Early Rathnew Hurricane Damage irreparable for Blessington

Rathnew 3-08 Blessington 0-12
Picture above: Kevin Hanlon (Blessington) tries to escape the attention of James Stafford (Rathnew) in Sundays final. Picture @wicklowgaaphotos.com

Three first-half goals laid the foundations for Rathnew’s 3-8 to 0-12 victory over Blessington in a wet and dark Joule Park on Sunday.

Mark Doyle, Leighton Glynn and James Stafford found the back of the Blessington net inside the opening 23 minutes as Harry Murphy’s charges raced into a 3-4 to 0-3 lead. With Ophelia lurking off our shores it was Blessington who were caught in the eye of a Rathnew storm between the 10th and 23rd minute as the goals rained in. Blessington had waited 29 years for a final appearance and the early nerves were evident. To their credit they were excellent after the early onslaught and recovered their composure to outscore their opponents by nine points to four over the remainder of the contest but the damage was done by Rathnew in that devastating early spell.

Rathnew – Peter Dignam; Paul Merrigan, Damien Power, Jamie Snell; Warren Kavanagh, Ross O’Brien, Enan Glynn; James Stafford (1-0), Theo Smyth; Eddie Doyle (0-3, 2f), Leighton Glynn (1-0), Graham Merrigan (0-1); Nicky Mernagh (0-1), Mark Doyle (1-1), Jody Merrigan (0-2, 1’45). Subs: Stephen Byrne for J Merrigan, Dave Jameson for E Glynn, Chris Healy for G Merrigan (BC).

Blessington – Stephen Kitt; Barry Murphy, Stephen Bohan, Declan Fennessy; Conor Kenny, Paul McLoughlin (0-1), KJ Rogers; Eoin Keogh (0-2), Bryan Carroll (0-1); Michael Nugent, Anto McLoughlin (0-2), Mick McLoughlin (0-1); Patrick O’Connor (0-2), Curtis Geraghty (0-2, 1f), Kevin Hanlon. Subs: David Boothman (0-1) for M Nugent, Gavin Murray for D Fennessy, Mikie O’Connor for M McLoughlin, Barry Finan for B Murphy (BC).

Referee – Declan Peppard (Hollywood)