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Sat 17th April 2010
Seneschalstown 3-12 St. Ultan's 0-13
Two strong signals of intent where issued at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening. The first was that defending SFC champions Seneschalstown will not relinguish the Keegan Cup without a fight and the second was that St. Ultan's will be no pushovers as they bid to retain their senior status.
The eight point defeat was cruel because with a minute remaining they trailed by just four points and were still very much in contention. The runaway victory didn't happen, instead Seneschalstown were stunned by a dogged final quarter performance from St. Ultan's that will give new manager Martin Barry plenty of optimism for the challenges that lie ahead.
Seneschalstown boss Damien Sheridan will be concerned that his side let an eight point advantage slip down to three, but he will also be pleased that they were able to up the tempo again successfully. Seneschalstown looked like the better team. They appeared to play well within themselves and proved that when St. Ultan's got back within touching distance, they were able to pull clear again. Seneschalstown dominated midfield with Damien Sheridan enjoying a fine game. Brothers Joe and Brian were also major influences in attack, alternating between centre and full forward. Stephen Finnegan also impressed while the hard work of Gary Conlon and accuracy of Shane Clarke sustained Seneschalstown.
St. Ultan's did their confidence no harm with a decent performance. They struggled to cope with the aerial bombardment and the ball winning abilities of Joe Sheridan, but with decent attacking threats from Daryl McLoughlin, Cian Rennicks and Darren Mallon, understrenght St. Ultans's were always in with a shout. Barry was without nine players due to injury and unavailability, but his troops succeeded in providing enough of a test to suggest that they will make life difficult for others.
St. Ultan's started impressively with opening points from Rennicks and Gary Gorman. Seneschalstown eventually settled and by the 10th minute they bwere 0-4 to 0-2 ahead through Mark Carey, Brian Sheridan (free), Shane Clarke and Stephen Sheridan. Kevin Galligan's point eneded a 14 minute barren spell for St. Ultan's, but Seneschalstown moved into top gear again and finished the half with scores from Sahne Clarke (two) and Joe Sheridan to lead by 0-7 to 0-3 at the break.
Goals from Finnegan and Joe Sheridan either side of points for St. Ultan's by Rennicks (free) and Richard Lynagh looked to have put the issue beyond doubt. After Joe Sheridan and Conlon traded scores with Rennicks (free) and McLoughlin it was St. Ultan's who stole the initiative. Successive points from Rennicks (two) , Pual Murray, Mcloughlin and Alan Martin closed the deficit to 0-12 to 2-9. Brian Sheridan re-focused the champions with a brace before Rennicks closed the gaop to 0-13 to 2-11 with six minutes remaining.
Both sides struggled to make a decisive move, but Seneschalstown finished like champions with Clarke fisting his side's third goal before a Brian Sheridan free closed their account.
Seneschalstown - D. Lyons; S. Sheridan (0-1), D. Matthews, G. Sheridan; M. Carey (0-1), J. Cowley, J. Byrne; C. Duffy, D. Sheridan; G. Conlon (0-1), J. Sheridan (1-2), S. Finnegan (1-0); B. Clarke, B. Sheridan (0-4, 2fs), S. Clarke (1-3, 1 fs). Subs - A. Gleeson for C. Duffy (42).
St. Ultan's - N. Burke, B, Brady, C. Lynch, J. Bennett, D. McLoughlin (0-2), P. Murray (0-1), R, Duffy, A. Rogers, K. Galligan (0-1), G. Rennicks, D. Mallon, G. Gorman (0-1, 1 fs), C. Rennicks (0-6, 3fs), R. Lynagh (0-1), C. Smyth. Subs - A. Martin (0-1) for Lynch (21)
Referee - G. McGivney (Simonstown).