Longest journey off to a winning start

Teach na Teamhrach Meath JFC Group C Round 1

Seneschalstown 2-15 Dunshaughlin 2-06

Jack Judge once penned the famous song “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” and were he still alive today he would probably be writing a song about the long way to the Peter McDermott Cup for it will take either Seneschalstown or Dunshaughlin a somewhat ridiculous ten games to win the 2017 edition of the Teach na Teamhrach Meath JFC while the first teams in the same competition will need only eight.

All people may be born equal but in this competition, some are less equal than others such is the laughable nature of the competition structures. However now the ball has been thrown in on the competition this is only going to reinforce the belief among these eight clubs in Group C that they want to go on and win a competition which contrary to popular belief means as much to them as any of the other clubs at Junior A level.

And now to the game at hand which was played on a glorious May evening in Walterstown between a Seneschalstown side which was intent on reversing their defeat to the black and amber from a year previous when the sides met in Ratoath.

Shorn of the services of veteran pair Joe Cowley and Shane Clarke who had an enforced sabbatical following their dismissals in last year’s quarter final, the Mick Dillon managed side still managed to field a side containing plenty of players with Senior Championship experience as well as many more who promise to be fixtures on the senior side in the coming seasons.

The side in blue couldn’t have wished for a better start than the one they got when with just a minute on the clock Ross Howard clinically converted a goal chance after cleverly working a one-two with James Conlon. Seneschalstown almost doubled their lead straight after when Eddie Meade found himself in on goal only to see his effort diverted out for a forty-five which ultimately came to nothing. Dunshaughlin opened their account on six minutes but Neil Darby cancelled this score out a minute later when he sent over at the end of a move which started with a perfectly executed Mark Fox block down deep in his own defence. Dunshaughlin though weren’t lying down and they drew level when they found the top corner of Keith Waters net.

They then struck the front by a point only for this to suddenly spark Seneschalstown’s forwards back into life as they hit a rich vein of form in the second quarter while at the same time the defenders in blue put the shackles on their counterparts. James Conlon drew the teams level before Teean Cummins swung an effort over from out on the right. Now firmly in their groove points followed in quick succession from Neil Darby, Conlon again, Ross Howard, Stephen Finnegan and the Meade brothers, James and Eddie to leave Seneschalstown in front by 1-09 to 1-02 at half time.

Whatever was said to Dunshaughlin at the break of play seemed to have the desired effect as they came out a transformed outfit at the outset of the second half, reeling off a goal and three points before Seneschalstown got their second wind. Then came their first score of the second thirty minutes and what an unlikely source it came from! Mark Fox seemed to forget he was lining out at corner back and galloped forward to fist over the bar, gamekeeper turned poacher!

James Meade added his second point soon after when he tapped over a free following a foul on younger brother Eddie before Dunshaughlin landed their last score of the hour, a pointed free. From there to the end of the game Seneschalstown closed out proceedings with Howard’s second goal and further points from James Meade, James Conlon, Stephen Finnegan and Brendan Lynch.

Best for Seneschalstown were James Conlon, Ross Howard and Paul Carey. Next up for them in the Championship are Summerhill.

Seneschalstown: Keith Waters, Ronan Conneely, Paul Carey, Mark Fox (0-01), James Byrne, Kevin Casey, Colin Gleeson, Teean Cummins (0-01), Stephen Finnegan (0-02, 0-02 ‘45’s), Paul McDonnell, Ross Howard (2-01), Neil Darby (0-02), James Meade (0-03, 0-02 Frees), James Conlon (0-03, 0-01 Free), Eddie Meade (0-01).

Seneschalstown Substitution: Brendan Lynch (0-01) for P. McDonnell.

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