Meath Minor Football Championship Division 1 Final

Donaghmore/Ashbourne 1-12 Seneschalstown 1-06

Seneschalstown’s bid to earn a historic first ever Delaney Cup for the club fell at the final hurdle on a proud day for the club at Páirc Táilteann on Sunday afternoon. Clearly on the day Donaghmore/Ashbourne were the better team and Seneschalstown can have no shame losing in that fashion. The lads kept going to the bitter end, managing to a plot a goal for themselves with the very last kick of the game through a Sam Kirwan penalty.

Once Donaghmore/Ashbourne took the lead after 90 seconds, they put the foot down and managed to keep four or five points ahead throughout the first half. By the 17th minute, they were 0-04 to 0-00 ahead. Seneschalstown did have chances to get on the scoreboard during that period but were inaccurate in front of the posts. It took 23 minutes for them to breakdown a very well organised Donaghmore/Ashbourne defence, a spectacular point from Cian Commons from out in the terrace corner after some good play from Darren O’Brien. Ashbourne managed to register points number five and six before Seneschalstown would score again when Sam Kirwan converted a free after a foul on a Seneschalstown forward on the 21 metre line. The victors tagged on another point in injury time from a 45 as Declan Byrne’s side headed for the changing rooms five points in arrears, 0-07 to 0-02.

Seneschalstown needed a good start to the second half but the hill they were climbing soon resembled a very steep mountain with two more Donaghmore/Ashbourne points moving them seven clear. Séimí Byrne answered with Seneschalstown’s third point in the 39th minute when he picked up the pieces after two initial shots were blocked. However, Ashbourne effectively shortly afterwards when they struck for a well taken goal, giving Luke Healy no chance with a rocket into the top corner of the net.

Seneschalstown battled and managed to put together their best spell of the game with three Robbie Finnegan points on the spin, two from play and it appeared that there may be a comeback on the cards, but Donaghmore to their credit settled themselves once again and didn’t allow any further inroads into their lead. Indeed they added to it as the clock ticked down before Sam Kirwan had the last say with his penalty after a footblock on a Séimí Byrne shot. Whilst Ashbourne were undoubtedly deserving winners, Seneschalstown can look back on some of their shooting particularly in the second half where they left a number of shots short into the keepers hands. Had some of them gone over, the final few minutes may not have been as comfortable for the winners and Seneschalstown could have had themselves within touching distance. Alas, it wasn’t to be and Donaghmore/Ashbourne left Páirc Táilteann with the Delaney Cup for the sixth time, and first since 2018.

Speaking afterwards, team manager Declan Byrne highlighted that despite the result, the fact so many players are now going to transition into adult football in 2023 and beyond was the real victory for the club and that can only bode well for the future.

Seneschalstown: Luke Healy, Colin Scanlon, Oran Lawlor, Connor Rooney, Jack McDonnell, Danny Waters, Liam Dillon, Darren O’Brien, Séimí Byrne (0-01), Cian Commons (0-01), Robbie Finnegan (0-03, 1f), Sam Kirwan (1-01, 1-00 pen, 0-01f), Eamon Finnegan, Joe Norris, Alex Finnegan.

Subs Used: Kyle Hosie, Tommy Walsh, Josh Keating, Liam O’Reilly, Seán Reilly.

By gordonmcguirk Mon 17th Oct