Playing with the aid of a strong breeze the hosts had the better of the early exchanges scoring a point after one minute and following it up with a goal two minutes later. Kells, who were struggling to make their share of possession count, finally got off the mark when Finn Tegetmeier pointed from play.
With nine minutes on the clock a point effort by O’Mahony’s hit the post and dropped kindly for their corner forward who finished to the net. Kells responded well to the setback with points from Jack Hogg and Oisin Walsh before being awarded a penalty when Andrew Gormley was pulled down. Hogg’s effort was saved by the Navan keeper and the missed opportunity was compounded when the home side added two points from play to stretch their lead back out to two goals.
Gormley pointed a free and then saw his next effort cannon of the crossbar. Once again Navan pointed to maintain their lead. As the half drew to a close the Gaeils spurned a number of opportunities before two scores in quick succession, Gormley from play and a free from Liam Barry reduced the deficit to four points just before the halftime whistle.
Despite having the wind at their backs for the second half Kells conceded the first point, from play. However this was to be the home sides last point for nearly 20 minutes as the Gaeils reeled off 1-07 without reply. It started with a Barry point, then one from Gormley, and was followed by a Killian Kelly effort after a great run through the middle.
Gormley and Barry continued to torment the hosts defence as they fired over to draw the sides level. Despite some very close attention from his marker, Gormley squeezed over a superb effort from a tight angle to give Kells the lead for the first time and he followed this up with a goal when he fired to the roof of the net from close range.
Just when it seemed Kells might dominate the remainder the game Navan hit back. Two pointed frees narrowed the gap, and when a high ball bounced near the edge of the square an O’Mahonys forward palmed it into the net to put them one point up with seven minutes to play. Last week saw a late goal undo a great second half performance but this week the young Gaeil’s were determined to avoid a repeat.
Within a minute Tegetmeier floated over an equaliser, and Oisin O’Reilly put Kells back in front. There followed some spirited defending, led by Taidgh Dardis, as the home side were held at bay. Tegetmeier popped up with a point to ease the pressure and a minute into injury time Hogg got another. In a tense finish O’Mahonys were awarded a free inside the 21 and had no choice but to go for goal. With over half the Kells team on the line the low effort was turned away and the referee blew the final whistle.
Gaeil Colmcille: Conor Flanagan, Calum Mitchell, Rian Early, Bruno Griffin, Taidgh Dardis, John Gormley, Killian Kelly (0-01), Oisin O’Reilly (0-01), Jack Hogg (0-02), Noah Boshell, Andrew Gormley (1-05, 1f) Finn Tegetmeier (0-03), Liam Barry (0-03, 1f), Oisin Walsh (0-01), Liam Devine
Sub: Glen Gavigan for Conor Flanagan