Promotions Hopes Dashed

B League Division 5 Round 9

Skryne 2-13 Seneschalstown 2-12

Having gained promotion from Division 6 in 2013 Seneschalstown’s Junior D team were seeking their second successive promotion when they took on Skryne on Monday evening. Needing a victory to overtake their opponents and climb into second position in the table and claim the final promotion place they looked on course to fulfil their aims when leading by four points with fifty seven minutes on the clock. Skryne though were not to be denied and courtesy of a quick-fire goal and two points in before the sixtieth minute had elapsed they staged a fantastic comeback to ensure they were promoted along with Curraha.

The opening half of the match proved to be a very tight affair as both sides exchanged scores and indeed it ended with them tied on a goal and five points apiece. Sean Noonan had opened the scoring for Seneschalstown in the second minute after he reacted quickest after a couple of efforts had been blocked down and pointed over his right shoulder from the left of the posts. Skryne hit back though and went a point in front after a pointed effort from play which bounced over Shane Corballys’ crossbar and a close range free. Colin Lynch equalised for the away team when capitalising on good work from Paul McDonnell to retrieve possession after a wayward shot from Noonan. Brendan Lynch having started off the move leading to the initial shot.

Full forward Noonan edged his side a point in front with his second effort from play after a superb interception from the busy Brendan Lynch. In keeping with the tight nature of the half Skryne got back on level terms when pointing from a free, this time from way out on the right before Seneschalstown opened up the largest gap between the sides yet when grabbing a goal. Corner forward Jonathan Gilsenan did very well to get out in front to claim a ball he was second favourite to win and looking up spotted Noonan in space in behind the defence. After delivering a pin point pass Noonan was left one on one with the goalkeeper and keeping his composure side stepped the net minder to finish into an unguarded goal.

The home outfit’s response to this goal said much for their character when in the next two minutes they displayed the accuracy in front of goal which was to prove the downfall of the visitors at the death. In the twenty first minute they narrowed the deficit to two points before narrowing it even further with a pointed free while in between these two points Corbally had sprung to his sides rescue with a fine save. The quick movement of the Skryne forward line was beginning to cause some issues in the Seneschalstown defence and after a very well worked move they created a glorious goal opportunity which was palmed to the net and suddenly the game’s momentum had swung in favour of the Tara men.

Seneschalstown suffered a body blow around this point of the match when full back Darragh Keogh was forced to leave the fray after picking up a knock. Eddie Meade came on for him which caused a reshuffle of the pack with Conor Cowley going to man the edge of the square, Mark Fox dropping back into the corner and Gerry McKendry reverting back to the half back line. These alterations appeared to have the desired effect as they held their opponents scoreless until the interval. After going ten minutes without a score following the goal Colin Lynch broke the scoring drought with a pointed free off the ground before Jonathan Gilsenan tied the affairs up in stoppage time. Aled Ingman mopped up a loose clearance from the Skryne full back line and spotting Steven Dillon surging forward from his centre back berth hand passed the ball off to him. Dillon then delivered an accurate pass into Gilsenan who under pressure put the ball between the uprights.

The tight nature of the match continued when the match resumed after the interval. Noonan opened the scoring after only twenty seconds before two points in a row from Skryne in the thirty sixth and thirty ninth minutes put them one ahead once more. Jonathan Gilsenan though put his side back in front when after rising highest to fetch an Ingman free kick from out on the left hand sideline and after working some space to get his shot away fired an unstoppable rocket into the back of the net. Following this goal Seneschalstown attempted to go for the jugular and Gilsenan had another goal bound shot blocked out.

A pointed forty five for Skryne made the match a one point game once more before Noonan kicked another point, this time first half substitute and fellow minor Eddie Meade with the assist. Skryne though as they had done all evening hit back with two points before Noonan kicked arguably the best point of the match. After Mark Keating had claimed possession in his full back like with a great bit of covering the ball was worked up to Noonan way out on the right hand side of the pitch. Turning infield onto his left foot he launched the ball high into the darkening sky and when the ball eventually came down from the air it dropped over the Skryne bar. Ingman then pointed a free to put Seneschalstown 2-09 to 1-10 in front.

Skryne’s eleventh point made it a one point match once more before Noonan kicked another beauty of an effort when selling his man a dummy before clipping the ball over the black spot. Wing forward Paul McDonnell pushed Seneschalstown three points in front with only two and a half minutes of normal time remaining after a fine score from out on the right wing. Following this score Seneschalstown would have been warm favourites to secure their second successive promotion but the men in blue and white were in no humour to throw in the white flag. A pointed free within seconds of McDonnell’s score gave them hope before they managed to conjure up a goal to suddenly push themselves a point to the good. In the first minute of injury time they appeared to strike the insurance score when grabbing another point from play in spite of desperate defence from the Seneschalstown backs. As the clock ticked over the hour and into stoppage time Colin Lynch pointed from a free to set up a grandstand finish but although Seneschalstown tried all they could to find the goal they required to claim victory and with it promotion it was not to be as they were unable to unlock the Skryne backline.

At the end of end of five days which promised so much for this excellent team they unfortunately have ended with no league promotion or championship final place but over the course of the year they have served up some scintillating football and the team is proving to be most effective for members of our minor side in terms of gaining experience of playing adult football.

Seneschalstown Scorers: Sean Noonan 1-06, Jonathan Gilsenan 1-01, Colin Lynch 0-03 (0-02 Frees), Aled Ingman 0-01 (0-01 Free), Paul McDonnell 0-01.

Seneschalstown: Shane Corbally, Mark Keating, Darragh Keogh, Conor Cowley, Mark Fox, Steven Dillon, Ronan Conneely, Aled Ingman, Robert Waters, Brendan Lynch, Gerard McKendry, Paul McDonnell, Colin Lynch, Sean Noonan, Jonathan Gilsenan.

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Eddie Meade for Robert Waters (blood sub), Eddie Meade for D. Keogh (inj.).

Link to Fixture: 
B League Division 1 Round 9

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