COYLE SOLVES ‘CATCH 22’

COYLE SOLVES ‘CATCH 22’

Captain’s goal ends the long wait for title

Seneschalstown ………. 1-11

Skryne ……………………... 0-12

Delighted Seneschalstown bridged a 22 year gap and deprived Skryne of a first county championship hat-trick, when emerging with the honours in yesterday’s Meath football final at Navan.

The challengers had not captured the Meath title since 1972, and the hard-earned victory was additionally sweet, as Skryne had foiled Seneschalstown’s bit in the 1992 county decider.

In a relatively interesting contest, which produced a reasonable amount of quality football for the 8,000 fans, Seneschalstown struck the vital blow midway through the second half, when team-captain Padraig Coyle netted following good work by Mal Hickey and Mattie McCabe.

From a sideline kick under the stand, Hickey punted accurately into the town goal, and a clever pass from McCabe left full forward Coyle with only goalkeeper Philip Kinsella to beat.

CLINICAL LOW STRIKE

Coyle’s clinical low strike to Kinsella’s left could scarcely have come at a more opportune time, as Skryne had battled back from two point arrears to tie the issue at 0-10 each.

The holders closed the gap to the minimum margin with six minutes left, thanks to a point apiece from Trevor Giles and Colm O’Rourke.

But Seneschalstown virtually wrapped up the game, three minutes from time, with a Padraig Coyle pointed free, after Alan Finnegan had been pulled down by Willie Donnelly.

Undoubtedly, one of the key factors in Seneschalstown’s success was the excellent containment job by full-back Kevin Macken on Skryne dangerman Colm O’Rourke, who was confined to a solitary point.

Macken gave O’Rourke, who drove wide twice in the first half, very little latitude, and on two occasions made vital blocks on score attempts by the Skryne full-forward.

Another significant contribution to ‘Town’s victory was the fine form of midfielder Graham Geraghty.

Admittedly, Geraghty occasionally over-played the ball, and early in the second half, his losing of possession led to a Skryne point.

But this was greatly outweighed by a very industrious and intelligent performance, which helped give Seneschalstown a slight midfield edge against the renowned pairing of John McDermott and Liam Hayes, who is still waiting for his first county medal.

Geraghty gave his side a tremendous boost, when driving the ball over the bar from 45 metres, in the first minute.

But Skryne surged back to lead 0-3 to 0-1 after six minutes, due to a weak kick-out by goalkeeper Patrick Darby, and a misdirected clearance from Colm Coyle to John McDermott.

However, Seneschalstown, who seemed to have devised a much more effective game plan than their opponents, then, began to tear holes in the Skryne defence with their intelligent use of low and accurate passes into their forwards.

REGAINED INITIATIVE

In the space of 10 minutes, the challengers, who greatly profited by breaking down the ball in the midfield area, shot six unanswered points to lead 0-7 to 0-3 after 19 minutes.

But Skryne gradually regained the initiative, and the outscoring of their opponents by four points to two left the holders just 0-7 to 0-9 adrift at the interval.

Five players were booked by referee Paddy Kavanagh – Skryne’s John McDermott, Trevor Giles and Declan Smyth, and Seneschalstown’s Graham Geraghty and Tony McDonnell.

Scorers –

Seneschalstown: P. Coyle 1-3, 0-2 frees, M. McCabe 0-3, 1 free, A. Finnegan 0-2, G. Geraghty, T. McDonnell, S. Dillon 0-1 each.

Skryne: T. Giles 0-4, 3 frees, H. Monaghan 0-3, J. McDermott, L. Hayes, B. Smyth, C. O’Rourke 0-1 each. M. O’Dowd 0-1 free.

Seneschalstown – P. Darby, P. Finnegan, K. Macken, R. Butler, P. Donoghue, C. Coyle, J. Farrell, D. Dillon, G. Geraghty, M. Hickey, A. Finnegan, M. McCabe, T. McDonnell, P. Coyle, S. Dillon. Sub: C. Macken for Butler (54 mins).

Skryne – P. Kinsella, P. Donnelly, P. Finnerty, L. Pentony, T. Donnelly, W. Donnelly, S. Lynch, J. McDermott, L. Hayes, M. O’Dowd, T. Giles, B. Smyth, D. Smyth, C. O’Rourke, H. Monaghan. Subs: D. Keogh for P. Donnelly (38 mins), E. Naughton for B. Smyth (49 mins).

Ref – P. Kavanagh (St. Cuthberts).

This report was first published in the Irish Independent on October 3rd 1994 and was written by Paddy Hickey.

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