Ladies into Final as Oldcastle Downed in Dunganny

Kepak Meath Senior Championship Semi-Final

Seneschalstown 3-18 Oldcastle 3-13

The storied history of Seneschalstown and the Meath LGFA Senior Championship continued on Sunday evening in Dunganny as the Ladies team booked their place in yet another decider after a terrific comeback victory over Division 1 League Champions Oldcastle. Trailing by five points at half time, the team used the elements to their advantage in the second half to post 2-13 of their final tally, and win out by five points as the skies darkened over the Meath Centre of Excellence.

The well-known Dunganny wind was present as usual and Seneschalstown played into it, away from the clubhouse end, in the first half. With that being a difficult challenge as it was, Oldcastle had the ball in the Seneschalstown net in the opening minute and quickly added on a point to leave the north Meath outfit 4 points to the good inside 90 seconds. Another Oldcastle point preceded Seneschalstown’s first score of the evening in the 6th minute – Stacey Grimes pointing from play after some good work from Kiah Geraghty in the build-up. Oldcastle were keen to build a lead with the wind in their favour and tagged on another score on 8 minutes, but Seneschalstown struck a crucial blow in the 12th minute when after Mena Sheridan’s initial shot hit the crossbar, the ball eventually made its way into the hands of Anna Wogan who shot low across the keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net. This was a huge boost for the victors as it helped them stay in touch as point chances were difficult to come by. Oldcastle replied with two points before the first water break, and Seneschalstown had their goalkeeper Lisa Mullen to thank for keeping the score down with a fine save in the 15th minute.

When the game resumed, Seneschalstown had a free kick in front of their dugout, with Stacey Grimes spotting Aoibhe Monaghan unmarked. Monaghan played a crossfield pass into the onrushing arms of Kiah Geraghty who composed herself to put the ball over the bar. However, Oldcastle always had an answer to Seneschalstown in the first half, and in the blink of an eye had another 1-01 on the scoreboard, leaving them seven points clear after only 23 minutes.

Seneschalstown were then about to enjoy their best spell of the half when kicking three points on the trot to take a massive chunk out of Oldcastle’s lead. Mena Sheridan kickstarted this mini-revival with a point from out on the right, and then Amy Gilsenan got herself on the end of a move to point off her left foot from the 20 metre line. Kiah Geraghty added Seneschalstown’s last score of the half to reduce the deficit to four points, but there was time for one last Oldcastle score from play deep in injury time to leave the score at 2-07 to 1-05 in favour of the League champions at half-time.

As evidenced in particular against Simonstown and Royal Gaels, this Seneschalstown team possess character in spades and the second half performance they produced epitomised this.

Anna Wogan began the fightback almost immediately from the throw-in with a point, before Stacey Grimes left only a goal between the sides with a fine long range effort just moments later. That goal deficit was about to be eviscerated altogether in the 34th minute with a near carbon copy of Seneschalstown’s first goal of the evening. Tara Traynor had a shot for a point which rebounded off the crossbar, which Stacey Grimes had followed in and picked up the loose ball to compose herself and roll the ball unchallenged into the net. The momentum was very much with the Yellow Furze side now, and despite a pointed free to briefly retake the lead again, Oldcastle were now the ones struggling playing into the strong wind blowing straight down the pitch from the Trim end of the ground.

Amy Gilsenan pulled Seneschalstown level once again and this time they kicked on to take the lead for the first time. In the next attack, Róisín Commons went for an ambitious shot from way out the pitch which carried in the breeze and went over off the post. Mena Sheridan then took centre stage for the next few minutes as she plundered 1-02 in a row for her side. The first score was a well taken point from play, the second was a long range effort for a point which dropped short but into the Oldcastle net for Seneschalstown’s third goal. From the resultant kickout, Sheridan sent the ball back with interest by splitting the posts and all of a sudden, the side who last reached the Senior Final in 2018 had a six point lead. Oldcastle managed to get themselves out of their own half for a period before the water break was called and got forward to register two points in a row to leave four points between them as the sides went off for water – 3-11 to 2-10.

That lead was back at five points shortly after the stoppage when Grimes pointed from play following some patient build up play. Seneschalstown were soon fretting again however, as Oldcastle managed to get their third goal of the evening to leave two points between the teams once again. To Seneschalstown’s credit, they managed to keep their lead by sharing the next four points with scores from Anna Wogan and a Stacey Grimes free following a foul on Eve Wardick. Between the 57th and 60th minutes, Seneschalstown really made a push for home with four points on the bounce. The first two of these efforts were Grimes frees both from 25 metres, before she went on a mazy run and popped the ball over the bar. Tara Traynor concluded Seneschalstown’s tally of 3-18 for the evening, and despite one last Oldcastle point Seneschalstown were not going to be denied their spot in the final against Dunboyne on Sunday November 7th in Pairc Tailteann.

This was another impressive display from Derek Byrne’s charges who will be pleased by the scoring return of 3-18, as well as the battling qualities shown by the defence to keep Oldcastle within reach in the run up to half time. The final will definitely require another step up in performance but this Seneschalstown team has shown so far this year they are more than capable of doing so.

Seneschalstown: Lisa Mullen, Aisling Taaffe, Aoife Lenehan, Caragh Monaghan, Zoe Kirwan, Leanne Clarke, Aoibhe Monaghan, Mena Sheridan (1-03), Róisín Commons (0-01), Amy Gilsenan (0-02), Kiah Geraghty (0-02),Meadhbh Hickey, Anna Wogan (1-02), Stacey Grimes (1-07, 3fs), Tara Traynor (0-01).

Subs Used: Eve Wardick, Tiana Kyle, Kellie Stafford

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