Imperious McKeever points Rasharkin into quarter-final

Casement SC JHC Group 1

St. Mary’s Rasharkin 1-21 Davitt’s 0-10

Rasharkin recovered from two defeats in Group 1 of the Casement JHC to outscore a Michael Davitt’s side, who were in the same position in this winner takes all contest at Dreen on Saturday, and earn themselves a place in the quarter-finals.

Conor McKeever was in imperious form for the home side and would finish the game with 0-11 as St. Mary’s took control of matters from early on despite facing the breeze.

McKeever struck the opening two points, the second from a long range free before Deaglan Mooney replied with Davitt’s opening score with 9 minutes on the clock.

Conor McKeever struck his third of the evening but Marcas Toner replied to leave just one in it after 15 minutes and it was still evenly balanced as James Higgins and Stephen McGivern exchanged further points to leave it 0-4 to 0-3 by the 21st minute.

There seemed to be no stopping that man McKeever as he moved the home side three in front but his side had Liam Tunney to thank for a good save as Davitts threated.

A pointed free from Marcas Toner brought the city side back into contention but McKeever struck the final two points of the half to bring his personal contribution to 0-7 and leave his side four in front at the break.

It was Davitt’s who made the better start to the second half with Jay Maguire closing the gap to three but Donagh Quigg and Ruairi O’Boyle from a great long range effort moved the Dreen side five in front with only three minutes of the new half gone.

Cormac Maguire replied with a point for the Falls Road side but suddenly Rasharkin found another gear to put the game out of sight by the end of the third quarter.

Tiernan O’Boyle and Donagh Quigg split the posts before Cahir Henderson fired to the net in the 10th minute and as the opposition reeled under the pressure, Conor McKeever, Conor McFerran and Emmet McFerran added points.

Marcas Toner, who was Davitt’s best forward on the night, briefly halted the onslaught from a free in the 15th minute but it provided only short respite as the home side came back strongly with two more from McKeever and a great long range effort from Ruairi O’Boyle.

Although well beaten at this stage, Michael Davitt’s fought to the end with Marcas Toner replying with two points but they had keeper, Anton McLaughlin to thank for a great save as St. Mary’s threatened again.

The home side finished strongly with Conor McKeever, Donagh Quigg and Shane Hasson adding points before Stephen McGivern replied with a consolation point for the visitors.

A strong performance from the men from Dreen and last year’s beaten finalists could be hitting a bit of form just at the right time. They now face Gort na Mona in the quarter-finals and face a stiff challenge from a Gort’s side who have put a poor league campaign behind them to provide a championship threat themselves.

Rasharkin: 1 Liam Tunney, 2 Conor Doherty, 3 Daniel Doherty, 4 Conor McKillop, 5 Daniel Hasson, 6 Ruairi O’Boyle, 7 Tiernan O’Boyle, 8 Donagh Quigg, 9 James Higgins, 10 Conor McKeever, 11 Cahir Henderson, 12 Aidan McKeever, 13 Emmet McFerran, 14 Conor McFerran, 15 Shane Hasson

Davitt’s: 1 Anton McLaughlin, 2 Odhran Gorman, 3 Cormac Maguire, 4 Thomas Carson, 5 Chris Gallagher, 6 Stephen McGivern, 7 James McNally, 8 Deaglan Mooney, 9 Peter Carleton, 10 Thomas Toland, 11 Colm McKee, 12 Jay Maguire, 13 Caoimhin Rainey, 14 Gerard Cosgrove, 15 Marcas Toner, 17 Nathan Maginn

Referee: Shane McDonnell

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