Who will claim glory in the LMFM MFC Final?

Sat 13th Nov

Who will claim glory in the LMFM MFC Final?

Just as it was back in 2018, the young footballers from Donaghmore/Ashbourne and St. Colmcille’s will contest the final of the LMFM Minor Football Championship when they meet in Páirc Tailteann on Sunday at 12:45 in Páirc Tailteann. Back in 2018 it was the somewhat unheralded Donaghmore/Ashbourne side who came out on top against their more fancied opponents and with the current vintage having come through the younger age grades under the radar they are potentially timing their run to perfection once more. By comparison this St. Colmcille’s side have dominated since they were playing U-12 Football. The script reads so much like 2018 that it is almost uncanny.

 

Buoyed by some excellent performances in the League, a competition they won when defeating Ratoath in an absorbing final played in Dunganny, Donaghmore/Ashbourne have continued on their upward curve during the Championship with their solitary blip coming in Round 3 against Sunday’s opponents.  Though it must be noted that both sides had already booked their place in the last four by then and there was little to play for in that encounter.

 

Managed by Davey Gaughan and with the highly regarded Timmy O’Regan leading the coaching team, the Moors are a very well organised team who may not have as many easily recognised names as St. Colmcille’s but their unity as a group marks them out as a team to watch as they move into the adult ranks.  There is no shortage of big, strong players among their ranks, and they are a group who will relish the physical exchanges.

 

Meath Minors Sean Tyrrell and Paul Wilson are two of the groups’ leaders and both players are likely to line out in the half forward line with Tyrrell on the wing and Wilson leading the forward unit from his centre forward berth.  In defence, Daniel Martyn is a sticky corner back while the forward surges from Dominion Agbaha are something to keep an eye on. Agbaha caused Ratoath untold difficulties in that afore mentioned League Final.

 

Early on in the Championship, Donaghmore/Ashbourne were in fine goalscoring form but as the competition has progressed this goalscoring touch has somewhat deserted them and it is unlikely that they will be lifting the Delany Cup unless they find a way to hit the back of the St. Colmcille’s net.  This though will prove to be a tough task against a miserly ‘Cilles defence who have only conceded two goals to date in the Championship and one of these was somewhat unfortunate as David O’Brien pulled off a stunning save late on in the semi-final against Ratoath only for him to see the rebound nestle in the back of his net.

 

Image via Brian Mulligan

 

St. Colmcille’s look set to start twelve of the starting XV which contested the O’Reilly & Co. Solicitors U-15 Football League Final on November 23, 2019, something which suggests their player retention is working well.  Two of the players who started that day could see game time off the bench while Meath Minor panellist Eoghan McCloughan has enjoyed a torrid spell with injuries and is ruled out of the decider.

 

Evan Breen and Shaun Leonard form an impressive centerfield partnership with Leonard in particular capable of getting forward to great effect, something Meath supporters will remember very well from the All-Ireland MFC Final.  Team captain Eoin Gillick is rock solid at centre back and he anchors a defence in which Oisín Brennan has excelled at full back.  A Minor again in 2022, Brennan is richly talented as well as being versatile, illustrated by the fact he lined out in goals for the 2020 decider against Dunshaughlin.

 

Two members of their full forward line will require no introduction to Meath Gaels with Oisín Ó Murchú having shone at full forward for the All-Ireland Champions over the course of the Championship and Danny Ehichoya another well regarded member of the panel as well of course as being a dancer of some renown as he showcased at their recent Civic Reception in the Solstice Theatre in Navan.  Some of that excellent footwork will be required to evade the attentions of the Donaghmore/Ashbourne defence.

 

St. Colmcille’s have been in free scoring form to date in the Championship with a total of 16-51 (99) registered across their four games but even more impressive has been their miserly defence with Mickey Conlon and Stephen O’Brien’s charges having conceded an average of less than eight points a game.

Path to the Final – Donaghmore/Ashbourne

Round 1 Donaghmore/Ashbourne 5-15 1-05 Walterstown Ashbourne
Round 2 Donaghmore/Ashbourne 3-11 1-09 Gaeil Colmcille Grangegodden
Round 3 Donaghmore/Ashbourne 0-06 2-08 St. Colmcille’s Ashbourne
Semi-Final Donaghmore/Ashbourne 1-07 0-08 St. Peter’s Dunboyne Dunganny

 

Total Scored Donaghmore/Ashbourne 9-39 (66) 4-30 (42) Opposition

 

Path to the Final – St. Colmcille’s

Round 1 St. Colmcille’s 5-14 0-07 Gaeil Colmcille Piltown
Round 2 St. Colmcille’s 7-21 0-05 Walterstown Walterstown
Round 3 St. Colmcille’s 2-08 0-06 Donaghmore/Ashbourne Ashbourne
Semi-Final St. Colmcille’s 2-08 2-06 Ratoath Dunganny

 

Total Scored St. Colmcille’s 16-51 (99) 2-24 (30) Opposition

 

Prediction:  Donaghmore/Ashbourne continue to improve, and this game has all the ingredients to be a tight affair. Conditions are forecast to be dry with a slight breeze which should offer perfect opportunity for the players to showcase their talents. There is a suspicion that a replay may just be required to separate the teams.

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