Rathnew dethroned in Wicklow after late drama at Aughrim 2 years ago

Rathnew dethroned in Wicklow after late drama at Aughrim

There's no rest for the wicked and there's definitely no rest for GAA players.

For some reason unbeknownst to man, the Wicklow senior football championship was still going on more than five months after the county team were knocked out of the All-Ireland football championship.

In contrast to Monaghan, for example, who's championship dreams didn't come a cropper until August - but who still managed to get their county championship complete a couple of weeks before Wicklow did.

We're almost into November now and the Wicklow senior football championship was finally decided on Saturday afternoon - it gets better - this is less than a day before winners St Pat's will take on Offaly county champions Rhode in the first round of the Leinster championship on Sunday.

The mind boggles.

The Wicklow county board will say that all of this would have been avoided only for the unforeseen draw when Rathnew and St Patrick's met a fortnight ago in the first county final, but a draw match is hardly that unforeseen. They could have covered their backs by playing extra-time that day anyway.

The final finally decided

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A mild September Sunday in Aughrim and Joule Park was hopping. The football didn't really live up to expectations for the most of it but you can think again if you think St Patrick's give a damn about that.

After a tight, nervy tussle that only really got going when the clock struck 55, the Wicklow town outfit came from behind to defeat the kingpins and last year's champs to win their first title since 2012.

On a bitter cold and windy day, the football was correspondingly scrappy. Rathnew went into half-time leading by two, 0-5 0-3 the score with their ageless warrior Leighton Glynn scoring two from play and pulling the strings throughout that opening period.

Rathnew picked up from where they left off after the break and when Eddie Doyle kicked a point to put them four up after 41, it looked like they were coasting to a 7th title in the last ten years.

But St Patrick's weren't dead yet.

Stephen Duffy kept nailing his frees and his seventh score from a dead ball in the game left only one point between the sides, 0-8 0-7 the score with five minutes remaining.

Rathnew and St Pat's battled it out over the next few minutes but St Pat's had saved the best until last.

Tommy Kelly kicked a beauty, their first in this game from open play to level it for Pat's on 60 minutes and this got the crowd going and got the momentum on their side. They'd go onto kick two more from open play, Duffy and Kelly doing the honours to fire them to a historic 0-10 0-8 victory.

The Pat's crowd went wild and the players were jubilant, but rather than celebrating their 13th ever county title win late into tonight, they've that Leinster first round against Rhode in the same venue tomorrow.

Instead of pints, sing-songs and chips, there'll be foam rollers, stretching and early nights.

Only in the GAA.