Bhulf Ton 2-11
On a perfect evening for football Ratoath exploited the wide open spaces of Páirc Tailteann to run out convincing winners in this 4th round SFC game. Short a number of key players through illness and injury Tones soaked up some early pressure and led 0-4 to 0-2 after the first quarter. Cian Ward, Sarán O Fionnagáin, Éanna O Kelly Lynch and Alan Callaghan all hitting the target for the Tones, Callaghan's being a superb point off the outside of his right boot from underneath the stand following a fine run. The Wallace brothers were a constant threat and had accounted for Ratoath's opening scores, both fine solo efforts. Ratoath's Cian O Brien reduced the arrears with a point in the 20th minute. Joey Wallace goaled shortly afterwards followed by a point from Eamonn to leave Ratoath 1-4 to 0-4 ahead by the 24th minute. Ratoath's second goal from Conall Ahearne almost immediately left Tones in serious trouble. Cian Ward added a free for the Tones in the 27th minute but Ratoath had the last two points of the half to lead by 0-5 to 2-6 at the interval.
Tones needed a good start to the second half and almost got it. A quickly taken free by Cian Ward found Stephen Sheppard who was pulled down as he headed for goal. Well-founded penalty claims were denied by the referee who awarded a 14 yard free after consulting with his umpires, which was converted by Ward. Ratoath went on a scoring spree and added 5 points in as many minutes. Tones needed a spark and got it as a long Niall O Reilly ball was gathered by Stephen Sheppard on the edge of the square. Sheppard pivoted and rifled to the net. Ratoath however replied with a goal almost immediately and the mini revival was over. Ratoath now led 3-11 to 1-6. Tones playing with their trademark spirit refused to yield and added four points, two each from Sarán O Fionnagáin and Cian Ward. Sarán's first point came as he flicked on a high ball which almost ended in the net. Stephen Sheppard goaled as he gathered a short kick out from the Ratoath keeper. Tones were now 5 points adrift and sensed they still might get something from the game. Ratoath however closed the door firmly with 1-1 in the dying minutes as Tones pushed everyone forward. Tones face Rathkenny in the final round and need a win to qualify for the knockout stages.
Bhulf Tón: David Nolan; Eoghan Harrington, Shane Glynn, Conor Sheppard; Brúghach Ó Fionnagáin, Éanna O Kelly Lynch (0-1), Niall O Reilly; Stephen Corrigan, Alan Callaghan (0-1); Gary Mc Fadden, Cian Ward (0-6, 4f), Cian O Neill; Stephen Sheppard (2-0), Sarán O Fionnagáin (0-3), Fiachra Ward.