Blues and Jocks cruise into last eight
ALL of the big guns progressed to the U-21 quarter-finals without too much fuss last week.
Senior finalists Newtown Blues and Naomh Mairtin were in particularly menacing form as they brushed aside the challenges of Naomh Fionnbarra/Lannleire and Dundalk Gaels respectively.
A large number of county final starters graced both games as holders Blues racked up 5-14 to the combination side’s 1-1.
The Jocks also clocked five goals en route to a 5-20 to 1-4 win over the Gaels.
2016 champions Cooley Kickhams impressively negotiated a tricky first hurdle away to Geraldines as goals from Thomas McGuinness, Joe Quinn, Cian McDonald and Michael Carron earned them a 4-9 to 2-7 victory.
St Fechin’s and St Patrick’s enjoyed straightforward wins over Oliver Plunketts and Kilkerley/Naomh Malachi respectively, but the latter will face a much stiffer test against St Bride’s this Tuesday in the quarter-finals.
The closest game of the week, and perhaps the only surprise, came in Collon as Hunterstown/Mattock Rangers defeated neighbours St Mary’s by 2-9 to 1-9.
The combination side are a seasoned outfit at this grade and were narrowly pipped in the final by Newtown Blues 12 months ago.
But with a string of excellent minors coming through the ranks at Pairc Mhuire the Mary’s should have a big say in this grade over the next few years.
Three of the four quarter-finals proceed this Friday as St Fechin’s and Mattock/ Hunterstwon clash in Termonfeckin, Na Piarsaigh/Sean O’Mahony’s host Cooley Kickhams and Naomh Mairtin visit the winners of the St Kevin’s/ Dreadnots clash against Wolfe Tones.
Newtown Blues are in senior action this weekend so their clash against the winners of the Geraldines and St Bride’s quarter-final is yet to be fixed.
Andrew Smith, Knockbridge attempts to block a shot by John Fitzpatrick, Dunn