After 19 SHC campaigns, Navan O’Mahonys are consigned to the intermediate ranks following this play-off loss to Clann na nGael early on Saturday afternoon.
Clann na nGael ……. 1-14
Navan O’Mahonys …… 0-16
With Jack Walshe topping the scoring list, O’Mahonys were 10 points to the good, 0-12 to 0-2, in first-half stoppage time. They led by 0-12 to 0-3 at the break.
From the restart, the Athboy-Rathcairn side gradually trimmed the deficit despite having John O’Sullivan dismissed after 43 minutes.
Making light of this setback, Clann na nGael hopes soared in the 48th minute when team captain and their top scorer Aaron Ennis netted a penalty.
That left the board reading 0-15 to 1-9. With momentum behind them Clann na nGael outscored O’Mahonys by 0-5 to 0-1 over the remainder.
Stephen Quirke’s 56th minute point left O’Mahonys ahead by the minimum, 0-16 to 1-12. Ennis leveled matters before Eamon O Donnchda posted what proved to be the decisive score in the third minute of added time.
Walshe had one last chance to force extra time. His long range free drifted wide as some spectators appeared to barrack him from the bank.
Walshe landed seven frees in the opening quarter including two from his own 65. Duggie Dillon was O’Mahonys’ other scorer during this phase with Walshe and Richie Hogan involved in the build-up.
O’Mahonys endured 10 scoreless minutes before closing the first-half with four points on the bounce.
Before the game a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late Tony McDonagh (Athboy) who died on Friday.
Clann na nGael – Darren Heaney; Aaron Doherty, Andrew McCormack, Jack Doherty; Aaron Ennis (1-3, 1-0 pen, 0-1 f), Gary Mangan, Sean Reilly; Ciaran Fitzsimons (0-2), Caoimhin Griffin; Garry O’Sullivan, Gearoid Breathnach (0-1), John O’Sullivan (0-2); Paddy Geraghty (0-1), Luke Swaine (0-1),Eamon O Donnchu (0-4, 2fs).
Navan O’Mahonys – John Gleeson; Patrick Leahy, Richie Hogan, Mark Usher; Paddy Dillon, Cormac Reilly, Dermot McKenna; Ciaran McGuinness, Andrew Gilmore; David Quirke, Jack Walsh (0-11, 10 fs), Stephen Quirke (0-2); Mikey Kelly (0-2), Duggie Dillon (0-1), Shane Crosby. Subs – Andrew Snow for Gilmore (36), John Foley for D Quirke (56).
Referee – Killian Jones (Kilcock)