News Opinion

Friday 28 October 2016

Meenan has assists market cornered

Seán Ryan, Damian Lawlor and Dermot Crowe

Published 10/05/2015 | 02:30

Darren Meenan, Dundalk
Darren Meenan, Dundalk

Fans at Dundalk's 8-1 win over Bray Wanderers last Monday witnessed something they are unlikely to see again in their lifetime. The Lilywhites' winger, Darren Meenan, delivered four corners which were headed to the net, an amazing feat of accuracy, even if it didn't earn him the Man of the Match award.

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Meenan's achievement was no flash in the pan, for his total of assists - not all from corners, of course - since he signed for Dundalk in 2013, is 44, with a seasonal high of 23 last year from 31 appearances (five from the subs' bench). Already this season he has eight assists from 10 appearances (three as sub).

To give some idea of the scale of his achievement, we checked out the leading totals for assists in cross-channel leagues. For instance, Cesc Fabregas is the leader in the FA Premier with 17, but next best is 10.

In the Championship the best was again 17, with Irish under 21 Alan Judge next best with 14 from 37 games. Wes Hoolahan was seventh with 10 from 35, while Jeff Hendrick, nine from 41, was 11th, and Sean Scannell, eight from 42, was 20th.

In League One, the best was 18, followed by 16, with Irish under 21 Conor Hourihane third with 15 from 46 games. In League Two, the best was 12, followed by 10, with the best Irishmen, Liam Lawrence eighth, with nine from 33, and Jamie Devitt ninth, with nine from 36.

In the Scottish Premier League, former Derry City winger Niall McGinn leads the way with nine from 34 games, while Anthony Stokes is seventh, with seven from 21.

Meenan is clearly exceptional at what he does, even allowing for the differences in standards of defending. The lesson surely is: you give corners to Dundalk at your peril.

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The past month has been a rich one for Naas juvenile hurling club who played their first series of games in the Kilkenny under 16 leagues.

They beat James Stephens 2-10 to 0-15 in their first game, beat Erins Own 4-11 to 3-8 and took a notable scalp in beating Dicksboro 4-12 to 2-10. All games were, understandably, played in Kilkenny and it was only in their fourth fixture that they were beaten by O'Loughlin Gaels. Still, it's huge progress and if they win their final game they will make the shield final - not bad going for a Kildare team among the Cats.

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Former Irish international Seamus Dennison will unveil a plaque to honour the only Irishman to win the Currie Cup, South Africa's oldest rugby competition.

That unique achievement is being commemorated this evening in the village of Clonakenny, near Roscrea, in memory of Tom Delaney who was on the Griqualand West team from Kimberley which won in 1911.

Delaney went out to South Africa after the Boer War and was established as a regular player with Griqualand West - known today as the Griquas - in 1910. They are one of the oldest clubs in South Africa.

They won the Currie Cup in 1911 with a team regarded as the best Griquas side ever. Delaney returned to Clonakenny in 1948 and lived there until this death in 1970 at the age of 87.

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Hurling fans may be interested in a forthcoming event in Croke Park, organised by the Dublin wing of Club Limerick, on Friday, May 22.

Some big names from the game, including Anthony Daly, Joe Dooley, Ollie Moran and Cha Fitzpatrick, have been lined up and will be giving their opinions on the upcoming championship race and other items of interest. The event will run from 2.0 to 7.0pm and includes lunch.

For details contact

Sunday Indo Sport

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