St. Colmcilles GAA Club, Pairc Ui Rís, Piltown, Bettystown, Co Meath 0877441731

Match Report – Minor Championship Round 3 Division 1

St Colmcilles     4-05

Ratoath              2-10

St Colmcilles GFC Meath Football Gaelic Vs RATOATH GFC

In a highly competitive group with all teams tied on two points after two rounds of matches, the third round clash between St Colmcilles & Ratoath in Piltown was effectively a Championship Quarter final with the winner progressing to the semi-finals. In fact, the group was so close that a draw would suffice for Ratoath as their score difference was superior to that of the Cilles by a solitary point.

There have been many great clashes between these two rivals since they first started playing competitive football with very little between the teams on almost all occasions over the years. There was a sizeable crowd in Piltown to witness another thrilling encounter between the sides.

In front of their vocal home support, and against the wind, the seasiders hit the ground running with a goal from distance by David Bell after four minutes getting his team off to the best possible start. A Ross Molloy fisted goal followed and St Colmcilles were 2.01 to no score ahead before Ratoath had their first point on thirteen minutes. A further goal for St Colmcilles was answered almost immediately by a Ratoath finish to the net and the visitors tacked on four more points to one reply before the break to leave three between the sides – 3.02 to 1.05 at the interval.

With wind advantage in the second half, St Colmcilles looked poised to kick on after the break. After, nine minutes however, two Ratoath points had brought the margin back to one point before Cilles replied with a score of their own. A Ratoath equaliser was followed by a Luke Newe goal that saw his team in front for the first time in the game. With ten minutes to go and with Ratoath very much in the ascendancy, it now looked as though the game had swung decisively in their favour. This St Colmcilles team however have been through many battles in the past and successfully dug out results, and this character and experience showed as they engineered a David Bell goal with the same player calmly slotting a further free soon after to bring the game back to level scores. A very quick piece of thinking from Ross Molloy saw him somehow fist the ball over the bar despite being surrounded by Ratoath players to put the Cilles lads one ahead with normal time up.

Ratoath launched one final attack and the tension was palpable around the ground as they were awarded a free from distance deep into injury time. The free was excellently struck by Jack Flynn into the wind and looked to be going over for a score that would put his team in the semi-finals. Unfortunately for Ratoath and much to the relief of the large Cilles support, the ball drifted in the wind and struck the upright, going wide to leave the St Colmcilles side one point winners and through to the knockout stages. An excellent Ratoath team will be disappointed that they didn’t take something from the game, but with Donaghmore Ashbourne defeating the St Ultans/Cortown/Round Towers combination, Cilles top the group by virtue of their head to head result with Don/Ash.

St Colmcilles will now play Navan O’Mahonys in Piltown on Monday 1st October in the second of the minor championship semis. The Cilles management and players will know full well that a much better all-round performance will be required on the night to beat an O’Mahonys side that have posted large scores in their group wins over Simonstown and Trim.

St Colmcilles Squad:

Stephen Breen, David Bell, Stefan Bors, Luke Brady, Gary Burke, Brian Butler, Cathal Butler, Sean Collier, Hugo Collins, Ewan Coughlan, Daniel Doyle, Jamie Duffy, Endy Ehichoya, Cian Flynn, Ruairi Hanlon, Mark Harris, Oran Kinch, Aaron Lynch (Capt), Sean Paul Maloney, Adam McCabe, Ross Molloy, Sean O’Donoghue, Ferdia Quigley, Matthew Weir, Ciaran White, Ben Wilde

Match Report: Denis Collins

Photography: Brian Mulligan