Disappointment In Simonstown

Meath U-21 Championship Quarter Final

Seneschalstown 0-11 Navan O’Mahonys 1-15

Having gone in two points to the good at half time Seneschalstown were left to rue the fact that they failed to find their mojo for the opening twenty minutes of the second half. Following a performance in the opening thirty minutes when they forced numerous turnovers as a result of hunting in packs and putting pressure on the ball carrier allied to some impressive point scoring they would have been confident of securing their passage through to the semi-final. However from the outset of the second period they struggled to get the ball past their midfield as Navan O’Mahonys won a succession of kickouts and kicked nine points in a row to move into a commanding lead.

With less than a minute on the clock the Brews Hill outfit opened the scoring when they pointed a free from the right hand side but in the fourth minute Seneschalstown levelled matters when Niall McCabe popped over a point after the forwards had forced a turnover and then patiently waited to work a player into space for the shot at goal. Another pointed free edged O’Mahonys back into the lead before Niall Lyons registered his opening score after capitalising on a strong run from the powerful Sean Noonan.

Navan O’Mahonys missed a golden goal opportunity in the fourteenth minute and boosted by this let off James Meade pushed his side into a one point lead when pointing from the right of the uprights. John Smith, who had started the match in impressive form at full back, did well to pluck the ball out of the floodlit sky and within seconds the ball was worked upfield where Lyons had the opportunity to race in behind the rear-guard. As he bore down on goal the O’Mahonys goalkeeper advanced of his line before pulling off a fine save to deflect the ball out for a forty five. From the resultant placed ball Lyons saw his effort into the breeze just fall short.

Meade then kicked his second of the evening when pointing a free awarded when Brendan Lynch was hit late but the impressive free taking of the town side continued when they picked off another minor from a placed ball. Niall Hickey who had struggled to settle into proceedings did wonderfully in defence to break through a cluster of bodies and from this inspirational passage of play Noonan pointed after being placed for the score by Meade.

With half time approaching O’Mahonys could have had a goal but their corner forwards effort just fizzed over David Gordon’s crossbar. Lyons then wrapped up the first half scoring when pointing off his left foot to send his side in leading by six points to four at the interval.

When the sides made their way back into their positions at the outset of the second half Seneschalstown would have been looking to build on their promising start but it was Navan O’Mahonys who got off to a bright start. With only thirty three seconds on the clock they reduced the deficit to one point before moving one ahead with points in the thirty fifth and thirty sixth minutes. Their lightning quick start to the half continued when they got another two minutes later before Seneschalstown sought to shake their side up when introducing Daire Geraghty for Brendan Lynch.

This switch failed to have an instantaneous effect though and the increasingly influential Ruairí Coileain kicked two points from play in a matter of seconds to further stamp his side’s superiority on the scoreboard. He then kicked two further minors from play either side of a pointed free from their impressive free taker before Niall Lyons popped up with Seneschalstown’s first score of the half. Lyons went for goal but saw his powerful effort tipped over the bar.

This score sparked his side to life and he reduced the deficit when beautifully flighting over a forty five. Noonan then notched a free after Lyons was adjudged to have been pulled back and then Lyons split the posts with an effort from play, the opportunity coming after good work in defence from Eamon Sheridan. Momentum now appeared to be favouring the youngsters from Seneschalstown and this impression was embellished further when following a late foul on Ronan Conneely, who was becoming increasingly influential having switched out to wing forward Noonan pointed another free.

Like a pin prick can burst an inflated balloon so too can a score kill the momentum of a side and when O’Mahonys managed a fifty seventh minute point all the momentum of the Seneschalstown comeback seemed to dissipate. They then suffered the triple whammy of losing Darragh Keogh, Adam Carey and Niall Hickey. The first to a black card and the latter two to knocks.

With the hour elapsed and the clock ticking into stoppage time a high ball into the Seneschalstown square caused consternation in the defence and capitalising fully on this the O’Mahonys full forward latched onto the ball before sending it into the back of Gordon’s net. With the game now moving deep into stoppage time there was still time for one more pointed free for Navan O’Mahonys as they moved seven points clear.

With many of the side aged in the seventeen to nineteen age bracket this is an exceptionally young Seneschalstown side, with all bar one or two underage again next year. Based on their two performances in this year’s competition they will be confident that the foundations laid this year will lead to the building of something special in the coming seasons.

Seneschalstown Scorers: Niall Lyons 0-05 (0-01 ’45), Sean Noonan 0-03 (0-02 Frees), James Meade 0-02 (0-01 Free), Niall McCabe 0-01

Seneschalstown: David Gordon, Niall Hickey, John Smith, Mark Fox, Niall McCabe, Eamon Sheridan, Adam Carey, Darragh Keogh, Tean Cummins, Ross Howard, James Meade, Brendan Lynch, Sean Noonan, Niall Lyons, Ronan Conneely.

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Daire Geraghty for B. Lynch, Darren Johnson for A. Carey, Cormac Mullen for N. Hickey, Hugh Maguire for D. Keogh (Black Card).

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