SFC: Sub Stephen's strike seals Summerhill win

September 09, 2013

Summerhill's Stephen Kennedy
Stephen Kennedy's stoppage time goal sealed Summerhill's win over Dunboyne in the hoganstand.com SFC preliminary quarter-final clash at Ashbourne on Sunday evening.

Summerhill ................ 3-14
Dunboyne 2-11

Kennedy capped a cameo appearance with a well-taken goal that flatlined a strong Dunboyne rally that almost took this fixture to extra time. Many players would have opted for a point when one-on-one with the opposing 'keeper, but Kennedy had the composure to slot low to net at the motorway end of the ground.

Just a goal separated the sides before Kennedy's strike secured a quarter-final meeting with champions Navan O'Mahonys. Summerhill, the 2011 champions, looked to be coasting when leading by 11 points, 2-13 to 1-5 with 34 minutes gone.

Moving midfielder Gerry Gallagher to full-forward, in a swap with David Geaney, didn't pay immediate dividends. However, Conor O'Donoghue's men gradually eroded the deficit.

Geaney pulled a point back from a free before Summerhill were awarded a penalty in the 40th minute for a foul on Barry Dardis. Brian Ennis's low strike went wide to Johnny O'Connor's right.

Corner-forward Donal Lenihan, who finished with 1-3 from play, and Geaney's frees improved the complexion of the scoreboard from a Dunboyne perspective.

But for a fine save by Summerhill 'keeper Tony McDonnell, Lenihan might have goaled for Dunboyne in the 43rd minute. The Dunboyne number 15 quickly added a point which left it 2-13 to 1-7 midway through the second-half.

Dunboyne added three more points in the next seven minutes with Ger Robinson also getting on the scoring act from a free.

Summerhill's first score in over 20 minutes, a magnificent score from Paul Rispin, temporarily halted the Dunboyne recovery and left it 2-14 to 1-10.

When McDonnell spilled a Lenihan delivery, Gerry Gallagher was on hand to force the ball over the and the gap was down to four points with 55 minutes gone.

Textbook defending from Coalan Young saw the Summerhill full-back dispossess Robinson. But, things got even better for Dunboyne when Lenihan pointed in the 58th minute. The sides exchanged wides before Kennedy crept in behind the Dunboyne deficit to clinch a quarter-final place for the 'Hill.

Conor Doran's fourth minute point gave Dunboyne the lead for the only time. Similar scores from Adrian Kenny and David Larkin gave Summerhill and advantage they managed to maintain to the finish.

By the end of the opening quarter it was 0-7 to 0-3. A Robinson free improved matters for Dunboyne but Summerhill responded with a brilliant goal from county man Conor Gillespie with midfield partner Micheal Byrne providing the assist. When Ennis added a free seven points were in it after 19 minutes.

When Lenihan netted two minutes later there was just a goal in it. However Summerhill closed out the half with a trio of points, including one from corner back Willie Ryan, to lead by 1-11 to 1-5 at the break.

Dunboyne had the setting sun and the slight breeze at their backs from the resumption. Two minutes in they endured a hammer blow when David Gallagher failed to deal with an Ennis free and Dardis netted from close range.

Summerhill - Tony McDonnell; Padraig Jennings, Caolan Young, Willie Ryan (0-1); Padraig Geraghty (0-1), Alan Lyons, Stephen Husband; Conor Gillespie (1-0), Micheal Byrne; David Larkin (0-3), Brian Ennis (0-4, 2fs), Adrian Kenny (0-1); Kevin Ryan, Paul Rispin (0-2), Barry Dardis (1-2). Subs - Sean Dalton for Ryan (53), Stephen Kennedy (1-0) for Rispin (58).

Dunboyne - Johnny O'Connor;, Damien Sweeney, Gary Timoney, Stephen McKenna; Cathal Finn, Barry Comer, Gary Watters; Gerry Gallagher (1-0), David Gallagher; Shane McEntee, Sean McGarrell, Conor Doran (0-1); Ger Robinson (0-2 fs), David Geaney (0-5, 4fs), Donal Lenihan (1-3). Subs - Colin Clarke for Doran (41), Stephen Moran for D Gallagher (53).

Referee - Padraic Coyle (Seneschalstown)

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