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U-14 Roinn B Shield Final
Simonstown Gaels 2-14 Seneschalstown 3-07
Despite a performance in which every player gave it their all Seneschalstown’s U-14’s just came up short in the Roinn B Shield Final which was played in idyllic conditions in Dunganny. Over the course of a pulsating fifty minutes both sides had their spells of dominance but ultimately it was the greater scoring power of the youngsters from the North side of Navan which saw Simonstown emerge victorious.
Undoubtedly the loss of the absent pair of Tom Smith and Will Finnegan was a big blow to the Yellow Furze youngsters, Smith having been in imperious form at corner back earlier in the competition and Finnegan always a potent threat up front but while their loss was felt the nineteen players who took to the field of play all put in performances they can be proud of. Also absent on the evening were the trio of Barry Redmond, David Johnson and Oisín Bowens while Jack McAuley over the course of the season moved away from the parish, robbing the team of a Tigerish corner back. Seneschalstown’s loss will be a massive gain for a club in the Portmarnock region of Dublin.
Simonstown it was who got off to the brighter start when with three minutes on the clock they had picked off two points to open the scoring but this lead was to be short-lived as Seneschalstown came roaring into the game. Seconds after their second point Seneschalstown centre forward Kit Waddington opened his sides account when sending over a fine effort from play. The Yellow Furze outfit then hit the front when midfield dynamo Donal Commons almost burst the roof of the net with an unstoppable piledriver as he surged through the middle following good play from Seanie Dalton, Conor McDonnell and Liam Maguire.
The eventual winners replied with a point from play which was cancelled out when Aaron Traynor fly hacked the ball over the bar. Seneschalstown were now playing some excellent football and enjoying a spell of dominance. Donal Commons slotted over a free after being nudged in the back as he attempted to point from play before Liam Maguire sent over a very good effort. They then received a major stroke of fortune when Commons lofted in a long range free which just dropped short but deceived the unfortunate Simonstown goalkeeper and dropped under the crossbar and into the net. In the eighteenth minute Kit Waddington extended the Seneschalstown advantage when he split the uprights.
This was to be the last Seneschalstown score of the half though as Simonstown came storming back into the game as they racked up a goal and three points on the run in towards half time and indeed could have had more on the scoreboard were it not for the by now customary excellence of Cathal Darby who as well as being his usual assured presence under the high ball pulled off two brilliant saves when the concession of a goal seemed likely.
The commencement of the second half saw Simonstown continue where they had left off at the end of the first as they tagged on two points to pull level within ninety seconds of Barry Campbell throwing the ball in. An eight minute spell without a score then followed but when it was broken it was the team in sky blue who found a way of raising the white flag as they struck the front for the first time since the fourth minute. The ever dangerous Kit Waddington drew Seneschalstown level on thirty-eight minutes but this was to prove to be the final time Simonstown didn’t hold the lead for moments later they again struck the front when pointing.
Despite the best efforts of Zach Sheridan, Cillian Lawlor and Owen Mullen Seneschalstown were under severe pressure any time Simonstown got the ball into their forwards. Two more points from the Navan youngsters saw them open up a gap and they showed their defensive nous soon after when instead of allowing Liam Maguire in for a goal chance he was brought to a halt. Maguire, eager for a quick score took the free himself and saw his effort just fizz over. By now Seneschalstown had suffered the blow of seeing influential midfielder Woodley Nicholson having to be carried off with a leg injury, thankfully the medical diagnosis later proved it to be only minor, calming initial fears of a serious injury.
With five minutes of the regulation fifty remaining Simonstown then were awarded a penalty which despite the best efforts of Darby he was unable to stop, pushing them into a five point advantage. To their credit Seneschalstown didn’t drop the heads and came right back into the match when super sub Ben Kearney showed off his goal scoring prowess with a deft finish to pull the deficit back to two. However, this was as good as it got for Seneschalstown who saw Simonstown kick the last two points of the evening and when the final whistle was sounded the boys from the Furze dropped to their knees in devastation while the Simonstown youngsters celebrated wildly.
On an evening in which each and every one of the Seneschalstown panel performed with great credit it must be said that on the evening the performance of Ben Coffey at full back drew admiring comments from many quarters while others to stand out were the energetic Seanie Dalton as well as the tigerish Dara Walsh.
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the Simonstown coaches and parents who all came over after the final whistle to enquire as to the wellbeing of the injured Woodley Nicholson as well as a member of the team who before joining his celebrating teammates made his way over to the sideline to see if he was ok and commiserate with him on the result. Sportsmanship like that is something which his club can be very proud of.
Seneschalstown: Cathal Darby, Zach Sheridan, Ben Coffey, Conor McDonnell, Dara Walsh, Cillian Lawlor, Owen Mullen, Donal Commons (2-01, 1-01 Frees), Woodley Nicholson, Aaron Traynor (0-01), Kit Waddington (0-03), Oisín McEvoy, Seanie Dalton, Jack Freyne, Liam Maguire (0-02, 0-01 Free).
Seneschalstown Substitutions: Cian Rooney for J. Freyne, Ben Kearney for A. Traynor, Jack Freyne for W. Nicholson, Dylan Geraghty for O. McEvoy, Eoin Macken for Z. Sheridan.