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'We Ran The Dubs Out Of Wicklow' - Why Rathnew's Win Was For All Of Wicklow

'We Ran The Dubs Out Of Wicklow' - Why Rathnew's Win Was For All Of Wicklow

On November 10th St. Vincents were one of the clear favourotes for the AIB All-Ireland Club Football Championship. On November 12th they were dumped out of the Leinster Championship, a quarter-final loss to Wicklow champions Rathnew blowing the tournament wide open.

Rathnew's success was the GAA shock of the year. They were 15/2 approaching the game and had only claimed one Leinster Championship title, back in 2001. In recent years they've enjoyed success locally, claiming four of the last five county titles. They've also got Harry Murphy at the helm, the same man who coached them to that famous win in 2001.

For their goalkeeper and club secretary Peter Dignam, it was sweet sensation to finally get one over the Dubs.

I'm working in Dublin and I get nothing but abuse over the thing. But I got a bit of payback when we beat Vincent's, I gave a little bit of 'we ran the Dubs out of Wicklow' and that sort of craic.

The task of being involved in Wicklow GAA while working in Dublin is undoubtedly challenging. When a club like Rathnew can land a national shock it creates a cause for the whole county to support and extract some much-needed enjoyment from the game. The win wasn't just a delight for Rathnew, Wicklow as a county have rowed in behind the village:

As secretary of the club I'm getting texts and emails from everybody. Clubs that you'd be tooth and nail with most of the year would be sending you good luck and it would be genuine.

For Dignam and Rathnew, the public's reaction has been a welcomed lift:

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After the Vincent's game, lads were coming up and patting you on the back, you didn't know who they were. They weren't necessarily wearing Rathnew tops but you knew they were Wicklow people. It's been brilliant and some of the messages on the likes of the Hoganstand, which can be quite hostile at times, have been brilliant.

There is clearly a strong belief in the side. Rathnew led at half-time against Vincents by a point but were soon two down thanks to a 44-minute Mossy Quinn goal. They refused to go away and ensured that goal was Vincents last score of the game, eventually running out 1-13 to 1-09 winners.

Rathnew advance to play Kildare's Moorefield this weekend, in a game which once again they have been marked underdogs.

Only a fool would write them off again.

Peter Dignam was speaking at the AIB Leinster GAA Club Senior Football Championship Semi-Final Media Day in Croke Park. 

SEE ALSO: Watch: Players Confused By Curious National Anthem Rendition Before Fenway Classic

Maurice Brosnan

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