DG Stoves & Fireplaces Minor Hurling Championship Match Previews

Thu 1st Sep

DG Stoves & Fireplaces Minor Hurling Championship Match Previews

The action is heating up in the DG Stoves & Fireplaces Minor Hurling Championship with the penultimate round down for decision across Divisions 1 and 2 while in Division 3 we are down to the final round.


In Division 1 Trim have looked like the likeliest winners from the outset but they face a tough test against Donaghmore/Ashbourne who caused something of a surprise for many onlookers when downing a fancied Dunderry in Round 3 to leave themselves in a fantastic position to claim a place in the final.  Navan O’Mahonys have a BYE in Round 4 while Dunderry take on Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille in what looks like a contest which will decide who comes fourth and fifth in the table.


Division 2 has been very competitive to date and while Ratoath remain unbeaten with three wins from three games, all victories have been by small margins as their score difference of (+11) reflects.  Na Fianna are also unbeaten and they have five points out of six after bouncing back from a draw against Kildalkey in Round 2 with a brilliant win over neighbours Boardsmill/Rathmolyon the last day.  This result leaves Boardsmill/Rathmolyon needing to win their last two games if they are to progress to the decider while St. Peter’s Dunboyne know that they still have an outside chance of making to top two places following their impressive win last week over Clann na nGael.  Results will need to go their way but as we have seen to date, anything is possible in this Division. Meanwhile Kildalkey and Clann na nGael know they are destined for the Shield.


Affairs in Division 3 could become very interesting should Killyon/Longwood overcome current table toppers Kilmessan in Longwood and Drumree as expected manage to defeat The Saints/Bhulf Tón in Stamullen.  This would leave three teams tied on two points and score difference would be required to split the teams involved.  It could well be a case of calculators at the ready in Longwood and Stamullen.


All matches this evening throw in at 18:45.


Division 1


Results to date:

Round Venue
1 Trim (8-26) (3-07) Navan O’Mahonys Trim
1 Donaghmore / Ashbourne Walkover Conceded Loughcrew Gaels / Gaeil Colmcille Ashbourne
1 Dunderry BYE
2 Navan O’Mahonys (2-11) (2-11) Donaghmore / Ashbourne Paddy O’Brien Park
2 Trim (3-16) (2-11) Dunderry Dunderry
2 Loughcrew Gaels / Gaeil Colmcille BYE
3 Donaghmore / Ashbourne (5-10) (2-11) Dunderry Ashbourne
3 Navan O’Mahonys (2-18) (2-08) Loughcrew Gaels / Gaeil Colmcille Páirc Colmcille
3 Trim BYE


Dunderry v Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille

Referee – Gerard Smith (Boardsmill)

Venue – Dunderry


At the outset of the competition, many would have had this encounter down as a game which would have a major say in deciding who could contest the decider in Páirc Tailteann next month.  The DG Stoves & Fireplaces Minor Hurling Championship has a habit of throwing up some unexpected storylines and these teams feature in one of them as both are out of contention for making the big dance in Páirc Tailteann with two round to go.


Noah Boshell could be tasked with the job of picking up Mark Leavy for the Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille combination side and if he can limit the influence of the Meath U-16 Hurler then they will have gone a long way towards limiting the scoring power of the Dunderry team. Rian Early and Fergal Flynn are two key operators around the middle of the park for the William Anderson coached team and their workrate allied to the long-range scoring ability which Flynn has displayed marks them out as two of the players Dunderry will have to watch out for this evening.


Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille coach William Anderson

16-06-21. Donaghmore/Ashbourne v Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille – Meath U-15 HC Div. 2 Final at Dunganny.
William Anderson, Loughcrew Gaels/Gaeil Colmcille Manager.
Photo: John Quirke / www.quirke.ie
©John Quirke Photography, 16 Proudstown Road, Navan. Co. Meath. (info@quirke.ie / 046-9028461 / 087-2579454).


For Dunderry, Cormac Liggan is noted as a sticky man marker in football, and he is also well able to do a number on an opposition dangerman in the small ball code.  If he, along with Ben Egenton and Jamie Duffy can hit top form then along with the previously noted free taking abilities of Evan Nolan then Dunderry can pick up a confidence boosting victory.


Verdict – Dunderry


Trim v Donaghmore/Ashbourne

Referee – Frank Scully (Longwood)

Venue – Trim


The pundit was left with egg on their face last week when after tipping Dunderry to defeat Donaghmore/Ashbourne in Round 3, it was the Moors who came out on top after carving out an eight point winning margin, 5-10 to 2-11 despite getting off to the worst possible start when they trailed by 2-01 to 0-00 after ten minutes.


The strength of character they showed in coming back from that bad start could well be required in spades again this evening when they travel to Trim to take on the favourites for Championship glory.  Donaghmore/Ashbourne are a physically imposing team and off the back of last week’s brilliant victory, hopes are rising within the club that a historic Division 1 Football and Hurling Championship Double could potentially be on the cards.


Trim though are without a doubt the team to beat and the Declan Murray coached side have been the standard bearers as the they have come through the age grades George Douglas is a very talented stickman around the middle of the field and his seemingly telepathic understanding with Kyle Ennis in the inside forward line is one of the teams’ key strengths.  Darragh Heffernan, aka Heff, is a key targetman for Eoin O’Reilly’s puckouts and while Donaghmore/Ashbourne have been motoring well, it is hard to look past Trim on this occasion.  But maybe the tables will turn if they meet later in the season as Donaghmore/Ashbourne continue to improve?


Verdict – Trim


Navan O’Mahonys v BYE


Division 2


Results to date:

Round Venue
1 Ratoath (3-10) (2-12) St. Peter’s Dunboyne Dunboyne
1 Na Fianna (4-11) (0-19) Clann na nGael Athboy
1 Boardsmill / Rathmolyon (3-17) (4-13) Kildalkey Kildalkey
2 Na Fianna (0-12) (2-06) Kildalkey Baconstown
2 Ratoath (4-11) (1-16) Clann na nGael Ratoath
2 Boardsmill / Rathmolyon (6-13) (4-13) St. Peter’s Dunboyne Boardsmill
3 St. Peter’s Dunboyne (4-20) (0-18) Clann na nGael Ráth Cairn
3 Ratoath (3-15) (3-09) Kildalkey Ratoath
3 Na Fianna (5-11) (2-06) Boardsmill / Rathmolyon Baconstown


Boardsmill/Rathmolyon v Ratoath

Referee – Darren Dunne (St. Peter’s Dunboyne)

Venue – Boardsmill


Arguably the most intriguing game of the lot in the DG Stoves & Fireplaces Minor Hurling Championship this evening is this encounter which will take place in Boardsmill.  The combination outfit of Boardsmill/Rathmolyon started the Championship on fire with two wins from two before their ambitions were slightly derailed last week when losing out to near neighbours Na Fianna in Baconstown.  They know now that a second loss is likely to be fatal to their ambitions of Championship glory, but they could not face a much tougher task in trying to get back to winning ways than a meeting with top of the table Ratoath.


How they deal with the very influential Ratoath half back line of Eoin Drysdale, John Fitzharris and Conor Godkin will go a long way towards deciding the outcome of this affair.  The three of these players according to reports were reportedly in superb form in Ratoath’s victory over Kildalkey last week and as well as being a solid base upon which the defensive effort is founded, they are all capable of exerting a positive influence in the attacking sphere for their team as well.  Ronan Conheady always plays a captain’s role and is the teams’ scorer in chief and he is ably assisted by Oisín Cunningham who pilfered a vital goal in last weeks game.


Boardsmill/Kildalkey will look to county Minor goalkeeper Luke Gallagher to provide a launch pad for attacks with his accurate puckouts while at centre back Daithí Grehan displays a maturity beyond his years with how he marshals the defence.  Younger brother of Eoghan who won the All-Ireland MFC with Meath last year, he is one to watch for the Village in years to come.  In attack they will look towards the deadly accurate Joey Christie for inspiration and if he catches fire then Ratoath will be sure to find his threat difficult to quench.


Verdict – Ratoath


Kildalkey v Clann na nGael


Kildalkey have been awarded the points for this game as Clann na nGael have conceded a walkover.


St. Peter’s Dunboyne v Na Fianna

Referee – Conal O’Sullivan (Drumree)

Venue – Dunboyne


Just four days after the Senior Hurlers from these clubs played out a draw in the Ted Murtagh Clothing & Footwear Senior Hurling Championship, their Minors do battle in what is a crucial game for both sides but for differing reasons.  St. Peter’s Dunboyne were in devastating form last week in Ráth Cairn when defeating Clann na nGael by 4-20 to 0-18 and that win will have sparked a lot of thoughts as to what might have been had they managed to eke out a victory in either Round 1 or 2 instead of falling to two narrow defeats at the hands of Ratoath and Boardsmill/Rathmolyon.


The wily Eamon Murphy patrols the sideline for St. Peter’s and he knows that his side are more than capable of throwing the Na Fianna ambitions of reaching the final off course. Shane McCormack and Daniel Boyd were two key members of Ger O’Neills Meath Minor panel this year with both lining out in the half forward line.  This duo will take plenty of watching from Na Fianna while Conor Murphy who was called onto the county Minor panel over the course of the season is another to keep an eye on with the player coming in high in confidence after being part of the county U-16 panel which defeated Laois last weekend.


Na Fianna, buoyed by their recent Division 1 League Shield success have been flying to date in the Championship with their sole slip up coming in the low scoring Round 2 game against Kildalkey when they were held to a draw. A win here would see them copper fasten their position in the top two of the Division and indeed, could potentially see them top the group ahead of the final round game against Ratoath should results elsewhere go in their favour.  Michael Heffernan and Patrick Jordan will be two of their key operators this evening.


Verdict – St. Peter’s Dunboyne


Division 3


Results to date:

Round Venue
1 Kilmessan (1-15) (3-02) The Saints / Bhulf Tón Stamullen
1 Drumree (8-16) (5-14) Killyon / Longwood Drumree
2 Killyon / Longwood (0-18) (1-08) The Saints / Bhulf Tón Longwood
2 Kilmessan (2-11) (3-07) Drumree Kilmessan


Killyon/Longwood v Kilmessan

Referee – John McDonnell (Edenderry)

Venue – Longwood


There is a lot at stake in this game in Longwood as despite having a 100% record to date, Kilmessan are not yet assured of securing their place in the Final and they will need to avoid defeat if they aren’t to be nervously awaiting score updates from Kilberry where The Saints/Bhulf Tón host Drumree who are in contention to net themselves a place in the decider as of course are Killyon/Longwood should they overturn Kilmessan.


Malachy Fisher is likely to be a key player around the middle of the field for Killyon/Longwood with Conor Dixon one their dangermen upfront. Kian Douglas is one of the sides main leaders and a potential match up between the Killyon star and Kilmessans’ Padraic Horan would be one to savour.


Kian Douglas will be a key player for Killyon/Longwood

Meath’s Kian Douglas, jumps for joy after scoring for Meath during the Meath v Carlow, Pedar O’Liathain Cup Final game in Pairc Tailteann, Navan, County Meath.


Dual star Harry Cahill did excellently for the county Minors this year and his intelligence in spotting danger before it arises marks him out as one of the key players for Kilmessan with Ben McGovern and Finn Conroy two more to watch out for on the Anton O’Neill coached team.


Verdict – Kilmessan


The Saints/Bhulf Tón v Drumree

Referee – John O’Brien (O’Dwyers)

Venue – Kilberry


It has been a difficult Championship to date for The Saints/Bhulf Tón who have been performing better than their results would suggest.  If they could find a way to keep the scoreboard ticking over a bit more regularly then they could easily have toppled either Killyon/Longwood or Kilmessan as defensively they have been quite solid.


Drumree started off like a rocket when putting up a huge total against Killyon/Longwood, but they hit a speed bump the last day when losing out to Kilmessan by the minimum.  They possess a brilliant goal threat and if that run continues then it will be hard to look past the youngsters in red and white.


Verdict – Drumree                                                       


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