Trim Topple 'Town in Tully Thriller

AFL Division 1B Round 3

Seneschalstown 4-7 Trim 2-15

Seneschalstown and Trim had the honour of kicking off the latest round of matches in the AFL as they went head to head in Fr. Tully Park on Wednesday night. On a bitterly cold night, those who attended were rewarded with a fine spectacle - an enthralling game of football that had just about everything good about the game. I doubt either side will be involved in too many better games for the remainder of 2022.

Trim tore out of the blocks akin to an Olympic sprinter, notching up five points in the opening six minutes with their slick movement through the hands causing Seneschalstown a lot of problems. With their five points coming courtesy of five different scorers, it looked as if the 2021 IFC Champions were on song with the possibility of a long evening in store for the home side. Seneschalstown’s sole riposte in the opening onslaught was a pointed free from Alan Mulvany to make it 0-2 0-1, after Cathal Finnegan was fouled bearing down on the Trim goal, not the first time that would happen either.

The home side began to grow into the game, and slowed the Trim momentum with two further points in the 11th and 14th minutes. Like the first free, Finnegan was fouled close to goal for Mulvany to tap over. This was prior to Finnegan finding his range for the first time on the night with a point from 30 metres out. Trim’s scorer in chief Aaron Lynch put over his second free with 18 minutes gone, before Seneschalstown really propelled themselves into the game with a quickfire 1-01 shortly afterwards to take the lead.

Having already knocked over two frees from himself, Alan Mulvany put a score to his name from play following some good work from Rob Wogan and Eoin Finnegan. Subsequently, when a Trim attack broke down it was transferred through the hands of Woodley Nicholson and Rob Wogan before Mulvany found Cathal Finnegan with a kick pass. Picking the ball up on the 45’, Finnegan still had plenty to do before getting a shot off, but that he managed to do. Turning sharply, he left a defender in his wake and despite briefly losing control of a hop, he regathered to give Peter Farrell in the Trim goal no chance by finishing low to the bottom right corner.

To their credit, Trim responded with three points in row, two from Lynch and one from Mikey Cullen to move two ahead once more but Seneschalstown had another goal in the 28th minute to put themselves in driving seat again. A high ball into the large square from Cathal Finnegan was dealt with less than convincingly by the Trim defence, and ultimately it broke kindly to Ryan Finnegan who toe poked home.

The visitors, just like they had done previously replied strongly and would go in front before the half time break, Cullen and Daire Lynch leaving the Reds a point to the good after an exciting first half, 0-11 to 2-04.

After starting the opening half slowly, Ciaran Marks’ side would have eager to gain the upper hand early on in the second, and on that they duly delivered. Following a sustained period of possession and earlier attempts to poke holes in Trim defence came to nothing, eventually Alan Mulvany was fouled at the top of the D’ which saw Cathal Finnegan converting the resultant free.

Four minutes later, the home side moved three points in front. Johnny Gilsenan made a big turnover inside Trim’s half, he showed immense strength to floor the challenge of another defender. Under some pressure he released Cathal Finnegan who once again bore down on the Trim goal, but this time he had the wherewithal to spot his brother Eoin lurking at the back post. From one Finnegan to another, the ball was punched across the square and Eoin palmed to the net, the scoreboard now reading 3-05 to 0-11.

However, despite their good work to leave themselves in front Seneschalstown were left feeling a sense of déjà vu when after an excellent block from Jamie Kirwan, Alan Douglas pounced on the loose ball and was met with what looked like a fair shoulder from a Seneschalstown defender. To the disbelief of the Seneschalstown players and supporters a penalty was awarded which Aaron Lynch wasn’t going to miss squaring the game at 3-05 to 1-11.

Cathal Finnegan restored his side’s advantage with a pointed free following yet another foul on him, this time off the ball as Seneschalstown moved up the pitch. The seesaw nature of the second half continued, Lynch and Cullen edging Trim’s noses in front again before Seneschalstown struck for goal number four of the night and what a goal it was. David Gordon’s kickout evaded everyone in midfield and Ryan Finnegan latched onto the break. He popped the ball to Donie Commons who found himself in oceans of space on the Trim 45’, Alan Mulvany came through like a steam train and took the pass from Commons, leaving a 3-on-2 situation. Mulvany backed himself and unleashed a rocket into the top left corner of the net. From one end to the other in the blink of an eye. Momentum back in Seneschalstown’s favour!

This time the Yellow Furze men were able to back up their goal with another score, Eoin Finnegan doing extremely well to turn his man inside out to turn a difficult chance under pressure into an easy pop over the bar and Seneschalstown were three in front once more.

But for the fourth time, Trim dug themselves out of a hole after a Seneschalstown scoring burst and finished strongly with 1-02 in the final 10 minutes to make a push for victory. Brian Dowling and Cullen reduced the deficit to one point, and with five minutes left Trim conjured up one final goal chance for themselves. Aaron Lynch was left one on one from close range and he rolled it into the net. Having given so much for the previous 55 minutes, Seneschalstown just couldn’t find the target with some late half chances and Trim ran out 2 point winners.

Trim deserve great credit for bouncing back well from the concession of each goal but Seneschalstown can certainly take plenty of heart from this game, you don’t normally score four goals and fail to win and on another night it would have been more than enough to claim the spoils. The focus for Seneschalstown will now turn to the Round 4 meeting with Dunshaughlin in just under three week’s time, a clash which has served up some extremely close battles on numerous occasions since 2018.

Seneschalstown: David Gordon, Cillian Lawlor, Brian Maguire, Cormac Carolan, Rob Wogan, Woodley Nicholson, Jamie Kirwan, John Smith, Sean Commons, Ryan Finnegan (1-00), Donie Commons, Alan Mulvany (1-03, 2fs), Cathal Finnegan (1-03, 2fs), Johnny Gilsenan, Eoin Finnegan (1-01)

Sub Used: Ross Howard

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