A trio of fine points from Bryan Menton was central to Donaghmore-Ashbourne's merited win over St Patrick's in this hoganstand.com SFC round one tie at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.
St Patrick's 0-7
In a mediocre match, Donaghmore-Ashbourne made most of the running, but only pulling clear in the final quarter. Andy Tormey's well taken 44th minute goal clinched the spoils for last year's beaten semi-finalists.
They finished with twice as many wides as St Patrick's (12-6) and had two first quarter goal chances saved by Robert Cluskey. Michael Deegan made a cameo appearance near the end having assisted Dublin in their narrow All-Ireland Under 21 FC semi-final loss to Mayo earlier in the day
After the intensity of the curtain-raiser, the opening quarter panned out like the early stages of a marathon. Donaghmore-Ashbourne seemed to have whatever backing the elements offered,
The busiest player was St Pat's 'keeper Robert Cluskey who denied Donaghmore-Ashbourne two goals. In the 10th minute he blocked Conor Carton's effort. A minute later he kept out Andy Tormey's effort at the expense of a 45 which the number 14 sent wide.
It wasnt until the 14th minute that the deadlock was broken with Donaghmore-Ashbourne wing-back Paul Gilligan pointing at the hospital end.
A great catch by midfielder Conor Carey prevented Donal Landy's free from levelling matters in the 22nd minute.
Seconds later the first score by a forward came with Shane Dowling levelling matters. Shortly after Andy Tormey had Donaghmore-Ashbourne back in front with a fine score. Bryan Menton provided the assist.
In the 26th minute Gilligan turned provided as Aidan Hughes pointed after preventing the ball going wide. By the way, the wide count was six-three against Donaghmore-Ashbourne at the break.
Further points were exchanged before the break with Landy pulling one back for the Stamullen-Julianstown outfit before Cathal Field left Donaghmore-Ashbourne 0-4 to 0-2 to the good at the interval.
Bryan Menton became Donaghmore-Ashbourne's fifth different scorer from play when pointing in the 37th minute. The first score from a free came shortly after when Landy registered from close range.
The honour of being the first player to score twice for the team representing Meath's second largest town fell to Menton in the 42nd with another impressive effort. Tormey's second point was the first from a free for the men in green.
Then came Tormey's well-taken goal that effectively settled matters.
Donaghmore-Ashbourne - Jack Hannigan; JP Casserly, Cormac McGill, Thomas McGovern; Daragh McGovern, Shane Melia, Paul Gilligan (0-1); Conor Carey, James Colgan; Cathal Field (0-1), Bryan Menton (0-3), Conor Carton (0-1); Aidan Hughes (0-1), Andy Tormey (1-2, 0-1f), Ciaran Ellis. Subs - Shaun Byrne for Ellis (23), Sean Curran for Carton (54), Michael Deegan for Field (59).
St Patrick's - Robert Cluskey; Adam Byrne, David McQuillan, Michael McNulty; Ray Russell, Barry Mooney, Alan Vickers (0-1); Kieran Lynch, Keith Whearty; Shane Dowling (0-1), Neil O'Flaherty (0-1), Diarmuid Quinn; Donal Landy (0-3, 2fs), Niall Mooney, Darren Hagan. Subs - Niall Whearty (0-1 f) for Quinn (40), Cormac Sullivan for Lynch (59)
Referee - Pat Clarke (Seneschalstown)