SFC semi-final: Goals see holders book return to final

October 16, 2017

Simonstown's Conor Nash gets away from Eoghan Harrington Wolfe Tones during the Meath SFC semi final at Pairc Tailteann

Holders Simonstown Gaels booked a return ticket to the SFC final with a well-earned win over neighbours Wolfe Tones at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday afternoon.

Simonstown ....... 4-9

Wolfe Tones ....... 1-13

Colm O'Rourke's men laid the foundations for this win a two-goal salvo in the run-in to half-time. It sustained Simonstown against a strong second-half rally from Tony Kearney's men

Nathan O'Brien and Mark McCabe bagged the goals that turned a 1-3 to 1-6 deficit after 25 minutes into a 3-4 to 1-6 interval advantage.

They maintained the lead to the end, but not without a struggle. Simonstown moved seven points clear by the 42nd minute when Sean Tobin pointed from play.

Five points on the spin revived Wolfe Tones reviving hopes of unseating the champions and booking a final spot.

By the 59th minute just two points separated the sides, 3-8 to 1-12. An incisive move involving two Simonstown subs settled matters in the fourth minute of added time.

Conor Nash and Michael Brennan created the opening for team captain Pauric McKeever to finish to the net at the hospital end.

That effectively settled matters though Cian Ward pulled a point back for Wolfe Tones from a free in the sixth minute of added time.

It was Simonstown's ability to capitalise on goal chances that determined the outcome. They might have bagged two more in the latter stages but for the intervention of Wolfe Tones' sub 'keeper Sean Power following the latter's introduction for the injured David Nolan in the 37th minute.

The scores were tied twice in the opening 12 minutes with the champions hitting the front twice in that time.

Then Wolfe Tones struck for the opening goal with Niall McLoughlin netting with assistance from Saran O Fionnagain. The board read 1-2 to 0-2.

Within two minutes Simonstown bagged their opening goal with the first of Mark McCabe's three pointers to leave it 1-2-each.

Wolfe Tones prevailed over the next 11 minutes to lead by 1-6 to 1-3 before the champions struck for that game turning brace of goals.

Simonstown - Robbie Burlingham; Shane Gallagher, Stephen Moran, Niall McMahon; Brian McGrath, Brian Conlon, Mark Gardiner; Shane O'Rourke, Conor Sheridan (0-2); Seamus Kenny, Sean Tobin (0-3, 1f), Mark McCabe (2-1); Nathan O'Brien (1-2), Pauric McKeever (C) (1-0), Eanna Donoghue. Subs - Conor Nash for Kenny (23), James Kilcullen for Nash (bs 38-41), James Kilcullen for Sheridan (48), Nicky O'Brien for Donoghue (51), Michael Brennan (0-1 f) for Nathan O'Brien (59), Joe Lyons for Gardiner (65).

Wolfe Tones - David Nolan; Stephen Sheppard, Shane Glynn, Conor Sheppard; Niall McLoughlin (1-1), Eoghan Harrington, Eanna Harrington; Stephen Corrigan, Daniel O'Neill; Niall O'Reilly (0-1), Thomas O'Reilly (0-3 fs), Padraic Diamond (0-1); Cian Ward (0-7, 6 fs, 1 45), Saran O Fionnagain, Fiachra Ward. Subs - Sean Power for Nolan (37), Eanna O'Kelly-Lynch (53), Cian O'Neill for D O'Neill (53), Alan Callaghan for N O'Reilly (55).

Referee - Patrick Nelis (Kilmainham).

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