SFC Quarter Final
SIMONSTOWN’S three-in-a-row title aspirations remain firmly on track after they brushed aside the challenge of Skryne in this SFC quarter final at Pairc Tailteann.
The champions sent out a warning to all the remaining title contenders that they will not relinquish their crown lightly as they produced a highly effective and polished display.
They led throughout and kept the scoreboard ticking over with a regularity that Skryne were unable to match.
The Tara men lacked a cutting edge in attack and relied far too heavily on full forward Paddy O’Rourke for scores. The former net minder finished with a fine tally of 13 points, 12 of which came from placed balls.
Darragh Campion was the only other starting Skryne forward to score from play, while their remaining point came from wing back Eoin Smyth. The Skryne goal from substitute Ian Davis on 55 minutes was too little too late to have an impact on the game.
The holders welcomed back both Padraig McKeever and Sean Tobin to their ranks and their return was a timely boost for the north Navan side.
By the 11 th minute Simonstown had opened up a 0-5 to 0-1 lead and they went on to enjoy a 0-12 to 0-6 advantage at the break.
McKeever accounted for four of those points, including two from play, while Andrew Kearney and Shane Barry caused the Skryne defence plenty of headaches in that opening half.
With O’Rourke pointing two frees in as many minutes at the start of the second half it seemed that Skryne might make a game of it as they had the advantage of a stiff breeze.
Two further efforts from O’Rourke reduced the deficit to three points by the 39 th minute. However normal service was restored for Simonstown when Kearney hit his fourth point and Mark Gardiner got forward to fist over and leave it 0-15 to 0-10.
Within the space of a minute the game was effectively over as a contest after two quick-fire goals from the champions. Ben Hoey hit the opening goal and then wing back Niall Kane started and finished a fine move to the net in the very next attack.
The Skryne goal from Davis followed a pass from Darragh Campion and it left the scoreboard reading 2-17 to 1-13. O’Rourke added his only point from play almost immediately but that was the end of the Skryne challenge.
SIMONSTOWN: Robert Burlingham; Mark Gardiner 0-1, Stephen Moran, Stephen O’Reilly; Brian McGrath, Brian Conlon, Niall Kane 1-0; James Kilcullen 0-1, Sean Tobin 0-1; Ben Hoey 1-1, Conor Sheridan 0-1, Shane Barry 0-2; Nicky O’Brien 0-2, Padraig McKeever 0-6 (4fs), Andrew Kearney 0-4. Subs: Mark McCabe for Barry (38), Nathan O’Brien for Hoey (48), Joe Lyons 0-1 for Sheridan (54), Eanna Donoghue for Kearney (59), Mickey Brennan for Nicky O’Brien (60).
SKRYNE: Des McAvinney; Robbie Clarke, Eoghan Greene, Stephen O’Brien; Ciaran Lenehan, Donie Ryan, Eoin Smyth 0-1; David McGoldrick, Harry Rooney; Conor O’Brien, Darragh Campion 0-1, Paddy Fox; Declan Morley, Paddy O’Rourke 0-13 (12fs, 1 sl), Mark Battersby. Subs: Niall Lenehan for Greene (20), Ronan McCabe for Fox (38), Mark Harrington for Ryan (43), Ian Davis 1-0 for Smyth (47), Colm Craigie for McGoldrick (52).
REFEREE: Colm McManus (Gaeil Colmcille)