Junior C Final Replay 2004
FOR this Junior C final replay - which was the curtain-raiser to the senior decider between Skryne and Simonstown - Ratoath decided on an unusual tactic. Some of their forwards wore low numbers and some of their defenders lined out with high numbers on their backs.
However at the end of it all it was the numbers on the scoreboard that really mattered as Syddan released a burst of energy in a six minute second half spell that was enough to push them over the finishing line.
Throughout the opening half it looked as if it might take extra-time to separate the sides. The teams were level at 0-5 each at half-time after being also level on four other occasions in the half.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half the title seemed to be edging Ratoath's direction. They had opened up a 0-7 to 0-5 lead and were gaining the upperhand.
Syddan's renown battling qualities then came to the surface as Gary Carolan pointed in the 41st minute and then two minutes later Paddy Skelly blasted a great effort high to the Ratoath net.
Conor Dillon and substitute Kenny Rafferty created the opening for Skelly who finished in clinical fashion to put his side into a 1-6 to 0-7 lead.
Another veteran Shay Duff stretched that advantage with a great long range point and then in the 46th minute Carolan was on target again to open up a four point lead.
There was no stopping Syddan at that stage and the lead extended to six points following a brace of scores from Conor Dillon.
It was a perfectly timed run from the Syddan men and it completely deflated a tiring Ratoath outfit.
Dillon was on target with three of his sides opening half points with the remainder coming from Duff, a '45, and Skelly.
Ratoath spurned a great goal chance early on when they were awarded a penalty. Corner back Sean Ryan stepped up to the kick but his effort was saved by the outstretched foot of keeper James Sheehy.
The mixture of youth and experience was crucial for Syddan in the second half with Shane Carolan, Richie Sheehy, Frank McKenna, Duff, Skelly and Dillon all playing vital roles.
After the game county vice-chairman Cathal Joyce presented the cup to captain Shane Dardis.
SYDDAN - J Sheehy; S Carolan, S Dardis, D McGillick; P Smith, M Cassidy, J Dardis; R Sheehy, F McKenna; S Halpenny, S Duff 0-2 (1 '45), R Cluskey; P Skelly 1-1, C Dillon 0-5 (3f), G Carolan 0-2. Subs - K Rafferty for Cassidy, T Hackett for Cluskey, M Rafferty for J Dardis, D Cluskey for G Carolan, S Reilly for Dillon.