Junior A Football vs Ratoath

Junior A Football vs Ratoath
Sun, 15th February 2004
Result: 2.04 to 1.04

Revenge for the Meath Dublin four game epic of 91 was sweet when the Dublin lads (and I use that term loosely) came away with victory after venturing into hillbilly country in Ratoath of Meath yesterday. The Castleknock lads pulled into the main pitch of Ratoath and their fine clubhouse but we were informed that the match was actually to be played on another pitch down the road. It was understandable that they moved it as no one wants to see Dominic Smith taking massive divots out of a new pitch with his three point turns. With the two Reillys and Captain Barry missing, the Castleknock lads had a big job on their hands.

Anyway, the Castleknock boys got off to a lively start with Eoghan O’Callaghan leading the way from the middle. He’s some man to barge into a fella with ball in hand shouting ‘Ye boy ye’. A pass from Conal McBrearty to Gerry Kelly opened up the defence and Eoghan received the final pass to slot over from 25 yards for the opening score. The backs were putting the Ratoath boys under savage pressure. Denis Lally and Mark Mohan were the lynchpins ably supported by Donegal Paul and the Raff.

Ger Byrne reacted quickest to a breaking ball in the Ratoath defence and slipped the ball past the keeper for Castleknock’s opening goal. The Legend was lethal as always and Dom had the fire back in his belly. Well that’s what he called it. Halfway through the first half the Legend got pulled down in the square and a penalty was awarded. The keeper made a world class save from Kelly but Sniffer Leydon was on hand to bang in the rebound. The Legend rounded off a fine first half for Castleknock with a quality free.

Half time score: Ratoath 0-2 Castleknock 2-3

Castleknock found the going a lot tougher in the 2nd half as Ratoath threw on a few subs, a luxury the Castleknock boys couldn’t afford. They began to attack in droves but their shooting let them down due in no small measure to the amount of pressure being put on them by the Castleknock backs. Down the far end Castleknock were finding their route to goal a lot more difficult. Matters weren’t helped when Eoghan O’Callaghan went off injured after damaging his ankle.

Still, the likes of McBrearty and McKillen drove on manfully and Mark Mohan was cracking a few heads in the backs so Castleknock held on to their lead. Then, a swift Ratoath attack resulted in a forward bearing down on Martin Griffin. As the trigger was about to be pulled the Castleknock defenders crowded around the attacker. The referee blew his whistle and assumed the Jesus Christ pose in front of the Castleknock posts…penalty. The Ratoath lad made no mistake, finishing low and to the left, giving Griff no chance for heroics.

As the clock began to tick Ratoath were very much on top. But having gotten so close, it seemed that they were having trouble getting over the finishing line. In the last few minutes the men from the Royal gave a master-class in the art of hitting wides. Of course this is an art form that we in Castleknock have been known to excel at from time to time, but the Meathmen showed that from kicks of every angle, and from any distance it was indeed quite possible to miss them all.

The ref blew his whistle shortly after and Pat McKeown and Sean ‘Colm O’Rourke’ Carolan experienced their first win as mentors. Ballymun up next in the Cup on the artificial pitch next Sunday.

Scorers: Ger Byrne (1-0), Davy Leydon (1-0), Patsy McGinnell (0-3), Eoghan O’Callghan (0-1)

Team: Martin Griffin, Alan Raftery, Denis Lally, Ambrose Galligan, Donegal Paul, Mark Mohan, Peter McKillen, Eoghan O’Callaghan, Stephen Lynch, Ger Byrne, Gerry Kelly, Conal McBrearty, Patsy McGinnell, Dominic Smith, Davy Leydon,

Sub used: Fionán McDonagh