Ratoath emerged victorious in winning this closely fought hurling championship encounter against Clann Na nGael in Pairc Tailteann, Navan on Sunday 30 August. Although it was the Athboy men who got the first score Ratoath made the better start with points from play from Ben McGowan, Tom Fadden, along with frees from Darragh Kelly and Padraig O’Hanrahan putting their side into a 4 points to 2 after 10 minutes. A Kelly free put Ratoath further ahead before Clann Na nGael began their period of dominance and were the better team for the rest of the half. A couple of long range points drew them level with Ratoath and despite Kelly’s continued accuracy from frees, the Athboy outfit went two points clear right up to half time. That said, a key turning point of the game was the sending off of one of Athboy’s players, so despite the 11 points to 9 deficit at the interval, it was the Ratoath side who were favourites come the second half.
RÁTH TÓ 0-17 CLANN NA NGAEL 0-13
More drama ensued shortly after half time, as Clann Na Gael were awarded a penalty with the shot hitting the cross bar and the subsequent rebound missed. A let off for Eamonn Ryan’s charges then and from that moment on they made full use of the extra man. With the defence, notably Conor Ward and Brian Murphy playing solid and midfield on top that included inter county football star, Conor McGill in fine form, Ratoath gradually wore their opponents down. Points from Tom Fadden, substitute Conleth McLarnon and Kelly put daylight between the sides and though Clann Na nGael continued to battle till the end Ratoath were full value for their 4 point win.
Foireann Ráth Tó: Donal Ryan, Paddy Dowd, Brian Murphy, Sean McCann, Cormac Butler, Darragh Kelly (0-10 8f, 1 65, 1 from play), Conor Ward, Bobby O’Brien, Conor McGill, Tom Fadden (0-3), Ben McGowan (0-1), Sean O’Hanrahan, Padraig O’Hanrahan (0-2), Niall Murphy, Jack McGowan
Fir ionad: Conleth McLarnon (0-1) for Padraig O’Hanrahan, Sean Keogh for Niall Murphy