St. Michaels 0-13, Donaghmore Ashbourne 2-7.
St. Michaels claimed a big result in their quest for a quarter final place in the Meade Potato Co. Ltd IFC in Paddy O'Brien Park in Navan on Friday evening last.
Martin O'Connell's troops were in last chance saloon heading into this clash needing a win or a draw to qualify for the last 8 while their opponents Donaghmore Ashbourne had to win to qualify and put their opponents out so it was all to play for. The opening exchanges were dogged rather than inspiring with Donaghmore Ashbourne making the better start opening the scoring with two points in the opening 5 minutes, St. Michaels on the other hand made a nervous start, so much so that we had to wait until the sixteenth minute for their opening score, a Ciaran Lynch point which made it 0-3 to 0-1.
It wasn't that Donaghmore Ashbourne were controlling matters, time and time again St. Michaels advanced forward only to shoot wide or short of the target. Then on 19 minutes disaster struck for St. Michaels as a Donaghmore Ashbourne move, started in the right corner ended up in the back of the St. Michaels net for a 1-3 to 0-1 lead. St. Michaels finally settled after 21 minutes when Jamie Farrelly found himself with room to maneuver and he tapped over the bar for his sides second point, three more points followed in as many minutes from Davy & Ciaran Lynch and Oran Meehan which reduced the deficit to a single point, however once again some loose defending cost St. Michaels dearly in the 28th minute when a Donaghmore Ashbourne player received the ball as he stood all alone in front of goal and he blasted to the back of the net past the diving Paul McCormack for a 2-3 to 0-5 half time lead.
In fairness to the St. Michaels lads they laid down a marker with a lightning start to the second half as points from Ciaran & Davy Lynch and Peter O'Connell left it a one point game 4 minutes after the restart, Donaghmore Ashbourne replied with a point but the momentum was now with the Carlanstown Kilbeg outfit and a point apiece from Jamie Farrelly and Ronan Lynch drew the teams level for the first time, St. Michaels had an excellent chance of going 3 points in front when a Ronan Lynch effort flashed low across the oppositions goal with keeper beaten but there was no one near it to tap it home.
A converted free from Ciaran Lynch put his side into the lead for the first time on 49 minutes but the town side were back on level terms three minutes later, J.B. O'Reilly pointed for the lead once more but again it was short lived as Donaghmore Ashbourne pointed with 5 minutes remaining and followed up with another white flag to go one ahead. St. Michaels moved the ball up-field in a desperate bid for an equalizer which came when O'Connell found Ciaran Lynch who made no mistake. Donaghmore Ashbourne had two further chances to bag the points on offer, however they sent them wide of the posts. St. Michaels will now prepare to meet St. Colmcilles in the quarter final.
St. Michaels team & scorers:Paul McCormack, Mark Stafford, Jamie Reilly, Matthew Halpin, Christopher Drew, Philip Rogers, Robbie Briody, David Lynch 0-2, J.B. O'Reilly 0-1, Peter O'Connell 0-1, Jamie Farrelly 0-2, Oran Meehan 0-1, Kevin Cassidy, Ciaran Lynch 0-5, Ronan Lynch 0-1.Subs: Johnny Reilly for Kevin Cassidy, Dáithí O'Reilly for Philip Rogers, Sam Briody for Mark Stafford (BC).
Referee: Richard Morris.
Report and photo Pascal Reilly.