Intermediate Championship, Group C, Round 3
Full time: Dunshaughlin 2-18 St. Patrick’s 1-7
A comprehensive win for Dunshaughlin over the group leaders means they are still on course to secure a Quarter Final berth. St. Patricks went into this game in a confident mood having won their previous 2 championship games but, on the night, nothing seemed to go right for them. The Stamullen lads will know they will have to come up with a different game plan if they are to meet Dunshaughlin again later in the knockout stages. Dunshaughlin never looked in trouble at any stage during this game and led all the way. It was hard to see anything other than a Dunshaughlin win even at half-time when they led 1-10 to 0-2.
It was an ideal evening for football and a swirling breeze that was there during the warm-up in Ashbourne died down just before the throw-in. By the end of the 1st quarter Dunshaughlin led 0-5 to 0-0, with points scored at a rate of every 2 to 3 minutes from all three players on the full forward line, Mathew Costello (3,1f), Luke Mitchell (1f) and Aaron Murphy. St. Pat’s did get their first score from a Donal Landy free in the 17th minute but Dunshaughlin went on another mini scoring spree of 1-3 without reply before St. Pats registered their 2nd score. The Dunshaughlin goal a result of hard work from Luke Mitchell forcing a turnover which was very nicely put away by Matthew Moyles, the points coming Aaron Murphy, young Conor Duke and Mitchell from a free. St. Pats did score their 2nd point of the half in the 25th minute, from another Landy free. Mitchell kicked over two more frees before Cavan man Conor Dourneen blew the half-time whistle. One of the very encouraging signs for Dunshaughlin in that first half was limiting St. Pats (a team who scored 3-14 in their previous game) to two points, which a lot of credit is due to the solid full back line led by Oisin Foley. Dunshaughlin dominated the midfield exchanges with both Ben Duggan and Conor Gray winning a lot of aerial ball and distributing efficiently.
Dunshaughlin started the 2nd half with two early points from Mitchell (f) and from John McDonagh with a nice tap over in the 32nd minute making him the 6th Dunshaughlin forward to score in the game. For the 2nd game in a row Conor Gray was denied scoring a goal only for a great save, this time from the St. Pats keeper in 33rd minute. Landy got St. Pats first point from play in the 34th minute and a minute later put over another point from a free to leave them just 11 points behind again. But like in the first half when every time St. Pats got a score Dunshaughlin went on a mini scoring spree, this time it was Aaron Murphy taking on his man and scoring a goal from a very tight angle, followed up by points from McDonagh and Costello(f) to give Dunshaughlin a 16-point cushion 2-14 to 0-4 after 45 minutes. As if that wasn’t enough to break St. Pat’s hearts, either side of Costello’s point Dunshaughlin introduced two of their Meath Under 20 stars Ruairi Kinsella & Ciaran McCarrick, McCarrick causing further panic with his trademark speedy ball carrying runs. During a short St. Pats purple patch, a substitute scored a point from play in the 47th minute, after an Adam McDermott had made an excellent save, followed by a brilliant block in the Dunshaughlin defence, but the rebound fell kindly for the St. Pats No. 11 to score a goal (49th minute) and then Landy scored from a point from a free in the 51st minute to bring the Stamullen back to only trailing by 11 points (2-14 to 1-6). Dunshaughlin scored two very nice points in the 54th minute from Murphy (Dunshaughlin’s joint top scorer) and from half back Adam Kealy in the 55th minute. Landy responded tapping over another free before Kinsella (who was winning a lot of loose ball at midfield since his introduction) got a beautifully executed point from play in the 58th minute for Dunshaughlin. Also, the two other half backs Charlie O’ Connor and Niall Murphy put in solid performances and never put a foot wrong. Dunshaughlin introduced Danny Quinn in the 53rd minute for Alastar Doyle who along with Niall Byrne can also be very happy with their contributions, often coming out of their defence at speed after winning turn-overs and launching attacks. In the final few minutes of the game Mitchell (Dunshaughlin’s other joint top scorer) got a point from play and match top scorer Landy (0-8, 5f) got two more points from play for St. Pats in the last minute to leave the final score 2-18 to 1-9. The hardworking Dunshaughlin performance on the field left their supporters with little to find fault with, during the post- match analysis on the short journey home from Ashbourne.
Dunshaughlin maintained their 100% record and now lead the group on score difference. For their next game Dunshaughlin travel to Moynalvey on Saturday August 20th at 6pm to play in a local derby against Blackhall Gaels in what is likely to be their toughest assignment to date. St. Pats are by no means out of it and can still make the Quarter Finals with a victory in their last game over Kilmainham and other results go their way.
Dunshaughlin: Adam McDermott, Oisin Foley, Alastar Doyle, Niall Byrne, Adam Kealy, Niall Murphy, Charlie O’Connor, Ben Duggan, Conor Gray, Conor Duke, Mathew Moyles, John McDonagh, Aaron Murphy, Mathew Costello, Luke Mitchell. Subs: Ruairi Kinsella for Duke (40th), Ciaran McCarrick for Duggan (45th), Daniel Quinn for Doyle (52nd).
Dunshaughlin scorers: Luke Mitchell 0-6 (5f), Aaron Murphy 1-3, Matthew Moyles 1-1, Mathew Costello 0-3 (2f), John McDonagh 0-2, Ruairi Kinsella 0-1, Conor Duke 0-1, Adam Kealy 0-1.