Late Commons salvo secures the points

U-16 Division 2 League Round 6

Seneschalstown 3-15 Simonstown Gaels 4-11

In a game which looked to be done and dusted at half time, Seneschalstown were left very relieved to hear Joe Synnott’s final whistle almost two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the hour as they clung desperately onto the slenderest of leads. Indeed, they could count themselves somewhat fortunate to have been awarded a free out with the last play of the game as Simonstown Gaels appeared to be harshly penalised for a square ball infringement from a forty-five.

While the town team will rue that last gasp decision, ultimately, they left themselves too mush to do during the first half, at the end of which they trailed by eleven points, 2-10 to 0-05 as Seneschalstown with Woodley Nicholson, Ben Kearney, Kit Waddington and Donal Commons in sparkling attacking form lit up Fr. Tully Park with a superb display of football.

The home side may have had the bare fifteen as injuries continue to hamper them which was undoubtedly a factor in the second half as they began to tire while Simonstown got off to a rapid start and built a most impressive comeback but while the Navan outfit did manage to tie the scores up with nine minutes remaining of the hour they were unable to edge ahead as Seneschalstown showed impressive reserves of character to just about hold them at bay.

When they needed vital scores near the death, the player who stood tallest for Seneschalstown was full forward Donal Commons who despite missing two earlier frees, refused to be rattled and took ownership of the game to land a fifty-fifth minute free to push his side one ahead once more before drifting out to midfield to catch the resultant kickout, launch a powerful burst upfield to then kick what proved to be the winning point off the outside of his right boot. Simonstown did manage one pointed free in response but that equalising point just eluded them.
The game had opened up in a blistering fashion when with less than twenty seconds on the clock Simonstown picked off the first score as they pointed. The home side though responded quickly when after neat play from Liam Maguire, Woodley Nicholson sent the ball high and between the uprights. This appeared to settle his side and they soon reeled off a trio of points to follow this one with Commons from a narrow angle, Nicholson again after good interplay from Conor McDonnell and Aaron Traynor and then Kit Waddington all raising the white flag.

Simonstown, who were finding the Seneschalstown defence difficult to break down managed to stem the flow of scores with an eleventh minute point but Seneschalstown were now on a roll and continued to build their lead as Donal Commons hit back instantly with a goal before adding a brace of points either side of Woodley Nicholson’s third point.

Cathal Darby then came to his sides rescue when he threw himself bravely at the ball to divert it away from danger just when it seemed guaranteed that Simonstown were about to goal. Nonetheless, the away side did manage a point moments later but Seneschalstown were still motoring well up front and soon added to their impressive first half score as they added points through Liam Maguire who fisted over and Commons while Woodley Nicholson got on the end of a move which started with the hard-working Aaron Traynor making a vital interception around the middle of the park and rattled the back of the net with a wonderful strike. By now there was thirteen points between the sides but Simonstown did give themselves something to cling onto heading into the half time break of play when adding two points on the stroke of half time to leave the score at Seneschalstown 2-10 Simonstown Gaels 0-05 at the break of play.

Having retreated to the sanctuary of their dressing room at half time they came out a team reborn for the second half and within four minutes had whittled the Seneschalstown lead down to two points thanks to the quickest three goals likely to be scored in the competition this year. Suddenly a game which looked to be heading towards a comfortable victory for the home side was back in the melting pot.

Unnerved by this concession of three goals, Seneschalstown needed to grab the next score to settle themselves and manage this they did when lively corner forward Liam Maguire pointed, a score soon followed by a Will Finnegan point. Simonstown though were looking dangerous every time they got past midfield and kept the pressure on with the next point. By now it was looking like they were going to pull off a stunning comeback, but Liam Maguire had failed to read that particular script and when he gathered possession thirty-five metres from goal he set off like a March hare towards the goal before unleashing an exocet of a shot into the top corner for a truly magnificent goal to give his side some breathing space once more.

This breathing space turned out to be very short-lived as within five minutes Simonstown had the margin back down to the minimum courtesy of a goal and a point. A Donal Commons pointed free edged his side two in front again but Simonstown kept coming back for more and pulled level when their accurate free taker added a brace.

The game was fast turning into a gripping encounter with supporters on both sides losing track of the scoreline but just as those of a Seneschalstown persuasion began to fear their side were going to be headed, up stepped Commons who landed two pressure kicks to just about do enough to steer his team to victory despite one last Simonstown point.

Best for Seneschalstown were Conor Dunne, Woodley Nicholson and Donal Commons.

Seneschalstown: Cathal Darby, Tom Smith, Conor Dunne, Dylan Geraghty, Owen Mullen, Will Finnegan (0-01), Conor McDonnell, Cillian Lawlor, Woodley Nicholson (1-03), Aaron Traynor, Kit Waddington (0-01), Ben Kearney, Liam Maguire (1-02), Donal Commons (1-07, 0-02 Frees), David Johnson.

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