Youth certainly had a say in the outcome of this game, played in sweltering conditions in Ratoath on Friday evening. It took Summerhill 13 minutes to get on the scoresheet by which time Ratoath had scored 3 points, so Jamie O Shea’s point and his second one 4 minutes later were very welcome indeed. Playing in his second year at adult level O’Shea bookended those first scores with a well taken goal on 60 Minutes after pressure on the Ratoath kick out paid dividends. He was also to the fore when Summerhill were awarded a penalty after the home keeper was guilty of a foul on the young forward, and which was duly dispatched by Eoghan Frayne to take the lead for the first time on 40 minutes. O’Shea’s brace in the first half was added to by veteran Paddy McGrath, and substitute Adam McDonnell finished the first half scoring with a point; half time Ratoath 0-8 Summerhill 0-4.There was no denying the dominance of the home side in this first period. In fact Ratoath should have been further ahead, and they would rue those first misses as the game went on.
The introduction to adult football of the former Meath minors Adam McDonald, Eoghan Frayne and Ben Moran was instrumental in turning this game in favor of the visitors. Frayne was brought on after 25 minutes, Moran and McDonnell just before halftime, and their impact was immediate. McDonnell slotted over his first of three points just before the short whistle, while Frayne saved his magic for the second half. From play and frees the former minor captain was simply majestic, left and right foot. But most notable was the understanding between the three debutants in every aspect of play, intelligence on the ball and constant awareness of time and space. Eoghan Frayne ended the game as top scorer, and his penalty kick , although not World Cup standard, shows a maturity well beyond his years. O’Shea’s late goal came after a period of sustained dominance by Ratoath who scored 3 points in quick succession to lead by 2 at 57 minutes. Sustained pressure on the home kick outs yielded a free slotted over by Frayne and eventually that goal which shocked Ratoath to the core so late In the game. Although Summerhill had to defend valiantly in injury time they saw it out to take home the points.
Half time: Ratoath 0-8 Summerhill 0-4
Full time: Ratoath 0-16 Summerhill 2-13
Team and scorers.
Cathal Brien; Mark Donoghue, Iarla Hughes, Eoghan Jennings; Jack Bannon, Jack Davies, Gavin McVann; Paddy McGrath (0-2), Ciaran Gillespie; Eamonn Ryan, Aaron Williams(0-01), Eamonn McDonnell; Ross Tallon, Cathal Ryan, Jamie O Shea (1-02)
Eoghan Frayne (1-05, pen, 3f) for Ross Tallon 25 min
Adam McDonnell (0-03) for Eamonn Ryan 29 min
Ben Moran for Eoghan Jennings 29 min
Conor Summerville for Cathal Ryan 34 min