SFC: Na Fianna fire five past champions Summerhill

April 11, 2014

Summerhill's Padraig Geraghty and Na Fianna's Ollie Lewis take a tumble during the opening round of the hoganstand.com Meath SFC at Pairc Tailteann
Na Fianna 5-12
Summerhill 2-12

The hoganstand.com SFC opened on Friday night with a goal fest at Pairc Tailteann where Na Fianna hit holders Summerhill for five goals in this Group C fixture.

Dalton McDonagh bagged a hat-trick of goals, completing his tally of green flags in the 39th minute at the town end to leave the nearby scoreboard reading 5-8 to 2-7 and ten points between the teams.

A second quarter scoring burst by the champions saw them erase an eight-point deficit and lead by 2-7 to 2-6 at the break. Last year's runners-up responded positively with three goals within nine minutes of the restart en route to recording an emphatic win.

Na Fianna - whose goal-scoring exploits were a feature of last year's SFC - were denied two further second-half goals by the wordwork with Shane Barrett particularly unfortunate not to net in the 53rd minute.

All bar three points of the Na Fianna tally came from play with Jamie Queeney's 46th minute 50-metre effort being the pick of their three second-half scores from placed balls.

That left ten points in it, 5-9 to 2-8. Though Summerhill outscored Na Fianna by 0-4 to 0-3 in the latter stages the matter was settled

Just as in last year's SFC final there was an early goal burst with Na Fianna bagging both this time. Within 25 seconds of the off Shane Barrett netted for the Baconstown-Enfield-Rathmolyon outfit at the hospital end after McDonagh cut in from the right.

Ciaran Gillespie opened Summerhill's account before Na Fianna's second goal arrived in the fourth minute. McDonagh bagged the major after Shane Barrett knocked down Conor Downey's delivery. Nominally full-forward the number 14 proved very effective in a sweeper role.

A great McDonagh point left seven in it after six minutes, 2-2 to 0-1. As Summerhill clocked up the wides (five in the opening 20 minutes) Na Fianna extended their lead to eight points, 2-5 to 0-3, by the start of the second quarter.

Then Summerhill struck a productive patch registering 2-4 without reply between the 17th and 30th minutes. Brian Ennis got the sequence going before fortune favoured the champions when David Larkin's point attempt hit the post and Barry Dardis was on hand to slip the ball to the Na Fianna net in the 22nd minute.

Summerhill's second goal arrived three minutes later from a Brian Ennis penalty after Kevin Ryan was fouled by John Baldwin and the champions' deficit was down to the minimum.

The scores were tied for the first time when Brian Ennis landed a free and a great score from play by the same player saw Summerhill hit the front. A Micheal Byrne free doubled their advantage.

Na Fianna pulled a point back before half-time when Daniel Queeney was set up by his brother Jamie and the teams headed for the dressing rooms with the champions leading by the narrowest margin. .

The momentum appeared to be with Summerhill but Na Fianna's positive response proved decisive as they got their campaign off to a winning start while their neighbours lost their opening round fixture for the second year running.

Na Fianna - Shane Geraghty; Christy Cosgrave, Brian Queeney, John Baldwin; Michael Farley, Tommy Cosgrave, Dean Hendrick (0-1); Ollie Lewis (0-2), Jamie Queeney (1-2, 0-1f); Ailbhe Mahon, Daniel Queeney (0-4, 3fs), Dean Barrett; Shane Barrett (1-1, 0-1), Conor Downey, Dalton McDonagh (3-2). Subs - Evan Henrick for Dean Barrett (27), Barry Slevin for Mahon (54).

Summerhill - Tony McDonnell; Padraig Jennings, Caolan Young, Willie Ryan (0-1); Padraig Geraghty, Richie Hatton, Alan Lyons; Micheal Byrne (0-2, 1f), Ciaran Gillespie; David Larkin (0-1), Brian Ennis (1-4, 1-0 pen, 0-2fs), Adrian Kenny (0-1); Paul Rispin (0-1), Barry Dardis (1-1), Kevin Ryan (0-1). Subs - Ross Tallon for K Ryan (46), Stephen Husband for Kenny (46).

Referee - David Gough (Slane)

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