Late Goals Take Title Out of Reach

LMFM Minor Football Championship Division 2 Shield Final
Seneschalstown 1-8 Walterstown 3-8

As darkness began to fall in Walterstown, Seneschalstown and their hosts’ commenced battle to see who would take home the LMFM Division 2 Shield on Thursday night. Both sides agreed to toss a coin for home advantage, with Walterstown earning the right to host the game. Having come through their semi-final against Simonstown Gaels with a narrow victory, the visitors knew that another similar performance was needed to beat Walterstown and take home the silverware. Seneschalstown were handed a boost before throw-in with Donal Commons fit to start, despite only coming off the bench the last day.

Indeed, it was Commons who got the scoring underway for the night when he pointed in the first minute. Walterstown equalised in the 4th minute with a point from play, but Seneschalstown looked to take control of proceedings early on. Owen Mullen excellently added a second point for the visitors two minutes later after gathering a pass over his shoulder, with Oisin McEvoy providing the assist. McEvoy himself added the next score as Seneschalstown looked sprightly early on. The home side responded with a point from play in the 12th minute as they looked to settle into the game. With scores coming sparingly for the reminder of the opening period, any additions to the scoreboard were going to be a major boost and Walterstown were the ones that proved more proficient in front of the posts. Leading 0-5 0-3 in first half stoppage time, a ball was played over the top of the Seneschalstown defence. Byron Farrell was quickest to react and produced an emphatic first time finish from a tight angle to leave Walterstown five to the good at the change of ends.

With Gerry McDonnell’s words ringing in their ears, Seneschalstown would have been looking to make inroads into the Walterstown advantage at the start of the second half. Just like he had done in their first half Donal Commons, who was rotating between midfield and full forward, pointed from play. Walterstown restored their five point cushion in the 39th minute with a point from play but Seneschalstown were about to be handed a major lifeline. After Oisin McEvoy was fouled in the corner, Robbie Finnegan was faced with a tricky angle for the resulting free. Finnegan did take on the shot, but the ball was dropping into the Walterstown square. Donal Commons jumped highest amongst a plethora of bodies and punched to the net. The margin was down to three points and the game was now coming to life with no quarter asked or given as the challenges became feisty and confrontational but never boiling over. With Walterstown still three points to the good in the 50th minute, a two minute burst from them killed the game as a contest. In the 50th minute, referee Liam O’Brien spotted a pull from a Seneschalstown defender and awarded a penalty. Troy Campbell O’Brien duly put away the spot kick, and then Neil McGinley added another goal with an excellent finish low to the bottom corner to take the tie out of Seneschalstown’s reach just two minutes later. Credit to Seneschalstown though, as they battled gamely and notched four of the last five scores. Jack Owens fired over a point, before Donal Commons clipped over two frees. Robbie Finnegan also added his name to the scoresheet before the end but the clock was against Seneschalstown at this stage of the game. Credit to Walterstown who were deserving winners tonight.

Despite the loss, Seneschalstown can be proud of their efforts. Some players will now hopefully go on to represent the club at adult level, while others will be back in action very soon, namely a number of U15’s who play in their Division 1 final next Tuesday night.

Seneschalstown: Cathal Darby, Danny Watters, Zack Sheridan, Oran Lawlor, Tom McDonnell, Conor McDonnell, Dylan Geraghty, Donal Commons (1-4, 2f), Cian Rooney, Aaron Clarke, Oisin McEvoy (0-1), Owen Mullen (0-1), Ryan Finnegan, Jack Freyne, Robbie Finnegan (0-1, 1f).
Subs Used: Séimí Byrne, Darren O’Brien, Cormac Carolan, Jack Owens (0-1), Luke Healy, Joe Norris

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