Played on a glorious evening for football, this was really an important game for both sides and it was the Seasiders that prevailed after a titanic battle, against a very good Ratoath side. Both teams were missing a host of players through Meath Senior and u20 involvement, as well as through injuries and holidays.
In the opening period whilst the home side had a huge amount of possession, they were not able to penetrate in any great way, a resolute defensive display by the Cilles. The opening half was a low scoring affair with the Cilles leading at half time 0-4 to 0-2, however the leaders were dealt two blows with both Cathal Hilliard and Stephen Emmett being forced off through injury.
The second half was much like the first period and the Cilles were dealt another blow, when Jeff Kavanagh after a great break and run up the field received a head injury when he was bearing down for a score, this injury resulted in the introduction of Brian Kelly. The Cilles went into a 0-8 to 0-5 lead through some excellent scores from Reynolds, O’Byrne and two excellent strikes from Lee Browne in his first start at this level. The Cilles were dealt another blow when they also lost Adam Lynch through injury. The closing stages saw Ratoath started to claw the game back and in injury time, the home side scored an equalizer to leave the sides tied at 0-9 each. However at the death, the Cilles prevailed and after a great ball in to the experienced Brian Kelly, he won the ball well and received a free which was some 45yards out, up stepped David O’Byrne and with great assurance and under huge pressure, he stroked over an excellent free to leave the Cilles one up. The resultant kick out, led to to the referees final whistle, much to the relief of the visitors.
St Colmcilles were always a threat when they attacked and both sides will look at the number of wides they had. The Seasiders defended resolutely over the hour and were very disciplined in defence. The Cilles welcome County Champions Simonstown to Piltown in the next round of the league.
A Beakey, J McDonnell, C Mullen, F Walsh, S Crilly, I Mullen, S Emmett, J Kavanagh, R McCloskey, A Lynch, D O’Byrne 0-3, E Woods, L Browne 0-2, C Hilliard 0-1, J Reynolds 0-4.
Subs: D Meagher for C Hilliard, J McElearney for S Emmett, B Kelly for J Kavanagh, S Emmett for A Lynch