SFC semi-final: Holders hold off spirited Dunboyne

By Club

Dunboyne’s David Gallagher with Cormac McGuinness Navan O’Mahonys during the hoganstand.com Meath SFC semi final at Pairc Tailteann.

On Sunday at Pairc Tailteann a superior scoring spread saw O’Mahonys fend off spirited Dunboyne in the second hoganstand.com SFC semi-final

O’Mahonys  0-22
Dunboyne  2-13

Though the holders were never headed, boosted by a goal in each half, Dunboyne made the O’Mahonys work hard to secure a final meeting with Na Fianna.

Responding positively to the concession of the goal that levelled matters, 2-10 to 0-16, for the only time since scoring started in this fixture, O’Mahonys outscored Dunboyne by 0-6 to 0-3 in the final 10 minutes..

The champions began this phase with four points on the spirit with Stephen Bray, Henry Finnegan, Alan Forde and Daragh Smyth.

However, the outcome was in doubt until the end as Dunboyne battled to stay within a score of O’Mahonys. The men in black and amber got to within a point of the Navan side when sub Damien Sweeney pointed deftly from an acute angle in the 57th minute.

That was topped by another experienced replacement with Henry Finnegan closing the scoring with a brace of points.

With the wind at the backs, O’Mahonys were quick to make an impression at the old swimming pool goal posting early points from David Bray, Daragh Smyth and Shane Gillespie. When midfielder Stephen MacGabhann pointed in the 12th minute, it was 0-5 to 0-3 to the holders.

A trio of Donal Lenihan pointed frees kept Dunboyne in touch. O’Mahonys moved 0-8 to 0-3 ahead in the 16th minute when Gillespie landed his second score.

Dunboyne were given a huge boost seconds later when Craig Lowndes’ delivery was flicked to the O’Mahonys’ net by Stephen Moran.

O’Mahonys responded well to the concession of the goal outscoring Dunboyne by 0-4 to 0-2 over the remainder of the half.

Both sides could have had second quarter goals. A misplaced Niall McKeigue pass reached Lenihan who fired low, right and wide at the town end 21 minutes in.

A goal here would have put Dunboyne in front for the first time. O’Mahonys replied with the next scores, points from James O’Reilly and David Bray, the latter score after Jake Regan deftly kept the ball in play on the open terrace side.

O’Mahonys moved five points clear, thanks to Stephen Bray, in the 30th minute. However, Dunboyne pulled one back through Lenihan (free).

David Nelson’s men led 0-12 to 1-5 at the break, but had to face the elements from the resumption. Donal Lenihan (play) pulled one back for Dunboyne in the 34th minute.

The men in hoops moved six points clear by the 36th minute with Gillespie, Ruairi O Coileain and David Bray registering

The pendulum swung Dunboyne’s way over the next 13 minutes as they rallied to gain parity. Stephen Moran provided the assist for Conor Doran to round O’Mahonys’ ‘keeper Marcas Brennan before netting.

That left it 2-10 to 0-16, the only time scores were tied since scoring started. Though playing into the breeze, O’Mahonys reponded positively though they couldn’t rest easy until the final whistle.

O’Mahonys – Marcas Brennan; Darragh Maguire, NIall McKeigue, Daragh Smyth (0-2); Brian Dillon, James O’Reilly (0-1), Gary O’Brien (C); Stephen MacGabhann (0-1), Kevin Reilly; Ruairi O Coileain (0-2), Stephen Bray (0-3), Alan Forde (0-2); Shane Gillespie (0-3, 1f), David Bray (0-3), Jake Regan (0-2 fs). Subs – Cormac McGuinness for MacGabhann (ht), Henry Finnegan (0-2) for  Regan (47), Rory Maguire for Forde (54), Shane Crosby for McKeigue (54).

Dunboyne – Johnny O’Connor; Gary Timoney, Jack Scannell, Shane McEntee; Gavin McCoy, Cathal Finn, Conor Doran (1-2); David Gallagher, Ronan Jones; Craig Lowndes, Colin Clarke, Stephen Moran (1-0); Shane Comiskey, Jason Daly (0-1), Donal Lenihan (0-8,5fs). Subs – Ben Carolan for S McEntee (39), Sean McGarrell for Lowndes (44), Ger Robinson (0-1f) for Moran (50), Damien Sweeney (0-1) for McCoy (51), Gerry Gallagher for Jason Daly (60).

Referee – David Gough (Slane)