Club history (1968 - 2004)
After the great success of the Junior team in 1966, the club operated in the Intermediate Grade for the next five years bidding to gain promotion to the Senior ranks. In 1972, the Intermediate team reached the final against Martry. Summerhill proved superior in the final by winning 3-7 to 2-4. It gave the club its first ever Intermediate Football Championship. Great scenes of enthusiasm followed, as Fullback and Captain Donie Mooney received the Gaelic Weekly Cup. The same team went on to win the Intermediate League by beating St.John's (Kilberry) in the Final by 3-8 to 1-2.
1973 brought a first ever win in the Feis Cup competition, with a thrilling finish and a two-point win over Ballivor. The club reached the Senior Championship semi-final and drew to Navan O'Mahony's. The Navan side won the replay by 3-4 to 0-9. 1973 also saw Division 2 and Under 21 sides qualify for finals in both grades, and while defeated in both, the results of '73 augured well for the future!
The promise shown in '72 and '73 blossomed forth in full bloom in 1974, and this year proved to be the most memorable season in the history of the club up to that time. Summerhill retained the Feis Cup with an easy win over Seneschalstown in the final with a scoreline of 3-8 to 1-4. Next was the business of the Senior Championship. Summerhill defeated Walterstown and Slane, and then beat Kilbride in a tight semi-final by 1-11 to 2-7. So, for the first time in the club's long history, Summerhill stepped onto Páirc Tailteann in Navan, on the 13th October 1974, to contest a Meath Senior Football Championship final. Their opponents were Bohermeen.
At the end of a tough, hard game, the Keegan Cup was in the hands of Austin Lyons, captain of Summerhill. The final score against Bohermeen was 0-9 to 0-7. 1974 proved to be a marvellous season, with further victories in two prestigious tournaments, Feile Na Fianna (Dublin), and the Coogan Cup (Martry) Tournament. These feats enabled the club to gain the Meath Club of the Year trophy. Summerhill also became the first Meath club to win a game in the Leinster Club Championship, when they overcame the Downs of Westmeath. They followed this with a win over Newtown Blues of Louth, but lost out to Ferbane of Offaly, in the semi-final. This was the only defeat of 1974.
1974 Senior Football Champions (click on pic for larger image)
In 1975, Summerhill set out to retain the Keegan Cup. They had some hiccups along the way but again they reached the semi-finals of the Championship. They didn't reach any great heights in the semi against Seneschalstown but won by 2-5 to 0-4. Their greatest rivals, Navan O'Mahony's, were to be the opponents. The Final has been rated as one of the best finals ever played. At the end of a pulsating game, Summerhill won by 0-10 to 0-9. Inspiring captain, Donie Mooney, received the Keegan Cup.
The second team was now playing in the Junior Championship. A good early run of wins put them in the semi-final against Moynalty, which they won. In the final, they came up against Drumbaragh Emmetts. Just to prove the immense amount of talent in the club, Summerhill added the Junior crown to the Senior title. They won by 1-9 to 1-5. Colm Gannon was the proud Junior winning captain.
1975 Junior Football Champions (click on pic for larger image)
The aim of the 1976 season was to win the Senior Championship for a third year in a row. They struggled in the early rounds but easily beat Bohermeen/Martry in the semi-final. Walterstown were to be their opponents and Summerhill gave a devastating display in the Final. They hammered their bewildered challengers by 3-9 to 0-2. The 3-in-a-row had been achieved! Mattie Kerrigan was the captain who received the Keegan Cup this time.
In 1977, the club gained the 'Meath Grounds of the Year' award. The Under 21's were beaten in the final after some great displays. The Senior team were tested to the full in the Championship. Great courage and heart carried them through some sticky games early in the Championship, but they worked their way through to their fourth successive final appearance. Seneschalstown were their opponents. For long periods in the match, it looked as if the dream was over, but they battled to the end, and the match ended in a draw. The Replay was altogether different. Summerhill played brilliantly and won a Senior Championship Title for the fourth year in a row. Captain, Padraig Gray proudly accepted the Keegan Cup, which was becoming a regularity with Summerhill captains!
1977 was far from over! The Leinster Club Championship beckoned. Summerhill defeated Éire Óg of Carlow and Cooley Kickhams of Louth. They reached the Final against one of the great club sides of all time, St.Vincent's of Dublin. Ten of their players were on the Dublin County panel who had won the All-Ireland earlier that year. St.Vincent's had players like Brian Mullins, Jimmy Keaveney and Bobby Doyle on their side and had won the 1976 Final by 17 points, beating Roscommon Gaels. In a game that will be remembered whenever football is talked about, Summerhill scored a famous victory. They became Leinster Champions with a scoreline of 5-4 to 0-6. The long journey to Belfast resulted in a defeat in the All-Ireland Club Semi-Final but the history had been created ..... Summerhill were the first ever Meath club to be Leinster Champions!
1977 Leinster & Meath Senior Football Champions (click on pic for larger image and match report)
In 1978, Summerhill played some great football in their quest for five-in-a-row. They reached the final against Walterstown, despite injuries to key players. Unfortunately for Summerhill a controversial refereeing decision to cancel a perfectly good goal, brought an end to a great run. Walterstown won by 1 point.
In 1979, Summerhill battled their way to the final yet again. But by now the hunger that drove the team was no longer there. Navan O'Mahony's were victorious this time round. The Senior selectors during that period were Eddie Allen, Fr.Willie Behan and Paddy Daly.
The next few years saw Summerhill in transition.They still managed to reach the 1982 Championship Final, where Walterstown again came out on top. It was 1985 when Summerhill next won a trophy. They won the Feis Cup for the third time.
1986 proved to be a very good year. After some very tough early games, they defeated Nobber in a close game in the Semi-Final. Seneschalstown were the favourites to win in the Final but the 'Hill played their best game of the year to regain the Keegan Cup after a lapse of 9 years. Padraic Lyons was the captain on this great occasion. Team manager was Mattie Kerrigan and selectors were P.V.Lyons, Paddy Daly and Donie Mooney.
1986 Senior Football Champions (click on pic for larger image)
In 1990, the team again reached the Championship Final. Navan O'Mahony's were lucky to survive the first day when the game ended as a draw, but they were too strong for the 'Hill in the replay. However, Summerhill came back and won the Feis Cup in 1991. The club had to wait until 1996 before they claimed the Feis Cup again.
Good work had been done during these years at Underage levels. In 1997, Summerhill won the Under 21 Championship for the first time in the club's history. They defeated Dunboyne in a replay. Mark O'Reilly was the victorious captain.
Success continued at Underage level with the clubs Minor team reaching the 1999 Championship Final for the first time since 1942 and the clubs Under 16's winning the Championship for the first time ever in 2001. Also at adult level, the Seniors won the 1998 'A' League Division 1 title, and in 1999 they also reached the Feis Cup, Under 21 and Junior C finals (losing all 3 in replays). The clubs second team won the 2002 Junior 'B' competition after a thrilling game against Walterstown.
2003 proved to be another excellent year with the club reaching 7 finals in different grades! The Under 21's brought the cup back to Summerhill after defeating Seneschalstown in a classic replay. Damien Byrne was captain of the side. This was followed in 2004 with the clubs first Minor title since 1942. Richie Hatton was the minor captain. Also that year, the Seniors won the 'A' League Division 1 title for the second time in the clubs history.
So, despite the lack of major trophies won at adult level in recent years (in comparison to the 'Glory Years' of the 70's & 80's) the club's structure is well in place for a bright future in the club!