Virtuoso Finnegan sinks Longwood/Clonard

LMFM Meath Minor Championship Division 3 Round 1

Longwood/Clonard 2-11 Seneschalstown 6-08

Boosted by a stellar performance from corner forward Cathal Finnegan, Seneschalstown got their defence of the LMFM Division 3 Minor Championship off to a winning start on Wednesday evening in Longwood. Over the course of the hour Finnegan turned in a virtuoso performance as he hit three goals and four points all of which came from open play. In a match which was played with fourteen on each side due to that being the number of players available to the hosts it was the greater ability of Seneschalstown to pick off goals which proved to be the difference between the two teams.

Fielding a team which with the case of two exceptions will all be eligible for the Minor grade in 2017 Seneschalstown showed a great hunger for raising green flags throughout but Longwood/Clonard will look back with some regret on the opening half when they missed nine shots on goal. Such profligacy came back to haunt them as the visitors pushed into a five point advantage having only struck two wides over the course of the opening thirty minutes.

The opening score of the match laid down a marker for what was to come as following good play from Cillian Gormley, Joseph Moore, Robert Wogan and Cathal Finnegan, midfielder Daire Finnegan found himself presented with a scoring opportunity. Going for the point would have been the simple option but the U-16 star opted to go for the jugular and saw his low shot strike the butt of the left upright on its way to the back of the net to give Seneschalstown the perfect start. Points from Alan Mulvany and Cathal Finnegan followed before Longwood/Clonard finally got themselves off the mark on thirteen minutes when scoring a point from play.

A rapid-fire brace of pointed frees from Robert Wogan (who was to leave the fray with a knee injury late on) pushed Seneschalstown six points clear but these scores were soon cancelled out by two further Longwood/Clonard points from play. Good work from the effective Joseph Moore on twenty minutes saw Cathal Finnegan in on goal and the corner forward made no mistake as he gave the goalkeeper no chance, finishing to the net with a rocket of a shot. Longwood/Clonard replied with a point but Seneschalstown then scored a goal which came at the end of a great move. Eoin O’Reilly fed Cathal Finnegan who then gave the ball across to Cillian Gormley. Gormley, under pressure showed a genius piece of improvisation when flicking the ball first time over his head straight into the path of Brian Maguire who found himself one on one with the ‘keeper and he made no mistake as he goaled.

This was to prove to be Seneschalstown’s last score of the half as Longwood/Clonard grew more into proceedings and they finished off the scoring with a goal and a point to leave the scoreboard reading Longwood/Clonard 1-05 Seneschalstown 3-04 at the interval.

The hosts started the second half where they left off in the first and picked off the first two scores as they pointed from play and from a free. This could have extended to a third point but their effort fell short into the grateful hands of Keith Waters. Following a succession of passes the it ended up in the hands of Joseph Moore who placed Cathal Finnegan for a point. Finnegan kicked another before a Longwood/Clonard point on thirty-nine minutes. Then a minute later the young forward hit an outstanding effort from out on the left off the outside of his left boot. Whether he actually meant it or not it had to be seen to be believed.

Approaching the final quarter Longwood/Clonard kicked another point but this was cancelled out by an Eoin O’Reilly point after a Cillian Gormley flick off a Cathal Finnegan forty-five had broken back out. Finnegan then found the net twice in two minutes, the second of which was a very brave effort as he rose highest to fist in when most would have pulled out. In between these two goals Joseph Moore could have grabbed another but he saw his audacious back heeled effort just drift left and wide.

A lengthy delay soon followed while the injured Robert Wogan left the field and following this interruption it was Longwood/Clonard who finished the stronger as they kicked a goal and two points while in response Seneschalstown mustered a goal from Moore after a great reverse pass from Cathal Finnegan.

Best for Seneschalstown were Daire Finnegan, Robert Wogan and Cathal Finnegan.

Seneschalstown: Keith Waters, Richie McKeown, Shane McGeer, Jamie Kirwan, Brian Maguire (1-00), Simon Rooney, Daire Finnegan (1-00), Robert Wogan (0-02, 0-02 Frees), Alan Mulvany (0-01), Joseph Moore (1-00), Cillian Gormley, Cathal Finnegan (3-04), Eoin O’Reilly (0-01), Cathal Hickey.

Seneschalstown Substitutions: Sean Carey for J. Kirwan, Naoise Sweeney for C. Gormley and Jamie Kirwan for R. Wogan.

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