SO here's to dear old Syddan,
And Syddan men of old
And all the brilliant wearers
Of the peerless 'green and gold'
Syddan's name on the Keegan Cup
Proudly we will fix
For they're the county champions
Of nineteen fifty six
THE Keegan Cup returned to Syddan after the north Meath men registered a thrilling victory in perfect weather conditions at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday, October 20th, before an attendance of 4,000.
Syddan had caused a major upset by beating Ballinlough in the semi-final. Skryne had qualified at the expense of St Peter's Dunboyne and entered the game as slight favourites for the Keegan Cup.
A masterstroke by Syddan and one which contributed a large measure to the success was the recall out of retirement of the great Paddy Meegan to fill the vacancy created by the absence of Seamus Duff, a victim of influenza.
Meegan, winner of All-Ireland medals in 1949 and 1954, had not lined out in two years but accounted for 1-3 of the winners tally. His appearance in the final came as a great surprise and he showed by his superb display that he had lost none of his crafty football ability in the interim. Apart from his contribution to the scoreboard Meegan also played a part in other Syddan scores.
Syddan got off to a flying start when Tom Duff scored a goal in the first minute. The Tara men replied with a goal and a point before Meegan restored the lead for Syddan with his sides second goal.
Another goal on the approach to half-time left Skryne leading 2-2 to 2-0 at the break.
The second half was three minutes old before Meegan scored his sides opening point and he then added another in reply to a Tom O'Brien point for Skryne.
It was level pegging at 2-3 apiece when Syddan struck for the decisive score.The move was started by Paddy Meegan and continued by his brother Eamonn and the ball was eventually finished to the net by substitute Tom Moore.
Skryne came back strongly in the closing stages but were repelled by a superb Syddan defence in which S McKenna, Mattie Maguire and F Clare were outstanding.
After the game Rev P Tully, chairman of the Co Board presented the Keegan Cup to captain Tommy Farrelly and congratulated Syddan on their victory 'and bringing back the magnificent trophy to where it came from.'
SYDDAN - Tom Duff; Mattie Maguire, Frank Clare, Sean McKenna; Tom Dillon, George Clare, Jem Cluskey 0-1; Tommy Farrelly, Phil O'Brien; Myles Clare, Eamonn Meegan, Tom Duff 1-0; Jimmy Gammons, Kevin Clare, Paddy Meegan 1-3. Sub: Tom Moore 1-0 for P O'Brien.
SKRYNE - T Murphy; E Swan, S O'Brien, J Farnan; N Collier, M O'Brien 0-2, Donal O'Brien; C O'Brien, T O'Brien 0-1; N Smyth, D O'Brien 0-2, S O'Brien 0-1; E Kenny 1-0, J Reilly, J Connor 1-0.