Late frees secure victory

Under 17 FL Division 2A Round 3

Seneschalstown 1-12 Simonstown Gaels 1-10

Seneschalstown made it two wins from as many outings in the U-17 FL Division 2A after grinding out a two point win over Simonstown Gaels in a bright but cool Fr. Tully Park on Sunday morning. With the victory came a coveted semi-final spot and indeed Seneschalstown can guarantee top spot in the group if they can defeat Navan O’Mahonys in their re-arranged second round fixture. Due to the colour clash both sides sported their ‘away’ strips, Seneschalstown in yellow with the north Navan side in predominantly navy.

The home side started like a house on fire, racing into a four point lead by the 10th minute. Robert Wogan opened the scoring with a third minute free, before Alan Mulvany curled over an effort from 25 metres after Eoin Finnegan picked out Dylan Keating with a low ball before the ball was transferred to Mulvany. Adam McCabe and Brian Maguire were central to Seneschalstown’s next point as Maguire won a ball in defence before picking out McCabe, who was operating far further forward in the opening half than his shirt number of seven suggested. McCabe could have went for a shot himself but instead, laid the ball off to Wogan who split the posts. The fourth score of the game arrived courtesy of Eoin Finnegan who had all the time in the world to slot over after Eoin Traynor excellently broke down a Simonstown counter attack inside their own forty five metre line.

The visitors opened their account in the thirteenth minute with a pointed free from Mark Farrell, but that only offered them brief respite as in the next phase of play, Seneschalstown had the ball in the back of the Simonstown net. Keith Waters’ kick out was pounced on by Richie McKeown who sensibly played the ball inside to Dylan Doyle. Doyle found Eoin Finnegan in space who turned and ran at the Simonstown defence and popped the ball off to younger brother Cathal, whose shot was well saved by the goalkeeper, but the ball squirmed out from his grasp and there was Dylan Keating to tap home and score one of the easiest goals of his career.

This left Seneschalstown with a six point lead after the opening quarter, but Keating’s’ goal seemed to spark something in the Navan lads. Having had a few previous attempts, Farrell tapped over Simonstown’s second point in the 18th minute. However, despite conceding a lot of possession, Seneschalstown held out for another seven minutes until Blessed Omorojor blasted past Waters reducing the deficit to two points. That became one shortly afterwards when Simonstown tagged another point, thus leaving it a point game, 1-04 to 1-03 in Seneschalstown’s’ favour after 26 minutes. The home side needed a score by this stage and had to wait until first half stoppage time to get one. After a ruck reminiscent of one to be seen in the Aviva Stadium or RDS, Seneschalstown were awarded a close range free at the railway end which Eoin Finnegan blasted over to leave two points in it as the teams headed for their half time team talks.

A fascinating second half was in prospect with two teams’ intent on playing football in soft underfoot conditions. The visitors got off to a good start in the second period, registering a point straight from the throw in. However, Dylan Doyle settled Seneschalstown when drilling over from almost out on the sideline on the clubhouse side of the pitch after himself and Mark Horrigan did well to dispossess a ‘Gaels defender. Robert Wogan followed this up with a brace of frees. The first came after a foul on Eoin Finnegan while the second was a result of a tug on Alan Mulvany, who had won a breaking ball. As a result of the tug, Mulvanys’ direct marker received a yellow card. This ensured the side from the banks of the Boyne had some breathing space in the shape of a four point cushion after 36 minutes.

However, just like the first half, Simonstown launched a comeback and showed great battling qualities to do this as by the 48th minute, they had the lead. The accuracy of Mark Farrell was severely punishing Seneschalstown’s’ indiscipline as four pointed frees between the 38th and 46th minutes brought them level before a point from out the right from play had the Proudstown based outfit in front for the first time in the game. It could have been worse for the home side only for a magnificent block on the line from Brian Maguire which prevented what looked like a certain goal. The power of the shot left many of the supporters wondering had the ball rattled the net, when in-fact, it was the bravery of Maguire which sent him backwards into the net but the ball, most importantly, out the field.

On 50 minutes though, Simonstown tried to launch another attack, and again it was Maguire who thwarted them as he made a magnificent high catch before spraying an excellent diagonal pass to Sean Carey. Carey then laid the ball off to the on-rushing Wogan who made no mistake with his point attempt. Then Seneschalstown found themselves in front again as Alan Mulvany picked up the pieces after Eoin Finnegans shot had been saved. Mulvany won a foot race against a defender before turning on a sixpence and popping over. Another Simonstown free brought the sides level again before Seneschalstown made a late push for the finish line.

Firstly, Wogan knocked over a close range free after an indiscretion against Cathal Finnegan who had made an early run when the hosts won a free out the field, before another foul was made by the visitors in injury time, which again Wogan capitalised on. This left Seneschalstown in the driving seat and despite some indiscipline late on, they held out for an invaluable two point victory.

On a day when determination and willingness was required over individual brilliance, Keith Waters and Brian Maguire were steady at the back, while Dylan Doyle helped offer a strong midfield platform. Wogan’s seven point haul was crucial, as was the hard work of players such as the Finnegan brothers and Mulvany.

Seneschalstown: K. Waters, E. Traynor, D. Finnegan, E. O’Reilly, R. McKeown, B. Maguire, A. McCabe, R. Wogan (0-07, 5f), D. Doyle (0-01), M. Horrigan, E. Finnegan (0-02, 1f), A. Mulvany (0-02), D. Keating (1-00), C. Finnegan, S. Carey. Sub: A. Norton for Carey

By Shane Mulvany

Link to Fixture: 
U-17 League Division 2A Round 3

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