JHC final: Trim experience crucial

October 06, 2018

Trim's Kevin Lennon with Brian Daly Ratoath during the Meath JHC final at Pairc Tailteann

Backboned by experience, Trim went one better than last year in overcoming Ratoath in the JHC final at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday afternoon.

Trim ........... 0-20
Ratoath ....... 1-12
after extra time

Last year's runners-up prevailed after an additional 20 minutes was required to separate the sides. In scoring terms, Trim benefited from Joey Toole's 14-point contribution. Second in the scoring stakes for CJ Murtagh's men was James Andrews. 

Starting in place of listed full-back Darragh Kennedy, Andrews lined out in attack and posted three points in extra time as Trim outscored Ratoath by 0-7 to 0-2.

Trim responded well to the concession of an early goal, working their way into contention. The scores were tied six times before the team in red pushed on in extra time. 

While Toole and and Andrews posted 17 points between them, Trim owed much to vigilant defending that prevented Ratoath adding to their fifth minute goal. 

A diagonal breeze, sometimes crossfield, dominated the first 30 minutes. Consequently, the opening 10 minutes yielded just one score. Playing into the old swimming pool end, Ratoath were boosted by Brian Kiernan's fifth minute goal. 

Brian Daly and Gerard Brennan played supporting roles for that scores. Two Damien O'Meara frees moved the team in royal blue jerseys four points clear, 1-2 to 0-1, early in the second quarter. 

The experienced Joey Toole registered Trim's first four scores (the opening three from frees). It left CJ Murtagh's men just a point in arrears, 1-2 to 0-4, with a third of the hour gone. 

A Kevin Lennon point from play levelled matters for the first time 23 minutes in.  The remainder of the half yielded just one more score, a Brian Daly effort that left Ratoath 1-3 to 0-5 to the good at the break. 

Both sides resumed with one personal change apiece with the breeze favouring Trim for the second-half. Its diagonal nature inhibited any advantage it might offer.

The scores were tied six times over the hour, five after the break. Trim shaded the third quarter. With Jamie Hackett digging out Toole in the scoring stakes, the team in red moved two points clear , 0-11 to 1-6, by the 47th minute. 

Some excellent Trim defending denied Ratoath a second goal. Both sides hit the front for brief spells in the latter moments of regular time. 

Ratoath weren't found wanting, in normal or extra time, and saw to it that Trim didn't register a goal. 

Ratoath regained the lead with a 59th minute O'Meara free. In the first minute of added time Toole rescued Trim with a pointed free that left it 0-13 to 1-10 after the hour. 

Ratoath sub Tommy Cooper almost snatched the title for his side but his long range effort from the stand side was deemed wide at the town goal 

Trim - Paul Mullen; Cian Walsh, James Andrews (0-3), Karl Fleming; Gary Conroy, Jamie Lee, Padraig Payne; Rory McGrath, Jamie Hackett (0-2); Kevin Lennon (0-1), Joey Toole (0-14, 10fs), Stephen Doyle (C); Andy O'Brien, Leighton Massey, Patrick Lennon. Subs - Neil Cole for O'Brien (ht), Mark Murray for Lennon (37). Extra-time - Lennon for Massey (63), Sean Thornton for Cole (70)

Ratoath - Gavin Hattie; Donal McLarnon, Paul Kirwan, Sean Brazil; Aaron O'Flaherty, Turlough O'Neill, Pierce Butler; Luke Farrell, Brian Kiernan (1-0); Pauric Byrne (0-1), Paddy Coady, Brian Daly (0-2); Gerard Brennan, Damien O'Meara (0-8, 7fs), Shane McGoldrick. Subs - Sean Laffey for McGoldrick (ht), Paul Flaherty for O'Flaherty (44), Conal Ahearne for Brennan (49), Tommy Cooper for Farrell (55). Subs in extra time - Farrell for O'Neill (68), Mark Phelan (0-1) for Coady (70)

Referee - Martin Ennis (Na Fianna)

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