Minor final too close to call
PREVIEW MINOR AND INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL FINALS
THE BATTLE for the Miley Cup may take pride of place this weekend but it is far from having the stage all to itself.
JOHN WALL MFC FINAL
Close followers of the Minor grade were predicting this pairing in the final from the start. Both Blessington and Bray Emmets are busting at the seams with under-age talent at the moment.
Blessington are the reigning Minor football champions while Bray Emmets have already won the Minor hurling championship, drawing from much the same panel of players. Both have the incentive to go all out to take this title.
Starting with the champions Blessington. Jimmie Calaghan’s boys struggled for a long time against Luke O’Tooles in the semi-final before pulling away for a good win in the end.
They have been impressive down the middle line, starting with sound goalie Conor O’Brien, full- back Paul McLoughlin, Ronan Doyle, Curtis Geraghty, Seán Byrne, Alan Kelly and Dean Siney. And their strength does not end there. Eddie Boylan, Niall Keogh, Robert Pender and James Nolan are other players well above average.
Emmets manager P.J. Cunningham has an equally big pool of talent to draw from.
At the back he has Eoghan Wogan, Conor Power and Adan Benson; Aco Keating at midfield; Paul and Ronan Cunningham, Geariod O Murchu and John Breslin up front.
Blessington will start favourites, mainly because they are the holders but this one is just too close to call.
D’ARCY SAND IFC FINAL
No question but Carnew and Annacurra are, at the moment the two best Intermediate sides in the county. Both have gone through the championship with an unbeaten record but Carnew did drop a point to Dunlavin.
Robert Doyle had Carnew flying from the start of the year. They are competing in Division 1 of the SFL and have beaten most Senior teams in the county at this stage.
They have a nice blend of youth and experience; the Doran brothers; the Kennedy brothers, Timmy Collins, Don Hyland and Joe Murphy supplying the experience with Seánie Kinsella, Brian Osborne, Shane Doyle and Owen Coleman adding the young legs.
Annacurra did themselves no harm in that semi-final win over Eire Og. They let Seán Doherty’s men away for a while in the first-half but then slowly hauled them back and won with a lot to spare.
Ciarán Shannon has made a big difference since his return and has linked up well with Johnny Thompson to form a good midfield pairing.
Alan Byrne may be the key man in defence but he has plenty of good back up. Clive Horan and Patrick Moules are running into form at the right time and are sending over the points. Frank Clune and Alan Horan have also impressed up front.
Carnew may not like the tag of favourites but they have earned it. Annacurra have been closing the gap steadily all year and may just be ready to pounce.
However, the vote must go to Carnew to make a long delayed return to Senior ranks.