Ratoath 1-15 Simonstown 0-4
Ratoath hosted Simonstown in Round 3 of Division 1 of the AFL on Sunday, 11 February last.
With the weather causing havoc with national league fixtures, both sides were able to line out with their county stars. A decent crowd showed up on a bright but cold day with snow on the air. Ratoath got off to a positive start with Ben McGowan winning the throw in and knocking the ball down to his brother Daithi – this set the time for the game and indeed both McGowans were outstanding for the day.
Ratoath were dominant throughput the first half – county men Bryan McMahon and Eamon Wallace both very prominent and well supported by Connell Ahearne and the Rooney brothers. Ratoath’s young full back line were also impressive with Ryan Kelly and Ben Wyer benefiting from the presence of Conor McGill. Tenacious tackling from Ciaran O’Fearraigh and Brian O’Connor laid the foundation for some great counter attacks.
Ratoath scored 11 points – 9 from play in the first half, with Ahearne grabbing four and Wallace, McMahon and Conor Rooney adding 7 between them. Meantime the backs held the county champions to just one point!
Half time – Ratoath 0-11 Simonstown 0-1
Ratoath were again dominant in the second half and with Ben McGowan particularly impressive in midfield they should have scored more – several wides and a fine effort from Bryan McMahon, coming back off the crossbar, the score line could have been far worse for the county champions.
Simonstown managed 3 points in the second half, but with points from McMahon, Rooney and Wallace and a super goal from Bryan McMahon, Ratoath were to run out easy winners.
While the 4 county men were very strong for Ratoath, there were great performances from Ryan Kelly, Ben Wyer and the two McGowans in midfield – Connnell Ahearne with 4 points benefited from having Wallace and McMahon outside him.
Ratoath’s man of the match was Ben McGowan
Foireann Ráth Tó: Shane Duffy, Ryan Kelly, Conor McGill, Ben Wyer, Brian O’Connor, Brian Power, John Gillespie, Ben McGowan, Daithi McGowan, Conor Rooney (0-4), Gareth Rooney, Ciaran O’Fearraigh, Connell Ahearne (0-4), Bryan McMahon (1-4), Eamonn Wallace (0-3)
Fir Ionad: Brian Daly for Ahearne, Andrew Gerrard for Kelly, Paul Flaherty for Gareth Rooney, Nathan Dunne for McMahon