Dunshaughlin book their place in Intermediate Championship Final.
Men’s Intermediate Championship semi-final: Dunshaughlin 2-19 Nobber 0-10
With this victory over Nobber, Dunshaughlin qualified to play Duleek/Bellewstown in the 2022 Intermediate Championship Final in Pairc Tailtean on Saturday week October 15th. With Duleek/Bellewstown winning their semi-final by an even bigger winning margin, Dunshaughlin will know that it will take an almighty effort from themselves to come out on top in the final. This will be Dunshaughlin’s first appearance in an Intermediate Final since their victory in 1997 final. It will be a busy two weekends ahead in the club as our Senior Ladies team, Royal Gaels contest the ladies Senior Final this Saturday at 3pm in Ratoath.
Dunshaughlin were hot favourites heading into the first semi-final and most observers were expecting a comfortable Dunshaughlin win. Dunshaughlin did win the match by fifteen points but eight of those points were scored without reply in the last 10 minutes of the game, a period when Dunshaughlin’s superior fitness was evident.
Dunshaughlin did not get it their own way and Nobber put up a very spirited challenge, especially in the first half when Nobber playing against a strong wind, were only trailing by 5 points (1-8 to 0-6) at the break. The opening score went to Nobber, a free converted by Niall Farrell in the 2nd minute. Dunshaughlin’s top marks man Luke Mitchell tied the game in the 3rd minute also with a free. Dunshaughlin’s next shot at goal was wide and from the resultant kickout Dale Larkin was on the end of a Nobber move to nudge the north Meath men ahead again. Mitchell had the team’s level again a minute later when he popped another free over the bar. Nobber almost got in for a goal in the 8th minute only for fine goalkeeping skills of Adam McDermott to deny them. Dunshaughlin took the lead for the first time in the game with another free this time converted by inter county player Mathew Costello. Dunshaughlin conceded a soft free for overcarrying and handed Larkin the easy task of scoring a free from close in and the game was tied for third time with just 12 minutes on the clock. Costello scored his 2nd of his four 1st half points to put Dunshaughlin ahead in the 14th minute, only for it to be tied again a minute later with a point from play from wing forward Lorcan McEntee. That was as close as Nobber would get to Dunshaughlin for the rest of the game. John McDonagh scored a beautiful point from play in the 18th minute to give Dunshaughlin a lead they would never relinquish. A minute later Mathew Moyles scored from a free to give Dunshaughlin a two-point lead for the first time in the game.
The turning point in the game came in the 21st minute, when Dunshaughlin turned the ball over in their favour after Nobber had won their own kickout. A superb kick pass from Matthew Moyles found Mitchell who showed off his fancy footwork when he danced around two Nobber backs to score a beautiful goal. (Dunshaughlin 1-6, Nobber 0-4). His fellow Minor All-star Costello also showed his class with a great point in the 24th minute and he followed up with another pointed free in the 28th minute. Dunshaughlin also conceded two frees themselves before half time which were both scored by Niall Farrell to leave Dunshaughlin leading 1-8 to 0-6 at the break.
Nobber got the first score of the 2nd half with a point from play to leave four points between the sides, that was as close they were going to get for the rest of the game as the next score was a well worked goal for Dunshaughlin, started and finished by Mathew Moyles which he passed to Aaron Murphy and although the goal was on for Murphy, he unselfishly passed back into Moyles path to palm the ball into the goals. Dunshaughlin were ahead by double scores and it was very hard at that stage to see any way back for a tired looking Nobber even though there was still 25 minutes left. Moyles performance throughout the game would put him high up on the list for the man of the match award. Nobber did manage to score three more points in the following 15 minutes, one from play and two frees, However Dunshaughlin scored 11 points during the same period as Nobber played with less intensity and Dunshaughlin dominated in almost every position. Some of those scores were from the top drawer, the scorers were Mitchell (2), McDonagh, Ruairi Kinsella (4), Aaron Murphy, Moyles and substitutes Charlie O’ Connor & Conor Jennings. Jennings scoring for the 2nd game in a row coming on very late. Although Nobber introduced Jamie Owens with a quarter an hour to go, it never looked remotely likely that it would inspire another miraculous comeback like the previous outing against Walterstown. To add to Nobber’s misery they ended up with 14 men after another Dunshaughlin sub Fursey Blake was hauled down while goal bound in injury time and a black card was duly awarded. Mid way through the 2nd half Dunshaughlin did have the luxury of been able to take off midfielder Ben Duggan who played his first game since returning from injury.
Both of the finalist’s probably would have preferred sterner tests than they both encountered on Saturday. The winners of the Final on Saturday week are promoted to Senior for 2023 and we urge as many as possible to get to Pairc Tailtean to support Dunshaughlin on the day, ticket details will follow.
Dunshaughlin: Adam Mc Dermott, Oisin Foley, Alastar Doyle, Niall Byrne, Adam Kealy, Niall Murphy, Ciaran McCarrick, Ben Duggan, Conor Gray, John McDonagh, Ruairi Kinsella, Matthew Moyles, Aaron Murphy, Mathew Costello, Luke Mitchell’ Subs: Charlie O’ Connor for Duggan (53), Conor Duke for Murphy (51), David Fildes for McCarrick (54), Fursey Blake for Moyles (58) & Conor Jennings for Mitchell (58).