12 Apostles fall to Carnaross

Teach na Teamhrach Meath Junior A Football Championship Quarter Final

Carnaross 6-08 Seneschalstown 2-11

Looking to take a step closer to adding the Junior A Championship to the Junior B which was won ten months previously Seneschalstown travelled to Drumconrath on Saturday evening last full of hope and expectation but as John Steinbeck once wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Between the loss through injury of sharpshooting corner forward Eoin Finnegan early in the second half when his side already had a mountain to climb to the sending off of three of the teams most experienced players this was an evening which unravelled quickly for the Fr. Tully Cup holders.

Mark Carey was first to go when he picked up a second yellow card as the game entered its second quarter while team captain Joe Cowley and centre forward Shane Clarke were also granted an early leave from proceedings by referee Paul Mooney. Having to play for three quarters of the game with fourteen men was going to prove to be tough but to end up with twelve was just too high a hurdle for this team to jump.

When the match threw in, five minutes behind schedule, Carnaross were first to register as their influential midfielder Dermot McGee, who had kicked four points in their previous game, opened the scoring on ninety seconds. Seneschalstown almost hit back with the perfect response but after being picked out in behind his marker by a well flighted ball in from the right flank from Colin Gleeson, Eoin Finnegan saw his goal attempt parried back out by Conor Kenny in the Carnaross goal. Neil Darby did manage to react quickest to the loose ball and he recycled it out to James Conlon who fisted over.

Seneschalstown then hit the front when Finnegan sent over a free from out on the left after Shane Clarke was fouled. From here though Carnaross got into their groove and kicked points in the eleventh and thirteenth minutes before they grabbed the opening goal of the match when Cian O’Reilly found the net after the Seneschalstown defence had been opened up. This left Seneschalstown with much to do and their task then became that but tougher when veteran wing back Mark Carey was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

Buoyed by this Carnaross continued to rack on the scores and Frank O’Reilly whom Carey had been adjudged to have fouled goaled two minutes later at the second time of asking after Shane Corbally had stopped the initial effort. Niall McDonnell then sent over before Charles Brogan netted the first goal of his hat trick. This left Seneschalstown reeling as they trailed by 3-04 to 0-02 but they kept their composure and in the last ten minutes of the half they picked off three points to narrow the gap slightly.

Firstly, full forward Eddie Meade sent over via the crossbar before Mark Fox, brought on after Carey’s dismissal kicked a rare point. They had further opportunities to score but some wayward shooting saw some missed opportunities before James Conlon, now operating further outfield kicked a forty-five from the right of the posts after the ‘keeper fisted the ball behind when Eoin Finnegan chased down a lost cause. This left the score at Carnaross 3-04 Seneschalstown 0-05 at half time.

The start to the second half proved to be something of a false start as some of the mentors were still making their way to the dugouts when the match had to be brought to a halt due to an injury suffered by Eoin Finnegan. A break ensued before he had to be helped from the field and play then resumed. Finnegan’s teammates seemed to move up a gear or two from this point and they kicked four of the first five points of the half through the boots of James Conlon and Shane Clarke to leave just five points between the sides at the three quarter point.

This though was to prove to be the time when the tide definitely went against the Seneschalstown team as in the space of two minutes Joe Cowley and Shane Clarke were given their marching orders. With only twelve players now on the pitch for Seneschalstown as opposed to the full complement of Carnaross men the side from the north of the county suddenly had acres of space to exploit.

Charles Brogan was first to do damage when he netted his sides fourth goal of the game and straight away Meath Minor Frank O’Reilly followed up with his second major but to the immense credit of the twelve apostles remaining on the pitch Seneschalstown kept plugging away against all the odds and replied with a point through James Conlon and a stunning goal from Eddie Meade.

Another Brogan goal, this his third of the match put the game’s outcome beyond any doubt despite Peter Tierney replying with a goal for the Boynesiders. From here the game petered out somewhat with a Ciaran Macken injury time point splitting two more Carnaross points through Frank O’Reilly and Paul Donoghue.

The dream was to add the Junior A Championship to the Junior B and D Championships won in 2015 but alas the dream on Saturday evening turned into something more resembling a nightmare for Seneschalstown. However, with a core of talented young players coming through the ranks it would be no surprise were the team to once more give the Championship a good rattle in 2017 while for now the focus for the players must turn to the battle for places on the Senior side as they look forward to the business end of the Meath SFC.

Seneschalstown: Shane Corbally, Ronan Conneely, Adam Gargan, Colin Walsh, Colin Gleeson, Joe Cowley, Mark Carey, Paul McDonnell, Kevin Casey, Neil Darby, Shane Clarke (0-02, 0-02 Frees), Ross Howard, Eoin Finnegan (0-01, 0-01 Free), Eddie Meade (1-01), James Conlon (0-05, 0-03 Frees, 0-01 ’45).

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Mark Fox (0-01) for N. Darby, Niall McCabe for E. Finnegan, Ciaran Macken (0-01) for R. Howard, Darragh Keogh for A. Gargan, Rob Darby for R. Conneely, Peter Tierney (1-00) for C. Gleeson.

Carnaross: Conor Kenny, Peter Carpenter, Thomas Nugent, Cian Gillic, Peter S Farrelly, Thomas Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Dermot McGee (0-03), Cillian Comaskey, Niall McDonnell (0-02), Cian O'Reilly (1-00), Michael Brogan, Charles Brogan (3-00), Paddy Nugent (0-01), Frank O'Reilly (2-01).

Carnaross Substitutions: Ian Donoghue for P. Farrelly, Cian Yore for C. Gillic, Aidan Lynch for L. Brogan, D Connell for C. Brogan, Dylan Fox for C. Comaskey. Paul Donoghue (0-01) for M. Brogan (BC).

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