St. Colmcilles GAA Club, Pairc Ui Rís, Piltown, Bettystown, Co Meath 0877441731

Result:   St. Colmcilles  3:13 (22) Donaghmore Ashbourne 4:08 (20)

The Division 1 semi-final between old rivals St Colmcilles and Donaghmore Ashbourne was a titanic struggle between two talented squads that ended with the Cilles boys edging the result with two late points. Presided over by David Gough, one of Ireland’s leading senior referees who was later appointed to officiate at the upcoming All Ireland Senior Final between Dublin and Kerry, the game was an extremely tight sporting contest and a tribute to all involved. 

Cilles were smartly off the blocks and put a few quick points on the board in stylish fashion to lead 0:04 to 0:01 after ten minutes. DonAsh then replied with a point, followed by two goals to seize the initiative. But the Cilles boys are made of stern stuff and re-established their lead with a goal and a brace of points before the break, leading at the interval by the narrowest of margins 1:07 to 2:03. 

The second half was even more tightly contested, with a supreme effort by both sides to gain the upper hand. In the early stages Cilles scored 1:04 to stretch their lead out to seven points. At that stage it looked like Cilles were heading for the final, but the DonAsh boys came storming back, scoring a penalty and a further 1:01 to draw level with 10 minutes remaining.  The teams then exchanged points with the result hanging in the balance until Cilles scored two late points to put daylight between the sides. In a tense last few minutes, both sides gave everything before Referee Gough brought the game to a close, to the relief of all the Piltown supporters. At the final whistle, it was Cilles 3:12 (22) to DonAsh’s 4:08 (20).

The game, which benefited from David Gough’s exemplary control, was played at a high pace throughout and featured high class quality play from both sides. In truth, there was little or nothing between the teams, both of whom gave their all. If Dublin and Kerry produce a similar exciting game, then we are all in for a treat. The entire Cilles’ squad was used on the night and all made a significant contribution.

The final will be played next Tuesday (20/08/19 at 7:00 pm) against old rivals Seneschalstown, who disposed of Ratoath by 2:16 to 1:02, venue to be announced. Another titanic struggle is predicted.