'Town chop down thirteen man 'Wood

Teach na Teamhrach Meath Junior A Football Championship Group A Round 5

Seneschalstown 3-19 Kilmainhamwood 3-08

Going into this game Seneschalstown knew that a victory might not be enough to secure their passage into the quarter finals of the Teach na Teamhrach JFC quarter finals as they were dependent on results elsewhere but all they could do was concentrate on their own performance against a Kilmainhamwood side that the rumour mill all week long had maintained would be decimated due to a stag do being on abroad. Any thoughts that they could have been coming up against a severely depleted side were quickly put to one side when they looked down the field before the throw in and saw a large squadron of men had arrived from North Meath ready for action.

Throughout the match supporters were desperately trying to get updates via Twitter from the other two games on in the group but updates from Paddy O’Brien Park and Kilberry but the non-existence of any 3G connection in Rathkenny made these attempts futile for the most part. Ultimately though it was good news when eventually updates did filter through as it emerged that Dunsany were well in control against Meath Hill which meant that a Seneschalstown victory would indeed prove to be enough to guarantee their progression to the knockout stages.

In the end Seneschalstown did manage to win with relative ease against thirteen man Kilmainhamwood but it was the team from the Cavan border who made the brightest start as they sprinted from the blocks quicker than Usain Bolt as they struck for a goal with just thirteen seconds elapsed on the stopwatch. Their right corner forward found him in space after the Seneschalstown corner forward got drawn out towards the ball and when it was slipped inside the lightning quick forward raced towards the goal and drilled his effort into the far corner to give the men from the ‘Wood the perfect start.

Having shipped this earl blow Seneschalstown needed a score to settle themselves and it arrived soon after when after being fouled, Eoin Finnegan dusted himself down and slotted the resultant free over. Kilmainhamwood replied on two minutes when Stephen Kiernan pointed a free after Ronan Conneely was penalised for a hand on the back. The free scoring nature of the opening exchanges continued with a rare score from the raiding wing back Colin Gleeson who got on the end of good play from Eddie Meade and Neil Darby. Kilmainhamwood replied with a point from their centre forward but Finnegan was to add a second free after being again fouled.

Stephen Kiernan was proving to be a thorn in Seneschalstown’s side and he once more pointed in the ninth minute but anything he could do the corner forward in blue could do just as well as Finnegan popped over a fine score after selling his marker a sumptuous dummy. Two points in thirty seconds from the Kilmainhamwood left half forward pushed them further ahead but Eddie Meade then opened his account when he sent over after excellent work from Ross Howard, Colin Walsh and Neil Darby. Eoin Finnegan then added another free after being once more fouled, this time as he ran out to get onto a pass in. Kiernan struck a free but on nineteen minutes the Yellow Furze side struck for their first goal.

Eddie Meade saw his initial effort crash back out the field off the crossbar but showing great awareness and hunger he did superbly to rise highest to pluck the rebound out of the sky and then threaded his shot through the eye of a needle to find the bottom right corner of the net. Meade was now becoming a pivotal figure in the match and on twenty-one minutes he burned his marker out on the right and stole in along the end line before fisting over. Colin Gleeson then struck for a second point when after a run down the middle from Ross Howard he laid off to the supporting Gleeson who popped over.

Half time was now approaching and Kilmainhamwood were to receive a hammer blow when they suffered the loss of influential midfielder Harry Corbally to a black card after he body checked a Seneschalstown player in front of their dugout and with the sideling baying for a black card to be shown the referee had little choice but to grant Corbally an early leave from proceedings. Boosted by his absence Seneschalstown added two further points on the run in to the break of play when first Finnegan from a free and then James Conlon from play gave the umpire cause to wave his white flag.

Leading by 1-10 to 1-06 at half time Seneschalstown were in a solid position and when the second half began they would have been looking for a positive start to build on this but just as they had in the first half, Kilmainhamwood were the first to score when they rocked Mick Dillon’s side by grabbing a goal. Eoin Finnegan sought to settle Seneschalstown down when after the raiding Colin Walsh was pulled down he pushed his side back into a two-point lead and that soon became three when Conlon sent over another point. Stephen Kiernan replied to Conlon’s effort with a similar score of his own but Seneschalstown were soon to go on a mini scoring burst.

Following a foul on James Conlon, Eoin Finnegan hoisted over a great point, a score he quickly followed up with a wonderful effort from play after some smart work in defence from Mark Fox. Finnegan then kicked another effort under severe pressure after being picked out by substitute Ciaran Macken. Midfielder Paul McDonnell then grabbed a goal when showing alertness not usually associated with somebody who was not long off a night shift at work did well to react smartly to a blocked goal effort and he showed off his soccer skills with a clever finish. Eddie Meade stretched the Seneschalstown lead to nine points as he made the most of great work in the defence by Colin Walsh and got out in front of his opponent to latch onto a well weighted pass from Conlon.

Kilmainhamwood now needed a lifeline and they received one on forty-eight minutes when after his initial penalty effort had crashed off the underside of the crossbar, Stephen Kiernan rose highest to punch in off the post for their third goal. Meade hit back with his fourth point before Kilmainhamwood suffered the double blow of losing two players to red cards in quick succession. Firstly, they lost a player to a second yellow before a second went for an early shower for when he kicked the ball away in frustration his kick struck the referee. Intentional or not, he saw red. In between these two losses they very nearly got in for a fourth goal but Paul McDonnell did well to slap a goal bound effort off the line.

There was now plenty of space for Seneschalstown’s forwards to exploit and this they did as they added a further goal and two points in the remaining seven minutes, with 1-01 of this coming from two of their substitutes. Ciaran Macken and Eoin Finnegan sent over points with Ryan O’Dowd striking for a very well taken goal after being set free down the middle by Darragh Keogh. In response all Kilmainhamwood could muster was a solitary point as Seneschalstown made sure of victory.

With the win secured all eyes then turned to the smartphones but with internet coverage hard to comeby it took a few minutes for other results to be confirmed. Eventually word filtered through that Dunsany had seen off the challenge of Meath Hill with ease, a result which ensured that Seneschalstown would march forward to the quarter finals where a clash with Carnaross awaits. Best for Seneschalstown were Colin Gleeson, Eddie Meade and Eoin Finnegan who harvested ten points.

Seneschalstown: Shane Corbally, Ronan Conneely, Joe Cowley, Colin Walsh, Colin Gleeson (0-02), Mark Fox, Mark Carey, Paul McDonnell (1-00), Kevin Casey, Neil Darby, Shane Clarke, Ross Howard, James Conlon (0-02), Eddie Meade (1-04), Eoin Finnegan (0-10, 0-06 Frees).

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Ciaran Macken (0-01) for N. Darby, Rob Darby for R. Howard, Gary Conlon for P. McDonnell, Ryan O’Dowd (1-00) for J. Conlon and Darragh Keogh for K. Casey.

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