Mi­nor fi­nal too close to call


Bray People - - Sport - Peter KEOGH

THE BAT­TLE for the Mi­ley Cup may take pride of place this week­end but it is far from hav­ing the stage all to it­self.


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.


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.

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