Bective prepared for this div 6 Premier Championship final with extra training and tactic sessions in the week leading up to this Saturday evening final in Dunshaughlin. Ratoath were the opposition and were clear favourites having beaten Bective in earlier engagements but Bective management felt that their defensive strategy and quick break outs could upset the odds. Bective had lost players to their first team and lined out with some players returning after long absences from the training ground but the team still had a lot of experience as well as youthful vigour. The ref held a one minute’s silence to mark the tragic death of Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke. First out of the blocks were Bective when David Keating forced a turnover free kick and Ciaran Casey pointed on 1 minute. This trend continued for the whole match as Bective pressurised the Ratoath players in possession. Pauric McConnell had to leave the frae with a pulled hamstring and was replaced by David Fitzpatrick. Kevin Brennan surrounded the keeper and although the resulting 45m was cleared, it showed Bective’s intent. Fitzpatrick closed down on a defender to overturn possession and Brennan found defender Dara Maguire who popped it over the bar on 5 minutes. Bective’s strong runners, notably Chris McGurn, Eanna Reilly (Capt.), Marc Walsh, Casey, Fitzpatrick and Maguire worked backwards and forwards and helped close down scoring opportunities and Ratoath shot wide on 9 minutes. Casey brought a fine save from the Ratoath goalie but he kept the score board ticking over with a point on 11 minutes. Ratoath had equal possession but failed to move the ball quick enough to stretch the Bective backs and centre-back Jarlath Brennan made a huge intercept to allow Bective to clear their lines on 15 minutes. Ratoath had another two wides before a good penetrating move found McGurn, who, under serious pressure, released to Casey to fist pass to Maguire at full tilt. However his shot dropped short of the small parallelogram but the experienced Brennan, with his usual eye for the ball, got there first and palmed the ball over the oncoming keeper and into the net. Casey, who showed for every ball, and again pointed on 26 minutes, and Ratoath, playing into the breeze, added 3 more wides.
Half Time score: Bective 1 – 4, Ratoath 0 – 0
After the break Ratoath knew they needed to release the ball earlier and a long high ball found their big man on the edge of the square. Simon Heneghan did enough to thwart a shot on goal and Ratoath had to settle for their first point. Robbie Coogan’s excellent kick outs generally found their targets and a further attack saw Casey pointing after Brennan was deemed to having been held on 4 minutes. Mickey Lyness came into the forward line. Ratoath had no intention of giving up on this game and pointed on the 5th, 6th and 14th minutes to leave just 3 points between the sides. Bective were showing great determination to stick to their game plan and high work rate and with Jarlath Brennan, Eanna Reilly, Colm Barry and veteran Brian Hogge holding steady in the back line and Ciaran Reilly fielding well in the mid field area they kept Ratoath at bay. Heneghan, a long way from his corner back position, was hauled down and Casey converted the free kick on 16 minutes and restarted the Bective scoreboard. Bective defence continually supported the man with the ball and the irrepressible McGurn took it another 50m and pointed with the left boot on 19 minutes. Pressing up on the kickouts helped force an error and Bective’s Mikey Lyness flicked towards goal and Brennan again got there first for his second goal on 20 minutes. Tomas Tiernan, Mikey Reilly and Shane Barry came on for Bective. A huge work-rate up and down the field saw Bective snuff out Ratoath threats and in another counter attack Maguire passed to Casey who Squared for Brennan to palm to the net on 29 minutes. At the other end Coogan parried a close in shot over the bar in the last few minutes and Bective held out for a memorable Premier championship win. Captain Eanna Reilly – decidated the win to our dear friend and teammate – Greg Hogge who we sadly lost in May 2019. Greg was captain of our 2nd team at the time.
Bective 3 – 7,
Ratoath 0 – 5.
Bective team: Robbie Coogan, Brian Hogge, Dara Maguire, Simon Heneghan, Eanna Reilly, Jarlath Brennan, Colm Barry, Ciaran Reilly, Paul Lyness, Chris McGurn, David Keating, Marc Walsh, Ciaran Casey, Pauric Mc Connell and Kevin Brennan.
Management Team, Paddy Farrelly (Manager), John Gleeson, Charlie Dowdall, David Cassidy and Gary Brennan.