Under 21 FC final: Donaghmore Ashbourne resist Skryne rally

November 22, 2015

Donaghmore Ashbourne's Sam Benville with Oisin Gryson Skryne during the Meath U21 FC final at Pairc Tailteann

Donaghmore Ashbourne claimed the Coolrite Refrigeration Under 21 FC title having resisted a strong final quarter Skryne rally at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday

Donaghmore Ashbourne  2-11
Skryne 2-10

In the sunny conditions Donaghmore-Ashbourne seemed set for a comfortable finale when leading by 2-11 to 1-5 after 52 minutes.

A Conor O'Brien point kicked-started the Skryne rally. It was followed by a fine solo Harry Rooney score. Nicky Hamill's men didn't relent. A John Morley free was followed by sub Stephen Rathborne's effort in the 58th minute.

Skryne's final point came in the 59th minute with Rooney placing Morley for his fifth score. Then in the third minute of stoppage time Conor O'Brien fired a close range free to the net to leave the minimum in it.

From the restart Aidan Hughes won possession for Donaghmore-Ashbourne and claimed the Joey McKeown Cup for a club that has endured some disappointments in recent years.

While Donaghmore-Ashbourne outscored Skryne by 2-9 to 0-4 between the 13th and 52nd minutes. The team in royal blue posted 12 wides over the hour to the eventual winners' seven. Furthermore, Skryne had some difficultly in creating goal chances.

Apart from a couple of poor restarts, the fielding Donaghmore-Ashbourne 'keeper Jack Hannigan was a feature of the hour.

From the off Donaghmore-Ashbourne looked the better team with John Wilson and Michael Deegan posting points from play within four minutes.

Skryne got a lift in the 10th when Conor O'Brien's penalty hit the corner of the net at the town end with Jack Hannigan seemingly opting for the wrong side.

The move that led to the goal began with Niall Lenehan dispossessing Wilson in midfield. Subsequently Paddy Doherty was fouled for the penalty.

Neil Burke's pointed free doubled Skryne's lead. Before the opening quarter passed Wilson posted his second point.

That was the beginning of a sequence that saw Donaghmore-Ashbourne outscore Skryne by 2-3 to 0-0 between the 12th and 24th minutes.

Conor Carton levelled matters when placed by Carton in the 19th minutes. Then two goals in as many minutes saw Donaghmore-Ashbourne move seven points clear by the 24th minute.

Brady bagged the first with assistance from Aidan Hughes. The number 13 had a supporting role in Donaghmore-Ashbourne's second which Conor Donnelly finished.

However, the ball deflected to the net off Skryne defender Eoghan Greene and the board read 2-4 to 1-1. By half-time seven points separated the sides, 2-6 to 1-2. Skyrne pulled two points back within three mnutes of resumption with Conor O'Brien and John Morley registering.

Donaghmore-Ashbourne regrouped to lead by 2-10 to 1-5 at the three-quarter stage. Skryne's rally ensured an uncomfortable finale for the eventual winners.

Donaghmore-Ashbourne - Jack Hannigan; Niall Kavanagh, Jack McCarney, Jack Giles; Thomas McGovern (0-1), Conor Carton (0-1), Darragh McGovern; John Wilson (0-2), Chris Brady; Shaun Byrne, Michael Deegan (0-5, 1f), Aidan Hughes; Dylan Brady (1-1), Sam Benville (0-1), Conor Donnelly (1-0). Subs - Shane Rea for Darragh McGovern (50), Kevin Fenton for Byrne (60), Martin Quinn for Hughes (60).

Skryne - Dean Reddy; Eoghan Greene, Niall Lenehan, Niall Morley; Stephen O'Brien, Oisin Gryson, Darragh Campion; Donie Ryan, Harry Rooney (0-1); Jason Fox, Neil Burke (0-1f), Cian Lynch; John Morley (0-5, 1f), Conor O'Brien (2-2, 1-0 pen, 1-0 f), Paddy Doherty. Subs - Sean Cassidy for Fox (37), Stephen Rathborne (0-1) for Burke (39), Timmy Lennon for Niall Morley (57).

Referee - David Coldrick (Blackhall Gaels)

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