Forward power points to Minor glory for Cille’s
THESE are exciting times for St Colmcille’s, especially at underage level, and the east Meath club will attempt to capture their second county crown in three years in the Minor grade when they take on Donaghmore-Ashbourne in Sunday’s curtain-raiser, which has a 1.30 throw-in.
The Cille’s were winners against Na Fianna in 2016 when a James Conlon-inspired outfit claimed the title. Two years earlier they lost out to Dunboyne 2-6 to 1-6. They were also defeated in the 2000 final by O’Mahony’s.
Teams backboned by Bob O’Malley, Bernard Flynn, Ciaran and Joe Carr recorded back-to-back successes in the early 1980s.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s last final appearance also proved a successful one when they overcame Dunboyne 3-5 to 0-7 in the 2013 decider. The club registered a three-in-arow between 2006 and 2008 before losing the 2009 final to Dunshaughlin.
Both teams are packed with players who were either on the Meath minor squad this year or are members of the county U-16 Development Panel.
For St Colmcille’s, David Bell, Endy Ehichoya and Cian Flynn all wore the county colours, while Ruairí Hanlon was a key member of the Louth minor team this year.
Lining out for Donaghmore/ Ashbourne will be Cillian Hegarty who was also a county minor as well as being on the Gerry Reilly U-16-winning side. David Carr and Killian Hogan were also on Joe Treanor’s minor panel, with Evan Quinn, Jamie Browne and Rodney Jones picking up medals in the Gerry Reilly Tournament.
Both sides were very impressive in their respective semi-finals, winning out when tight encounters were anticipated. St Colmcille’s eased past Navan O’Mahony’s in their last-four clash, having 12 points to spare at the finish.
The Ashbourne boys were possibly even more impressive against league champions Seneschalstown in the other semi and they had one foot in the final when leading 1-12 to 0-1 at the break. They eventually had six points to spare at the finish.
An intriguing tussle is in prospect, with St Colmcille’s key players in attack likely to tip the balance in their favour.
The Meath 1993 All-Ireland-winning U-21 team will be guests of honour at this Sunday’s senior club final in Pairc Tailteann. They defeated Kerry 1-8 to 0-10 to give the county its only success at that level. Pictured are (Back, l to r) Graham Geraghty, Ronan McGrath, Jimmy McGuinness, John McCarthy, Conor Martin, Hugh Carolan, Vinny Ryan, Tom Hanley and (Front, l to r) Jason Hendrick, Tony Byrne, Terry Connor, Peter Sullivan, Enda McManus, Thomas Shine, Cathal Sheridan.