Feis Cup. Group B – Round 7. Skryne 2-10 Ratoath 2-12

Ratoath cling on for a narrow victory 

Skryne 2-10 Ratoath 2-12

Feis Cup. Group B – Round 7

The big story before this game was the return of Liam Harnan to the position of Banisteoir for Skryne, a position he last held when he lead Skryne to their most recent Keegan Cup victory in 2010. The Meath legend will have fond memories of his last stint as Manager of Skryne, but may have been having second thoughts about his decision to take the job in the early stages of tonight’s final Feis Cup match when Ratoath took a stranglehold of the game and dominated the opening quarter racking up a total of 1-6 to 0-2 by the time the game reached the first water break, the goal coming from Tom Fadden who fisted home after the ball was centred to him from the left hand side following a Cian O’Brien run through the middle of the Skryne defence.

However, Skryne began to find their feet in the second quarter when they outscored Ratoath by 1-02 to 0-02 to reduce the deficit to just four points at half time. The scores came from the dangerous Niall Finnerty who got the first of his two goals when he raced in from the right hand side and planted the ball past Ratoath goalkeeper Darragh McPartlin. A pointed free from Padraig Finnerty and a fine point from play from Darragh Campion who showed signs of a return to his best form, ensured Skryne kept in touch at half time. Skryne 1-04, Ratoath 1-08.

Skryne were dealt with a hammer blow early in the second half when a Skryne defender hauled down a Ratoath player inside the penalty area. Ratoath made no mistake with the penalty and also added two more points without a reply from Skryne. With the gap now out to nine points, Skryne had a mountain to climb to try and salvage anything from this game. The excellent Campion kicked things off with two fine points from play. Niall Finnerty(a free) and Shane Smyth added two more. Des McAvinney was called upon to make a superb save from Cian O’Brien who escaped the attention of the Skryne defence and launched a rocket towards the Skryne goal. Des managed to paw the shot out for a 45. Jack Flynn stepped up to convert the 45 as Ratoath looked to stem the tide. Mark Battersby continued Skryne’s comeback with a point just before the water break. The score at the second half water break was Skryne 1-09, Ratoath 2-11.

Skryne’s intensity in the second half was a huge factor in the improvement of their performance. A Padraig Finnerty free saw Skryne edge closer. Skryne’s intensity was displayed at it’s finest in the run up to their goal when a trio of Skryne players managed to dispossess a Ratoath man on the midfield line out near the dressing room sideline. As the ball ran loose, Darragh Campion ran onto it and chipped the ball up into his hands before galloping forward at the Ratoath defence. As he approached the Ratoath penalty area, he slipped the ball to Niall Finnerty who had found space to the left hand side of the penalty area. Finno showed his usual composure and drilled the ball past the Ratoath keeper into the far side of the net. Skryne were now within a point of Ratoath and looked like they could pull victory from the jaws of defeat. However, despite desperate attempts, they were thwarted by the Ratoath defence who just about held them off. Jack Gillespie managed to tack on an insurance point for Ratoath as the game reached a conclusion to leave the final score. Skryne 2-10, Ratoath 2-12.

Both teams were missing a number of key men for this game and both Managers will be happy with the contribution of the younger players. Neither team were in contention for the final stages of the competition, but they nevertheless served up a very entertaining and competitive game of football. Liam Harnan and his new selectors Aidan Tuite and Vinny Reilly will have been pleased with the grit and determination shown in the second half and will need to harness this as they embark on their Championship campaign in a few weeks time. 

Skryne:  Des McAvinney; Kristoffer Kinsella, David Carroll, Eoghan Greene; Frank Carty, Darragh Campion(0-4), Paddy Carpenter; Harry Rooney(0-1), Patrick Fox; Tommy Carpenter, Padraig Finnerty(0-2, 2fs), David McGoldrick; Conor O’Brien, Niall Finnerty(2-1, 1f), Mark Battersby(0-1)

Subs used: Michael Doherty, Shane Smyth(0-1), Oisín Keogh

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