Meath SFC

Lowndes the hero as Dunboyne dedicate first Meath title in 13 years to club man Sean Cox

Dunboyne won their first Meath SFC title since 2005 at Pairc Tailteann this evening.

St Peter’s (Dunboyne) 1-11

Summerhill 0-9

Cathal Finn reacts at the final whistle Dunboyne captain Cathal Finn reacts at the final whistle Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Paul Keane reports from Pairc Tailteann, Navan

HE MADE HIS name initially on the Dublin club scene but Stuart Lowndes is quickly emerging as a key player across the border in Meath.

Three years after playing for Dublin against Meath in the 2015 O’Byrne Cup, Lowndes blasted the crucial goal that secured the Meath SFC title for Dunboyne’s St Peter’s club.

It’s only their third-ever title win — their first since 2005 — and it required a late burst of 1-2 without reply to shake off a determined Summerhill side in Navan.

Lowndes, older brother of Dublin star Eric, pounced on a loose ball in the 55th minute and blasted it to the net, turning a one-point lead into four.

Stuart Lowndes celebrates scoring a goal Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Robert McCarthy scored his seventh point of the game shortly afterwards and Dunboyne held onto that five-point advantage to win by a slightly flattering margin.

It was an emotional win, also, for David Gallagher, the former Meath and Ireland goalkeeper, who is the only player to have featured in all three of the club’s title successes — the first way back in 1998.

Captain Cathal Finn gave a special mention to Sean Cox in his victory speech and urged supporters to remember the club official who was the victim of a high-profile attack in the UK earlier this year.

Cathal Finn lifts the trophy Before lifting the trophy, Cathal Finn gave a special mention to Sean Cox Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

It wasn’t a classic encounter in truth and the Wexford representatives, who face Dunboyne in the Leinster club championship in a fortnight, won’t be intimidated by the task.

There were only nine points in the first half, four of them from frees, as Summerhill led 0-5 to 0-4.

Dunboyne began both halves with three unanswered points and took a 0-7 to 0-5 lead in the third quarter as they threatened to pull clear.

But Summerhill, champions in 2011 and 2013 and runners-up last year, refused to throw in the towel. Points from Padraig Geraghty and Barry Dardis tied it up at 0-9 apiece.

Gavin McCoy with Barry Dardis Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

That was as good as it got for the ‘Hill as Cathal Lacey edged Dunboyne ahead before Lowndes, who previously played for St Peregrine’s in Dublin before transferring to nearby Dunboyne and representing Meath in early 2017, pounced on a breaking ball and blasted to the net.

Scorers for St Peter’s (Dunboyne): Robert McCarthy 0-7 (0-5f), Stuart Lowndes 1-0, Donal Lenihan 0-1 (0-1f), Liam Byrne 0-1, David McEntee 0-1, Cathal Lacey 0-1.

Scorers for Summerhill Barry Dardis 0-4 (4f), David Larkin 0-2, Michael Byrne 0-1, Sean Dalton 0-1, Padraig Geraghty 0-1.

St Peter’s (Dunboyne)

1. Cian Flynn

29. Cian O’Dwyer
7. Seamus Lavin
6. Gavin McCoy

5. Cathal Finn (C)
3. Shane McEntee
2. Sean Ryan

8. David Gallagher
9. Niall Jones

10. Stuart Lowndes
30. Ronan Jones
12. Liam Byrne

11. David McEntee
13. Robert McCarthy
15. Donal Lenihan

Subs: 19. Craig Lowndes for Ryan (44′); 20. Cathal Lacey for David McEntee (44′); 17. Conor Doran for Byrne (47′); 23. Shane Comiskey for Gallagher (52′); 18. Jack Donnelly for Niall Jones (58′); 4. Jack Scannell for O’Dwyer (63′)


1. Tony McDonnell

2. Iarla Hughes
3. Caolan Young
4. John Lavelle

7. Padraig Geraghty
6. Willie Ryan (C)
23. Ross Ryan

8. Michael Byrne
9. John Keane

10. Kevin Ryan
11. David Larkin
12. Cian Devlin

13. Sean Dalton
14. Barry Dardis
15. Davy Dalton

Subs: 17. Ronan Ryan for Lavelle (37′); 19. Ciaran Gillespie for Keane (44′); 5. Stephen Husband for Devlin (50′); 20. Paul Larkin for Sean Dalton (55′); 18. Liam Shaw for Kevin Ryan (56′)

Referee: Colm McManus (Gaeil Colmcille)

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‘Clearly we all would’ve liked to have Sean Cox there on the day but that wasn’t to be’

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