Confusion reigns as epic comeback just falls short

U-14 Football Championship Roinn B Quarter Final

Seneschalstown 2-15 Round Towers 5-07

Confusion reigned in Fr. Tully Park last Thursday evening when nobody seemed quite sure what the score was for large parts of this absorbing U-14 Championship quarter final. Anybody who was asked what the score was seemed to have a different opinion to the person next to them but in the end whatever people thought there was only one person whose opinion mattered and that was that of the referee.

At half time Round Towers thought they led by thirteen points but the score according to the man in the middle was the Kells combination in the lead by seven. Eventually there was a discussion between them but when the match resumed nobody seemed certain of the score.

The football itself was a definite game of two halves with Round Towers dominating the opening period when playing with the advantage of the elements at their back and with the bigger, stronger players in particular at midfield and centre forward they were able to pin Seneschalstown back in their own half for the majority of the time. The very early exchanges though made it look as though the game could have a pattern as Seneschalstown it was who opened the brightest as they registered two points in the opening three minutes, the first from Will Finnegan after good play from midfield dynamo Woodley Nicholson and the second a fine effort from Kit Waddington.

The visiting Round Towers then got a most fortunate boost when a seemingly poor ball in towards the full forward line took a freakish bounce off the sod and left the unfortunate Cathal Darby stranded as it bounced high over his head and into the back of his net. Seneschalstown did manage to hit back when after the ever alert Donal Commons picked out Waddington with a quickly taken free kick Kit went for goal and saw his driven shot beat the Round Towers defence despite their goal line being well stocked with defenders.

From here though to the interval it was practically one-way traffic as the bigger Round Towers players began to dominate and despite points from Woodley Nicholson, Aaron Traynor who got two, Donal Commons and Kit Waddington they went in with that commanding lead at half time, which ultimately proved to be Round Towers 5-05 Seneschalstown 1-07.

With some key players absent through holidays lesser teams would have dropped their heads when faced with such a half time deficit but this Seneschalstown side are made up of players with great character and they emerged for the second with a renewed pep in their step. It took five minutes for the first score to arrive but when it did Kit Waddington, so often the teams catalyst was the provider when he fashioned a goal. Donal Commons then knocked over a free following a foul on the hard working Jack Freyne. By now their confidence levels were rising and the team was playing some excellent football with support arriving off the shoulder of the player in possession and the team getting their running game going.
A run of four points in a row from Waddington, Aaron Traynor, Oisín (Brogy) McEvoy and Donal Commons then arrived which really brought Seneschalstown back into the match but this run of scored ended on forty-one minutes when Round Towers kicked their first score of the half. Will Finnegan, Kit Waddington and full back Ben Coffey then kicked three points in a row to leave the sides level, though nobody present was aware of this. Round Towers steadied themselves in injury time with a point but there was still time for one more scoring opportunity for Seneschalstown to equalise when Donal Commons was presented with a free kick. Unfortunately for Seneschalstown they were led to believe they were two points down so with time almost up Commons dropped his free in around the house as they looked for the goal they thought was necessary.

The Round Towers defence was alert to the danger and cleared their lines, and as soon as this happened the final whistle was sounded, sending Round Towers into the semi-final and Seneschalstown into the Shield semi-final where they will play Rathkenny.

Best for Seneschalstown in this game were Ben Coffey, Will Finnegan and Kit Waddington while honourable mention must go to Darby in goals for despite being beaten on five occasions there was nothing he could do about any of them and all onlookers were impressed with his handling ability and distribution.

Seneschalstown: Cathal Darby, Tom Smith, Ben Coffey (0-01), Dylan Geraghty, Owen Mullen, Cillian Lawlor, Seanie Dalton, Donal Commons (0-03, 0-02 Frees), Woodley Nicholson (0-01), Dara Walsh, Kit Waddington (2-04), Jack Freyne, Aaron Traynor (0-03), Will Finnegan (0-02), Oisín McEvoy (0-01).

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