St Colmcille's 3-10
Last year’s runners-up Summerhill set up a semi-final date with either Ratoath or Donaghmore/Ashbourne after overcoming a stern test from St Colmcille’s in the first of the SFC quarter finals at Skryne on Friday evening.
St Colmcille’s were making their first ever appearance at this stage of the competition and for long spells in the opening half they had to play second best to their more experienced opponents. However the east Meath side produced a magnificent second half rally as they reduced an 11 point deficit to just three with time almost up.
However Summerhill slammed the door on St Colmcille’s revival with the last three points, though they were somewhat flattered by their six point winning margin.
This was one of the more memorable games of the championship with a number of fine individual performances on both sides.
For long spell veteran Micheál Byrne ruled midfield for John Lyons’ team while in attack David Larkin was virtually unstoppable all through. Larkin contributed 1-5 in a man-of-the-match display with his ball control and strong running causing the Cille’s defence endless problems.
St Colmcille’s too had some excellent performers, none better than diminutive corner forward James Conlon who shot six points, including five in the second half when his side were in the ascendancy.
County star Graham Reilly was also outstanding and contributed enormously to his sides tally, scoring 2-2.
The game was played at a terrific pace throughout and started in a welter of excitement with two goals in the opening six minutes. Cille’s led for the only time when Graham Reilly got on the end of a great move involving Conor O’Byrne and Conlon to finish to the net in style.
That goal on three minutes was in response to Summerhill’s opening point from Barry Dardis. The lead didn’t last long though as David Larkin was upended as he shot on goal and Willie Ryan made no mistake from the resultant penalty kick.
Summerhill continued to set a hot pace throughout that opening half with Larkin from play and Barry Dardis from frees keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
Larkin was denied by a fine block from Cille’s keeper Andrew Beakey on 16 minutes but the net minder was helpless as Larkin knifed through before finishing with a well placed effort to the net a minute later.
The seasiders hit back with a goal of their own when Conor O’Byrne converted from the penalty spot to leave it 2-2 to 2-6 on 20 minutes.
Summerhill though finished the half in style with five unanswered points to lead 2-11 to 2-2 at the break.
The lead increased on the restart following two further points from Dardis. The second half was 10 minutes old before Conlon ended the Cille’s scoring drought with a fine point.
That was the start of a Cille’s revival as Reilly cut through for his second goal and Conlon hit a number of inspirational points.
Des Lane’s side lost full back Jamie McDonnell to a straight red card on 58 minutes but were only a goal in arrears following Conlon’s sixth point on the hour mark.
Summerhill were not going to be denied however and they responded to the challenge with wing back Padraig Geraghty hitting a crucial point on 61 minutes. Substitutes Diarmuid McCabe and Paul Larkin added to their tally before the final whistle.
SUMMERHILL: Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Caolan Young, John Lavelle; Stephen Husband, Willie Ryan 1-0 pen, Padraig Geraghty 0-2; Micheál Byrne, John Keane; Kevin Ryan 0-1, David Larkin 1-5, Liam Shaw; Sean Dalton 0-2, Barry Dardis 0-7fs, Davy Dalton Subs: Ronan Ryan for Hughes (43), Diarmuid McCabe 0-1 for Shaw (50), Ross Ryan for Keane (50), Paul Larkin 0-1 for Husband (56), Cian Devlin for D Dalton (BC 63).
ST COLMCILLE’S: Andrew Beakey; Adam Lynch, Jamie McDonnell, Tomas O Hoistin; Ian Mullen, Carl Mullen, Cathal Hilliard; Ruairi O’Grady, Robbie McCloskey; David O’Byrne 0-1, Graham Reilly 2-2, Jeff Kavanagh; Ben Brennan 0-1, Conor O’Byrne 1-0 pen, James Conlon 0-6. Sub: Danny McMahon for Kavanagh (36),
REF: Cormac Reilly (St Mary’s)Tweet