Division 1 Shield Cup Final

An impressive display by our boys team last Saturday evening in Pairc Tailteann saw them capture the double and being crowed Cumann Na Mbunscol Division One Shield champions. Our boys once again very much aided by the help of Ciara Doherty showed great determination to battle back in the second half from a four point deficit at half time. For the second time in the space of two weeks they put in a stellar performance in the second half to keep the opposing team scoreless.

Both teams started slowly in the first half but it was our opponents and near neighbours St. Paul’s from Ratoath that opened the scoring with a point from their danger man at full forward. However St. Declans had plenty of the possession in the opening stages but we failed to turn this into scores against what was a very stiff breeze. We opened our scoring with a point from an Adam Doran from a well struck free. This was followed by another point from an exciting run by Ryan Murphy. However Ratoath found the back of the St. Declan’s net soon after with a very well placed goal. Our defence then settled and really worked tirelessly to hold out the St. Paul’s attack. We reduced the deficit to the minimum in the 13th minute with a fine point from Callum Thomas. Once again though Ratoath came at us and after a fine save from Alex Fitzpatrick in the goals the ball found its way to our net after a scramble in the goal mouth. We responded once again before the break with our ever potent full forward Adam Doran.

St. Declan’s resumed after the break with a lot more purpose and threat to their play. Each player seemed to have a greater sense of urgency and really took the game to their opponents. Jack Doran opened the second half scoring with a point and that was followed by 1-1 from Adam Doran. Once again Jack was on the move and quick thinking from a free put Daniel Doherty through on goal but a fantastic save from the Ratoath keeper kept the game alive. The evening just seemed to get better for the St. Declans supports as their team kept chipping away with further scores from Adam Doran, Daniel and Ciara Doherty and also the impressive substitute Cillian Ryan getting on the score sheet. The St. Declan’s boys finished with Adam Doran adding a late point to seal victory that looked in doubt at half time. Once again they all showed great resolve and determination to get us over the line and complete and rare double which they deserve after a year of tremendous work and effort by all involved.

Great credit must go the work rate of the St. Declan’s players with Aidan Mackey and Davin Jones proving to be pillars in defence. Aidan was given the tough task of marshalling the Ratoath danger man at full forward who had scored 5-7 in the semi final against Duleek but with the help of Davin the two were more than up to the task. These two leaders were also aided at the back with tenacious performances from Philip Carragher, Eoin Byrne, Darren Carberry and Alex Fitzpatrick in the goals. Fantastic effort was put in around the middle third of the field by Ryan Murphy, Jack Doran and Evan O’ Kane who constantly ran at the St. Pauls defence opening up scoring opportunities for our forward line and also turning over ball in our defence. Our half forward line of Habir Muritala, Ciara and Daniel Doherty all gave every ounce of energy to the St. Declan’s cause. Lastly our full forward line of Callum Thomas, Adam Doran, Callum Keogh and Cillian Ryan who was introduced as a substitute all proved a thorn in the Ratoath side making run after run in search of the ball and creating scoring chances.

Mr Reidy treated the boys to ice-cream after their big win.