Seaford squandered their chance at promotion with a terrible run of form in the springtime, spoiling what had looked to be a promising season.
The side had only avoided the drop on the final day of the previous campaign, but a hard-fought win over St Vincent's Hospital on the opening day made for the perfect start, even if it was followed up by an unlucky defeat at home to CIE Ranch. Back=to-back wins over Lucan United - courtesy of a stunning Andy Roe winner - and Dunboyne put the side in good shape ahead of a series of cup ties in September.
There were mixed fortunes in penalty shoot-outs against higher-ranked opponents, as Seaford took the scalp of Tolka Rovers one week, but were beaten on spot kicks by Bangor Celtic the next, and later in the season they would suffer the same feat after a brave display away at Booth Road Celtic in the Ryan Cup.
There was a wobble in league form, with poor Seaford performances punished by ruthless finishing in defeats against Inchicore and Beggsboro, but the side bounced back with a terrific spell of fprm in the winter, drawing with runaway leaders St Kevin's Boys, before narrow home wins over Verona, Kinamanagh and Dundrum were followed by another on the road at Dunboyne.
But then things went off the rail badly. Leading away against nearest rivals Inchicore, Seaford missed a couple of glorious chances to kill the game off and the home side battled back to win it late one. Alan Burns's team were still in good shape, but their margin for error was further eroded by a defeat at Verona, and disappointing draws against relegation battling Dundrum and Vincents,
It meant that the trip to Kilnamanagh was vital for Seaford, but the west Dublin outfit were comprehensive winners on the day, and another abject defeat at home to Lucan was the final nail in the coffin, even if some pride was restored by a decent display in defeat at champions Kevins, and by a final-day thrashing of Beggsboro that finally ended the winless streak.
Majors Matches 2018/19
Majors Statistics 2018/19
Seaford’s Premiers overcame a difficult start to the campaign to finish strongly and secure a top-half finish.
The odds were stacked against Seaford going into the 2018/19 season. Not only had they been promoted to Saturday Premier 1 as part of a restructure despite having finished just sixth in Division 3 the previous time out, but there had been a major change of personnel with most of the regular starters from the previous year having moved on, and a new manager in place in Eoin Dunne.
And it was a baptism of fire for Dunne, as the early part of the season could scarcely have gone any worse. The opening day saw a desperately unlucky defeat against neighbours Blackrock College, with Seaford fighting back from two down to take an unlikely lead courtesy of Carl Doyle’s quickfire hat-trick, only to finish the match with ten men due to a nasty injury to Robbie Murray, which would keep him out of action for the rest of the year, and eventually concede a late winner. Heavy defeats to Tymon Bawn and Lorcan Celtic followed, and it seemed as if Seaford would have their work cut out to stay in the division.
But it transpired that their first three opponents would go on to form the top three at the end of the season, and results soon improved. The side cut loose with a comprehensive home win over Rivervalley Rangers, before showing their grittier side by eking out a dramatic late win away at Lorcan, Shane McNamara netting the winner. A heavy defeat to East Wall Rovers set the team back again, but they bounced back with consecutive wins over Pegasus St James and Parkvale in November.
Seaford were still very much in the relegation battle at the halfway point, as both East Wall and Blackrock completed the double over them in Rockfield Park, but performances were significantly improving, and indeed the team wouldn’t taste defeat in league play for the rest of the season.
A four-game winning streak either side of Christmas was just the boost the side needed. Ryan Scollard led the rout of Balbriggan with a hat-trick, a feat matched by Harry Crowe in the cup win at East Wall, before Seaford finally got a modicum of revenge over Blackrock in the Rockfield Cup, and a Chris Monk goal earned victory over Rivervalley. Cup defeat at Esker Celtic was the blot on the copybook, but consecutive draws against Castleknock Celtic ensured safety mathematically, with the team then leapfrogging Balbriggan and Pegasus in the table in the final fortnight to secure fifth spot.
Mathew Sheehan was a standout player for the team, the youngster starring in midfield or at right back – and occasionally even as an emergency centre half – in his debut season for the club. Scollard also had a superb campaign, finishing with an extraordinary tally of nine goals and six assists from just seven appearances, while veteran keeper Robbie Moran was crucial in the team’s turnaround in fortunes after Christmas
Premier Matches 2018/19
Premiers Stats 2018/19