Meath SFC: Bray brothers on song as O'Mahonys ease home

October 13, 2008

O'Mahonys captain Paddy Smith raises the Keegan Cup.
Eleven years to the day and date since their last Keegan Cup success, Navan O'Mahonys put the disappointments of recent years behind them to dispatch the Summerhill challenge and claim a 17th Meath SFC title at Pairc Tailteann. Navan O'Mahonys 2-12 Summerhill 0-7 With the Bray brothers leading the way in attack and accounting for half of the winners' total, Sean Barry and Sean Kelly's charges snuffed out the Summerhill challenge in the opening third of the hour. While David Bray took the scoring plaudits with 1-3, it was elder brother Stephen who was pulling the strings in the winners' attack and was a deserving recipient of the Colum Cromwell memorial man-of-the-match award. The 2007 All-Star had his finger prints on most of his side's scores including both goals which arrived in the opening 20 minutes and effectively decided the outcome. When his goal attempt struck a post 12 minutes in, his younger sibling was on hand to fire to the net at the hospital end and it was 1-3 to 0-2. Eight minutes later he put Paddy Smyth through on goal and when the O'Mahonys' captain was fouled by Summerhill 'keeper Tony McDonnell, Henry Finnegan confidently netted from the subsequent penalty kick, for the winners' only score from a placed ball. A Paul Rispin point - after he moved to the attack with the introduction of David Dalton - was the only Summerhill score from play in the opening period which ended with the board reading 2-5 to 0-5. Any chance that TG4 viewers would witness a repeat of the drama of the Pairc Tailteann curtain raiser was snuffed out within eight minutes of the restart as the town side tagged on three further points. The Bray brothers and midfielder Barry Regan put their names to those scores before Summerhill wing-back Michael Gorman pushed forward and pointed. O'Mahonys closed their account with four points between the 47th and 52nd minutes while at the back they kept their goal intact for the seventh SFC outing running with Mark Brennan making fine stops from Paul Larkin and Rory Donnell. In a nicely pitched acceptance speech, Paddy Smyth paid tribute to the efforts of the O'Mahonys' management and their predecessors. He also acknowledged the graciousness in victory of Wolfe Tones and Seneschalstown - their conquerors in the two previous finals - before capping it all by paying tribute to Summerhill without having to resort to the patronizing call for "three cheers". Navan O'Mahonys - M. Brennan; S. O'Toole, K. Reilly, N. McKeigue; D. Moran, C. McGuinness, S. MacGabhann; B. Regan (0-3), M. Ward ; L. Russell (0-1), S. Bray (0-3), H. Finnegan (1-2, 1-0 penalty); D. Bray (1-3), P. Smyth, S. Keating. Subs - S. McKeigue for Russell (36 mins), G. O'Brien for Keating (43 mins), C. Reilly for Moran (54 mins), S. Crosby for Ward (57 mins), D. Murtagh for D. Bray (59 mins). Summerhill - T. McDonnell; P. Rispin (0-1), G. Rispin, A. Kenny; M. Gorman (0-1), B. Ennis, C. Malone; M. Kennedy, C. Gillespie (0-1); M. Byrne (0-1,free), M. O'Reilly, P. Larkin; B. Lyons, R. Donnelly, S. Kennedy (0-3, frees). Subs - D. Dalton for Byrne (22 mins), W. Milner for G. Rispin (half-time), A. Lyons for B. Lyons (45 mins), J. Loughrey for Malone (57 mins). Referee - C. Reilly (St Mary's).

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