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LMFM Meath Minor Championship Division 3 Semi-Final
Ballivor/Boardsmill 6-12 Seneschalstown 2-10
The penultimate hurdle proved to be that little bit too high for a decimated Seneschalstown panel to jump on Friday evening as they fell to defeat against a physically stronger Ballivor/Boardsmill combination under lights in Skryne. Shorn of the services of eight players who were in action in the League Final back in May and with only two players in their last year of playing Minor available this was simply a step too far for a very youthful side.
Ballivor it was who opened the scoring when in the second minute their big full forward split the posts following a tidy piece of play from their industrious centre forward. Seneschalstown though hit back immediately when after Cathal Hickey did well to win a free deep in his own defence, the ball was worked up to Cathal Finnegan who in turn placed Joseph Moore who pointed. Seneschalstown then got a great boost when latching onto a Daire Finnegan delivery, Dylan Keating took on the Ballivor/Boardsmill defence before unleashing a brilliant shot which gave the goalkeeper no chance between the posts.
On eleven minutes Ballivor/Boardsmill registered their second point of the evening but Joseph Moore then picked off his second when he scooped up a loose ball and stroked it over the black spot. Seneschalstown’s positive start to the match then continued when Marc Horrigan who was showing well saw his point effort go over via the left hand upright to give Seneschalstown a 1-03 to 0-02 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the combination outfit come more into the match in a scoring context as they became more clinical in attack while Seneschalstown suffered the loss through injury of Shane McGeer who had started brightly at full back. Ballivor/Boardsmill sent over six points in this spell, four of which came from play with Seneschalstown mustering a solitary Dylan Keating point in reply when after Cathal Finnegan had to work like a dog in the middle of the pitch to win a free he picked out Keating who linked well with Alan Mulvany and Sean Commons before pointing. Despite being under the cosh in this quarter Seneschalstown could well have gone in at the interval in the lead but had seen a few goal chances narrowly missed.
Just as they had done in the first half Ballivor/Boardsmill opened the scoring in the second half when with forty-five seconds on the clock they converted a free but this score had barely registered on the scoreboard before Sean Carey launched a massive effort from just outside the forty-five which sailed over the crossbar. Midfielder Brian Maguire then took off on a typically Brian Maguire run as he pierced through the heart of the defence and rifled over.
Ballivor/Boardsmill though responded in impressive fashion and notched a goal and a point to open up a four point lead but the battling Seneschalstown soon had this back to one through Alan Mulvany who saw his goal effort parried over and two points from Cathal Finnegan, one from a forty-five metre free and the second from play after Maguire had intercepted a loose free kick.
From this point on the match turned on its head as the physically stronger Ballivor/Boardsmill side wore down Seneschalstown and hit them for five goals and two points in the final quarter. Despite giving away inches (in some cases almost feet) to their opponents Seneschalstown kept plugging away and Cathal Finnegan added a goal and a point to his sides account while the Ballivor/Boardsmill goalkeeper gave the performance of the night as he pulled off a string of superb saves to thwart Seneschalstown’s best efforts.
This was a disappointing end to the season for the Seneschalstown youngsters who for all their callow years gave a performance which showcased their undoubted potential. With all bar two of the nineteen players who took to the field on Friday eligible to play Minor in 2017 when the side will operate out of Division 1 it is certainly safe to say that the future of the club is in the safest of hands.
Seneschalstown: Keith Waters, Richie McKeown, Shane McGeer, Cathal Hickey, Sean Carey (0-01), Simon Rooney, Jamie Kirwan, Daire Finnegan, Brian Maguire (0-01), Cillian Gormley, Joseph Moore (0-02), Marc Horrigan (0-01), Alan Mulvany (0-01), Cathal Finnegan (1-03, 0-01 Free), Dylan Keating (1-01).
Seneschalstown Substitutions: Sean Commons for S. McGeer, Ross Mullen for J. Kirwan, Brian Boyd for S. Rooney, Naoise Sweeney for C. Gormley.