Donaghmore/Ashbourne win thrilling IFC final

October 21, 2007

Donaghmore/Ashbourne captain Ian Dowd raises the Mattie McDonnell Cup.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne claimed the Lagan Group IFC title when getting the better of a dogged Castletown side in an exciting curtain-raiser at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday. Donaghmore/Ashbourne 1-15 Castletown 1-11 The victory was made all the sweeter because the team for Meath's second largest urban centre overcame a six points deficit by playing some delightful football and this young side has the potential to make their mark in the top flight. Niall Farrell - a nephew of former Tyrone star Peter Cananvan - capped an impressive display for the winners by scoring seven points (four from play) with the effort that tied the scores at 0-7 to 1-4 in the first minute of first-half stoppage time being the pick of them. There was still time for Andy McEntee's charges to hit the front before the break as an Eoin Reilly effort hit an upright and rebounded to David Morgan who calmly drilled the ball to the net at the town goal and earn his side a 1-7 to 1-4 interval advantage. Donaghmore/Ashbourne pushed on from the restart but Andrew Tormey blazed wide when through on goal. However by the 41st their lead was up to five points, 1-10 to 1-5, with points from John Broderick, team captain Ian Dowd and Morgan (free). Three points in as many minutes around the three-quarter mark revived Castletown and the gap was down to two points heading into the final stages. Barry Smith got the recovery rolling when pointing from a sideline kick on the left. Tommy Smith responded to a poor kick out and scored while centre-half-back Derek Clarke also got off the mark. Just when their superiority was threatened Donaghmore/Ashbourne responded with points from Eoghan Riordan and Tormey to leave it 1-12 to 1-8 after 48 minutes. Sean Barry and Sean Kelly's charges refused to give in and got the deficit down to three points on two occasions before Kevin Lanigan became the seventh different player to score from open play for Donaghmore Ashbourne and Farrell completed his total. Barry Smith concluded the scoring but it was too late for the side that had opened brightly with Damien Ginnity firing to the net after a Liam Clarke effort rebounded off an upright. Points from Tommy Smith, Shane Farrelly (two) and Ginnity (capitalising on a poor kick out from Padraig Durkan) left it 1-4 to 0-1 after 13 minutes. Castletown were to go over 22 minutes without getting another score as the east county side chalked up 1-7 without reply between the 16th and 34th minutes providing the foundation the first IFC title for the club since 'Ashbourne' was added to the name of the club in 1996 and its fourth title in all at this level, the previous coming in 1959. Donaghmore/Ashbourne - P. Durkan; C. Byrne, C. McGill, P. Finn; C. O Mealoid, J. Long, E. Riordan (0-1); E. Reilly, R. O'Connor; K. Lanigan (0-1), I. Dowd (0-2), A. Tormey (0-1); J. Broderick (0-1), D. Morgan (1-2, 0-1 free), N. Farrell (0-7, 3 frees). Subs - J. Finnegan for Byrne (14 mins), E. Carroll for Tormey, C. Finn for P. Finn (both 61 mins). Castletown - J. Ginnity; S. Duffy, K. Barry, J. Carry; K. Smith, D. Clarke (0-1), W. Donegan; A. Young, G. Farrelly; B. Smith (0-3, 2 frees), L. Clarke, S. Farrelly (0-2, 1 free); T. Smith (0-2), J. Finnerty (0-1), D. Ginnity (1-2). Subs - A. Smyth for K. Smith (38 mins), F. Hoey for Young (40 mins), M. Hickey for Clarke (57 mins). Referee - S. McCormack (Walterstown).

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