Drumconrath 1-14 Slane 1-13
Drumconrath despite hitting 12 wides over the hour got over the line to set up a Final meeting with neighbours Meath Hill.
When this re fixture originally fixed for St Patricks Day finally got under way it was the team in Red that came out of the blocks quickest as with 20 seconds Stephan Crosby pointed. A late tackle on Crosby left Derek Duff with a close in free on 2 minutes and Terry Skelly then point to give Drums a good start.
Drums lined out without 3 holidaying players Damien Glass, Alan McEvoy and Eoin Martin but had a number of returning players who would have missed the March date with Terry Skelly, Graham Tighe, Brendan Lyons and Wayne Reilly all now back in the fold after returning from abroad over the Summer.
Slane responded on the 1st attack with a point but a fine move from the Reds seen Graham Tighe find his brother Paul who found the net with 7 minutes gone. Graham Tighe had legitimate claims for a penalty waved away as he appeared to be hauled down close to the hospital goal line.
Slane took solace from this escape and got more into the game and pointed 3 times as the 1st quarter ended Drumconrath 1-3 Slane 0-4.
Drumconrath won this game over the next 10 minutes with a dominant display with points from Duff 2 frees, Skelly 2 from play and another from raiding wing back Jamie Myles to open a 7 point lead. Indeed some poor decision making when going for goals when points would have been the better option could have easily seen Drums 10 points ahead.
Slane then had their purple patch with a goal after 27 minutes following a poor kickout and two quick fire points to narrow the gap to two points. An injury time point from Skelly settled Drums as the half ended Drumconrath 1-9 to 1-6 ahead.
A heavy half time shower seen the stiff breeze blowing to the OMahonys end ease considerably for the second half much to Drumconrath's disbelief as the emerged from the tunnel. Slane bouyed by their good finished opened the 2nd half scoring inside a minute.
Brendan Lyons caused much trouble for the Slane reargard pointed on the next attack. Slane added 2 points to close to a single point but Lyons and Tomas Conlon found their range to keep the three point advantage.
Slane hit a few wides but were much more economical only totting up 5 for the game. Lyons added two more to answer 1 from Slane as the 3rd quater ended Drumconrath 1-13 to 1-10 ahead.
Substitute Daniel Byrne pointed what turned out to be the winner and Drumconrath's last score on 46 minutes with his 1st touch as the scoring dried up on both sides with no score for the next 11 minutes.
During this time Drumconrath's goalie Eoin Muldoon pulled off a super finger tip save as Drumconrath defence began to look porous. Drumconrath began to defend deep and nearly paid the price as Slane notched three late points on 57,58 and 62 minutes to narrow the gap to a single point.
Drums managed possession well late on and despite Slane missing a late chance held out for victory and a 1st ever appearance in a Tailteann Cup Final.
Drumconrath; Eoin Muldoon; Cathal Dunne, Peter Tighe, Patrick Dunne; Jamie Myles (0-1), Stephan Crosby (0-1), Robert McEntaggart; Tomas Conlon (0-1), Sean McMahon; Terry Skelly (0-4), Derek Duff (0-3), Brendan Lyons (0-3); Graham Tighe, Paul Tighe (1-0), Chris Tighe. Subs; Daniel Byrne (0-1) for C Tighe, Wayne Reilly for Paul Tighe, Aiden Tighe for G Tighe.