SFC Quarter Final
AFTER the excitement of the opening quarter final between Summerhill and St Colmcille’s it was back to more mundane matters in the SFC as Donaghmore/Ashbourne saw off the challenge of their neighbours in a forgettable affair at Pairc Tailteann.
This proved a tedious hour’s football with proceedings played out mostly at a pedestrian pace. The Ashbourne men ended deserving winners as they showed a little more flair against a disappointing Ratoath who only came to life after going six points in arrears with 10 minutes remaining.
A goal from their liveliest player Joey Wallace sparked a bit of life into Ratoath in the closing stages but all they could manage after that was two pointed frees from Bryan McMahon.
The winners managed to play keep-ball in the final minute to book a last four spot against Summerhill.
Ratoath enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the opening half but their build up was ponderous as they went sideways and backwards and they failed to make any inroads against a well organised Donaghmore/Ashbourne defence. For all their possession they failed to score from play in that first half with all of their four points coming from the boot of Bryan McMahon from frees.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne were much more inventive and were on level terms at the break, at 0-4 apiece.
Andrew Tormey who started at full forward had the edge over Conor McGill and finished the half with three points to his name. Their other point of the half came from Darragh McGovern.
Paul Gilligan pointed Donaghmore/Ashbourne ahead four minutes after the restart and it was a lead they weren’t to relinquish. A rare point from Colm O Mealoid doubled their lead a minute later.
Substitute Darragh Kelly accounted for Ratoath’s opening point from play on 37 minutes and they spurned a goal chance shortly after when Gavin McGowan’s pin-point pass presented Conor Rooney with an opportunity but he shot badly wide.
Wing back Gilligan increased the lead and Gabriel Bannigan’s side tightened their grip on proceedings significantly when Tormey netted from the penalty spot following a foul on Darragh McGovern.
Gilligan pointed his side six clear from another free and they still led by six after James Crumish shot over from an acute angle on 55 minutes.
Wallace’s goal lifted Ratoath hopes briefly but their failure to make the most of the possession in the opening half came back to haunt them.
DONAGHMORE/ASHBOURNE – Jack Hannigan; Iarlaith O’Donnell, Cormac McGill, Sean Curran; Conor Carton, Colm O Mealoid 0-1, Paul Gilligan 0-3 (2fs); Shane Melia, Bryan Menton; James Crumish 0-1, Darragh McGovern 0-1, Thomas McGovern; Leo Reilly, Andrew Tormey 1-3 (1-0 pen), Stephen Carton. Subs – Dylan Brady for Reilly (39), Cathal Field for S Carton (49), Alan Murtagh for C Carton (BC 60), Declan Healy for O Mealoid (63).
RATOATH – Shane Duffy; Ciaran O Fearraigh, Conor McGill, Darragh McGill; Brian O’Connor, Brian Power, Emmet Boyle; Cian O’Brien, Ben McGowan; Eamon Wallace, Conall Ahearne, Conor Rooney; Joey Wallace 1-0, Gavin McGowan, Bryan McMahon 0-7fs. Subs – Darragh Kelly 0-1 for O’Brien (h-t), David McGowan for Ahearne (h-t), Cian Rogers for Boyle (49), Ben Wyer for Rooney (56).
REFEREE – David Coldrick (Blackhall Gaels).