72 Minutes, 3 Scorers, 2 Points Earned

Seamus Connolly Catering Meath Junior B Football Championship Group C Round 3

Seneschalstown 2-11 Slane 1-13

When these two sides met at the quarter final stage of the 2014 competition Seneschalstown were left clinging on at the death to secure a narrow two point victory and on Sunday when they renewed acquaintances there was once more very little between the sides as Seneschalstown eked out a one point victory. Featuring just four of the eighteen layers who featured in last year’s quarter final Seneschalstown got off to a blistering start but were left staging a defensive stand in the closing stages of the game as they looked to hold on to their one point advantage.

In a game which lasted all of seventy two minutes, (thirty six in either half), and in which there were few hold ups the fitness levels of both sides were tested to the maximum and it is to the immense credit of both sides that those present in Stamullen were treated to a very entertaining game. Only a few years ago Slane looked to be in difficulty as they struggled to put victories on the board but on the evidence of this performance it would be a surprise if they were not in contention at the closing stages of the Championship.

Seneschalstown got off to a blistering start when after Jonathan Gilsenan pointed from play, Brendan Lynch palmed to the back of the Slane net after Ross Howard jinked his way through the defence before drawing the goalie out and hand passing across to Lynch who couldn’t miss from a couple of metres out. Shane Clarke then landed a forty six metre free after launching the ball into the sky and letting the breeze carry it over before Slane notched their opening point after eight minutes.

Gilsenan replied with a free from out on the left and followed this up with a blistering shot which he rifled over the bar when he may just have been eyeing up the top corner. Slane had registered a point in between these scores but Gilsenan then struck two points in a row, the second of which after shrugging off closer attention than might be deemed appropriate on the dancefloor.

Slane though finished the half he stronger and from the twenty third minute they four times in a row, three from lay to leave just the three points between the sides, 1-06 to 0-06 when Peter O’Halloran blew the half time whistle after thirty six minutes.

When play resumed the margin was swiftly reduced to two points before Shane Clarke sent over two pointed frees. Seneschalstown then got a major boost when after brilliant defensive work from Ronan Conneely and Colin Gleeson, Joe Cowley found Jonathan Gilsenan who turned his marker before embarking on a driving run which ended with him burying the ball in the back of the Slane net for a wonderful goal.

Slane’s response to this setback was impressive as they landed a hat trick of points, one apiece from a forty five, from a free and from play. Ciaran Macken was next to score when pointing after getting on the end of a Gilsenan knock down from a Clarke forty five which held up in the breeze. Clarke next pointed from play before Slane got a huge boost when striking a goal from play.

This was followed up in the fifty second minute with a point which was controversially awarded by referee O’Halloran after his umpire had initially waved it wide, (St. Patrick’s have brilliant facilities but Hawk Eye isn’t installed just yet!). Johnathan Gilsenan popped over a much needed Seneschalstown point after John Muldoon had intercepted a clearance. Slane though, in much the same fashion as they had done in the first half finished the second on the front foot. They reduced the deficit to one point when raising the white flag in the fifty fifth and fifty eight minutes but Seneschalstown managed to reset their defence and with Slane losing a player to a second yellow card in stoppage time the 2014 beaten finalists held out to record their third victory from three games in this year’s competition.

Seneschalstown Scorers: Jonathan Gilsenan 1-07 (0-01 Free), Shane Clarke 0-04 (0-03 Frees), Brendan Lynch 1-00.

Seneschalstown: Shane Corbally, Niall McCabe, Adam Gargan, Ronan Conneely, Colin Gleeson, Joe Cowley, John Muldoon, Darragh Keogh, Kevin Casey, Ross Howard, Shane Clarke, Brendan Lynch, Ciaran Macken, Jonathan Gilsenan, Stephen Finnegan.

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