Cilles See Off Ratoath in U17 Div1 League Opener
St Colmcilles 3.12
The eagerly awaited first round minor league clash of old rivals St Colmcilles and Ratoath took place in the unfamiliar surrounds of Gormanston College on Saturday 10th February. As the Ratoath pitches were deemed unplayable on Saturday morning, the College facilities were made available at short notice to fulfil the fixture.
Having had a number of close encounters over the years, this game was expected to be another tight affair and didn’t disappoint in that regard. The strong Ratoath squad arrived in determined mood to reverse the series of losses in recent years to this Cilles side, and from the off a number of robust challenges set the tone for the entire game. The first half ebbed and flowed with some fine scores from each side, with the pick of the bunch a flowing end to end St Colmcilles move which saw Ewan Coughlan finish to the back of the Ratoath net. The St Colmcilles full forward was causing trouble for the Ratoath defence at this stage and both teams exchanged further goals before the break as a Fionn Murphy goal for Ratoath was responded to in kind by Ferdia Quigley. A keenly contested half finished with the seasiders in front by two points on a scoreline of 2.05 to 1.06.
The second half continued in the same vein, with little between the sides. The Cilles received a number of setbacks losing full back Hugo Collins to injury and both midfielders Endy Ehichoya and Luke Brady. However, the strength of the squad was demonstrated as replacements Mark Harris, Jack McQuail and Sean Collier ably deputised. Less than ideal conditions allied to the competitive rivalry between both sides ensured a very physical second half throughout. Referee Andrew Lenehan had to brandish a number of cards after the break but overall did well to keep proceedings under control. With the Cilles maintaining their lead as the game entered the final phases, Ratoath struck for goal to level the contest. However, this St Colmcilles side again showed the character that won them U16 double titles last year as a well worked attack saw Jack McQuail coolly finish to the back of the Ratoath net. A determined final rearguard effort by the Cilles saw the game deservedly finish in their favour by three points.
Overall this was another great St Colmcilles team performance with all players playing their part, however David Bell deserves special mention for his second half shooting display despite some very close attention from a number of Ratoath markers.
Next up for the Cilles lads are Navan O’Mahonys (also first round winners vs Senchalstown) who travel to Piltown on Saturday 24th February.
Daniel Hatch, Adam McCabe, Hugo Collins, Gary Burke, Oran Kinch, Ruairi Hanlon, Stephen Breen, Luke Brady, Endy Ehichoya, Cian Flynn, Aaron Lynch, David Bell, Ewan Coughlan, Ross Molloy, Ferdia Quigley, Mark Harris, Jack McQuail, Ciaran White, Sean Collier, Brian Butler, Matthew Weir
David Bell 0.07 (0.02f), Ewan Coughlan 1.01, Ferdia Quigley 1.01, Jack McQuail 1.00, Ross Molloy 0.02, Ruairi Hanlon 0.01