By Gerry McGraneNovember-3-2013
Donaghmore Ashbourne 1-15
Donaghmore Ashbourne’s minor team produced a strong second half performance to come from three points behind and see off a spirited O’Mahony’s challenge to book a place in the 2013 Minor Championship Final. Both sides deserve great credit for the way the game was played as they produced a very exciting game of football full of intensity, high skill and good hard, but fair challenges.
Michael Deegan opened the scoring for Donaghmore Ashbourne with a free in the opening minutes and the Moors extended the lead on 3 minutes when Dylan Brady pointed after a good solo run. The Brews Hill men opened their account with a point from play from Robbie Keeleghan on 4 minutes but Donaghmore Ashbourne reply was instant as Conor Dwyer replied a minute later. Both sides registered a couple of wides before Kevin Fenton finished off a good team move from close range on 12 minutes putting three between the teams.
The Navan side hit a purple patch at both ends of the second quarter. They reduced the deficit to two points with a point on 15 minutes from Conor Murphy and took the lead on 17 minutes when a long ball into the square from Corey Leddy managed to go over the Donaghmore Ashbourne keeper Cian Field and the O’Mahony’s full forward Cormac McEntaggert, to end up in the back of the net. A further free on 18 minutes from Keeleghan extended the O’Mahony’s lead to 2 points.
Donaghmore Ashbourne drew the sides level with a Deegan Free on 21 minutes and a Brady point on 26 minutes as it looked like the sides were going to enter the interval on level scores. However three unanswered points (two frees from Keeleghan and a point from Duggie Dillon) in the closing three minutes gave O’Mahony’s a 1-06 to 0-06 half time lead.
The turning point in the game came within a minute of the restart as a Donaghmore Ashbourne free from Michael Deegan fell short and the O’Mahony’s failed to clear with Shaun Byrne fisting the ball to the net from close range. Deegan regained the lead with a free on 32 minutes and points from Brady on 34 minutes, Darragh Mc Govern 35 minutes and Fenton on 37 minutes swung the tie in Donaghmore Ashbourne’s favour as they moved into a 4 point lead.
O’Mahony’s were given a lifeline on 42 minutes when Jack Giles appeared to bring the ball across his own goal line. Referee Richard Morris consulted with the umpires before instructing that the green flag be raised to leave the minimum between the teams.
With the game in the melting point Donaghmore Ashbourne showed great character in the final period. Conor Donnelly replied to the goal on 45 minutes with a well taken score after good work from Thomas mc Govern to set him up. Donnelly worked hard for a lost cause ball in the corner to win possession back and feed Deegan who pointed from play on 46 minutes. O’Mahony’s did reply with a point on 47 minutes from Keeleghan.
The closing stages saw the Donaghmore Ashbourne defence contend with everything O’Mahony’s could throw at them while at the other end the forwards picked off crucial scores to keep their nose in front. Substitute Cian Wall pointed on 49 minutes after being set up by Deegan with a great pass and Deegan converted a close range free on 52 minutes after Fenton was taken down at the edge of the square. O’Mahony’s final score came from a Keeleghan free on 53 minutes with Byrne getting the final score of the night on 56 minutes.
Overall Donaghmore Ashbourne deserved the win as they played better as a unit but O’Mahony’s deserve credit for pushing them all the way and their contribution to an excellent evening’s entertainment. It was a great team performance from Donaghmore Ashbourne.
It was a disappointing end for the O’Mahony’s Minors, a team which has been together for 10+ years under the watchful eye of Manager: Finian Murtagh. The post match talk in the dressing room was full of emotion as Fino thanked the players for their commitment over the past ten years and the enjoyment/success that the panel had brought to both the Team Management and the Club. The future looks promising for O’Mahonys as there are several candidates in this panel which are well capable of playing Adult football at Senior Club and/or County level.
Donaghmore Ashbourne: C. Field; C. O’Rourke, J. McCarney, J. Giles; L. Finn, T. Mc Govern, R. Bannon; D. Brady (0-3), D. Mc Govern (0-1); S. Byrne(1-1), M. Deegan(0-5) (3f), C. Dwyer (0-1); C. Donnelly (0-1), A. McElearney, K. Fenton (0-2) Subs: C. Wall (0-1) for McElearney
O’Mahonys: C.Honan, J.O’Malley, C.Doyle, A.Leech, D.McGuinness, S.McEntaggart, P.Leahy, S.Monaghan, R.O’Coileann, D.Dillon (0-1), C.Murphy (0-1), C.Gleeson, R.Keeleghan (0-6) (3F), C.McEntaggert, C.Leddy (1-0). Subs: P.Butler for C.McEntaggert.