Cathal Noonan/INPHO

O'Rourke's Simonstown Gaels retain Meath title as AFL rookie Nash plays key role

Padraig McKeever scored 1-4 for the back to back champions.

Simonstown Gaels 2-9

Summerhill 0-7

Paul Keane reports from Pairc Tailteann, Navan

PADRAIG MCKEEVER HELPED himself to 1-4 as Colm O’Rourke’s Simonstown Gaels held onto the Keegan Cup in Navan and secured back to back Meath SFC titles.

McKeever netted in the first quarter and Simonstown remained in pole position from there on with full-forward Sheridan adding their second-goal after a defensive mix-up early in the second-half.

AFL rookie Conor Nash was home from Hawthorn and powered Simonstown on from midfield along with partner and ex-Meath star Shane O’Rourke.

There was a cameo from 37-year-old ex-Meath captain Seamus Kenny also who came on and fisted an important score.

Simonstown’s reward is an AIB Leinster club quarter-final clash with the Wexford representatives on November 12, in Wexford.

Simonstown were seeking the win to cap a thrilling campaign that saw them remarkably come from 11 points down last month to reach the semi-finals.

They trailed St Peter’s, Dunboyne by that margin at half-time in their quarter-final tie and had to conjure a memorable comeback to advance.

They took out Cian Ward’s Wolfe Tones then, blasting four goals for the second game running, though found scores hard to come by initially here.

McKeever had a goal chance in the opening 20 seconds but his shot was blocked off the line by Caolan Young, a late addition to the Summerhill team.

County man Sean Tobin kicked three wides in the first quarter and dropped a point attempt short, allowing Summerhill to steal 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.

But McKeever netted at the second attempt in the 13th minute after being played into space on the right of goals by Nash.

It put Simonstown ahead for the first time and they remained in that position all the way despite the game remaining relatively tight.

Tobin finally split the posts in the 17th minute with a neat score from the left wing after a Brian Conlon dash upfield, pushing the north Navan outfit 1-2 to 0-3 ahead.

Conlon was replaced with an apparent injury shortly after though Simonstown retained a two-point advantage at the break, 1-3 to 0-4.

McKeever stretched Simonstown’s lead with a converted free after the restart before their second goal arrived in the 36th minute, putting them six clear.

Summerhill’s defence will have nightmares about the concession as a short kick-out went awry and Tobin stole possession and fed Sheridan to net from close range.

McKeever added a point to put Simonstown seven clear and they never looked in danger from then on as Summerhill found themselves completely out of luck.

They missed a 13-metre free at one stage and hit the woodwork twice, only scoring one point from play in the entire second-half.


Simonstown Gaels scorers: Padraig McKeever 1-4 (0-2f), Conor Sheridan 1-2, Sean Tobin 0-1, Seamus Kenny 0-1, Shane O’Rourke 0-1

Summerhill scorers: Brian Ennis 0-3 (0-3f), Sean Dalton 0-1, Caolan Young 0-1, Davy Dalton 0-1, B Dardis 0-1 (0-1 45)

Simonstown Gaels

1. Robbie Burlingham

4. Niall McMahon
3. Stephen Moran
2. Shane Gallagher

5. Brian McGrath
6. Brian Conlon
7. Niall Kane

8. Shane O’Rourke
9. Conor Nash

23. Nicky O’Brien
10. Sean Tobin
12. Mark McCabe

15.​ Padraig McKeever
14. Conor Sheridan
13. Nathan O’Brien

21. James Kilcullen for Conlon (20)
11. Seamus Kenny for Nicky O’Brien (38)
24. Joe Lyons for Tobin (52)
20. Michael Brennan for Nathan O’Brien (57)


1. Tony McDonnell

17. Caolan Young
6. Richie Hatton
2. Iarla Hughes

12. Kevin Lyons

4. Ronan Ryan
5. Padraig Geraghty
3. Willie Ryan

8. Michael Byrne
9. Brian Ennis

10. David Larkin
11. Barry Dardis
7. Ross Ryan

13. Sean Dalton
15.​ David Dalton

16. Conor Gillespie for Hughes (36)
22. Kevin Ryan for Lyons (36)
14. Liam Shaw for Geraghty (56)
26. Conor Frayne for S Dalton (59)

Referee: Liam O’Brien (Duleek-Bellewstown).

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