Meath SFC semi-final: Simonstown survive late Kells scare

October 15, 2016

Simonstown's Michael O'Rourke with Fionn Reilly of Gaeil Colmcille during the Meath SFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann

Simonstown Gaels ....... 0-14
Gaeil Colmcille ............. 0-12

Simonstown are through to the SFC final following this narrow win over Gaeil Colmcille at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday.

However, the outcome would have been different if Gaeil Colmcille's Brian Hanlon not sent a late goal attempt into the side netting from close range in the last action of the game.

Robbie Burlingham's restart was followed by the final whistle.

Simonstown made most of the running in the second-half. They were headed for about four minutes after Keith Reilly's wonderful solo point left it 0-8 to 0-7 to the Kells-side after 36 minutes.

The sides were tied on two further occasions before Simonstown made their break and held the lead to the finish.

Seven different players contributed to the Simonstown tally with sub Michael Brennan contributing three following his 42nd minute introduction. His third proved to be the final score of the game, from a 45, after Justin Carry-Lynch parried Niall Kane's goal attempt in the third minute of added time.

The first of Brennan's trio of points made it 0-10 to 0-9 to the north Navan side midway through the second-half. Colm O'Rourke's men maintained pole position to the end.

Simonstown were 0-13 to 0-10 ahead after 56 minutes thanks in part to having a stronger bench than Gaeil Colmcille.

However, Lar Wall's men kept chipping away at the deficit and two Fionn Reilly scores cut the deficit to the minimum by the hour mark.

Seamus Mattimoe might have goaled for the Kells-men in the opening minute, but took his point. The sides were level three times in the first 10 minutes, during which time Gaeil Colmcille led twice.

Simonstown pushed on in the second quarter. Centre-half-back Brian Conlon scored one point and made another. Mark McCabe placed the experienced Seamus Kenny for another score.

When top scorer Pauric McKeever landed a free at the Commons Road end it was 0-7 to 0-3 after 26 minutes.

Gaeil Colmcille halved the gap in the run-in to half-time. First, Cormac Keegan landed a free. Then Mattimoe closed the first-half scoring from play.

Simonstown led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break. Gaeil Colmcille replied with three scores on the spin within six minutes of resumption to briefly retake the lead.

Simonstown Gaels - Robbie Burlingham; Shane Gallagher, Niall McMahon, Stephen Moran; Ian O'Rourke, Brian Conlon (0-1), Niall Kane; Shane O'Rourke (0-2, 1f), Conor Nash; Joe Lyons (C) (0-1), Seamus Kenny (0-1), Mark McCabe; Pauric McKeever (0-5, 3fs), Conor Sheridan (0-1), Eanna Donoghue. Subs - Michael O'Rourke for Ian O'Rourke (16), Mark Gardiner for Donoghue bc (29), Michael Brennan (0-3 1 45,  1f) for Sheridan (42), Shane Barry for Kenny (58).

Gaeil Colmcille - Justin Carry-Lynch; Johnny Quigley, Robbie Flanagan, Liam Ferguson; Barry Smith, Barry Tormay, Chris Riordan; Cormac Keegan (0-1), Keith Reilly (0-1); Seamus Mattimoe (0-3, 1f), Seanie Curran, Fionn Reilly (0-3); Oisin Reilly, Martin Barrett, Brian Hanlon (C) (0-4, 3fs). Subs - Fionn Ferguson for Barrett (53), Mick Foley for Riordan (56).

Referee - David Gough (Slane)

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