SFC quarter-final: Weakened O'Mahony's impress

October 05, 2009

No way through for Dunshaughlin's Caoimhin King as O'Mahony's Gary O'Brien and Lee Russell close in during the Meath SFC quarter final at Pairc Tailteann
O'Mahony's 2-12 Dunshaughlin 2-6 Despite being forced to play without of their county contingent, holders Navan O'Mahonys comfortably made it through to the semi-finals of the Commons Hardware Meath SFC in the Pairc Tailteann curtain-raiser on Sunday. Dunshaughlin may be a pale shadow of what they were in the early years of the century but they gave the defending champions a bit of a scare when going into an advantage of five points (1-4 to 0-2) after 17 minutes. However, O'Mahonys quickly responded to the situation and were on level terms five minutes before the break when they had edged into a 1-5 to 1-4 lead. Dunshaughlin were very much second best after the switching of ends as they fell into arrears before staging a late rally. Long-term injuries again ruled out Kevin Reilly and Stephen Bray and Barry Regan was also sidelined. Cormac McGuinness was sent to centrefield to partner Mark Ward. O'Mahonys looked jittery for a while in the first half during which both sides were guilty of poor finishing. Conor Staunton's goal, netted after Mark Brennan kept out a Niall Kelly attempt was the only score from play by the black and ambers before the interval. Kelly slotted over three frees and Martin Reilly converted one. After conceding the first goal, O'Mahonys rallied with points from Ross Geraghty and Shane McKeigue. Then Paddy Smyth took a pass from David Bray to fire the levelling goal and Ward gave the town team the lead for the first time. Two brilliant points, from each wing, helped propel the favourites into a three-point lead in the opening seven penalties after the restart. In between David Bray fired over his second score. The game seemed to be slipping from Dunshaughlin and they lost their grip completely when 'keeper Ronan Gogan gifted O'Mahonys their second goal on 38 minutes. A punt from the left by Lee Russell appeared to carry no threat but somehow Gogan managed to help the ball over the line. Ten minutes later it was 2-11 to 1-5. It looked as if Dunshaughlin might not score in the second period but on 59 minutes Richie Kealy kicked their only point from play. The losers' second goal was a replica of the first with Brennan saving from substitute Conor Devereaux before Staunton knocked in the rebound. O'Mahonys sent on three late substitutes and one of them, Darragh Maguire, completed their total. Although, badly hit by injuries, the title holders served up some attractive football, moving the ball around sweetly at times, and will not easily relinquish their crown. O'Mahonys - M Brennan; D Moran, N McKeigue, S O'Toole; C Reilly, S Crosby, G O'Brien (0-1); C McGuinness, M Ward (0-1); L Russell (1-0), R Geraghty (0-3), H Finnegan; P Smyth (1-0), S McKeigue (0-3), D Bray (0-3, 1 free). Subs- J Regan for Smyth (54), D Murtagh for Russell, D Maguire (0-1) for Finnegan (both 56). Dunshaughlin- R Gogan; T Johnson, K McTigue, A Johnson; D Kealy, M Ahern, C King; J Crimmins, R Maloney; N Kelly (0-3, 3 frees), T Dowd, M Reilly (0-1, free); R Kealy (0-2, 1 free), C O'Dwyer, C Staunton (2-0). Subs - C Devereaux for T Johnson (23), M Johnson for Reilly (41), C Farrelly for Kelly (48). Referee- J Curley (Moynalty).

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