Every now and again one has to sit down and realise how lucky they are – in the case of this Sunday’s Minor A final we are blessed. It is truly an encounter between City slickers and the men down south. One that was a game of the ages in 2018 & will enthrall the many who’ll attend UPMC Nowlan Park as the men clad in green & white will set out their stall that last year was no fluke against the Palmerstown outfit who is still hurting from last years defeat.
Dicksboro are like the American Basketball team of the late 90’s full of talent like Harry Shine who led the Good Counsel defence on a merry dance in last weeks Leinster Final win for St Kieran’s College whilst Timmy Clifford of Kilkenny minor fame and Nick Doheny have being to the fore front of Dicksboro’s advance to the final where they are looking gain revenge on last years defeat.
They began the campaign with a fine win away to Rower Inistioge where they only began to play fluent hurling in the last 20 minutes to pull fully away.
Dicksboro 2-17Galmoy/Windgap 0-10. A superb second half performance sent Dicksboro minors into the Roinn A Final once again when they overcame Galmoy/Windgap in Palmerstown. Dicksboro had set the early pace spurred on by a seventh minute goal from Sean Maher to lead 1-2 to 0-0 after seven minutes. However ,over the course of the next ten minutes, Galmoy/Windgap plucked five points without reply, from Eoin O Brien, Billy Drennan(3) and Pauric Foley, to level it up 1-2 to 0-5 after 18 minutes.The Boro replied through Aran Murphy and Liam Moore (2) . Billy Drennan then hit a purple patch with five points without reply, both from play and from frees.The visitors lead 0-10 to 1-6 at half time and seemed to be well in contention. Despite losing a player to a second yellow just before the interval, it was Dicksboro who were energised for the new half. In particular, Liam Moore was the one player who really stood out for the hosts as he proceeded to really dominate at midfield and was in great shooting form all through. The loss of the player seemed to create more space for the ‘Boro forwards and they ran riot from here on in which ensured the Palmerstown had a berth in the final well secure.
In fairness to Mooncoin many probably expected them to sit on their laurels of 2018 as they had captured the whole imagination of the county. It was rare, it was wonderful but little did we all realise how talented they were & how hungry they were to repeat their exploits in 2019.
One only had to look at the performances of Oisin Hennerby, James Aylward & Sean Dwyer to realise they were not going to lie down to Dunnamaggin in the first round which was quickly followed by a even more impressive win over James Stephens which by all accounts was a victory which was as comprehensive as they can come.
If one was to call it, it’d be no surprise if it was all level at the full time whistle.
Earlier in the day age old rivals Young Ireland’s & St Martins clash in the Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor B Championship final.
Young Ireland’s are on a crest of a wave at the moment in underage hurling in Kilkenny with many of the panel having won last years U-15 A league final and a number of them playing in last Monday’s A championship final whilst the Gowran is 34 strong.
The DJ Carey managed side took a while to get going against Dicksboro B but eventually burnt off their challenge in the first round. Next up was Graigue Ballycallan & it took two games for them to get the better of the Kilmanagh men. The semi final saw them at their full flowing best where they rattled the net five times in a emphatic win over Glenmore- a side many had picked as the team to beat.
Their attack was devastating on the day with Conor Fitzpatrick, Jack Kennedy Byrne, Killian Carey & Padraig Naddy influential men whilst Gavin Manning, Tommy Phelan & Cathal D’Arcy have marshalled the defence well that has had Barry Dunne as its able custodian.
St Martins got their campaign off to a good start with a win over Graignamanagh with Tullogher Rosbercon the next to visit Muckalee where a scoring blitz just after half time was enough to get St Martins across.
The semi final against Carrickshock was again a tight affair where Josh Dempsey popped up with a late winner. He has had able assistance in attack with Jack Farrell & Joe Reid being prominent whilst Bill Dowling, Conor Dooley, Matthew Shortall & Tristan Roche have had their moments on the run to the final which saw them end a wait since 2000 to reach the Minor B final.
Young Ireland’s will be many people’s fancy to lift the first trophy of the afternoon.
The weekend gets off to a flier from an underage perspective as the Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor C final takes place at 1.30pm in Danesfort on Saturday as Kilmacow & Blacks & White’s clash in a eagerly anticipated clash with both sides having a number of underage stars on show it’s a game not to be missed.