Gaeil Colmcille/Loughcrew Gaels and Ratoath met in Páirc Colmcille in the Semi Final of the Division 1 Minor League, The Gaels having already beaten them in the group stage.
It was the visitors who made the bright start getting the first two scores of the game but Tom Shine, playing at Centre Half-Forward for the Gaels struck over a free to half Ratoath’s lead with four minutes played.
A Ratoath score in the fifth minute was cancelled out by Shine as he pointed from a 65. Ratoath who were getting a lot of possession in the first quarter as they hit three scores in a row to see them go in 0-06 to 0-02 at the water break.
Sean Geraghty’s Gaels reduced the lead to two points thanks to Shine when he pointed from play and from a free kick. Ratoath did tag on the next point but the accuracy of Shine kept the Gaels combination in the game and two more scores brought a single point between the sides with 31 minutes played but a final score from Ratoath left the South Meath side 0-08 to 0-06 ahead at the break.
The third quarter was well and truly won by Ratoath as they fired eight points in a row to stretch their lead to 10 points and all seemed lost for the Gaels but full forward Ronan Cunning gambled on a loose ball in the 46th minute and found space to fire to the back of the net to give the Gaels a boost.
The goal sparked the home side into life and when Cunning got hold of a ball on the wing, he turned his marker and tore down on goal and fired a shot beyond the Ratoath keeper to reduce the gap to four points. Shine added two pressure frees and with the lead cut to two points The Gaels went in search of a third goal. The third goal never came for The Gaels, instead it was Ratoath who got it and sealed their passage through to the final at the expense of this talented Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille side whose focus now turns to Championship.
Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille: Tommy McKeon, Conall McGovern, Jack Connell, Sean Thornton, Tadhg Dardis, Daire Shine, Matthew Farrelly, Oisin McDermott, Eoin Briody, Oisin O’Reilly, Tom Shine (0-08), Rian Early, Kit Óg Lynch, James McDonnell, Ronan Cunning (2-00).
Subs: Tiernan Anderson, Fergal Flynn, Hughie Corcoran, Andrew Gormley, John Gormley
Photo © Declan Lynch