2003 Feis Cup Final
Syddan created a little bit of history by becoming the only intermediate team ever to win the Feis Cup following an emphatic success over Skryne in the decider at Pairc Tailteann. The north Meath club were bridging a gap of over half a century in the competition and the big surprise wasn’t so much that they defeated the Tara men – one of the top senior teams in the county – but the ease with which they achieved it. The triumph was greeted with considerable joy by the big-sized Syddan travelling support and it was clear from an early stage that the players possessed the necessary hunger to have a serious go at beating their senior opponents who were without Trevor Giles and Mick O’Dowd. Syddan were well on their way to victory after establishing a 1-6 to 0-1 interval lead. Midfielder Brian Dillon produced a terrific opening half display as he posted an impressive tally of five points, four of which came from play. He gave his side the lead after three minutes and shortly afterwards Paddy Skelly and Trevor Gilsenan were involved in the build-up, before full-forward Philip Duff fired a powerful shot to the Skryne net. Syddan were well on their way at that stage and Shay Duff followed up with a superb long range point as the highly inspirational Dillon made a telling contribution around the half-way line. Skryne’s only score of the first-half was a point from wing-forward Felim O’Rourke and, with Dillon leading the way in the scoring stakes, Syddan went on to hold that clear-cut eight-point advantage at the change of ends. Favourites Skryne were expected to rally in the second period, but Syddan never looked in danger of surrendering their strong position and they limited the Tara men to just three points after the break. Allan Carty did notch the first score of the second-half for Skryne, but the fact that Syddan outscored them by 2-1 to 0-2 subsequently demonstrated that the men in green and gold had absolutely no intention of capitulating. The destination of the Feis Cup was well and truly decided seven minutes after the restart when Gilsenan sent in a cross from the left and Philip Duff fisted the ball past Skryne goalkeeper Cillian McManus for Syddan’s second goal. Then to crown a memorable day for Harry Carolan’s side Eamonn Maguire punched a third goal and Dillon added his sixth point for good measure.
SYDDAN – Trevor Dardis; Damien McGillick, Thomas Dillon, Sean Malone; James Farrelly, Miley Byrne, Ian Curran; Brian Dillon 0-6, Stephen Dillon; Noel McGillick, Shay Duff 0-1, Eamonn Maguire 1-0; Paddy Skelly, Philip Duff 2-0, Trevor Gilsenan. Subs – Pauric Young for Maguire, Derek Young for Byrne, Joey Dillon for S Duff, Luke Halpenny for N McGillick.