St. Paul’s N.S., Ratoath emerged victorious in the final of the Meath Cumann na mBunscol Mini- 7’s competition after a thrilling and extremely close encounter with Kildalkey N.S. On the day, the twelve winners of the regional competitions competed against each other in four groups. St. Paul’s and Kildalkey met each other in the final, having successfully navigated the group stages and their respective semi-finals.
Kildalkey got off to a dream start scoring 1-1 in the opening minutes. St Paul’s battled back with goals from Seán Twyford and Robert Hayes and there was very little between the sides at half time with Kildalkey just edging the encounter.
The second half was an incredible display of talent with both sides exchanging scores and neither side willing to concede an inch. St. Paul’s went in front early on with some fantastic scores from James Kelly, Seán Twyford and Robert Hayes but were never able to open up a secure lead due to some fine teamwork from Kildalkey. St. Paul’s needed to use all their resources to keep the upper hand and it took some heroic defending from players to try and keep Kildalkey at bay. St. Paul’s Keeper, Devin Lynch, in particular put his body on the line several times to deny Kildalkey a number of excellent chances.
In the dying moments it was all to play for with both teams executing some fine scores. With barely any time left on the clock, it took an excellent long ball from Seán Twyford into the forward line to pick out Robert Hayes in order to see the game out. Hayes was left one on one with the keeper and maintained his composure to confidently slot the ball into the Kildalkey net which sealed the victory by a goal. This is St. Paul’s second time to win this competition.
James Kelly, the captain, led his team into the lobby where the teacher and pupils from 3rd to 6th Class were waiting to greet their Champions. The boys were given a great welcome. Take a look at our photos to see the excitement in St. Paul’s.