Friday 15 December 2017

Fingal has a major presence as minors bid for Leinster glory

Rory Kerr

The facilities in Torcaill, home of Naomh Mearnog, are impressive and as you walk into the clubhouse, you are greeted by pictures of many of the stars that have worn the blue jersey over the years.

Kevin O'Brien captained the Dublin under-21s to success in 2012 and since then they have continued to produce a number of inter county players in both codes.

 In hurling, Cian Hendricken and Tommy Kinnane have both lined out at minor level while Shane Carthy and Aodhan Fee have been their two most notable representatives in football  Sunday's minor football decider with Louth sees the clubs biggest representation yet with four named on the panel. 

The presence of Sean Hawkshaw, Karl Lynch Bissett, Gavin Nangle and Dara O'Boyle is good news for Naomh Mearnog and GPO, Paddy Gorey, believes their are a number of reasons for the club's ability to turn out so many inter county players at under age level.

'Of the current bunch, a lot of them would play hurling and I think that has certainly helped with their development but we are also enjoying increasing numbers playing in the schools and club level.

'And there is a tremendous amount of work being done within the club by the likes of Ritchie Fitzmaurice, Conor Kavanagh and Mick Hoban along with who Cliodhna O'Connor is undertaking the athletic development programme.'

Aside from the Naomh Mearnog four, Fingal are  well represented with Donabate's Darren Maher a confident performer at corner back while Ciaran Archer is another likely to trouble Louth further up the field.

It is a big few days for the Maurs man with the inside forward due to line out for the Dublin under-17s this Wedesnday when they take on Westmeath. Daniel Brennan of St Sylvesters is another big threat up front having contributed two points in Wednesday's semi-final win over Kildare and he is joined on the panel by club mates Aaron Lynch and Daniel Deneher.

This will be Dublin's first appearance in a provincial final since 2014 while for opponents Louth this is uncharted territory having last reached a provincial decider 46 years ago.  The Wee County came through a thrilling semi-final in Wexford Park last Tuesday night edging out their hosts by 4-10 to 2-15.

Fingal Independent

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