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SFC Relegation: First blood to the 'Gaels

23 August 2010

Simonstown's Padraig McKeever
Simonstown ....... 0-17
St Ultan's ............ 1-12

Simonstown Gaels took a significant step towards securing their senior status when fending off a spirited St Ultan's in the first of the SFC relegation play-offs, at Kilberry on Saturday evening.

Points in the 57th and 58th minutes respectively from Shane O'Rourke (free) and Padraig McKeever proved decisive for the north Navan side.

Sean Barry's charges had to withstand a late barrage from St Ultan's that yielded nothing and now the Bohermeen-parish side have to face Oldcastle in the next fixture in the relegation series.

Gary Gorman fired St Ultan's into an early lead but Simonstown assumed control in a high scoring opening period.

John Lunney finished a five-man move and Simonstown lead by 0-4 to 0-1 less than eight minutes in.

Points from Gorman and Cian Rennicks trimmed the deficit to the minimum four minutes later.

The second quarter was Simonstown best spell of the hour and saw them move six points clear coming up to half-time.

A brace of pointed frees from Rennicks were the only interuption to 'Gaels most productive phase. Another pointed free from Gorman left St Ultan's trailing by 0-6 to 0-11 at half-time.

O'Rourke extended Simonstown's lead on the resumption. Two Paul Murray points got the St Ultan's rally underway.

When top scorer Rennicks placed Ciaran Rogers for the game's only goal, the sides were level - 1-11 to 0-14 - in the 47th minute.

O'Rourke restored Simonstown's lead from a free before Cian Rennicks tied the scores for the final time. The aformentioned brace of points secured Simonstown a deserved win.

Simonstown - G. Lynch; S. McGivney, S. Carr, S. O'Reilly; S. Kenny (0-1), E. Donoghue (0-1), H. Traynor; P. J. McAuley, S. O'Neill (0-1); P. McKeever (0-3), S. Barry, J. Lyons; S. Tobin (0-2), S. O'Rourke (0-6, 5 fs), J. Lunney (0-3). Subs - S. Moran for O'Neill, S. Kiernan for Barry (both 50), W. McCarthy for Lunney (59).

St Ultan's - R. Daly; T. Coyne, C. Lynch, J. Bennett; D. Mallon, B. Mulroe, A. Rogers; R. Lynagh, K. Galligan (0-1); S. Mulroe, P. Murray (0-2), D. Costello; C. Rogers (1-0), C. Rennicks (0-6, 3 fs), G. Gorman (0-3, 2 fs). Subs - D. McLoughlin for S. Mulroe (24) C. Smyth for D. Costello (33), S. Rennicks for Lynagh (39), B. Brady for Smyth (54).

Referee - P. Clarke (Seneschalstown).