Exclusive Report From North Leinster Final RC SPORTS Presenter: Shane Mc Goldrick Camera Crew: Jack Reid Managers: Mr Mooney, Mr Farrell,Mr óheocaidh Date: 3/02/17 Article By: Shane Mc Goldrick
- North Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘C’ Football Championship Final
Ratoath College . . . . . . 4-12 Moyne Community School . . . . . 2- 16 (After Extra-Time)
As soon as this final was announced for a Friday night, players, managers and spectators knew something special was in store and the game certainly did not disappoint. Spectators flocked to the Dunganny Centre of Excellence in Trim Co. Meath to watch Ratoath College take on Moyne Community School in the North Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘C’ Football Championship Final.
Ratoath’s men started the slower and were trailing by four points with 8 minutes played with Moyne scoring a goal and a point in quick succession. Ratoath quickly snapped out of the slump they were in and Sean Keogh opened Ratoath’s account for the night with a fantastic point just inside the Moyne 45 metre line. Meath Inter-County Minor footballer Connell Ahearne quickly followed up on Keogh’s point with a strike off his left foot that glided over the black spot.
Moyne cancelled out both of Ratoath’s points by going up the pitch and scoring a brace of points leaving the Ratoath men trailing by 5 points. A well placed kick-out by Darragh Mc Partlin set up Ratoath with a fast-paced attack which led to Ratoath’s first goal of the night by the skilful Nathan Dunne who faked a shot sending the Moyne goalkeeper and corner back the wrong way leaving Dunne with a simple tap in.
Ratoath’s attacking style of football was proving difficult for Moyne to handle and this led to Connell Ahearne being fouled in the small box and the referee’s whistle blew for a penalty. The cool, calm and collected Conor (Sully) O’Sullivan stepped up and slotted the penalty with confidence.
Sean Johnson used his strength to brush aside two Moyne players and stick a beauty of a point with his left leg from an almost impossible angle but managed to slot it between the two posts. Unfortunately for Ratoath they could not capitalise on this momentum and Moyne scored a hat trick of points and Moyne led by a point at the close of the first half.
HALF TIME SCORE
Ratoath College……. 2-3 Moyne Community School……. 1-7
The second half began just where the first ended, fast-paced, skilful, simple football. A riveting start to the second half saw both Ratoath and Moyne trade blows to each other as both teams scored 3 points apiece and Ratoath were still down by a point midway through the second half. Both teams playing both attacking and defensively good football nearly complementing each-others capabilities. A series of misses by Ratoath seemed like it wasn’t going to end well for the South Meath School and ghosts of past North Leinster final loses began to creep in on the sideline but the Ratoath men proved why they deserved to be in this final and kept their heads. As both teams began to grow tired frees became to be a big part of the closing 10 minutes of the second half with Connell Ahearne from the right and Sean Keogh from the left adding points through frees for Ratoath. Luke Farrell also kept Ratoath’s score ticking over.
With 5 minutes to go Sean Keogh levels the score from a tight angle with a fantastic strike on the left side of the pitch. With a minute left to play Ratoath won the kick-out and the ball is passed into the hands of Connell Ahearne and in stylish fashion places the ball over the bar for Ratoath to go up by a point with seconds remaining and the Ratoath supporters let out a roar of joy and excitement. Moyne get the ball back in play quickly and get up the pitch only to kick the ball away to a Ratoath man, Ratoath play the ball around the edge of the ‘D’ and a Ratoath man gets called for travelling with the ball after taking more than 4 steps with the ball in the eyes of the referee.
A confident Moyne player who converted a number of frees throughout the game stood over what would be the decisive kick of the game as Moyne equalised to send the game to extra time.
As Ratoath players and managers gathered in a huddle to get water on board and for the 3 Ratoath Managers: Mr. Mooney, Mr O’hEochaidh and Mr. Farrell gave inspiration and words of wisdom to the lads for the 20 minutes of extra time to come.
.Full Time Score:
Ratoath College…….2-9 Moyne Community School……..1-12
Exclusive Match Report Below
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Extra Time As the first period of extra time began Ratoath seemed to be the fresher and want the game more with Conor O’Sullivan getting the first score of extra time. O’Sullivan followed the point by the goal of the game that some say he was going for a point but a wonderfully executed shot by O’Sullivan dipped over the Moyne goalkeepers head just below the crossbar for Ratoath to 4 points clear of the Longford Side. The celebrations didn’t last long for Ratoath as Moyne went up the pitch and received a penalty after a Darragh Mc Partlin tackle where he came out with the ball was deemed a foul, a harsh call as the tackle was viewed as a legitimate tackle by the Ratoath sideline. Mc Partlin was sent the wrong way by the Moyne player and could do nothing about the penalty but this was the only hitch in a near flawless game by the Ratoath keeper.
Both teams exchanged points before the end of the first period as the whistle blew.
The second period began and as expected both teams were beginning to fatigue and this was clearly seen when Sean Johnson had to be carried off the pitch as he has cramps in both legs. Johnson received a large round of applause as the crowd acknowledged Johnson’s outstanding effort throughout the whole game, covering nearly every blade of grass. Johnson was replaced by Peter Barry in the 73rd minute
Both teams were suffering largely due to fatigue yet this didn’t diminish the standard of play seen in normal time as the standard of football was still fantastic. In the 75th minute Nathan Dunne was replaced by Ian Battersby.
Ratoath was under large pressure in defence but a counter attack by Ratoath and high ball launched up into the Moyne square saw 3 Moyne players and Ian Battersby to contest for the ball and all 3 Moyne players came down and hit the ground hard while Battersby converted the winning goal for Ratoath in amazing fashion.
But the game wasn’t over yet, Moyne got the ball as far as Ratoath’s 21 metre line and Ratoath conceded a free in the dying seconds of the game. All 15 of Ratoath’s players crowded the line as a Moyne player blasted the ball as hard as he could in a last stitch effort to win the game, to no success, Daithi McGowan put his body on the line to save the ball from the goal in heroic fashion and managed to come out with the ball and kicked the ball as high and as far as he could. When the ball was fired up into the air the referee blew the final whistle and Ratoath were Leinster Champions. Ratoath’s bench unloaded as fast as the schools canteen runs out of food on a Friday as the joyous celebrations began for Ratoath. Mr. Mooney, Mr. Farrell and Mr. O’hEochaidh hugged and jumped up and down in celebration, some described that scene as an ‘aww moment’.
Team Captain Connell Ahearne accepted the plaque for Ratoath and thanked Moyne, The Ref, Dunganny, the players and most importantly the 3 managers for the amount of work and effort they’ve put into the team.
Ratoath College march on to the Leinster semi-final in 4 weeks time
Full Time Score After extra Time Ratoath College………..4-12 Moyne Community School…….2-16
RATOATH COLLEGE: Darragh McPartlin; Luke Newe, Ben Wyer, Simon Barry; Ruairi Crawford, Daithi McGowan, Padraic Byrne; Conor O’Sullivan (2-1, one from penalty), Luke Farrell (0-1); John Walsh, Connell Ahearne (0-4, 2f), Andrew Gerard; Sean Johnson (0-1), Sean Keogh (0-5,3f), Nathan Dunne (1-0).
Subs used: Peter Barry (63 mins) and Ian Battersby(1-0) Jack Flynn, Jake Mc Govern