Ratoath took on Wolfe Tones in the ACFL Division 1, Round 1 game on Saturday 28th January 11am
Ratoath started their life in division 1 with a trip to Kilberry to play the 2017 champions Wolfe Tones. With a strong wind blowing across the pitch and a heavy surface you would be excused for thinking this would be a poor game but that was not the case. Ratoath fielded a broadly inexperienced team, with several of lasts year’s 17’s team featuring. Conor Rooney started the scoring in the 2nd minute and Daithi McGowan added a second, 5 minutes later as Ratoath started well.
A Cian Ward free in the 13th minute got Tones off the mark, but Ratoath replied immediately with a Rooney point after good work by Ben McGowan and Andrew Gerrard. Ratoath were doing well at this point, but a poor turnover and some slack defending let Fiachra ward in for a goal that turned the tide of the game.
Caolan Ward pointed in the 21st minute, then more slack defending saw Fiachra Ward add his second major, and a Cian Ward point to put Tones in command. Fiachra Ward closed out the first half scoring and Tones went on at half time leading by 2-4 to 3 points.
The second half started with Cian Rogers scoring a point, but Tones responded within a couple of minutes, when O’Neill pointed – the first non-Ward Tones point! Keith McCabe scored a fine goal to hand Ratoath a lifeline. Management made a few changes and the move of Daithi McGowan to midfield paid dividends, with the debutant winning a number of clean catches.
Saran O’Fionnagain and O’Neill added points for Tones, while sub Nathan Dunne and Keith McCabe scored for Ratoath.
Fiachra Ward continued to be a thorn in the side for Ratoath and added 2 more points, while Cian Rogers rounded off Ratoath scoring with a point near the end.
Final score: Wolfe tones 2-10 Ratoath 1-7
Both teams were missing lads away with the county, but Ratoath were affected to a greater extent – and also missed several players through injury.
5 of last year’s under 17 team played for Ratoath and gained valuable experience. Ben Wyer was excellent for Ratoath and other good performances came from Jack Gillespie, Ben McGowan and Conor Rooney.
Shane Duffy, Ciaran O’Fearraigh, Daragh McGill, Ben Wyer, Andrew Gerrard, Brian O’Connor, Jack Gillespie, Ben McGowan, Keith McCabe (1-1), Gareth Rooney, Conor Rooney (0-2), Jack McGowan, Cian Roger (0-2), Daithi McGowan (0-1), Eoin McMahon
Nathan Dunne (0-1) for Gareth Rooney, Ryan Kelly for Jack McGowan, Brian Daly for Andrew Gerrard, James O’Brien for Eoin McMahon, Evan Donnelly for Jack Gillespie