Kepak Senior Championship Semi-Final
Seneschalstown 1-06 St. Peter’s Dunboyne 3-14
Seneschalstown’s dreams of reaching a second Senior Championship Final in three years were dashed by defending champions St. Peter’s Dunboyne in a windy Ashbourne on Tuesday evening.
Playing with the wind in the first half, Seneschalstown lead for most of it before the concession of two goals put them on the back foot on the approach to half-time and despite being extremely game up until a purple patch for the visitors in the final quarter, Seneschalstown were very much in the game and while Dunboyne were deserving winners, the winning margin was very unjust on David Hosie’s side.
Originally fixed for Saturday evening in Skryne, the incessant rain saw the game postponed and subsequently fixed for under the lights in the Donaghmore club.
Seneschalstown backed by the elements made a quick start. Kellie Stafford, who would go onto have an industrious outing opened the scoring when pointing after a minute. In the third minute, Stafford found her range again after Orla Finnegan did well in the build up to set her up. Seneschalstown’s positive start continued when Stacey Grimes engineered space for herself to clip over a point from about 25 metres out.
However, Dunboyne began to settle and a quick brace of Emma Duggan points had them on the scoreboard by the 10th minute. Despite having lots of possession over the course of the half, Seneschalstown struggled to build on their lead and had to wait until the 24th minute to score again.
The forwards were working hard and forced a Dunboyne defender into over carrying close to goal and Grimes knocked over the resultant free as it looked like Seneschalstown were ready to add a few more scores before the break.
However, two minutes later they were rocked back on their heels when Emma Duggan found herself in on goal and was abruptly halted. The referee stretched out his arms and Dunboyne had a penalty which Duggan dispatched the net.
As the half entered injury time, Seneschalstown were struck another massive blow. After Dunboyne managed to clear a Seneschalstown press on their kickout, they engineered a superb counter attack which ended with Shelly Melia finding the corner of the Seneschalstown net, leaving four points between the sides.
Seneschalstown though, responded in tbe best possible fashion. When Ròisín Commons intercepted a stray ball in the Dunboyne half, she picked out Finnegan in space. Finnegan still had a an awful lot left to do but she took on her marker and from an almost impossible angle produced a rasping finish to the roof of the net and suddenly there was life in the Seneschalstown challenge again as the teams headed for the interval at 2-02 to 1-04.
Within two minutes of the restart Seneschalstown were level when Finnegan got the ball inside, turned and popped over. It looked like Seneschalstown were well placed to kick on, but slowly Dunboyne started to pull away as Seneschalstown found it difficult to get shots off into the wind.
There was a goal in it when Seneschalstown had an excellent goal chance to tie the game up heading into the final quarter, but the Dunboyne defence dealt with it before transitioning up the pitch to put four between the teams. A real momentum shifter.
From there Dunboyne kicked on with Duggan to the fore and despite Seneschalstown not giving up, it wasn’t to be their night. Caragh Monaghan got forward to kick Seneschalstown’s last point of the evening as added time began but a third goal arrived for the winners moments later, which put a gloss on the scoreline that Seneschalstown didn’t deserve. However, it can’t be argued that Dunboyne did pull away well in the last few minutes.
Seneschalstown can be proud of their efforts this year. The two comeback wins over Navan O’Mahony’s and Oldcastle were particular highlights given the deficits they faced in each of those games. An extremely positive Championship campaign.
Seneschalstown: Louise Coyle, Tiana Kyle, Natasha Mullen, Leanne Clarke, Meadhbh Hickey, Amy Gilsenan, Caragh Monaghan (0-01), Kiah Geraghty, Seánaidh Hickey, Kellie Stafford (0-02), Róisín Commons, Tara Traynor, Stacey Grimes (0-02, 1f), Orla Finnegan (1-01), Anna Wogan.
Subs Used: Donna Stafford, Leah Ryan