LMFM Minor Football Championship Round 2 Previews

Mon 29th Aug

LMFM Minor Football Championship Round 2 Previews

The LMFM Minor Football Championship got underway last week with games across Divisions 1-6 and the action continues apace this evening with a full programme of games down for decision. Our pundit has been studying the form and here they cast their eye across all twenty-one games which will be played.

 

Division 1A

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Seneschalstown (0-16) (1-09) St. Patrick’s Seneschalstown
1 St. Colmcille’s (3-14) (2-08) Skryne Skryne

 

St. Colmcille’s v Seneschalstown

Referee – Derek Ryan (Na Fianna)

Venue – Páirc Uí Rís, Piltown

Throw in 19:00

 

These teams are ultra-familiar with each other having been in regular opposition coming through the age grades and have met in finals at U-12, U-14 and U-15 level over the past seasons with both St. Colmcille’s and Seneschalstown having picked up silverware from these encounters.  There is generally very little to choose between them and this evening’s encounter is likely to follow a similar pattern.

 

Of all the teams in action last week, it’s not far fetched to say the most eye-catching result was that achieved in Skryne by the Ronan Murphy managed St. Colmcille’s team.  Shorn of the services of pivotal players such as Oisín Brennan and Charlie Bacon, they would have been expected to struggle to overcome the home side but the ‘Cilles turned in a powerful performance to dismantle the challenge posed by Skryne.  Now boosted by the return of their Meath Minor contingent they will be an even stronger proposition on home soil this week.

 

Seneschalstown with the crop of players have been a beacon of light for rural clubs and prove positive that clubs not from our ever-growing urban centres can not only compete with but can defeat the teams who have much larger numbers of players to pick from.  Division 1 titles at all age grades have been plundered by the Yellow Furze outfit with their latest coming on the May Bank Holiday Monday when Skryne were defeated in the season opening Tournament Final.  Luke Healy in goals looks like a potential future Senior goalkeeper for the Seneschalstown club while Séimí Byrne who is better known as a defender has been showing impressive form as an attacker for much of this season.

 

Verdict – St. Colmcille’s

 

St. Patrick’s v Skryne

Referee – Andrew Smith (Dunshaughlin)

Venue – Stamullen

Throw in – 19:00

 

Having come up short last week, both of these teams know that picking up a victory here is crucial if their aspirations of winning the Delany Cup in October is to be realised.  Skryne will be disappointed with the manner of their defeat against St. Colmcille’s and there is little doubt that they will fancy their chances of bouncing back to winning ways in Stamullen this evening against a St. Patrick’s side who despite last week’s defeat to Seneschalstown will be coming into this encounter full of confidence after claiming Division 2 glory in the League a few short weeks ago.

 

Typical of a Skryne juvenile team, they are very well coached, and every player is comfortable when in possession of the football.  They took the step up to Division 1 in their stride back in the Spring when reaching the Tournament Final and looked like a team that could very well make a push for glory later in the season.  In Billy Smyth they have a forward of real quality and he will put the St. Patrick’s defence to the pin of their collar to contain the diminutive attacker. Jack O’Regan and Tom Lenehan are two others to watch out for in the Skryne lineout.

 

14-08-22, Gerry Reilly Cup Final at Millbrook GAA – Oldcastle
Billy Smyth (Meath) in action
Photo: David Mullen/www.quirke.ie
ISO: 3200; Shutter: 1/1600; Aperture: 4;

 

St. Patrick’s may have lost last week but they proved in running Seneschalstown close that they are more than capable of competing at this higher level. It has been a while since the club had a team at this level of the Minor Football Championship and they are a most welcome addition to the top table. In Jamie Murphy they possess a full forward who has a devastating eye for a goal while he is also an excellent free taker. Oisín Black, the Meath Minor goalkeeper plays outfield for the club, and he will be a key player along with Ben Sullivan who is a corner forward with handy knack of clipping over a few points in every game.

 

Verdict – St. Patrick’s

 

Division 1B

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Donaghmore/Ashbourne (3-08) (1-10) Gaeil Colmcille Ashbourne
1 Ratoath (3-08) (1-12) Oldcastle Ratoath

 

Gaeil Colmcille v Ratoath

Referee – Kieran Olwell (Moynalty)

Venue – Páirc Colmcille, Kells

Throw in – 18:45

 

Gaeil Colmcille will be hoping that the home comforts of Páirc Colmcille plays a key role in this evening’s Division 1B encounter with Ratoath as after last week’s defeat to Donaghmore/Ashbourne, the Justin Carry Lynch coached team know a win against Ratoath is a necessity if they are to harbour ambitions of progressing to the knockout stages.

 

While they ultimately found the League winners too strong last week in Ashbourne, there was much to encourage Gaeil Colmcille in that performance and they will be quietly confident of overturning Ratoath this evening. Tiernan Anderson and the Gormley twins Andrew and John will be key operators for the North Meath side, and they are more than capable of driving the team to pick up the two points if they hit top form.

 

Ratoath have been bubbling under the radar at this age grade but looked to have laid down a marker heading towards the Championship when narrowly losing out in the 7-a-side Tournament Final back in June.  There is little doubt that when the team click into top gear that they are the match of every other team in Division 1 and in Oisín Cunningham they possess a forward who is a potential match winner while Eoin Drysdale is a rock in their defence upon which many a fancied forward has perished.

 

Verdict – Gaeil Colmcille

 

Oldcastle v Donaghmore/Ashbourne

Referee – Keith Sheerin (Drumconrath)

Venue – Millbrook

Throw in – 19:00

 

There are few more difficult venues to go to and pick up a victory in than Millbrook as Oldcastle have made it into a fortress.  Whether it is the venue itself or the fact that many feel it is an hour the far side of Kells, there are few teams that come away from Millbrook with the points. The challenge for Donaghmore/Ashbourne this evening is to prove their mettle in terms of being Championship contenders should anyone be questioning it by coming away from there with two points.

 

With no fewer than seven of their team being on the Meath Minor Football panel this year, and off the back of claiming glory in the League, Donaghmore/Ashbourne have come into the Championship as worthy favourites and couldn’t have asked for much of a better start than that which they enjoyed last week when grinding out a victory over Oldcastle.  Observers of the Minor grade have noted that the Moors often deploy an additional defender or two which leaves them very difficult to break down and if this approach is replicated in Millbrook, then it will be quite the challenge for Oldcastle to break down.

 

Of course, these teams met earlier in the season in a big game when Donaghmore/Ashbourne came out on top in the Group B Final of the season opening Tournament by the narrowest of margins, winning out by 2-11 to 0-16. Oldcastle have been steadily progressing ever since then and they will be in no way daunted by the challenge posed by the visitors.  The big question for them is whether or not they have progressed sufficiently.  With the benefit of home advantage there is a suspicion that they might just have enough to edge a tight affair.

 

Verdict – Oldcastle

 

Division 2A

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Walterstown (3-08) (1-12) St. Peter’s Dunboyne Dunboyne
1 Killary Emmets W/O Conceded North Meath Gaels Drumconrath

 

Killary Emmets v St. Peter’s Dunboyne

Referee – Padraic Coyle (Seneschalstown)

Venue – Castletown

Throw In – 19:00

 

Killary Emmets come into this game without the benefit of a game last week after receiving the points from North Meath Gaels.  By contrast St. Peter’s Dunboyne may have lost out to Walterstown in a tight encounter but that game is likely to stand to them as it is hard to beat a game in the cut and thrust of Championship action to bring on a team.

 

Having claimed Division 2 glory in 2021, hopes are high around Castletown and Syddan that a repeat prescription could be in order this year and they will know that a victory here would leave them with one foot in the semi-finals.

 

For St. Peter’s Dunboyne, it is a long trip to Castletown but despite last weeks defeat it is one they will make with confidence. They will look to Cathal Melody for leadership and if he along with the accurate John Harkin catch fire then they are capable of making the journey home feel a lot shorter.

 

Verdict – St. Peter’s Dunboyne

 

Walterstown v North Meath Gaels

Referee – Pat Clarke (Seneschalstown)

Venue – Walterstown

Throw In – 18:45

 

One of the more eye-catching results from last week’s opening round of fixtures was Walterstown’s excellent victory over St. Peter’s Dunboyne.  Of course, they have shown in the League that they are a rapidly improving side and they took the eventual Division 2 League winners (St. Patrick’s) to extra-time in a thrilling semi-final.

 

As a group they have come from being in Division 4 at U-15 two years ago to the upper echelons of Division 2 at the Minor grade which is a testament not only to the players on the pitch but also to the coaches led by Ian Reilly. Can they kick on and claim the Liam Tolan Cup?  They have certainly earned the right to be named prominently among the contenders and a victory over North Meath Gaels would cement that status.

 

North Meath Gaels found their numbers depleted last week and the combination outfit consisting of players from Drumconrath, Kilmainhamwood and Meath Hill were ultimately unable to field against Killary Emmets.  The task for them this week is a very tough one and it will require a big showing if they are to come away from the Oldtown Road venue with the two points.

 

25-05-22. Meath v Wexford Seamus Heaney Minor Football Cup Final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
Rian Stafford, Meath surging forward against Dara Kelly, Wexford in the Meath v Wexford Seamus Heaney MF Cup Final.
Photo: John Quirke / www.quirke.ie
©John Quirke Photography, 16 Proudstown Road, Navan. Co. Meath. 046-9028461 / 087-2579454.

 

Verdict – Walterstown

 

Division 2B

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Navan O’Mahonys (4-17) (2-07) Moynalty/Carnaross Paddy O’Brien Park
1 Trim (3-15) (2-09) Slane Slane

 

Moynalty/Carnaross v Slane

Referee – Peter Skelly (St. Brigid’s)

Venue – Moynalty

Throw In – 19:00

 

This is another encounter between two sides who fell to opening round defeats last week.  Moynalty/Carnaross found the questions posed by Navan O’Mahonys too tough to answer in Paddy O’Brien Park while newly promoted Slane were left to rue the concession of three majors in their defeat to Trim.

 

Moynalty/Carnaross have been quietly impressive this season and have probably not ended up with the results their performances warranted on occasion, but they will have been eyeing this contest up since the draws were made in Dunganny as a game to target.

 

For Slane, it has been something of a dream season.  Joined with Rathkenny last year, the club made the decision to go it alone this year and it has worked out fantastically for them.  They reached the Division 5 Final of the Tournament in May before coming away with the Division 3 League title a few weeks ago when defeating North Meath Gaels on a famous evening for the club. Their upward curve might just continue this evening.

 

Verdict – Slane

 

Trim v Navan O’Mahonys

Referee – Robbie Barrett (Walterstown)

Venue – Trim

Throw In – 18:45

 

Trim blazed a trail through Division 2 of the League during the Summer before falling to a surprise defeat at the hands of St. Peter’s Dunboyne in the semi-final.  However, reports emanating from the club since that encounter suggests that they were without a number of key operators in that encounter.  This would suggest they will be well placed to mount a major challenge for the Liam Tolan Cup.

 

O’Mahonys have been plying their trade in Division 1 for the season to date before dropping into Division 2 for the Championship.  They found the going tough in the higher grade but showed last week that they are more than capable of being in the mix for honours in Division 2 when putting in their best performance of the season to date.

 

This is one encounter where there just might be nothing to separate the teams.

 

Verdict – Draw

 

Division 3B

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Rathkenny (6-21) (2-05) Na Fianna Rathkenny
1 Round Towers (3-14) (2-14) Duleek-Bellewstown Duleek

 

Na Fianna v Duleek-Bellewstown

Referee – Aidan Dalton (Ballinabrackey)

Venue – Enfield

Throw In – 18:45

 

A repeat of the Division 4 League Final is in store in Enfield where the home side will be looking to overturn the result from that evening in Paddy O’Brien Park where Duleek-Bellewstown picked up a third trophy in a week, following on from two Premier Championship wins in the preceding days.

 

Duleek-Bellewstown were superb on that occasion, and it will take a big performance from the home side to overcome the team from the east of the county.  A suspicion lingers that they might just find what it takes.

 

Verdict – Na Fianna

 

Round Towers v Rathkenny

Referee – Seamus O’Connor (Carnaross)

Venue – Drumbaragh

Throw In – 18:45

 

One side had a comprehensive victory last week while the other came out on top in a high scoring thriller.  But the question which remains to be answered is which of these sides will come out on top this evening in Drumbaragh.  Round Towers are sure to have plenty of inside knowledge as to the challenge Rathkenny will pose with Drumbaragh clubman Paul McManus donning the Bainisteoir bib with Rathkenny’s Intermediate side.

 

Max McKenna is one of the key players for Rathkenny and the high fielding midfielder is a player to watch out for in the future. Similar can be said about Shea McManus and if these two come into direct opposition in Drumbaragh, then it should be a clash to savour.

 

Verdict – Draw

 

Division 4A

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Bective/Dunsany (2-17) (1-06) Ballivor Bective
1 Clann na nGael (3-10) (2-09) Blackhall Gaels Athboy

 

Ballivor v Clann na nGael

Referee – Frank Scully (Longwood)

Venue – Ballivor

Throw In – 18:45

 

Ballivor fell to a heavy defeat last week when finding Bective/Dunsany too hot to handle.  They will be hoping that a return to home comforts might help them overcome the stiff challenge which will be posed by a Clann na nGael outfit which came out on top of a thriller last week in Athboy against Blackhall Gaels.

Verdict – Clann na nGael

 

Blackhall Gaels v Bective/Dunsany

Referee – Stephen Cregan (Dunshaughlin)

Venue – Kilcloon

Throw In – 18:45

 

Many present in Athboy last week are still scratching their heads at how Blackhall Gaels had to make the journey home empty handed such was the quality of their football over the course of the hour.  A repeat performance here will leave them mighty close to defeating Bective/Dunsany, but they will likely need to improve further again if they are to pick up two points at home.

 

For the home side, dual Meath U-16 player Liam Jennings will be a key player while for Bective/Dunsany, the name David Donnelly is one to keep an eye out for.

 

Verdict – Blackhall Gaels

 

Division 4A

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 St. Colmcille’s (3-07) (0-14) Summerhill Páirc Uí Rís, Piltown
1 St. Ultan’s/Cortown Gaels (4-08) (0-13) Simonstown Gaels Cortown

 

Simonstown Gaels v St. Colmcille’s

Referee – Patrick Clarke (Kilmainhamwood)

Venue – Simonstown

Throw In – 19:00

 

Three years ago, Simonstown contested the Division 1 semi-final after earlier in the season playing in the Division 1 League Final.  Now they find themselves in Division 4 of the LMFM Minor Football Championship.  Last weeks result against St. Ultan’s/Cortown Gaels will have been very disappointing but opportunity knocks this evening to recover from that and bounce back to winning ways when they welcome St. Colmcille’s to the Proudstown Road.

 

Verdict – Simonstown Gaels

 

Summerhill v St. Ultan’s/Cortown Gaels

Referee – Dave Finlay (St. Peter’s Dunboyne)

Venue – Summerhill

Throw In – 18:45

 

It has been a challenging year at the Minor grade for Summerhill but there was plenty of positives to glean from last week’s performance away to St. Colmcille’s, despite the defeat.  Had the game continued a few minutes more, then it is quite likely that the youngsters from the ‘Hill would have come away with a victory as during the second half they played some excellent football. St. Ultan’s/Cortown Gaels though were in superb form throughout their game against Simonstown Gaels.  It is believed a few key players who missed that game will be back for the journey to Summerhill, but it still might prove a fruitless trip.

 

Verdict – Summerhill

 

Division 5

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Ballinlough (6-07) (1-09) St. Michael’s/Nobber Ballinlough
1 Donaghmore/Ashbourne (1-06) (0-08) Oldcastle Oldcastle
1 St. Vincent’s/Curraha (5-09) (2-09) Wolfe Tones Ardcath

 

Donaghmore/Ashbourne v Ballinlough

Referee – Patrick Coyle (Curraha)

Venue – Ashbourne

Throw In – 19:00

 

Two sides who had impressive wins last week come into opposition in Ashbourne with the home side fresh from grinding out a win by the minimum away to Oldcastle and Ballinlough on a high after a goal laden win over St. Michael’s/Nobber.  Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s defence is miserly and if they can continue in that fashion then they might just deprive Ballinlough of the goals which they thrive on.  That’s easier said than done though.

 

Verdict – Ballinlough

 

St. Michael’s/Nobber v St. Vincent’s/Curraha

Referee – Peter O’Halloran (Drumconrath)

Venue – Nobber

Throw In – 19:00

 

25-05-22. Meath v Wexford Seamus Heaney Minor Football Cup Final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
Declan Reilly, Meath in action against Oisin Byrne, Wexford in the Meath v Wexford Seamus Heaney MF Cup Final.
Photo: John Quirke / www.quirke.ie
©John Quirke Photography, 16 Proudstown Road, Navan. Co. Meath. 046-9028461 / 087-2579454.

 

St. Michael’s/Nobber come into this evening’s game looking to bounce back to winning ways against a St. Vincent’s/Curraha team that were brilliant last week when defeating Wolfe Tones.  Form can be fickle, but form suggests that St. Vincent’s/Curraha might just edge this encounter.

 

Verdict- St. Vincent’s/Curraha

 

Wolfe Tones v Oldcastle

Referee – Eamon Barry (Walterstown)

Venue – Gibbstown

Throw In – 18:45

 

Some might say that when The Pundit makes their predictions that they must be blind.  This is one game where they feel they are effectively blindfolded when attempting to predict who will come out on top.  Much might depend on whether Oldcastle’s Division 1 team are at full strength or not.  If they have to pull away some of the Division 6 players to make up the numbers, then it will weaken their challenge.  Either way, The Pundit feels Wolfe Tones will be marginally too strong.

 

Verdict – Wolfe Tones

 

Division 6

 

Results to date:

Round         Venue
1 Clonard/Ballinabrackey (2-15) (2-12) St. Peter’s Dunboyne Dunboyne
1 Longwood (6-08) (0-14) Moynalvey/Boardsmill Longwood
1 Ratoath     BYE  

 

 

Moynalvey/Boardsmill v St. Peter’s Dunboyne

Referee – Declan Browne (Skryne)

Venue – Moynalvey

Throw In – 18:45

 

Moynalvey/Boardsmill matched Longwood score for score last week but unfortunately for them they raised all white flags while six of the flags Longwood raised were green in colour.  St. Peter’s Dunboyne were somewhat unlucky to lost out by two points against Clonard/Ballinabrackey.  There is likely to be very little to split these teams and it could very well end in a draw.

 

Verdict – Draw

 

Ratoath v Longwood

Referee – Sean Clarke (Skryne)

Venue – Ratoath

Throw In – 18:45

 

Longwood have the look of a team who will be entertaining to watch such is their penchant for going for goals at every opportunity.  That ability to register three pointers will prove crucial against a strong Ratoath side.  If they can manage to keep up last week’s impressive form, then they could come away with another win, but Ratoath might just prove a shade too strong.

 

Verdict – Ratoath

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