Ratoath 1-16 Kiltale 0-16

Ratoath’s Senior Hurlers took the prized scalp of reigning champions, Kiltale in winning this Round 4 clash on a warm afternoon in Pairc Tailteann, Navan. This victory was thoroughly deserved with Ratoath taking the game to their more favoured opponents right from the word go.

The game began with David O’Reilly’s charges on the front foot with points from Gavin McGowan (2), Cian Rogers, Bryan McMahon (2) giving their side an early lead, 0-5 to 0-3 with county star, Jack Regan registering each of Kiltale’s scores. Rogers, both from play and a free kept the score board ticking over while Padraig “Podge” O’Hanrahan, marked his return from injury with an excellent point from play. Regan continued to be his side’s sole scorer with another brace of points leaving the score 0-8 to 0-5 after 15 minutes. McGowan then slotted over his third point before a long delivery from O’Hanrahan found McGowan with only the goalkeeper to beat and he duly obliged with a shot to the back of the net. Ratoath were now 7 in front and with the backs on top Ratoath were taking full advantage of the strong breeze in the opening half. That said Kiltale had the better of the last 10 minutes with Regan getting a point but could have easily raised a green flag, but for an excellent save from goalkeeper, Colm O’Riordan. Kiltale’s Ronan Ryan added another but Ratoath still held a 5 point advantage at half time.

It was Kiltale who were first out of the blocks in the second half with 2 Regan frees followed by a point from play from Peter Durnin. Ratoath though still managed to keep their lead, which they would never relinquish, with 2 more classy points from McGowan. Ratoath now grew in confidence against the strong breeze and upped their intensity gaining further points from Podge, Rogers & McMahon to give their side a 5 point cushion with 15 minutes left. Regan’s frees continued to hurt Ratoath but still kept the 4 point lead as the game entered the last 5 minutes. Kiltale had threatened to score a goal all game, no more so than in the 65th minute when O’Riordan pulled off another fine save. Regan converted the resultant ’65, followed by a Ross Ryan point, but yet another point from man of the match McGowan eased Ratoath fans’ nerves and ultimately it was his goal that proved the difference between the sides.

Best for Ratoath were Gavin McGowan, Bryan McMahon, Niall McLarnon & Colm o’Riordan. This victory ensures they are through to the knock out stages with their next opponents Kilmessan in their last Group game.

Foireann Ráth Tó: Colm O’Riordan, Paddy Dowd, Cormac Butler, Niall McLarnon, Conor McGill, Dara Kelly, Ben McGowan, Jack McGowan, Padraig O’Hanrahan (0-2), Sean Johnson, Conleth McLarnon, Daithi McGowan, Bryan McMahon (0-3), Gavin McGowan (1-6), Cian Rogers (0-5)

Fir Ionad: Sean O’Hanrahan for Johnson, Tadhg McCann for Conleth McLarnon