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'Pure euphoria' as Rathnew send St Vincent's packing

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Amanda Malone and Ayla Dignam celebrating the win

Amanda Malone and Ayla Dignam celebrating the win

Happy fans Jade Merrigan and Clara Earls at the final whistle

Happy fans Jade Merrigan and Clara Earls at the final whistle

Holly and Robbie Doyle celebrating Rathnew’s victory

Holly and Robbie Doyle celebrating Rathnew’s victory

Gillian Lacey was braving the cold at the start of the match in Aughrim but had developed a warm glow by the final whistle

Gillian Lacey was braving the cold at the start of the match in Aughrim but had developed a warm glow by the final whistle

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Amanda Malone and Ayla Dignam celebrating the win

wicklowpeople

Rathnew GAA Club caused one of the greatest footballing shocks in recent years with their Leinster Championship victory over St Vincent's - not that anyone in the village ever doubted their chances.

Rathnew dispatched the reigning Dublin and Leinster club champions 1-13 to 1-9 at Joule Park in Aughrim, resulting in incredible scenes of jubilation.

Chairman, Robert Dignam described the experience as 'the best since 2001' when Rathnew were crowned Leinster Football Champions.

'It was a brilliant performance. Most people didn't give us much of a hope of beating St Vincent's but we knew they had it in them. The players had great belief and are a good unit. They are a great bunch of lads and trained really hard, as they always do.'

Rathnew were ranked 15/2 outsiders with St Vincent's having won Leinster in their previous four attempts. The Wicklow side also had to deal with the loss of Nicky Mernagh and Jody Merrigan through injury, with Nicky Mernagh having to pull out on Saturday through an appendicitis

'They are two real energetic players who cover a lot of ground, but we managed to recover from losing both of them. The reaction after the win was one of pure euphoria. It's the best day we have experienced since the Leinster Football Championship win back in 2001,' said Mr Dignam.

Vice-Chairman Laurence Ellis said the level of support the squad received helped to strengthen their resolve.

'There were scenes of complete jubilation. There were hundreds of fans there coming on to the pitch at the end of the game and waiting for the players to come out of the dressing rooms. It's brilliant to see all the flags flying in the village.

'The fans weren't just from Rathnew as well. They were at the match from throughout the county to cheer us on. The level of support we received was something else. The players are already thinking about the next match. They spent Monday in the gym and sauna at the Druid's Glen.'


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