Sunday 16 December 2018

Furze get second bite at the cherry

Seneschalstown 1-8 St Vincent?s 0-11 This one was billed as a typical Meath v Dublin clash and it was that to a certain extent. However in many ways it resembled a beef burger ? minus the beef.

There was plenty of dressing, side salad and gooey stuff, but unfortunately the main ingredient was missing, leaving it as an encounter without any great bite.

Fourteen yellow cards and one red, plus the outcome ? a draw ? ensured that there was some semblance of that great rivalry in this quarter-final tie. However the good sized attendance at Parnell Park was fortunate that the sun shone down, as the exchanges, being of a tepid nature throughout, did little to warm them.

Referee Eugene Murtagh kept a tight rein on proceedings but was over-officious at times and at the final whistle was seemingly unaware that he should have played extra time as was clearly stated in the official fixture list sent out by Leinster Council during the week.

The referee assessor, positioned in the press area, was also unaware that extra time should have been played.

However both sides were probably relieved that the man in the middle had an oversight. Seneschalstown will be con-tent to get the replay back to Pairc Tailteann as two periods of extra time, just a week after the Keegan Cup win, would surely have stretched their resources to the limit.

St Vincent?s, who looked rather convincing at times in the opening half ? until they decided to take a pot at the posts ? completely lost their way at the change of ends. They managed only two second half points even though they had an extra man for the final quarter following the sending-off of Colin Clarke on receipt of a second yellow card offence.

Eight first half wides very nearly proved costly for the Dublin champions, especially after Brian Sheridan pointed his side ahead in the 53rd minute. That was the first time they led since Joe Sheridan found the net from the penalty spot on 23 minutes.

However the game had one final twist as wing-back Pat Kelly popped up to shoot the equalising score a minute from the end of normal time. It was the Mayo man?s third point of the hour and the number seven looked much more comfortable at shooting than most of his colleagues in the forward line.

St Vincent?s could and should have been out of sight at the break, but the combination of dreadful finishing and Seneschalstown persistence ensured that the Meath champions didn?t lose touch at any stage.

Intercounty panellists Tomás Quinn and Diarmuid Connolly both lined out in the St Vincent?s full forward line, but neither made a great impression. Captain Quinn started in promising fashion, pointing in the game?s opening attack, and he added another score late in the half which finished with his side ahead 0-9 to 1-4.

He notched another fine score from a free out near the sideline at the start of the second period but faded sub-sequently as Seneschalstown slowly warmed to the task.

Full forward Diarmuid Connolly, ?Dublin?s great white hope?, had a very disappoint-ing outing, could rarely get the better of the impressive Andrew Collins and was eventually withdrawn.

The return of Brian Sheri-dan to the Seneschalstown starting 15 proved a tremen-dous boost, especially as senior final scoring hero Brian Clarke was hampered by an injury which saw him depart the action early. The younger of the Sheridan brother accounted for five points of his side?s tally, with all three second half efforts coming from placed balls. Meanwhile, brother Joe scored 1-2, the goal from the penalty spot following a foul on Clarke put his side into a 1-3 to 0-4 lead.

St Vincent?s responded to that goal in the best possible fashion as they outscored their opponents five points to one in the seven minutes before half-time, Brian Sheridan finding the range for the Beauparc men.

Quinn?s then converted a free within three minutes of the restart ? 0-10 to 1-4 ? but St Vincent?s didn?t score again after that until wing back Kelly hit that match-saving point in the 59th minute.

Brian Clarke hit Senes-chalstown?s first wide of the game on 37 minutes from a 55-metre free, but with Damien Sheridan and Robert Ruddy coming to grips at midfield Seneschalstown clawed their way back. Brian Sheridan converted two frees and Joe levelled in the 49th minute (1-7 to 0-10) following a route one delivery from Damien.

The introduction of fresh legs in Davy Byrne, Gary Conlon, Gerry Sheridan and James Byrne also helped invi-gorate the challenge in other areas, and Sheridan shot his fifth point of the hour from a free. Brian Maloney had a goal bound effort blocked out by Damien Sheridan at the other end on 57 minutes and Quinn hit a wide before they eventu-ally snatched an equaliser.

Brian Sheridan had a late chance for Seneschalstown but his long-range free dropped short.

It ended exactly the same score as the drawn Meath senior final, and Seneschals-town will settle for an outcome similar to the replay!

SENESCHALSTOWN ? David Lyons, Stephen Sheridan, Andrew Collins, Colin Clarke, Mark Carey, Cormac Quinn, Colin Gleeson, Robert Ruddy 0-1, Damien Sheridan, Ciaran Macken, Andrew McCann, Joe Cowley, Brian Clarke, Joe Sheridan 1-2 (1-0 pen), Brian Sheridan 0-5 (3f). Subs: Davy Byrne for Cowley (48), Gary Conlon for Brian Clarke (49), Gerry Sheridan for McCann (54), James Byrne for Gleeson (56).

ST VINCENT?S ? Michael Savage, Paul Conlon, Eoin Brady, Hugh Gill, Timmy Doyle, Ger Brennan, Pat Kelly 0-3, Hugh Coughlan, Michael O?Shea, Kevin Golden 0-1, Tiernan Diamond, Neal Billings 0-1, Brian Maloney, 0-2, Diarmuid Connolly 0-1, Tomas Quinn 0-3 (1f). Subs: Pat Gilroy for Billings (41), Ruairi Trainor for Connolly (54).

Referee ? Eugene Murtagh (Longford).

Wides ? Sen?town 4 Vincent?s 10.

Frees conceded ? Sen?town 16 Vincent?s 25.

Yellow cards ? Seneschalstown: Colin Clarke (2), Cormac Quinn, Damien Sheridan, Joe Cowley. St Vincent?s: Paul Conlon, Eoin Brady, Hugh Gill, Ger Brennan, Hugh Coughlan, Michael O?Shea, Tiernan Diamond, Brian Maloney, Tomas Quinn.

Red cards ? Colin Clarke (Sen?town).

Attendance ? 3,000.