Football U21 Championship

Bhulf Ton 1  10 Ratoath 2  08

Skryne,  19 Oct 18

Bhi an bua beagnach bainte amach ag Bhulf Tón  ach chuir cúl ag an deireadh ag  Rath Tó deireadh lena ríocht sa chomórtas seo.

Wolfe Tones lost this game right at the death when what seemed like a harmless free from Ratoath from 35 metres crept inside the upright to gift them an unlikely goal when it looked like Tones had done enough. Tones were two points ahead when the free was awarded and after this body blow were unable to launch a late attack which might has given them something from the game as Ratoath played “keep ball “to run down the two remaining minutes. Tones had lost influential defender Daniel O Neill in the 53rd minute and his steadying presence was missed for the reminder of the game as Tones reshuffled the team to mitigate his loss. In truth this was a game that seemed to be going Tones way as they had overcome a six point deficit at the end of the first quarter when the scoreboard read Wolfe Tones 0  03 Ratoath 1  06, all of the Tones scores at that stage coming from Thomas Blaney. However Wolfe Tones had a great second quarter with Padraic Diamond and Charlie Mc Garry gaining parity in mid field. Thomas O Reilly saw his goal effort go narrowly wide after a trademark mazy run in the 18th minute. The same player was fouled on a number of occasions as Ratoath conceded six frees which all led to scores, three each from Thomas O Reilly and Thomas Blaney. Ratoath lost their centre-back Peter Barry as he received a yellow card followed by a black just before half time. The teams were level at half time 0  09 to 1  06 and Tones had a numerical advantage to come in the second half.                                                                                                                                                                                        As so often happens it was the team with fourteen men who played the better football in the second half and Ratoath made the better start, hitting the side netting with a goal effort and scoring a point within a minute of the restart. The game swung in the Tones favour when Charlie Mc Garry was fouled close to the Ratoath goals with Thomas O Reilly converting the resultant penalty. Gearóid O'Brien added a point minutes later when his audacious chip just crept over the crossbar. Wolfe Tones 1  10 Ratoath 1  07 after 43 minutes. Remarkably Wolfe Tones had only one further scoring effort, a Saran O Fionnagáin effort in the 46th minute from distance which drifted wide. Ratoath were always dangerous and actually hit five second half wides but were making little headway against a solid Tones defence. A converted free left them two points adrift before the fortuitous goal at the end gave them the unexpected victory and atoned for their loss to the same opposition after extra time in the final last year. This ends a remarkable run for the Tones as it will be the first time in five years that they won’t contest an U21 final. Although the Gibbstown Kilberry men will rue the late goal they can look to the fact that with the extra man they failed to press that advantage home in the second half, managing only two scores and only four scoring attempts in total in the second half, often choosing the wrong options in attack and squandering many good counter attacks. This was in contrast to their exciting attacking play in the second quarter. Although they lost out in the end Tones played with great skill and commitment and showed great spirit to reel in that six point deficit. They had excellent contributions from Thomas Blaney and Thomas O Reilly particularly in the first half. Padraic Diamond and Charlie Mc Garry won their fair share of possession in midfield while the six defenders did very well throughout excellently led by Eanna O Kelly Lynch and Daniel O Neill.

Wolfe Tones: Like Condi, Gearóid O Brien (0  01), Daniel O Neill, Robert White, Alan Lynam, Éanna O Kelly Lynch, Mark Mc Fadden, Padraic Diamond, Charlie Mc Garry, Oisín Corrigan, Thomas O Reilly ( 1  03), Jake Mc Fadden, Thomas Blaney (0  06), Sarán O Fionnagáin, Ríoghan Mac Ghinneartaí. Subs: Matthew Melady for Ríoghan Mac Ghinneartaí (HT), Iarlaith O Kelly Lynch for Jake Mc Fadden (50), Rowan Murray for Daniel O Neill (53).