U20 Football Championship – Quarter Final. Donaghmore Ashbourne 0-13 Skryne 0-10

Battling Skryne bow out of U20 Championship

Donaghmore Ashbourne 0-13 Skryne 0-10

U20 Football Championship – Quarter Final.

Skryne travelled to Ashbourne for this U20 knockout quarter final. The conditions were cold and wet, far from ideal and yet both teams managed to put on an excellent display of football with little between the teams throughout.

Skryne started strongest with Oisín Keogh firing over a superb opener from wide on the right hand side inside the opening minute.  2 minutes later, Niall Finnerty turned his man and unleashed a powerful effort that looked destined to hit the back of the net but for the quick hands of the Donaghmore/Ashbourne keeper who parried it away for a 45. Niall Finnerty added Skryne’s second point from a free before Donaghmore/Ashbourne got back on terms with Cillian Hegarty grabbing a brace of points. Skryne were denied a goal scoring opportunity when Shane Smyth advanced towards the Donaghmore/Ashbourne goal, but was taken out of it by one of the Moore’s defenders. The defender will count himself lucky to have received a yellow card when a black card seemed warranted. Niall Finnerty converted the free to edge Skryne ahead. Donaghmore/Ashbourne hit 3 points in a row to move into the lead. Oisín Keogh pulled one back for Skryne to reduce the deficit to a single point as the game reached the first half water break. Donaghmore/Ashbourne 0-5 Skryne 0-4.

Donaghmore/Ashbourne had the better of the second quarter. Cillian Hegarty pointed again from play before they added another point, this time from a free. George Fitzpatrick showed his battling qualities when he won possession for Skryne before laying off to Niall Finnerty who fired over. Donaghmore/Ashbourne added a final point to pull three clear as the half time whistle sounded. Donaghmore/Ashbourne 0-8, Skryne 0-5.

Skryne faced the breeze in the second half but started in determined mood. They were again denied a clear goal scoring opportunity when Niall Morland did a neat one-two with Niall Finnerty which released Morland into space behind the full back line. As he advanced towards goal, a Donaghmore/Ashbourne defender dragged him down just outside the penalty area. Amazingly, the defender again escaped with just a yellow card. Niall Finnerty made no mistake with the free. Donaghmore/Ashbourne replied immediately with a point from their corner forward. Niall Finnerty added two more frees for Skryne, one just before the water break where he took a snap shot at the Donaghmore/Ashbourne goal which just rose narrowly over the top of the crossbar when it looked like it might just dip into the goalmouth.  Cillian Hegarty pointed a free for Donaghmore/Ashbourne leaving only two between the sides at the second half water break. Donaghmore/Ashbourne 0-10, Skryne 0-08.

Skryne were guilty of making some bad decisions up front as they fought to reel in the Ashbourne men. There were several occasions where they hit shots from too far out when it might have been better to work the ball into a more scoreable position. For sheer effort and determination, Skryne deserved to get a result from this game, but they were to rue the missed chances and also the potential goals that had been snuffed out by the earlier cynical fouls. Donaghmore/Ashbourne increased their lead to three with a point from play after the resumption. Niall Finnerty added another free after Oisín Keogh was fouled. Cillian Hegarty tapped over a free to leave a goal between them. Remarkably, Skryne were denied a third goal scoring opportunity when a Donaghmore/Ashbourne defender hauled down a Skryneman who was arrowing towards the D/A goal. This time the referee produced the black card. Niall Finnerty converted the free. However, Skryne were running out of steam at this stage after throwing everything at Donaghmore/Ashbourne. George Fitzpatrick and Niall Finnerty both forced saves from the Donaghmore/Ashbourne keeper, but the Moores held firm and their top man Cillian Hegarty sent over his seventh point of the night(4 frees) to see them secure their place in the semi-final.

The Skryne supporters who had made their way to Ashbourne on a cold wet night, while disappointed with the result, were proud of the performance put in by the lads. Almost all of the team will be able to play in this grade next year, with many been eligible again the year after, so while they may not have made it through this time around, the future looks very bright for this group of players.

Skryne: Gary Browne; Scott Armstrong, Kristoffer Kinsella, Jack Swan; George Fitzpatrick, David Rathbourne, John Finnerty; Shane Smyth, Oisín Keogh(0-2); Cian Reddy, Niall Morland, Andrew Nolan; Mark Swan, Niall Finnerty(0-8, 7fs), Seán Keogh.

Subs used: Cillian Moss

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