No doubt with two recent very impressive wins over St Patrick’s (league) and Summerhill (Feis Cup), Skryne thought that this A League Div one match at home would be a comfortable enough affair. However this was no walk in the park and Oldcastle did not travel to this Meath historic area and football fortress just to view the ancient hill of Tara. They came instead to accept any football challenge that was offered on the night and for much of the evening a huge upset appeared to be on the cards. Both sides started without their Meath representatives and both also had some injuries to contend with. However, with the single exception of Ian Gillette in goals instead of Felim O’Rourke, Skryne started with the exact same team who scored an impressive 3-17 to 0-8 win over Summerhill at the weekend. However, as is always the case, previous performances are no barometer of what is going to happen in any given match and for a long period in this game it appeared that Skryne had left all their form on the pitch last Sunday. Ian Davis got the opening point after about 30 seconds and while they had two more chances to go further ahead scores more or less dried up for the Tara men for the next twenty minutes when David McGoldrick got their second. Meanwhile, Oldcastle put four on the board. Oldcastle posted a further three before half time to just one further point for Skryne. This left Oldcastle at 7 points to 3 in front at half time, a score-line which did not flatter the North Meath side at all.
Oldcastle went further ahead from the throw in but Conor O’Brien reduced the margin again to four with 32 minutes gone. A minute later Mark Battersby reduced it to three, but with thirty eight minutes gone Oldcastle stretched it to four again. At this stage Skryne were very much on the ropes and Oldcastle had all the appearance of a winning team. However, that point was to be Colm Coyle’s charges last score. Skryne needed something and quickly. Substitutes Jamie Jordan and Cian Byrne were put on for Kevin Mulvany and Ian Davis on Forty Minutes. Battersby finished what was probably the best move of the night with a point after good work from Declan Morley down the right wing. David McGoldrick put over a 45 and suddenly there was only two points in the difference. Alan Carty came on for Conor O’Brien who in fairness had given everything possible. Jordan posted a long range point and the ever busy Paddy Fox levelled the proceedings with ten minutes left to play. Battersby then put Skryne ahead for the first time since they got that early point. Skryne now had the scent of victory in their nostrils but Oldcastle weren’t finished yet and had a number of chances to level the match. However their shooting, which had been impeccable up to then, began to let them down. Skryne introduced what was probably the most inspired substitution this season and sent in David Ryan to full forward with just two minutes normal time left to play. However, the referee Liam O’Brien played a further three minutes injury time. With two of these gone Ryan fielded a very high ball about forty five meters from the Oldcastle goal and sent it straight between the posts. One minute later he again collected the ball way out from goal and sent another long range effort over to put Skryne three points up with added time now up. The final score was Skryne 0 – 12, Oldcastle 0 – 9. These two sides have yet to meet in the championship and what an enthralling match is in prospect.
Skryne: I.Gillette, D. Morley, M.Mulvaney, D Brennan, D. McGoldrick (2. 45,f), M. Harrington, N. Lenehan, A. Tuite, H. Rooney, P. Fox(1) M. Battersby (4), C O’Brien(1), B. Davis, I. Davis(1), K. Mulvaney. Subs: J. Jordan (1) for K.Mulvaney(39 min), Cian Byrne for I.Davis,(41min) Alan Carty for O’Brien (47 min), D Ryan(2) for B. Davis(58 min),
Referee Eamon Barry
Joseph O’ Brien