Gaeil Colmcille advanced to the knockout phase of the SFC with a game to spare at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening when sending Donaghmore-Ashbourne crashing out.
Gaeil Colmcille ...................... 2-9
Donaghmore-Ashbourne .......... 0-12
Two second-half goals were central to the Kells-men's merited success. The outcome denied last year's runners-up Donaghmore-Ashbourne a place in the business end of the campaign.
Overall, Gaeil Colmcille - semi-final losers to Simonstown last time - were the sharper team while Donaghmore-Ashbourne's cause was undermined by the absence of Andrew Tormey, Sean Curran and James Colgan through injury.
This was Gaeil Colmcille's third win from four outings while Donaghmore-Ashbourne fell to their second loss and have just one win to show from four so far.
Donaghmore-Ashbourne responded well to the concession of the opening goal in the 34th minute. It left them a point in arrears.
Sean Barry's men replied to lead by a point midway through the half while Gaeil Colmcille posted three wides that might have proved costly.
Then team captain Martin Barrett placed wing-back Paul Tormey for a levelling score, 1-7 to 0-10. It was the last time the teams were level.
In the 49th minute Donaghmore-Ashbourne corner-back Conor Carton lost possession to Seanie Curran who found Brian Hanlon. The full-forward's expert finish left it 2-7 to 0-10.
The sides shared four points in the time remaining but Donaghnore-Ashbourne never looked like unpicking the Gaeil Colmcille defence for the required goal. c
Needing to win, Donaghmore-Ashbourne took little over a minute to get on the score board through Bryan Menton.
Scores were level four times in the opening period starting in the fifth minute when Seamus Mattimoe scored. Moments later Fionn Reilly had the Kells-men in front.
One of the highlights of the first-half occured in the eighth minute when Thomas McGovern levelled when placed by Dylan Brady.
Last year's runners-up continued with two more scores on the spin to go 0-4 to 0-2 up by the mid-point of the half.
Seamus Mattimoe replied with three points in a row to leave Gaeil Colmcille 0-5 to 0-4 ahead with 25 minutes gone.
Donaghmore-Ashbourne finished the half with a mini-flourish, pointed frees from Paul Gilligan and Darragh McGovern boosed them to a 0-7 to 0-6 interval advantage.
The team representing the county's second-largest town doubled their advantage within three minutes of resumpion when Ciaran Ellis placed Bryan Menton for a point.
Then, at the old swimming pool end, the balence tipped Gaeil Colmcille's way with Martin Barrett flicking Seanie Curran's pass to the net.
Gaeil Colmcille - Justin Carry-Lynch; Cormac Ferguson, Barry Smith, Jordan Muldoon; Paul Tormey, Jonathan Quigley, Barry Tormey; Liam Ferguson, Cormac Keegan; Seamus Mattimoe (0-4,3 fs), Seanie Curran (0-1), Fionn Reilly (0-1); Oisin Reilly, Brian Hanlon (1-0), Martin Barrett (1-2). Subs - James Reilly for Keegan (54), Fionn Reilly for Hanlon (58), Ryan Farnham (0-1) for Barrett (60).
Donaghmore-Ashbourne - Jack Hannigan; JP Casserly, Cormac McGill, Conor Carton; Darragh McGovern (0-1f), Shane Melia, Paul Gilligan (0-3fs); Conor Carey, Bryan Menton (0-2); Colm O Mealoid, Thomas McGovern (0-2), Ciaran Ellis; Dylan Brady, John Broderick, Leo Reilly (0-4). Subs - Jack Giles for Casserly (35), Kevin Lanigan for Ellis (52), Niall Farrell for Broderick (53).
Referee - Martin Griffin (Simonstown)