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Donal Lenihan, St Peter's Dunboyne, and Iarla Hughes, Summerhill, in Meath SFC Final action at Pairc Tailteann.
Donal Lenihan, St Peter's Dunboyne, and Iarla Hughes, Summerhill, in Meath SFC Final action at Pairc Tailteann.

Dunboyne finish strongly to triumph in Meath

Meath SFC Final


By Paul Keane at Pairc Tailteann, Navan

A Stuart Lowndes goal five minutes from time was crucial at Pairc Tailteann where St Peter's, Dunboyne finished strong to secure the Meath SFC title.

Lowndes, who represented Dublin in 2015 and is a brother of current Sky Blues star Eric, pounced to open up a four-point lead and leave his club in the clear.

Having also played for Meath in last year's O'Byrne Cup, it was another display of his ultra commitment across the border having previously played for St Peregrine's in Dublin.

Robert McCarthy hit his seventh point of the afternoon for Dunboyne shortly after Lowndes' goal as the 1998 and 2005 senior champions claimed a third title.

It amounted to a 1-2 scoring burst without reply and means that Dunboyne are now junior and senior champions for 2018.

Their reward is a Leinster club first-round clash with the Wexford representatives in a fortnight.

It was tough on Summerhill who were chasing a third title this decade following wins in 2011 and 2013 though they only led briefly in the encounter and were largely playing catchup.

The first-half was a forgettable affair with just nine points registered between the teams and only five of those coming from open play.

Summerhill, crucially, held a narrow 0-5 to 0-4 lead at the interval though it didn't look good for them initially.

They didn't score until the 15th minute and conceded the opening three points as McCarthy, Liam Byrne and David McEntee all scored for Dunboyne.

Ex-Meath underage attacker Barry Dardis was the man who broke the deadlock for the 'Hill and they finished the half strong, outscoring Dunboyne by 0-5 to 0-1.

Michael Byrne, David Larkin and Sean Dalton got the other Summerhill scores in that period but, in truth, it wasn't classic football.

In fact, there were the same amount of wides hit as scores in the first-half, nine, with Dunboyne guiltiest and blazing six of them.

Dunboyne began the second-half like they'd started the first, with three points, and they led by two on a couple of occasions.

But Summerhill, beaten by Simonstown in last year's final, refused to throw in the towel and got it back to level terms at 0-9 apiece entering the closing minutes.

It was anyone's game at that stage but Dunboyne grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to seal it with that 1-2 burst.

Cathal Lacey pointed first of all and then Lowndes capitalised to gather up a breaking ball after Donal Lenihan's point attempt dropped short and he blasted the ball to the net.

Scorers for St Peter's, Dunboyne: Robert McCarthy 0-7 (5fs), Stuart Lowndes 1-0, Donal Lenihan 0-1 (f), Liam Byrne 0-1, David McEntee 0-1, Cathal Lacey 0-1.

Scorers for Summerhill: Barry Dardis 0-4 (4fs), David Larkin 0-2, Michael Byrne 0-1, Sean Dalton 0-1, Padraig Geraghty 0-1.

ST PETER'S DUNBOYNE: Cian Flynn; Cian O'Dwyer, Seamus Lavin, Gavin McCoy; Cathal Finn, Shane McEntee, Sean Ryan; David Gallagher, Niall Jones; Stuart Lowndes, Ronan Jones, Liam Byrne; David McEntee, Robert McCarthy, Donal Lenihan.

Subs: Craig Lowndes for Sean Ryan 44, Cathal Lacey for David McEntee 44, Conor Doran for Byrne 47, Shane Comiskey for Gallagher 52, Jack Donnelly for Niall Jones 58, Jack Scannell for O'Dwyer 63.

SUMMERHILL: Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Caolan Young, John Lavelle; Padraig Geraghty, Willie Ryan, Ross Ryan; Michael Byrne, John Keane; Kevin Ryan, David Larkin, Cian Devlin; Sean Dalton, Barry Dardis, Davy Dalton.

Subs: Ronan Ryan for Lavelle 37, Ciaran Gillespie for Keane 44, Stephen Husband for Devlin 50, Paul Larkin for Sean Dalton 55, Liam Shaw for Kevin Ryan 56.

REFEREE: Colm McManus (Gaeil Colmcille).

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