St. Colmcilles GAA Club, Pairc Ui Rís, Piltown, Bettystown, Co Meath 089-4440124

The old adage that goals wins games rings true following this must win game for both sides. A David Bell goal with minutes to go was the critical score in this titanic tussle were both sides new defeat could see then facing a relegation play-off game, whereas with a win there was still a potential semi-final spot on the cards.

This round two game, of the Senior championship was played in excellent conditions in the well-appointed Seneschalstown grounds. The Cilles got the better of the opening exchanges racing into an early lead hitting the opening 4 points, James Conlon, David Bell and Jack Reynolds. The Cilles were playing some excellent football and could have been much further ahead missing some opportunities including an early goal opportunity which just flashed by the post.

Dunshaughlin hit a number of wides in this period, however the Cilles were playing some excellent football and extended their lead further through a goal from Ben Brennan following some excellent play leading up to the goal.

Dunshaughlin then struck for a goal of their own to leave the score at 1-4 to 1-0. The Cilles were further thankful to Andrew Beakey for an excellent save to thwart a second goal. In the 2nd quarter the Cilles lost two players to black cards and saw their lead close to 3points with the half time score 1-5 to 1-2 with the Cilles 5th point coming from the boot of Jack Reynolds.

While the Cilles were  on top in the first half Dunshaughlin made most of the running in the second half  with 8 second half points, 5 of which were frees. Dunshaughlin will rue a number of missed opportunities, albeit the Cilles defended heroically including a vital last ditch goal line clearance from Danny McMahon.

The Cilles opened the 2nd half the stronger with the first two scores, an excellent long range effort from Graham Reilly and a James Conlon free, to leave the score at 1-7 to 1-2. Dunshaughlin responded strongly with 4 points on the trot to leave the score 1-7 to 1-6. The game was nip and tuck at this stage and Dunshaughlin were applying huge pressure, however they were dealt a blow when they lost a player to a red card. With the score at 1-8 each on the 26th minute, the Cilles struck the decisive blow of the game, with an excellent finish from David Bell whom was calmness personified as he calmly slotted the ball to the back of the net.

Dunshaughlin responded, however the Cilles got a further vital score with an excellent point from substitute Ciaran Kelly. The relief for all Cilles players and followers was palpable on the final whistle from referee Padraic Coyle. In the final round three game Dunshaughlin wil face Gaeil Colmcille and the Cilles will face St Peters Dunboyne.

Cilles: Andrew Beakey, Adam Lynch, Danny McMahon, Carl Mullan, Matthew Breen, Cathal Hilliard, Stephen Breen, Conor O’Byrne, Ruairi O’Grady, Robbie McCloskey, Graham Reilly 0-1, Jack Reynolds 0-2, Ben Brennan 1-0, James Conlon 0-3 (2f) David Bell 1-2 (1f).

Subs: Jeff Kavanagh for R McCloskey, Luke Breen for J Reynolds, Hugo Collins for M Breen, Ciaran Kelly 0-1 for G Reilly, Fearghal Walsh for C O’Byrne.

Photographs: BM