SFC Grp A, Round 2. Navan O’Mahonys 2-13 Skryne 3-13

Skryne slay O’Mahonys in epic clash

Navan O’Mahonys 2-13 Skryne 3-13

Fairyhouse Steel Meath GAA Senior Football Championship Group A, Round 2

All four pundits on the @WeAreMeath podcast predicted a win for O’Mahonys in this Round 2 clash and it was hard to disagree with this if you base the prediction on current form. O’Mahonys had not lost a game in 2019, topping the A League with six wins out of six and winning their first round championship game against Seneschalstown, a game they lead by some distance until the sending off of Gary O’Brien. Skryne on the other hand have yet to win in the A League registering 2 draws to date and while they also won their first round game, it was a match where they ground out a victory rather than any sort of a stroll in the park. Skryne can legitimately point to a packed injury list with key men missing for much of 2019. Navan O’Mahonys were without the service of the influential duo Ruairi O’ Coileain and Darragh Smyth, but despite the massive forty man squad that greeted Skryne in Simonstown, their team is still built around the old reliables Niall McKeigue and Stephen Bray. They also have real quality in Galwayman Oisín O’Brien who was dangerous throughout.

Skryne got off to a slow start and the defence was caught somewhat napping in the opening few minutes when Oisín O’Brien broke free and planted the ball into the back of the Skryne net inside the opening minute of the match. They added two further points almost immediately from Cathal Smyth and then Oisín O’Brien again, this time from a free. Skryne seemed to steady the ship when Mark Battersby and Paddy O’Rourke opened Skryne’s account. But O’Mahonys hit a second goal when Shane Gillespie put Stephen Bray in for a goal with eleven minutes on the clock. This goal spurred Skryne into life and they were denied a goal when Marcus Brennan saved a minute later. A second effort from Niall Lenehan was also kept out by Brennan. Skryne then went on a scoring spree with six points without a reply from O’Mahonys, the first a monstrous free from Paddy O’Rourke from out near midfield which sailed over. Darragh Campion weaved his way through the O’Mahonys rearguard to register his first point as Skryne’s midfield duo of Campo and Ciarán Lenehan began to get on top. The Skryne supporters breathed a huge sigh of relief when Ian Gillett superbly pawed away another goal effort from Oisín O’Brien, before another Campo mazy run was finished in style as Skryne began to reduce the O’Mahonys lead. Two more Paddy O’Rourke points and a Ciarán Lenehan special from the 40 saw Skryne draw level. O’Mahonys hit back late in the half with three points in a row from Stephen Bray, Shane Gillespie and Dylan Regan. The impressive Paddy O’Rourke fetched a high ball inside the O’Mahonys penalty area and quickly turned and blasted past Marcus Brennan for Skryne’s first goal. Niall Morley got his name on the scoresheet a minute later before O’Rourke pointed again in injury time to give Skryne a fully deserved half time lead of Navan O’Mahony 2-05, Skryne 1-10.

O’Mahonys Duggie Dillon scored the first of his two points as the second half got underway. Niall Morley cancelled it out with his second of the game. Four more points from Gary O’Brien, veteran David Bray who pointed with his first kick of the game following his introduction as a sub, Duggie Dillon and Oisín O’Brien saw O’Mahonys take a two point lead. Ten minutes of the half had elapsed when Darragh Campion raced forward into the O’Mahonys penalty area and was about to pull the trigger when he was dragged down by the O’Mahonys defence. The referee Liam O’Brien consulted with his umpires and a penalty was awarded. Paddy O’Rourke slammed the ball past Marcus Brennan to see Skryne retake the lead, which they never relinquished from then on. Ian Davis made no mistake when he was put in by Paddy O’Rourke for Skryne’s third goal two minutes later. Oisín O’Brien pointed a free for O’Mahonys who were finding it much more difficult to penetrate a Skryne rearguard which had improved throughout with excellent performances from the entire unit. Paddy Fox entered the fray for Skryne and was quick to make his mark with two fine points. Shane Gillespie tapped over a free for O’Mahonys but that was all the O’Mahonys could muster up as the game reached it’s inevitable conclusion after four minutes of injury time. Full time: Navan O’Mahonys 2-13, Skryne 3-13

Skryne showed an abundance of character in this game with a superb team performance displaying grit and determination after a shaky start. The spread of scores was good to see, particularly since Skryne had been quite wasteful in recent times. They were much more clinical on Saturday evening and converted some excellent scores. The defence too got on top after a slow start and a number of the newer players showed their potential with Michael Doherty enjoying a great battle with Stephen Bray throughout, Robbie Clarke also coming out on top in his battle with Oisín O’Brien who started off well but had less of an impact as the match wore on. David Carroll too grew into the game and can be happy with his overall performance. Old(young) reliables Eoghan Greene and Niall Lenehan were impressive throughout and Stephen O’Brien continued his brilliant form at centre back with a fine performance. Ciarán Lenehan and Darragh Campion won the midfield battle and gave Skryne the platform to build the victory on. Overall Skryne were superb and richly deserved their victory.

Skryne: Ian Gillett; Robbie Clarke, Michael Doherty, Eoghan Greene; David Carroll, Stephen O’Brien, Niall Lenehan; Ciarán Lenehan(0-1), Darragh Campion(0-2); Ronan McCabe, Ian Davis(1-0), Colm Doherty; Niall Morley(0-2), Patrick O’Rourke(2-5, 1 pen, 2fs), Mark Battersby(0-1)

Subs: Patrick Fox(0-2), Mark Harrington, Jason Reddy

Navan O’Mahonys: Marcus Brennan; Eimhin Power, Niall McKeigue, Mike O’Reilly; Gary O’Brien(0-1), Darragh Maguire, Evan Coffey; Conor Finnegan, Niall McGrane; Cathal Smyth(0-1), Dylan Regan(0-1), David Dillon(0-2); Shane Gillespie(0-2, 1f), Stephen Bray(1-1), Oisín O’Brien(1-4, 3fs).

Subs: Brian Dillon, Brian O’Hanlon, David Bray(0-1)


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