Dunshaughlin Minors win Division 2 Championship.
Minor Div. 2 Championship Final, October 28th 2019.
Final Score: Dunshaughlin 1-9 St. Peters Dunboyne 1-8
This game was originally fixed as part of a double header with the Division 4 final in Pairc Tailtean but was changed to Skryne after heavy rain on Friday, due to concerns about the state the Pairc Tailtean pitch would be in after the senior final on Sunday. In any case it appears the decision was premature as the weather was beautiful the whole weekend and the Bank Holiday Monday was a beautiful day for football. Because of a clash of colours both teams had to change to alternative strips, Dunshaughlin lined out in the red and white of our hurling parish team, Drumree while Dunboyne lined out in green. Skryne was the venue chosen to host the final and based on form Dunshaughlin would have been hot favourites going into the game against Dunboyne.
However Dunboyne almost pulled off what would have been one of the biggest shocks of the Minor Championship in 2019 as they led for the majority of the game. Dunboyne led by 1-6 to 0-3 at half time and Dunshaughlin were relieved to hear the half time whistle to give them a chance to come to terms with the challenge they faced and focus on getting back into the game.
Dunshaughlin took the lead in the opening minute with a Robert Walker point which was equalized in the 4th minute with a pointed free from Dunboyne. In the 6th minute Dunshaughlin midfielder Conor Gray spotted his midfield partner had snuck his way in behind the Dunboyne defence and kicked a 60 meter precise pass leaving Ciaran McCarrick one on one with Dunboyne keeper Jamie Ryan but McCarrick’s shot was saved brilliantly by Ryan.
That save gave inspiration to Dunboyne and for the rest of the half they stood up to all Dunshaughlin had to throw at them while also helping themselves to a further five points culminating in a Ciaran Lonergan goal with 2 minutes remaining in the 1st half. Dunshauglin only managed two further points in the last 29 minutes of that half (John McDonagh & Ruairi Kinsella) and were not helping their own cause by uncharacteristically kicking wide’s from both play and frees.
There were a few choice words spoken by Paul Murphy during the halftime talk in the Dunshaughlin dressing room and Paul Nestor’s inspiring words will never be forgotten by all present, it gave the boys a very clear indication of the effort required to have any hope of collecting the silverware. In fairness to the boys, they responded magnificently and came out a totally different team in the 2nd half and fought for every ball like their life depended on it. Dunshaughlin started to eat into the Dunboyne lead with Murphy scoring points in the 3rd and fourth minutes but Dunboyne were dogged and were hanging in and scored an early second half point themselves and were making Dunshaughlin work really hard for every score. But as the game wore on Conor Gray and Ciaran McCarrick were beginning to stamp more of authority at midfield and the comeback was really on when McDonagh and Murphy both scored points reducing the deficit to three points with ten minutes remaining. Then the relentless pressure on the Dunboyne goal paid off with a magnificent Ruairi Kinsella goal. Immediately after the kickout Dunshaughlin spurned a chance to take the lead with another shot going wide. However cool heads prevailed on the Dunshaughlin team and heading into injury time Dunshaughlin led by two points scored by Murphy & Kinsella. The seven minutes of injury time were nail biting stuff and Dunboyne reduced it to one in the 3rd minute of injury time with a pointed free. Great work in the Dunshaughlin defence especially from James Traynor, Jared Rushe & Donagh McCarrick held Dunboyne at bay. Also Colm Keane switching to half forward made life more difficult for Dunboyne setting up their attacks.
There was great celebration among the large crowd of Dunshaughlin supporters when Keith Sheerin blew the final whistle. It was a great comeback from been six points down at half time, this bunch of lads showed their true character when their backs were to the wall and showed what a special group of boys we are blessed with. They are a credit to their club, their families, their mentors and themselves.
Some of the mentors have been with this bunch since Nursery and were with them also when they were crowned Meath Feile Division 1 champions, Seamus Traynor, Andy Byrne & Derry McCool (Dave McCormack was a coach with the Feile team) and this year got further coaching assistance from Paul Nestor & Kieran O’ Riordan and Paul Murphy as manager.
We wish the older members of this team the best of luck as they now enter the adult football ranks and the younger members of the squad best wishes as they prepare for the 2020 Minor campaign.
Joint Captains Daragh Byrne & Ciaran McCarrick were presented the Liam Tolan cup by Teresa Tolan & Mairead Delaney.
Dunshaughlin : Jack Nestor, Jeff Wall, , Aiden Fraher, Donagh McCarrick, Colm Keane, James Traynor, Jared Rushe, Ciaran McCarrick, Conor Gray, Cillian McCool, John McDonagh (0-2), Robert Walker, ( 0-1), Ruairi Kinsella (1-1), Daragh Byrne, Aaron Murphy (0-5).
Subs: Alex Arkins Flinter for Cillian McCool, Sean Walsh for Jeff Wall, Jack O’ Riordan, Moustafa Saadon, Cian Edwards , Liam O’ Connor, Cian McLoughlin, Shane Kennedy, Charlie O’ Connor, Fursey Blake. Away: Calum Deehan, Jack Brady,