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Ideal Bathrooms Meath Junior C Football Championship Playoff
Seneschalstown 1-13 Clann na Gael 1-08
Having recovered from an inauspicious start to life in the Junior C Championship Seneschalstown travelled to Carlanstown on Tuesday evening in the knowledge that victory would secure their place in the quarter finals, an achievement which seemed a lofty aspiration when they suffered a comprehensive defeat against Syddan in Round 1 back in April. Since that day though the strength in depth of the panel has improved with a combination of players returning from injury, travels and lengthy absence.
When these teams met back in Round 5 it was the Mattie McCabe managed side which came out on top meaning they came into Tuesday’s game as favourites but for much of the game it was the Athboy/Rathcairn outfit which played the better football and had their shooting been better in the opening half then they would likely have gone in ahead at the interval.
Brendan Lynch who caused trouble throughout with his darting runs from wing forward drew an early foul which presented Ivan McCormack with his opening scoring opportunity which the experienced free taker duly curled over from out on the right. Clann na Gael were first to create a goal chance but centre back and captain John Muldoon bravely put his body on the line as he blocked the goalbound effort with his face. Tommy Ledwidge pushed the Seneschalstown lead out to two on five minutes when he latched onto a flick down from McCormack before curling over off his left foot.
Clann na Gael then took over proceedings playing into the breeze and kicked six points in thirteen minutes with Seneschalstown only mustering two frees from McCormack as they struggled to get into their rhythm. During this spell they also suffered a blow when they lost influential full forward Mark Gleeson to injury. With time running out in the opening half they were in need of a score to settle them and when it arrived it came from the raiding wing back Cormac Mullen who got on the end of a move involving Niall McCabe, Jamsie Gillic, Aidan Finnegan and Cillian Corcoran before Mullen got possession and he made no mistake as he drilled his shot low and hard across the goal and into the bottom left corner of the net. Philip Sheridan who had switched into the forward line after starting in the defence then added his name to the scoresheet to send Seneschalstown in 1-05 to 0-06 ahead at the break of play.
Upon the resumption Niall McCabe who was hugely influential throughout majestically curled over a forty five before Clann na Gael struck two points. Eoghan Noonan had by now been introduced to the fray and he very nearly had an immediate impact for Seneschalstown but after doing very well to gather possession he saw his point blank goal shot well saved by the Clann na Gael net minder.
Brendan Lynch was next to score when he, after being picked out in acres of space by McCabe, raced forward to bisect the uprights. The men from the banks of the Boyne were now starting to get on top and Steven Dillon was next to score when he popped over before Lynch kicked his second of the hour. John Muldoon then picked off a point after Dillon had broke through the defence. Substitute Dillon popped over a freeon fifty four minutes, a score which was followed by a very rarely seen Ruairí Keogh point from out on the left. Eoghan Noonan fisted over a point to bring the Seneschalstown scoring to a close but there was still time for one last Clann na Gael score when they beat David Gordon to goal.
Next up for Seneschalstown is a quarter final clash with neighbouring Duleek/Bellewstown in the somewhat strange venue of Dunsany on Sunday August 21st at 12:00. Best for them on Tuesday were John Muldoon, Niall McCabe and Ruairí Keogh.
Seneschalstown: David Gordon, Philip Sheridan (0-01), Chris Dunleavy, Shane Gargan, Cormac Mullen (1-00), John Muldoon (0-01), Ruairí Keogh (0-01), Francis Sheridan, Aidan Finnegan, James Gillic, Niall McCabe (0-01, 0-01 ’45), Brendan Lynch (0-02), Tommy Ledwidge (0-01), Mark Gleeson, Ivan McCormack (0-03, 0-03 Frees).
Seneschalstown Substitutions: Cillian Corcoran for M. Gleeson, Steven Dillon (0-02, 0-01 Free) for P. Sheridan, Eoghan Noonan (0-01) for J. Gillic.