Wolfe Tones booked a place at the business end of the SFC with victory over Summerhill at Simonstown on Friday night.
Wolfe Tones ..... 2-11
Summerhill ....... 0-11
The result ensured the 'Tones pipped Donaghmore-Ashbourne for a last eight place with last year's runners-up exiting despite a 36-point win over Duleek-Bellewstown.
Wolfe Tones were under pressure to win here while Summerhill had already qualified for the knockout stage. News of Donaghmore-Ashbourne's charge filtered around the ground.
With qualification in the bag, maybe Summerhill weren't at full tilt. However, they made a game of it here and were just two points off the pace heading into the final quarter.
The third quarter was particularly close with Summerhill trimming the deficit to the minimum within five minutes of resumption.
Having fallen four points behind by the 39th minute, the 'HIll got to within two points of the 'Tones before Tony Kearney's men posted a goal and a point in quick succession at the start of the final quarter.
Thomas O'Reilly and Eanna Harrington played supporting roles for one of the scores of the game with Saran O Fionnagain finishing the move with a point.
When Padraic Diamond netted moments later it was 2-9 to 0-9 and this useful blend of youth and experience were set for the quarter finals.
It took Summerhill 23 seconds to get off the mark through Michael Byrne. Just over a minute later wing-back Ross Ryan doubled it.
Matters swung Wolfe Tones way before the third minute elapsed when Saran O Fionnagan netted expertly from close range
Wolfe Tones might have won by a wider margin but for registering 13 wides, two more than Summerhill. They were denied a brace of first-half goals by the bravery of Summerhill 'keeper Tony McDonnell.
He saved well from Cian Ward in the 10th minute and showed particular courage when denying Eanna Harrington nine minutes later. Following the latter save McDonnell required attention but thankfully resumed and saw the game out.
Summerhill - who dropped their first points of the campaign here having clinched top spot in the with four earlier wins - were more wasteful early on. They never regained the lead having conceded the opening goal.
Having been put through by the industrious Liam Shaw, Barry Dardis drove wide with a 24th minute goal attempt. Wolfe Tones went on to lead by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break.
Within five minutes of resumption, Summerhill pulled back points through David Larkin and Brian Ennis (free). Wolfe Tones responded positively to advance having clinched third spot in the group.
Wolfe Tones - David Nolan; Stephen Sheppard, Shane Glynn, Conor Sheppard; Niall McLoughlin (0-1), Eoghan Harrington, Eanna Harrington; Stephen Corrigan, Dan O'Neill; Niall O'Reilly (0-1), Thomas O'Reilly (0-2), Alan Callaghan; Cian Ward (0-5fs), Saran O Fionnagain (1-1), Padraig Diamond (1-1).
Summerhill - Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Willie Ryan, Ronan Ryan; Padraig Geraghty, Richie Hatton, Ross Ryan (0-1); Michael Byrne (0-2), Brian Ennis (0-3); David Larkin (0-1), Barry Dardis (0-3, 1f), Kevin Lyons; Sean Dalton (0-1), Liam Shaw, David Dalton. Subs - Padraig Jennings for Hatton (17).
Referee - Padraic Coyle (Seneschalstown)