It was the meeting of the 2017 and 2018 Feis Cup winners as Donaghmore/Ashbourne and holders Gaeil Colmcille met in Ashbourne is a night that had all four seasons in one.
In a cagey opening 10 minutes, both sides remained cautious and the crowd would have to wait until the 11th minute for the opening score with Brian Hanlon pointing from a free. Less than one minute later and Donaghmore/Ashbourne had the ball in the back of the Kells net so see the Moores ahead by two points.
Nine minutes later and the lead would be 3 when the Donaghmore/Ashbourne attacker found space in behind the Kells defence to pop over the bar. Conal Courtney should have put The Gaeils level on 25 minutes after an exquisite side step of the goalkeeper, his shot was cleared off the line by the defender. Kells was reduced to shots from distance as the struggled to breakdown Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s ultra defence. A Hanlon converted 45 on the stroke of Half-Time left two between the sides with the Moores winning 1-01 to 0-02.
Gaeil Colmcille shooting into a light breeze into the second half looking for an early score to get them back into the game but it would be the home side who would get the first two scores pushing them four points clear. That would be The Moores last score for 21 minutes as Gaeil Colmcille hit top gear. Two points from Hanlon and a Martin Barrett point brought Kells to within one point and in the 47th minute, Evan Sheridan took a ball off the shoulder and chipped over the bar to get Kells on level terms.
Kells was winning personal battles all over the pitch and when Sheridan was taken down in the 53rd minute, up stepped Hanlon to give Kells their first lead since the opening score of the match. Hanlon took a free from 50 yards out in the 55th minute but his effort fell short and Barrett gathered the breaking ball and fired quickly over the crossbar to stretch Kells lead to two points.
Just as Gaeil Colmcille got comfortable Donaghmore/Ashbourne had the ball in the back of the net for the second time in the game. Credit to Kells as from the resulting kick out the ball worked its way into the hands of Fionn Reilly and his initial shot was well saved by The Moore’s keeper but for the ball to loop up in the air lovely for Ryan Farnham to tap into the back of the net.
Two minutes later and Gaeil Colmcilles lead was out to five points after Hanlon dispossessed the Donaghmore/Ashbourne keeper and stroke the ball along the ground beyond the last defender guarding the goal.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne did manage to get a third goal when a floated 45 into the square was fisted home to the roof of the net to give The Moore’s hope. All hope was gone from the next kick out as referee Liam O’Brien blew for full-time and it would be the holders through to the last four along with Simonstown, Summerhill and last years beaten finalists Ratoath.
Gaeil Colmcille: G McGovern, P Tormay, B Byrne, J Reilly, C Courtney, C Keegan, J Quigley, C Doogan, F Reilly, E Sheridan (0-01), S Curran, L Ferguson, M Barrett (0-02), R Farnham (1-00), B Hanlon (1-05).
Subs: A Muldoon, D McGovern, D Muldoon, S Reddy, A Lawal, C Mattimoe, J Flanagan,
Photo © Declan Lynch