Gaeil Colmcille and Dunshaughlin met in the final Round Robin game in Group D of the Fairyhouse Steel Meath Senior Football Championship. After the results of the second round of fixtures were completed all permutations were settled as Gaeil Colmcille were confirmed as Group Winners.
The early pace of the game was electric and two points from play from Ryan Farnham, who replaced Brian Hanlom in the starting XV and Martin Barrett who lined out at Full-Forward gave Kells the early lead.
Dunshaughlin response was excellent and they blazed down on the Gaeil Colmcille goal only for Justin Carry-Lynch to produce a fine save, but the follow up shortly after was put over the bar.
Gaeil Colmcille then hit the next three scores with Seamus Mattimoe getting a brace and Evan Sheridan pointing to give Kells a four point lead. Dunshaughlin looked certain for a goal on 13 minutes but the full forward was swallowed up before he could get his shot away inside the Kells square.
The water break then came to the aid of Dunshaughlin and they came out and hit four points in a row to level things up at five points each with 26 minutes played.
Just as Dunshaughlin were asserting pressure, Gaeil Colmcille overturned an attack thanks to Keith Reilly and Reilly went from his own 45 to the Dunshaughlin 45 and played a perfect ball into Farnham who seen the Dunshaughlin keeper come off his line and cleverly flick the ball over him and into the back of the net.
Both sides traded points before half-time with Sheridan getting his second of the day to see Kells lead 1-06 to 0-06 at the break.
The opening four points of the second half were shared with Barrett adding a free kick and wing back Liam Ferguson got forward to hit a wonderful score on 35 minutes.
Kells went four points clear on 40 minutes when Evan Sheridan and Keith Reilly scored either side of a Dunshaughlin point.
Dunshaughlin then brought the game back to one point when the goaled one minute later with a wonderful move that started from the goalkeepers kickout from Reillys score. Just as the goal went in, Referee David Gough called for the second half water break much to the pleasure of Gaeil Colmcille who had a chance to regroup.
Substitute Danny McGovern hit an excellent free from 45 yards out to restore a two point cushion for Kells but Dunshaughlin replied straight away to keep the minimum between the sides.
The introduction of Brian Hanlon proved crucial in the final quarter and he soon got in on the act as he made a run down the left side of the Walterstown pitch and cut inside to point to extend Kells lead to three points as Oisin Reilly pointed one minute earlier.
The game was put beyond Dunshaughlin in a three minute blitz by Hanlon as he struck 1-02 from play to see Kells lead by seven going into the final five minutes.
Dunshaughlin did rally and hit four points in a row but time just ran out and it was Gaeil Colmcille who picked up the two points on offer in an entertaining game of football.
Gaeil Colmcille: J Carry-Lynch, J Muldoom, P Tormay, B Tormay, J Quigley, S Curran, L Ferguson (0-01), P Ward, C Doogan, E Sheridan (0-03), K Reilly (0-01), O Reilly (0-01), S Mattimoe (0-02), M Barrett (0-02), R Farnham (1-01).
Subs: B Smith, D McGovern (0-01), F Ferguson, C Courtney, B Hanlon (1-03)
Photo © John Quirke