Colm O’Rourke’s Simonstown Gaels crowned Meath football champions for first time
Simonstown Gaels 1-14
COLM O’ROURKE FINALLY got to experience that winning feeling on Meath SFC final day with Simonstown Gaels following a surprisingly comfortable win over Donaghmore-Ashbourne in Navan.
Powered on at midfield by his son, Shane, and the AFL bound Conor Nash, the Navan side burst out of the traps and led by 10 at half-time, holding on for an easy win and their maiden title.
The favourites had no answer for the power and purpose of Simonstown who were expertly led in attack by former Meath captain Seamus Kenny.
It was Simonstown’s third county final in total having lost the previous two under Meath legend O’Rourke in 2003 and 2004.
They opened the scoring after just 10 seconds, saved a penalty in the third minute and roared into a 1-9 to 0-2 lead at half-time.
Simonstown ultimately finished up with nine points to spare having come into the contest as considerable underdogs and will take on in form Rhode of Offaly in the AIB Leinster club championship on 13 November.
Meath captain Seamus Kenny powered his club to victory.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Meath teams have made little mark in Leinster in the last 15 years or so but Simonstown look a classy outfit with real quality and focus.
They tore into Sean Kelly’s Donaghmore-Ashbourne from the off and moved 0-7 to 0-2 up before Joe Lyons took advantage of a deflection in defence to blast home the game’s only goal.
Man of the Match and free-taker Pauric McKeever hit five first-half points for Simonstown – six in total – while Donaghmore-Ashbourne’s two points came from their full-back and a midfielder.
Andrew Tormey, who missed the early penalty for Donaghmore-Ashbourne, pointed early in the second-half but the miracle they needed never materialised.
Dublin’s Michael Deegan did add three points but they went for goals and were continuously denied as Simonstown picked off enough points to keep a considerable gap between the sides.
Kenny got a point to put his team 11 points clear at one stage while Brian McGrath and Michael Brennan were also on the mark with fine points.
Scorers for Simonstown Gaels: Pauric McKeever 0-6 (0-4f), Joe Lyons 1-0, Shane O’Rourke 0-2, Conor Nash 0-2, Conor Sheridan 0-1 (0-1 45), Seamus Kenny 0-1, Brian McGrath 0-1, M Brennan 0-1.
Scorers for Donaghmore-Ashbourne: Michael Deegan 0-3 (0-2f), Andrew Tormey 0-2, James Colgan 0-1, Conor Carey 0-1, Dylan Brady 0-1.
1. Robbie Burlingham
4. Stephen Moran
3. Niall McMahon
2. Shane Gallagher
17. Michael O’Rourke
6. Brian Conlon
7. Niall Kane
8. Shane O’Rourke
9. Conor Nash
10. Joe Lyons
11. Seamus Kenny
12. Mark McCabe
13. Pauric McKeever
14. Conor Sheridan
15. Eanna Donoghue
29. Sean Tobin for Sheridan (39)
5. Brian McGrath for M O’Rourke (44)
20. Michael Brennan for Nash (50, black card)
19. Shane Barry for Lyons (59)
1. Jack Hannigan
6. Thomas McGovern
3. James Colgan
2. Sean Curran
7. Paul Gilligan
4. JP Casserly
5. Daragh McGovern
8. Conor Carey
9. David Morgan
12. Conor Carton
15. Bryan Menton
10. Cathal Field
13. Dylan Brady
14. Andrew Tormey
11. Michael Deegan
19. Cormac McGill for Morgan (14)
17. Eoin Riordan for Casserly (25)
20. Ciaran Ellis for Field (h/t)
22. Aidan Hughes for Carton (45)
23. Jack Giles for D McGovern (49)
18. Shane Melia for Gilligan (56)
Referee: Cormac Reilly (St Mary’s).
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