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Thursday 14 November 2019

Ratoath on form 'hard to stop' - Wallace

Eamon Wallace
Eamon Wallace

Eamon Wallace believes Ratoath have the form to launch a serious assault on the Leinster club SFC.

The grim record of Meath champions in Leinster is reflected in the fact they haven't had a winner since Dunshaughlin in 2002, or a finalist since Skryne in '04.

Now Ratoath are hoping to buck the trend on the back of their first SFC title, at Summerhill's expense, with a quarter-final away to Garrycastle on November 10.

"I'm actually meant to be in Miami this week - we didn't plan for this week - so I've cancelled that," said Wallace.

"We're probably going to enjoy two or three nights and get back then ... but definitely it (Leinster) will be our focus. We've never been there before and, on that form, we'll be hard to stop. Looking at the Dublin semi-finals - the places we can go, there's not many teams that can go, at club level," he reckoned.

Wallace made his adult debut as a sub in the 2012 Meath JFC final, when Ratoath finally escaped the junior ranks. He said talk of "history was banned from our language" in the weeks before Sunday's final, and it was "such a relief to get over the line."

Yet the 25-year-old only made his seasonal return in August, having opted off Andy McEntee's Meath panel and missed the initial months of club action.

"At the start of the year I started a new job and I wanted to get my career off and going," he explained.

"And I just felt I wasn't playing well enough. I had a heap of injuries and I just wanted to get that right.

"I went to athletics, my number one sport from when I was younger," added the 2012 Irish U19 sprint champion. "That's the way I got my body right before, and the way I got it right this year again.

"I came back in August and I was hungry as hell. I probably enjoyed my football more than ever. But, looking at (the county final), it was definitely the right decision. Even though Meath had an awful lot of success this year."

Wallace confirmed that Ratoath's success would "definitely" encourage him to consider a Meath comeback, although he stressed: "Me and Andy get on great so he can give me a ring. But it's up to Andy, it's not my decision. He has a great squad there."

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