Seneschalstown Land Reserve Cup Success


Quarryland Construction Reserve Cup Division 2 Final

Seneschalstown 0-09 St. Patrick’s 0-06

Opportunities to win a trophy at adult level don’t come around too often and when the chance to win a first piece of silverware for Seneschalstown’s second string since the 2015 Junior ‘B’ FC decider came to pass, it was something that Seneschalstown were not willing to let slip in Stamullen on Thursday evening when presented with the opportunity to win Quarryland Construction Reserve Cup Division 2.   Anyone that turned up deserved a reward of some sort, conditions were absolutely atrocious and only got worse as the game went on.   The rain was heavy and persistent and despite there being little wind to speak of, it was near impossible for the game to flow freely without players losing their footing or a move breaking down to a handling error. To credit the St Pat’s club, the pitch was in a playable condition and remained like that given the battering it took for the duration of the hour.

That aforementioned Junior ‘B’ FC success is one of only a handful of trophies that came back to Fr. Tully Park in the intervening time period, to go along with the 2019 ‘A’ League Division 2 title, and the most recent trophy which was the 2021 Premier FC Division 4 win in October 2021.

When Liam Reddy got the game underway at 8pm, Seneschalstown seized early control and looked to lay down a marker.   The opening score arrived a little over two minutes in, Éamon Finnegan punching the ball into the path of Seneschalstown centre half back Danny Waters to run onto and clip over the evening’s opening point.   Seneschalstown doubled their advantage just over two minutes later when Finnegan knocked over a free from 25 metres after midfielder Donie Commons was impeded whilst running straight at the home rear-guard, even if he did get away with a generous number of steps.

Having started slowly, St Pat’s started to claw their way into the game as the first quarter drew to a close.   Two points from play in a sixty spell had parity restored, one of those points being a fine long range effort when the Seneschalstown defence had allowed the Pats’ man too much space to execute his shot.   For Seneschalstown, the mistakes aplenty were continuing with a lot of unforced errors coming from the side in blue and yellow and fortunately from their point of view the umpire deemed an effort from a free for the Stamullen side to hit the front to have gone wide when it certainly looked like they had a case for a point.   The umpire however, was in a good position and he adjudged the ball to have gone wide before it started curling around.

In the 21st minute, one of the very few goal chances of the evening arrived.   Full-forward Joey Moore had a pop at goal from inside the ’45 metre line and was unlucky to see his effort rebound off the upright.   Éamon Finnegan was first to react and conjured up space for a shot for a goal which was well blocked by the defender and went out for a 45’.   Up stepped Liam Dillon, only out of the Minor ranks this year but he showed great composure to send the ball arrowing through the posts to restore Seneschalstown’s lead.

It was a night where playing a kicking game was always going to be difficult and Seneschalstown’s next score showed that.   Donie Commons made a break from a midfield and popped a handpass to the onrushing Mark Fox.   Fox, approaching the ‘D was about to be met by a number of challenges so he offloaded to Eamon Finnegan.   Finnegan showed some excellent vision and sleight of hand to play the ball back into Commons who had powered on through the middle.   When he got the ball in hand, Commons fired in an effort which flew over the crossbar.   Whether he had goal on his mind, only he can tell but it was a crucial score which gave Seneschalstown some breathing space as the half-time whistle went seconds later, leading by double scores at 0-04 to 0-02.

When the action resumed, the home side were quickest out of the blocks with a point from play but Seneschalstown never panicked and proceeded to produce what was dominant twelve minute spell to win the game.   In the 32nd minute, Éamon Finnegan got Seneschalstown moving for the second half when he had the simple task of tapping over a 13 metre free after Darren O’Brien was unceremoniously dragged to the ground close to goal.   Three minutes later, Seneschalstown opened up the biggest gap between the sides thus far.

With Seneschalstown’s forwards applying pressure on St. Patrick’s defenders in their half of the field it forced a turnover.   After Joey Moore was fouled, he quickly picked out an unmarked Will Finnegan out to the right hand side.   With nobody coming to close him down quick enough, Finnegan strode forward and casually curled over a beautiful score to add to Seneschalstown’s tally.

The home side pulled one back instantly, but by this stage Seneschalstown were in full flow.   Another turnover, this time forced by Darren O’Brien saw Seneschalstown create another scoring chance.   O’Brien linked up with Jamie Kirwan and Jack McDonnell to return the ball to O’Brien in the corner.   It didn’t look like an obvious shooting opportunity but that didn’t deter the towering midfielder who sliced across the ball with a shot that never wavered from the black spot and now the scoreboard, which was turned on at half-time, read 0-07 to 0-04 after 39 minutes.

It became a four point lead when Kyle Hosie was on target in the 42nd minute from the middle of the D’.   Hoise’s finish was composed after Neil Darby and Danny Waters did well in the build up with Waters setting the wheels in motion with a fine break through the centre.

The only other sniff of a goal Seneschalstown had all night was in the next attack.   Joey Moore sent a dropping ball in towards the square which Éamon Finnegan tried to catch.   The number 13 let the ball slip through his fingers but the bounce of the ball required attention from the St. Patrick’s netminder and he was there to tip the ball around the post at the expense of another ’45.   Just as he had done in the first half, Liam Dillon stepped up and once again he was unerringly accurate as the lead was extended to five points.

Despite the dominance of the third quarter, Seneschalstown would fail to score again but they were never in trouble of surrendering their advantage.   The home side did pull two points back but were dealt a further blow when Liam Reddy didn’t take a positive view of something that was said to him by a St. Patrick’s substitute who had come on, and brandished him with a red card inside the final 10 minutes.

From there, it was just about seeing the game out and that was something Seneschalstown did with little fuss.   When the final whistle went, it was 0-09 to 0-06 in favour of the Yellow Furze men and with it came the reward of some early season silverware.

On the night, Seneschalstown had a number of outstanding displays, key among them Liam Dillon who displayed a maturity beyond his years, Ronan Conneely was a safe pair of hands at full back while Darren O’Brien continued his fine recent form at midfield.   A word also for Danny Waters, he showed immense character to turn up and play just hours after the burial of his grandmother and put in a fine display at the heart of Seneschalstown’s defence.

After the game, the Greg Hogge Cup was presented to Ronan Conneely and fellow joint captain David Fox who could not play due to injury.   The cup is named after the former Bective player who died suddenly and was fondly remembered by the Bective representative on hand to present the trophy.

Seneschalstown: Luke Healy, Seán Martin, Ronan Conneely, Cormac Carolan, Liam Dillon (0-02, 2 ‘45’s), Danny Waters (0-01), Mark Fox, Darren O’Brien (0-01), Donie Commons (0-01), Jack McDonnell, Will Finnegan (0-01), Seán Davis, Éamon Finnegan (0-02, 2fs), Joey Moore, Kyle Hosie (0-01).

Subs Used: David Gordon, Jamie Kirwan, Oran Lawlor, Neil Darby, Owen Mullen, Alex Finnegan.

By shanemulvany Fri 5th Apr