Match report Premier Championship  Div 6 Rd 7   Bective  V  Ratoath

Bective, playing at home, needed a win against Ratoath to secure a home semi-final in this last game in the league series of the Premier championship. Conditions were near perfect for this Thursday evening encounter and Ratoath were first out into their warm-up and with an impressive full squad. Bective numbers were at a minimum but the men that answered the call gave a solid team structure. Ratoath opened confidently and carried the ball into scoring positions and pointed from a free kick on 2 minutes. They followed this with a well taken goal on 5 minutes just evading Bective keeper Ciaran Reilly at full dive. Bective’s middle third youngsters were not overawed and attacked at pace and the ball was released to Neil Dowdall who still had 30m to carry before firing to the Ratoath net on 7 minutes. Midfielder Mathew Cully raced through to point from play on 8 minutes. Ratoath pointed again from a free kick on 11 minutes and shot just wide on another goal attempt, but they fired their second goal on 14 minutes. Things got a lot worse for Bective on 15 minutes with a man sent off with a second yellow. Bective kept up their hard running ad support play and all players participated as a team to defend and attack and although missing a couple of chances of their own they limited Ratoath to only a further point on 21 minutes. Half Time score: Ratoath 2 – 3, Bective 1 – 1.

Ratoath again started strongly and scored 2 points in the first 5 minutes. Bective continued to run at the Ratoath defence but missed from 2 free kicks taken off the ground. Bective surprised most observers with their ability to keep up the high intensity and hard running into scoring positions and Mark Dowdall converted free kicks on 13 and 16 minutes. Solid defending, especially from the more experienced brigade, limited Ratoath’s scoring opportunities and Bective’s attack also was denied space and shot wide and dropped a few short for the goalie to clear easily. Conor Fitzpatrick came into the forwards and cleverly linked to put Mathew Cully through but his shot from a tight angle narrowly missed the far post. Mark Dowdall fired over on 27 minutes and from free-kicks on 29 and 30 minutes. This left 2 points between the sides and Bective were still piling on the pressure but Ratoath brought in their quota of subs and fresh legs helped create the space for a couple of late points on the 34 and 35th minutes to complete the scoring. Every Bective player showed great character and worked very hard and contributed to this fine performance of defend and attack football.

Bective, having acquired 4th spot, now play Ballinlough (away) in the semi-final.

Ratoath 2 – 7, Bective 1 – 6.

Bective team: Ciaran Reilly, Simon Heneghan, Jarlath Brennan, Brian Hogge, Chris McGurn, David Keating, Eanna Reilly, Mathew Cully, Tristan O’Neill, Neil Dowdall, Ciaran Casey, Declan McGuinness, Gary Brennan, Pauric Mc Connell, Mark Dowdall, also Tomas Tiernan.