Wolfe Tones booked an SFC semi spot with a thrilling extra time win over Ratoath at Ashbourne on Friday night
Wolfe Tones 0-15 Ratoath 0-14 after extra time
Fortunes ebbed and flowed over the 80 minutes during which the sides were tied 11 times.In addition the lead changed hands four times. Despite forcing the additional 20 minutes, Ratoath were unable garner momentum to regain the lead.
It took Cian Ward's seventh pointed free of the night, in stoppage time at the end of extra time, to secure a last four spot for Tony Kearney's charges. There they will face either Dunboyne or champions Simonstown.
It was probably Wolfe Tones' greater experience at this level that saw them through. While Shane Glynn was a mobile pillar at full-back, goalkeeper David Nolan made a brilliant save from Bryan McMahon just before the interval in normal time.
Cian Ward led the way with seven pointed frees while Niall and Thomas O'Reilly chipped in with seven between them with Niall getting the score that left his side 0-11 to 0-10 ahead with 58 minutes gone.
Saran O Fionnagain didn't repeat his scoring exploits from the win over Summerhill, but during his time on the pitch his energy had a positive impact. The sides were level three times in extra time, the final time when sub Jack McGowan made it 0-14-all after 78 minutes.
At time the quality was mediocre, but the closeness of the exchanges kept the large crowd enthralled right to the end. Three points was the most that separated the sides, that was in the 22nd minute when Gavin McGowan made it 0-4 to 0-1.
The wing-back and sub Jack McGowan were Ratoath's other scorers apart from the Wallace brothers. Eamon topscored with seven (incl six frees) but Joey's five were from play and included some top notch scores.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed as the dry night cooled. Ratoath responded well to Dan O'Neill's opener to lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after 22 minutes. Wolfe Tones closed the opening half with three unanswered scores, including two Niall O'Reilly efforts from play.
It was 0-4-all at the first break. The 'Tones regained the lead through Ward in the 34th minute. Momentum moved Ratoath's way as they doubled their tally in the third quarter to lead 0-8 to 0-6 after 43 minutes.
The pendulum favoured the 'Tones in the final quarter of normal time during which they added five points and regained the lead through Niall O'Reilly. Despite wearing white jerseys Ratoath persisted and forced extra time through Eamon Wallace.
Given the closeness of the exchanges, a degree of tension was to be expected. Ratoath lost goalkeeper Shane Duffy to a black card near the end of extra time around the time that Eamon Wallace was dismissed on receipt of his second yellow card.
Wolfe Tones finished with 11 wides, one more than Ratoath. More importantly, they dug out a win that at times looked unlikely. How well this test benefits them remains to be seen.
Wolfe Tones - David Nolan; Stephen Sheppard, Shane Glynn, Conor Sheppard; Niall McLoughlin (C), Eoghan Harrington, Eanna Harrington; Stephen Corrigan, Dan O'Neill (0-1); Niall O'Reilly (0-3), Cian Ward (0-7 fs), Alan Callaghan; Thomas O'Reilly (0-4, 2fs), Saran O Fionnagain, Padraig Diamond. Subs - Eanna O'Kelly-Lynch for Callaghan (ht), Fiachra Ward for O Fionnagain (39). Extra time - O Fionnagain for F Ward, F Ward for Diamond (70), Callaghan for N O'Reilly (77).
Ratoath - Shane Duffy; Brian O'Connor (C), Conor McGill,Darragh McGill; Enda Cahill, Brian Power, Gavin McGowan (0-1); Ben McGowan, Conor Rooney; Eamon Wallace (0-7, 7fs), Bobby O'Brien, Ciaran O Fearraigh; Joey Wallace (0-5), Bryan McMahon, Eoghan McMahon.Subs - Darragh Kelly for B McGowan (29), Conal Ahern for Rooney (52). Extra-time - Jack McGowan for B McMahon (68), Emmet Boyle for D McGill (78), Mick Fogarty for Duffy (bc 80).
Referee - David Gough (Slane)