Meath SFC Group B Round 1

Seneschalstown 0-12 St. Peter’s Dunboyne 2-14

began their 2023 Meath SFC campaign with a gallant defeat to St. Peter’s, Dunboyne in Dunsany on Friday evening. The final margain of eight points was harsh on Seneschalstown but Dunboyne were deserving winners on the basis of their second half performance. Donal Lenihan proved to be the difference between the sides, with the Meath forward accounting for 1-10 of Dunboyne’s total, 0-05 of which came from play.

It was Seneschalstown who enjoyed the best of the opening period for long spells and started really promisingly. Four minutes in, Cathal Hickey clipped over the opening score of the hour, and the recent Táilteann Cup winner had his second two minutes later when Seneschalstown transitioned with a quick counter attack after winning a good turnover in defence. The positive start continued for Seneschalstown when Eoin Finnegan clipped over a mark after excellently claiming a low ball from Dylan Keating.

Dunboyne soon settled a quick brace of Lenihan points had them on the scoreboard in the 9th minute.  Eoin Finnegan had Seneschalstown two in front again when he converted a long range wind assisted free from out on the right after Ross Howard was fouled. As the quarter hour passed, there was one between them as Luke Carolan registered for Dunboyne before a ten minute scoreless period followed.

The final five minutes of the half more than made up for it, firstly James Meade curled over a free to the roar of the Seneschalstown dugout behind him. However, that score spurred on the eventual winners and after Cathal Lacey tagged on a point for them, Dunboyne struck for goal right through the middle of the Seneschalstown defence with Daniel Hickey getting the final touch to flick to the net despite the best efforts of Brian Maguire to scramble the ball off the line.

Seneschalstown replied when Dylan Keating pirouetted and scored from 20 metres after Ryan Finnegan did well to win a turnover high up the pitch, and Eoin Finnegan pointed from a tight angle which was Seneschalstown’s last score of the half. Dunboyne lead by one at the break when Lacey put over his second point.

Seneschalstown won the throw-in at the start of the second half and were level instantly when Ross Howard chipped over. However, for the next few minutes Donal Lenihan was to start taking centre stage and he put Dunboyne two front with consecutive scores before the big blow for Seneschalstown arrived in the 34th minute.

After Dunboyne won the ball back, Lenihan was put through and he was impeded while shooting. He dusted himself down to put the penalty away and now Dunboyne lead by five. They had increased that lead to seven by the time Seneschalstown scored again, this time it was Cathal Hickey with the effort.

The closest Seneschalstown could get to Dunboyne in the second half was five points, that coming after three consecutive efforts for the side in blue. The excellent Cathal Hickey was causing Dunboyne big problems and he kicked two on the bounce as the game entered the final quarter to bring his tally to five points for the hour. Eoin Finnegan also fisted the ball over the bar as Seneschalstown didn’t give up.

In that final quarter, the scores dried up with only two final Lenihan efforts for Dunboyne all that was added to the scoreboard as Seneschalstown tried to the elusive goal that would bring then closer as the clock ticked down.

That was not forthcoming as Dunboyne held on to win. Seneschalstown will hope to regroup and bounce back against Trim in a fortnight.

Seneschalstown: David Gordon, Cillian Lawlor, Brian Maguire, Ryan Finnegan, Rob Wogan, Simon Rooney, Danny Waters, James Meade (0-01, 1f), Cathal Hickey (0-05), Donie Commons, Ross Howard (0-01), Alan Mulvany, Séimí Byrne, Eoin Finnegan (0-04, 1f, 1m), Dylan Keating (0-01).

Subs Used: Ronan Conneely, Robbie Finnegan, Johnny Gilsenan

St. Peter’s Dunboyne scorers: Donal Lenihan 1-10 (1-00pen, 4fs, 1 45’) Cathal Lacey (0-03), Daniel Hickey (1-00), Luke Carolan (0-01)