Padraig McKeever's 39th minute goal was the difference as Simonstown scored a narrow win over Dunshaughlin in a lively hoganstand.com SFC Group C encounter at Pairc Tailteann on Tuesday evening.
However, Simonstown were greatly boosted by the scoring exploits of Sean Tobin, who posted eight points (six from play) with 1-13 of the winners' total coming from play.
McKeever's goal left it 1-9 to 0-9 and Colm O'Rourke's men were never headed again. A dogged defence, including outstanding keeper Robbie Burlingham, played a significant role in maintaining Simonstown's advantage,
Burlingham advanced smartly from the town goal to block sub Conor Devereux's 56th minute goal attempt. Had it gone in Dunshaughlin would have regained the lead from the first time since the interval.
Tadhg O'Dushlaine has Joe Lyons Simonstown for company
Kit Henry's charges responded well to the concession of the goal and twice regained parity. Tobin's penultimate score left it 1-11 to 0-13 in the 49th minute and the north Navan side remained in front to the end.
Tobin closed his account with a great left-footed effort from the right hand side in the 54th minute. The scoring rate dropped in the competitive latter stages when Devereux completed Dunshaughlin's tally.
Moments after Burlingham's save, Shane O'Rourke wrapped up the scoring with a fine effort as the hour entered seven minutes of stoppage time. Most of this was for an injury to Ray Maloney. The Dunshaughlin number nine was able to limp off after attention.
The result set's up an intriguing final round of fixtures when Dunshaughlin face Blackhall Gaels and Simonstown take on Na Fianna. Table toppers Gaeil Colmcille face Walterstown.
Dunshaughlin took the early initiative even though Padraig McKeever countered Cathal O'Dwyer's opening free. Kit Henry's men kicked-on moving 0-5 to 0-2 clear entering the second quarter.
Apart from O'Dwyer, Ray Maloney and Niall Murphy registered for Dunshaughlin in this phase. Murphy, a nominal full-forward spent much of the half around midfield.
Simonstown's Shane O'Rourke gets away from John Crimmins
This appeared to pay further dividends as Dunshaughlin were 0-7 to 0-2 ahead after 23 minutes when Trevor Dowd pointed. Fergus Toolan and Tadhg O Dushlaine playing supporting roles for that score.
Seconds earlier team captain Michael Ahern came to Dunshaughlin's rescue when brilliantly getting down to his right to save Conor Sheridan's penalty.
Undaunted Simonstown reeled off four points on the spin with Sheridan getting the sequence going. The Simonstown full-forward dropped deep in the latter stages of the half and scored another point when his effort from distance bounced over the bar at the town end. Padraig McKeever's second point of the half completed this four-minute scoring spurt.
Shane Gallogly is under pressure from Michael O'Rourke and Brendan O'Donnell
Dunshaughlin countered with a Toolan point, but Tobin had the last say as the team in black-and-amber went in at the break 0-8 to 0-7 ahead.The scores were tied twice in the third quarter before McKeever's goal which ultimately proved decisive.
Simonstown - Robbie Burlingham; Michael O'Rourke, Ian O'Rourke; Brendan O'Donnell; Niall Kane, NIall McMahon, Brin Conlon; Shane O'Rourke, Shane Barry (0-1); Seamus Kenny, Padraig McKeever (1-2), Joe Lyons; Sean Tobin (0-8, 2fs), Conor Sheridan (0-3), Mark McCabe (0-1). Subs - Brian McGrath for Barry (ht), Andrew Kearney for Kenny (48), Eanna Donoghue for McMahon (57), Colm Wickham for Lyons (bc 60).
Dunshaughlin - Michael Ahern (C); Dan Ormsby, Alastair Doyle, Fearghal Delaney; Mark Devaney, Caoimhin King, Tadhg O Dushlaine; John Crimmins, Ray Maloney (0-1); Cathal O'Dwyer (0-6, 5fs), Trevor Dowd (0-3), Ben Duggan; Shane Gallogly, Niall Murphy (0-1), Fergus Toolan (0-3, 1f). Subs - Conor Devereux (0-1) for Gallogly (43), David Dunne for Devaney (53), Danny Quinn for O Dushlaine (57), Joe O'Brien for Duggan (59), Tommy Johnson for Maloney (60).
Referee - Padraic Coyle (Seneschalstown)
Another point from the left boot of Sean Tobin