"Probably as nervous as I've ever been" - Club sponsor Elliott proud after Summerhill's win
Racehorse trainer Gordon Elliott punched the air as his club Summerhill won their first Meath SFC title in 10 years.
Having lost the last four county finals they've played in, including three in a row from 2017 to 2019, Sunday's triumph was an emotional one for Summerhill.
There was nothing between themselves and Ratoath in normal time, and it was only in extra-time when Conor Gillespie's side kicked onto win by six points on a scoreline of 0-22 to 1-13.
Ratoath had inflicted heart-break on Summerhill in last year's decider, emerging victorious by a single point but the Hill weren't to be denied on Sunday.
Watching on from the banks at Páirc Tailteann, their club sponsor of the last nine years Gordon Elliott was a very proud man.
"I was probably as nervous as I've ever been watching that," Elliott told SportsJOE on Monday morning.
"It looked shaky going down 1-1 to no score after a few minutes but the lads all put their heads down, they're a great bunch of lads.
"I'm a big follower of Meath football. Summerhill is obviously my club and I was delighted for them to win it.
"I've been born and bred in Summerhill and to see all the kids out enjoying it, getting photos with the players last night, and autographs, that was special."
20-year-old Eoghan Frayne was instrumental in Summerhill's triumph, kicking 0-6 (0-3f) and he cried tears of joy on the sideline as it became apparent in the dying stages of extra-time that the Keegan Cup was heading down to the south of the county.
Frayne put in a tremendous performance up front but he was ably assisted by the brilliant Barry Dardis, whose accuracy from play and from placed balls played a huge part in securing victory.
Dardis kicked an emphatic late score, as you'll see in the video below from Gary Alder, that drew a fist-pump from Elliott in the stands. Elliott's own nephew Adam McDonnell lined out at wing back for Summerhill.
"I'd know a lot of the players, a lot of their parents and their kids and all.
"So when it's your own, it's extra special.
"To see my own nieces and nephews there enjoying the win yesterday, that was absolutely brilliant too. We're not a very big village in Summerhill but we're all very close and it's a privilege to support them."
— Gary Alder (@gartommat) October 8, 2023
As for his involvement with the club, Elliott says that his own career as a footballer was short-lived but that he is delighted now to support the team in any way he can.
"I played a bit when I was young, but it was a very, very bad level. I was never any good at playing football.
"I got the bite from the horses early on, and Summerhill are lucky in that sense," he laughed.
Dardis, who has played in goals and as a forward for Meath in recent time, kicked 0-5, including two marks and one free and the Ratoath defence found it very difficult to contain him.
The game was played out in perfect conditions in Páirc Tailteann in Navan and this contributed to an end-to-end game, full of skill and entertainment.
"Them losses were hard to take, but you'd be very proud to be a Summerhill man with the heart they showed. All the lads and the whole management team left no stone un-turned and they're just a credit to themselves and the whole club.
"The celebrations were brilliant in Summerhill last night. All we were short of was the bonfire but great scenes, and the real nice thing about it was seeing all the kids in their Summerhill jerseys. That was unbelievable."
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