2020 LMFM Meath MFC Previews – Division 1
Division 1 – Duleek/Bellewstown, Dunshaughlin, Gaeil Colmcille, Ratoath, Skryne, St. Colmcille’s, St. Peter’s Dunboyne, Summerhill
The top two sides in Division 1A and Division 1B progress to the semi-finals with top in 1A playing second in 1B and top in 1B playing second in 1A. The third-placed team in 1A plays the fourth-placed team in 1B in the Shield semi-final with the third-placed team in 1B playing the fourth in 1A.
Division 1A – Duleek/Bellewstown, Gaeil Colmcille, St. Peter’s Dunboyne, Summerhill
Duleek/Bellewstown – A club which has been developing steadily in the juvenile ranks, Duleek-Bellewstown have the raw materials necessary to be serious players in the race for the Delaney Cup. In Dylan Collins and Ryan Lynch they have two players who have plenty of potential and how they fare will be key. And then there’s Alan Bowden who many in the county will recall was a key member of the Gerry Reilly Tournament winning side with the Meath U-16’s in 2019. Bowden has a great eye for a goal and if he can hit top form along with Collins and Lynch then the Arthur Duffy managed side have the capabilities of being in the mix when the semi-final stages roll around.
Manager – Arthur Duffy. Selectors – Aidan Callaghan & Paul O’Boyle. Captain – Killian
Gaeil Colmcille – Only a few years ago Gaeil Colmcille has no Minor side but the production lines are back in action in Kells and having won the U-16 Division 2 League last year, they are back at the top table for this year’s Minor Football Championship. No doubt inspired by the ultra-consistent run their Senior side have enjoyed since they won the Intermediate Football Championship back in 2013, this next generation have been steadily developing and have the looks of a group of players who will fare well in this competition. They host Duleek-Bellewstown in Round 1 and with reports from recent challenge games encouraging, Gaeil Colmcille will fancy their chances of getting off to the best possible start in Grangegodden. A place in the knockout stages would likely be regarded as a successful campaign as the team continue to improve.
Manager – Conn Cleary. Selectors – Seamus O’Reilly & Dave Finlay. Coach – Jimmy King.
Captain – Fionn Smith.
St. Peter’s Dunboyne – Back at the top table in Minor Football after being marked absent for the previous few years having gained promotion on the back of the impressive form in the Spring League before it got cut short. After contesting the Division 2 MFC Final last year, when they were unlucky to lose out to Dunshaughlin, St. Peter’s Dunboyne will be looking to get their hands on the Delaney Cup for the first time since 2014 when Andy McEntee donned the Bainisteoir bib. This time around it’s Meath Minor Hurling manager Sean Callanan who will be patrolling the sidelines and he will be looking to players like Jack Kinlock and Peter Connolly to lead the charge with Cathal Melia and Simon O’Keefe others to keep an eye on. They are likely to find the going tough but will be well prepared and if any team underestimates them, they will
likely live to rue it.
Manager – Sean Callanan. Selectors – Damien Cunningham, Seamus McGovern & Dean
McLoughlin. Captain – Aidan Flynn.
Summerhill – After coming up just short in the 2019 MFC Final, Summerhill will be looking to go one better in this year’s competition and will be quietly fancied by many to do just that. The Adrian Byrne coached side have come out on the right side of the draw in terms of having two home games and they will look to put this to use by claiming wins against St. Peter’s Dunboyne and Gaeil Colmcille. Achieve this and a place in the semi-finals would be as good as secured. In the two Eoghan’s, Frayne and Grehan they possess two of the brightest young talents in the county, with Frayne in his second year on the Meath Minor panel and Grehan having lined out at full-back in last years decider at the tender age of fifteen. Another to watch out for is Ben Moran who lined out at cornerback last year and is a key member of the team.
Manager – Adrian Byrne. Selectors – Dave Gaffney, Willie Crowell & Tom McVann.
Captain – Eoghan Frayne.
Division 1B – Dunshaughlin, Ratoath, Skryne, St. Colmcille’s
Dunshaughlin – The Division 2 trophy wintered in Dunshaughlin in 2019 but will the Division 1 trophy be spending the winter of 2020 in the ever-expanding village in the south of the county? Dunshaughlin won the first of their three in a row SFC titles 20 years ago and it would be a great way for the next generation of club players to mark the anniversary were
they to lift the Delaney Cup on October 4th Everywhere you look on their team there are players rich in talent and who could go on to pull on the senior jersey for many years. Fursey Blake, Conor Gray and John McDonagh are all players who have the ability to inspire the side to glory as evidenced by their U-16 Division 1 success last year as well as when they defeated St. Peter’s Dunboyne to claim the Liam Tolan Cup in the MFC Division 2 Final on the October Bank Holiday Weekend.
Manager – Kieran O’Riordan. Selectors – Paul Nestor & Ultan Blake. Joint Captains – Jared
Rushe & Aaron Murphy.
Ratoath – Much will depend for Ratoath on how they fare against St. Colmcilles in the opening round. If they come away from Piltown with a point or two in the bag they are likely to be there or thereabouts when the finalists become known towards the end of September. If they lose that game, then they will face a mountain to climb if a semi-final spot is to be
secured. Having last won the Delaney Cup in 2017 when Ryan Kelly captained them to a six-point win in the decider against Na Fianna, hopes are high in the club that both their Seniors and Minors could be in action in Páirc Tailteann on county final day in October. A lack of talent won’t be an issue for Ratoath who can call upon the likes of Cian Smith, Liam Kelly, Oisín
Kelly and Tomás (Mossie) Corbett with each of these potential game winners on their day.
Skryne – Like St. Peter’s Dunboyne, Skryne have been promoted to Division 1 on the back of the brilliant form in the League earlier this year and while they will have an average age slightly younger than many of the other sides in the top tier, they will not lack any talent. John Finnerty is the latest of the well-known family to be coming through the ranks of the Tara outfit and those who watched St. Patrick’s Classical School on their march to the All-Ireland Junior ‘A’ Final, will have liked what they have seen from him. Finnerty will be ably assisted by the likes of James Mangan, Mark Swan and Luke O’Brien while the other teams will surely be looking to lock down Oisín Keogh who is another to be in his second year on the county Minor panel. Skryne last won the Minor Football Championship back in 1974 and few things would bring more joy around the parish than if they were to end that long wait this year.
Manager – Sean O’Regan. Selectors – James Reddy & Andy McConnell. Captain – Scott
St. Colmcille’s – Perennially one of the main contenders for the Delaney Cup, St. Colmcilles enter this year’s LMFM MFC as defending champions after their brilliant victory over Summerhill in the 2019 decider. The group of players have won almost every competition from U-12 coming through the age-grades but fell to defeat against Dunshaughlin in the U-16 Division 1 League Final in May of last year. Backboned by the likes of Adam Daly, Godfrey Ehichoya and Luke Hanan alongside Sean O’Donoghue who hopes to play in the final for the third consecutive year, there are talented players everywhere you look on the ‘Cilles team. They have landed as tough a draw as they could realistically have gotten which in many ways is similar to the grouping they were handed in 2018 when they went all the way to the final before losing out to Donaghmore/Ashbourne. Their opening round encounter against Ratoath is set to be a brilliant game and a win her could light the touch paper for another memorable MFC campaign.
Manager – Gerry White. Selectors – John Weir, Jack Reynolds & Mark Whearty. Joint
Captains – Caolan Nulty & Liam Stafford.
2019 Winner – St. Colmcille’s.
Playing For – Delaney Cup
Predicted semi-finalists – Duleek/Bellewstown, Ratoath, St. Colmcille’s & Summerhill.
Predicted winners – Ratoath
Predicted Shield Contestants – Dunshaughlin, Gaeil Colmcille, Skryne & St. Peter’s Dunboyne.