Seneschalstown & Skryne serve up Halloween fireworks in cracker

Coolrite Refrigeration U-21 Championship Quarter Final

Seneschalstown 5-10 Skryne 3-16

Absorbing, captivating, compelling, enchanting, enthralling. These are just some words that could be used to describe this U-21 Championship quarter final between Seneschalstown and Skryne. Over the course of eighty minutes this match ebbed and flowed with both sides experiencing periods of dominance while kicking outstanding scores. Its doubtless supporters at any other game in the county would have got better value for a €5 admission anywhere over the weekend.

With the wide open expanses of Páirc Tailteann providing plenty of space for both sets of attackers to create chances aplenty this was a most entertaining game of football during which some excellent football was played by both sides. And by the end with players from both sides dropping like flies with cramp it’s unlikely that either side will be too disappointed with having to prepare for a replay as both sides had opportunities to win the game in extra time.

In that extra time it was Seneschalstown who got off to the brighter start and indeed at the interval held a three point advantage. However in that second period of over time they failed to add to their tally as their tired legs made generating scoring opportunities more and more difficult while Skryne began to generate some momentum and whittled the deficit down bit by bit and by the time David Coldrick blew the whistle to bring the match to an eventual close both sets of supporters rose to their feet to acclaim their players.

When the match threw in both sides took a few minutes to get their bearings but when the Skryne youngsters managed to get theirs they were quickly into their stride notching a goal and two points after seven minutes. The Seneschalstown response to this early scoring burst was a mightily impressive goal from former Meath Minor Niall Lyons when he got on the end of an Adam Carey pass to send a rasping drive into the top corner of the goal. On ten minutes Skryne got their lead back out to three points when they converted a free. Seneschalstown were finding it difficult to carve out clear-cut scoring opportunities but corner forward Eoin Finnegan was managing to get out in front of the corner back and was looking threatening in possession.

As the game entered the second quarter of the regulation hour it was Finnegan who managed to haul his side back onto level terms when he pilfered his side’s second goal of the match. The move commenced with goalkeeper David Gordon and after going through the hands of Niall McCabe and James Meade who delivered the ball towards Finnegan he made no mistake as he rattled the back of the Skryne net. Finnegan was now flying and within a minute he had given Seneschalstown the lead for the first time of the game when he curled over a point.

Skryne managed an equaliser on twenty two minutes before Ross Howard sent over a superb point after he managed to hold onto possession despite having the material of his jersey well tested as he was pulled and dragged. Skryne it was though who finished the half on the front foot as they managed to kick the last two scores of the half to edge into a one point lead at the interval, 1-06 to 2-02.

This lead was soon extended upon the resumption when they added a goal and a point before Niall Lyons saw a goal attempt following a goalmouth scramble expertly tipped over the crossbar by the Skryne goalkeeper. Eddie Meade was now introduced by the Seneschalstown management in place of Brendan Lynch and within seconds of his introduction his sides had notched their third goal of the game when Eoin Finnegan rose highest and palmed the ball into the back of the net from practically on the goal line.

The response to this latest goal from the Tara men came in the response of a pointed free, a score which was soon cancelled out by a James Meade free following a foul on his younger brother Eddie who was proving to be quite a handful following his introduction. Skryne hit back with a point from play before Niall Lyons arced over a sumptuous point off the outside of his right foot from inside the fourteen metre line under the stand shooting into the O’Mahonys end of the ground. Meade then hit another point when he got on the end of a move which started off with Niall Hickey, Eoin Finnegan and then Niall McCabe who picked out his captain who made no mistake.

Momentum now appeared to be with Seneschalstown and just a minute later they managed a point from the most unlikely of sources when corner back Colin Walsh popped up in front of the Skryne posts to take a pass from Eddie Meade and split the uprights and draw the side’s level. Darragh Keogh who was getting through a mountain of work at midfield won the resultant kickout and when the ball was worked to Eoin Finnegan he made no mistake as he sent his team into the lead.

Skryne now came hunting for goals and when their left half back got the ball he had only one thing on his mind but Seneschalstown goalkeeper David Gordon proved more than up to the task as he pulled off a stupendous save. On fifty three and fifty four minutes the side in blue and white clipped over two points to edge back in front but there was to be another twist in the tale when Seneschalstown suddenly got another goal.

Niall McCabe and Eoin Finnegan did excellently to force a turnover along the sideling in the tackle and when they got possession the ball was delivered in towards Eddie Meade who slid out to gather before offloading to the onrushing Niall Lyons who drew the goalkeeper before rolling it under his body for Seneschalstown’s fourth goal of the game. The game now looked to be there for the taking for Seneschalstown but Skryne had other ideas and in injury time they worked the ball from the terrace corner at the O’Mahonys end to conjure up one last goal chance and they made no mistake as they left David Gordon with no chance of making the save. From the kickout David Coldrick blew for full time with the scoreboard reading Seneschalstown 4-08 Skryne 3-11.

With a ten minute spell between the end of normal time and the commencement of extra time the two sides took different approaches to the gap with Skryne remaining on the field while Seneschalstown headed for the sanctuary of the dressing room to hear the wise words of their management team of Mattie McCabe, Greg Lyons and Colin Clarke.

When they did return to the field of play James Meade soon shipped a heavy blow when colliding with a Skryne defender but he was no sooner back on his feet when he hoisted over a brilliant point from distance. While the elder Meade had managed this score his younger brother Eddie was soon to be desperately unlucky when he saw a goal effort ricochet back off the butt of the left hand post. With sixty four minutes on the clock Adam Carey who had earlier in the year burst onto the club senior side rose highest to claim a ball and then lay it off to Darragh Keogh who slipped inside the challenge of Harry Rooney to feed the attacking Ross Howard. Howard then picked out Eoin Finnegan who displayed his poacher’s instinct by grabbing his third goal of the game.

Skryne managed to get the scoreboard moving again with a point from play before James Meade sent over a thirty five metre free to get the four point lead back. Before half time Skryne managed to get it back to three points and then in the second half they picked off the three points they required to equalise and bring this most absorbing of games to a replay. The replay incidentally will take place next Sunday, November 8th at 14:00 in Walterstown.

Seneschalstown: David Gordon, Mark Fox, John Smith, Colin Walsh (0-01), Niall McCabe, Niall Hickey, Adam Carey, Sean Noonan, Darragh Keogh, Ross Howard (0-01), James Meade (0-04, 0-02 Frees), Brendan Lynch, Eoin Finnegan (3-02), Niall Lyons (2-02), Daire Geraghty.

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Eddie Meade for B. Lynch, Ronan Conneely for D. Geraghty,

Seneschalstown Substitutions (ET): Ryan O’Dowd for R. Conneely, Brendan Lynch for D. Keogh, David Fox for S. Noonan.

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