Rath­new si­lence the doubters

Wicklow People - - SPORT -

at Joule Park, Aughrim

Doyle got his side off the mark with a free.

They didn’t score for an­other 17 min­utes how­ever as St Vin­cent’s reeled off four points and looked like they would ease away to vic­tory.

Shane Carty al­most scored a goal for the first point be­fore Con­nolly with a free, Gavin Burke and Enda Var­ley kicked a point each to make it four points to one by the fif­teenth minute.

Vin­cent’s missed a cou­ple of chances dur­ing that time but Rath­new were of­fer­ing lit­tle in at­tack to sig­nal any kind of re­vival.

That changed in the 18th minute when Ed­die Doyle kicked two in a row, the first a free.

Doyle hasn’t been at his best for the last cou­ple of matches but he had a won­der­ful first half, al­ways hun­gry for the ball.

Stephen Byrne was also in­stru­men­tal to those scores, get­ting fouled for the first and then win­ning the ball in the full for­ward line for the sec­ond.

Mossy Quinn added a 45 for St Vin­cent’s to put two be­tween the teams be­fore Rath­new reeled off three in a row to take the lead.

First Ross O’Brien scored from dis­tance, then fe­ro­cious tack­ling by Mark Doyle and Stafford forced the St Vin­cent’s de­fence to con­cede a free which Doyle con­verted. Glynn won the kick out and kicked Rath­new into the lead.

The teams traded a point be­fore half-time, Byrne get­ting fouled for Rath­new’s free, and Rath­new led by seven points to six at half time. It was a scarcely be­liev­able score line and thoughts be­gan to form that Rath­new could ac­tu­ally pull this off.

Sure not, but if the score line was close with fif­teen min­utes to go Rath­new would back them­selves.

They started the sec­ond half with more than that in mind.

From the throw in Stafford kicked long to Mark Doyle who some­how caught the ball with one hand and dou­bled the lead. Glynn pushed it out to three mo­ments later, a beauty from the stand side that we knew was over long be­fore the um­pire raised his flag with the Rath­new cheers.

Quinn and Ed­die Doyle traded frees to leave it at 10 points to 7 by the forty minute mark.

Vin­cent’s started to claw back the lead how­ever with sub­sti­tute Ruairi Trainor and Quinn re­duc­ing it to the min­i­mum.

Then dis­as­ter struck for Rath­new as Vin­cent’s went through their de­fence and Quinn was on hand to palm the ball into the net.

44 min­utes on the clock and two points down, that was it, right?

Rath­new had fought the good fight, gone toe to toe with the Dublin cham­pi­ons and would now bravely bow out, their heads held high.

St Vin­cent’s would kick a few more points and Diar­muid Con­nolly would ref­er­ence the win as kick start­ing their run to­wards the All-Ire­land fi­nal. That’s how these movies usu­ally play out.

Rath­new hadn’t read the script. En­ter stage left Mr Paul Mer­ri­gan, Mr James Stafford, Mr Theo Smith and Mr Leighton Glynn into their star­ring roles.

Mer­ri­gan made two big plays, first com­ing up the field to kick a point on his left foot four min­utes af­ter Quinn’s goal.

Time ticks away, Rath­new own the ball. Glynn has come back into his half back line to con­duct his orches­tra.

He takes pos­ses­sion, holds on to it, waits for a team­mate to make a move. If he loses the ball it’s lights out, Vin­cent’s have a clear run at goal. He’s the calmest man on the field. Vin­cent’s are chas­ing shad­ows, un­able to get near Rath­new.

Ross O’Brien gets the ball just inside the 45 and takes a shot which is drop­ping short but Stafford is on hand to punch it over. 53 min­utes on the clock and the game is level.

Mer­ri­gan makes his sec­ond big play, in­ter­cept­ing a beau­ti­ful Con­nolly ball into the full for­ward line.

Vin­cent’s are spooked. They take a 45 short in­stead of kick­ing for the posts and the even­tual shot drops into Peter Dig­nam’s grate­ful arms.

Rath­new go up the field, Glynn in­volved all the way. O’Brien takes an­other shot, again it fall short.

This time Stafford doesn’t punch it over, he catches it with his right hand and dis­patches it to the net with his left! Rath­new lead St Vin­cent’s by a goal, 56 min­utes on the clock. This is scarcely be­liev­able.

Vin­cent’s push again, Rath­new re­pel again. Rath­new move the ball for­ward again and Stafford kicks over the in­sur­ance point, there are four points in it and four min­utes of in­jury time.

Rath­new aren’t go­ing to lose. Power hacks a ball away, al­most tak­ing a team­mate’s fin­gers with him.

St Vin­cent’s at­tack down the right hand side, in front of the Rath­new dug out.

Tier­nan Di­a­mond gets the ball but Theo Smith tracks him down and dis­ci­plined tack­ling forces

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.