It was a cold winter’s afternoon in Navan when Ratoath took on Clontibret of Monaghan in the AIB All Ireland Junior B Camogie Final.
This was not only a historic occasion for Ratoath to be in an All Ireland Final, but also to be playing in the Pairc Tailteann, the Sacred grounds usually reserved for the boys!
Ratoath got off to flying start winning a free in the first 30 seconds which was easily converted by Sinead Beagan. In fact the first 3 scores of the match were converted frees.
Áine McNerney was first to score from play in the 8th minute. Áine’s sister Sarah in the full back position pulled off a great save that would have been a certain goal chance for Clontibret.
The game changer came in the 14th minute when player of the match Áine McNerney sent in a high ball that dropped into the Clontibret goal. The goalie got her hand to it but dropped it and it ended in the back of the net, putting Ratoath ahead 1.4 to no score. It took 17 mins for the Monaghan girls to register their first score by their number 11, Marie Greenan. Ratoath pushed on and went into the break, 1-09 to 0-02 ahead.
In the second half, the Clontibret girls came out all guns blazing and limited Ratoath’s scores in the second half to just 3 points. They never gave up battling and this showed on the scoreboard. The day belonged to Ratoath, who ran out deserved winners of this final. The scoreboard at the end of the 60 minutes was Ratoath 1-12 Clontibret 0-03.
The Ratoath players all over the pitch worked extremely hard for one another. A special mention must be given to player of the match Áine McNerney, who was without doubt deserving of her player of the match award.
Honourable mention should go to Anna Brannigan who worked tirelessly throughout the match as well as getting herself on the scoreboard. Áine Cooke, despite carrying an ankle injury, never gave up and was a constant thorn in the Clontibret side. Ratoath goalkeeper Niamh O’Riordan also kept a clean sheet and was solid along with the whole full back line, especially Sarah McNerney who put in a super performance. Sinéad Beagan as usual was accurate for free taking. In general, every Ratoath player on the panel put in a stellar performance.
Congratulations to the management and each and every player on this brilliant achievement for Ratoath GAA.
Ratoath team: 1 Niamh O’Riordan 2. Orla Hayes 3. Sarah McNerney 4. Clodagh Griffiths 5. Chloe Faherty 6. Áine Cooke 7. Adrienne McCann 8. Anna Brannigan (0-01) 9. Emma McGill 10. Lauren McCann 11. Áine McNerney (1-01) 12. Eimear Griffiths 13. Sinéad Beagan (0-06f) 14. Fiona McNerney (0-02) 15. Niamh McLoughlin (0-01) 16. Lelia Byrne 17. Aisling O’Reilly 18. Emma McNerney (0-01) 19. Anna Fagan 20. Ruth Fagan 21. Sarah McLoughlin 22. Hannah Talbot 23. Karen Hayes 24. Ciara McCabe 25. Ann McIntyre 26. Louise Gaffney 27. Amy Gaffney 28. Alex Doyle
Photos courtesy of Ratoath GAA facebook page.