Ratoath 1-17 Dunboyne 0-8
The under 17 special football championship concluded on Wednesday night with an emphatic Ratoath victory over fellow border club Dunboyne.
Played on a dreary night in Dunganny, the game started frantically and it took both teams a while to settle. Dunboyne had the better of the opening exchanges but did not make this tell on the scoreboard. Two missed frees and a shot of the post saw good scoring chances go a begging for the men in black and yellow. At the same time Ratoath were finding it hard to make the ball stick up front and it was a good 10 minutes before Nathan Dunne scored the first point of the game with an excellent effort from out around the 45 that clipped the top of the bar going over. Fionn Murphy added a second with a fine right footed effort.
The sides then went on the exchange scores over the remainder of the half and a tense first period ended with Ratoath a point to the good at 5 points to 4.
The Ratoath management took their team to the dressing room at the break while Dunboyne remained on the pitch. Ratoath returned with two changes to their full forward line and whatever message the management had given the team had an immediate impact.
Ratoath dominated the game both territorially and possession wise and more importantly for them on the scoreboard. Daithi McGowan gave a majestic display at midfield and was well supported around the middle by Cian Kelly and Sean Johnson who had moved out from the full forward line. The changes had the effect of bringing Aaran McNally into the game more and his goal was the key score of the half! Tiarnan Ahearne, a sub at half time was very busy around the pitch and added 3 points and Adam Clarke likewise was a livewire causing the vaunted Dunboyne backline plenty of trouble.
Ratoath had scorers in Johnson, Rogers, Ahern, McGowan, Clarke and half back Adam Whelan. Ratoath totally dominated the second half scoring 1-12 to 4 points and were on top in the second period in all areas. Captain, Ben Wyer led by example from the back where he did a fine job of marking Dunboyne star Liam Byrne after his move into full forward. Wyer was well supported by Sean Brazil and Ruairi Crawford while the half back line of Padraic Byrne, Luke Newe and Whelan also came out on top in their personal battles.
Jack Flynn provided strong support to his half back and mid field colleagues and managed to get forward at key times. Cian Rogers continued his fine form from the Minor final but on this occasion it was Daithi McGowan who won man of the match and deservedly so.
Ratoath completed a fine Under 17 and Minor double in what has been an exceptional year for the clubs under age section. Congratulations to the Management and Team on a great year!