Ratoath through to second Meath SFC Final in a row
Meath Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Ratoath 1-14 Summerhill 1-09
By Jamie Ó Tuama at Páirc Tailteann, An Uaimh
Ratoath eased past Summerhill with a five-point win to book their place in their second county final in a row yesterday evening in Navan. They will now face the winners of Na Fianna and Gaeil Cholmcille who face off in today’s other semi-final.
Declan McCabe’s side were comfortable winners in the end despite a tough first half where they trailed by a single point at halftime.
Ratoath started the stronger and found themselves 2 points ahead after four minutes thanks to scores from Jack Flynn, Andy Gerard and Conor Rooney. Summerhill’s opening point came from David Larkin.
It was nip and tuck throughout the first half with Bryan McMahon and Cian O’Brien adding two scores each for Ratoath while two frees from Barry Dardis along with a point each from Conor Frayne and John Keane kept the score board ticking over for Summerhill.
The defining moment of the half came deep into injury time when Summerhill’s John Lavelle made a strong run through the middle that opened the Ratoath defence. When through on goal Lavelle was pulled down by Ben Wyer for a penalty. Wyer was sent to the sinbin while Dardis calmly slotted away the penalty to leave Summerhill a point ahead at the break.
Scór leathama: Cnoc an Línsigh 1-05 Ráth Tó 0-07.
Summerhill should have been further in front early in the second half but for wayward shooting that saw them record three wides in the opening six minutes of the half.
Ratoath soon settled down and equalised from a Conor Rooney free in the 38th minute but that was cancelled out by a fine point from play from Kevin Ryan moments later for Summerhill.
Ratoath began to take control, however, and rattled off the next three points including a beauty form Conor Rooney from 35 yards out, under the Páirc Tailteann stand.
Then, in the 45th minute, came a decisive moment in the game when Cian O’ Brien, while bearing down on goal for Ratoath, was dragged to the ground by Lavelle inside the penalty area. Lavelle was sent to the sinbin and Cian Rogers slotted away the penalty to leave Ratoath five points ahead with 15 to play.
Substitute, Connell Ahearne, Daithí McGowan and Bryan McMahon added scores for Ratoath while Dardis, with two points, along with a Diarmuid McCabe point off his left finished the scoring for Summerhill. Ratoath’s management team will be no doubt very pleased that their side’s scores came from 8 different players.
Ratoath now await the winners of this afternoon’s other semi-final to find out who they will face in the final in a fortnight’s time with a chance to win their second county championship in a row.
Scór deiridh: Ráth Tó 1-14 Cnoc an Línsigh 1-09
Scorers for Ratoath: Bryan McMahon 0-03 (3f), Conor Rooney 0-03 (1f), Cian Rogers 1-00 (1 pen), Jack Flynn 0-02, Cian O’Brien 0-02, Daithí McGowan 0-02, Andy Gerard, 0-01, Connell Ahearne 0-01
Scorers for Summerhill: Barry Dardis 1-04 (3f, 1pen), David Larkin 0-01, Conor Frayne 0-01, John Keane 0-01, Kevin Ryan 0-01, Diarmuid McCabe 0-01
Ráth Tó: Shane Duffy, Ciarán Ó Fearraigh, Conor McGill, Ben Wyer, Jack Gillespie, Gavin McGowan, Andy Gerard, Ben McGowan, Darragh Kelly, Daithí McGowan, Cian Rogers, Conor Rooney, Cian O’Brien, Bryan McMahon, Jack Flynn
Subs: Keith McCabe for Darragh Kelly (ht), Connell Ahearne for Cian O’Brien (52), Emmett Boyle for Jack Gillespie (54), Brian O’Connor for Cian Rogers (60), Jack McGowan for Cian O’Brien (60)
Cnoc an Línsigh: Tony McDonnell, Iarla Hughes, Ronan Ryan, John Lavelle, Jack Bannon, John Keane, Ross Ryan, Diarmuid McCabe, Michael Byrne, David Larkin, Liam Shaw, Kevin Ryan, David Dalton, Barry Dardis, Conor Frayne
Subs: Paul Larkin for Liam Shaw (55)
Ref: Cormac Reilly, St Marys