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Rathnew Hero Explains How Their Positive Mind-Set Was Key To Historic Victory

It was the result that caught the attention of the whole country as Rathnew of Wicklow defeated the back-to-back Dublin champions, the mighty St Vincents.

Touted from the outset as probable provincial and possible All-Ireland champions, Vincents were expected to ease into the competition with a facile win in Sunday’s quarter-final.

However, Rathnew, 33-time champions in the Garden County, had other ideas as they created history in Aughrim.

With the game level late on, James Stafford was the hero, scoring 1-01 in the closing stages as the Wicklow men secured a dramatic 1-13 to 1-09 win.

Speaking to Paul Keane after the game, Stafford said that it was the self-belief in the Rathnew camp that was the key in the build up:

“Without being big-headed or disrespectful, we didn’t fear them.

“We saw the draw and we took Newtown Blues seriously first of all, knowing then that we’d have the All-Ireland champions of only a couple of years ago in Aughrim. So we did respect them but there was no fear, no.

“And we knew that if we were in it for the last 10 minutes that we’d have a great chance. Maybe it’s Rathnew’s spirit or pure ignorance, I don’t know.”

Rathnew are now into the Leinster semi-finals alongside Simonstown Gaels, St Lomans and Moorefield and after Sunday’s historic win, could we be seeing the first steps as the Wicklow men look to repeat the trick of 2001 and win the provincial title?

With the Dublin champions and Portlaoise out of the competition, the title is there to be won.

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.