Nothing lost in defeat on historic day for the club

Meath Junior D Football Championship Round 1

Kilmainham 4-07 Seneschalstown 2-10

Sunday April 17th marked a historic first for Seneschalstown as they fielded a fourth team in the adult championship for the first time. A number of absentees from the preceding Junior C game saw numbers tight for the D’s but to the credit of the club they still managed to eventually field 16 for the match after manager Tony McDonnell had spent an anxious time pre match staring at the gate looking for late arrivals and also running up a hefty phone bill wondering where fellas were.

Experience was the key word for the team with veterans of the 1994 Senior Championship and 2003 Junior D Championship successes lining out with Tony McDonnell representing the 1994 vintage. Indeed, the cumulative age of the half back line was over 120 while the midfield pairing has been around the block a few times. Added to this, players such as Mark Keating, Joey Macken and Rob Waters came out of retirement to put their shoulders to the wheel.

Kilmainham it was who got off to a brighter start as boosted by a goal inside the opening minute they had 1-02 on the scoreboard before Seneschalstown got off the mark when Eoin Finnegan clipped over a point. They grew into the match from there and with half forwards Joey Macken and Brian Kelly also pointing they had seven points registered by half time, in response to Kilmainham’s 2-04.

Following a brilliantly motivational half time speech from player/manager Tony McDonnell, Seneschalstown burst from the traps in the second half and drew level when flying wing back Declan Byrne, fresh from a 90km cycle earlier in the day, popped over a point. Things appeared to be getting even better for Seneschalstown when Byrne netted a cracking goal soon after and then Finnegan hit one of his own as well.

Incredibly ‘Dads Army’ now found them six points in front and dreaming of a most improbable victory. Alas the fairytale wasn’t to come true and with their legs rapidly tiring Seneschalstown found the final quarter tougher going as the wind assisted Kilmainham came strong once more to score 2-03 and seal the victory.

Best for Seneschalstown were Terry Maguire, Ian Carey and Declan Byrne.

Seneschalstown: Tony McDonnell, Shane Gargan, Conor Ruddy, Ian Carey, Kevin Clarke, Mark Keating, Declan Byrne (1-01), Terry Maguire, Michael Mullen, Niall Sheridan, Joey Macken (0-01), Brian Kelly (0-01), Sean Brady, Robbie Waters, Eoin Finnegan (1-07, 0-04 Frees).

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Louis Healy for N. Sheridan, Niall Sheridan for K. Clarke.

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