A hugely enjoyable occasion took place in Ratoath GAA, Brownstown last Saturday, 10th June. An over 35’s football match between club members from Dublin and Meath to raise money for the club MUGA (Multi Use Game Area), Ball Wall and Astro Pitches.
The occasion began with a parade of the 2 teams and juvenile club members carrying the flags of all 32 counties that are represented in Ratoath GAA, such is the diversity of the membership of our club.
Britain’s Got Talent semi finalist, and local girl, singer Leah Barniville then sang the national anthem before the game itself began at 5 o’clock.
A strong wind favoured the Dubs in the first half, but it was the Royals who drew first blood with a goal in the 5th minute from Alan Flanagan. Back came Alan Cooley’s charges with a goal of their own, with Mark Bizzell finishing to the net after fine saves initially from David Lumley.
The Royals though despite playing against the elements, had a lot of the possession and points from Sean Ryan and Ciaran Leneghan kept them in touch. Dublin were struggling for scores, but when they did more often than not, they raised green flags as Dave Byrne and Conor McAllister both found the net.
As a result the Sky Blues led at half time 3-2 to 1-5.
The second half saw Stan Gibney’s Royal’s take control with Ryan, Niall McGoldrick especially prominent. Points from Wayne Bracken and Simon Donnelly put the Meath men 2 points in front with 10 minutes to go and it looked highly probable that the Meath men would win out. Paul McDonnell and the Dubs had other ideas and it was he who pounced for a goal to put his side back in front. Indeed the Dubs had further opportunities to kill the game, but were left to rue these misses, as Philip Guckian stepped up to knock over the equalising free and the referee then blew the full time whistle. In the end a draw was a fair result with the replay set for September to decide once and for all who wins the Kevin Ducie cup.
The match was followed by a family BBQ and music in what was a fantastic day all round.
Dublin Paul McDonnell (1-0), Mark Bizzell (1-0), Dave Byrne (1-0), Conor McAlister (1-1), Brendan Kelly (0-1), Darren Ducie (0-1)
Meath Sean Ryan (0-5, 1 free), Alan Flanagan (1-2), Niall McGoldrick (0-2), Ciaran Leneghan (0-1), Philip Guckian (0-1), Wayne Bracken (0-1)