Dunshaughlin overcame the elements and the hoganstand.com SFC holders Navan O'Mahonys in this Group C round five fixture at windy Ashbourne on Sunday evening.
Dunshaughlin ....... 0-12
O'Mahonys ........... 1-7
Dunshaughlin were good value for their win which sees them advance to the business end of the SFC having secured third spot in this competitive group.
The men in black and amber face Donaghmore-Ashbourne in the preliminary quarter-final with the winners to face Seneschalstown in a last eight fixture.
Anthony Moyles' men deserve credit for the manner in which they regained control of a game that seemed to be slipping away from them in the third quarter.
The experienced John Crimmins gave Dunshaughlin a strong foothold around midfield in the final quarter during which time they outscored the champions by 0-4 to 0-1. They posted those four points without reply in the final 10 minutes (including stoppage time).
Wing-back Tadhg O Dushlaine was the scoring hero for Dunshaughlin with five points including the final score of the game in the 58th minute from a free on the right hand side. He landed a first-half 45 and followed with three from play. It included the one that leveled matters for the only time, 1-5 to 0-8, in the 42nd minute.
Dunshaughlin lost the impressive Ben Duggan to a second yellow card in the 58th minute with the outcome still in the balance. They also lost Michael Ahern to a black card in stoppage time.
O'Mahonys almost snatched a place in the knockout stages but Cormac McGuinness' goal attempt deep into added time hit the side netting.
The wind was stronger in the first-half and Dunshaughlin captain Caoimhin King opted to play with it. Full-forward Niall Murphy impressed in the early exchanges as his side moved 0-4 to 0-0 clear after 15 minutes.
Cathal Smyth opened O'Mahonys' account a minute later with help from ful-forward David Bray, who dropped deep in the opening half to enhance his side's presence around midfield. The second quarter yielded just further scores: O Dushlaine's first and Cathal O'Dwyer third of the half. It was 0-6 to 0-1 at half-time.
Dunshaughlin posted six wides in the opening half. It looked costly with O'Mahonys' whirlwind start to the second period. Within four minutes of resumption David Nelson's men were in front for the first time.
Points from Shane Gillespie (following a poor Dunshaughlin restart), Ruairi O Coileain and David Bray were followed by Alan Forde's brilliant solo goal at the town end. That left it 1-4 to 0-6. Another O Coileain point extended the holders' lead.
That was as good as it got for O'Mahonys. From the 38th minute Dunshaughlin outscored them by 0-6 to 0-2. The Navan-men passed up some scoring chances while Duggan was denied a goal in the 53rd minute - with O'Mahonys leading by two - when his rasper rebounded off the crossbar.
Responding well from this setback, Dunshaughlin closed in on the knockout stage without four unanswered points.
Dunshaughlin - Andrew Smith; Fearghal Delaney, Caoimhin King, Michael Ahern; Danny Quinn, Alastair Doyle, Tadhg O Dushlaine (0-5, 1 45, 1f)s; John Crimmins, Ray Maloney; Fergus Toolan, Trevor Dowd, Ben Duggan; Shane Gallogly (0-1), Niall Murphy (0-1), Cathal O'Dwyer (0-5, 3fs). Subs - Dan Ormsby for Doyle (45), Mark Devaney for Toolan (49), Tommy Johnson for Delaney (56).
O'Mahonys - Marcas Brennan; James O'Malley, Niall McKeigue, Darragh Maguire; James O'Reilly, Cormac Reilly, Gary O'Brien; Shane Crosby, Cormac McGuinness; Ruairi O Coileain (0-4), Stephen Bray, Alan Forde (1-0); Shane Gillespie (0-1), David Bray (0-1), Cathal Smyth (0-1). Subs - Kevin Reilly for Crosby (45), Rory Maguire for Smyth (47), Henry Finnegan for Forde (56), Jake Regan for Gillespie (57), Stephen Monaghan for S Bray (60).
Referee - Liam O'Brien (Duleek-Bellewstown)