Ratoath side eager to win some silverware

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan

Thursday, 8th November, 2018 3:00pm

Ratoath side eager to win some silverware

Ratoath camogie players the Credit Union in Ratoath.

Ratoath camogie team manager Paul McLoughlin says the "heartbreak" of past disappointments has proved to be a source of great motivation for the players this year. 

So far in 2018 Ratoath have won the Meath intermediate title (defeating Kildalkey after a replay). They have also claimed the Leinster Special Junior Camogie crown, getting the better of Westmeath side Delvin 2-9 to 1-5 in the provincial showdown last week with Sinead Beagan and Aisling O'Reilly finding the net. 
Now the players are busily preparing for an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Naomh Brid Og from Mayo on Sunday.
At the time of writing the time and venue had yet to be arranged for what is a huge occasion for all those involved with camogie at Ratoath GAA where camogie is clearly going under something of a renaissance. 
"Last year the team was just a little too young to go on and grab the Meath title, we were beaten in a replay by Dunderry, but the players have learned a lot from last year, they have learned from the pain of it, and they have really pushed on this year and beat Kildalkey and now they are getting their reward," explained McLoughlin. 
"Most of the players are in their late teens or early 20s, but any opportunities they've had this year they have grabbed, they are well tuned into to what is required."

At the presentation of sponsorship to Ratoath Camogie club from Macari's Ratoath were: Orla Hayes, Sinead Beagan, Maria Macari, Chloe Faherty, Karen Hayes, Niamh O'Riordan. 

Ratoath field teams at junior and intermediate levels in Meath and the rate of their recent progress at county and provincial levels is an indication of just how the game has once more become strong in Ratoath.
McLoughlin says the work at under-age level has gone a long way to helping the team achieve the kind of breakthrough it has achieved at county and provincial levels. 
"Teams from Ratoath were very successful in the early noughties, they got back to senior, consolidated that for a few years, they had a great manager in Paul Fitzharris and he helped to sustain at senior grade.
"When he departed the teams weren't getting the injecton of players from teams below them. However, over the last two to three years there has been that young talent emerging through the ranks.
"We worked very hard last year, but just fell short, but the the management and the players felt there was huge potential in the team and everybody wanted to give it another go.
"We maintained that drive and push and used the heartbreak we experienced last year to win the Meath title and go on in Leinster.
"It just shows you how strong the players are mentally to be able to do that because it was heartbreak for everybody involved last year," he added.
McLoughlin also points to the commitment of a strong backroom team that includes James Duffy, Keith O'Brien, Linda Faherty, goalkeeping coach Colm O'Riordan and Tommy McLoughlin. 
Ratoath can look forward to once more playing in the Meath senior camogie championship in 2019, but before that they have a chance for All-Ireland glory with the heartbreak of the past to drive them on.

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