Summerhill relegate Kells

October 18, 2004
The SFC relegation decider went with form as Summerhill ended Gaeil Colmcille 18-year stay with the big boys of Meath football with six points to spare at Athboy. Summerhill 1-12 Gaeil Colmcille 1-6 Apart from a closely contested opening quarter, Summerhill always had the upper hand against opponents who finished with just 13 men after two of their number were red-carded by referee Jim Smith. Gaeil Colmcille were trailing by 0-1 to 0-8 in first half stoppage time when corner-forward John Morris, who was acting as a third midfielder, was dismissed for clashing with an opponent who was slow to release the ball. The award of a free to the Kells side stood, despite Morris' dismissal, and in the subsequent attack won a close range free that top scorer Justin Carry-Lynch pointed to leave Colm McManus and Paul Smith's charges trailing by 0-2 to 0-8 at the break. Substitute Stephen Quigley's dismissal in second-half stoppage time had no bearing on the outcome and followed an incident where Summerhill's Gary Thompson ended up on the ground. But the incident had the biggest bearing on the outcome occurred midway through the opening half with the sides deadlocked at 0-1 apiece. Gaeil Colmcille goalkeeper David Drew delayed in taking a free kick about 20 metres from in own goal and the subsequent throw-up was won by Thompson who swung the ball over the bar to give the south county side a lead they never relinquished. Corner-forward Paul Rispin was prominent as Paddy Carr's charges went on to hit seven points on the spin to ease the nerves of their management and supporters. The Summerhill number 13 set things in motion with two scores inside 60 seconds and wing-back Maurice Kennedy got in on the act to send over his side's sixth score in the 23rd minute. That scoring run was almost interrupted by a Gaeil Colmcille goal coming up to the break after Justin Carry-Lynch put Barry Smith clear, but the teenager shot across the goal and wide. It was the only time the Summerhill defence was seriously stretched and during the second-half Connie McGrath, full-back on the MFC winning side, was introduced as the extra man. With Morris deployed as a third midfielder for Gaeil Colmcille before his dismissal, Summerhill left Niall O'Reilly free at the back. Within ninety seconds on the restart, the margin was down to five points, 0-3 to 0-8, after Carry-Lynch landed a '45' before Summerhill struck for goal. A pass by Gaeil Colmcille centre-back Karl Morgan will brilliantly intercepted by Conor Foley, who sent the ball forward to Adrian Kenny who found Cathal Sheridan. The former Meath and Kildare player took the ball around David Drew before slotting the ball to the net in the 35th minute. Thompson quickly added a point to leave the 'Hill 1-9 to 0-3 in front and looking home and hosed. However they endured some nervy moments and went 13 minutes without adding to their total while at the opposite end Robert Flanagan found the net with a low shot that beat Tony McDonnell at the near post in the in the 39th minute. The margin was down to just five points, 1-4 to 1-9, when Carry Lynch sent over his only score from play midway through the half, but numerical disadvantage was telling against the Kells-men. Summerhill found their scoring boots to open up a eight-point gap with time running out while late points from Gary Arkins and substitute Brian Hanlon, weren't enough to prevent Gaeil Colmcille becoming the third town side, following Navan O'Mahony's in 2001 and Oldcastle the following year, to be sent be sent tumbling by their opponents into the intermediate ranks. Summerhill - T. McDonnell; C. Foley, N. O'Reilly, Jackie Ennis; M. Kennedy (0-1), M. O'Reilly, N. Kennedy; G. Thompson (0-2), D. Byrne (0-1); A. Kenny (0-1), P. Comey, G. Rispin; P. Rispin (0-2), B. Ennis (0-2), C. Sheridan (1-3). Subs - C. McGrath for Jackie Ennis, W. Milner for Kenny, R. Hatton for B. Ennis, Jeremy Ennis for M. Kennedy. Gaeil Colmcille - D. Drew; P. Maguire, M. Finnegan, Kenny Morgan; E. Ryan, Karl Morgan, D. Smith; L. Newman, G. Arkins (0-1); S. Cahill, R. Flanagan (1-0), B. Smith; Marty Barrett, J. Carry-Lynch (0-4), J. Morris. Subs - Martin Barrett for Marty Barrett, S. Quigley for Newman, B. Hanlon (0-1) for Cahill, L. Gavin for Kenny Morgan, P. Barrett for Ryan. Referee - J. Smith (Dunshaughlin).

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