Wicklow legend turns on the style as Rathnew pull off shock of the year to down St Vincent's 4 years ago

Wicklow legend turns on the style as Rathnew pull off shock of the year to down St Vincent's

St Vincent's went into this one as 1-16 favourites. They came out of it with their tail between their legs.

Wicklow champions Rathnew reeled off 1-3 without reply in the last 16 minutes of Sunday's Leinster quarter against St Vincent's to cause the shock of the club Championship so far.

Advertisement

Vincent's, one of the favourites for the club All-Ireland before a ball was kicked in Aughrim, were second best throughout, but when Mossy Quinn rattled the net in the 43rd minute to give them a two-point cushion, it looked for all the world as if they were going to kick on and assert themselves on the game.

They didn't register a score from that moment until the final whistle, as Rathnew marched on to win on a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-9.

Instead, it was the hungrier Rathnew who grabbed this quarter-final by the scruff of the neck, and they powered on when it mattered most.

It was a Wicklow legend who lead the charge, with James Stafford, who retired from the inter-county scene last year after a decade-long career, scoring 1-2 from play in this defining last quarter.

The towering midfielder was responsible for the last three scores of the game, providing a barnstorming cameo of direct running, an innate ability to regain possession and an insatiable will to win on his way to that crucial goal and two points.

Stafford was a credit to his club, his county and to himself, but so, too was each and every player in a Rathnew jersey as they defied everybody to claim one of the most improbable scalps of the year.

The gaelic football world reacted with predictable shock to Vincent's first loss in Leinster since 1982.

Advertisement

That's the beauty of the GAA - on any given day, even the best can be taken down.

Advertisement

Advertisement

There won't be a cow milked in Wicklow for a week.