SFC Group A: Final quarter surge seals Summerhill win
Summerhill managed twice as many scores as Duleek-Bellewstwon in this SFC Group A opener at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday afternoon.
Summerhill ................... 1-13
Duleek-Bellewstown ...... 2-5
However, the men in blue and gold had to dig out a win against the tipped for demotion before the off.
In outscoring Duleek-Bellewstown by 0-5 to 0-0 in the from the 48th minute, last year's beaten quarter-finalists secured the spoils.
Highlights of the hour were the manner in which all three goals were taken and the point-taking (from play and 45s) of Summerhill's Barry Dardis.
With the wind at their backs, Duleek-Bellewstown hit the front within 30 seconds of resumption wihen John McDonnell fired in a goal at the town end.
That left it 2-3 to 1-5. Though the east county side managed just two more scores they remained in contention until the hour had almost elapsed.
A Casey Dunne point tied the scores, 2-5 to 1-8, with 47 minutes gone and raised the prospect of a surprise outcome.
By the 58th minute Summerhill led by just two points They closed in on the win with three unanswered points. First Davy Dalton set up scores for Davy Larkin and Brian Ennis. Then, sub Bobby Lyons completed his impact with the final score of the game.
After the exciting curtain-raiser (Meath Hill-Drumconrath), it was the closness of the exchanges that maintained interest in a poor game. Summerhill chalked up 16 wides, five more than Duleek Bellewstown.
It wasn't until the eighth minute that Summerhill's Sean Dalton pointed the opening scores. Playing into the blustery wind, Duleek-Bellewstown passed up two early scoring chances.
As the half wore on Summerhil were more wasteful and reached the interval with nine wides. Duleek-Bellewstown managed five wides in the opening period.
The first third of the hour yielded just three scores. Davy Larkin's 14th minute goal for Summerhill was the pick of them. Ross Ryan provided the assist and it left the nearby scoreboard reading 1-1 to 0-1.
It took Summerhill nearly 10 minutes to add to their tally. A Davy Dalton point was followed by a hat-trick of similar scores from Barry Dardis, with two of those points coming from 45s.
With the interval in sight Summerhill were six points to the good before a Robin Clarke goal and a Conal McGinley (free) revived Duleek-Bellewstown who trailed by just two points, 1-3 to 1-5, at the break.
Summerhill had enough in reserve to cope with Duleek-Bellewstown's rally.
Summerhill - Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Willie Ryan, Ronan Ryan; Davy Dalton (0-1), Richie Hatton, Padraig Geraghty; Michael Byrne, Ciaran Gilliespie; Ross Ryan, Davy Larkin (1-2), Kevin Lyons (0-2); Barry Dardis (0-4, 2 45s); Brian Ennis (0-1), Sean Dalton (0-1). Subs - Padraig Jennings for M Byrne (ht), Bobby Lyons (0-2) for S Dalton (44)
Duleek-Bellewstown - Anthony Dowling; James Murphy, Jason Branagan, Shane Townley; Kevin McCann, David Moore, Gary Reilly; Shane Crosby (0-1), Robin Clarke (1-0); Conal McGinley (0-1f), Casey Dunne (0-1), John McDonnell (1-1); Brian Moore, Michael Dowling, John Flood (0-1 f). Subs - Stephen McArdle for Reilly (28), Jamie Crosby for Moore (37), Darren Heaney for Dowling (44), Des Teeling for McCann (56), Kieran Flynn for McGinley (60).
Referee - Patrick Nelis (Kilmainham)