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By Kevin Egan at Páirc Tailteann
Ratoath 1-12
Clontibret 0-3
AIB PLAYER OF THE MATCH Áine McNerney is hoping that there is more to come from Ratoath, who were waking up this morning as AIB All-Ireland Junior B Club Champions.
McNerney excelled for the Meath outfit, who laid the foundations for their victory in the first half, and expressed the hope that a young squad would maintain the momentum into the county Championship next year, when two-in-a-row All-Ireland Junior Club champions, Kilmessan would be among their opposition.
“It’s a huge achievement for our club” said McNerney. “We've been training so hard. Last year we fell short at the last hurdle in the Intermediate Championship Final so this year we definitely wanted to push on and do bigger and better.
“We wanted to push on to Senior last year and we didn't get there so this is going to help us so much going in to play the likes of Kilmessan, huge teams in Meath. Meath has pushed on so much since they've won the All-Ireland Intermediate last year so its huge for us.
“It is hard to know what you are getting yourself into (when you don’t know the opposition), but I suppose we focus on ourselves, on our own game, ‘cause we know within ourselves we're capable of what we want to do, if we put our minds to it. We were concentrating on ourselves mostly.”
Ratoath skipper Sinéad Beagan was top scorer with seven pointed frees and she had three on the board early on.
The when McNerney’s shot from distance went all the way to the Clontibret net, the gap was becoming quite significant.
Chloe McGuigan did get the Monaghan crew off the mark but it was 1-9 to 0-2 at the interval and though the second half was extremely competitive, the damage had been done.
Victorious manager Paul McDonnell hailed the character and work ethic of his charges, while paying tribute to Clontibret who might have been a little bit harshly treated by the scoreline.
“We slog for every single ball, we had to fight for every single possession” said McDonnell. “It could have broke either way for long periods of that game. We were lucky to get scores in early once we did, we held it out and we fought for every single possession.
“It is something that we work on in training and something the girls work tirelessly on but if you win the possession there is not a huge amount the opposition can do but we had to fight for every single one of those possessions.”
SCORERS FOR RATOATH: S Beagan 0-7 (fs); Á McNerney 1-1; F McNerney 0-2; N McLoughlin (f), E McNerney 0-1 each
SCORERS FOR CLONTIBRET: M Greenan 0-2 (fs); C McGuigan 0-1
RATOATH: N O’Riordan, O Hayes, S McNerney, C Griffiths, C Faherty, Á Cooke, A McCann, A Brannagan, E McGill, E Griffiths, Á McNerney, L McCann, N McLoughlin, F McNerney, S Beagan. Subs: A O’Reilly for E Griffiths (47), E McNerney for A McCann (60), L Byrne for C Griffiths (60), L Gaffney for Faherty (60+2), A Fagan for S Beagan (60+2)
CLONTIBRET: M Morgan, S McDonald, J McSkane, D Moen-McNeel, O Boyle, H McSkeane, R Duffy; A McElvaney, M Atkinson, C McGuigan, J Duffy, M Greenan, E McGlone, A Hamill, A Boyle. Subs: N Ní Chiaráin for Boyle (12), K Carragher for McGuigan (39), C Markey for Hamill (60+2), K Morgan-O’Reilly for Moen-McNeel (60+5)
REFEREE: C Quinlan (Galway)

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