Wild celebrations as final spot secured

Meath Ladies Junior C Championship Semi-Final

Royal Gaels 1-08 Seneschalstown 3-07

Seneschalstown’s Junior Ladies qualified for the Meath Ladies Junior C championship final with this hard-fought victory over hosts Royal Gaels in Dunshaughlin.

A heavy shower before the game started made conditions slippery underfoot and It was the Seneschalstown Girls who made the best start. Early pointed frees from Anna Wogan and Emer Smyth helped to settle down the Furze girls and things got even better when Kelly Smith and Wogan lofted over two fine points from play to give them a four point lead after ten minutes. Just approaching the quarter hour, the home team opened their account and by the 20th minute had reduced the margin to the minimum and Dearbhla Clarke in the Seneschalstown goal made a couple of vital saves to keep the home team at bay.

Adelle Carolan-Flynn then popped over a point from play in the 21st minute and five minutes later the same player was fouled in the square and Wogan stepped up to dispatch the penalty low to the net. The Gaels trio of Ciara Galvin, Orla Keane and Kelly O’Dwyer were causing the Seneschalstown girls plenty of problems and just approaching the short whistle the home team struck 1-01 to cut the deficit back to the minimum and the half time score stood at 1-5 to 1-04.

The second half started with the light beginning to fade and a few positional switches in the Seneschalstown rear guard with Leah Ryan now picking up the influential O'Dwyer and Laura Burke picking up Keane. The home team equalised on the 34th minute with a point from play but Kelly Smith pushed the eventual winner back in front 4 minutes later. In the forty third minute, the Gaels equalised again but soon after the ref halted proceedings so the flood lights could be put on.

The stoppage lasted over 10 minutes and the home team too advantage and went if front for the first time with 12 minutes to go. Indeed, it looked like the home team were getting on top but good defending and a couple of missed opportunities kept the scoreline tight. With just less than 10 minutes to go Emer Smith equalised and an exciting last 10 minutes was on the cards.

With eight minutes of normal time left substitute Mallaidh Breen forced the ball over the line despite being fouled to give the Furze girls some breathing space with a 3 point lead and a few minutes later Adelle Carolan-Flynn doubled the advantage when shooting low to the net with 5 minutes of normal time remaining. The weather had turned nasty now with a heavy downpour and the home team were pushing forward in search of scores but the Seneschalstown girls held out and just conceded one point entering injury time. The final whistle was greeted with great joy and relief after a hard-fought encounter with a gallant Royal Gaels team.

A special word to the Leaving Cert girls who put their celebrations on hold to play game. With a mix of Youth and Experience, this team now look forward to the final on Sunday Aug 27th where they will meet Dunboyne with the time and venue still to be decided.

Seneschalstown: Dearbhla Clarke, Grainne Gordon, Cathy Ann Cowley, Orla McMahon, Leah Ryan, Orla Finnegan, Zoe Kirwan, Laura Burke, Grace Cahalane, Shirley Quinn, Emer Smith (0-02), Anna Wogan (1-02), Aoife Mulvany, Adelle Carolan-Flynn (1-01), Kelly Smith (0-02).

Subs: Mallaidh Breen (1-00), Sadhbh McLarney, Sinead McLarney, Catherine Smyth, Shauna Gordon, Ava Jane Ryan, Hannah McMahon.

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