SFC Group B: Gaels prevail in 'derby' clash

August 27, 2017

Simonstown's Mark Gardiner with Paul Whelehan Navan O'Mahonys during the Meath SFC game at Pairc Tailteann.

Simonstown are through to the knockout phase of the SFC having outlasted local rivals O'Mahonys at Pairc Tailteann early on Sunday afternoon.

Simonstown ........ 0-12
O'Mahonys ........ 0-7

The champions made most of the running but it was only in the final quarter that Colm O'Rourke's charges put some daylight between the sides.

Simonstown might have maintained their 100% record by more than double scores if they had taken one of the goal chances that came their way.

They had just gone a goal clear, 0-9 to 0-6, when Brian Conlon's close range rasper rebounded off Marcas Brennan's left-hand post in the 49th minute.

Five minutes into the second-half Brian McGrath's goal attempt was smothered by the O'Mahonys' netminder. In the opening half Nathan O'Brien was denied a goal by Brennan, but managed a point from the rebound

In addition, midway through the first-half Niall McKeigue's intervention prevented a Simonstown goal.

At the opposite end of the field, Simonstown 'keeper Robbie Burlingham wasn't quite as busy but fielded some scoring attempts that dropped short.

Numbers bore only some resemblance to traditional positions. Underdogs O'Mahonys adopted a policy of containment from the off having lost heavily to Moynalvey last time out.

Sean Tobin posted four first-half points for Simonstown but the opening score came from O'Mahonys in the second minute when Dylan Regan registered.

Simonstown's response came with an exquisite Tobin point following Shane Barry's excellent assist.

By the 12th minute the champions were 0-3 to 0-1 up. It might have been better for Simonstown, their third score (Nathan O'Brien) came after the corner-forward's initial attempt was parried by O'Mahonys 'keeper Marcas Brennan.

The sides exchange points with Mark McCabe opting to point after bearing down on goal in the 14th minute. Time had just moved into the second quarter when Niall McKeigue prevented the scoreboard from reading 1-4 to 0-2.

O'Mahonys got to within a point of Simonstown twice in the second quarter with two Stephen Bray efforts. The best goal chance for the champions of 2013 and 2014 arrived in the 24th minute but Paul Whelehan's effort went wide.

Sean Tobin's four first-half points boosted the 'Gaels to a 0-6 to 0-4 interval advantage.

Two Jake Regan placed balls from distance (one free, one 45) trimmed O'Mahonys' deficit to the minimum on two occasions in the third quarter.

Simonstown outscored O'Mahonys by 0-5 to 0-1 in the final quarter. A hat-trick of points from team captain Padraig McKeever cemented the outcome.

O'Mahonys lost Niall McKeigue to a red card near the end. However, they can still join Simonstown in the knockout phase if they beat Seneschalstown in their final group game. Simonstown, who are set to top this section, face Blackhall Gaels in the round five.

Simonstown - Robbie Burlingham; Mark Gardiner, Stephen Moran, Niall McMahon; Brian McGrath (0-1), Brian Conlon, Niall Kane; Shane O'Rourke, Conor Sheridan; Shane Barry, Sean Tobin (0-4, 2fs), Mark McCabe (0-3); Eanna Donoghue, Padraig McKeever (0-3), Nathan O'Brien (0-1). Subs - Seamus Kenny for Barry (41), James Kilcullen for Sheridan (41), Joe Lyons for Tobin (53), Mickey Brennan for O'Brien (60), Rory O'Connor for O'Rourke (60).

O'Mahonys - Marcas Brennan; James O'Malley, Niall McKeigue, Ian Matthews; Shane Crosby, Gary O'Brien, Brian Dillon; Stephen Monaghan, Conor Finnegan; Ruairi O Coileain, Stephen Bray (0-2), Dylan Regan (0-1); Shane Gillespie (0-1), Paul Whelehan, Jake Regan (0-3, 2fs). Subs - Henry Finnegan for Dillon (bs 10-12), Cormac McGuinness for Monaghan (30), Henry Finnegan for Dillon (54), John Rogers for Finnegan (60).

Referee - David Gough (Slane)

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