Opening Quarter Blitz Sets Tone

Under 17 Division 1 Football Championship
Seneschalstown 1-17 St. Colmcilles 1-08
With many playing their second game in 3 days, Seneschalstown had enough petrol left in the tank to account for St. Colmcilles in a breezy Pilltown on Friday evening. 11 of the 15 players who started on the night featured in Wednesdays’ excellent MFC Quarter Final win over Dunshaughlin, so it was always possible that as the game went on, some players would start to feel the effects of the two games.

Due to an administrative error, the game threw in almost 35 minutes later than scheduled, but when it did Seneschalstown blew away their hosts in a barnstorming opening quarter where they hit a remarkable eight unanswered points. Playing into the breeze, it was centre forward Alan Mulvany who opened the scoring from a tricky free given the breeze was blowing into his face. Joey Moore followed this up with a huge effort from play before Dylan Keating opened his account from a close range free. Midfielder Moore was enjoying a productive opening to the game and soon kicked over his second point of the game from play as the side in yellow settled extremely well into the game. Another close range free from Mulvany put the gap out to five points with 8 minutes gone on referee Liam O’Briens stopwatch. On 12 minutes Dylan Keating received a quick free from Alan Mulvany before doing the rest himself before slotting the ball between the posts. Mulvany again provided the assist for Seneschalstowns next score as Sean Carey powered through off his shoulder at speed and bouncing a challenge to kick over his first point of the evening. The traffic towards the Cilles goal continued in the 15th minute when Alan Mulvany kicked over off his left foot despite a defender trying his best to test the material of his jersey. The home side began to crawl back into the game in the 16th minute when they got the first of four points in a five minute spell to halve the deficit. Indeed the home side could have had a goal but for a poor finish when the opportunity presented itself. Scores were a bit more difficult to come by in the last 8 minutes of the half with Seneschalstown managing to get the only 2 points, with Sean Carey scoring from play and Alan Mulvany kicking his fourth point from a free. Seneschalstown led 0-10 to 0-04 at half time.

In the opening moments of the second half Seneschalstown had to withstand some early pressure from the home side but St. Colmcilles only managed one point from a string of attacks. Having soaked up the pressure, Seneschalstown struck for their only goal of the game to put the result beyond doubt. Having worked an excellent team move up the pitch, Ross Mullen found himself in a bit of space on the 21 metre line. He drilled a shot which looked as if it was going to scrape over the bar, but it dropped into the top corner in what turned out to be a stunning finish. On 38 minutes, Sean Commons clipped over another Seneschalstown point after Alan Mulvany drove at the St. Colmcilles defence. Commons then drove over a huge point from the 45 metre line to increase the advantage, before 2 minutes later Mulvany kicked his fifth point of the night when slotting over off his left. From the resultant kickout, Jamie Kirwan claimed an excellent possession before off-loading to Dylan Keating who made no mistake with his effort. A minute later, a goalmouth scramble ensued after a number of excellent saves from Brian Boyd. The ball wasn’t cleared before Fionn Hall came from nowhere to clear the ball off the line. On the counter attack, Cathal Hickey did well at the start of the move before Sean Commons set up Mulvany to kick over. Two more St. Colmcilles points reduced the arrears before goalkeeper Brian Boyd was unlucky to see his clean sheet disappear when the St. Colmcilles full forward toe poked home a rebound after another excellent from Boyd. However, Boyd kept his composure to pinpoint Cathal Hickey with a kickout before a flowing team move resulted in Sean Commons putting up the umpires white flag. Alan Mulvany kicked over Seneschalstowns 17th and final point, before St. Colmcilles closed the scoring when they fired over in their gallant search to find a goal, but nothing was forthcoming. On the night, best for Seneschalstown were Brian Boyd, Cathal Hickey, Sean Commons and Alan Mulvany. They now await word from the county board as to whether or not they qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

Seneschalstown: B. Boyd, C. Lawlor, P. Finnegan, J. Kirwan, C. Hickey, S. Rooney, F. Hall, J. Moore (0-02), S. Commons (0-03), R. Mullen (1-00), A. Mulvany (0-07, 3f) S. Carey (0-02), L. Maguire, D. Keating (0-03), C. Gormley.

Subs Used: J. Lyons and T. Keogh

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