at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday when running out convincing winners over holders Ratoath

Summerhill ……….. 0-22
Ratoath …………….. 1-13
after extra time

Conor Gillespie’s men atoned for last year’s loss with a determination that saw them make most of the running here. They put the concession of Bryan McMahon’s fifth minute goal behind them to gradually take control of proceedings as the opening half wore on.

Summerhill put four final defeats behind them since their most recent SFC success behind them, including last year’s minimum margin loss to Ratoath.

The closeness of the respective kits led to change on both sides that enhanced their viewing quality.

It was a close contest for the opening 60 miinutes. Undeterred by Ratoath’s late leveller in normal time they moved up a few gears in the 20 extra minutes. In that time they outscored the holders by 0-7 to 0-1.

This phase of the game illustrated the strength of their bench in sharp contrast to Ratoath’s. By the end 11 different players were on the new champions’ scoresheet.

Kevin Reilly’s side had eight scorers, but only two managed more than two points as Ratoath fell to their first SFC final defeat.

Ratoath ‘keeper Shane Duffy saved well from David Larkin in the 10th minute. Summerhill finally got on level terms, 0-7 to 1-4, through Barry Dardis in the 23rd minute. Eoghan Frayne’s 27th minute point edged them in front for the first time, 0-9 to 1-5.

A Daithi McGowan free restored parity before wing-back Adam McDonnell’s stoppage time point earned Summerhill a 0-10 to 1-6 interval lead. The third quarter was a ‘nip-and-tuckaffair after Ciaran O Fearraigh’s 34th minute score tied things up again.

By the 40th minute, the holders had opened up a two-point lead again when McMahon registered. Postive interventions by Ben McGowan and goalkeeper Shane Duffy prevented Summerhill making further headway.

The scoring rate dipped in the fourth quarter. In the fifth minute of stoppage time corner Summerhill corner-back John Lavelle edged his team ahead.

It took a 40-metre pointed free from Daithi McGowan a minute later to bring matters to extra time with the score tied, 1-12 to 0-15.

Scorers: Summerhill – Eoghan Frayne 0-6 (4fs); Barry Dardis 0-4 (2 marks, 1f); David Larkin 0-2; Conor Frayne 0-2; Conor Lyons 0-2; Adam McDonnell 0-1; Diarmuid McCabe 0-1; John Lavelle 0-1; Diarmuid McCabe 0-1; Davy Dalton 0-1; Padraig Jennings 0-1.

Ratoath – Bryan McMahon 1-1; Daithi McGowan 0-4 (3fs); Jack Flynn 0-2; Cian O’Brien 0-2; Eamon Wallace 0-1; Joey Wallace 0-1;Cian Rogers 0-1; Ciaran O Fearaigh 0-1.

Summerhill – Sean Muddiman; Iarla Hughes, Ronan Ryan, John Lavelle; Adam McDonnell, Ross Ryan, Padhraig Geraghty; Adam Flanagan, John Keane; David Larkin, Eoghan Frayne, Kevin Ryan; Diarmuid McCabe, Conor Frayne, Barry Dardis. Subs – Micheal Byrne for Keane (17), Conor Lyons for K Ryan (40), Padraig Jennings for Hughes (43), Davy Dalton for McCabe (56), Eamon McDonnell for Dardis (bs 60-62). Subs in extra time – Eamon McDonnell for C Frayne (9), Ben Moran for Geraghty (11), Sean Dalton for E Frayne (12).

Ratoath – Shane Duffy; Ben Wyer, Conor McGill, Ciaran O Fearraigh; Andrew Gerrard, Gavin McGowan, Eamon Wallace; Jack Flynn, Ben McGowan; Keith McCabe, Daithi McGowan, Cian O’Brien; Cian Rogers, Joey Wallace, Bryan McMahon. Subs -, Padraig Byrne for Gerrard (45), Bobby O’Brien for McCabe (48), Conor Rooney for C O’Brien (60 + 2). Subs in extra time – Liam Kelly for G McGowan (6), Tom Fadden for J Wallace (9), Ronan Byrne for McMahon (10).

Referee – David Coldrick (Blackhall Gaels)