Dreams dashed in Dunganny decider

Seneschalstown 1-10 Navan O’Mahonys 4-15

Seneschalstowns hopes of landing an U17 title were over as quick as it began in Dunganny on Friday evening last against an O’Mahonys side who were full value for their victory. Seneschalstown were not helped however by the loss of Daire Finnegan to cruciate ligament injury in the build up to the final.

As usual there was a raucous Seneschalstown support present on what was a fine evening for football, and it was they who had the first score to cheer when Dylan Keating arrowed the ball between the posts playing towards the Trim end of the ground after just ninety seconds. Keating did well to make space for himself after Alan Mulvany picked him out with a low ball as a result of a break won by midfielder Joey Moore. O’Mahonys levelled shortly afterwards but Seneschalstown will have been disappointed not to have been further in front as they missed some decent chances. This was as good as it got for the Yellow Furze side as from there, O’Mahonys took almost complete control of the game and laid the foundations for their win. The 7th minute goal was only a catalyst for swathes of attacks to head towards the clubhouse end of the ground and by the 10th minute had built up a six point lead. A lot of this was down to some excellent movement by their forward unit, which at times left the Seneschalstown defenders chasing shadows.

Seneschalstown did eventually get a second score when Mulvany and Keating combined to set up Sean Commons who pointed of his right boot. The town side briefly put six points between the teams again with another point, but Seneschalstown hit back with what would prove to be their only goal of the game. After Commons excellently fielded a kick out, he found Keating with a direct ball into the forward line. Alan Mulvany made a burst through the middle and received a pass from Keating around the 45 metre line. Seeing space he made a beeline for the O’Mahonys goal, leaving defenders in his wake he crashed the ball to the roof of the net and suddenly it was game on again.

But in something which typified the outcome of the game it was O’Mahonys who kicked the next two scores shortly after the Seneschalstown goal, both from play. In the 19th minute, Seneschalstown almost countered with the maximum reward. A long ball out of defence was won by Jason Lyons and after playing a one-two with Keating and having found himself in on goal, Lyons whacked the crossbar. Ross Mullen made sure Seneschalstown got something when swivelling to knock the ball over the bar. The winners responded likewise a minute later, before Alan Mulvany and Dylan Keating swapped roles as they each provided points for the other within 60 seconds and it looked as if Seneschalstown were finding their groove when Joey Moore swung over a pointed after retrieving a Mulvany 45’ which had tailed to the left. This left two points in it, and it looked as if the Seneschalstown youngsters had their tails up. However, the Hoops finished the half stronger, adding a point and it could have been worse had Brian Boyd not denied O’Mahonys a goal with his feet. Three points was certainly not an insurmountable gap for Seneschalstown to close in the second period.

Liam O’Brien had barely begun the second half when the town side rattled the Seneschalstown net. The hill Seneschalstown were climbing was all of a sudden resembling a mountain, and in the intervening 15 minutes before Seneschalstown scored again, Navan O’Mahonys tagged on 2-4, some of which were excellent team scores, others where they displayed all that was good about traditional catch and kick football. Seneschalstown never gave up though, and did create some excellent scoring chances but unfortunately it was just a night where nothing seemed to go according to plan. They eventually got some reward when Sean Commons pointed twice in as many minutes, one of which came from a free. However as they had throughout the game it was O’Mahonys who responded the more positively, and kicked a brace of their own. The game was long over as a contest at this stage, but credit to the side in yellow as it was them who kicked the last two scores of the game, through captain Sean Carey. The first effort was a long range booming effort from in front of the dugout on the left hand side, while his second arrived twelve minutes later in the second minute of stoppage time, turning and popping over from 30 metres out.

While their performance in the final may have fallen well short of their own previous high standards, the Seneschalstown lads can be immensely proud of themselves as they achieved something which no team from the club had managed for many years before them – to reach a Division 1 underage final. Credit must go to every single one of them as well as the management team of Johnny Keating, Joe Finnegan, Kieran Mulvany and Niall Groome who left no stone unturned in preparation for the game. Also a special word for O’Mahonys who were gracious in victory and have given hope to both clubs for possible Senior Championship ambitions for many years to come.

Seneschalstown: B. Boyd, S. Rooney, C. Hickey, F. Hall, P. Finnegan, S. Carey (0-02), J. Kirwan, J. Moore (0-01), S, Commons (0-03, 1f), R. Mullen (0-01), A. Mulvany (1-01), C. Gormley, L. Maguire, D. Keating (0-02), J. Lyons.
Subs: B. Coffey, C. Mongey, S. Dalton, W. Finnegan, J. Commons, W. Nicholson.

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