Victory Snatched At The Death

U-17 League Division 4 Round Semi-Final

Seneschalstown 4-09 Ratoath 2-14

After conceding four goals and nine points in their last match of the round robin series Seneschalstown’s U-17 team hit that exact score on Thursday evening to qualify for the final by the skin of their teeth. Trailing by two points with over two minutes played in stoppage time and nobody in the crowd fully aware of how long was left many present thought their chance was gone. However that was without factoring in a moment of individual brilliance as Robert Wogan, after gathering possession over forty metres out from the Ratoath goal, embarked on a solo run before unleashing a powerful shot to the back of the net. The team still had a nervous few moments as Ratoath still had one last attack but with the clock after pushing over the sixty three minute mark the final whistle was blown much to the relief of the home team and support in Fr. Tully Park.

Seneschalstown had opened the scoring when full forward Ryan O’Dowd pointed from a narrow angle out to the right of the posts before Ratoath hit two frees on the bounce to edge one ahead. O’Dowd equalised from a free of his own before two scores in a row from the home side saw a small gap created. First Eoin Finnegan pointed from play after a marvellous fetch from Niall Hickey in the middle of the field before Finnegan grabbed his first goal of the match. After being awarded a free Seneschalstown’s Ryan O’Dowd kicked a long range free off the ground. When the ball dropped short on the edge of the square David Gordon reacted quickest to palm the ball down into Finnegan’s path who drove the ball into the roof of the net.

Ratoath brought the margin back to three points before Finnegan extended it back out to four after pointing from a free when he had been fouled himself. In the eighteenth minute Seneschalstown scored a point after a brilliant sweeping length of the pitch move. David Fox fielded a free kick from under his own crossbar. Taking a quick free kick after being fouled as he sought to drive out of his defence he managed to find Robert Wogan who in turn carried the ball forward at speed. Spotting Finnegan inside he delivered a diagonal pass to the lively centre forward who then pointed on the turn. Finnegan then kicked another point from play almost instantaneously before the visitors hit two points from play in a row.

Fox came up from his full back berth on twenty five minutes to take a forty five from out on the right hand sideline. Like O’Dowd’s free earlier his effort dropped just short but Finnegan reacting quickest rose high into the air before pointing with an effort over his head. Ratoath though hit back within a minute when goaling to narrow the deficit to two points. Finnegan though was having a half of which dreams are made and after Brian Maguire’s shot for goal was saved the rebound fell perfectly for him to tap into an empty net to restore the five point advantage at half time.

Seneschalstown got off to a dream start at the outset of the second half when grabbing a third goal to move eight points ahead after only twenty seven seconds. Half time substitute Jordan Oganami latched onto the ball before playing Eoin Finnegan in behind the Ratoath defence. Finnegan’s initial shot was saved but fortunately for him the ball came straight back to his feet and he made no mistake second time around.

This goal though appeared to have a galvanising effect on the South Meath outfit as they hit four points in a row but in that period it could have been so much more as they struck the post twice while Ruairí McDonagh also pulled off a very good save. Ryan O’Dowd sought to settle his side with a good point from play in the forty eight minute but seconds after the white flag had been raised Ratoath showed they were in no humour to raise one of their own as they went straight up the other end of the pitch and grabbed a goal. They followed this goal up with three points in a row to edge one ahead, Seneschalstown 3-08 Ratoath 2-12.

Eoin Finnegan tapped over a free at the second time of asking after his initial quickly taken effort which resulted in a disallowed goal for Mark Kennedy was whistled back. Seneschalstown’s goose though appeared to be cooked as Ratoath kicked for home with a point from play and one from a free to march into a two point lead deep into stoppage time. However their goose wasn’t fully done as Wogan after gaining possession on the overlap from Finnegan pulled the match out of the fire with his magnificent goal into the railway goal.

After pulling off this great escape Seneschalstown’s young players can now look forward to a date with neighbours Brú na Boinne in Páirc Tailteann at 20:15 next Wednesday evening, September 3rd. When these two sides met back on August 10th they served up a fantastic match which eventually ended in a draw so another close encounter is expected in next week’s final.

Seneschalstown Scorers: Eoin Finnegan 3-06 (0-02 Frees), Robert Wogan 1-00, Ryan O’Dowd 0-03 (0-01 Free).

Seneschalstown: Ruairí McDonagh, Richard McKeown, David Fox, Louis Healy, Eoin O’Reilly, Conor Cantwell, Robert Littler, Niall Hickey, Daniel O’Reilly, Shane Mulvany, Eoin Finnegan, Robert Wogan, David Gordon, Ryan O’Dowd, Brian Maguire.

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Jason Kearney for L. Healy, Jordan Oganami for S. Mulvany, Cathal Finnegan for D. Gordon, Mark Kennedy for R. Littler.

Link to Fixture: 
U-17 League Semi-Final

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