Minors battle into League final

LMFM Minor League Division 3 Semi-Final

Drumconrath/Meath Hill 2-12 Seneschalstown 2-20

A trip to Meath Hill on a Bank Holiday Monday might not be what dreams are made of for many eighteen year olds but for Seneschalstown’s Minors it was the perfect night as they overcame their hosts following a blistering second half performance to seal their place in the Division 3 League Final. Such an outcome appeared unlikely when at half time following a mixed thirty minutes at the end of which they trailed by five points.

On what was a bitingly cold evening with a sharp wind blowing across the field of play conditions were tricky for both sets of players but it to their immense credit that they served up a greatly entertaining encounter with the end result being harsh on the Drumconrath/Meath Hill combination who only trailed by two points with ten minutes remaining and at that point the game was anybody’s for the taking.

That late power surge electrified the Seneschalstown challenge and with the pendulum of momentum moving further in their direction they pulled clear. Crucial to their late dominance was the performance of some of their substitutes with players such as March Horrigan, Sean Carey and Eoin O’Reilly all making vital contributions to the cause as each and every one of the players put their bodies on the line to block shots and win every ‘dirty’ ball that was there to be fought for.

The visitors couldn’t have asked for a better start when the raiding wing back Brian Maguire poked the ball past the goalkeeper to register a goal after three minutes at the second time of asking when he got on the end of a move involving the industrious Alan Mulvany and the clever Dylan Keating. Drumconrath/Meath Hill instantly replied with a point from play but Seneschalstown’s positive start continued when following a foul in his half back line on Daire Finnegan, David Fox sent a searching free kick in the direction of Eoin Finnegan who played in Mulvany and the wing forward made no mistake as he pointed. Midfielder Robert Wogan then got forward to point from out on the left after regaining his footing having slipped when first lining up the shot.

Drumconrath/Meath Hill then got the fillip they were searching for when they grabbed an eighth minute goal and soon added two points from play with a Cathal Finnegan point coming in the middle of these scores. Sean Commons then got in on the scoring act as he looked to work his way into the game when he clipped over a fine score at the end of a move started when Dylan Keating scooped up a stray Drumconrath/Meath Hill free in the middle of the field and after carrying the ball forward he slipped it into Eoin Finnegan who then picked out Commons to score.

The home side hit back with a free before in the nineteenth minute Eoin Finnegan clipped over a lovely point after a jinking run. This though proved to be Seneschalstown’s second last score of the half as Drumconrath/Meath Hill took over from there to the half time whistle as the racked up a goal and four points as they played some excellent attacking football to push six points clear. On the stroke of half time Seneschalstown were presented with an opportunity to get back to five points behind when Joseph Moore saw his bustling run illegally halted. Robert Wogan stepped up to the plate and knowing a point was vital to get he made no mistake as he split the posts.

Five points now separated the sides at the half time break in play with Drumconrath/Meath Hill well and truly in the driving seat and looking to back up their victory over Seneschalstown earlier in the League when they emerged victorious in Fr. Tully Park. The three wise men on the line certainly had some thinking to do as they looked to engineer a way back into proceedings for the side from the banks of the Boyne.

Whatever they said seemed to have an immediate impact as their side started the second half in a hugely impressive manner. Thirty-six seconds had elapsed when Eoin Finnegan pointed before the first of the reinforcements, Marc Horrigan entered the fray. Finnegan then picked off a second when he got on the end of a pass from Dylan Doyle before the same duo combined to notch Seneschalstown’s third point of the half when after a pass from Doyle, Eoin Finnegan went for goal but saw his shot along the carpet scooped over the bar by the impressive Drumconrath/Meath Hill goalkeeper.

Centre forward Dylan Keating then got in on the act when he launched a brilliant point over off the outside of his left boot before Eoin Finnegan saw a goal attempt expertly tipped over. Then came the goal that Seneschalstown were looking for when after a long ball in from Dylan Doyle was broken down into Dylan Keating’s path he made no mistake as he clinically slipped the ball under the goalkeepers despairing dive much to the delight of the hardy band of Seneschalstown supporters present. Eoin Finnegan then pushed the visitors four points ahead when he got on the end of a sweeping move involving Dylan Doyle, Alan Mulvany and Dylan Keating. By now Seneschalstown were well on top, with Shane McGeer, Eoin O’Reilly and David Fox not giving their opponents an inch while Daire Finnegan, Richie McKeown and Brian Maguire were all having a great game.

Cathal Finnegan got back on the scoring act on forty-two minutes but then came Drumconrath/Meath Hill’s best spell of the half when they hit three points between he forty seventh and fifty first minutes. Eoin Finnegan stemmed the tide when he pointed from play after a well worked move involving Sean Carey, the hugely impressive Marc Horrigan and Cathal Finnegan. Another Drumconrath/Meath Hill point left just two between the sides but Seneschalstown had the bit between their teeth and like Don Cossack upon seeing the Cheltenham hill in March they kicked on with the finishing post in sight and in turn silenced the car horns which had greeted every first half scores from the North Meath side.

Sean Carey who had a huge impact on proceeding following his introduction forced a free with some superb tackling and taking the free himself he picked out Cathal Finnegan who in turn found Eoin Finnegan who then split the posts. Finnegan then pointed once more when played in by Marc Horrigan before a scintillating Dylan Keating point. With the clock now in the red there looked to be only one winner and Seneschalstown pushed further ahead when Cathal Finnegan, operating in a tight corner somehow fired over a brilliant point. From the resultant kickout Marc Horrigan rose highest to field and he then picked out Robert Wogan who pointed. Their final score then came when a Meath Hill defender inadvertently diverted a loose ball over his own crossbar.

On a night when Seneschalstown had impressive showing all over the field they were particularly well served by Eoin Finnegan, Dylan Doyle and Shane McGeer as they secured their passage to the final where they will take on Oldcastle who won out by nineteen points when they met in February.

Seneschalstown: Keith Waters, Richard McKeown, Dylan Doyle, Louis Healy, Brian Maguire (0-01), David Fox, Shane McGeer, Daire Finnegan, Robert Wogan (0-03, 0-01 Free), Alan Mulvany (0-01), Dylan Keating (1-02), Joseph Moore, Cathal Finnegan (0-03), Sean Commons (0-01), Eoin Finnegan (0-09, 0-01 Free).

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Marc Horrigan for J. Moore, Eoin O’Reilly for L. Healy, Eoin Traynor for S. Commons, Sean Carey for R. McKeown, Ruairí McDonagh for K. Waters.

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