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Reserve league Division 6 finalists, front l/r: James Gillick, Semi Byrne (mascot), Mark Gleeson, Tony McDonnell, Robert Mullen, Shane Corbally, Louis McAuley, Mark Fox, Tommy Duggan, Liam Dillion (mascot), Darren Sheehy, Sean Doyle. Back: Terry Maguire, Tean Cummins, Cormac Mullen, Cian Ruddy, Ian Carey, Aled Igman, Mick Beggy, Ronan Conneely , Brendan Lynch, Martin Clarke, Daniel McLoughlin, Niall Sheridan, Stephen Dillion, Darragh Keogh, Jimmy Reilly, Mark Keating, William Mullen, Adrian Clarke, Shane Gargan

Adam Carey raises the U16 Roinn C Summer League Shield at Pairc Tailteann

competition for places on the teams. I would be very hopeful for the future and we may not be a million miles from winning another senior championship,” concluded Ian Maguire. Seneschalstown won eight and lost five of their games in Division 1 of the

Shane Clarke with Moynalvey's Mark O'Sullivan

Robbie Wogan gains possession

Ryan O'Dowd

A league to finish joint third with Skryne below Navan O’Mahonys and Dunboyne. Seneschalstown’s third team, with Michael Mullen and Declan Byrne in charge, reached the Junior D FC final only to lose out to Kilmainhamwood,

Goalkeeper David Lyons

Gerry Sheridan

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Ben Lyons and Cathal Finnegan raise the U14 Summer League Shield at Kilmainham

having got the better of Dunshaughlin and Clonard in the earlier knockout games. After a 1-12 to 1-8 quarter-final win over Dunshaughlin at the Navan O’Mahonys grounds, the Yellow Furze side defeated Clonard by 3-9 to 2-9 at

Senior team manager Andy McCann


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Senior ladies football championship winners, front l/r: Shana Fitzgerald, Deborah Mangan, Stacey Grimes, Seanaidh Hickey, Edel McGrane (captain), Aonhait McAdam, Lizzy Doran, Fiona Mahon, Orla Sheridan, Roisin Nulty, Adelle Carolan, Ciara Gough, Aisling Taaffe, Grainne Gordon, Louise McKeever. Back: Geraldine Gordon, Ruth Sheridan, Aoife Sheehy, Stephanie Byrne, Natasha Mullen, Lisa Mullen, Amy Gilsenan, Keeva Commons, Ruth Commons, Siabhra Reilly, Ailbhe Rooney, Philomena Sheridan, Siobhan Sheridan, Mary Sheridan, Grainne Nulty, Louise Byrne. Mascots: Liam Dillon and Megan Carolan

Summerhill to reach the decider. The final was played at John Newman Park, Bohermeen earlier in the day of Clare’s memorable AllIreland hurling triumph and a Kilmainhamwood team sporting a number of SFC winners of 1996 won by 3-8 to 0-10. Seneschalstown got off to a strong start with points from Shaun Doyle, Aled Igman (free) and Robbie Mullen in the opening 10 minutes before their opponents got on target and went on to lead by 0-5 to 0-3 at the break. Although Mullen reduced the arrears to the minimum immediately after the restart, a goal from Ray McGee left the ‘Wood in control and they added two more major scores. Seneschalstown team and scorers in

the Junior D FC final: S Corbally; M Keating, M Beggy, S Gargan; M Fox, T Maguire (0-1), S Doyle (0-2);T Cummins, A Igman (0-4); D McLoughlin, J Gillic (0-1), R Mullen (02); T Duggan, J Reilly, T McDonnell. Subs: M Clarke for McDonnell, R Conneely for Reilly, C Mullen for McLoughlin. In the Junior B FC Seneschalstown, managed by Phonsie Gilsenan, defeated St Paul’s by 2-10 to 0-8 in a quarter-final clash in Ashbourne with the Gilsenan duo of Johnny and Mark netting the goals. However, the Yellow Furze side’s run came to an end when Moynalty outpointed them by 0-10 to 0-7 in the semi-final clash at Meath Hill. There

was little between the sides throughout and the eventual winners led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the break. Minor player Niall Lyons shot seven points of the losers’ total. Seneschalstown also reached the final of B FL Division 6 final but lost out by narrowest of margins as Ballivor won by 2-8 to 1-10 at Pairc Tailteann. There was little between the sides as they had drawn (1-11 each) earlier in the competition. The Yellow Furze outfit trailed by 0-4 to 2-4 at the break and they fell eight points in arrears within five minutes of the restart before putting in a strong rally. A goal from Aled Igman in the third quarter boosted Seneschalstown but then there was a long delay as their corner-back Louis McAuley was

The victorious U14s that defeated Oldcastle in the the Summer League decider at Kilmainham, front l/r: Cathal Finnegan (captain), Jason Lyons, Dylan Keating, Sean Carey, Eanna McAlarney, Alan Mulvany, Cathal Hickey, Daryl Redmond, Fionn Hall, Cillian Gormley. Back: Dylan O'Dowd, Robert Wogan, Jason Kearney, Sean Commons, Daire Finnegan, Eoin Traynor, Adam O'Meara, Jack Kelliher, Ben Lyons, Ciaran Mongey, Richard McKeown, Andre Norton, Brian Maguire

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U14 Division 2 Shield winners, front l/r: James Commons, Alan Mulvany, Brian Boyd, Cathal Hickey, Jason Lyons, Fionn Hall, Christian McAuley, Sean Carey, Eanna McAlarney, Dylan Keating, Cathal Finnegan, Cillian Gormley, Jack Kelliher. Back: Johnny Keating team mentor, Naoise Sweeney, Keith Waters, Daryl Redmond, Ben Lyons, Daire Finnegan, Paul Finnegan (manager), Adam O'Meara, Robert Wogan (captain), Eoin Traynor, Andre Norton, Brian Maguire, Dylan O'Dowd, Sean Commons, Richard McKeown, Jason Carney, Alan Geraghty (team mentor). Missing from photo Ciaran Mongey

treated for an injury before being removed to hospital. There were 10 minutes added time at the end and although points from Tony McDonnell (two) and Igman (free) kept the tie tight until the final whistle, Ballivor had their noses in front when it sounded. Seneschalstown team and scorers in the B FL Division 6 final: S Corbally; L McAuley, M Beggy, S Gargan; M Fox, T Maguire, S Doyle; T Cummins, A Igman (1-4); D Keogh (0-1), J Gillic, R Mullen; S Dillon (0-2), M Clarke, T Duggan. Subs: B Lynch for Clarke, M Gleeson for Duggan, D McLoughlin (01) for Mullen, M Keating for McAuley, T McDonnell (0-2) for Dillon. While the Seneschalstown men’s

senior team bowed out at the quarterfinal stage of their championship, their female counterparts went all the way to capture a remarkable 12th Meath women’s SFC title in 14 years when scoring a slender 0-16 to 2-9 final victory over St Ultan’s in Ashbourne. In a close contest Seneschalstown also led by a point (0-6 to 0-5) at the halfway stage, having played against the breeze. Fiona Mahon put over three points, two from frees, in the first half. The Bohermeen / Martry side took control for a while after the switching of ends and they held an advantage of four points with 13 minutes left. Seneschalstown had Amy Gilsenan sin-binned but they introduction of former county captain Grainne Nulty

helped to turn the game in their favour. Nulty won an amount of ball around the middle of the field and points from Mahon and Louise McKeever halved the deficit. Further scores from Nulty and the impressive Stacey Grimes drew the teams level before McKeever shot a late winner. Captain Edel McGrane was presented with the cup and Stacey Grimes received the player of the match award. Seneschalstown team and scorers in the final: Lisa Mullen; Keeva Commons, Philomena Sheridan, Aodhnall McAdam; Seanaidh Hickey, Lizzy Doran, Natasha Mullen; Edel McGrane, Stephanie Byrne (0-4); Adelle Carolan (0-1), Orla Sheridan, Stacey Grimes (0-2); Amy Gilsenan (0-

U16 Roinn C Summer league winners, front l/r: Robert Littler, Cathal Finnegan, Conor Cantwell, Eoin Finnegan, Colin Walsh, Jason Kearney, Brian Maguire, Mark Kennedy, Alan Mulvany, Shane Mulvany. Back: Ruairi Keogh, Adam Carey (captain), Daniel O'Reilly, Ryan O'Dowd, David Gordon, David Fox, Ruairi McDonagh, Robert Wogan, Cory McCarthy, Niall Hickey, Dylan Doyle, Richard McKeown, Louis Healy, Eoin O’Reilly

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Ross Mullan and Cathal Hickey raise the U12 Group B Cup at Simonstown

Cathal Finnegan

Adam O'Meara

Dylan Keating

U12 Group B winners, front l/r: Joe Moore (manager), Cillian Lawlor, Peter Drummond, Luca White, Woodley Nicholson, Josh Ryan, Kit Waddington, Dara Walsh, Will Finnegan, Cathal Hickey, Ben Coffey, Alan Carey, Eoin O'Reilly, Stephen Mooney, Aaron Traynor, Ian Maguire (mentor). Back: Fintan Ryan (mentor), Ross Mullan, Iarlaigh Fitzsimons, Padraic Finnegan, Jamie Kirwan, Tiernan Keogh, Sean Commons, Dylan Bagnall, Sean Nolan, John Cahalane, Simon Rooney, Luke Holohan, Joseph Moore, Seanie Dalton, Liam Maguire, Shane Smith, Richie Finnegan (mentor), Norah Maguire (mentor)

2), Louise McKeever (0-2), Fiona Mahon (0-4). Subs: Shauna Fitzgerald for McGrane, Grainne Nulty (0-1) for N Mullen.

SENESCHALSTOWN LADIES WIN A THRILLER

In the closest senior final in years, Seneschalstown grasped victory with a late point against old rivals St. Ultans courtesy of Louise McKeever. The game was finely poised at half time, with the Yellow Furze side a single point in front, 0-06 to 0-05 and while St. Ultans led for much of the second half, Seneschalstown struck back at the end to equalise and then pointed once more before referee Conor Dourneen blew the full time whistle. In wet and windy conditions, this year's Senior Final was played under lights in Donaghmore-Ashbourne in front of a large crowd. In a tight first half, Fiona Mahon pointed three times for the Seneschalstown side, two of those from frees, while Adelle Carolan,

Amy Gilsenan and Stephanie Byrne all contributed a point each from play. With both defences holding firm, the first half was a tussle for possession, with Fiona Mahon, Stacey Grimes and Orla Sheridan to the fore for Seneschalstown. St Ultan’s grabbed an early second half goal before Stephanie Byrne came to the fore with a string of points.A second Shauna Bennett goal followed by a converted free from the talented county player gave St. Ultans a four point lead, a lead they defended solidly with thirteen minutes left on the clock. However, Seneschalstown haven't won so many championship for nothing and their determination to not give up until the final whistle showed. Grainne Nulty had huge impact on the game when introduced. A McKeever point and a converted free from Mahon brought the gap back to two points. With St Ultans doing their best to withstand the pressure from Seneschalstown, Nulty got a point of her own to reduce the gap to just a

364

Robert Wogan raises the U14 Division 2 Shield at Stamullen

single point. With just minutes left on the clock, Stacey Grimes who had ran at the St. Ultans defence all night, was duly rewarded with the equalising point. St. Ultans had their chances but they were well smothered and when the ball fell to Louise McKeever, the Seneschalstown player coolly slotted the ball over the bar for what turned out to be the winning score, as Seneschalstown were single point winners - 0-16 to 2-9. Stacey Grimes received the Player of the Match Award as Seneschalstown claimed a 12th title in fourteen years. Seneschalstown - Lisa Mullen, Keeva Commons, Philomena Sheridan, Aodhnait McAdam, Seanaidh Hickey, Lizzy Doran, Natasha Mullen, Edel McGrane, Stephanie Byrne (0-4), Adelle Carolan (0-1), Orla Sheridan, Stacey Grimes (0-2), Amy Gilsenan (02), Louise McKeever (0-2), Fiona Mahon (0-4, 3f). Subs: Shauna Fitzgerald for McGrane, Grainne Nulty for N. Mullen.


W

WALTERSTOWN

alterstown are not the force they once were in Meath football, but a young population base in their catchment area breeds hope that the club can be a major force in the county once again.

This year The Blacks failed to reach the business of the senior football championship for the second year running. Billeted in Group A, Walterstown – with two-time former All-Star David Beggy at the helm – were pitted against two of the leading contenders for the Keegan Cup, Seneschalstown and Navan O'Mahonys. On that basis, it seemed Walterstown were vying for the third qualifying spot – and a direct route to the quarterfinals – with Duleek-Bellewstown, Moynalvey and Nobber. It was a tough group, but if they had won their final game they would have

Jake Cullen and Adam Treanor receive the U12 Group B Cup from Meath Juvenile Board Chairman Paul Mooney

qualified for the knockout stages. “We beat Nobber very well,” is chairman Mick O'Keeffe's verdict of the double scores opening round win over Nobber at Rathkenny. On the second Sunday in April the north Meath side were dispatched on a 3-7 to 0-8

scoreline. Two Tom Walsh points along with similar scores from David Donnellan and Mark McCormack got the Blacks off to a flying start. Their position was further enhanced with goals from Ruairi O'Dowd and Donnellan. Walterstown led by 2-5 to 0-3 at the break. Walterstown managed just three scores thereafter. Crucially one of them was a goal from sub Cathal Hennelly that snuffed out a brief Nobber rally. A week later Walterstown faced Duleek-Bellewstown at Ashbourne. For the second successive SFC outing the Blacks kept their goal intact. They managed to extract a point from the fixture, drawing on a 2-5 to 011 scoreline. This fixture had its significant share of controversy. Tom Walsh was harshly sent-off. Walterstown were spared defeat as Conal McGinley was off target with a lasp gasp free for Duleek-

WALTERSTOWN SET THEIR TARGETS

Prior to the senior championship meeting with Duleek Bellewstown in Ashbourne, front l/r: Peter Reynolds, David Donnellan, Paul Donnellan, Ruairi O'Dowd, John Davis, David Maguire, David Reynolds, Christopher Reynolds, Michael Clarke. Back: Barry O'Dowd, Joey Farrelly, Ronan Barry, Raymond Reynolds, Mark McCormack, Stephen O'Keeffe, Alban Crosbie, Cathal Hennelly, Ciaran Lydon, Aaron McLoughlin, Alan Reynolds, Conor O'Sullivan, Tom Walsh

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Bellewstown. "We had to fight that. The CCCC suspended him. We appealed that and we won our appeal,” the chairman adds. “He was sent off in a game we might have won. It was a draw match. We were five points ahead at one stage. We were lucky to draw it.” Walterstown led by 1-3 to 0-4 at the break. When Davy Donnellan goaled they it left them five points in the black, 2-5 to 0-6. Round three was spread over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Walterstown faced neighbours Seneschalstown at Dunsany on the Saturday evening. Walterstown conceded their first goal of the campaign in the opening seconds when a Joe Sheridan rasper hit the crossbar and richoted to the net off an unfortunate defender. Walterstown rallied and approaching Kate McCarthy

half-time hit the front when Ruairi O'Dowd netted with assistance from Davy Donnellan. They briefly hit the front when Paul Donnellan pointed. Seneschalstown responded with four scores on the spin to lead by 1-7 to 14 at the break. Walterstown only managed three more scores as Seneschalstown eased to a 1-14 to 1-7 success. “We played very poorly against Seneschalstown. We had a lot of injuries,” is O'Keeffe's summation of that round three match. Despite a first defeat of the campaign, Walterstown were ensconced in one of the three qualifying places in Group A with two rounds of fixtures to play. In the fourth round Moynalvey were Walterstown's opponents at Ashbourne.The fixture was deferred to the last Tuesday in August following a Sean McGinley

bereavement in the south county club. Walterstown hopes of the required win to maintain their bid for a place at the business end were underminded by the absence of some key players. Just a goal in arrears at the break, 0-5 to 1-5, the Blacks eventually lost by seven, 0-8 to 1-12 despite three points each from Alban Crosbie and Paul Donnellan. Walterstown went into their final group game against O'Mahonys with a faint hope of reaching the quarterfinals. However it was their second SFC fixture inside four days. A threegoal salvo in the run-up to the interval left the town side 3-9 to 0-4 ahead at the break. O'Mahonys added 1-12 after the change of ends while Walterstown managed 1-2. Alban Crosbie's wellexecuted goal in the 50th minute with the assist coming from Joey Farrelly's

Adam Treanor

Conor Farrelly

Adam Cummins

U12 Group B winners, front l/r Adam Treanor, Marie McCarthy, Jack Doyle, John Cullen, Eoin Cosgrove, Conor Farrelly. Back: Joe Treanor, Conor McGuire, Ciaran McCann, Ciaran Tobin, Matthew Kelly, Adam Cummins, Luke Cullen

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An U12 Group, front l/r: Euan Burton, Jake Cullen, Darren Finnegan, Diarmuid Freeman, Alex McGovern. Back: Darren McGovern, Kate McCarthy, Daniel Murphy, Glen Sheeran, Breen McCullagh, Sean McGinley, Adam Barrett, Timi Sowunmi, Robbie Barrett

Paul Donnellan

Tom Walsh against Duleek Bellewstown

long range free was the highlight of a disappointing Saturday afternoon for David Beggy's men. One win and a draw from five fixtures left Walterstown in fifth place in Group A, three points clear of Nobber who propped up the section. “Of the team that went out against Nobber (in round one), there was eight of them – for one reason or another – not on the team against O'Mahonys. There were four or five injuries and other lads had emigrated,” the chairman points out. In the league, Walterstown just missed out on a place in the Division 2 FL final, finishing in third place behind Gaeil Colmcille and table toppers Na Fianna. The 11-match campaign yielded eight wins and three defeats. Promotion to the top tier in the league was a major goal for Walterstown according to chairman Mick O'Keeffe: “We were trying to get out of Division 2 of the league. We didn't think we

Senior keeper John Davis

Raymond Reynolds

would win the championship but we thought we might qualify out of our group. “We were going well (in the league) and at the top of the table for a lot of

Walterstown manager David Beggy with his Duleek counterpart Graham Geraghty

the year with Na Fianna. With three matches to go, we played poorly and lost,” is O'Keeffe's verdict on the loss at Nobber Ultimately, he believes Walterstown

The U13 ladies claimed league honours

369


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370


Conor O'Sullivan

A goal for Ruairi O'Dowd against Seneschalstown

Joey Farrelly takes the hit against Seneschalstown

were responsible for their own fate in the league and he cites that aforementioned trip to Nobber where they were deservedly beaten as the key match. They finished third and missed out on a final spot by one place. O'Keeffe reflections on the league campaign turn to the issue of walkovers. It's a 'big problem' according to the Walterstown chairman, exacerbated this year with no relegation from Division 2. “A team that concedes a walkover should be thrown out of the league,” he strongly believes. Na Fianna topped the table with Gaeil Colmcille in second three points behind them and Walterstown a point further back. Walterstown's second team participated in the Junior B football championship. Drawn in Group B, they won four of their five round robin fixtures to finish top of the section, by virtue of a minimum margin win over neighbours Seneschalstown in a round two fixture at Rathkenny on the last Sunday in April. Their sole defeat in the group stage was at the hands of Dunderry, 1-7 to 112, at Kilberry on the first Sunday of June. Walterstown's other wins came at the expense St Patrick's, in round one, Moynalvey, round four, and finally St Colmcille's in round five. “We managed to beat Seneschalstown who got to the semifinal. They had some very good outings. They lost nine players from the first round. They were decimated by the time they got to the quarter-final (where they lost to Moynalty),” explained the chairman. David Beggy, following in the footsteps and former Dublin defender P J Buckley and the great Mick O'Brien, was at the helm for 2013. The chairman is enthusiastic about the impact he had on the team: "He got on very well with the team. He's down to earth and well organised. He's a good man manager.” The former Navan O'Mahonys man is living in the parish and has two sons playing at underage level with Walterstown. Looking ahead to 2014, O'Keeffe has achievable ambitions for the club. “Our target would be to get out of Division 2 of the league and to qualify for the quarter-finals of the championship.

371

That would be a realistic target for us. “The growth in population in the parish could be good for Walterstown. Hopefully, we'll see evidence of that in a couple of years time. It will take a bit of time,” the chairman adds. “We'd be positive. The facilities are there. The growing population of Johnstown is a major plus which we hope will push us on in the next couple of years.”

Mark McCormack

Stephen O'Keeffe


kilmainhamwood designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:10 Page 1

K

KILMAINHAMWOOD

ilmainhamwood have slipped down the grades of championship football in recent years but there was joy for the club in 2013 when their second string team claimed the Junior D title in some style, completing a very progressive campaign with a fully merited victory over Seneschalstown in the final.

Many of the young supporters in attendance at that decider in Bohermeen weren’t born when Kilmainhamwood enjoyed their greatest hour back in 1996 when they won the Senior Championship but they did get the opportunity to see a healthy sprinkling of the heroes of ’96 in action. This was a ‘Wood team laced with experience, including former Meath senior player Ray Magee, and the gifted forward played a highly significant role in getting their group campaign off to a winning start against Bective at Castletown. He scored two goals from the penalty spot and contributed 2-4 overall in a 2-7 to 0-12 victory. Those goals helped Kilmainhamwood to lead by 2-2 to 0-5 at the break and,

Tommy Owens raises the Junior D Championship Cup at Sean Newman Park

aided by the wind, they just did enough in a tight second period to shade the verdict. Another minimum margin win followed in the second round when Dunshaughlin were overcome by 1-9 to 1-8 at Kilberry. Magee didn’t figure in that match and

this time it was left to Damien Russell to goal from a penalty in the first half. Steven Smith, Damien Cunningham, Aidan Crosbie, Conor Kiernan, Colm Gilcreest and Russell were among the winners’ most prominent performers. Kilmainhamwood had things much easier in the third round when they defeated Boardsmill by 1-18 to 2-6 at Kilmainham where their team featured seven players who won Senior Championship medals 17 years earlier. Magee contributed 16 and the ‘Wood led by 1-10 to 1-4 at the break. They received a walk over from Ballinabrackey in the last round and it was then on to a quarter-final against Carnaross at Kilmainham which they won very comfortably by 1-14 to 0-9. Thoughts of a place in the decider had gained serious momentum at that stage and the dream was achieved when Longwood were easily swept aside at the penultimate hurdle. Their 2-11 to 1-4 win at Kilberry earned a final place against Seneschalstown and a memorable journey was completed when Kilmainhamwood came out on top by 38 to 0-10 at Sean Newman Park. A

HEROES ONCE AGAIN

The squad, mentors and mascots before the Junior D Championship final with Seneschalstown in Bohermeen

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Niall Conlon

minute’s silence was observed before the game as a mark of respect to the late Paddy Magee – father of Ray – who had been laid to rest the previous day. The ‘Wood, who were managed by Michael Clarke, conceded the first three points but once they settled they Emmet Roach has Seneschalstown's Robbie Mullen for company in the Junior D decider

Conor Kiernan shoots for North Meath Gaels

Cian Gillespie

pushed into a 0-5 to 0-3 lead at the break after Magee (three) and David Russell (two) had hit the target. Magee added a goal early in the second period but Seneschalstown reduced the arrears to the minimum. Vastly experienced campaigner Larry McCormack had been introduced as a Stephen Smith clears his lines

Odhran Keoghan

substitute and he added a second Kilmainhamwood goal from a penalty. Their advantage stood at 2-7 to 0-10 entering the closing stages and with Ray Madden in inspirational form at centre-back the ‘Wood finished strongest as David Russell scored a goal and a point to steer them to a

Damien Russell strikes

David Dolan against Carnaross

Ray Madden has it under control The U14 Summer League winners. Bective were defeated in the decider at Nobber, front l/r: Dean Carolan, Callum Crosbie, Jamie Fagan, Jonny Reilly, David Carolan, Niall Conlon, Kian Gillispie. Back: Dan Breen, Niall Bennett, Richard Gillispie, Daragh McGreevy, Paraic Gilsenan, Adam Crosbie, Ryan Gillispie, Declan Reilly, Charlie Bolger,  Ryan Reilly, Bernard Reilly, Gerry Bennett

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The strong Junior D championship panel that played Carnaross

Conor Kiernan, Shane McCabe and Tomas Conlon proudly show off the Division 5 MFL shield at Sean Newman Park

Niall Bennett raises the U12 Group G Cup at Castletown

comfortable lead and the title. It was a very welcome success for a club which achieved so much in the 1990s but which has seen its first team slip from the senior to junior ranks in a short space of time. The victorious Kilmainhamwood team was: J Carolan; E Roche, S Smith, M Kiernan; R Owens, R Madden, D

Harry Corbally

Loyal servant Andy Farrelly

Padraic Barber

Dolan; G Yorke, A Crosbie; D Russell (1-4), C Shankey, D Russell; R Magee (1-4), F Owens, T Owens. Subs – C Gilcreest for Crosbie, L McCormack (10) for R Owens, R Cunningham for Gilcreest. Francis Owens lined out at fullforward in the final against Seneschalstown and described the

success as a “massive boost for the club”. At 36 he was younger that some other members of the victorious team and was one of eight who won Senior Championship medals 17 years earlier, also with a final win over Seneschalstown. “Winning the final was a huge boost for the club,” he said. “It lifted the whole

Padraig Carolan in action for North Meath Gaels minors

Paudie Owens

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Another point from Ray Magee

Jack Gillespie


kilmainhamwood designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:10 Page 4

U12 Group G winners, front l/r: Keith Reilly, Oisin Reilly, Jamie Fagan, Dillan Owens, Jack Gillespie. Back: Niall Conlon, Callum Crosbie, Cian Gillespie, Odhran Keoghan, Niall Bennett, Jonny Reilly, Brian Cassidy, Dean Carolan, Dylan Maguire, Cillian Plunkett. Mentors at back from left Dan Breen, Richard Gillespie and Gerry Bennett

village, especially after the sad passing of Paddy Magee only days earlier. All his family were at the final. It was just great to win it. “Eight members of the team won Senior Championship medals back in 1996. I never thought for one minute that we would be back again 17 years later winning another championship together. It was all a great bit of craic. We enjoyed it. There was great fun between the older lads and the younger lads during the year. Some of the younger lads aren’t too young either. “It was a nice swan song for most of us who aren’t getting any younger. Our goalkeeper Johnny Carolan is under 30 but only one of our outfield players, Ronnie Owens, is under 30.” As the campaign progressed hope of achieving outright success obviously heightened but early in the year expectations weren’t so lofty and there was no real sense that anything so significant could be achieved. “It wasn’t looking all that great at the

start of the year but our captain Tommy Owens was determined that we would field a team for all our games,” Francis added. “We didn’t do any training early on in the year but we had a few sessions later on, but not a whole lot. You could say that we didn’t clock up a lot of mileage in training for the year. Maybe that stood to us later on!” Francis admitted that the final was “tough going” but he, like his highly experienced colleagues, clearly got a huge thrill out of the whole experience. Are they tempted to go on and seek more silverware? Is an all out assault on the Junior C Championship on the cards for next year? “You just never know,” Francis said. “Aidan Crosbie said he’s finished playing football but who knows what might happen. You look at Ray Magee whose left foot is still as good as ever.” Kilmainhamwood’s first team, which was managed by Sean Carolan and which had Michael Clarke and Jim Condra acting as selectors, didn’t

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shape well in the early stages of the AllCounty A League Division 3 as they lost their four games ahead of the championship to Cortown (0-4 to 1-9), Ratoath (2-5 to 3-16), Carnaross (2-5 to 1-9) and Syddan (0-6 to 1-15). They were drawn in group D of the Junior Championship along with Meath Hill and three second string teams – Dunboyne, Summerhill and Simonstown Gaels – and they made a disappointing start when losing to the St Peter’s men by 0-8 to 3-10 at Pairc Tailteann back in April. Dunboyne led by 2-3 to 0-6 at the interval and with Kilmainhamwood managing to add only two points in the second period they were well adrift at the finish. Goalkeeper Pauric Carolan, Philip Moran, Emmet Clarke, Stephen Kiernan, Michael Shankey and Alan Carolan were among their best players. Kilmainhamwood were idle in the second round but when they lost to Meath Hill by 0-10 to 0-13 next time out at Nobber their hopes of making it to the

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Before the championship clash with neighbours Meath Hill at Nobber, front l/r: Ronnie Owens, Emmett Roche, Derek McDonnell, Philip Reilly, Michael Gilcreest, Benny Reilly, Alan Carolan, Stephen Kiernan, Harry Corbally, Michael Shankey, Philip Moran. Back: Michael Clarke, David Russell, Padraic Barber, Conor Kiernan, Shane Russell, Seán Mulligan, Richard Corbally, Damien Farrelly, Shane Clarke, Emmett Clarke, Andy Farrelly, Jude Collins, Paudie Owens

Ginnity Cup obviously represented a disappointment for all associated with the Kilmainhamwood club but something memorable lay in store in the form of that Junior D Championship success. It proved that age should never be viewed as a barrier to achievement. Seventeen long years after the club’s greatest day at Pairc Tailteann back in the autumn of 1996 some of the heroes of that senior triumph were heroes once again.

knockout stages had suffered a big blow. The Hill cruised into a 0-9 to 0-1 lead at the change of ends but, to their credit, the ‘Wood battled back courageously and cut the deficit to the minimum. The accuracy of Stephen Kiernan, Alan Carolan, Michael Shankey, Paudie Owens and Sean Mulligan proved important during that purple patch but the revival was halted when Meath Hill scored the last two points to shade the verdict. Kilmainhamwood achieved their only win of the group campaign when they defeated Simonstown by 1-13 to 1-8 in the fourth round at Bohermeen. Kiernan topped their scoring charts with seven points, Owens registered 1-1, Alan Carolan got three and Andy Farrelly and Michael Shankey both rowed in with one. The ‘Wood held a 1-6 to 0-7 half time lead in their concluding match against Summerhill at Simonstown but the men from the south of the county had the better of the second period as they carved out a 2-15 to 2-9 win. With the group action finished, Dunboyne, Meath Hill and Summerhill had all finished tied at the top on six points and Summerhill were the unlucky ones to miss out on qualification due to an inferior score difference. Kilmainhamwood were well adrift on the two points they picked up from their one victory over Simonstown. Not reaching the knockout stages of the race for the Matthew

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ST CUTHBERTS

The U12 Group D finalists, front l/r: Jamie Smith, Adam Rogers, Lewis Casserly, Alan Casserly, Ciaran Keating, Ruairi Buchanan, Darragh Reilly, Amy Kavanagh, Evan Casserly, Ronan Walsh. Back: Ryan Loughlin, Mikey Rennicks, David Monaghan, Paddy McGoona, Jack Henry, Cian McBride, Jonathan Foster, Paul Casserly, Aaron Rafferty, Kathleen Yore, Austin Casserly, Chloe Henry. Mentors at back: Liam Rennicks, Mattie Rogers, Sean Yore Minor Board Chairman John Kavanagh presents the U16 Shield to Darren Kavanagh

Lewis Casserly

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The victorious U16's, front l/r: Harry Staunton, Kevin Ball, Eoin Kavanagh, Charlie Monaghan, Chris Rennicks, Martin Dolan, Cian Dolan, Carl Reilly, Hugh Staunton, Cormac Lindsay, Ronan Cassserley, Kevin O'Rourke. Back: Paddy Dolan (selector), Joe Ball (selector), Patrick Kavanagh (manager), Darren Kavanagh, Liam Clarke, Declan Ball, Aaron Ball, Eoghan Monaghan, Eoin McLoughlin, Liam Carey, Loman Sherlock, Luke Carroll, Christian Byrne, Tadgh Ratty, Mickey Buchanan and Liam Brady (selector). Theo Staunton at very front

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S

ST. ULTAN’S

t Ultan’s may have failed in their bid to reach the knockout stages of the 2013 Intermediate Football Championship but they can still look back on a progressive campaign which augurs well for future prospects.

It will be recalled that the Bohermeen / Martry combination finished bottom of their qualification group last year after picking up just one point but with no relegation in operation they were spared a fight for survival. This year they made a less than encouraging start to the race for the Mattie McDonnell Cup, before an improvement in form almost enabled them to scrape through to the quarterfinals. In the end they missed out on score difference as they finished level on points with Dunderry and St Michael’s who advanced from group A to play knockout football. Clann na nGael topped the section to earn an automatic semi-final ticket and it demonstrates the level of improvement produced by St Ultan’s that they defeated the Athboy / An Gaeltacht combination in the third round. Former Navan O’Mahonys’ player and

Nuala O'Brien in ladies senior final action at Ashbourne

coach Pat Duffy managed the team this year after taking over from Damien Sheridan and the selectors were Tommy Tallon and Gerard Brennan. The competitive year started well with back to back victories over Carnaross and Syddan in the All-County A League Division 3. They then lost to Clann na nGael and drew with Bective, before attention turned to the championship. St Michael’s, who went very close to reaching the semi-finals last year when Ballinabrackey edged them out by the

minimum margin in a last eight tie, were always going to pose a major challenge first time out at Carnaross and so it proved as the Carlanstown / Kilbeg outfit won by 0-13 to 1-3. St Ultan’s, who were forced to field without a number of their key players, conceded the first two points but when Stephen Quirke’s long delivery found its way into the net they were in front. It was all to play for at the interval when St Michael’s led by the minimum (0-6 to 1-2) but with St Ultan’s managing only a point in the second period their hopes of a winning start to the championship were dashed. Kevin Galligan was their leading point scorer with two and Gearoid Rennicks got the other. Dunderry provided the second round opposition at Boardsmill and when Tom Hanley’s side won by 1-9 to 0-8 St Ultan’s faced a mammoth task in their bid to earn a knockout place. Paddy Kennelly scored an early goal for the winners who led by 1-3 to 0-4 at the interval after playing against the wind and despite a battling performance Ultan’s couldn’t catch them in the second period. It was still a display which demonstrated signs of improvement.

ULTAN’S SHOW REAL PROMISE IN 2013

Prior to the IFC clash with Dunderry at Boardsmill, front l/r: Patrick McLoughlin, Andrew Barry, Ronan Breslin, Jack Murray, Emmet Costello, Ciaran Timmons, Daryl McLoughlin, Darren Costello, Shane Dolan, Cian Rennicks, Shane Mulroe. Back: Cian Farnan, Eugene Brady, Tony Smyth, Barry Brady, Ronan Galligan, Stephen Quirke, Kevin Galligan, Robbie Daly, Gearoid Rennicks, Seán O Hoireabárd, Darren Mallon, Shane Rennicks, Conor Smyth, Mark Allen

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Gearoid Rennicks embellished an impressive outing with two points and Cian Rennicks topped the St Ultan’s scoring charts with four, three of them from frees. That defeat meant the pressure was really on to start winning and that habit began in the third round against Clann na nGael at Trim. Clann na nGael, who included Graham Geraghty in their attack, led by 1-2 to 0-4 at the break and they stayed in front for most of the second period, before St Ultan’s scored the last two points to earn a 0-10 to 1-6 victory which lifted them off the bottom of the group and revived their qualification hopes. Kilmainham was the venue for a fourth round game against Carnaross and St Ultan’s doubled their points tally when they held on under pressure to record a hard earned 1-13 to 2-9 win. They were looking good with a 0-9 to 0-3 advantage after 20 minutes but aided by a goal from a John L McGee penalty Carnaross cut the deficit to 1-5 to 0-10 Linda Smyth

at the break. Ciaran Rogers gave St Ultan’s a significant boost with a goal early in the second half but when McGee countered with a second Carnaross major they were well in contention. The second period remained tight and Ultan’s were three points in front with five minutes to play. They conceded the last two points and were relieved to hear the final whistle as they scraped through for a win which offered hopes of knockout action down the road. Cian Rennicks top-scored with seven points. St Ultan’s achieved a third successive group victory when they edged past Syddan by 0-9 to 0-8 in the last round at Carlanstown but with other results not favouring them they bowed out of contention. Syddan led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the change of ends but St Ultan’s limited them to just two points in the second half and added five themselves to win by the minimum. Kevin Galligan was their leading marksman with three points,

Shane Rennicks and Stephen Quirke got two each and Gearoid Rennicks and Ciaran Rogers completed their tally. When all was said and done in group A Clann na nGael were the surprise table-toppers on seven points from a possible 10 and went straight through to the semi-finals. Three teams - Dunderry, St Michael’s and St Ultan’s - all finished tied on six points and when the calculations were completed Ultan’s were the unlucky ones to miss out on a place in the quarter-finals. Syddan finished fifth in the section on four points and Carnaross brought up the rear on one. A championship campaign which started with back to back defeats suffered at the hands of St Michael’s and Dunderry really took off for St Ultan’s with those three victories on the bounce over Clann na nGael, Carnaross and Syddan but it just wasn’t enough. However, it was still a campaign which suggested that better days lie in waiting for a club which has

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been badly hit by emigration in recent times. They managed five victories and a draw from their 11 league outings and finished in a respectable mid-table position in Division 3. It all suggests that the St Ultan’s supporters can look to the future with a degree of optimism. Coach Pat Duffy won three SFC medals with Navan O’Mahonys and played in a total of seven Keegan Cup finals going back to 1972 when Seneschalstown defeated the town side after a replay to claim the most coveted prize in Meath club football for the first time. He also managed the Brews Hill club to their 1985 senior success and was again at the helm when they reached the semi-finals in 1991 where they were beaten by Walterstown. “When I took over as St Ultan’s coach my first priority was fitness,” he said. “The way the game has evolved you have to be fit. you have to be able to

Eugene Brady

Mark Allen

move for 60 minutes. Commitment is also hugely important. I got them to realise that things won’t happen if you don’t put in the effort. you have to practice to perfect. That’s a motto of mine. “The lads love football and as a result I found it very easy to talk to them. They also demonstrated great character in the way they bounced back after losing their first two championship games. We came from behind to win games and that’s a sign of character. Of course, we were disappointed not to qualify but we built up good momentum which is important. “We were badly beaten by St Michael’s in our first game. We were missing two or three important players for that game. A rural club can’t cope with that. you need to have everybody available to you. That defeat hit our score difference badly. “We played well against Dunderry in our second championship game but we were unlucky to lose.” St Ultan’s were pointless after the first two rounds and were left facing a massive task if they were to recover well enough to book a place in the knockout stages but the coach had every reason to be pleased with the manner in which the players knuckled down to the challenge which lay ahead and achieved three championship victories on the bounce. Although those wins didn’t secure the knockout football they would have wished for the run of success is sure to have generated confidence among the panel which should stand to them in the future. “Our fitness levels were improving as

Cian Rennicks

Conor Smyth

383

Manager Pat Duffy

the campaign went on which was significant,” Pat added. “The lads also showed a lot of character to beat Clann na nGael. They are a hard team to beat. That win gave our season a great kick start and we went on to beat both Carnaross and Syddan. We won our last three games by a point. It’s a good sign when you win tight games like those.” Pat said he enjoyed his first year as St Ultan’s coach and is optimistic as he looks to next year. “I have committed myself to look after the under-21 team this year,” he said. “We have good under-16, 17 and 18 players coming through who will strengthen things. It’s about commitment and we also need the lads to stay around. I would be hopeful for the future.”

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ST. COLMCILLE’S

ualifying for the quarter-finals of the Meath IFC represented progress for St Colmcille's but that didn't ease the disappointment of their surprise defeat to St Michael's. The display fell below the standards they had set themselves says manager Colin Kelly.

After topping Group B with a maximum eight points, St Colmcille’s approached their quarter-final clash with St Michael’s at Seneschalstown in a confident frame of mind but they left with their championship aspirations in tatters following a 111 to 2-9 defeat. Former Louth and Leinster star Colin Kelly took charge of the ‘Cille’s this year and he admits they had their eyes on a bigger prize than a place in the last eight of the competition. "It' still hard to take,” he pointed out. “Reaching the quarter-finals was huge progression for St Colmcille's, it was their first time to get that far in a number of years but, to be honest with you, we set standards for ourselves,

Daniel McMahon gives his speech while holding the U16 Division 1 Summer League Shield at Pairc Tailteann

we had an expectation and we didn't achieve it. "So ultimately the disappointment doesn't get any easier. It's an opportunity passed up." The team in sky blue were left to rue a poor start against St Michael’s, which saw them cough up 1-2 without a reply in the opening five minutes, but they managed to turn the tables in the second half only to concede a late goal which ultimately cost them a place in

the semi-finals against Clann na nGael. At the half-way stage, St Michael’s had a 1-6 to 0-6 cushion but the east Meath outfit took over in pole position in the second half when hitting their opponents for an unanswered 1-4. The goal arrived via the penalty spot just four minutes after the resumption courtesy of Jack Reynolds and, with just five minutes left on the clock, the scoreboard read 1-10 to 1-8 in their favour. The pendulum swung back St Michael’s way, however, when they netted a goal against the run of play and tagged on a point for good measure. Cathal Hilliard sent over the last point of the game but that proved to be nothing more than a consolation score for the Graham Reilly captained side. Colin – who combined managing the ‘Cille’s with the Louth U-21s this year – pointed out that they were slow out of the traps in most of their championship games this year. En route to the knock-out stages, they claimed the scalps of Gaeil Colmcille, Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s second string and Trim before

KELLY LAMENTS LOST OPPORTUNITY

The Intermediate squad that recorded a great win over Gaeil Colmcille at Simonstown, front l/r: Eoin O'Brien, Jack Reynolds, Mark Farrelly, John McKenna, Andrew Garland, Kevin Garland, Mark Whearty, Ian Mullen, Ciaran Kelly, Karl Mullen, Eoin Woods, Graham Garland, Mark Magill. Back: Niall Smith, Robert Madden, Keith Magill, Eoin Sarsfield, Brian Mullen, Paul Collier, Ben Brennan, Mattie Metcalfe, Damien Beakey, Robbie McCloskey, Jamie McDonnell, Cathal Hilliard, Graham Reilly, Gary McCloskey, John Levins, David Sheerin. Missing from photo: Darren Magill

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U12 Group A finalists, front l/r: Caimin Monahan, Aaron Lynch, Oran Kinch, Josh Cahill, Eoin Halpin, Hugo Collins, Mark Scally, Sean Quinn, Luke O'Driscoll, Stephen Breen, Luke Brady, Sean Paul Maloney. Back: Noel Brady manager, Daniel Hatch, Paddy French, Ian Day, Endy Ehiyoca, Adam McCabe, Killian Murphy, Ross Molloy, Alex Lewis, David Bell, Harry Svedjar, Ferdia Quigley, Daniel Doyle

receiving a walkover from Longwood in their final group outing. "We probably didn't start any of our championship matches any way well. As a management team we sat down and tried to come up with the reason Niall Smith gains possession as Enda Grogan looks on

why. Against Kells, we didn't start well but we finished very strong and won the game. "The game against Donaghmore/Ashbourne was something similar and Trim. Our three

championship matches in the group stages were very similar in that we didn't start them with any great intensity and found ourselves falling behind early on. "But we came strong in the end. We

Paul Maloney against Dunshaughlin

Brian Mullen clears

Endy Ehiyoca

Darragh Brodigan U16 Division 1 Summer League winners, front l/r: Calem Martin, Eoin Sweeney, James Conlon, Shane Towey, Adam Lynch, Fergus Grimes, Conor O’Byrne, Eanna Walsh, Mark Savage, Stewart McDonnell, David O’Byrne, Robert Browne, Luke Conlon. Back: George Poynton, James McElearney, Jack Phelan, Hugh Eagleston, Darragh Brodigan, Jordan Browne, Daniel McMahon (captain), Darragh Magee, Daniel Tyrell, Vincent O’Donoghue, Jeff Kavanagh, Nathan Noonan Garland

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Reserve League Division 3 finalists, front l/r: Damien O'Brien, Micky Conlon, Keith Magill, Brian Kelly, Graham Garland, Donal Meagher, Andrew Garland, Tom O'Reilly. Back: Damien Hannon, Gerry O’Donoghue, Gary McCloskey. Owen O'Brien, Niall Smith, Eoin O'Neill, Padraig McGovern, Eoin Sarsfield, Andrew Farrell, Rory Hennessy, Brian Mullen, Shane Crilly, Jack Woods, Feargal Walsh

James McElearney

James Conlon

were talking about a situation whereby the game is 65 minutes long and all that matters is who is ahead at the end. “And, against St Michael's, we had a slow start but we came back and put ourselves in a winning position but, for

George Poynton

U16 keeper Jordan Browne

various reasons, we found ourselves out of the championship and some of them were our own doing to be perfectly honest with you." Newtown Blues clubman Kelly arrived in Pilltown this year with an impressive managerial curriculum

Jamie McDonnell with Gaeil Colmcille’s Seamus Mattimoe

vitae. He masterminded Louth IFC success for The Dreadnoughts and O Raghallaighs in the not too distant past and guided the Wee County U-21 footballers to a provincial final appearance against Dublin in 2012.

Defeated by Summerhill, but only after a replay, in the U16 Division 1 decider at Bective, front l/r: Calem Martin, Jack Phelan, Con Halpin, Shane Towey, James Conlon, Eanna Walsh, Robert Browne, Adam Lynch, David O’Byrne. Back: Nathan Noonan Garland, Jeff Kavanagh, Eoin Sweeney, George Poynton, Luke Mooney, Darragh Magee, Conor O’Byrne, Daniel McMahon, Jordan Browne, Darragh Brodigan, Stewart McDonnell, Pearse Butler, Daniel Tyrell, Vincent O’Donoghue, Brendan Long

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"It was a new venture for me going out to the Colmcille's and I probably didn't really know a whole pile about Meath club football and that was one of the things that I had slight apprehension about. "You know, hopefully I don't fail the guys because I don't know enough about the opposition but we had a very good management team, good structures and we had people giving us information on what we needed. "We started training early. The expectation when we got there was kind of so so. No one knew really what to think. You're talking about players who were low in confidence and a club that has produced plenty of talent but probably hasn't harnessed it in the right way. "We'd be fools to think we went in last January and said we're going to win the Intermediate championship coming from the places they have been down through the last number of years. "The expectation was that we would become as good as we could be and if that happened, well then talent wise they had capabilities of doing stuff so, for us, it was about realising the potential of the footballers, getting the fitness levels up and getting the belief and confidence levels up. "They've achieved that in terms of progressing further than they did in years but against St Michael's we failed. As the season went on we got that little bit more belief about ourselves but it didn't happen in Seneschalstown.” How did the standard of club football in Meath compare with his native Louth? "Football is football,” he answered. “I managed an O Raghallaighs team that knocked Moynalvey out of the Leinster club championship. O’Connells from Louth knocked Na Fianna out of the Leinster club championship last year. "I managed a Dreadnoughts team that was just beaten, and no more, by St Ultan's in Navan. “It is very similar in terms of levels of ability but there is probably more strength in depth about the competition in Meath. “But, in Louth, your top Intermediate teams are every bit as good as the top Intermediate teams in Meath but as you drop down the numbers in Louth, the teams at the lower end would not be as strong. The middle of the road teams in Meath would be slightly stronger.” So can St Colmcille’s make the step up to become one of the ‘top teams’ in Meath in 2014? They didn’t lack for effort in the past 12 months, according to their manager. “Progression was made but would have liked to have made more. There was huge effort made by every one in the club and you couldn't fault anyone for effort," Colin concluded.

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KILTALE

he defence of their Jubilee Cup crown year came to an abrupt end for Kiltale in the semi-final against Longwood but manager Martin Ennis was gracious in defeat. He also backed his players to bounce back in 2014. As Jubilee Cup holders, there were no shortage of contenders lining up to knock Kiltale off their perch in 2013 and Longwood succeeded where all the others failed in a dramatic semi-final. With 30 minutes of the last four clash played, champions Kiltale had one foot in the final when leading their opponents by eight points (2-12 to 1-7). A final showdown against Kilmessan was very much on the cards but the underdogs proceeded to tear up the script and produced a second half comeback which stunned the holders. Longwood outscored the Philip Garvey captained side by 0-15 to 0-4 in the second-half to finish with three points to spare – 1-22 to 2-16. Kiltale's disappointment was compounded by the dismissal of wingback Stephen Donoghue near the end. As defeats go, it was a bitter pill to swallow for Kiltale’s players and supporters but manager Martin Ennis

Eamonn Ryan raises the 2012 MHC Cup at Pairc Tailteann

didn’t want to detract in any way from Longwood’s victory. ”It was a difficult pill to swallow all right but hats off to Longwood for the sheer amount of work rate that they brought to the second half of that game,” he said. “We were on top for 30 minutes and maybe took our foot off the pedal and within 10 minutes they were right back at us. ”We thought we had weathered the storm and maybe could hold out. We

were unlucky in the end not to have got a draw out of it but, overall, second half performances are what gets you through and the second half belonged to them. ”We could have been more up at halftime but that's credit to Longwood as well because they battled at that juncture to try to stop us from scoring more. They upped the level of intensity in the second half and we just weren't able to match it.” Former Athboy and Meath hurler Martin – who was once again assisted by selectors Quentin Ashe and Brian Gilsenan - dismissed any suggestion that Kiltale were guilty of taking their semi-final opponents for granted. He knew what to expect following their encounter in the group stages. On that occasion, Kiltale required a long range Jack Regan pointed free to edge them over the finishing line on a scoreline of 1-14 to 1-13. ”Absolutely not. Longwood knocked Kilmessan out of the championship last year, they knocked O'Mahonys out this year. They beat Kildalkey this year. This Longwood team has been coming for a couple of years and maybe people were underestimating how good they were but we certainly didn’t.”

HOLDERS FALL AT SEMI-FINAL HURDLE

First round winners over Boardsmill in the SHC at Kildalkey, front l/r: Sean Carroll, Stephen Donoghue, Anthony Farrelly, Cathal McCabe,  David Donoghue, Ollie Regan, Shane McGann, James Kelly, Padraig Donoghue, David Kane. Back: John Donoghue, Brendan Dixon, Chris Reilly, Stephen Whyte, Jack Regan, Philip Garvey, Peter Durnin, Padraig Donoghue, David Schilders, Ian Doughlas, TJ Lynch, John Carey

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John Donoghue

Another score for Peter Durnin

County number 1 Shane McGann

Jack Regan

Padraig Donoghue The Division 2 hurling league finalists, losing out to Blackhall Gaels in the decider at Trim, front l/r: Conor Shirren, Kevin Ryan, Anthony Farrelly, Ollie Regan, Shane Brown, Cillian O'Sullivan, Ciaran Ennis, TJ Lynch, PJ Walsh, Ferghal McCabe. Back: Eamon Ryan, Stephen Ryan, Sean Carroll, Brian Reilly, Alan Donnelly, Stephen Cummins, Stephen White, William Harnan, Johnny Carey, Cathal Sheridan, Mark McCormack, David Schilders

It’s a case of what might have been for Kiltale as they reflect on the 2013 Meath SHC. They continued where they left off last year and emerged from an ultra competitive Group B unscathed. Boardsmill were dispatched in round 1 on a 0-16 to 0-7 scoreline. Round 2 saw that narrow win over Longwood

and in a repeat of last year's decider, Killyon were easily beaten 2-22 to 0-9. In round four it was 1-18 to Kilmessan's 1-12 and they wrapped up the group stages in style with a two point defeat of Kildalkey, 0-12 to 0-10. ”We just about beat them (Longwood) in the group and got over Kilmessan as well in the group,” Martin replied when

asked if he considered this year’s championship to be one that got away. “Other teams raised their games against us, there's no doubt about that. Killyon were hit with emigration and they're not as bad as what was portrayed by their results this year. “Boardsmill are good enough too so every team we played provided us with

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u16 Hurling Championship winners, front l/r: Kyle Benson, Jack Quinn, Daragh Campion, Hugh O'Sullivan, Conor Mcnally, Stephen Quinn, Adam Murphy, Liam Gilsenan, Andrew Jackson. Back: Paddy Kelly (manager), Jack Cummins, Brian O'Reilly, Graham Loughran, Cathal Ryan, Lee Corcoran, Iarla Hughes, Sean Duggan, Ronan Ryan, Cathal Brien, Ross Ryan, Jack Farrell, Sean Ryan (selector)

David Donoghue

Ross Ryan

Jack Farrell

Hugh O'Sullivan

Brian O'Reilly

so it's up to themselves, the players as a unit to see what they are going to do about it.” Topping your group in the hurling championship could be considered something of a poisoned chalice, according to Martin who is speaking from experience. Kiltale and fellow group toppers Dunboyne bit the dust in this year’s semifinals. ”I'm not sure if winning all your matches in the group is exactly the right way to do it and go into a semifinal where you are left idle for five weeks. It wasn't exactly the right type of preparation. There were two or three weeks of football in there along the way as well. ”When you look at it now The squad that defeated Trim to win the 2012 u21 hurling championship title at Lomans Park, front l/r: Sean Carroll, Kevin Ryan, Jack Regan, Mark O'Sullivan, Anthony Forde, Cathal McCabe, Ferghal McCabe, Tommy Regan. Back: … Dunboyne were the nicky Madden, Sean Mcnally, Conor Shiren, Tiernan Mahady, Rory Hennessy, Sean Dunleavy, Mark winners of the other group. McCormack, Eamonn Ryan, James Kelly, William Harnan, Darren Brennan

competitive games. I know we came through the group undefeated but, barring the Killyon result, every game was keenly contested. “Every team has picked up but that's the way it's going to be when you're

champions, you were always going to get that. “It's hard to take but these guys are nothing else if not resilient. Their backs were against the wall last year and they came out and won the championship

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When you're sitting waiting for teams to come through, they have a game the week before they play you and that has to work in their favour. I don't know if it's the right type of format to be going

that surrendered their Meath SHC title with.” against Longwood was: Shane Ennis doesn’t expect Kiltale’s players McGann; Anthony Donnelly, Padraig to sit around licking their wounds. He Donoghue, Chris Reilly; Padraig Kelly predicts they will return with a point to (0-1), David Donoghue, Stephen prove in the New Year and is adamant Donoghue (0-1); James Kelly, Phillip they possess the talent and skill to add Garvey (0-3); Cillian O'Sullivan (1-2), further silverware to the club’s trophy John Donoghue, Brendan Dixon; Peter cabinet. Durnin (1-3), Anthony Forde, Jack ”There's plenty of experience and Regan (0-3 fs). Subs - Eamon Ryan (0youth there, there's a good mixture but 3) for J Kelly, Ciaran Ennis for P it just needs to be channeled in the Donoghue, Kevin Ryan for Eamon right direction. There's a lot of draw on Ryan. Kiltale hurling in different directions with football, Meath Best wishes to Kiltale GAA, from football and Meath hurling. It's hard to get the lads together in the one Clutch & Flywheel Specialist place at the one time. “I'm sure they will bounce back, Suppliers for all cars/jeeps & light commercials they've good enough players to do it. ”There's an abundance of talent in Kiltale. It's down to hard work now really in my opinion. Kiltale were always a good decent senior hurling team. They only missed out on an Intermediate quarter-final as well this year. “There's two good hurling teams with plenty of young guys on it, the future Nationwide Delivery Available looks good for Kiltale.” The Kiltale team

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Ann Kearney presents the 2012 u21HC Cup to Mark O'Sullivan

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Kildalkey were defeated in the 2012 MHC decider at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Darragh Brannigan, Kevin Ryan, Iarla Hughes, Ronan Ryan, Jack Regan, Michael Burke, Ross Ryan, Jack Quinn, Sean Ryan, Mark Foy. Back: Eamonn Regan (selector), Sean Kiernan, Andrew Jackson, Chris O'Malley, Rory Hennessy, Eamonn Ryan, Sean Mcnally, Chris Reilly, Ferghal McCabe, Conor Shiren, Cathal Brien, David Schilder, PJ Walsh manager, Sean Ryan (selector)

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WOLFE TONES

ince winning the Meath SFC title in 2006, Wolfe Tones have consistently been players in the home straight of the race for the Keegan Cup. They lost out in finals in 2009, after a replay, and 2012 before falling at the penultimate hurdle this year. After being runners-up to O’Mahonys in 2012, the Oristown parish club brought in dual All-Ireland winner of the ‘90s, Darren Fay, as manager to replace Paddy Martin with selectors Peter Fox and Gerry Thompson among his assistants. Tones made a brave attempt to reach another title decider but after going through the group phase without a defeat last year, they suffered two losses this time round. Then after a narrow quarter-final win over Skryne, a 10-point defeat the hands of Na Fianna spelt the end of the road. The campaign got going with a 2-6 to 0-10 win over Blackhall Gaels in a tough encounter at Pairc Tailteann. Both goals came in the second half after Tones were behind by 0-3 to 0-5 at the break. Blackhall had four points on the board before Niall McLoughlin reduced the deficit. Both goals were fisted to

Liam Callan receives the Minor Summer League Cup from Ultan Fitzpatrick

the net, Cian Ward getting the first following a David O’Neill delivery five minutes after the restart and O’Neill getting the touch for the second on 51 minutes. Ward finished up with 1-3, two points from frees, and Stephen Corrigan shot two points from midfield. Ten different players got on target in Wolfe Tones’ 1-14 to 1-11 second round win over Dunshaughlin at Skryne. Cian Ward again found the net and his close-range score following a

delivery by Stephen Sheppard in the seventh minute separated the sides at the final whistle. Darren Fay’s charges held a 1-7 to 1-5 interval advantage and they led by 1-12 to 1-11 before two late converted frees from their county forward left three in it at the end. Half-backs Sheppard and Eoghan Harrington fired over two points each and corner-back Aodhan McKeown also got on target. Tones’ short winning run came to an end when Simonstown Gaels inflicted a 1-17 to 2-5 defeat at the Navan O’Mahonys’ grounds. There was another slow start by the Kilberry side as their opponents raced into a 1-5 to 0-0 lead. Although Cian Ward found the net, his side was seven points (1-3 to 1-10) adrift at the halfway stage. Tones missed Eoghan Harrington, who was sidelined with an injury, but a Fiachra Ward goal three minutes after the restart raised hopes. The losers had only two scorers as Simonstown reversed a result in the group stages of the previous year. Cian Ward registered 1-4, three points from frees and one off a 45, while his younger brother got 1-1. There was a second defeat for Wolfe

TONES’ CONSISTENCY IS A CREDIT TO THEM

The squad that defeated Blackhall Gaels in the hoganstand.com SFC in Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Cian Ward, Niall McLoughlin, Ciaran McLoughlin, Killian O'Brien, Éanna Harrington, Mark Coleman, David Coleman, Alan McKeever. Back: Jamie Tolan, David O'Neill, Eoghan Harrington, David Nolan, Stephen Corrigan, Shane Glynn, Paddy Caffrey, Josh McDermott, Alan Callaghan, Stephen Sheppard, Aodhán McKeown, Trevor Browne

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Tones as Na Fianna edged home by three points (1-11 to 0-11) in the round four clash at Trim with Shane Barrett scoring 1-4, including the game’s last two points from frees. Again Tones’ lack of scores from play was part of their problems. Na Fianna led by 1-5 to 0-2 at the break with their opponents’ first half scores, shot over by Cian Ward and Alan Callaghan, being their only white flag efforts from play. Fiachra Ward converted nine frees. The side in purple and yellow got back on the winning trail with a 2-9 to 1-11 win over Dunboyne in Ashbourne to clinch second place in the group. For the fourth time in five outings, Tones were in arrears at the break, 13 to 1-7. They got away to a good start with Eanna Harrington firing to the net from close range following a ball into the Dunboyne square by Cian Ward which was knocked-down by brother Fiachra. However, playing into the breeze, Total concentration from Stephen Sheppard

Tones only added three points, all from Fiachra Ward, in the first half. Points in the third quarter from Cian Ward (two), Eoghan Harrington, Niall McLoughlin and Alan Callaghan left the scores 1-8 to 1-7 and the winners’ second goal was netted by Alan Fox. Although losing, Dunboyne qualified on four points with Tones finishing on six and Na Fianna topping the table on eight. Wolfe Tones advanced to the last four with a 3-12 to 3-10 victory over Skryne in the first of the quarter-finals in a Friday evening clash at Pairc Tailteann. They held an advantage of seven points in the last quarter before it was pared down to two before the final whistle. Just two of the six goals were netted in the first half. It was 1-8 to 1-5 in favour of the eventual winners at the break, Ian Davis netting a penalty for Skryne and Stephen Sheppard fisting in at the other end. Goals from Eanna Harrington and Trevor Browne

Cian Ward had Tones in cruise control, leading by 3-9 to 1-8. Although Skryne scared them with a brace of major scores inside the last 10 minutes, they were unable to completely erase the arrears. Wolfe Tones fell short in their bid to reach a second successive SFC final when the in-form Na Fianna side ran up another high score in their impressive 2-19 to 1-12 victory in the Friday night tussle at Pairc Tailteann. Tones actually led on three occasions in the opening quarter but a couple of occurrences militated against their prospects of winning. Long-serving defender Niall McLoughlin was forced to retire with a hamstring problem after just 11 minutes and the usually influential Cian Ward was off target with a couple of frees in the first half. Also after a couple of minutes the number 15 fired a shot against the crossbar. Curiously neither Cian or younger brother Fiachra top-scored for their team on this occasion, that

Anthony Colwell

Eanna Harrington

Cian Ward The squad that defeated Dunboyne in the Minor Summer League decider at Skryne, front l/r: Nathan Sheridan, Sean Carr, John Paul Melady, Thomas O'Sullivan, Laurence Smith, Liam Callan, Robert Whyte, Cuan Coyle, Brughach Ó’Fionnagáin, Mark McDonald. Back: Eoin McKeever, Luke Sheridan, Thomas O'Reilly, Daniel O'Neill, Padraic Diamond, Daniel Glynn, Charlie McGarry, Niall O'Reilly, Conor Sheppard, Killian McFadden, Jamie McAleese, Ryan McFadden

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U16 Division 1 Summer League finalists, front l/r: Robert White, Ryan McManus, Matthew Melady, Saran Ó Fionnagáin, John Paul Melady, Thomas Blaney, Jake McFadden, Oisín Mac Ghinneartaigh, Iarlaith Ó Kelly Lynch, Caolán Ward, Mark McDonnell. Back: Sean Lynch, Ryan McFadden, Eanna O'Kelly Lynch, Daniel O'Neill, Thomas O'Reilly, Padraic Diamond, Charlie Mc Garry, Kealan McKeever, Oisín McFadden, Cian O'Neill, Luke Condi, Sean Carr

Manager Darren Fay

Stephen Sheppard

honour going to young corner-back James O’Reilly, who fired over five points. O’Reilly wore the number four jersey but spend most of the game further outfield as he followed Na Fianna’s roving full-forward Tommy Cosgrave. Cian Ward contributed three points, one free, and Alan Fox did likewise. Tones’ other corner-back, Shane Glynn, also scored, shooting a point in the early stages. A Shane Barrett goal after 20 minutes was the difference between the sides at the break when the board read 1-8 to 0-8. Tones could have conceded another goal in the second quarter but keeper David Nolan tipped Barrett’s shot over the bar. After falling five points in arrears, a brilliant goal fired to the net by Eoghan Harrington on 40 minutes revived the hopes of the Kilberry side, leaving the scores 1-11 to 1-9. But from then to the finish Tones only added three points, all struck by O’Reilly, while their opponents tagged

Mark Coleman

David O'Neill is under pressure

on 1-8, the winners’ second goal netted by their top scorer Daniel Queeney. Strangely the Wolfe Tones’ backs outscored their forwards by 1-6 to 0-6 on the night! It was a sixth SFC semi-final in eight years for the Tones with a 50 per cent success rate – a proud record of consistency for a club which won the junior and intermediate championships in 2002 and 2004. While appreciating the merit of the achievement, selector Peter Fox, a three times SFC final referee in the ‘90s and former County Board officer, feels that one or two more titles could have been added to the Keegan Cup triumph in 2006. “They are a great bunch of lads, a good lot of them were there in 2006 and two of them, Ciaran McLoughlin and Alan (Fox), were there in 2002, there is a lot of mileage in some of the legs. Those two have been playing adult football for 17 years.

399

Stephen Corrigan breaks the ball

“In this year’s championship we started with wins over Blackhall Gaels and Dunshaughlin but the displays in those games weren’t over impressive. Then we were well beaten by Simonstown and while performing much better against Na Fianna in Trim, they beat us by three points. “We grafted out a good win over Dunboyne to reach the knockout stages again and in the quarter-final against Skryne the performance was quite good. In that game our lead appeared to be a comfortable one but we seemed to sit back and let them come at us. “I thought the semi-final against Na Fianna would be close like the group game. We missed chances in the early stages and while Shane Barrett’s goal was well-taken, it should not have been conceded. “The goal from Eoghan Harrington, which was a very good score with the ball being well worked up the field, had us right in contention. But then there


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The hurlers prior to the Intermediate championship clash with Blackhall Gaels in Kilmessan, front l/r: Anthony Colwell, Mark Coleman, Conor Sheppard, Gerry Farrelly, Adrian Sheridan, Alan Browne, Trevor Browne, Sean Moriarty, Robert Hoey, Alan Callaghan. Back: Eanna Harrington, Stephen Sheppard, James Esmond, Cillian O'Brien, Donal Curtis, Alan O'Connell, Thomas McKeown, Karl Lee, Stephen Tiernan, David Calt

was an injury to Ollie Lewis and the break in play upset our momentum. “The loss of Niall McLoughlin was a blow to us, their half-back line was very solid and they dominated at midfield. A few of our lads didn’t perform to their best but all credit to Na Fianna, they remind me of ourselves in 2006. “One of the positives to take from that game was the fine display by Niall O’Reilly, who scored five points. He is a minor and son of Joe O’Reilly who played with Nobber and now is chairman of our club. “Although a few of the older players have been around for a long time, there was no talk of retirements after the game. Such lads have given wonderful service and a lot of enjoyment to supporters. They deserve another senior title. “There a few good young footballers who should be coming into the senior team and the future looks good for

Wolfe Tones,” concluded Peter Fox.

20-YEARS AGO

How time flies! It’s hard to believe that two decades have passed since Wolfe Tones shocked most people in the Meath hurling community by reaching the Senior Championship final, getting the better of Kilmessan after a replay at the semi-final stage. Their big day out at St Loman’s Park, Trim, ended in bitter disappointment for the team managed by Finian Englishby but it had been a huge achievement when considering that they had claimed the intermediate title only the previous year. Rathmolyon edged Tones out by the minimum margin (2-14 to 4-7) in a superbly contested final to claim the Jubilee Cup for the first time but the losers made an enormous contribution

to the occasion. In the end it took a mighty point from a free by a young Mike Cole – still playing for the Village to this day – to clinch the title. Goalkeeper Michael O’Sullivan was a real star of the final for Tones as he produced three superb saves in the first half from John Gorry, Paul Ennis and Denis Ashe to keep his team in contention. Another stand out performer was corner-forward Michael Weldon who contributed three goals. The accuracy of the brilliant Cole helped Rathmolyon to lead by 0-8 to 03 after 29 minutes as Tones wasted chances. Robert O’Kelly-Lynch, another top performer for the losers, pulled a point back and then the surprise finalists did something that the champions to be just couldn’t do in the first half…..they got a goal. O’Kelly-Lynch raced in from the left wing and blasted a dipping shot past Colin Kelly to leave the minimum (1-4

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On Junior B championship action against Boardsmill in Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Gavin Shankey, Denis County, Séan Moriarty, Conor Sheppard, Trevor Browne, Gary McFadden, Seán Power, Ciaran Shaw, Niall O'Reilly, Micheál McGarry. Back: Tony Cawley, Daire Fagan, Eoghan McKeever, Josh McDermott, Alan Cahill, Pat McKeown, Jamie Tolan, Cónall Shaw, Daniel Glynn, Dúalta O'Fionnagáin, Daragh Browne, Conor Fahy

to 0-8) between the teams at the break. Within 30 seconds of the restart Tones were in front as Weldon – a late replacement for the injured Donal Curtis – soared highest to catch a John Curtis delivery and fired to the roof of the net. When Weldon finished a great move involving Dermot Heaney and John Jennings by scoring his second goal 10 minutes into the second period the lead stood at 3-5 to 0-9. Weldon completed his hat-trick 11 minutes from the end of normal time and with a seven point (4-5 to 0-10) advantage the Jubilee Cup looked set for a new and unlikely home. However, young Cole always looked capable of inflicting damage whenever he was in possession and with Martin

Smith switching to midfield with telling effect, Rathmolyon rallied. Ashe goaled and Sean Geraghty and Smith pointed and suddenly they had reduced the deficit to just two points. O’Kelly-Lynch steadied Tones with a magnificent point from a free, before Cole and O’Kelly-Lynch traded points. That’s where Tones’ scoring ended but they were still three points clear as the final headed into injury time. They were praying for referee Michael McDonagh to sound the long whistle but Rathmolyon kept battling and when substitute Noel Hunt fired to the net they were level. A draw looked likely on a day when neither side deserved to lose but there would be a winner. As Cole faced up to a tricky free out on the right wing the

tension was almost unbearable and as the sliothar sailed between the uprights at the country end of St Loman’s Park the Rathmolyon supporters went wild. Wolfe Tones went in search of an equaliser but appeals for a free were waved away and when referee McDonagh called a halt to proceedings Rathmolyon had won an amazing final, thus making amends for the bitter disappointment of losing three successive deciders in 1982, ’83 and ’84. “It was a remarkable achievement to reach the final,” said Owen Heaney as he reflected on that 1993 campaign two decades later. “We had only won the Intermediate Championship the year before. We felt we were strong enough for the senior grade but we

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For the record, the teams in that epic Senior Championship final in 1993 were: Rathmolyon – C Kelly; D Ennis, C Ennis, D Regan; J Murray, J Ennis, T Geraghty; J Gorry (0-1), G Bagnall; M Cole (0-9), I Carroll (0-1), D Ashe (10); P Ennis, M Smith (01), S Geraghty (0-2). Sub – N Hunt (1-0) for P U14 Division 2 finalists, front l/r: Ryan Stapleton, Conall Ferry, Gearoid O'Brien, Tadhg Skehan, Ben Lowe, Oisin Ennis. Corrigan, Jake McFadden, Larry Mulvany, Mark McFadden, Calum White, William Mac Aleese, Tim McKeever. Back: Philip Ward (manager), Gavin Brady, Owen Moriarty, Jodie Fitzsimons, Daniel Farrell, Alan Lynam, Wolfe Tones – M Saran Finnegan, Caolan Ward, Dan Foley, Eanna Martin, Neil Murray, David Brady, Oisin Ginnity, O’Sullivan; L Hanley, Shane Foley, Caroline O'Brien David Donegan, T Curtis; didn’t expect to reach the final in our Championship success in 2006, but D Heaney, J Curtis, B McKeown; J first year. We stayed in the Senior the rise of their hurlers approximately Neville, Derry Donegan; N Molloy, J Championship for eight years. two decades ago was also hugely Jennings (0-1), T McKeown; R O’Kelly“We lost our first game in the 1993 significant for the club and something Lynch (1-5), T Crinion (0-1), M Weldon Senior Championship to Rathmolyon they can be proud of. (3-0). by 10 points. We drew with Gaeil “We only started hurling here in the Colmcille in the second round and we juvenile ranks in 1975,” Owen added. GAEIL COLMCILLE END took off after that. I don’t think too “John Neville came to play with us and INTERMEDIATE HOPES many people gave us much chance of he helped to turn things around. He beating Kilmessan in the semi-final but joined us when he was 13 but later Rathmolyon also frustrated Wolfe we drew with them and then beat them went to play with Dunshaughlin before Tones last year when they defeated by a point in the replay. coming back to us. He was a fine them by 3-12 to 2-10 in the “Donal Curtis scored the winning hurler and a very nice fellow.” Intermediate Championship final but a point but he got injured in the process The late 1980s and early 1990s were team again managed by Frank Foy and missed the final. Donal was a big days of great progress for the hurling was once more fancied to mount a loss but Michael Weldon came in and section of the Wolfe Tones’ club as so serious challenge for the title this year. scored three goals. We led by seven much dedicated work carried out They were drawn in group A along with points in the second half but towards the promotion of the game Clann na nGael, Donaghmore / Rathmolyon came back and beat us. It reaped rich rewards. Ashbourne, Kildalkey, Ratoath and was a huge disappointment not to win “We won the Junior Championship in Blackhall Gaels and it was against the final. We came so close.” 1989 and the Intermediate Kildalkey that they opened up with a 0Wolfe Tones have achieved so much Championship in 1992,” Owen 7 to 0-3 victory at Trim where the on the football front in recent years as recalled. “Tom McKeown and Donal teams were level (0-3 each) at the they climbed from the junior ranks to Curtis were on that ’92 team and they interval. become one of the top senior teams in both played at intermediate level this Ratoath provided the setting for a the county. The big highlight was year. Tom is 43 and Donal is 41. They second round meeting with undoubtedly their memorable Senior are amazing men” Donaghmore / Ashbourne and a 113 to 1-9 win maintained the promising start to the championship. Tones dropped only one point in the group and that came against a Blackhall Gaels’ team which would later claim the title. Two of the main contenders finished level (Tones 1-10, Blackhall 2-7) at Kilmessan, before Tones scored a runaway 3-16 to 1-8 win over Clann na nGael at Kells. They completed their group schedule with a 2-19 to 2-6 victory over Ratoath at Kilmessan and were safely through to the knockout stages. Dunderry provided the quarter-final opposition at Trim and when Tones came out on top by six points (1-17 to 2-8) they had taken another big step towards a place in the decider Minor Football Championship Division 3 winners for the second successive year.

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Prior to the U12 Group B final against Walterstown in Castletown

However, that was as good as it got and despite a battling performance in the semi-final against Gaeil Colmcille, also at St Loman’s Park, they went under on a 0-11 to 1-10 score line. The Kells men led by 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval and when Seamus Mattimoe scored the only goal of the game early in the second half they looked set for a comfortable passage to the final. That major left seven points between the

teams but tenacious Tones had no intention of accepting defeat without giving it a real effort and they steadily got themselves back into contention. The impressive Eanna Harrington (four), Gerard Farrelly (two), Alan Callaghan and Mark Coleman scored points in a highly productive spell which enabled them to cut the deficit to the minimum (0-11 to 1-9) with time almost up. As they went in search of an

equaliser an attack broke down and Gaeil Colmcille raided upfield for Stephen Reddy to fire over the insurance point. The Kells men, in turn, lost a high scoring final to Blackhall Gaels. That narrow semi-final defeat was a big disappointment for Wolfe Tones and insured that their attempt to make a return to the top flight of Meath hurling will go into 2014.

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W

CURRAHA

hen Curraha went close to reaching the Junior Football Championship final in 2011 the club’s supporters must have hoped that they could continue to mount a serious challenge for a first title in the grade since 2001 but as they go through the process of introducing more and more young players it’s understandable that they haven’t made an impact over the past couple of campaigns. By Paul Clarke.

Two years ago they advanced from their qualification group and then defeated Moylagh in a quarter-final to ignite hopes that the Matthew Ginnity Cup might be on its way back to the club but Ballivor got in the way at the penultimate hurdle when they scraped past Curraha by a couple of points before finishing the job with a comfortable win over Navan O’Mahonys’ second string in the final. Former Meath minor manager Pat Coyle guided Curraha to that semifinal in 2011 but there was a new man at the helm last year when former Dublin player Johnny Magee, who has lived in nearby Ashbourne for the past few years, answered the call. He

Neil Shorthall

certainly brought a wealth of knowledge from his playing days to the position as he won two Leinster SFC medals with the Dubs and also enjoyed plenty of success with his club Kilmacud Crokes, including four county senior titles, three Leinsters and a much coveted All-Ireland crown in 2011. Unfortunately, Magee’s first year as coach failed to deliver knockout football in the championship as

Curraha didn’t match their progress of the previous year but he clearly believed that he could get more out of this bunch of players and opted to stay on for another term. Declan Hanley acted as a selector alongside Magee but the signs weren’t particularly encouraging during the early stages of Curraha’s competitive year as they lost their four All-County A League Division 4 games ahead of the commencement of the championship. They opened up with a minimum margin (2-6 to 1-10) loss to Meath Hill and then suffered a heavy reversal at the hands of Clonard who won by all of 10 points on a 1-12 to 0-5 score line. Another loss by the smallest margin followed in the third round when neighbours St Vincent’s scraped through by 0-9 to 1-5, before Boardsmill inflicted a 2-10 to 0-9 defeat. It was then on to the Junior Championship in which Curraha were drawn in group A along with Drumbaragh, Bective and the second string teams representing Navan O’Mahonys, Skryne and Duleek / Bellewstown. A first round meeting with Skryne at Ashbourne appeared to offer a realistic opportunity to get the

A NEW BATCH IN CURRAHA

The juniors before the championship clash with Navan O'Mahonys in Dunsany, front l/r: David Coyle, Niall Moriarty, Seamus Hogan, Brian Cosgrove, Gavin Coyle, Danny Battersby, Neil O'Dowd, Neil Shorthall. Back: Simon McDermott, Sean Prenderville, Loughlin Keogh, Conor McCann, Kevin Mallon, Sean O'Hanrahan, Liam Hogan, Andrew Coyle, Gary Dowling, Robbie Heatherton, PJ McMahon, Mark Jackson

409

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competition off to a winning start but Curraha had to settle for a draw (2-8 to 3-5). Curraha were boosted by an early goal but Skryne found the net twice in the first half and that helped them to a slender 2-3 to 1-5 lead at the interval. When the Tara men raised a third green flag they looked set for victory but Curraha pounced with a late late goal in reply to force a draw. Drumbaragh were one of the standout teams in this group and the side coached by former Navan O’Mahonys and Meath forward Finian Murtagh inflicted serious damage on Curraha’s hopes of making it to the knockout stages when they won a second round game by 1-13 to 0-10 at Skryne. Three players – two from Drumbaragh and one from Curraha – were sent off and it was the team from the north of the county who did the brunt of the scoring in the first half as they opened up a very useful 0-9 to 0Shane Kelly

4 lead at the change of ends. Curraha battled away tenaciously but when Thomas Carry scored the only goal of the match from a penalty Drumbaragh were assured of victory. Niall Moriarty was the losers’ top scorer with three points and Gavin Coyle and substitute David Coyle both contributed two. Dunsany provided the setting for a third round meeting with Navan O’Mahonys’ second string team and a 1-10 to 0-10 victory for the Brews Hill outfit put paid to Curraha’s hopes of making it to the business end of the championship. A failure to garner any points from their first three outings must have got the alarm bells ringing in terms of survival and when another loss followed that became a very real concern. Bective scored a comfortable 3-11 to 0-8 victory at Skryne where they led by double scores (2-2 to 0-4) at the break. To their credit, Curraha kept battling away and managed to reduce the deficit to just three points in the second Sean Prenderville is put under pressure

period but Bective found most in the closing stages to push well clear. Curraha left it until the last round of group games to achieve their only win of the championship race, with a well deserved 0-17 to 1-11 victory over the second string side representing Duleek / Bellewstown at Donore in late August lifting them clear of the relegation dogfight. The losers had three players sent off in the last 10 minutes which certainly aided Curraha’s cause but this was still a good performance in which Niall Moriarty was a real star as he contributed a hugely important eight points from frees. James McEntee rowed in with four, three of them from play, Gavin Coyle notched three and David Coyle got two. Gavin Coyle helped to settle Curraha with an early point but Duleek / Bellewstown edged three clear, before the accuracy of Moriarty helped to guide Curraha towards at 0-9 to 0-8 lead at the interval. Magee’s men were

Mark Jackson

Full back Conor McCann

Another precision pass from Loughlin Keogh The St Vincent’s Curraha panel that lost out to Jenkinstown Gaels in the U16 Division 2 final at Kilbride, front l/r: Sean Keogh, Patrick McGill, Fahri O’Driscoll, Ryan Hand, Conor Moriarty, Andrew McEntee, David Morgan, Mark Phelan. Back: Niall Murphy, Luke McCarthy, Ciaran Phelan, Brian Joyce, Andrew Battersby, Graham McDermott, Sean Moore, Brian Murphy, Kevin Laffey, Donal McDermott.

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Prior to the U14 Division 6 decider against Castletown in Seneschalstown, front l/r: Oisin Fay, Aaron Kelly, Diarmuid Moriarty, Aidan McLarnon, Shane Kelly, James Dillion. Back: Niall McLarnon, Conor O'Farrell, Andrew Moriarty, Jamie Cleary, Jack O'Connor, Ian Battersby, Robert McGovern, Matthew Webb

rocked by the concession of a goal early in the second half and trailed by three points with 18 minutes remaining but it was significant that they didn’t concede another score. McEntee knocked over three superb points in the closing stages and with Gavin Coyle and Moriarty also on target they were three clear at the final whistle. When all was said and done in group A there was no denying Drumbaragh’s superiority as the new Tailteann Cup holders won all their matches to stand at the top of the section with a maximum haul of 10 points. Bective also advanced to the knockout stages as runners-up on eight points while the teams to miss out were O’Mahonys on six, Skryne and Curraha who both picked up three and Duleek /

Bellewstown who finished pointless at the bottom and ended up in the relegation scrap. “The year started off as a struggle and we lost our first five games in the league but thankfully it got better later on,” said Curraha selector Declan Hanley. “Sean Mallon headed off to Australia. We were without him for the whole year. He was a big loss. David Dunne was hampered by back trouble and only played a couple of games late in the year. Ian McManus got married. He didn’t play at all. When you’re a rural club you really need everybody available to you. “We are fielding a lot of young players. Apart from Meath minors James McEntee, David Toner and Evan McGovern we had about six other minor players. We’re really

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Oisin Fay


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Sean O'Hanrahan

Danny Battersby

Seamus Hogan

Niall McLarnon

added. “We struggled and led by a point at half time. We gave away a goal early in the second half but they had players sent off and we took over in the closing stages. It was a big relief to get the win. “Looking to the future, I would be optimistic. The year finished on a high for us. We won our last three league games as well. Johnny Magee is staying on as coach. He’s the right man to have there. He has very good ideas and the young lads are really buying into him.”

starting from scratch. From the team which reached the Junior Championship semi-finals in 2011 there have been a lot of changes. “We were happy enough to get something out of our first championship game against Skryne after the bad start we had made to the league. We had chances to win but we needed a late goal to get a draw. “We started well in our second round game against Drumbaragh who are a very solid junior team. We had a lot of the play in the first 10 minutes but we had nothing to show for it on the score board. We performed quite well up to half time but they were the better team in the second half. Darragh McNamara wasn’t playing. With him missing we thought we had a chance but they beat us by six points. “Our performance against Navan O’Mahonys was probably our best of the championship but what we were really missing that day was power. We are young and small. They had Mark Ward playing at midfield and we had nobody able to match him.” When Bective inflicted a heavy defeat in the next round the pressure was on the Curraha players to produce a performance and a result last time out against neighbours Duleek / Bellewstown. “Bective beat us comfortably in the fourth round but we got the win we needed against Duleek / Bellewstown,” Declan

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I

DUNSANY

n their Golden Jubilee year, the Junior Football championship title continued to elude Dunsany as their quest for the Matthew Ginnity Cup ended at the group stage. While it was a notable year in the club's history, chairman Richard Harrahill concedes results on the pitch were less than hoped for: "It's been a bit of a disappointing year. We've been used to getting to the knockout stages. It's only the second time in 15 years that we have failed to get through to the knockout stages of the championship and the last time was just on score difference." Dunsany have lost three JFC finals since the turn of the millennium, most recently to Longwood in 2009 when Conor Boyle was at the helm, a position he held again in the year just gone. A quarter-final defeat to Simonstown's second string side was Dunsany's lot in 2012. Billeted in Group C along side Kilmainham, Drumconrath, Moylagh and Kilbride, there were sound reasons for believing a place at the business end of the campaign was achieveable. Dunsany opened with a trip to Trim on April 21 when Moylagh provided the opposition. The team in red and white

Niall Cleary

prevailed on a 3-5 to 0-11 scoreline. Five days later at Dunshaughlin, goal power was again central to their 3-10 to 2-5 win over Kilbride that maintained their 100% success rate in the competition. A five-week break ensued before Dunsany's next outing. Drumconrath provided the opposition at Seneschalstown on the June Bank Holiday Monday. Defeat was Dunsany's lot on a 1-8 to 1-14 scoreline, a result that was a long way to determining their fate as

Drumconrath went on to take the second qualifying spot in the group. Idle in round four, nearly three months passed before Dunsany were in JFC round four action. Navan O'Mahonys' ground was the setting the final group game with pace-setters Kilmainham providing the opposition. Dunsany finished 0-5 to 4-10 in arrears as Kilmainham maintained their 100% win record in the campaign. Two wins and two defeats meant they finished third behind Drumconrath and table toppers Kilmainham in Group C. League form was indifferent for Dunsany. Operating in the A FL Division 4, they finished 11th of the 14 teams involved. Moynalty, Kilbride and Slane finished below them. The 13-match campaign yielded five wins, one draw and seven defeats. Dunsany had the third worst points difference (a heavy defeat at Moynalty contributed significantly to that) in the division, with only Kilbride and basement side Slane having worse. Ultimately the leagues are the breeding grounds for championship success. Wins over Boardsmill, Kilbride, Dunsany, St Mary's and St Vincent's as well as a draw with Moylagh were the high points of Dunsany's A FL Division

DUNSANY 50-YEARS ON

Winners over Moylagh in the JFC at Trim, front l/r: Pauric Burke, Christopher Smyth, Emmet Ferguson, Donal Clynch, Danny Thynne, Danny Maguire, Mark Brennan, Pauric Maguire, Ciarรกn Kenny. Back: Steven Clynch, Darren Reilly, Cathal Burke, Niall Cleary, Eoin Marsh, Brian Faherty, Kevin Keena, Paul Grimes, Charlie Keena, Noel Duffy

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dunsany designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 10:36 Page 2

4 campaign. Dunsany second team's reward for winning the JFC D the previous year, with Seanie Cummins at the helm, was promotion to the Junior C football championship with the same man at the helm. Drawn in Group A, they faced a fivematch campaign in the qualification stage. Dunsany opened with a narrow win over Summerhill, 2-6 to 2-4, at Trim. Having received a walkover from Duleek-Bellewstown in round two, Dunsany headed for Bective where Simonstown's third team provided the opposition in a round three fixture when winning ways were continued. A heavy loss to eventual beaten finalists Blackhall Gaels, 0-3 to 0-15, in round four at Dunshaughlin appeared at the time to seriously undermine hopes of reaching the knockout stage. It proved to be their only defeat in the group stage. The round robin stage culminated with a meeting with Castletown, at Navan Steven Clynch

O'Mahonys' ground, in mid-August. The teams shared 16 scores but two goals meant Dunsany prevailed on a 2-6 to 08 scoreline. Dunsany advanced to the last eight despite losing a number of players to their first team over the course of the campaign. Their interest in the JFC C ended with defeat to Na Fianna in a quarter-final. The Chairman cites two causes behind setbacks on the pitch in 2013: "It was the first year that we really got hit by the impact of both emigration and injuries. When we lined out in a our final game against Kilmainham, of the guys who would have been our top 20 two years ago, 13 of them were gone through injury or emigration.� Joey Keena, Donie Clynch, Sean Stephens, Conor Brennan, Paul Kennedy, Alan Hogan and Ciaran Kenny were among those gone through emigation "They'd all be first team guys," Harrahill emphasises. "We had injury problems, guys like Manager Kevin Cahill

Ger O'Neill, Paddy McGovern were only playing Junior C as they were coming back from injury. Steven Clynch got injured in the Ring Cup and played some hurling but no football since." The bunching of club and county fixtures didn't help Dunsany's bid for JFC honours: "The really disappointing thing was when we played Drumconrath on the June Bank Holiday weekend, on the Monday, had we won then we would have been in the quarter-final. "The big problem there it was played only two days after Meath's last Christy Ring Cup game. That meant three of our guys, Steven Clynch, Shane Brennan and very particularly Eoin Marsh wouldn't have been able to train with us for the previous number of weeks. "We were just disappointed it was put on so soon. Eoin Marsh was immense in our first two games and in many people's opinion deserved to be looked at by the Meath senior selectors. He's a midfielder and was playing terrific in our

Eoin Marsh

Ciaran Kenny

Danny Maguire The U14 Division 6 FL winners after Blackhall Gaels were defeated in the decider at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Sean McGorman, Cian O'Neill, Tommy Harlin, Conor Gorman, Jamie McCabe, Paul O'Brien, CiarĂĄn Coyle. Back: Colm Byrne, Jack Brady, Eoin Harkin, Charlie O'Donnell, Cathal McIntyre, Jordan Clarke, Evan Lynch, Duncan O'Connor, David Boyle, Robert Noone

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David Boyle celebrates scoring a goal at Pairc Tailteann

Jordan Clarke clears

Charlie O'Donnell

Meath Juvenile Board Secretary Ciaran Flynn presents the U14 Division 6 FL Cup to Dunsany captain Eoin Harkin

Donal Clynch

Pauric Maguire

first two games. "Eoin played in the Ring Cup the previous Saturday and the one before when it went to extra time. His legs went in the second-half (of the JFC clash with Drumconrath). He was a huge loss with Steven Clynch out, he was the main midfield man. "We were four points up in that game and should have been able to win that game, with all due respect to Drumconrath. The fact that Eoin's legs went was a huge problem for us. Had we won that game, which we should have as we had good wins over Kilbride and Moylagh, we'd have been in the quarter-finals.� That didn't happen. "When we met Kilmainham, A lot of things went wrong. By that time Dunsany were pretty shook. Principally, the fact that Steven Clynch was out injured. He is such a big player for us. "We had such a long break. It's very hard to play in June and have your next championship at the end of August. It's hard to keep the momentum going. "People say to us does hurling affect us? In fairness club hurling doesn't. We

have a great relationship with Kilmessan. What kills us often is intercounty hurling. There are less players from Kilmessan involved with Meath in recent years, but the way the Christy Ring Cup is run players are missing for a number of weeks where they can't even train with us. "This year, two days after Meath were knocked out of the Ring Cup, we were fixed to play a match. We didn't have them for training. Even though we had only three players on the Meath team, two (Clynch and Marsh) were very significant guys. Shane Brennan was also part of the county hurling set-up. "Over a five-six week period you don't see them at all. It makes it difficult to have meaningful challenge games because they (county hurlers) are not there.� The unavailability of some first team players had a negative knock on effect. It ultimately meant Dunsany's season came to a premature end. "On the day we played Drumconrath in the junior championship, we had to rob a few guys to compensate for Steven Clynch and Eoin Marsh crying off. So,

417

Evan Lynch

we lost a few key players like Kevin Keena from the Junior C team. "We lost to Na Fianna in quarter-final It was played on the 31st August. When we walked off the pitch that day, our season was over. We had all our A league games played, all our B leagues. We were out of the Junior A and Junior C. Apart from under-21, we had nothing left which is very strange. It's not the ideal thing for an adult club that its teams have no more football at the end of August." A number of events were held during the year to mark the club's golden jubilee. One was a challenge game against Dunshaughlin on May 26, fifty years to the day and date since the club made its competitive debut, also against their neighbours. Looking to the future, Richard Harrahill sees grounds for optimism: "We've a strong underage structure with a lot of mentors involved. We won titles at under 16 and under 14 earlier in the year. We have a lot of young footballers coming up. We don't have problems fielding teams and have plenty of mentors to look after them."

Shane Brennan


kilskyre designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:47 Page 1

Best wishes & continued success to Kilskyre HC & Ballinlough GFC, from all at


kilskyre designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:47 Page 2

K

KILSKYRE

ilskyre bowed out of the 2013 intermediate hurling championship at the semifinal stage when eventual winners Blackhall Gaels narrowly defeated them, but the North Meath outfit are heading in the right direction; according to star forward Sean Geraghty.

Since 2011, Kilskyre have plied their trade in the intermediate grade following a restructuring of the hurling championships in Meath. Many had concerns of how the black and ambers would do in the second tier, but there results speak for themselves as they have reached the knockout stages in the three campaigns since. Remarkably the club have achieved this despite the fact that they have struggled for numbers at underage level in most grades, although work is currently being done to rectify that situation. However, reaching the penultimate stage of the intermediate hurling championship is certainly a sign of the progress that they have made, although it all looked very different at the start of the year as Sean revealed. “We played Kells in the league early on in the year and they beat us handy that day. I think we then realised that we had to put in a bigger effort if we were going to have an impact on this

Sean Geraghty with Conor Roche of Gaeil Colmcille

year’s campaign,” said Sean. The fact that Kilskyre are a duel club with Ballinlough does not help their cause as football is and always has been the number one sport in the area. Throw in the fact that the hurlers are working with small numbers and it shows the difficult task they face on an annual basis. “This would be a football dominated area alright and most of the lads on the hurling team would play football as well. Personally, I’d prefer the hurling, but I try to give the same commitment to both. I suppose the fact that things didn’t go well for us in the football this year probably helped the hurling as lads could focus on just the one code. “But I think the main change for us was when Tommy Shine brought in Pat

Clancy to give him a hand. ‘Shiner’ was over the footballers as well and it wasn’t easy for him to combine both, so he decided to ask Pat would he be interested in coaching us and he was.” Sean admitted that it didn’t take long for the former Westmeath hurler to get his point across to the players as they prepared for the start of the intermediate championship and a clash with neighbours and rivals Gaeil Colmcille. “Pat had only two weeks to work with us before the Kells game and from the first night he was with us, he concentrated on ball skills. We were all fit enough having been training with the footballers, but our stick work was lacking and that was an area we had to work on.” The game against Gaeil Colmcille was played in Moylagh on a damp evening, meaning that it was difficult for both sides to show their natural ability. The Kells outfit triumphed against a Kilskyre side that played most of the match with 14 men by 0-16 to 0-11, but Sean admits that there were many positives to take from the game. “The fact that they had hammered us in the league just a few weeks previous meant that if we got close to them at all, it was a sign of progress. We were still coming to terms with what Pat

GERAGHTY EYES SILVERWARE

Prior to the semi-final clash with Blackhall Gaels in Trim, front l/r: James Baugh, Johnny Reilly, Benji Smith, Padraig Muldoon, Derek Muldoon, Sean Geraghty, Ronan McGuinness, Pa Baugh, Keith McGuinness. Back: Gary Reilly, Tommy Nugent, Peadar Byrne, Junior Reilly, Colm Mallon, Michael Geraghty, James O'Higgins, Dara Farrelly, Kevin Devine, Adam Fox, Christopher Clinton, Tom Shine, Niall Farrelly

419

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kilskyre designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:47 Page 3

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wanted us to do. Kells only really pulled away from us with a few late scores, and although we were disappointed to lose to them, it did give us hope that we could do well.” The next match was against Dunderry and although it was only the second round of the campaign, Sean stressed that it was a do or die game for Kilskyre. “We knew going into the match that it was a must-win game for us as Dunderry would always be there or thereabouts when it came to qualifying form the group.” Despite suffering a broken thumb a week earlier, Sean lined out against Dunderry and produced a man of the match display as he scored 1-3 on the night to cap a fine performance. From the throw in the Kilskyre men took control with Derek Muldoon and Michael Geraghty in midfield dominating with two outstanding displays of hurling. With Sean in fine scoring form at left full forward and James O'Higgins and James O'Higgins

Niall Farrelly with two super points, Kilskyre went in at half time 0-7 to 0-5 to the good. In the second half Kilskyre pushed on and when Geraghty shook the net, the game was as good as over. Kevin Devine made a couple of great saves in goal for Kilskyre and with the ever reliable Podge Muldoon at full back, Kilskyre went onto win 1-12 to 1-6. “I didn’t want to miss the game against Dunderry as I knew how important it was for us, so I got a pain killing injection in the thumb and strapped it up. Luckily it was okay and I managed to get a few scores, but it was a brilliant team performance by all the lads. “We knew that if we lost that game it would be very difficult to qualify from the group, so it was very important to get the result. It gave us a great lift and with training going so well, there was a great mood in the camp.” Confidence was flowing through the side as Kilskyre recorded their biggest

Peadar Byrne in semi-final action

victory in some years next time out as they hammered Kilmessan’s second string. Right from the throw-in Kilskyre were rampant with scores Sean Geraghty, Tom Shine and a fabulous individual goal from wing back Benji Smith. Added to this was an outstanding performance from Keith McGuinness, who in the space of ten minutes, notched up 2-02. Kilskyre were in free flow and went in at half time 4-10 to 0-04 ahead. In the second half, Kilmessan tried to pull back the scoreline, but to no avail. The Kilskyre men kicked on even more and dominated every line on the pitch. The final score was Kilskyre 6-18 Kilmessan 2-04. “The game against Kilmessan was probably the most complete performance of the year. From start to finish, we played very well and the good thing was that the scoring was well spread across the board.” With four points from three games, Kilskyre could not afford to ease up as

Thomas Nugent gets to the sliotar first

Tom Shortt is determined

Pat Clancy Prior to the championship game with Gaeil Colmcille at Moylagh, front l/r: Tom Shine, James O'Higgins, Padraig Muldoon, Ronan McGuinness, Benji Smith, Pa Baugh, Jonathan Reilly, Kevin Devine. Back: Darren Morgan, Thomas Nugent, Matthew Farrell, Tom Shortt, Derek Muldoon, Sean Geraghty, Niall Farrelly, Daragh Farrelly, Gary Reilly, Micheal Geraghty, Junior Reilly, Keith McGuinness, Tom Gilsenan (chairman)

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Gary Reilly is put under pressure

Pa Baugh

they went into their final two games. Dunboyne were their next opponents and this was a side that they have had many close encounters with in recent years. Kilskyre went into this game on form as hot favourites, but were pushed all the way by a gallant Dunboyne side. In a tight, hard fought and low scoring game, Kilskyre ground out a one point victory 0-10 to 1-06. Dunboyne started off the better with an early goal which made the Kilskyre men think twice about having the points in the bag, but they gradually pulled the Dunboyne men back with points from Niall Farrelly, Seanie Geraghty and Tom Shine to go in at half time 0-6 to 1-2 to the good. In the second half with both sides exchanging some good scores Kilskyre introduced Peadar Byrne to midfield to add that extra bit of spark, but they had to wait for Michael Geraghty’s point in the last minute to take the honours. “We went into the game against Dunboyne knowing that we had to keep up the good form we were showing, but for one reason or another we struggled on the day. We’ve played Dunboyne a few times in the last few years and there’s nearly always just a point between us. They’re a very dogged side. I suppose in hindsight we were a bit complacent against them after we had played so well against Kilmessan. “Our preparation for the game hadn’t been great as we were out in the football the week before. When Pat got us in at half time, he told us that we were a lot better than that and that we had work harder, but it wasn’t until the last ten minutes that we did actually start to hurl and fortunately it was enough to see us over the line.” In the last game, Kilskyre ensured their place in the quarterfinal with a 1-13 to 1-08 win over Kiltale. This was another hard earned win for Kilskyre, but they dug deep to grind out a merited win. So to the quarter-final and once again they would renew acquaintances with Donaghmore Ashbourne, who they have played on many an occasion over the years. Having worked hard on the training field since Clancy’s arrival, Kilskyre went into the match in a confident mood, but the early signs during this clash were not good for the black and ambers. Playing against the strong wind in the first half the Kilskyre men were always going to be on the back foot against a very physical and skilful Donaghmore Ashbourne side who notched up 2-9 in the first half. At one stage they were 13 points ahead of the Kilskyre men who were fighting hard to keep themselves in the game and went in at half time 11 points behind 2-9 to 0-4. In the second half it was Kilskyre’s turn to avail of the wind

Padraig Muldoon clears

Kevin Devine

and goals from Keith McGuinness and Derek Muldoon along with points from Tom Shine, Peadar Byrne and three superb efforts from James O'Higgins, Kilskyre managed to drew level with minutes to go. The final score after the hour 2-10 apiece and extra time was required. Kilskyre trailed at the end of the first period of extra time, before they drew level once again in the second period. Then the defining moment arrived when the talented Michael Geraghty showed great audacity as he raced on to a loose ball, managed to evade the challenge of two defenders and blast the sliotar to the net for the winning score as Kilskyre won by 3-15 to 2-15. “We looked dead and buried at one stage during the first half

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Another point for Tommy Shine

Blackhall won on a scoreline of 2-14 to as we trailed by 13 points. There was a 1-14. big talk at half time and we said that we at least had to give a performance in the “We knew that the semi-final would be second half. Pat said we had been a tough game as Blackhall are a very standing off them in the first half and we good side with some excellent hurlers, needed to get in amongst them, which but in saying that we had our chances. we did and thankfully we were back level When Michael got our goal and they by the end of normal time. But, then we went straight up the field and scored one slipped behind again before Michael got themselves that was a real sucker punch the winning goal. to us and one that we never really “I think that performance just showed recovered from. how much we had come on during the “However, it was a very good year for year. Before this I don’t think we would us and there were plenty of positives to have come back from being 13 points take from the campaign, but it is down, but the belief and confidence is essential that we build on this for next there now and it is something that we year and push on from here. There is a must build on.” great committee in place in the club and In the semi final against Blackhall the work is now being done at underage Gaels, it was Kilskyre that found level, so hopefully we can push on from themselves four points ahead with some here.” fine scores from Peadar Byrne, Tom For the record the Kilskyre team that Shine (2) and James O'Higgins. lined out against Blackhall Gaels was: Blackhall slowly but surely found their Kevin Devine, Colm Mallon, Padraig form and points from Tom Murphy (3), Muldoon, Jonathon O'Reilly, Benji Smith, Niall Kelly and Dermot Carty left them Pa Baugh, Gary Reilly, Peadar Byrne 0trailing by three points 0-8 to 0-5 with ten 2, Seanie Geraghty, James O'Higgins 0minutes of the half remaining. James 1, Derek Muldoon 0-1, Michael Geraghty Battersby's men finished the stronger 1-2, Ronan McGuinness, Thomas and rattled in four unanswered points Nugent, Thomas Shine 0-6. Subs: Niall through Stephen Morris (2) and Carty (2) Farrelly 0-2 for Nugent, D O’Reilly for to go in at the break one point ahead 0Mallon, Keith McGuinness for O'Higgins. 9 to 0-8. The second half turned out to be end to end stuff with both sides putting on a show of outstanding hurling. Carty put Blackhall two ahead before they were rocked by a Tommy by MARIE LYNCH I.T.E.C. Dip. Anat & Phys Shine point and a brilliant Michael Geraghty goal. - BACK, NECK AND Kilskyre's joy lasted SHOULDER MASSAGE for only 30 seconds as from the puck out - INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE Kevin Coyle netted and it was game on - FULL BODY MASSAGE again. Shine and Geraghty replied - SPORTS MASSAGE with points and Kilskyre led 1-11 to - MASSAGE THERAPY FOR 1-10. The PEOPLE LIVING WITH CANCER Kilcloon/Batterstown men took over. Points from Alan Kilskyre, Kells, Co. Meath Nestor and 1-1 from Tel: 046-9433225. Mobile: 086-8870441 Johnny Meyler put Email: marielynchmassage@gmail.com them four ahead. Kilskyre outscored Blackhall 0-3 to 0-2 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY in the last five minutes but could not close the gap as

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Derek Muldoon bursts through

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Best wishes to Kilskyre HC in 2014

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M

MOYNALVEY

oynalvey made the knock-out stages of the hoganstand.com Meath SFC on their second year back in the top flight but a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Na Fianna left them wondering what might have been. Manager Ian Kearney reflects on a 'freak' loss to the senior championship newcomers.

The meeting of the last two winners of the IFC at Pairc Tailteann in the last eight produced the game of this year's senior championship but that was of little consolation to Moynalvey who finished on the wrong end of the 7-10 to 2-10 scoreline. Na Fianna forward Shane Barrett helped himself to 5-4 as the Enfield/Baconstown combination finished with 15 points to spare over the team in maroon and white. Former Walterstown and Meath footballer Ian Kearney took over the reins of Moynalvey for 2013 from Alan Kelly who guided them to Intermediate honors in 2011 and he reckons the

Barry O'Keeffe

winning margin flattered Na Fianna somewhat. Had Moynalvey made better use of the goal chances that came their way the outcome might have been different. "It was a funny game, when you look at the score you'd say we were well

beaten but I felt we had eight or nine goal chances but only scored two whereas Na Fianna had nine and scored seven. "That was really the difference between the two teams. We started well, played all the football but they went down the field and got a couple of goals that put us on the back foot. "It was disappointing the way it panned out. A return of 2-10 would have won the other quarter-finals, bar one, that were played that weekend." Na Fianna's subsequent march to the Keegan Cup decider didn't soften the blow for Kearney and his Moynalvey charges. They went into the quarter-final clash with high hopes after finishing third in Group A behind Navan O'Mahonys and Seneschalstown. "I felt if we got over that we would have had a real chance. The championship was wide open this year, particularly when O'Mahonys were beaten. I felt once we got out of the group we had every chance. We have a nice squad there."

A LOT DONE, MORE TO DO

The seniors on championship duty against Duleek/Bellewstown in Dunshaughlin, front l/r: B. Harnan, D. Donoghue, D. Brannigan, P. Donoghue, C. Ennis, B. O'Keefe, P. Harnan, R. Ryan, R. Kiernan, C. O'Sullivan, A. Forde, S. Donoghue, J. Kelly. Back: Paul Greene (selector), C. Egan, C. O'Malley, M. O'Sullivan, E. Walsh, D. Brennan, J. Donoghue, B. Byrne, B. Dixon, P. Weldon, W. Harnan, D. Smith, G. Drum, F. McCabe, B. Conneely, J. Weldon

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Moynalvey displayed commendable character to overcome the set-back of losing their first two championship outings to qualify for the business end of the competition. They didn't enjoy the best of starts to their campaign when finishing second best to holders O'Mahonys in round one. The Skryne scoreboard read 0-15 to 0-5 in the Navan side's favour when referee Colm McManus sounded his final whistle. Round two saw them finish five points behind Seneschalstown at Trim so that meant they couldn't afford another slip up if they were to make the quarter-finals. They resuscitated their championship ambitions with a 1-11 to 0-7 victory over Nobber at Walterstown. The signs were ominous for Kearney and his team when they trailed by 0-3 to 0-5 at the break but they outscored their Solid defending from Barry O'Keeffe

opponents by 1-8 to 0-2 after the resumption. The goal arrived midway through the second half when a Ciaran Ennis goal attempt ended up in the Nobber net via a deflection off a Nobber defender. So, with their first points on the board, Moynalvey approached their round four encounter with Kearney's home club Walterstown in a confident frame of mind and the players kept their interest in the championship alive with a 1-12 to 0-8 victory. Former Meath minor star Cillian O'Sullivan - who was abroad for the early rounds - marked his first championship appearance of the summer with 1-6 for the winners. A strong third quarter showing saw Moynalvey increase their lead from two to seven points and send Walterstown packing from this year's championship. Was there mixed emotions for

Padraig Harnan made his senior inter county debut against Wicklow

Kearney against the Blacks? "It was a difficult one obviously but you're there to do a job. When you finish playing and get involved in management things like that happen and you have to expect that. "There were still lads playing for Walterstown who I played with so it was difficult trying to plot their downfall, as the fella says, but it's only a game of football at the end of the day." A win against Duleek/Bellewstown would secure third spot in the table for Moynalvey and they made no mistake with a 10 point victory over the east Meath outfit - 2-13 to 1-6 - in Dunshaughlin. William Harnan's 22nd minute goal put Kearney's charges in pole position and that score separated the sides at the break - 1-5 to 0-5. The full-forward struck for second goal shortly after the resumption and they pulled away for a comfortable success.

Darren Brennan was outstanding in the championship

Ciaran Ennis

Another score from Cillian O'Sullivan Winners over St Pat’s in the Junior B championship at Ashbourne, front l/r: Paul Conneely, Padraig Kelly, Conor Egan, David Durkan, Joseph Munnelly, Chris O'Malley, Fergal McCabe, PJ Walsh, Robbie Quinlan, Davy Kane, Shaun Deering. Back: Sean McDermott, Shane McGann, Anthony Brien, Gerard Fagan, Eamonn Walsh, Brian Byrne, Ciaran Collins (captain), Brian Conneely, Stephen Cummins, Stephen Whyte, Johnny Carey, Peter Brien

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The Jenkinstown Gaels squad that won the U16 Division 2 title at Kilbride, front l/r: Mark Ferris Coach, Mark Nicholson, Sean Healy, Aidan Gilsenan, James Kelly, Alan Ennis, Robbie McGuinness, Hughie O'Sullivan, Adam Murphy. Back: Paul Brennan, Dessie Fitzgerald, Fergus Ryan, Brian Reilly, Colm O'Connor, Patrick Kelly, Robert Lawless, Charlie Staunton, Roma Regan, Vincent O'Brien, Sean Duggan, Conor Harnan, Hugh Smith, Padraig Keane, Rian Kealy, Dan O'Neill Coach, Fintan Lawless (selector)

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John Donoghue wins this one

Mark O'Sullivan heads for goal as Brian Dillon gives chase

"We knew O'Mahonys and Seneschalstown were going to be our two toughest games in the group stages," the manager remarked, 'and our preparation for those games was poor insofar as we had five lads on the Meath hurling squad and didn't see

Ken Hyland with Brian Dillon of O'Mahony's

them until the week before the O'Mahonys match. "And the weather was bad. We had no pitch for a while and we were training here, there and everywhere. So our preparation could have been better but I knew that if we got things

together we were well capable of winning our last three games and we did." The return of Cillian O'Sullivan from traveling abroad was a 'big plus', according to the manager, for the final three group games.

The Jenkinstown Gaels squad that took on Ratoath in the U15 Division 3 decider at Dunsany

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On duty against O'Mahonys in the hoganstand.com SFC game at Skryne, front l/r: James Kelly, Anthony Brien, James Weldon, Darren Brennan, Padraig Donoghue, Ciaran Ennis, Stephen Donoghue, Mark O'Sullivan, Ollie Regan, Robbie Kiernan, Padraig Harnan, Davy Kane, Fergal McCabe. Back: Brian Harnan, Brian Connelly, Giles Drum, Brian Byrne, Benny Dixon, John Donoghue, Donal Smith, William Harnan, Paul Weldon, Barry O'Keefe, Ken Hyland, Paul Connelly, Davy Donoghue, Luke Duffy

"We knew at that stage we had to win all our last three games. They were all knock-out games. We made hard work of the Nobber game but played reasonably well against Walterstown and Duleek/Bellewstown. The Duleek/Bellewstown win was probably our best performance of the championship." Na Fianna dashed Moynalvey's hopes of making further progress but Kearney enjoyed his first year at the helm and predicts big things in the future for the south Meath club. He believes the experience they gained this year will stand them in good stead moving forward. "I enjoyed it. They're a great bunch of

Benny Dixon

lads who are very dedicated. There is great potential there for the future. I think there will be three or four of the Meath panel next year. "Anthony Forde, Cillian and Mark (O'Sullivan) and Darren Browne, a half-back, are probably worth a shout. Padraic (Harnan) is obviously already involved and then you have Brian Harnan coming behind him. "There's a nice squad but it is difficult with the dual thing. There's nine or 10 of them playing hurling which is a big factor but we got around that. There is a good relationship between Moynalvey and Kiltale, there's no hassle but it can be difficult at times. "For a lot them it was their first year

The side defeated by Na Fianna in the 2012 Division 3 league decider at Trim, front l/r: Stephen Donoghue, Ciaran Ennis, Donal Smith, Ollie Regan, Anthony Forde, Padraig Harnan, Robbie Kiernan, Darren Brennan, Padraig Donoghue. Back: Cathal McCabe, William Mahady, Barry O'Keefe, Mark O'Sullivan, Ken Hyland, John Donoghue, Ray Ryan, William Harnan, Paul Weldon, Anthony Brien, Conor Egan

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B

RATHKENNY

rian Meade describes 2013 as a 'good year' on the field for Rathkenny but it could have been a lot better had their talismanic midfielder not sustained a cruciate ligament injury against Skryne in round 4 of the hoganstand.com Meath SFC.

On October 4th last, Brian Meade underwent cruciate ligament surgery under the supervision of renowned surgeon Ray Moran at the Santry Sports clinic. The Rathkenny and Meath midfielder sustained the knee injury in the latter stages of his club's draw with Skryne at Dunshaughlin in mid-August and his initial fears were confirmed when an X-ray revealed the extent of the injury. Assuming that his rehabilitation goes according to plan, the 27 year old has pencilled in March/April as his return date. "You're talking about six to eight months since the operation so, hopefully, I'll be back playing a bit of club football by then," explained Brian whose recovery is being overseen by Royal County physio Frank Foley and

Barney Allen presents the Division 3 Reserve League Cup to Derek Smith

selector Trevor Giles. "I went into tackle Paddy O'Rourke, he changed direction, I went to change direction as well, I just planted my foot and my knee went. That was it. I stayed on, jumped for a ball and coming down, the knee went again," he added. "I knew it was bad enough but I was able to hop along for another few minutes. Probably, in hindsight, I

should have went off straight away but the damage was done." It was cruel luck on Meade who had, up until that point, successfully managed to sidestep serious injury during the course of his gaelic football career. "A twisted ankle or that type of thing was the height of it before now. I suppose I've been lucky, you see other lads and they're always injured. You only realise when it happens to you how hard it is to be watching from the sidelines." Meade's injury was a devastating blow to Rathkenny's chances of springing a surprise and getting their hands on the Keegan Cup. New manager Des Lane, a 'very good man-manager' in Meade's opinion, guided them to second place in Group B. They lost out on top spot to Skryne on score difference having opened with three wins on the bounce against Oldcastle, Summerhill and Donaghmore/Ashbourne. They had put down a large deposit in their place in the last eight of the championship before dropping points against Skryne (draw) and St Patrick's

CRUCIATE CURSE KO’S MEADE AND RATHKENNY

Division 3 Reserve League winners, front l/r: Derek Smith, Andrew Crosbie, Andrew Finney, Michael Macken, Denis Nulty, Christy Meade, Niall Brannigan, Thomas Martin. Back: Darren Barron, Lee Connolly, Stephen Crosbie, Stephen Lynn, James Esmonde, Adam Brennan, Cathal McCabe, Matthew Brien, Ross Gore, Declan Crosbie, Barry Carolan, Gavin Markey, Paul Mullery, Richie Timmons. Mascot: Ryan Timmons

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Ronan Curtis Thomas Martin is under pressure

in their last two group games. In Brian's absence, his teammates scored an impressive 014 to 1-10 last eight extra-time victory over neighbours Seneschalstown but his commanding presence around the middle third of the field was sorely missed in the last four defeat by Summerhill. The team in red and black were unable to replicate their round 2 success over the 'Hill and exited the championship on a scoreline of 0-15 to 1-7. They were left to ponder what might have been. "It's always frustrating missing any game, no matter what. The lads played so well in the quarter-final to get to the semifinal, it was certainly hard to watch," Brian recalled. "We went into the game feeling that we could put in a good Stephen Crosbie gains possession against St Colmcilles in the Division 3 Reserve final

performance again and that we could scrape through and reach a senior final. I don't think we can be too upset about the result against Summerhill though because, on the day, we didn't perform as well as we did against Seneschalstown. "There wasn't anyone who was out on the field that you could say had a bad game against Seneschalstown. It was a great team performance but, unfortunately, we couldn't carry that through to the Summerhill game." Anyone who thinks Rathkenny are satisfied with reaching the semi-final stages of the championship are mistaken, according to the midfielder. They are not content with merely making up the numbers in the top flight. "Every year people tip us for

Cian Murray kicks out

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U14 Division 3 Shield finalists, front l/r: Brian Griffin, David Downey, Sean Gavigan, Keith Curtis, Mark Byrne, Evan Crosbie, James O’Hare, Conor Hunter, Jeaic Timmons. Back: Shayne Lynch, Arran Leddy, ian Grimes, Robert Murphy, Adam Weldon, Michael Dineen, Keith O’Halloran, Lenny Jenkinson, Oisin Matthews

Still going strong Donal Curtis

James O'Hare raises the U12 Cup at Brews Hill

relegation but we'd always have the confidence in our own ability that we can get to the knock-out stages at least, no matter what happened the previous year. "We have ambitions to go further than a semi-final, we've been there before but it's going to take a lot of

ivan Lenehan

James O'Hare

Patrick Moore

work. We know that but, all in all, it was a good year. We can't be too disappointed." There are many similarities between the fortunes of club and county this year for Meade and his team-mate Donal Keogan. Progress is the word that also springs to mind when the

intercounty year is the subject of conversation. An ever-present on the county senior squad since 2007, Meade said: "Progress was made but, at the same time, it's the same situation as the club. "We went into the Dublin game fairly confident that we could surprise the

One of the many great catches from Brian Meade

Donal Keogan

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Senior team manager Des Lane

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Another great year for the seniors, front l/r: Christy Meade, Jack Gore, Ronan Curtis, Donal Curtis, ivan Lenehan, David Donegan, Barney Lenehan, Joe Gore. Back: Owen Elliott, Adam Brennan, Stephen McCabe, Donal Keogan, Tommy McKeever, James Macken, Brian Meade, John Martin, Ronan Curtis

Best Wishes To Rathkenny GAA In 2014, From Dubs and win a Leinster. That didn't happen but there's a lot of young lads who have come in and performed well. "There's probably going to be more pressure on us next year to build on that and continue in the right direction. "We missed a lot against Tyrone (All-Ireland SFC qualifier round 4). We probably deserved to bring them to extra-time, it would have been a fairer result. I felt we could have got something out of that game but it wasn't to be." On a more positive note, securing promotion in the league is a big plus as the Royals plan for bigger and better things Email: stackallentransport@ymail.com ahead. "Promotion from Division 3 was definitely a big thing. Hopefully, we can get promotion to Division 1 in the New Year. ALL OCCASIONS CATERED FOR You need to be in Division 1 to have any aspirations of winning the All-Ireland. Daily Return School Bus Service From "The game against Cavan didn't reflect well on us but, after Rathkenny, Grange, Stackallen, Demailstown, Wilkinstown, Kilberry, Gibbstown, & Surrounding Areas To O’Carolan College School Nobber that, everyone knuckled down. We took off from the second STACKALLEN TRANSPORT COMPANY LTD half of the Sligo game and everything just went our way." The Leinster final draw has pitted Mick O'Dowd and his team against Carlow in a provincial quarterfinal next summer. The Barrowsiders took Meath to a replay in 2012 so Brian and Co. won't be taking them for granted. dEsiGn & manuFaCturE "You can't look too far ahead. All you can do is oF hiGh quality hope you can go out and win every game as they come. Having played in the last two Leinster finals, • EntranCE GatEs you'd be hoping to get to another one and it's • railinGs GALvANiSiNG • hand rails knock-out from there on. & POWDER COATiNG • sECurity Grills "We'd be hoping to get promotion first off and we AvAiLABLE • BalConys can't afford to take Carlow for granted. They are • GatE automation never an easy team to beat as we found out in Harristown, Hayes, Navan, Co. Meath 2012. Tel/Fax: 046-9024766 "I don't think we're that far off the pace but I'm sure there's a lot of other counties saying that as well. Mobile: 086-2653515 We are going the right way. It's going to take a while Best Wishes To Rathkenny GAA & but hopefully not that long!" Every Success to Meath

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N

NAVAN O’MAHONYS

avan O’Mahonys coasted through the group stages of the 2013 hoganstand.com Senior Football Championship but when it came to the knockout action they were ambushed by a rapidly improving Summerhill team which later brought the club its second Keegan Cup triumph in the space of three years.

O’Mahonys reclaimed the senior crown last year despite the absence of a number of key players and with a strengthened panel this term they were the obvious fancy to win it again. All was going to plan until that quarter-final meeting with the ‘Hill who dug out a victory which really ignited their title challenge. Davy Nelson’s team did pick up a nice consolation prize a few weeks later when they won the A League Division 1 title, defeating Dunboyne in the final, while the club’s third string enjoyed their moment in the sun when they claimed the Junior C Championship title with a

Niall McKeigue raises the Division 1 FL Cup at Pairc Tailteann

victory over Blackhall Gaels in the decider. Alan Reilly and Bernie Murray acted as selectors alongside Nelson with the senior team this year and their defence of the senior title saw them drawn in group A along with Nobber, Walterstown, Duleek / Bellewstown, Seneschalstown and Moynalvey. And it was against the Moynalvey men that they opened with a comprehensive 015 to 0-5 victory at Skryne. Kevin Reilly played his first club championship game in almost a year and impressed at full-back but the bad

news was that Stephen Bray retired with a hamstring injury during the second half. O’Mahonys led by 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval and eased clear in the second period. Jake Regan top scored with five points. A tally of 16 wides didn’t halt O’Mahonys’ progress when they beat Nobber in the second round at Castletown but they had to work hard for their victory. They were ahead by 0-7 to 1-1 at the break after playing with the aid of the wind and were only two points clear with 10 minutes remaining as Nobber applied plenty of pressure. Brian Farrell had scored the Nobber goal after 10 minutes and it took a similar score from Paddy Smyth to point the Navan men firmly in the direction of the win. They were also thankful to goalkeeper Mark Brennan who produced impressive saves to deny Fiachra McEntee. It finished 1-11 to 13. Alan Forde made a welcome return as a second half substitute for the third

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Division 1 FL champions, front l/r: Henry Finnegan, Ross Geraghty, Shane Crosby, Shane Gillespie, Paddy Smyth, Marcus Brennan, Stephen O'Toole, Darragh Maguire, Niall McKeigue, James O'Reilly, Ruairi O'Coileann, Martin Sherlock. Back: Andy Leech, John Rogers, Darragh Smyth, David Bray, Kevin Reilly, Stephen McGabhann, Damien Moran, Gary O'Brien, Stephen Bray, Ian Matthews, Robbie Keelaghan, Stephen Monaghan

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round meeting with Duleek / Bellewstown at Seneschalstown. This time Smyth scored his goal in the 23rd minute as O’Mahonys pushed into a 17 to 0-3 advantage by the change of ends after playing against the wind. Despite missing several chances they eased through in the second period to win by 1-15 to 0-8. A 0-10 to 0-5 win followed against Seneschalstown at Stamullen where the Yellow Furze team had Andrew Collins sent off near the end. Regan was denied a goal when Gerry Sheridan deflected his shot over the crossbar but O’Mahonys were still ahead by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break. They added five more points in the second half to win comfortably. O’Mahonys’ last group match against Walterstown at Pairc Tailteann turned into a procession as they cruised home by 4-21 to 1-6. Regan, David Bray and Shane Gillespie scored the goals which helped them to a 3-9 to 0-4 lead at the interval and it might have been an even Keith Russell raises the Junior C Championship Cup at Pairc Tailteann

bigger advantage because Henry Finnegan and Smyth had missed clear goal chances. Walterstown’s Christy Reynolds was dismissed in the 42nd minute but the blacks hit back with a goal from Alban Crosbie. There was still time for Stephen Bray to score O’Mahonys’ fourth goal and they prepared for the quarter-final against Summerhill in the certain knowledge that it would be considerably more challenging. The signs weren’t exactly encouraging for O’Mahonys as they faced into the wind in the first half at St Loman’s Park. They didn’t open their scoring account until Finnegan pointed in the 23rd minute and their only other point in that period came from Darragh Maguire as Summerhill retired with a 06 to 0-2 interval lead. With the advantage of the stiff wind to come O’Mahonys must still have fancied their chances and they were looking good when points from Regan (two), Maguire, Gary O’Brien and Ace marksman Paddy Skehan

Stephen Bray drew them level (0-7 each) 10 minutes into the second period. However, they never managed to hit the front and a goal from Barry Dardis gave battling Summerhill a significant boost. James O’Reilly replied with a point for O’Mahonys but when Micheal Byrne and David Larkin split the uprights at the other end the ‘Hill had a four point lead. O’Mahonys revived their title hopes when Regan found the net in the 54th minute and they still had plenty of time to rescue the situation. But Summerhill defended with tremendous determination to carve out a 1-9 to 1-8 victory which left them just two wins away from reclaiming the Keegan Cup. “On that day against Summerhill we didn’t perform to the standard that we had reached last year,” O’Mahonys’ goalkeeper Marcas Brennan said. “A lot of things didn’t go right for us but take nothing away from Summerhill. You really have to respect them. They were

Damien Moran has it under control

Aedin Murray receives the Ladies IFC Cup

Junior C Championship winners, front l/r: Brian Gibney, Jack Walshe, Conor Gleeson, James O'Malley, Declan Mc Guinness, Keith Russell, Darragh Greene, Shane Stafford, Dale O'Kane, Sean McEntaggart. Back: John Brennan (player manager), Timmy Murtagh, Corey Leddy, Jason Smith, Dylan Regan, Andrew Rogers, Robert Keeleghan, Cormac Mc Entaggert, Barry McEvoy, James Power, Gavin Fox, Kevin O'Hanlon, Paul McGrath, Vinny Moore, Conor Doyle, Conor Murphy

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really starting to peak at that stage and they really came at us. “Yet, we lost by only a point. That’s the big regret. It was our only championship defeat in two years. That’s a very good level of consistency. A one point defeat shouldn’t take away from what has been a very good year overall.” Did Marcas feel that O’Mahonys could have done with some more searching tests during their group campaign? “In some ways it could be said that we might have benefited if we had tougher games in our group but I don’t think it was a major factor,” he added. “Seneschalstown were in the same group as us and there is a very keen rivalry between the teams.” Losing that championship quarter-final was a huge disappointment for O’Mahonys but they did enjoy a notable success in late October when they defeated Dunboyne by 1-10 to 1-6 in the A League Division 1 final at Pairc Tailteann to claim the Mooney Cup for the second time in three years. When the teams clashed in the fourth round at

Mikey Kelly heads for the Rathmolyon goal

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Brews Hill back in March the St Peter’s men won by 1-7 to 0-5 but it was O’Mahonys who went on to top the division on 21 points, one ahead of their final opponents. The decider will best be remembered for three penalty saves, two of them from O’Mahonys’ goalkeeper and one by Dunboyne netminder Johnny O’Connor and it was the Navan men who led all the way for a deserved victory. Brennan proved equal to David Geaney’s penalty after 12 minutes and two minutes later Paddy Smyth had his spot kick saved by O’Connor. Brennan made it a double penalty save when he denied Michael Dunne with a superb stop on 50 minutes. It was O’Mahonys who made the more productive start to the final as they opened up a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after six minutes, thanks largely to a goal which was created by David Bray and scored by his brother Stephen. The advantage had stretched to 1-6 to 0-1 by the 18th minute but a goal from

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County senior team captain Kevin Reilly

Dunne gave Dunboyne a badly needed boost and they trailed by 1-2 to 1-7 at the break. Shane Gillespie was a star of the first half for O’Mahonys as he contributed four points, three of them from play. With wind advantage to come in the second period Dunboyne weren’t without hope but O’Mahonys defended well to hold onto their lead. The winners managed only three points in that half from Ruairi O Coileain, David Bray and Paddy Smyth but they almost goaled when Stephen Bray hit the woodwork. Dunboyne’s misery was complete when Sean McGarrell was sent off near the end. The Navan men were four points to the good at the final whistle and captain Niall McKeigue accepted the Mooney Cup. “We were delighted to win the league,” Marcas Brennan said. “It was great to get something out of the year. We struggled in the league for years but this was our second Division 1 title in three years. Since Davy took over as manager we have concentrated more


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Prior to the Junior Championship game with Curraha at Dunsany, front l/r: John Rogers, Thomas Cox, Richie Hogan, Cormac Reilly, James O'Reilly, Andy Leech, Diarmuid Rogers, Cathal Smith, Eamon Ferris, David Dillon. Back l/r: Stephen Monaghan, Ciaran Mc Guinness, Gary O'Dowd, Mark Ward, Stephen O'Toole, David Quirke, Conor Finnegan, Kilian Walshe, Conor Murphy, Barry McEvoy, Evan Murtagh

on the league. Winning it was a reward for our consistency. You are preparing since January or February, so it’s nice to get something out of it. “The lads are happy to keep putting trophies in the cabinet. That’s where the league is important. It’s also where players cement their position on the team. After several years without a Division 1 title it’s been great to win two of them in the space of three years. “My uncle James McCullagh died on the Monday before the league final and he was buried on the Thursday. I saved two penalties in that game. It was one of my best performances. Somebody was definitely looking down on me.” The O’Mahonys’ team in the final was: M Brennan; S O’Toole, K Reilly, I Matthews; J O’Reilly, N McKeigue, G O’Brien (0-1); D Moran, S Mac Gabhann; S Gillespie (0-4), S Bray (12), H Finnegan; D Maguire, D Bray (0-

1), P Smyth (0-1). Subs – S Crosby for Mac Gabhann, S Monaghan for Moran, R O Coileain (0-1) for Finnegan, D Smyth for Maguire. Navan O'Mahonys retained their Feis Cup crown with 2-12 to 1-11 win over beaten county finalists Na Fianna in November. Davy Nelson’s side had put up some big scores on the way to the Pairc Tailteann decider having overcome Syddan (1-22 to 2-6), Skryne (2-16 to 1-12) and Seneschalstown (614 to 7-6) earlier in the competition. In the final itself O’Mahony’s were never headed and were the more economical of the two sides. Shane Gillespie’s goal helped his side to a 1-7 to 0-5 interval advantage and when Stephen Bray grabbed a second major with ten minutes left to play, O’Mahony’s had moved 2-10 to 0-8 in front. Na Fianna to their credit narrowed the

gap to a single score with a salvo of 12 but O’Mahony’s defence held firm as they made it four senior titles out of the available six in the past two seasons. The team for the Feis Cup final was: Marcas Brennan; Stephen O'Toole, Niall McKeigue, Shane Crosby; James O'Reilly (0-1), Stephen MacGabhann, Gary O'Brien (0-1); Darragh Maguire, Kevin Reilly; Shane Gillespie (1-1), Stephen Bray (1-4, 2fs), Ross Geraghty; David Bray (0-2), Jake Regan (0-1), Ruairi O Coileain (0-1). Subs - Paddy Smyth for Regan, Darragh Smyth (0-1) for Geraghty (42), Stephen Monaghan for Smyth (58). The O’Mahonys’ second string failed to reach the knockout stages of the Junior Championship despite achieving group victories over Duleek / Bellewstown, Curraha and Skryne. Those successes were book-ended by defeats suffered at the hands of

Winners over Moynalvey in the opening round of the hoganstand.com SFC game at Skryne, front l/r: Evan Murtagh, Darragh Maguire, Stephen O'Toole, David Bray, Paddy Smyth, Shane Gillespie, Marcus Brennan, Gary O'Brien, Niall Mc Keigue, James O'Reilly, Martin Sherlock, Cathal Smith. Back: Henry Finnegan, Jake Regan, Stephen Bray, Kevin Reilly, Barry Regan, Shane Crosby, Damian Moran, Brian Dillon, Ian Matthews, Gary O'Dowd, Alan Forde

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All happy with the Junior C Championship Cup at Pairc Tailteann

eventual winners Drumbaragh and Bective and O’Mahonys ended up third in the section. However, there was championship glory for the club’s third string which finished a memorable Junior C campaign with a three point victory over Blackhall Gaels in the final at Pairc Tailteann. O’Mahonys won four group matches against St Ultan’s, Syddan, Meath Hill and Rathkenny and lost to Na Fianna and advanced to the quarter-finals where they defeated town rivals Simonstown Gaels by 2-9 to 1-8 at Bective. They then got their revenge on Na Fianna when beating them by 2-8 to 0-10 at the penultimate hurdle in Trim. The team managed by John Brennan scored a deserved 1-14 to 1-11 win over Blackhall in the decider and the competition will surely act as a good education for so many young players as O’Mahonys started no fewer than eight minors. Robbie Keelaghan was their scoring star with eight points (five frees), the impressive Barry McEvoy contributed 1-1, talented attacker Dylan Regan scored three points and Cormac McEntaggart got the other two. McEvoy gave O’Mahonys an early boost with a goal on seven minutes but Blackhall replied with a major of their own two minutes later when Martin Whelan found the net. The Navan team led by 1-8 to 1-6 at the interval and they

shaded the second half by 0-6 to 0-5 to earn a fully merited victory. The honour of captaining the victorious team went to Keith Russell. The O’Mahonys’ team in the final was: J Smith; T Murtagh, A Rogers, D Greene; K O’Hanlon, J O’Malley, D McGuinness; V Moore, P McGrath; C Gleeson, K Russell, D Regan (0-3); R Keelaghan (0-8), C McEntaggart (0-2), B McEvoy (1-1). Subs – S McEntaggart for Greene, J Power for Russell, J Walsh for Murtagh, S Stafford for Gleeson.

INJuRIES PLAy THEIR PART IN O’MAHONy’S HuRLING FORTuNES

Defeats in the Hurling League Division 1 final and the Senior Championship quarter-final represented big disappointments for Navan O’Mahonys’ first string in 2013, while there was also a reversal in the Junior Championship decider. The seniors fielded a number of talented youngsters this year who will have benefited from the experience of a first season in the top flight but injuries to key players Paddy Skehan and Mikey Kelly in the latter stages of the campaign proved detrimental to their chances of reaching a second Jubilee Cup final in the space of three years.

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Dunboyne frustrated O’Mahonys’ league ambitions when beating them in the final, Longwood ended their Senior Championship dreams when winning a quarter-final and a progressive run in the Junior Championship concluded with a defeat to the competition’s surprise packets Moylagh. Tommy Loughran was the senior coach, with Donal Fitzsimons acting as a selector, and those young players were given valuable game time in Division 1 of the league where form was consistent enough to take them through to a semi-final where they got the better of Kilmessan. However, disappointment lay in store in the final when Dunboyne won a highly entertaining game at Ashbourne by 1-16 to 1-11. O’Mahonys suffered a major blow in the 12th minute when ace forward Skehan sustained a thumb injury which ruled him out of the remainder of the decider and the rest of the championship as well. This was a dress rehearsal for a last round group game in the championship and David Dillon gave O’Mahonys a boost with an early goal, before Dunboyne pushed on to lead by 0-12 to 1-4 at the interval. O’Mahonys made positional switches and cut the deficit to just two points with scores from Damien Moran, Stephen Quirke and Colin O’Rourke (65) but a goal from Paul Fagan helped the St Peter’s men to


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hold a 1-13 to 1-8 advantage at the three-quarter stage. The teams shared six points equally in the last quarter and it was Dunboyne who headed home with the O’Growney Cup. The O’Mahonys’ team was: J Burke; D Rogers, R Hogan, S Stafford; C Reilly, P Smyth, M Usher; S Quirke (01), M Kelly (0-2); B McEvoy, D Moran (0-1), C O’Rourke (0-2); D Quirke (0-4), P Skehan, D Dillon (1-0). Subs – S Crosby (0-1) for Skehan, J Walsh for Usher, V Moore for S Quirke, D Regan for McEvoy. O’Mahonys were drawn in group A of the Senior Championship along with Trim, Rathmolyon, Na Fianna, Dunboyne and Drumree and their first aim was surely to qualify for the knockout stages from a section which looked significantly less difficult than the one they found themselves in last year. Athboy was the venue for their opening game against Na Fianna and it took a goal from Paddy Smyth in the Niall McKeigue

fourth minute of injury time to secure a 2-9 to 1-11 victory. The Baconstown / Enfield combination led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break after Eoin Reilly had scored their goal but with Skehan a big scoring influence O’Mahonys battled back. Skehan scored their first goal and that helped them to be on level terms (1-9 each) with nine minutes remaining. Na Fianna pushed on again and looked likely to win but they conceded that late goal to Smyth which enabled O’Mahonys to scrape through. A 2-16 to 2-12 victory followed in the second round against Rathmolyon at Kildalkey where Skehan contributed nine points. Mark Lynch goaled in the sixth minute for the Village who were in front by 1-7 to 0-8 at the interval but despite facing the wind O’Mahonys got back to level terms (0-13 to 1-10) by the three-quarter stage. Substitute Vinny Moore goaled for O’Mahonys after a great run by Kelly, before impressive ‘keeper James Burke denied Mike Cole at the other end. The

Brian Dillon gathers under pressure

Gary O'Brien

Navan men were four points clear late in the game after Moore scored his second goal but they had to sweat it out when Cole found the net in injury time. O’Mahonys led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the break against Drumree at Ashbourne and it was all to play for in the second half until David Dillon notched the goal which helped the Brews Hill side to a hard earned 1-14 to 2-8 win. A fourth successive group victory followed against Trim at Athboy but it was a close thing. Three goals late in the first half from Dougie Dillon, Derek Loughran and Vinny Moore helped O’Mahonys to lead by 3-1 to 0-8 at the interval before the teams were level on three occasions in the second period. A draw looked to be a likely outcome but David Quirke eventually won it with a point from a late free as it finished 3-6 to 0-14. By the time O’Mahonys played Dunboyne in the last round at Trim they had lost to the St Peter’s men in the league final and were without Skehan Jake Regan keeps his eye on the ball

Division 1 hurling league finalists, front l/r: Jack Walsh, Peter McLoughlin, Colin O'Rourke, Paddy Smyth, Barry McEvoy, Diarmuid Rogers, Dillon Regan, Duggie Dillon, Mikey Kelly, Paddy Skehan, Nigel Ryan. Back: Ken Boyd, Andrew Snow, John Scanlon, John Foley, Vinney More, Stephen Quirke, James Burke, Shane Crosby, Cormac Reilly, Damien Moran, Gavin McGuinness, David Quirke, Richard Hogan, Mark usher, Shane Stafford

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and Kelly. Dunboyne led by 0-11 to 0-7 at the change of ends and with John Watters scoring their goal they earned a 1-22 to 0-12 victory which booked top position in the group and an automatic semi-final place. O’Mahonys had to be content with a quarter-final place and that’s where their dream of glory ended as Longwood won by 1-10 to 0-5 at Pairc Tailteann. Neither Skehan nor Kelly started, though the latter was introduced as a substitute for the second half at a time when the ‘Wood led by 1-2 to 0-3. Aaron Ennis had scored their goal on seven minutes. Longwood led all the way but O’Mahonys were left to rue their 11 first half wides. “The injuries to Paddy Skehan and Mikey Kelly upset us,” said selector Donal Fitzsimons. “Paddy suffered a nasty thumb injury after about 10 minutes of the league final against Dunboyne. It was an accidental clash. He is a very important player for us and a very good free-taker. It meant we had to change things. David Quirke took the frees after that. He had taken them all the way up in juvenile hurling but he had to step up and take them for the

Niall McKeigue with the Feis Cup at Pairc Tailteann

seniors this year. He did very well. “Mikey picked up an injury in training and was hospitalised for a couple of days. When we were under pressure in the championship quarter-final against Longwood we introduced him. His loss was a disaster. He was playing very well this year at midfield and in the halfforward line. He is a very talented player.”

That league final loss to Dunboyne obviously represented a big disappointment. “We had a very good win over Kilmessan in the league semi-final,” Donal added. “We really dug deep in the second half when we scored three goals. Losing the final was a big disappointment. We were five points down at half time but we rallied and got it down to two. “They moved Gary Watters back and he got a grip on our half-forward line. Paul Fagan got a goal and they beat us by five points. We really missed Paddy after he went off.” O’Mahonys won their first four group games in the championship but lost to Dunboyne soon after the teams had met in the league final. Their injuries were clearly having an impact at that stage. “We built up a winning habit in the league and the early rounds of the championship but we lost our last group game against Dunboyne,” said Donal. “Losing the league final took its toll on our young players. It can be a job to lift young lads after a defeat like that. Longwood beat us in the championship quarter-final when we really missed

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Paddy and Mikey. “We had a lot of young lads this year. I think we had two under-21 players in each line of the team. This was their first year with the seniors. To their credit, they put a huge effort into it. They will be a year wiser next year. If they stick at it we have to be hopeful.” When O’Mahonys opened the Junior Hurling Championship with a comfortable 2-8 to 0-9 victory over Moylagh at Athboy nobody could have predicted that they would later suffer a heavy defeat The celebrations begin with the Ladies Intermediate Football Championship Cup at Ashbourne at the hands of the men from the north-west of the county in approached. pointed again to leave just two points the final. James Murphy and Foley (free) between the sides at the interval. Ken Boyd scored a first half goal in scored points for O’Mahonys early in The Hoops came out a much different that opener which helped O’Mahonys to the second half but they then went 23 team in the second-half and within be level (1-4 to 0-7) at the break after minutes without hitting the target. three minutes of the restart they were playing against the wind and with John Helped by a Willie McGrath goal, back on level terms. Collins slotted over Foley finding the net in the second Moylagh opened up a 2-11 to 0-5 twice in quick succession to get period they were five points clear at the advantage, before the town team lost O'Mahonys level. Five minutes later the end. Martin Sherlock to a second yellow Hoops were back in front. Lauren Boardsmill inflicted a 1-15 to 0-9 card. Patterson's long ball found Stanley who defeat in the second round at Dunderry Ciaran McGuinness scored sent the ball past the onrushing but O’Mahonys bounced back in O’Mahonys’ last point and there was goalkeeper, Louise Magee, and into the emphatic style when beating Trim by 1still time for McGrath to notch back of the net. It was a lead the Brews 18 to 1-11 at Athboy where they held a Moylagh’s third goal. Hill side kept and to their credit their 0-10 to 0-7 lead at the interval. Gavin defence stayed very strong withholding Fox scored the winners’ goal early in The O’Mahonys’ team was: D the last quarter. their opposition to a single score from Fitzsimons; J Murtagh, B Corbett, J A 3-14 to 2-6 victory followed against play in the second-half. The gap was Scanlon; C Casey, C McGuinness (0Killyon at Kildalkey where Foley and closed to a single point with 10 minutes 1), M Sherlock; J Murphy (0-1), K Boyd; Nigel Ryan scored the goals which remaining when Summerhill slotted helped open up a 2-5 to 2-3 half time P McLoughlin, J Foley (0-3), M Ryan; G over twice from frees before the Hoops advantage. Chris O’Connell helped Fox (0-1), C O’Connell, D Tolster. Subs stepped up another level and when O’Mahonys to ease clear with a third – P Mooney for Murtagh, C O’Brien for Jacinta Maher was dragged down major. Rathmolyon awarded McLoughlin, T Donegan for Murphy, J inside the box, Collins sent the spot kick O’Mahonys a walk over in the last Bennett for O’Connell. low to the corner of the net to give round and they went directly into the O'Mahonys a 3-5 to 1-7 victory and final, with Moylagh defeating Boardsmill O'MAHONy'S LADIES CLAIM claim the Intermediate Championship INTERMEDIATE HONOuRS in the semi-final. title. Navan O'Mahonys overcame a tough O’Mahonys’ second string faced a The Hoops were not to be denied this Summerhill side to lift the Intermediate much changed Moylagh team in the year having suffered heartbreak in the championship title and make up for last final at Pairc Tailteann where the final last year, they came back stronger outcome was so different from the year’s final disappointment. and pushed on another level this year earlier group meeting. This time In miserable wet and windy to go one step further and lift the Moylagh won by 3-15 to 0-6 but the conditions, it was Summerhill who got championship title. Brews Hill side more than held their themselves on the scoreboard first own for the majority of the first half. slotting over. This was cancelled out O'Mahonys: Olivia Flanagan; Laura Foley (free) and Fox scored early shortly after when Sarah Stanley Coyle, Sarah Powderly, Karen Conaty; points to give O’Mahonys the lead but pointed from a free but the ‘Hill Aoibheann Leahy, Kathy Butler, Kate their only other score of the opening responded with a goal. Amy Gillen Falahee; Aedin Murray (C), Michelle period came from Foley as Moylagh pointed to close the gap before the Heeney; Elizabeth Brennan, Maria pushed into a 1-7 to 0-3 lead at the Hoops took the lead when Megan Flynn , Amy Gillen (0-2); Lauren break. Chris O’Connell went close to Collins netted midway through the half. Patterson, Sarah Stanley (1-1), Megan goaling in that half for the losers, while With the wind at their backs Summerhill Collins (2-2). Moylagh found the net courtesy of stepped up a gear and notched four Subs - Jacinta Maher for Patterson, Paddy Rahill as the half time whistle Hannah Heskin for Falahee. points in a seven minute period. Gillen

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L

LONGWOOD

ongwood just came up short in their bid to add a second Meath SHC title to their roll of honour but it was an eventful year for the club's hurlers. Manager Nick Weir looks back on one that got away; he regrets the fact that they failed to do themselves justice in this year's decider.

Rewind to 1936 and Jessie Owens' four gold medal haul at the Olympics in Berlin was the main sports story of the year. Closer to home, Longwood were crowned Meath hurling champions for the first time with a final win over Kilmessan. Unfortunately, from the south Meath club's perspective, history didn't repeat itself this year and that remains their only ever outright success in the Royal County's premier hurling competition but it wasn't for the want of effort on the behalf of manager Nick Weir and his players. The Westmeath man came close to masterminding a second Jubilee Cup success but traditional 'super power'

Full back Enda Dixon

Kilmessan had other ideas in the final and gained revenge for that defeat of seventy-seven years ago! Kilmessan pulled away in the last quarter to record a 2-16 to 0-11 defeat on the Enda Dixon captained side. “The effort that was put in by all the players was fantastic, you couldn't fault any of them,” Weir commented. “It was just a pity that a lot of the lads didn't perform up to their usual high

standards in the final. That was the unfortunate thing because it was the only time this year that they didn't perform. We needed everyone to be on top of their game to beat Kilmessan but it didn't work out on the day.” Despite a number of their players producing below par performances, the team in white and black trimming made Kilmessan sweat for their 29th title win. Weir's charges were just a point in arrears with 15 minutes left on the clock but were left to rue the concession of two goals. They also had cause to curse their luck at the other end of the field. “We missed two good goal chances and then Anthony (Healy) missed a free. That's a seven point turnaround and you couldn't see us coming back from that,” lamented Nick. One of the big differences between the two finalists, according to the Longwood manager, was the quality of the respective benches. Kilmessan were in the fortunate position of being able to throw Steven Clynch into the fray at half-time and the

IN THE NICK OF TIME

The squad before the senior hurling championship final at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Bernard Reilly, Joey Stenson, Ray Dorran, Karl Ennis, Damian Healy, Darragh Maguire, Alan Ennis, Chris Lynch, Ryan Moore, Eoin Lynch, Mickey Burke, Kenneth Cleary, Barry Ennis. Back: Billy Mullhall, Christy O'Brien, Damian Dixon, Kevin Hackett, Ross Healy, Liam Greene, Ross Ennis, Anthony Healy, Mick Healy, Nathan O'Neill, Enda Dixon, Aaron Ennis, Coran Byrne, Brendan Hannah, Johnny Furey, Rory Maguire, David Lodge, James Mahon, James Dorran, Prionsias Stagg, Garreth Monaghan

Log onto dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

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longwood designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:24 Page 2

Prior to the championship game with Trim in Summerhill, front l/r: Johnny Furey, Wayne Leonard, Sean Sheridan, Ryan Moore, Brendan Hanna, Christopher Hanna, Karl Ennis, Vinny O'Brien, Michael Burke, Joey Stenson, Vincent Byrne, Henry Conway. Back: Rory Maguire, Jim Mahon, Bob Maguire, Conor Keenan, Coran Byrne, Ryan Keenan, Albin Morkowski, Eoin Lynch, Anthony Healy, Darragh Maguire, Colm Hackett, Sean Coloe, Enda Dixon, Aaron Ennis

county man came up trumps for them with a goal in the 46th minute. “We don't have the strength in depth that the likes of Kilmessan have. They Goalkeeper Mick Healy

had quality players to come off the bench and change the game. That's where we struggle to be honest. “The spine of our team is as good as

Rory Maguire with Kiltale’s David Donoghue

there is in the county but, unfortunately, we don't have the strength in depth. We were lucky too this year with injuries because if we

Anthony Healy in a race for possession with Kiltale's Padraig Donoghue

Mickey Burke

Aaron Ennis The Junior 2 HC finalists, front l/r: Barney Reilly, Darragh Maguire, Sean Coloe, Ross Healy, Martin Lee, Barry Ennis, Brendan Hannah, Darren Fagan, Steven King. Back: Bob Maguire, Ross Ennis, David Lodge, Damian Dixon, John Cully, Henry Conway, Kevin Hackett, Damian Lodge, James Giles, Jim Mahon

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longwood designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:24 Page 3

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The squad that came so close to beating Kiltale in the SHC at Loman’s Park Trim, front l/r: Joey Stenson, Damian Healy, Mick Healy, Ryan Moore, Nathan O'Neill, Karl Ennis, John Furey, Chris Lynch, Mickey Burke, Rory Maguire. Back: David Lodge, Bob Maguire, Ross Ennis, Sean Sheridan, Anthony Healy, Enda Dixon, Brendan Hanna, Corran Byrne, Kevin Hackett, Aaron Ennis, Ross Healy, Ray Dorran, Darragh Maguire

Sean Sheridan

Sean Coloe

had have lost anyone we would have been banjaxed.” The silverware may have eluded them but the accolade for comeback of the championship goes to Longwood following their epic semi-final win over holders Kiltale. Longwood appeared to be heading

Niall Mulvey

Conor Keenan

Rory Maguire

for the exit door when trailing the champions by eight points at the break but they produced a comeback of Lazarus-like proportions in the second half to book their final ticket on a scoreline of 1-22 to 2-16. Inspired by the scoring exploits of Anthony Healy and the work-rate of

Eoin Lynch is under pressure

Thomas Coloe

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Wayne Leonard

Mickey Burke, Longwood outscored Kiltale by 15 points to four in the second half to finish with three points to spare. “They hurled out of their skins in the second half,” Nick recalled. “It was an amazing comeback and we needed to do the same in the final but it wasn't to

Aaron Ennis


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Best wishes to Longwood GAA, from

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Best wishes to Longwood GAA in 2014

460


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The u14 Division 6 Spring League winners, front l/r: Jack Maher, Eoin Gaddren, Adam O'Brien, Ross Kerrigan, Harry Hogan, Glen Brady, Martin Sheridan. Back: Vinny Byrne (manager), Niall Mulvey, Jack Hickey, Andrew Russell, Conor Molloy, Evan Kelleher, Thomas Coloe, David McQuaid (captain), Jamie Connolly, Mickey Burke (manager)

Dennis Maguire

Glen Brady

be.” The final outcome aside, qualifying from what was commonly referred to as the 'Group of Death' was an achievement in itself by Longwood. They finished third behind Kiltale and Kilmessan in Group B with a return of three wins from five outings. They lost to the two teams that

Harry Hogan heads for the Boardsmill goal

Ross Healy

finished above them in the table but claimed the scalps of Kildalkey, Boardsmill and Killyon. In the quarter-final they knocked O'Mahonys out on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-5. “The first result against Kildalkey got us up and running. I said at the beginning of the year, back in March

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Best Wishes to Longwood GAA in 2014

461

Nathan O'Neill


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Defeated by North Meath Gaels in the MFL Division 5 final at Sean Newman Park Bohermeen, front l/r: Ryan Moore, Conor Maguire, Stephen King, Eoin O'Sullivan, Evan Coyle, Paul Gill, Dennis Maguire, Cathal Campbell, Edward Maguire. Back: Bartek Maksymiak (trainer), Eamon Keenan (mentor), Ferghal O'Hare, Ross Healy, Sean Coloe, William Pratt, Dean Keogh, Conor Keenan, Nathan O'Neill, Vinny Byrne (mentor), Albin Morkowski (trainer), Billy Mulhall (trainer)

2013 ... can Longwood keep up that rate of progression and go one step further in the New Year? There's a lot of hurling to be played before next year's final swings around but Nick is optimistic that they possess the raw material capable of mounting another serious challenge for SHC honours. “I'd like to think so, if we can add a couple more into the team we'll be there or thereabouts again. As I said, we're short a bit on numbers but that is a challenge for a lot of clubs. It was great to see the second team reaching the junior final and that has to augur well. “There is plenty of talent there and you couldn't ask for more in terms of commitment. Their effort in training was unreal and it was rare that anyone missed training without a good excuse. If anyone missed training they always gave me a call. “That's how dedicated they are and there's no reason why they won't be knocking on the door again next year.”

Dorran; Eoin Lynch (0-1), Karl Ennis; Ryan Moore (0-2), Damien Healy, Coran Byrne; Aaron Ennis (0-1), Rory Maguire, Anthony Healy (0-6 fs). Subs - John Furey for Byrne, Bernard Reilly for Stenson, Mick Healy for Dorran.

The Longwood team and substitutes that was on county final duty was as follows: Alan Ennis; Nathan O'Neill, Enda Dixon, Chris Lynch; Joey Stenson, Mickey Burke (0-1), Ray

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A

SUMMERHILL

fter opening their hoganstand.com Meath SFC campaign with defeats at the hands of Skryne and Rathkenny, Summerhill's Keegan Cup ambitions hung by a thread but Declan McCabe's charges turned their season around and delivered the club's seventh SFC title. Unpredictable is the word that springs to mind when it comes to describing the hoganstand.com sponsored Meath SFC. Practically all the participating clubs are capable of beating one another on any given day and it is a well established fact that the secret of success in the county's premier football competition is timing your run to perfection. It's a marathon not a sprint and, like a seasoned long distance runner, the 'Hill found their stride at the most opportune time this year to take over in pole position in the home straight and get their hands on the silverware. In a novel final pairing, the Brian Ennis captained outfit saw off a second half revival from their south Meath neighbours Na Fianna – who were managed by 1986 Summerhill

Brian Ennis lifts the Keegan Cup

medalist John Lyons – to claim their second title in the space of three years on a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-10. The momentum was very much with Na Fianna when they reeled off six unanswered second half points to level the scoreboard – 1-10 apiece heading into the final ten minutes but Summerhill's experience told in a tense climax and white flags from Paul

Rispin, substitute Richie Hatton and Adrian Kenny. "Thankfully the guys around the middle took hold of it and took it through. Once we got that first score (from Rispin), I felt we were in a better position to win it then,” manager McCabe said following the final whistle. "I suppose when it gets close, people do things without thinking. You do it because you have to do it. That's what you call experience.” Outright glory was the last thing on the minds of Summerhill supporters following their 1-13 to 0-15 defeat to Rathkenny in the second round. It left them propping up the Group B table, alongside Oldcastle, after they had also got off to a losing start against Skryne, 2-8 to 1-10. There was no more room for error as they approached the third round clash against Oldcastle and they banked their first points of the campaign with a 1-11 to 0-9 victory. A 1-13 to 1-4 win over St Patrick's in round 4 set up a winner takes all clash with Donaghmore/Ashbourne in the final round of the group and, not for the first time in his career, Adrian Kenny emerged as his team's hero when

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Senior Football Championship winners, front l/r: Richie Hatton, David Larkin, Sean Dalton, Padraigh Jennings, Tony McDonnell, Brian Ennis, Coalan Young, Padhraig Geraghty, Willie Ryan, Paul Rispin, Stephen Husband, Gary Rispin, Paul Comey, Kevin Ryan, Stephen Kennedy. Back: Brian Rispin, Adrian Kenny, Alan Lyons, Barry Dardis, Conor Gillespie, Damien Byrne, Micheal Byrne, Ciaran Gillespie, Justin Ennis, Eamonn Ryan, Michael Gorman, Ross Tallon, Kevin Lyons, Eoghan Jennings, Maurice Kennedy

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Diarmuid McCabe

sending over an injury-time winning point, 0-11 to 0-10. Summerhill finished level on six points with St Patrick's but advanced to a quarter-final against Navan O'Mahonys by virtue of their fourth round win over the Stamullen club – the 'head to head' rule. They finished Man of the Match on county final day Conor Gillespie

Exciting prospect Conor Frayne

Ronan Brien

in third place on the table behind Skryne and Rathkenny. Defending champions O'Mahonys had justified their favourites tag by coasting through Group A undefeated and not many would have given the 'Hill a chance of upsetting the form guide.

Their form up to that point had been indifferent to say the least but McCabe and his players failed to read the script and knocked the holders out on a scoreline of 1-9 to 1-8 in Trim. Summerhill led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the break but they turned around to play into a stiff wind in the second half.

David Larkin gets in his pass as Na Fianna's Michael Farley closes in

Padhraig Geraghty

Goalkeeper Tony McDonnell

Stephen Husband was outstanding in the county final

Micheal Byrne with Na Fianna's Jamie Queeney

The celebrations begin with the Keegan Cup at Pairc Tailteann

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McDaniel SCALLY & DrillinG O’DONOVAN Congratulations & Continued Success to Summerhill GAA in 2014, from

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The ladies reached the Division 2 football league decider, front l/r: Lauren Comey, Lauren Moody, Rebecca Payne, Christina Ennis, Andrea Pearle, Jenny Rispin, Ceilidh Dalton, Megan Lyons. Back: Julianne Scanlon, Fiona Bagnall, Meadhbh Dardis, Pauline Keane, Ciara Jackson, Niamh Dalton, Kate Flynn, Louise McGee, Clodagh Gillespie, Charlotte Brogan, Anne Marie Fagan, Niamh Crowe, Joanne Lyons

Eoghan Jennings

Paul Rispin under pressure from Tommy Cosgrave

A 41st minute goal by Barry Dardis gave them the perfect lift and they withstood a late rally from the Brews Hill men. As a consequence, they shot to the top of the betting market for outright

Jack Regan receives the Minor Summer League Division 1 Cup from Ultan Fitzpatrick

Sean Dalton

honours. Their reward was a semi-final ticket and they gained revenge for their second round defeat to Rathkenny when finishing with five points to spare – 0-15 to 1-7 – over their Des Lane

Minor keeper Shane Kavanagh

managed opponents. Rathkenny's hand was weakened by the absence of county midfielder Brian Meade due to a cruciate ligament injury and Summerhill capitalised on that with a commanding performance.

Minor Football League Division 2 finalists, front l/r: Cian Devlin, Conor Gormley, Jack Regan, Kevin Ryan, Jack Fagan, Ross Ryan, Cathal Brien, Jack Quinn, Joseph Fox, Kyle Benson, Eamon McDonnell. Back: Iarla Hughes, Jack Payne, David Myles, Sean Ryan, Shane Kavanagh, Eoghan Jennings, Cathal Ryan, Ronan Ryan, Conor Lyons, Sean McNally, Robert Kelly

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summerhill designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:54 Page 6

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summerhill designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:54 Page 7

U14 Division 2 winners after a replay with Wolfe Tones, front l/r: Adam Larkin, Michael Daly, Ronan Larkin, Kian Hussey, Jack Bannon, Conor Ryan, Euan Selkirk, Jonathan Nangle, John Keane, Trevor Healy, Cian Keogh. Back: Ken Gormley (mentor), Joe Larkin (manager), Liam Quinn, Dylan Byrne, Tommy Troy, Diarmuid McCabe, Conor Frayne, Evan Brennan, Ronan Brien, Sean Blackwell, Gearoid Dardis, Liam Shaw, Malachy Doyle, Vincent Nangle (mentor), Brendan Dardis (mentor), Billy Shaw

Sean Blackwell

U14 captain Liam Shaw raises the Division 2 Cup at Kells

Meade's county midfield partner Conor Gillespie opened the scoring in the 5th minute and the eventual winners led from start to finish despite conceding a first half goal. At the halfway stage the scoreboard read 08 to 1-1 in their favour.

Evan Brennan

Jack Quinn raises the U16 Division 1 Cup at Bective

Great catch from Jack Fagan

Rathkenny did manage to cut the deficit to three points at the three quarter mark but the 'Hill always looked comfortable and closed out the contest to set up a final against neighbours Na Fianna. The Enfield/Baconstown combination

David Larkin

Caolan Young

469

County minor Kevin Ryan

– intermediate winners in 2012 – were the surprise packets of this year's senior championship. They finished top of Group C with four wins from five outings and claimed the scalps of Moynalvey and Wolfe Tones in the quarter-final and semi-

Sean Dalton


summerhill designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:54 Page 8

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Prior to the hoganstand.com Senior Football clash with Skryne in Sean Newman Park, front l/r: Paul Rispin, Richie Hatton, David Larkin, Adrian Kenny, Caolan Young, Willie Ryan, Brian Ennis, Tony McDonnell, Stephen Husband, Kevin Lyons. Back: Robbie McDonnell, Barry Dardis, Sean Dalton, Damien Byrne, Michael Gorman, Conor Gillespie, Michéal Byrne, Davy Dalton, Alan Lyons, Bobby Lyons, Gary Rispin

final respectively. The local derby element added an extra dimension to the clash and John Lyons found himself in the unenviable position of being in the opposite corner to the club he has represented with distinction. Lyons also had a insiders' knowledge

of the opposition so, although Summerhill entered the game as favourites, there was no one in the parish prepared to take Na Fianna for granted. Declan McCabe and his selectors, Billy Shaw and David Gannon, couldn't have asked for a better start than when

David Larkin bundled the ball over the Na Fianna net inside 35 seconds of the throw-in. With the wind at their backs, Sean Dalton tagged on a point but Na Fianna – who bagged an impressive 20 goals en route to the final – replied with a goal of their own through county

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summerhill designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 15:55 Page 11

The squad that lost out to Gaeil Colmcille after extra time in the B League Division 2 decider at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Gary McDonnell, Eamon O'Shea, Brian Rispin, Harry Hatton, Mark Gannon, Gary Rispin, Jack Fagan, Declan Lyons, Eoghan Jennings, Jeremy Ennis, Jackie Ennis, Stephen McDonnell. Back: Robbie McDonnell, Rob Lynch, Paul Comey, Justin Ennis, Ross Tallon, John Comey, Eamonn Ryan, Ciaran Gillespie, Kevin Lyons, Ray Comey, Paddy McGrath, Rod McAuliffe, John Lavelle, Sean Costelloe, Jack Regan

The Summerhill team that was on duty for the senior final was as follows: Tony McDonnell; Padraig Jennings, Caolan Young, Willie Ryan; Padraig Geraghty, Alan Lyons, Stephen Husband (0-1); Conor Gillespie, Micheal Byrne (0-1); David Larkin (1-0), Brian Ennis (0-4), Adrian Kenny (0-2); Paul Rispin (0-1), Sean Dalton (0-2), Barry Dardis (0-1). Subs Kevin Ryan for Dardis, Richie Hatton (0-1) for Husband.

panelist Dalton McDonagh. By the end of the opening quarter, Summerhill trailed by 12 to 1-3 but they replied with five unanswered points to race into a 1-7 to 1-3 lead after 28 minutes while Na Fianna netminder Shane Geraghty did well to deny Paul Rispin a goal at the expense of a 45. Shane Barrett brought the curtain down on the first half with a point and the 'Hill adjourned to the dressingroom with a three-point advantage. Fears that that cushion may not be sufficient against the wind in the second half proved to be well-placed when Na Fianna got back on level terms but, to their credit, Summerhill found an extra gear. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The 'Hill's county midfielder Gillespie grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and deprived Na Fianna of valuable possession around the middle third of the field. Along with Micheal Byrne, he got the better of the exchanges with Jamie Queeney and Ollie Lewis and there was no surprise when he was awarded the 'man-of-thematch' accolade after the final whistle. Gillespie's good work was rewarded when Rispin settled Summerhill nerves in restoring their lead and Hatton and Kenny completed the job. Cue the celebrations!

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a

TRIM

lthough Trim are second on the Meath senior hurling championship roll of honour with 26 title triumphs, the last few years have been lean with no outright success since 2001. Twelve years later they exited the race for the Jubilee cup with a double scores defeat to kilmessan at the semi-final stage. Since Trim got the better of neighbours Dunderry in a replayed decider to take the title for the fourth time in five years, they have only been in the final once, in 2004 when losing out to Kilmessan. In 2013 the wearers of the red and white only won three of their six SHC outings and suffered an 11 points reversal in the sixth start. The previous year Trim managed only one win in their group and had obviously slipped a bit behind teams like Kildalkey and Kiltale. With John Andrews as the manager and Sean Colgan, Brian Carley and Darren O’Connor as his assistants, they were among the outsiders for the 2013 SHC. Still, being drawn in what looked to be the ‘easier’ of the two groups, gave them a good chance of being involved

cJ Murtagh presents the Ted Murtagh cup (u14 hurling championship) to Brian Dowling

in the closing stages. They eventually finished third in Group A below Dunboyne and Navan O’Mahonys. Trim’s first round opponents were 2012 intermediate winners Rathmolyon and after Meath’s Christy Ring campaign ended, the SHC pucked off in mid-June. Remarkably that opening game in Longwood which had an 8 o’clock start on a Friday night had to be played under lights because

of poor visibility as the rain poured down. Damien Magee was the star of the opening clash with a contribution of 1-6. Those scores came after Rathmolyon raced into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead in the first 13 minutes. With their top scorer putting over four points and Neil Heffernan and Dimi Higgins also getting on target, the deficit was reduced to 0-6 to 0-8 at the break. John Andrews’ side resumed with a Heffernan point and were on level terms at 0-10 each when Shane Ashe raised the white flag on 48 minutes. There were only three more scores but the decisive one was a free by Magee which deceived Rathmolyon goalkeeper Joe Gantley and ended up in the net. Trim doubled their points total two weeks later when scoring a comfortable 2-11 to 0-4 win over struggling Drumree at Kilmessan. The enigmatic Joey Toole returned to action for this game, coming on for the second half and scoring a goal and a point. In contrast to Trim’s opening game, this tie was played in conditions which were described as ideal. The first half

SIGNS OF REAL PROGRESS FOR TRIM HURLERS

The footballers recorded a good win over longwood in the opening round of the intermediate championship, front l/r: Darryl Phelan, neil heffernan, robert Brennan, Paul Flanagan, Mark Gilsenan, David Foley, Gary clarke, colm o’Flatherty, Maurice Power, James Toher, keith hamilton. Back: ciaran o’rourke, James andrews, shane o’connor, Brendan Murphy, stephan Farrell, Francis Murphy, Damien McGee, ciaran Joyce, andrew o’Brien, shane Downes, shane kennedy, Mark Daly

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Comhairle Baile Trim Trim Town Council continued Best Wishes to trim and Meath gaa

“working together with the community to enhance our environment and promote civic pride” Tel: 046-9431238/9 Fax: 046-9431595 Email: trimtc@meathcoco.ie

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was closely contested and at the end of it the eventual winners led by 0-4 to 0-3. However, Drumree only managed a late point in the second period as their opponents dominated. Neil Heffernan scored the first goal before Toole found the net and Damien Magee finished up with six points. Trim’s third round clash with Dunboyne at Ratoath on July 12th had a controversial ending with referee Conor Ferguson abandoning the game following a melee involving a number of players during added time. After being ahead by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break, Trim were leading by 0-16 to 013 when a Neil Hackett attempt to level matters from a close-in free was blocked and a Dunboyne player had to be brought to hospital after being injured in the exchanges. Trim were missing three players as a result of the events against Dunboyne for the clash with Navan O’Mahonys in Athboy which they lost to a late point Damien McGee against Drumree

on a scoreline of 0-14 to 3-9. The concession of goals cost John Andrews’ weakened side and the margin was also a point at the halfway stage as the board had the peculiar reading of 3-1 to 0-8. The teams were on level terms three times in the second period and a point from Aaron Winters appeared to have given Trim a share of the spoils. However, in the fourth minute of added time O’Mahonys earned a free which David Quirke slotted between the uprights for a dramatic winner. Damien Magee hit eight points, five from frees, for the Reds who were disappointed to go down to a first defeat. After an initial decision not to award any points to the abandoned game against Dunboyne, the game was refixed for a Wednesday evening at Pairc Tailteann and there was an astonishing outcome as Dunboyne won with 28 points to spare on a 5-23 to 0-10 scoreline. a fine sideline cut from sean McGee

The first half was close enough and Trim were just four points (0-8 to 1-9) adrift at the end of it. However, they only managed to add two points and their defence began to leak. Trim had Neil Heffernan and Ryan Andrews back in action for the concluding group game against Na Fianna at Boardsmill and they won by 2-12 to 2-6 to qualify for the quarterfinals. They also led by six points (1-8 to 05) at the halfway stage, Joey Toole having blasted the first goal from a penalty after he was taken down. The former county player finished up with a total of 1-3. Aaron Winters netted the second goal following a high delivery from Heffernan six minutes after the restart. That left the scores 2-10 to 0-6 and Trim led by 2-12 to 0-6 before Na Fianna grabbed two late consolation goals. However, John Andrews’ charges were clearly second best against old

Great control from neil heffernan

Dimi higgins gets in his pass

ryan andrews The club's junior footballers that took on cortown in the championship at summerhill, front l/r: sean Foley, Patrick lennon, Gary clarke, Darryl Phelan, karl Dwyer, colm McGrath, Brian Flynn, shane callaghan. Back: sean McGee, James andrews, keith hamilton, Mark Daly, James cullen, eoin kelly, robert sweeney, sean Marron, ciaran o'rourke, andrew o'Brien, James Foley

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For All Your GAA News www.hoganstand.com/meath 478


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The u14 Division 2 Fl winners, front l/r: Ben Gibney, Padriac Payne, karl keating, cian walsh, Brian Dowling, sean Thornton, Jonathan Mcevoy, aaron lynch, cian Breathnach, robbie Finnegan, luke Mahon, calum Pottinger. Back: Tom Doyle, conor cook, evan Buckley, Patrick Dempsey, Gavin Griffith, Fearghal o'keane, Mark Murray, Patrick Dinan, Pierce Darby, Michael Mahon, cian lee, Tadgh Mulvey, conor hallinan

James Toher

rivals Kilmessan, who won by double scores (3-13 to 0-11) with Danny Maguire firing three goals past Brian Carley in the Pairc Tailteann tussle. Trim were playing catch up after conceding two points in the early exchanges and the board read 2-5 to 0-7 at the break. The deficit was down to two points eight minutes after the resumption but the Reds faded significantly from then to the finish. Joey Toole shot his third point near the final whistle to complete the losers’ total and bring an end to another disappointing campaign. However, selector Sean Colgan is quite optimistic about the future of Trim hurling. “As well as the suspensions, we were hit by emigration and injuries this year,” he said. “We had hoped to do better but the loss of talented young players like Alan Douglas, Colm Doyle and Michael Murray to emigration and injuries to David Foley and Shane Ashe were major blows.

evan Buckley

neil heffernan

“We did well enough in the circumstances and the display against Dunboyne in the abandoned match was probably our best of the year. Dunboyne showed some impressive form in the group games and they have a number of fine hurlers. “We could have won that game but winning it would not have made much difference to the team’s year. What happened was unfortunate but, as a past Hurling Board chairman, I must say that the referee’s decision to abandon the match had to be accepted. “Our opening game was against Rathmolyon, who are usually difficult opponents. The conditions were very difficult and we got a narrow win. Against Drumree we struggled up to half-time before getting on top after that. “We were well beaten in the refixture against Dunboyne and although only beaten a point by Navan O’Mahonys, we didn’t give one of our better

479

Damien McGee

performances that evening with the concession of three goals proving to be our undoing. “The display against Na Fianna was impressive, we were 12 points ahead before they got two late goals. Against Kilmessan in the quarter-final clash three goals were again conceded and the 12 points margin was disappointing. “I think it was better to lose at the quarter-final stage rather than go on and lose in a later outing. The team should learn from the defeats this year and come back stronger.” Sean Colgan was manager in 1987 when Trim were SHC winners for the first time in 27 years. The Jubilee Cup was lifted eight more times since that ‘breakthrough.’ After playing a big part in getting his club back on the Royal County roll of honour, Colgan went on to give outstanding service as Meath Hurling Board chairman from 1989. He looks back at that period with a certain


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www.hoganstand.com/meath 480


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The u14 hurling championship winners, front l/r: Fergal o'kane, conor cook, Dylan Farrell, Mikey cole, kyle Mccabe, cian lee, Brian Dowling, conor Quigley, Tom Doyle, ian Bermingham, cian healy. Back: Barry heffernan, craig Gaynor, ciaran kelly, sean Thornton, Patrick Dinan, Gary kelly, karl keating, Pierce Darby, evan Buckley, Mark Murray, Gavin Griffith, cian walsh, Padraic Payne, Ben Gaffney

Mark Murray

amount of pride, recalling the days when the hurlers in green and gold were a much stronger force than in more recent years. “Defeating Offaly and Wexford in the National League were great achievements and we held Offaly to six points in the Leinster Championship at Croke Park after getting off to a poor start. I can also recall playing against other top hurling counties like Clare and Limerick in the League.” Sean Colgan would love to see Trim get back on the Meath SHC roll of honour and the county hurlers win the Christy Ring Cup and move up to compete against the top teams. “There are enough good quality hurlers in the county to get Meath up to the same level as teams like Carlow and Westmeath. As for Trim, I am more than hopeful that the senior title can be won soon. A lot of hard work is being put in the underage grades and prospects would be enhanced if some

aaron lynch

Gavin Griffin

of the lads abroad returned home.”

seconD season synDroMe For FooTBallers

The last three years have been quite topsy-turvy for Trim football. After dropping down from senior ranks in 2011, they recovered to reach the next season’s IFC final only to lose narrowly to Na Fianna but the 2013 campaign was a big disappointment with just one win from four outings. After 62 successive years in the top grade of Meath football, Trim forfeited the premier status when losing the final relegation play-off to Duleek two autumns ago. The Reds regrouped with an unbeaten run of five games getting them an hour away from a possible return to senior ranks. However, Na Fianna denied them on a 1-12 to 1-10 scoreline and Trim

481

Dual star James Toher

seemed affected by that near miss as they were a huge disappointment in the latest race for the Mattie McDonnell Cup with a win over Longwood being their sole championship success. With John Andrews again the team manager with Mickey Fay, Kevin Meehan, Brian Smith and Brendan Murphy his assistants, hopes were high in the club of another strong run in the IFC. Longwood were the first round opponents at Summerhill and a 2012 win over their south county rivals was repeated on a 1-11 to 0-12 scoreline in a Group B clash. Trim went into that game with four defeats from their first four games in the A League Division 2 behind them and just scraped an opening championship win. James Toher, who had been starring with the county hurlers, took the scoring honours with 1-4 and veteran netminder Brendan


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Murphy made his mark with a few crucial saves. Toher’s goal after 22 minutes left his side leading by 1-4 to 0-3 before Longwood rallied to get on level terms (0-7 to 1-4) at the break. The teams were equal on eight occasions. Mickey Lowther, who was the Trim captain in 2012, made his mark in the second half after coming on as a substitute, putting over three points, including two crucial late efforts. It was downhill for Trim after that and the losing championship run began with a 0-8 to 1-12 defeat to Kells town rivals, Gaeil Colmcille, at Simonstown, a game which Reds completed with 14 players after experienced midfielder Frankie Murphy was shown a straight red card at the three-quarter stage. After trailing by 0-4 to 0-10 at the interval, Trim were behind by 0-5 to 111 at the time of Murphy’s dismissal and John Andrews, in criticising the poor display by his charges, was Daire lynch raises the u16 Division 2 summer league shield at cortown

quoted as saying, “we didn’t seem to show too much interest in what was going on.” The Trim boss knew his men would have to perform much better in their next outing in order to stay in the championship hunt but the improvement was not forthcoming as Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s second string outscored them by 2-11 to 0-11 at Dunshaughlin. After opening the scoring, the Reds held their own in the opening 10 minutes during which the sides were on level terms three times. However, matters began to go wrong for them from then on and they were all of 11 points (0-4 to 2-9) adrift at the halfway stage, Although Trim outscored their opponents by 0-6 to 0-0 in the final 25 minutes, it was very much a case of closing the stable door long the horse had bolted and hopes of being involves in the closing phase games were well

cian walsh raises the u14 Division 2 Fl cup at Pairc Tailteann

ciaran o'rourke

dashed. Trim were more competitive in their last group game, against St Colmcille’s at Ratoath but the seasiders still emerged with the spoils on an 0-14 to 1-9 scoreline. The Reds held a minimum margin advantage at the break when the scoreboard read 1-5 to 0-7. However, with Meath player Graham Reilly and Ciaran Kelly impressing in the fullforward line, the ‘Cilles went four points before Trim halved the deficit with their last two scores of a disappointing campaign. Trim also had an undistinguished A League campaign, finishing up third from bottom in Division 2 after just three wins from 11 outings. The Reds lost their first six games including a whopping 28 points defeat to Na Fianna, who were eventually promoted, at Enfield. The long losing run was ended with a 3-10 to 1-14 success over Ballinlough karl keating

Brian Dowling The u16 Division 2 summer league winners

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at Kilskyre and subsequent wins over Kilmainham and Moynalvey moved them above the bottom two spots. Trim’s second championship team also struggled in the JFC, finishing at the bottom of their group which also included Cortown, Dunshaughlin, St Brigid’s and Clonard. However, according to John Andrews, who, for a second successive year, doubled up as manager of both the Trim football and hurling teams, the picture is not as gloomy as it might look, citing a

senior camogie championship finalists

number of injuries and a ‘hangover’ from the disappointment of 2012 as valid reasons for failing to make the expected strong impact in the IFC. “We prepared well with all the players putting in a good effort but the squad seemed to be still affected about losing last year’s final. We had all of the 2012 panel available but injuries to a few of them, left us without key players in all of the games,” he said. “Ronan Fitzsimons, Stephen Farrell, Mickey Lowther, Derek Donohoe, Eoin McGrath and Paul Flanagan were all

affected and we had to bring in young lads like David Foley, Ciaran O’Rourke and Shane O’Connor. Overall the team was lacking in the necessary experience. “Before the start of the championship, I thought we would qualify for the knockout phase but after the opening win over Longwood, we picked up no more points. “There were two seven-point defeats in the next two games. Against Gaeil Colmcille after we led by 0-4 to 0-3, they got the next seven points to lead

The squad that took on Dunboyne in the shc at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: luke Moran, kevin Toole, Barry Flynn, colm McGrath, Jamie lee, ciaran Joyce, Dimi higgins, aaron winters, Darragh Phelan, James Toher. Back: Joey Toole, James cullen, ciaran o'rourke, sean McGee, ronan Fitzsimons, rory McGrath, Brian carley, Jamie hackett, shane Downes, David Buckley, James Foley, Darragh kennedy, Damien McGee, Paul Mullen

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Wishing Trim GAA every success in 2014

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The u21 hc finalists from late 2012 who lost to kiltale in the decider, front l/r: James andrews, sean McGee, ciaran o'rourke, Jamie lee, colm McGrath, ryan andrews, Darren Phelan, James Toher. Back: cian Downes, aaron winters, David Fox, Paul Melia, John cunningham, David Buckley, David Foley, shane Downes, Darren Melia, Damien McGee, shane lenihan, James Foley

by six at half-time. Immediately after the restart Mickey Lowther, who had just come on, had a goal attempt denied by the woodwork and soon after they got a goal to nine points clear. “Against Donaghmore/Ashbourne we were 10 points down before losing by seven. Losing that game meant that we could not qualify although the display in the last round against St Colmcille’s was probably our best. “We had Ronan Fitzsimons and Eoin McGrath back for that match and although the team hadn’t trained after losing to Donaghmore / Ashbourne, they performed very well. “Our league campaign was an absolute disaster. We struggled to get teams on the pitch for some of the games for, apart from the injury problems, players were unavailable for some games because of shift work. “Being manager of both the football and hurling teams has not been too difficult for me although the dual role takes up a lot of my time and I may have to give up one of them next year. The advantage of doing both is that you can juggle the dual players around with training “As regards the football team, I feel that they can be there or thereabouts again next year, especially if we haven’t as many problems with injuries. The players will feel that there is unfinished business to be done in 2014.”

It was not all doom and gloom for Trim’s football teams as the club’s under-14 side claimed outright honours in the Spring League Division 2 with a 4-9 to 3-8 victory over Dunshaughlin in an exciting final clash at Pairc Tailteann on a Monday evening in April. Trim got away to a flying start with a converted free by Aaron Lynch and a goal from Robbie Finnegan. After Dunshaughlin replied with a couple of goals, Finnegan netted his second and Lynch also raised the green flag. The sides were level (3-4 each) at the break and after the teams were evenly

ciaran Joyce

487

matched for most of the second half, a long ball from wing-back Cian Breathnach was finished to the net by Mark Murray before top scorer Lynch put the icing on the cake with the last point to bring his total to an impressive 1-7. Trim team and scorers: Sean Thornton; Cian Walsh, Pierse Darby, Patrick Dempsey; Cian Breathnach (01), Tom Doyle, Karl Keating; Cian Lee, Evan Buckley; Mark Murray (1-0), Gavin Griffith (0-1), Fearghal O’Keane; Aaron Lynch (1-7), Brian Dowling, Robbie Finnegan (2-0). Subs: Michael Mahon, Padraic Payne, Ben Gibney, Jonathan McEvoy, Patrick Dinan, Luke Mahon, Conor Hallinan, Tadhg Mulvey, Calum Pottinger, Conor Cook. The same team reached the final of the Under 14 FC Division 1 in which Ratoath defeated them by 5-8 to 3-3 at Skryne. Aaron Lynch scored 2-3 and Brian Dowling got Trim’s other goal. In May the Trim club hosted an intercounty senior football challenge in which Meath outscored Louth by 1-13 to 1-10 to mark the official opening of the impressive new facilities at St Loman’s Park. Work on the splendid clubhouse and top-class pitch cost over 6 million euro and Leinster chairman Martin Skelly described the facilities as “second to none.” County chairman Conor Tormey congratulated the Trim committee on turning a vision into reality.


oldcastle desisgned_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:24 Page 1

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O

OLDCASTLE

ldcastle were spared the ignominy of relegation from the senior football championship when securing a draw against Nobber and a win over Dunshaughlin in the three-way relegation play-off. County star Paddy Gilsenan looks back on their close shave. More often than not, Paddy Gilsenan's right foot is purely for standing on but it came in handy for Oldcastle this year when it sent over the insurance point in their battle against relegation. Having drawn with Nobber in the opening game of the SFC relegation play-off – 1-10 apiece – the north Meath men's backs were against the wall when they squared up to Dunshaughlin in their second game. As events transpired, they took both points on offer thanks to an injury-time point from Gilsenan, a rare one off the right foot of the predominantly leftfooted forward. It turned out to be a case of better late than never as Colm Coyle's charges secured their first championship success of the year. 0-12 to 0-11 was the final scoreline in Simonstown and it spelt bad news for Nobber who were sent packing from the top flight. County player Gilsenan and Robbie Farrelly shared the scoring honours with

Mossy Flood raises the U14 Division 4 FL Cup at Pairc Tailteann

four points apiece while Conor McHugh, Darren Hawdon, Cian McParland, Robbie Packenham, Alan McCann and the Farrelly's, Terence and Ronan, also played big parts in the victory. “It was more luck than anything else,” Paddy said modestly when asked about his injury-time winning point against Dunshaughlin. “I struck it with the right and, to be honest, it could have went any where. Luckily for us it went over the bar. “There was huge relief after the final whistle, lads were delighted. A

championship win is rare down this part of the county and it was the happiest Oldcastle dressingroom I've been in for a long time. “In fairness the lads put in a lot of hard work during the year and it was great to finish on a positive note. Our backs were against the wall but everyone pulled together and, hopefully, that will be the making of us looking ahead to next year.” The team in blue and white – who were captained by Paddy's brother Eoin this year – finished in the wooden spoon position in Group B having failed to register a point from their five outings. They fell to a 0-4 to 1-7 defeat to Rathkenny on the opening weekend and things didn't get any better against St Patrick's, Summerhill, Donaghmore/Ashbourne and Skryne. Why didn't things work out for the team this year? “We lost a couple of lads to emigration – Shane Farrelly, Barry Curran and Rory McHugh were missing at different times of the year – and that didn't help the situation but we were unlucky in a couple of games. “Against St Pat's we were ahead with a couple of minutes to go but they came back and beat us. If we had have won that game it might have kick-started our season but, unfortunately, it wasn't to be.

PADDY HITS THE RIGHT NOTE

The seniors that took on Rathkenny in the championship at Kilmainhamwood, front l/r: Sean Maxwell, Barry Curran, Paddy Gilsenan, Darren Hawdon, Patrick Rahill, Eoin Gilsenan, Eoin McNamee, Matthew Cadden, Ian Galligan. Back: Ross Cadden, Ronan Farrelly, Thomas Rahill, Cian McPartland, Rory McHugh, Conor McHugh, Stephen Tierney, John Short, Peter Monaghan, Robert Farrelly, Terry Farrelly, Peter Lynch, Niall Mangan 

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oldcastle desisgned_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:24 Page 3

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490


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U16 Division 3 finalists, front l/r: Keith Connell, Ronan Taggart, Kyle Kavanagh, CJ Healy, Dylan Garrigan, Jason Scully, Eoin McCloskey, Mossie Flood, Christopher Smith. Back: Robert Smith, Stephen Lawless, Oran O'Reilly, Karl Gibney, Keith Cunningham, Conor Delaney, Cian McKenna, Conor McCloskey, Matthew Taggart

“We have players who have experience of playing with Meath minor and Under 21 squads but we seem to struggle to get going in the championship. We were flying in the league early on but after getting bet in the championship our heads seemed to go down.” Since their participation in the hoganstand.com sponsored Meath SFC came to an end, Oldcastle have parted company with former Meath great Coyle as manager. The year just coming to an end was the three-time All-Ireland winner's second year in charge and he was assisted by selectors Seamus

U14 keeper Carl Gibney makes a fine catch

Kyle Kavanagh about to kick a point against Ballivor at Pairc Tailteann

Dylan Garrigan against Ballivor

Cillian Eager

491

Maxwell and Liam McPartland. At the time of writing, no replacement has been appointed but whoever takes on the job – their first objective will be to steer the club away from the dropzone. “It's not a nice situation to be in and there was a danger that lads would drop their heads but we know that it's difficult to get up to senior and we were determined to stay there. We regrouped, everyone got out training and we were focussed on the relegation play-offs and we managed to pull it off. “Nobber and Dunshaughlin were in the same boat. No one wants to get

James Caffrey has a shot at the Ballivor goal


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The talented U10 squad, front l/r: Michaela Conroy, ailbhe Hetherton, Keeva Reilly, James Tuite, Brian Hetherton, JP Purcell, adam McLoughlin, Zara Gilsenan. Back: Conor Boylan, Rion Mulvany, Ben Grey, Sean Chatten, Ronan Halpin, Jack Murphy, Ryan Kevin, Conor Gibbons, Llyod Colleran. Mentors: Pat Grey, Greg McLoughlin and Karen Kevin

relegated no matter what way things are. Any one of the three of us could have went down, it was that tight.” Meanwhile, on the intercounty stage, Paddy and his Royal County teammates delivered on their number one objective on gaining promotion from Division 3 of the Allianz football leagues to Division 2. A regular on the county squad since

making his debut as a substitute versus Kildare in 2011, he played his part when scoring a second half goal against Fermanagh in the winner-takes-all round 7 clash at Pairc Tailteann. He also chipped in with a point for good measure in the 2-12 to 0-14 after coming on as a 48th minute substitute for David Larkin. Paddy agrees with the general

assessment that the Royal County made progress in the right direction. “There was progress made and there were young players blooded. As you would expect under a new management, there was a fresh approach and we got very close to Dublin but next year we have to push on. “We got the fight and traditional Meath

Future stars, the clubs under 8's, front l/r: Ciaran Connell, Pat Crawley, Mark Cadden, Fionn McCabe, Colin Gibson, Thomas Sheridan, Rory Grey, Sean Garrigan. Back: James Gibney, Paul Hennessy, Proinsias O'Reilly, aoife Smith, Rory Crawley, Cameron O'Reilly, Ryan Halpin, Karolis abraitis, David Weir, Eoin Smith, Dylan Gibbons. Mentors: Ronan Crawley and Brendan Halpin

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U14 Division 4 FL winners at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Darragh Gibbons, Lee Healy, Stephen Milmoe, Cillian Eager, Kyle Kavanagh, Dylan Garrigan, Sean Martin, Ciaran Finnegan, Josh Halpin, Colin Hawdon, Cillian Connell. Back: Oran Mulvany, Robert Smith, Mossy Flood, Keith Connell, Eoin McCluskey, Ciaran Smith, James Caffrey, Ryan Maguire, Carl Gibney, Ronan Taggart, Conor Hetherton

spirit back but there's no point getting to a third Leinster SFC final in-a-row and losing again. “Promotion in the league was a big thing. you need to be competing against the best teams. That's the only way you will improve as a team and, hopefully, we will hit the ground running in Division 2.” Both Oldcastle and Meath have a point to prove in 2014. The Oldcastle team secured a muchneeded win over Dunshaughlin in the SFC relegation play-off was: C McHugh; D Hawdon, C McPartland, M Cadden; R

Packenham (0-1), T Farrelly (0-1), A McCann; S Tierney, P Rahill; Ronan Farrelly (0-1), R McHugh, E Gilsenan (0-1); Robbie Farrelly (0-4), P Gilsenan (0-4). T Rahill.

U14’S MaKE BRILLIaNT COMEBaCK TO CLaIM SILvERWaRE

Oldcastle produced a brilliant comeback in the final eight minutes to defeat Ballivor (4-8 to 2-12) in the Meath U14 Division 4 Spring League final in very wet conditions at Pairc Tailteann in

April. In what was a fairly even opening half it was Oldcastle that held the advantage at the break 2-4 to 0-7. Ballivor grabbed the early scores before Oldcastle replied with points from Dylan Garrigan and Ronan Taggart. James Caffrey brought the North Meath boys back into the game with a goal and their lead was increased with a point from Kyle Kavanagh and the game’s second goal courtesy of Owen McCluskey. With twenty three minutes gone in the second half Ballivor had run up a five point lead 1-12 to 2-4.

Patrick Rahill

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Darren Hawdon

Ronan Farrelly heads for the Rathkenny goal

Barry Curran

James Caffrey started the revival with his second goal. Caffrey, and Robert Smith added points to level matters. Kyle Kavanagh sent over his second score, Colin Hawdon netted and a third point from Kavanagh gave Oldcastle a 4-8 to 1-12 lead with time almost up. The final whistle sparked wild scenes of jubilation among the Oldcastle players and supporters as Paul Mooney Bord Na nOg Chairman presented the Under 14 Division 4 Spring League Cup to Oldcastle captain Thomas Flood. Oldcastle: Karl Gibney, Stephen Milmoe, Keith Connell, Sean Martin, Thomas Flood, Kyle Kavanagh (0-3), Ronan Taggart (0-1), Robert Smith (01), Dylan Garrigan (0-1), Owen McCluskey (1-0), Cillian Eager, Colin Hawdon (1-1), James Caffrey (2-1). Sub: Oran Mulvaney.

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County man Paddy Gilsenan

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Eoin Gilsenan

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Cian McPartland


duleek designed_layout 1 25/11/2013 11:20 Page 1

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duleek designed_layout 1 25/11/2013 11:20 Page 2

i

DULEEK-BELLEWSTOWN

t went down to the final group game for duleek-Bellewstown in their bid to reach the knockout stages of the senior football championship for the first time since 2010. A draw against Moynalvey would have secured the much-prized ticket to the business end of the championship for the east Meath side. At Dunshaughlin, on the last day of August, Duleek-Bellewstown finished ten points short of Moynalvey, who in turn advanced to the quarter-finals. it is now 70 years since a Meath senior football championship came to the parish. With 1999 All-ireland winning captain, graham geraghty, at the helm Duleek-Bellewstown were located in group A for the round robin stage of this year's race for the keegan Cup. There they were they were pitted against nobber, Walterstown, Moynalvey, seneschalstown and holders navan o'Mahonys. DuleekBellewstown drew their opening two games in their eighth senior

steven moore raises the u16 division 6 championship shield at dunganny

championship campaign since regaining top flight status on the back of their iFC success in 2005. in round one neighbours, and of the pre-championship favourites, seneschalstown provided the opposition for Duleek-Bellewstown at Walterstown where it finished 0-7-

each. Conal Mcginley's accuracy from placed balls went a long way towards salvaging a point for DuleekBellewstown against Walterstown in round two. Duleek-Bellewstown were five points in arrears, after Walterstown's second goal, near the end of the third quarter. Mcginley's points ensured that the scores finished tied at 0-11 to 2-5. The game's top scorer was unfortunate not to secure a win for his side from a late free that went wide. The east county outfit's first defeat came at the hands of holders navan o'Mahonys in round three. on the last Thursday evening in May at seneschalstown, DuleekBellewstown were playing catch-up from the off. They were 0-3 to 1-7 in arrears at the interval. one bright moment for Duleek-Bellewstown occured when Casey Dunne's goal attempt with a quick free kick forced a fine save from navan o'Mahonys 'keeper Marcas Brennan, who turned the ball over for a point.

A FRESH APPROACH FOR DULEEK-BELLEWSTOWN

prior to the hoganstand.com sFc clash with Walterstown in ashbourne, front l/r: ciaran mcgroggan, John mcdonnell, mark collins, padraig Howard, darren mills, Kieron collins, shane crosby, shane townley, darren Heeney, Kevin smith. Back: steven nolan, anthony dowling, conall mcginley, casey dunne, Jason Branigan, david moore (capt), anthony doonan, Brian moore, ricky nolan, adam everard, Jamie Flaherty, cianan Byrne

499

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duleek designed_layout 1 25/11/2013 11:20 Page 3

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Mcginley was the only DuleekBellewstown player to register more than one score, finishing with five points (four frees) to his name. The outcome left DuleekBellewstown with two points after three rounds of the championship. A place in the last eight was certainly not beyond their reach with games to come against nobber and Moynalvey. The round four clash with nobber on Friday, August 16 at Castletown was a must win game for both sides. While both teams had a eye on the 'trap door', Duleek-Bellewstown knew that two wins for their final brace of fixtures would secure a pass to the last eight in the keegan Cup race. goals from Ciaran Byrne, stephen nolan and Darren Mills were central to Duleek-Bellewstown's first win of the campaign, achieved at the fourth attempt, on a 3-10 to 0-9 scoreline at the sun splashed north county venue. A strong first half showing by Duleekcian Kelly receives the u14 division 3 shield from Jim mullery

Bellewstown was central to the outcome. By half-time they led by 2-8 to 0-2. Both goals arrived in the leadin to the interval while nobber lost Brian Farrell to an injury before the break. Byrne and nolan (penalty) were the Duleek-Bellewstown first-half goal scorers. A notable statistic was that the winners' managed just three scores after the change of ends. DuleekBellewstown were surprisingly outscored by 1-2 to 0-7 in the time remaining with their third goal coming from Mills late on in the hour. The outcome set graham geraghty's men up for a final round clash with Moynalvey. D-Day was saturday, August 31. Dunshaughlin was the venue for their meeting with the men in maroon and white. The concession of 2-2 to Moynalvey's William harnan had a big bearing on Duleek-Bellewstown's fate. in arrears by 0-5 to 1-5 at break, their

fate was sealed with the leaking of a second goal left them nine points off the pace midway through the secondhalf. Duleek-Bellewstown had two goal chances just before the interval with Padraig howard driving wide while Mark Collins had an attempt blocked. The east county side did manage to raise a green flag in the final quarter. however, howard's palmed effort in the 51st minute merely temporarily halted Moynalvey's gallop and softened the final scoreline slightly. Duleek-Bellewstown completed their sFC campaign with a second defeat from five outings, losing to Moynalvey by ten points on a 1-6 to 2-13 scoreline to finish fourth of the six teams in group A. in 2012, Duleek-Bellewstown reached the last four of the Feis Cup where they fell to eventual winners navan o'Mahonys. This time their Feis Cup oddysey was halted by fellow

padraig Howard shows determination

mark collins

conall mcginley

shane crosby gaeil colmcille were dispatched in the u16 division 6 championship decider on the astro pitch at dunganny, front l/r: eoin o'connell, aaron seery, sean maguire, pauric mcgroggan, Jordan Leech, conor Hickey, dylan smullen, Jake carolan, dean Brodigan. Back: robin clarke, sean Lynch, aiden agnew, stephen mooney, Jack Fitzpatrick, steven moore, richard Kearns, callum cooney, devon eagers, matthew Brannigan, adam noone, martinnez michevicius, Luke everard

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the squad that lost out to dee rangers in the Ladies division 2 FL final at seneschalstown, front l/r: roisin Lenehan, deborah rogers, Katie Walsh, stephanie andrews, Katie dowling, Leigh-anne Wood (captain), orla Byrne, Lauren mohan, shannon clarke, Hazel callaghan, chloe Kissane. Back: michael collins, stephanie mccourt, caroline macken, ciara power, Karen creed,rachel andrew, monica mcguirk, Lisa Lynch, emma mcLoughlin, Jill mcguinness, alex goodman, deborah maughan, gemma saurin, gerry saurin, natasha reilly

darren mills

seniors Wolfe Tones. Cian Ward scored 1-8 as the 'Tones prevailed by 1-12 to 0-9 at kilberry on the first Wednesday in July. stephen nolan topscored for the visitors with four points. Duleek-Bellewstown trailed by 0-4 to 0-7 at the interval. Matters improved

a determined shane townley against dunboyne in the mFL div 4 decider

senior manager graham geraghty

steven nolan

for the wearers of green and gold as they got the deficit down to the minimum margin. however, the 'Tones reasserted themselves with Ward's goal capping the visitors' fate. Duleek-Bellewstown saw off Walterstown in the opening round by four points on a 0-17 to 1-10 scoreline

stephen moore

darren Heeney

503

stephen Lynch

in the opening round of A Fl Division 1. having managed just two wins in the previous A Fl Division 1 campaign, Duleek-Bellewstown enjoyed a much better return in the most recent league campaign, registering five wins and one draw from 13 fixtures.

ryan cooney raises the mFL division 4 shield at stamullen


duleek designed_layout 1 25/11/2013 11:20 Page 7

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u14 division 3 shield winners, front l/r: daire moore, robert caffrey, niall collins, Jack Beggy, Joseph corduff, morgan Brown, gary reddy, Jamie crosby, ali erdogan. Back: Brian Butler (coach), alex cudden, ryan tuohy, aJ o Brien, Jamie o Leary, Finn Hartford, cian Kelly, Ben Lanigan, conor Butler, aodhan gallagher

That left Duleek-Bellewstown in ninth place of the 14 participants in the top flight of league football. Their 11-point tally left them six clear of Castletown who propped up the table. Things didn't pan out well for the club's second championship team. Five JFC defeats left them propping up group A behind Curraha, skryne, o'Mahonys, Bective and Drumbaragh

with the latter two advancing to the knockout stage. A two-point loss, 1-10 to 0-15, to navan o'Mahonys in round two was the best return from the group fixtures. They bounced back from a heavy loss to high-flying Drumbaragh in round four to fall just three points short of Curraha, 1-11 to 0-17, in the final fixture.

The club also fielded a third championship side but it was unable to make an impression in the Junior D football competition. They managed three wins from nine outings in the B Fl Division 2. Club chairman oliver Cudden reflects positively on the year and in particular the acquisition of a mentor with strong links with the parish: "We're certainly

minor Football League division 4 winners, front l/r: matthew Branigan, Jack Fitzpatrick, James Burke, robin clarke, eoin morris, stephen moore, paddy Walsh. Back: Karl Brannigan, ciaran gogarty, stephen Lynch, peter reilly, darren arnold, dylan moore, shane townley, gareth reilly, alan o'Brien, shane crosby, ryan cooney (captain) darren Heeney

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pauric mcgroggan

matthew Brannigan

steven moore lets fly

making progress. This year we brought graham geraghty in as our coach. Most members of the club believe he has really worked well with the team. "graham's father ger hails from Duleek. he later moved to kentstown. graham's uncle Eugene geraghty, is a former chairman of the Duleek club and a current president of DuleekBellewstown club. "he has got them to box above their weight. We've been able to get the best out of the limited panel we have. We've got quite a good team, but the game nowadays has gone to a 20-man game. you're really depending on the strength of your bench. you can see that from the All-ireland final and other games. "graham has brought a different type of coaching and training. he's been like a breath of fresh air to the lads. it worked very well. graham will be in place again next year, so hopefully we can take it to the next step up. "We drew our first two games, with Walterstown and seneschalstown. We got badly beaten by navan o'Mahonys. We went on to beat nobber, but fell then on the last hurdle to Moynalvey. had we won that game we would have been in the quarterfinal. We didn't really turn up on the last day, unfortunately. "overall, we probably did a little bit better than we expected. in the league, we finished mid-table. For the early part of the year we were in the top three or four." While Duleek-Bellewstown hasn't been affected as badly as other clubs in terms of emigration, they were without one of their key players: "We lost Tony Cunningham who would have been our powerhouse in the middle of the field. he's gone to work in Canada." regarding the second team, the chairman reflects: "We took an approach other clubs had used where we put our junior As and seniors together under one management team. We did that because there are quite a number of 'first' teams playing Junior A. "We felt we needed our Junior As to be fully trained and under the same management as our seniors. it didn't work out that well." Cudden concludes on a positive note, ""We have set roots in the senior grade. Up to this year we would have been in the bottom quarter of the 16 teams in the senior championship. i'd like to think we have improved."

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robin clarke

adam noone

callum cooney


ratoath designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:57 Page 1

T

RATOATH

here can be few people who doubt the potential of Ratoath to develop into a major force at senior level in football but these things tend to take time and their first year back in the Intermediate Championship ended when they lost a quarter-final to Gaeil Colmcille.

Last year was a truly memorable one for the club, highlighted by their outright success in the Junior Championship. Former Dublin goalkeeper Davy Byrne was at the helm then but this year former Meath senior manager Eamonn Barry was patrolling the sidelines and inherited a panel rich with young talent. Ratoath’s record at minor level has been impressive in recent years as the tremendous work carried out in the under-age ranks over many seasons reaps rich rewards and as these players continue to develop it will be a major surprise if the club isn’t playing its football in the senior ranks very soon. They made significant strides in the league this year, winning Division 3, and operating at a higher level there can only be good in terms of future

Cian O'Brien raises the Under 21FC Cup at Pairc Tailteann

progress. A very solid divisional campaign was followed by a comprehensive final victory over Cortown but it came at a price because county senior player Eamon Wallace was sent off and he missed that championship quarter-final as a consequence. Referee Donal Smyth issued Wallace and Cortown’s Stephen Clarke with red cards before the start of the second half and while the loss of the speedy Wallace had no real impact on the remainder of the league final it most certainly did in the championship last-eight assignment.

Ratoath won the league decider by 2-16 to 1-9 and one of the stars of the game was Bobby O’Brien who contributed six points, while Bryan McMahon got 1-3. Wallace scored two first half points and Ratoath led by seven at one stage in that period, before holding a 010 to 0-5 advantage at the break. That lead stretched out to 0-13 to 0-6 during the third quarter and goals from Bryan McMahon and Cian O’Brien (penalty) left Ratoath with an unassailable 2-14 to 0-7 advantage entering the last 10 minutes. Gary Coyne scored a consolation goal for Cortown near the end. The honour of captaining the victorious team went to Stephen O’Brien who accepted the Cummins Cup from Brendan Cummins. The Ratoath team in the final was: A Smith; S O’Brien, D McGill, G Eiffe; G Quigley, C McGill, E Boyle; C O’Brien (1-1), B Power; C Rooney, B O’Brien (0-6), E McMahon (0-3); B McMahon (1-3), G Rooney (0-1), E Wallace (0-2). Subs – J Wallace for C Rooney, G Reilly for Quigley, C O’Riordan for Smith, M Daly for B McMahon, P Quinn for Boyle. Ratoath had been shaping well in the

RATOATH’S PROGRESS CONTINUES

The squad on duty for the Intermediate Championship win over Ballinlough at Castletown, front l/r: Brian Power, Gavin Eiffe, Eamonn Wallace, Bryan McMahon, Bobby O'Brien, Darragh O'Brien, Stephen O'Brien, Eoghan McMahon, Emmett Boyle, Paul Flaherty, Conor O'Brien. Back: Aidan Quigley, Mark Daly, Paddy Quinn, Colm Nugent, Conor Rooney, Jack McGowan, Andrew Smith, Cian O'Brien, Conor McGill, Gareth Rooney, Colm O'Riordan, Glen Reilly, Darragh McGill

Log onto dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

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ratoath designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:58 Page 2

The celebrations get under way with the Intermediate Camogie championship cup at Kilmessan

Intermediate Championship at that stage and had won all their games in a tough looking group which also included Ballinlough, Ballinabrackey, Ballivor and Castletown but their dream of adding the Mattie McDonnell Senior team manager amonn Barry

Cup was soon over. Despite kicking 15 wides Ratoath had opened the championship with a 3-9 to 3-5 victory over Castletown at Skryne. Thomas Smith and Kenny Smith goaled for Castletown in the first half

Conor Rooney in league final action

Brian Power

but with Bryan McMahon raising a green flag for Ratoath they trailed by 1-2 to 2-3 at the interval. Aided by the wind, Ratoath were the better team in the second period when a feature of the action was a brilliant Brendan Cummins presents The Cummins Cup for the Division 3FL to Stephen O'Brien

The squad that defeated Cortown in the Division 3 football league final at Pairc Tailteann

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ratoath designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:58 Page 3

BEST WISHES & CONTINUED SUCCESS TO RATOATH GAA

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ratoath designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 16:58 Page 4

Before the Intermediate Hurling Championship clash with Clann Na nGael at Kilberry, front l/r: Roger Casey (captain), Ger Clarke, Padraic O'Hanrahan, Vinnie Collins, Conleth McLarnon, Conor Ward, Paddy O'Dowd, Bobby O'Brien, Gavin McGowan. Back: Stephen Cooper, Gavin Hattie, Paul Kirwan, Eoghan McMahon, Sean O'Hanrahan, Jack McGowan, Colm O'Riordan, Rob Watters, Darragh Kelly, Paul Flaherty, Eoin Mulchay, Paddy Cody

Eamonn Wallace gathers

Jack McGowan heads for the Clann na nGael goal

Ace marksman Padraic O'Hanrahan

Vinnie Collins is put under pressure

Bobby O'Brien

minutes remaining but with their lead threatened Ratoath responded positively as O’Brien and Joey Wallace tagged on late points to carry them to safety. With a 100 per cent winning record in group C Ratoath were looking good but in the absence of Eamon Wallace they were edged out by Gaeil Colmcille in that quarter-final at Pairc Tailteann. They suffered another setback when Bobby O’Brien was forced off with an injury after 10 minutes but an early goal from Bryan McMahon provided a boost. However, with Brian Hanlon a major threat and contributing a goal the Kells men

goal from Wallace. Gareth Rooney also found the net for the winners, while Thomas Smith added a third major for Castletown who were four points in arrears at the end. Ratoath made a slow start to their second round match against Ballivor at Bective but with Bobby O’Brien taking some superb scores they led by 0-5 to 0-2 after 20 minutes. Ballivor got back to level terms (0-5 each) at the break but Ratoath edged clear before a Kevin McKeown goal left the minimum between the teams. It was all to play for going into the last 10 minutes but Ratoath finished strongest to win by 0-16 to 1-9. Eoghan McMahon and Bobby O’Brien both made solid scoring contributions with five points. A third successive group victory was achieved when Ballinlough were beaten with surprising ease at Castletown where Ratoath led by 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval en route to a 2-11 to 0-6 success. Bobby O’Brien goaled at the start of the second half and when Wallace added a second it was all over bar the shouting. Ratoath were idle in the fourth round but they completed a hugely satisfactory group campaign with a hard earned 2-9 to 0-11 win over Ballinabrackey at Longwood. The losers didn’t help their cause by kicking a dozen wides, while early goals from Bryan McMahon and Joey Wallace helped Ratoath to a 2-4 to 0-4 lead at half time. Ballinabrackey had the deficit down to 0-11 to 2-7 with five

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Another victory for the U14's as the Division 1 Summer Shield final day win over Donaghmore Ashbourne is celebrated at Dunsany

pushed into a 1-6 to 1-0 lead. McMahon converted three frees and the deficit stood at 1-3 to 1-6 at the interval, before Hanlon (free) and Cian O’Brien traded points early in the second half. Gaeil Colmcille gained the upper hand again and were ahead by 1-10 to 1-4 at the three-quarter stage. Worryingly for Ratoath, they endured a 20-minute spell without a score but they soon got moving again and got the deficit down to the minimum. Gavin Quigley ended that lengthy barren spell with a point, Gavin McGowan bundled home a goal and Cian O’Brien

slotted over a free and it was all to play for. However, it was Gaeil Colmcille who found most when it really mattered as Seamus Mattimoe and Hanlon pointed, with Ratoath’s only replay coming from a Conor McGill free. It finished 1-12 to 2-7. It was a disappointing end to the championship but this is still a developing team which undoubtedly has the potential to go all the way at this level. “Eamon Wallace was a terrible loss for the championship quarter-final and we lost Bobby O’Brien with a

hamstring injury with only 10 minutes gone,” coach Eamonn Barry said. “They are two top players. I knew it would be difficult after that but we didn’t have those players for league games early in the year and we coped. We had chances in the second half against Gaeil Colmcille which we didn’t take.” There was always the danger that some people would expect too much from Ratoath in their first year back at intermediate level. Eamonn agreed. “Eamon Wallace had such a good year with the Meath seniors and Ratoath got hyped up as a result,” he added. “There is a myth out there that Ratoath have an abundance of players. That’s not the reality. Our second team’s results in the Junior B Championship demonstrate that. We struggled to field a team for some games. “But it was still a progressive year. We set out at the start of the year to achieve promotion in the league. That was our main goal and we had the added bonus of winning the competition. We also won our four group games in the Intermediate Championship. We had a very good win over Castletown to start with. They have been operating in Division 1 of the league for the last couple of years. People started to talk us up after that. Our toughest group game was probably against Ballivor. “Being without Eamon and losing Bobby so early put us under pressure

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U14 Division 1 championship winners, front l/r: Alex Neville; Taylor Quinn, Jack O’Brien, Peter Barry, Kyle Clinton, Daragh McPartlin, John Walsh, Simon Barry, Martin Guerrero. Back: Leigh Sullivan, Patrick Petrovas, Pierse Butler, Jamie Donnelly, Cormac Butler, Adam Comerford, Conal Ahearne, Gary Reilly, Ben Mahon, Andrew Gerrard, Tom Fadden, David Caffrey, Ryan Kelly

Bobby O'Brien

Meath Juvenile Board Secretary Ciaran Flynn presents the U14 Division 1 Championship Cup to Ryan Kelly and Conal Ahearne

in the quarter-final. It was disappointing to lose but I believe without doubt that we can challenge next year. Playing in Division 2 of the league will be a help. We had five players on the Meath under-21 panel this year and three on the minor panel. The talent is there. We need to push on and win the Intermediate Championship in the next couple of years.”

INTERMEDIATE HURLERS FAIL TO FIGURE

Ratoath also operated in the Intermediate Championship in hurling and were coached this year by Michael O’Riordan who played with Dublin at all levels up to senior. He was also a Dublin senior selector for a spell. The Ratoath selectors were Michael Brazil and Michael Cooper. They were drawn in group A of the

Emmet Boyle

Conor McGill

championship along with Clann na nGael, neighbours Donaghmore / Ashbourne, Wolfe Tones, Kildalkey and Blackhall Gaels and it was against Blackhall that they opened up with a 18 to 1-15 defeat at Kiltale where the Batterstown / Kilcloon amalgamation led by 0-7 to 0-2 at the break. Padraig O’Hanrahan found the net from a free in the second half to give Ratoath a boost but it wasn’t enough as Blackhall were seven points clear at the end. However, things got a great deal better for Ratoath in the second round at Dunsany when they powered past Kildalkey, winning by 5-14 to 0-8. They were well on their way to a comprehensive win when holding a 38 to 0-4 advantage at the change of ends and there was never going to be any way back for Kildalkey after that. Stephen Cooper scored two of the goals and Jack McGowan, Roger Casey and Eoghan McMahon also found the net. Clann na nGael were next up for

515

Conor Rooney

Ratoath in the championship at Kilberry and their qualification prospects suffered a big blow when the Athboy / An Gaeltacht combination won by 1-18 to 1-13. O’Hanrahan made a fine personal contribution of 18 but it just wasn’t enough. Donaghmore / Ashbourne defeated Ratoath by 3-13 to 1-14 in the fourth round at Kilmessan and the group schedule was completed with a 2-6 to 2-19 loss to the previous year’s beaten finalists Wolfe Tones, also at Kilmessan.

U14 DOUBLE A MEMORABLE HIGHLIGHT

The Ratoath under-14 footballers experienced the disappointment of losing the Division 1 FL final to Na Fianna at Pairc Tailteann and thus missed out on the opportunity to represent the county at Feile in Derry, but they also achieved a very notable


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U12 Reserve league winners. Neighbours Dunshaughlin were defeated in the decider

Prior to the U14 Division 1 reserve league decider against Simonstown in Rathkenny

double by claiming the Summer FL Division 1 and Championship titles. Na Fianna led by 1-8 to 0-3 at the interval in that league decider and even second half goals from penalties scored by Tom Fadden and Leigh Sullivan weren’t enough for Ratoath who lost by 2-5 to 3-15. Ratoath brought up the first leg of their double when defeating Trim by 5-8 to 3-3 in the Championship final at Skryne where Jamie Donnelly was a hat-trick hero. The corner-forward scored the first of his three goals after 10 minutes. Trim then edged ahead but with Donnelly again finding the net Ratoath opened up a 2-5 to 1-2 advantage at the break.

The U15 Division 3 winners

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Their lead stood at 2-6 to 2-3 by the 53rd minute and when Leigh Sullivan’s point attempt ended up in the net they were well on the road to victory. Tom Fadden added a fourth goal and a fifth from Donnelly copper-fastened Ratoath’s position of superiority. This was a very solid team performance in which midfielders Conal Ahearne and Andrew Gerrard impressed. The Ratoath team in the final was: Adam Comerford; David Caffrey, Cormac Butler, Simon Barry; Ryan Kelly, Gary O’Reilly (0-1), Peter Barry; Conal Ahearne, Andrew Gerrard; John Walsh, Leigh Sullivan (1-4), Tom Fadden (1-1); Martin Guerrero, Jack O’Brien (0-1), Jamie Donnelly (3-1). Subs – Pierse Butler for P Barry, Alex Neville for Guerrero, Kyle Clinton for Donnelly. Ratoath completed the big double when they beat Donaghmore / Ashbourne by 3-10 to 2-10 in a thrilling Summer League Division 1 final at Dunsany in early August. Sean Johnson was the winners’ leading marksman with 2-2, Tom Fadden contributed 1-2 and Cian Rogers rowed in with four very important points.

Captain Ryan Kelly received the shield from Fe 14 secretary Ciaran Flynn. The Ratoath team in that final was: Adam Comerford; David Caffrey, Pierce Butler, Darragh McPartland; Ryan Kelly (0-1), Gary O’Reilly, Jack Flynn; Conal Ahearne, Cian Hughes; Andrew Gerrard, Leigh Sullivan (0-1), John Walsh; Sean Johnson (2-2), Tom Fadden (1-2), Cian Rogers (0-4). Subs – Ben Wyer, Cian Kelly, Gavin O’Neill, Tadhg McCann, Cormac Butler, Tiernan Ahearne, Jamie Donnelly, Conor Eiffe, Jason Farrell, Martin Guerrero.

U21FC HISTORY MAKERS

Joseph Wallace's stoppage time point earned Ratoath a minimum margin, 0-12 to 1-8, win over neighbours Donaghmore-Ashbourne in the Coolrite Refrigeration U21 FC final at Pairc Tailteann. Ratoath first outright success at this level is made all the more memorable for the manner in which it was achieved. Eamon Barry's charges were four points in arrears at the break

having played towards the town goal on a relatively calm afternoon. They got to within two points of Donaghmore-Ashbourne twice in the third quarter but their neighbours had the wherewithal to respond positively until the final quarter when Ratoath outscored them by 0-5 to 0-2. When Michael Deegan landed his fifth free Donaghmore-Ashbourne led by 1-7 to 0-7 with 46 minutes gone. However the team in green and white could manage just one more score, another placed ball from their number 13. With Eamon Wallace leading the charge from midfield, Ratoath ran at their neighbours in the latter stages and reaped dividends from frees earned. Three of the winners points in the crucial phase of the game came from Bryan McMahon frees. When Eamon Wallace put Brian Power through for a point it left it 0-10 to 1-7 in the 55th minute. Wing-back Colm Nugent turned provider as the county senior put Ratoath in front for the first time four minutes later. When Ratoath failed to clear a Donaghmore-Ashbourne, a subsequent free saw Deegan restore

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www.fairyhousesteel.ie 518


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The history makers - U21 football championship winners, front l/r: Gavin Eiffe, Conor Rooney, Scott Cadwell (mascot), Joey Wallace, Adam Griffiths, Eamonn Wallace, Bryan McMahon, Bobby O'Brien, Gareth Rooney, Colm O'Riordan, Brian Power. Back: Brian Daly, Robert Watters, Gavin McGowan, Keith McCabe, Cian O'Brien, Jack McGowan, Darragh Kelly, Glen Reilly, Colm Nugent, Niall Donnelly, Andrew Smith, Colm McCullagh, Conor McGill, Mark Daly

parity as the clock ticked into the first of two minutes of stoppage time. Donaghmore-Ashbourne goalscorer David Carey saw a scoring attempt drop short into the arms of Ratoath 'keeper Andrew Smith. In the second minute of added time Joseph Wallace popped over what proved to be the title-winner. With Eamon Wallace leading by example, Ratoath cleverly used the ball in the final seconds. The outcome was difficult for Donaghmore-Ashbourne, who lost to Simonstown - after extra time - in last year's Under 21 FC decider. They also lost to Ratoath in the MF Division 1 final in 2010. An early David Carey goal had Donaghmore-Ashbourne 1-2 to 0-2 to the good and Ratoath had trailed by

Eoghan McMahon

four at the interval. Ratoath - Andrew Smith; Gavin Eiffe, Conor McGill, Colm McCullagh; Colm Nugent, Brian Power (0-1), Glen Reilly; Cian O'Brien (0-2 fs), Eamon Wallace (0-2); Conor Rooney (0-1), Bobby O'Brien (0-1), Keith McCabe; Bryan McMahon (0-3, 2fs), Gareth Rooney, Joseph Wallace (0-1). Subs - Mark Daly (0-1) for Eiffe (8), Robbie Waters for B O'Brien (16), Daragh Kelly for McCullagh (ht).

CAMOGIE SIDE GO SENIOR AFTER INTERMEDIATE WIN

Ratoath's never say die attitude. A second substitution proved to be a stroke of managerial genius as Anna O'Hanlon did what she was put on to do and that was bury the ball into the back of the Kilmessan net. This crucial goal put Ratoath a point ahead with minutes to go. Beagan pushed the game from Kilmessan's reach with the insurance point and there were great celebrations as the final whistle blew. Emma McGill was awarded Player of the Match after a huge performance. Ratoath - Niamh O'Riordan, Ciara McCabe, Lauren McCann, Annette O'Hanrahan, Cathy Collins, Emma McGill, Eimear Griffiths, Anna Fagan, Louise Gaffney, Sinead Beagan (0-3), Adrienne McCann (0-2), Amy Gaffney, Karen McCabe, Mairead Dolan, Siobhan Gaffney. Subs - Emma McNerney (0-1) for Siobhan Gaffney, Anna O'Hanlon (1-0) for Cathy Collins, Aoife McGoldrick for Karen McCabe

The 13th October 2013 will be remembered in Ratoath camogie circles for a long time, as it was the day that the club achieved senior status for the first time since the mid 1960's with a 1-6 to 1-4 final win over Kilmessan in Boardsmill. Ratoath opened the scoring through Adrienne McCann but Kilmessan dominated the remainder of the half and scored 1-3 without reply to lead by five points at the interval. On the restart Adrienne McCann added another point before substitute Emma McNerney scored a stunning point from a tight angle having only just stepped onto the pitch. Captain Sinead Beagan clawed back another two points from frees only for Kilmessan to get their only point of the second half which could have been enough Meath Minor Board secretary Donal Forde presents the U15 Division 3 Shield to Ratoath's James O'Brien to secure the win if it was not for and Darragh Phillips

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S

SLANE

lane's struggles at adult level have been well documented but a concentrated effort on the underage section of the club is beginning to reap rich dividends. Club vice-chairman Peter Mooney doubled up as a coach of the U16s that captured Leinster FL Division 3 honours in 2013.

Good news has been thin on the ground for Slane GFC since their slide down the Meath GAA ladder commenced over a decade or so ago but, rather than feel sorry for themselves, the seeds of a renaissance has been sown at underage level. This year, for instance, the village supplied four players - Paraic McGowan, Daniel Forde, Darren Berrill and Eoin Gibbs - to the Meath U16 county development squad and two Eanna Mooney and Matt Tully - to the U15 Royal County panel. That's quite a return by any standards, never mind from a club that struggled to hold on to its Junior B

Bru Na Boinne captain Darren Berrill raises the Leinster U16 Division 3 Shield at Drogheda

status at adult level. "We also had other lads who made it well through the selection process," pointed out club vice-chairman and U16 coach Peter Mooney. "In the U16s, Tyrone Thompson from St Mary's, Shane Traynor and Tadgh Maloney came close to making the final squad. On the U15 side you had

Finn Searle who also went along way in the process." Peter, who lined out for the county U16s in his day, says you have to go back to the eighties since Slane boasted such a large representation on county teams. "It's absolutely brilliant for the club because it's been many a year since we had such a presence on county squads. For the Gerry Reilly Cup in Oldcastle, there was a very large number of Slane people travelled down to watch the lads. "It's exciting for the parish considering our adult team is struggling at the minute due to emigration and retirements. "The population of Slane has dwindled. It's coming back now since the new houses were built but those kids haven't come through yet. At adult level we have a very limited number of players available to us. We're restricted in one half of the parish due to planning restrictions around Newgrange so we're mainly confined to the village but this has given everyone a boost.

SLANE RISES

Prior to the championship clash with St Paul’s in Stamullen, front l/r: Jack Macken, Simon Curtis, Damien Carolan, Simon McDonagh, Rory Finnegan, Graham Smith, Jamie McClean, Eoin Feely. Back: Ultan McAdam, Richard Harding, Shane Harding, Craig Smith, Kevin Dunne, Kevin Reilly, Jack Markey, Niall Coyle, Willy Clarke, Paddy Daly

Log onto dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

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"It's a very warm feeling for any Slane person to look at an intercounty programme and see Slane on it again. When it's four players on it, it makes you stick your chest out that little bit further all right." With such talent at their disposal, in terms of silverware, Bru na Boinne's Leinster U-16 FL Division 3 title success was the highlight of 2013. Backboned by their 'county men', the Slane/St Mary's amalgamation claimed the scalps of Rhode (Offaly), St Pat's Ardagh (Longord) and fellow Royal County side St Cuthbert's to qualify for a final showdown against Naomh Mairtin of Louth. In the final at Drogheda, they overcame a slow start that saw them fall 0-1 to 1-3 in arrears to run out winners on a scoreline of 5-8 to 2-9. Full-forward Forde top-scored with 3Manager Mattie McCabe

1 while McGowan and Tully chipped in with 0-5 and 1-2 respectively. Peter - who was joined on the management team by T.J White and Fintan O'Brien (St Mary's) - explained the background to Bru na Boinne's involvement in the provincial competition. "We had some lads that weren't playing any sport so we decided we'd like to kick the gaelic season off early. "John Greene, our secretary, mentioned that there was a Leinster U16 football league. We thought it would be a great start to the year, get the team up and running before the start of the Spring league. "There was also the whole bonding thing, where they travel away on a bus, go in and get a bit of grub together. It's a great bonding exercise and something that I would recommend all Jack Macken

Damien Carolan

clubs to do if they get the chance. "Definitely, it's a really good way of increasing the interest for the GAA." Meanwhile, on the local scene, fellow east Meath side St Patrick's proved to be a thorn in Bru na Boinne's side. "We ere beaten in semi-final of the Spring League in absolute thriller by St Pat's who went on to win it. We were two points up and they got a 20m free and found the back of our net with the last kick of the game. They beat Blackwater Gaels in the final. "In the Summer League, they also beat us in the semi-final after a replay in Stamullen." Producing players of intercounty standard doesn't happen by accident and Peter illustrated the hard work that is being put in an underage level by everyone associated with Slane GFC. "It's absolutely huge in Slane. Every Simon Curtis gets in his pass against St Paul’s

Bru Na Boinne Leinster U16 Division 3 Champions, front l/r: Finn Searle, Andrew Everard, Ralph McGuinness, Eanna Mooney, Padraig McGowan, Shane Traynor, Gavin Carolan, Stephen Kells, Eric O’Brien. Back: Liam White, Tadhg Moloney, Eoin Gibbs, Matt Tully, Darren Berrill, Tyrone Thompson, Johnnie Daly, Pat Nulty, Cathal Clarke, Daniel Forde

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Eoin Feely

Rory Finnegan

Thursday night we'd have up on 100 kids in Toddy Harding Park. We're putting an awful lot of effort in to them in terms of making sure they're in every blitz and tournament going. "There's a well run ladies section in the club too at the minute and every parent is putting their shoulder to the wheel. "Jim Mullery is a fantastic chairman,

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He also pointed out that seven of the 15 that took to the field against the Stamullen side at Donore were U-21s so, coupled with the emerging talent at underage level, they are making moves in the right direction. It's concrete evidence that a well-oiled underage section is essential to the growth of any club. The Bru na Boinne U-16 team that was on duty for the Leinster League final win over Naomh Mairtin was: Darren Berrill, Andrew Everard, Tyrone Thompson, Tadhg Maloney, Finn Searle, Eoin Gibbs, Liam Whyte, Paraic McGowan (0-5), Shane Traynor, Stephen Kells, Eanna Mooney, Matthew Tully (1-2), Gavin Carolan, Daniel Forde (3-1), Ralph McGuinness. Subs: Pat Nulty (1-0) for McGuinness, Johnny Daly for Carolan, Eric O’Brien for Mooney,

Slane U15 girls team before the Division 4 Cup final against Dunsany. Dunsany won a very good game of football in very difficult conditions by 1-7 to 1-2

Cathal Clarke for Kells.

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Slane U11 girls team in their new jersies with John O’Malley of Slane GFC and Dermot Smyth of Slane Pharmacy

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T

NOBBER

hree years after that memorable day at Pairc Tailteann when they scored a runaway victory over Carnaross in the Intermediate Football Championship final Nobber’s spell in the senior ranks ended when they suffered relegation in 2013.

Nobber had been fancied to claim the Mattie McDonnell Cup for many years but it wasn’t until 2010 that a very talented group of players fulfilled their dream of playing in the top flight of Meath club football. They stayed there for three terms but this year they endured a difficult campaign which ended in demotion. They had finished bottom of their championship group last year after picking up just one point from an opening round draw with Duleek / Bellewstown and after losing a huge number of key players to emigration there was always the likelihood that they would struggle again this term when relegation was back in operation. Managed by Shay Duff and with Thomas Tierney and John McCormack acting as selectors, they made a winning start to their competitive year when beating Rathkenny by 1-10 to 1-

Colin Clarke

8 in Division 2 of the All-County A League. They then lost to Na Fianna (011 to 3-6), drew with Moynalvey (0-11 to 1-8) and were beaten by Ballinlough (1-10 to 3-8). The big guns in their Senior Championship group were champions Navan O’Mahonys and Seneschalstown and also in the mix

were Walterstown, Duleek / Bellewstown and Moynalvey. It turned out to be a very difficult qualification schedule but Nobber’s effort couldn’t be questioned as they battled with determination in each game. Rathkenny was the venue for their championship opener against Walterstown where Brian O’Reilly was sent off in the second half. Ruairi O’Dowd and Davy Donnellan scored first half goals for the blacks who were looking good with a 2-5 to 0-3 interval advantage. Brian Farrell scored two points early in the second period and with Fiachra McEntee getting another, Nobber were back in contention. However, a third goal from substitute Cathal Hennelly steered Walterstown towards a 3-7 to 0-8 victory on a day when Farrell scored seven points and Nobber had a dozen wides. A second round meeting with O’Mahonys at Castletown represented a daunting task for Nobber but they certainly didn’t deserve to lose by eight points (1-3 to 1-11). Brian Farrell gave them a boost with a 10th minute goal but O’Mahonys, who tallied 16 wides over the hour, finished the first half

MISSING PLAYERS COSTLY FOR NOBBER

The squad for the senior championship game with Moynalvey in Walterstown, front l/r: Paul Clarke, Dale Larkin, James Halpin, Conor Cassidy, Brendan Heffernan, Brian O Reilly, Pauric Fox, Sean Meade, Karl Casserly, Fiachra McEntee. Back: Jamie Owens, Barry McEntee, Richard Shields, Andrew O'Brien, Aodhan McEntee, Colin Clarke, Christopher O'Reilly, Gavin Farrelly, Niall Farrell, Paul Meade, Brian Farrell, Philip McEntee

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nobber designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 11:37 Page 3

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strongly and led by 0-7 to 1-1 at the interval. The only scores for the first 20 minutes of the second period were points from Shane Crosby for O’Mahonys and Niall Farrell for Nobber who applied a lot of pressure in a brave bid to rescue something from the game. Fiachra McEntee was denied a goal when Mark Brennan saved and Sean Meade was unlucky when his shot hit a post. When Gavin Farrelly pointed Nobber trailed by only two (1-3 to 0-8) but their hopes were dashed when Paddy Smyth goaled for O’Mahonys in the 51st minute, before the champions tagged on the last three points. It had been a gutsy effort by the Nobber players who suffered further disappointment in the third round when Moynalvey defeated them by 1-11 to 07 at Walterstown. Once again, Nobber turned in a hard working performance but they missed too many scoring opportunities which ruined their chance Brendan Heffernan

of earning a first group win. Points from Brian Farrell (three), Fiachra McEntee and Colin Clarke gave Nobber a 0-5 to 0-3 lead at the change of ends, by which stage ‘keeper Christopher O’Reilly had produced a superb save to deny John Donoghue a goal. Moynalvey scored the first three points of the second period to hit the front for the first time but Farrell levelled things up at the other end. It appeared to be all to play for at that stage but Nobber didn’t score again until Farrell added their last point in injury time and they were very unfortunate when Paul Meade scored an own goal which gave Moynalvey a significant boost. The south county side were seven points clear at the finish but that hardly represented an accurate reflection of Nobber’s contribution to the game. Nobber drew with Duleek / Bellewstown in the championship last year but this time the amalgamated team earned a very comfortable 3-10 to Gavin Farrelly

0-9 victory at Castletown. The first half ended badly for the losers when Ciaran Byrne goaled for the east Meath side, Brian Farrell retired injured and Stephen Nolan raised a second green flag for the winners from a penalty. With a 2-8 to 0-2 interval lead the Graham Geraghty-managed team had the group points wrapped up but Nobber gave it a serious effort on the restart when they reeled off six successive points. What they really required was a goal and the nearest they came to getting one was when Padraig’s Fox had his shot saved by Duleek / Bellewstown ‘keeper Ricky Nolan. Darren Mills added a late goal for the victors. Nobber concluded their group schedule in the absence of the injured Farrell and with their main scoring threat gone they suffered a heavy defeat to Seneschalstown at Carlanstown, going under by 0-8 to 514. Oldcastle and Dunshaughlin finished

Sean Meade

Senior manager Shay Duff

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Joseph Weldon & Sons (N) Ltd. GENERAL HARDWARE MERCHANTS PLUMBING & HEATING ALL FEEDING COMPOUNDS Spiddal, Nobber, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9052105. Fax: 046-9052461 Wishing Continued Success to Nobber GAA in 2014

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nobber designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 11:37 Page 6

The U12 Group G finalists, front l/r: Darryl Coady, Joseph Tierney, Jamie Duffy, Kian Donoghue, Patrick Farrell, James O'Brien, Noelle Hanna. Back: Stephen Clarke, Lucy Larkin, Paul Chamass, Darryl Shankey, Barry Bradley, Niall McMahon, Lorcan McEntee, Sean Coady, Patrick Clarke, Dylan Farrelly, Seamus Fagan, Mark Condra

Fiachra McEntee

Sam Ogungbe

John Joe Hughes

Sean Meade

Barry Bradley

at the bottom of the other two groups and joined Nobber in the relegation scrap, with one team to face the drop. The first game of the round robin series took place at Kilmainham where Nobber and Oldcastle played out a draw (1-10 each). Sean Meade scored a first half goal for Nobber and with Brian Farrell (four), Brendan Heffernan, Philip McEntee and Niall Farrell adding points they opened up a 1-7 to 1-4 interval lead. Oldcastle had the better of the second period when Nobber managed only three further points from Brian Farrell (two) and Niall Farrell. Dunshaughlin gave their survival hopes a huge boost when they beat Nobber by 1-11 to 1-9 at the Navan O’Mahonys’ grounds a week later. Despite conceding a first half goal from a penalty, the losers were level (0-8 to 1-5) at the interval but Dunshaughlin pushed clear with a

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Darryl Shankey

Dean Halpin


nobber designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 11:37 Page 7

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nobber designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 11:37 Page 8

Minor Football League Division 6 winners, front l/r: Larry McEntee (coach), Sam Ogungbe, Michael Bradley, Aidan Shields, John Joe Hughes, Dara Cassidy. Back: Johnny Smith, Patrick Horgan, James Murtagh, Sean Meade, Ben Sheridan, Ryan Hughes, Dean Halpin, Tony McEntee, Barry Cassidy

flurry of points subsequently. Jamie Owens gave Nobber hope when he scored a superb goal but they didn’t score again and were two points adrift at the final whistle. Oldcastle defeated Dunshaughlin by 0-12 to 0-11

in the last game of the relegation series at Simonstown and Nobber’s demotion was confirmed. They were unhappy with the order in which the play-off matches were played but appeals proved unsuccessful.

“It was a struggle from the outset,” was how selector Thomas Tierney described the championship campaign. “Deep down the club expected that because we were missing so many players for all or part of the year who

Under 21B football championship finalists: Front l-r: Jonathan Donoghue, Dean Halpin, Karl Casserly, Dale Larkin, Eanna Fagan, Cathal Cassidy, Sean Meade. Back l-r: David Lanney, Stephen O'Brien, Paul Meade, James Halpin, Declan Shields, Fiachra McEntee, Niall Carty, Barry Cassidy, Liam Halpin, Tony McEntee, Anthony Owens

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nobber designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 11:37 Page 10

would have been starting for our senior team, including Alan Farrell, Darren Lambe, Padraig Weldon, Andrew Hayes, Brian Meade, Jamie Owens and his brother Anthony Owens. “Nobber is not in shock because we were relegated but, of course, we are disappointed. We wanted to stay in the Senior Championship. It took us a fair few years to get there. But we knew with the players we were missing that it would be a struggle. “We had players from our team which won the Junior C Championship last year on the senior team this year. We also had three 17 year-olds on the senior team who didn’t even get junior experience last year. We had no choice. We are struggling for numbers. As I said, we wanted to stay in the Senior Championship and we fought hard to try to stay there.” That battling spirit was very much in evidence in Nobber’s second group match against champions Navan O’Mahonys when they stayed with Davy Nelson’s team for most of the hour. “That was a 50-50 game for most of

Minor captain Barry Cassidy and co with the MFL Division 6 Shield

the way against O’Mahonys but we gave away a late goal which shouldn’t have been conceded,” Thomas added. “That was costly. O’Mahonys finished strongest to pull away from us.” Nobber’s struggle in the Senior Championship certainly wasn’t mirrored by their form in Division 2 of the All-

County A League where they weren’t a million miles away from claiming promotion and a place in the final. Things were quite tight at the top of the division and they finished only two points behind runners-up Gaeil Colmcille. “Looking back on the year, we did well in Division 2 of the league,” Thomas said. “We were unlucky not to go up.” Losing their hard earned senior status was obviously disappointing for all associated with the Nobber club but Thomas remains quite optimistic as he looks ahead to 2014 and beyond. “I think we will be very strong back in the Intermediate Championship,” he added. “Alan Farrell will be back from Australia at the end of January. That will be a big help. There is talk of Andrew Hayes coming home from England. He is a former Meath minor and under-21 player. It would be good to have him back. “Brian Farrell not being involved with the Meath seniors will help us. He is looking forward to getting stuck into it. We will have him for league games which will be a big help. We will be looking to do well in the Intermediate Championship next year.”

Well done to all the Nobber teams in 2013!

AND BEST OF LUCK FOR 2014! 535


paddy reynolds designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 12:06 Page 1


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IF YOU’RE GOOD ENOUGH, YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH SPECIAL FEATURE

P

addy Reynolds was one of the Boylan babes that took the gaelic football world by storm back in 1996. Mick O'Dowd would dearly love to unearth a couple of players of Paddy's calibre as he attempts to plot Meath's return to the Sam Maguire Cup winners enclosure. Back in the winter of 1995, Sean Boylan was forced to return to the drawing board. Following Meath's 10point reversal at the hands of Dublin in that year's Leinster SFC final he knew he had to start from scratch. The Dunboyne herbalist decided to place his faith in youth and the likes of Darren Fay, Mark O'Reilly, Barry Callaghan and Paddy Reynolds repaid that faith when playing instrumental roles in the following year's All-Ireland success which arrived out of the blue to even the most optimistic of Meath supporters. Walerstown's Reynolds followed in the

footsteps of his father Pat - the Royal County's first All Star back in 1971 - and adapted to senior intercounty football with the minimum of fuss despite being just 19 years old when he made his debut in that year's opening Leinster win over Carlow. Mick O'Dowd will be hoping history will repeat itself in the next year or two. The Royal County boss has carried out some major surgery to his squad during the offseason, informing old-favourites such as Joe Sheridan, Peadar Byrne and Brian Farrell that they are no longer part of his plans. The Skryne manager intends to inject new blood into the senior set-up and that approach has received the thumbs up from Reynolds who, seventeen years ago, made a seamless transition from minor to senior intercounty footballer. "It wasn't a huge step actually playing the games. The biggest eye opener was the training and commitment involved in

playing senior intercounty football," he recalled. "As regards playing the games, that was the easy part." Reynolds – whose daytime job is in the family potato business, Pat Reynolds & Sons - would have no qualms about giving players in their late teens a Meath senior jersey. He points to the example of Eamon Wallace who made a big impression in the green and gold in his debut year. "If you're fit to play you're fit to play. The same applies to the young lads. They are well fit to play senior football and if they put in the effort and commitment that's required then they can go a long way." He added: "The biggest thing is player management. Talent is one thing but they have to get the heads right. "Everything else will follow if they can pull together. You can have all the talent in the world but it's no good to you if you have plenty of talent without the focus and the commitment, the trick is to

Paddy and Cormac Murphy close in on Cork’s Philip Clifford during the 1999 All-Ireland SFC final

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The 1999 All-Ireland winning Meath squad, front, l/r: Jimmy McGuinness, Jody Devine, Mark O’Reilly, Donal Curtis, Evan Kelly, Paddy Reynolds, Ollie Murphy, Enda McManus, Paul Shankey, Conor Martin. Back, l/r: Richie Kealy, Trevor Giles, Jim McDermott, Graham Geraghty, Darren Fay, Cormac Sullivan, Nigel Crawford, Hank Traynor, Ray Magee, Nigel Nestor, David Gallagher, Cormac Murphy, Barry Callaghan, Tommy Dowd

performances this year and is optimistic about their future prospects. He has confidence in the new management team spearheaded by O'Dowd. "They did as well as could be expected considering it was the first year for the management team. Promotion in the league was a big thing and, even in the championship, they were there or thereabouts again in Leinster. "Dublin are a very strong steam but the way the All-Ireland final went, Meath would have put up a better fight than Mayo. Looking ahead, there's every reason to be confident about the future. "There'a good management team in place with Mick O'Dowd, Trevor (Giles) and Sean Kelly and in Colm Brady they have the top trainer in the county."

combine the two." Focus and commitment was very much part of the DNA of Paddy Reynolds the footballer. They were characteristics he inherited from his father who was a leading light in the 1967 AllIreland victory over Cork. In 1999, following Meath's seventh Sam Maguire title success, Reynolds junior earned All Star recognition in the number seven jersey. As things stand, the Reynolds' are one of seven father and son combinations to have achieved that milestone. Others include the O'Neill's from Mayo, the McHugh's of Donegal, the Brogan's from Dublin, the McGuigan's from Tyrone, the Kennelly's of Kerry and the Earley's of Roscommon/Kildare. Though small in stature, Paddy was a tigerish half-back who never thought twice about putting his body on the line. By the time the curtain came down on his illustrious intercounty career in 2005, his medal collection included two All-Ireland SFC medals. Paddy - who counts the three game saga against Kildare in the 1998 Leinster SFC as one of the highlights of his time in the Meath colours - saw plenty of promise in the county team's

Best wishes to Paddy Reynolds, from all at

Alexander Reid, Balrath, Navan, Kells, Co. Meath Co. Meath Tel: 046-9021641 Tel: 046-9240524

Paddy in typical determined pose against Donegal

539

The Glebe, Ardee, Co. Louth Tel: 041-6853332

Townrath, Knockbridge, Drogheda, Dundalk, Co. Louth Co. Louth Tel: 041-9838986 Tel: 042-9374480


paddy reynolds designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 12:06 Page 5

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paddy reynolds designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 12:06 Page 6

Paddy and his Meath team-mates celebrate the county’s seventh All-Ireland success in 1999

Can the Royals bridge the gap in 2014? "To win Leinster, they will have to beat the Dubs, to win an All-Ireland it looks as though they will have to beat the Dubs. The draw for next year has been good to them, if they can come in to a Leinster final under the radar there's no reason why they couldn't spring a surprise. "Anything can happen in football. Dublin could have an off day or whatever. A lack of experience probably cost them against Dublin and Tyrone this year but the management will have learned a lot from their first year.” He noticed some of the qualities traditionally associated with Meath football make a welcome return in the past 12 months. "They did what was expected of them against Wicklow and Wexford. At least they didn't throw in the towel against

Dublin or Tyrone, that's a big thing going forward." The Reynolds name is synonymous with Walterstown GAA club and Paddy's father and uncles were key figures during the glory years of the late seventies and early eighties. Despite the best efforts of Paddy and others long serving servants such as Alan Browne, Paul Browne, Ian Kearney, John McCarthy, Joey Farrelly and Charles McCarthy, the Blacks have failed to get their hands on the Keegan Cup since 1984. This year's crop, under the management of David Beggy, John McCarthy and Reynolds senior, failed to qualify for the knock-out stages after finishing second from bottom in Group A with one win and a draw to show for the campaign. “Walterstown are struggling at the

Pat Reynolds during his time as a Meath senior football selector with Colm Coyle, Sean Boylan and Brian Stafford

541

minute,” admits 37 year old Paddy who was involved as a coach with the club's Under-14 footballers last year. The father of three – Nicole, Darragh and Casey – hasn't given up hope that the population explosion experienced by Johnstown in the 15 years or so will have positive repercussions for the Oldtownbased club's fortunes. “To be honest we would have been expecting a lot more players to have come out of Johnstown by now. They should come in time, that's what you would be hoping anyway. We're not up to the grade at this point in time but, hopefully, that will come right in the future.” Like Meath, Walterstown could do with a few more Paddy Reynolds'.


michael bailey designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 12:31 Page 1

SPECIAL FEATURE

N

PUTTING ENFIELD ON THE MAP

a Fianna’s thrilling exploits in the 2013 Meath SFC certainly served to put Enfield-Baconstown back on the Royal County GAA map. To the beef and dairy farming community in Ireland, Enfield is very much of vital importance as it is the location of the National Cattle Breeding Centre. Former Baconstown hurler Michael Bailey is one of the main men in the NCBC and his son Diarmuid is a key man on the Na Fianna senior football XV. The National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC) is Ireland’s largest cattle breeding organisation, operating our largest dairy and beef breeding

programmes. Through its shareholders, Munster AI and Progressive Genetics, it also provides the largest insemination services and 98% of all herd recording services in Ireland. Fertility, health and a focus on maximising profit from grazed grass is the essence of NCBC’s comprehensive dairy programme, which makes maximum use of modern technologies such as data analysis and genomic selection to identify and select the best grassland genetics. Its beef programme is designed to identify and test superior sires of each breed for commercially important terminal and maternal traits. NCBC’s highly-successful breeding

Na Fianna’s Diarmuid Bailey

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programmes have delivered a line-up of independently-proven superior sires to ensure today’s market demands are met in an efficient and profitable manner. Semen from all NCBC sires is available exclusively in Ireland through Munster AI and Progressive Genetics. The National Cattle Breeding Centre is a joint-venture established in 2005 as a result of a joint venture between the Munster Cattle Breeding Society and Progressive Genetics Ireland Ltd. to merge their studs and breeding programmes. All operations are centred in Enfield, County Meath. The Centre’s objectives are to own and operate the beef and dairy breeding programmes, bull studs and semen processing facilities for its


michael bailey designed_Layout 1 23/11/2013 12:31 Page 2

The Meath team that defeated Cavan in the NFL in 1936. Ciaran Muprhy (back row, fourth from left) is the grandfather of Na Fianna’s Diarmuid Bailey

shareholders and to support same by leading relevant research and development. Its mission statement is: “Adding measurable value to the national herd through the identification and distribution of optimal dairy and beef genetics to Irish farmers.” The NCBC dairy and beef breeding programmes are based in science and are focussed on delivering profitable genetics for Irish farmers. NCBC bulls dominate dairy and beef bull rankings in Ireland. The main benefits to farmers are achieved through the availability of top profitable

genetics for their beef and dairy herds. The Centre – the largest dairy breeding programme in Ireland - has been ISOcertified since 2005 and in 2013 joined Guaranteed Irish. Progressive Genetics – which owns the NCBC’s breeding programmes - is 100% owned by Irish farmers and wears the Irish tag with pride. Genetic gain from its breeding programmes can deliver €150m of extra profit to farmers in Ireland, with up to €20m invested back into the local economy (in conjunction with Munster AI). In essence the NCBC’s base n Enfield is now a ‘factory’ which produces semen for all 32 counties. Michael Bailey, Bull Studs Manager, is a former county U21 hurling selector who has long been involved in the coaching of underage hurling in Na Fianna and the old Baconstown club. Originally from the hurling stronghold of Athleague, close to the Galway border in Roscommon, Michael hurled for Baconstown himself and his son Diarmuid was corner back on the Na Fianna side that qualified for the 2013 Meath senior football championship final, only to be edged out by Summerhill by three points at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday, October 20th.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

MARTIN GAVE A GOOD ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF

L

ondon-based accountant Martin Mockler represented Meath at U16, minor and U21 levels before his work career took him to the UK, where he lined out for the best part of a decade for Kerry Gaels. ‘Royal County’ caught up with the Ratoath man to take a look back at his GAA days and to get his views on the impressive performances of both Meath and London in the 2013 championship.

Martin attended boarding school at St Finian’s, Mullingar and collected a North Leinster Colleges league medal in 1983. He came to the attention of the intercounty selectors in his native Meath and had the honour or pulling on the famous green and gold at U16, minor and U21 levels. Alas, silverware would once more elude him. “I was with the minors in 1984 and at the time Pat O’Neill and Fintan Ginnity were in charge,” he recalls. “We lost to Westmeath, who had a very strong side that year. Des Lane was captain of that Meath minor team and the likes of Bobby O’Malley and Bernard Flynn – both of whom I played U21 football alongside – would have been on the Meath minor team the previous year, 1983.” At the age of 15, Martin broke onto the Ratoath first team in 1982; he played for them for six years. He had already moved to Dublin before his Ratoath club career came to an end in ’88. Work was

starting to take precedence in his life and he was originally destined for a career in the hotel business before effecting a swift change of direction. Martin takes the story up: “I trained as a hotel manager with PV Doyle in Dublin in the Skylon, the Burlington and the Westbury Hotels. When I qualified in 1988, I went to London.” And football was very quickly back on the agenda… “I started to play with Kerry Gaels, who were a breakaway from Kingdom GAA club. Both clubs have subsequently amalgamated to form Kingdom Kerry Gaels. I lined out for Kerry Gaels between 1988 and 1996 and we enjoyed some success at league level - but no championship.” In fact Kingdom Kerry Gaels won the 2013 London GAA Senior Championship by a point beating arch rivals and reigning champions Tir Chonaill Gaels. Martin was good enough to earn selection for the Exiles. He represented the London juniors for two seasons –

With both Meath and London qualifying for their respective provincial finals in 2013, Martin Mockler – managing partner in Evans Mockler Accountants looked on with great interest from his base in the English capital. Gaelic football has always played a big part in Martin’s life, since he was a young lad growing up in both Roscommon and Meath, where his love for the GAA was born. “I was originally born in Birmingham but lived in Roscommon as a young boy and my father was the main influence on my Gaelic football career. Our family then moved to Meath & I would have played underage football with Ratoath from U9 and U10 right up to U16, minor, U21 and then into the intermediate championship team,” he reflects. “The late Andy Eiffe would have been the main man in the club at the time and his late son Sean, after whom Sean Eiffe Park is named, was on the intermediate team that I played on.” Ratoath were competitive at the time but the main prize they were seeking kept eluding them: “We were knocking on the door for many years and we had a fairly good intermediate squad. I remember we lifted a couple of East Meath leagues and we Martin Mockler and the St Finian’s team that won the North Leinster Colleges League in 1983. Back, l/r: reached the knockout stage of Bernard O’Reilly (Westmeath), John H Reilly (Meath), Seamus Lynch (WM), Harry Murphy (Meath), Ronan Nugent (M), Enda Flynn (WM), Gene O’Reilly (M). Middle, l/r: Gerard Sheridan (M), Garret O’Brien (Offaly), the intermediate Vincent O’Brien (M), Michael Nolan (WM), Patrick Keaney (WM), Martin Mockler (Roscommon/Meath), John championship, but we never Timoney (WM), Michael O’Connell (M), Brian Swan (M), Peter Murphy. Third row, l/r: Giles Malone (WM), Hugh O’Donnell (Louth), Fr Sean Fay (President of College), Finian Coughlan (W), Eugene Gorry managed to win it, (Kildare/Meath), Niall McLoughlin (M), Fr Bobby Doyle (Selector), JP Duffy (W), Gearoid Boyle (W). unfortunately.” Front, l/r: Gerry Collins (W), Gary Mee (Offaly), Paul Henry (M), John Fleming (W)

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1993/94 and 1994/95 – winning a Great Britain championship in the latter year. That was no mean team, either: “We surprisingly beat Kerry in the All-Ireland junior semi-final and went on to play Mayo in the AllIreland final.” In 1996, the Meath man was called into the London senior squad but had to pull out because of work commitments. By now, his accountancy career was starting to take shape. “I had been interested in accountancy when I left school but there were no opportunities in that area in Ireland in 1985/86. I was doing hotel training geared towards cost control, anyway, so I decided to proceed with the accounting in London and I qualified in December, Martin Mockler (back, third from left) with the London team that stunned Kerry in the 1995 All-Ireland Junior 1994.” championship semi-final. Back, l/r: Stephen Matthews, Stephen McLoughlin, Martin Mockler, Michael Martin became a partner in the O’Connor, Colm Murphy, Jamie Coffey, Ciaran Byrne. Front, l/r: Paul Sheehy, Paul Coleman, Pat McNamee, Paul Coggins (current London manager), Mickey Byrne, Mark Sullivan, Justin Sharvin, Timmy Corkery firm in 1998 and has been managing partner at Evans Mockler together on that London junior team that advice ranging from growing start-ups to since 2009. “The practice goes back to reached the All-Ireland final in 1995 and large groups of companies. the 1960s and is deeply-rooted in the we’d both have Roscommon “Business is thriving at the minute,” he Irish community in London,” he reveals. connections as Paul is originally from “The majority of our clients are first- and reports. “There’s a lot of construction Roscommon, as is my father.” second-generation Irish and they are activity in London and we have been London’s fantastic run caused great mostly based in the UK, where they are instructed to act for a lot of new clients excitement amongst the Irish community involved in all aspects of Irish life. who have come over from Ireland in in London. “It also reflects the economic Evans Mockler is a long-established recent years. We’ve also been situation,” Martin notes. “There is a new and dynamic firm of Chartered Certified appointed by the Construction Industry wave of emigrant coming back to Accountants and Registered Auditors. Federation in Ireland to providing London and it’s not all constructionFrom its historic roots in North London, accountancy services to their members based any more. There are also a lot of it has grown into a firm which delivers a who come over to the UK.” blue and white collar guys coming over. wide range of services to a diverse On the GAA front, Evans Mockler has A lot of solicitors and accountants, for portfolio of clients. strong ties with the London team that example, are coming to London and the Having originally worked in financial powered through to the 2013 Connacht strength of the GAA team is a reflection control and management in the hotel SFC final as two of their trainee of the state of the economy back home.” industry, Martin has been advising UK accountants were involved. “We had Needless to say, Martin also keeps a business and personal clients across all Eamonn McConville and Barry Mitchell close eye on Ratoath and Meath. “When industries for more than 25 years. He on the London team this year and we I played in Ratoath, it was a traditional boasts particular expertise in the are interested in speaking to any Gaelic small village team with a lot of family property, construction, renewal energy, footballers who come over to London names prominent – the Bradys, the recruitment and leisure sectors, and want to train as accountants. I’d also Gibneys, the Gaughans, the Rooneys providing owner-managed business and the McCabes – but that is changing know Paul Coggins very well, who clients with operational and strategic and there has been a population currently manages London. We played explosion in the area. “As for Meath, they are always going to be there or thereabouts,” he concludes. “The talent and the strength in depth are still there – they just need to string a few results together and get some momentum going again.” Spoken like a true Meath man! The Meath side that took on Laois in the 1987 Leinster U21 final. Martin Mockler is third from left in the back row

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INNY GAELS – U21 B FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS

The successful Inny Gaels U21 B FC squad, front l/r: Sean Peyton, Willie McGrath, Shane Grall, Stephen Browne, Nathan Doyle, Darragh Geraghty, Jack Tighe, Shane Gilsenan. Back: Karl Kiernan, Kieran Hannon, Kieran Foley, Aaron Skelly, Rory Gibney, Jamie Maguire, Oisin Kiernan, Ryan Tighe, Pauric Plunkett

Shane Grall raises the Meath U21 B football championship cup at Moynalty


Colleges designed_Layout 1 22/11/2013 17:06 Page 1

COLLEGES ROUND-UP COLLEGES

er North Leinst n raises the Conor Carto ue shield at Ashbourne SF B leag

Leinster VS SFC Wins over Wicklow and Dublin were the highlights of the Meath’s VS team’s campaign as they made their exit at the semi-final stage at the hands of Kildare in Dunganny in mid-January. Manager Kit Henry has guided Meath to five of the last six provincial titles but they finished this campaign emptyhanded following their 0-7 to 0-10 loss to the Lilywhites. Defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for the team in green and gold as they enjoyed numerical advantage for most of the contest after the visitor’s centreback Paul Mescall was dismissed late on in the first half. The Royal students trailed by 0-3 to 0-5 at the change of ends but failed to

make the most of the extra man after the resumption. Full-forward Wayne Fitzpatrick inflicted most of the damage on Meath and he finished the game with seven points to his name. Entering the final quarter, the host were 0-3 to 0-8 in arrears but finished with a flourish with Ronan Lynch (2) and Ryan Moore finding the target. David Toner added another point on the stroke of full-time but they had left themselves with too much to do. The Meath VS team that lost out to Kildare was: Evan Mulally; Michael Flood, Ronan McDonagh, Bruacagh O Fhionnagan; Sean Coloe, Conor Carton, James Reilly; David Toner (01), Glen Kavanagh; Ryan Moore (0-2), Ronan Lynch (0-3), Freddie Newman (0-1); Sean Maxwell, Peter O’Connell, Sean Byrne. Subs: Kevin Fenton for Maxwell, Andy Leech for Coloe, Adrian Maguire for Moore, Nathan O’Neill for McDonagh. North Leinster Schools SF B league 1-11 to 0-6 was the final score as Asbourne CS got the better of Scoil Dara Kilcock in the North Leinster Schools’ SF B league final. The Royal County students led by 07 to 0-5 at the interval and a goal from full-forward Jack Hannigan wrapped up their eight point victory. Ashbourne CS: David Connor; Liam Finn, Jack McCarney, Daragh McGovern; Niall Lenehan, Conor

Adam Kealy rais Juvenile B shes the North Leinster ield at Dungan ny

Carton (0-1), Thomas McGovern; Jack Toohey, Aidan Hughes (0-3); Sam Benville (0-1), Sean Beirne (0-2), Kevin Fenton; Aidan O’Connor, Jack Hannigan (1-2), Cian Lynch (0-1). Sub: Niall Moriarty (0-1) for Toohey.

North Leinster Juvenile B FC final Injury-time points from Darragh Campion (2) and Frank Carty propelled Dunshaughlin CC to a North Leinster Juvenile B FC final victory over Scoil Dara, Kilcock in January. 3-9 to 3-7 was the final scoreline at Dunganny as the Dunshaughlin students snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The Meath school dominated the first half proceedings and went in at the

Dunshaughlin CC claimed North Leinster and Leinster Colleges Juvenile B honours

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The Ashbourne panel that reached the Leinster Vocational School SFC A final but lost out to a late goal from Cnoc Mhuire of Granard at Loman’s Park Mullingar

break with a 2-3 to 1-0 advantage but Kilcock – inspired by centre-back Conor Harnan from Moynalvey – mounted a second half comeback and took over in the driving seat.

Approaching full-time it looked as though they had done enough to seal the win but Skryne pair Campion and Carty had other ideas. Dunshaughlin CC: Mark Foy; Tom Dalton, Adam Kealy, Robbie Clarke; Mampeme Mikamibua, Sam Butler, Lee Lynch; Sean Irwin, Darragh Campion (0-3); Frank Carty (0-1), Ross McQuillan (1-0), Cian Gallogly (0-1); Sean O’Neill (0-2, fs), Paddy Conway (0-1), Cathal Murphy (1-1). Sub: Jack Hetherington for Dalton. Scoil Dara Kilcock: Conor Heffernan; Tim McCarthy, Daniel Devine, Jack Bruton; Stephen Murphy, Conor

Harnan, Cormac Divilly; Sean Martin (1-1), Danny Coss-Heneghan (0-1); Dean Hosie (0-1), Cian Duke (0-1), Ronan Byrne (1-0); Ethan Devine (1-2, 1-0 pen), Cillian Thornton (0-1, f), Conor Frayne. Subs: Adam Murphy for Bruton, Adam O’Connell for Hosie.

Campion repeated his late matching winning heroics in the Leinster decider against FCJ Bunclody at St Brigid’s, Blanchardstown. The sides were level approaching the final whistle but there was still time for Campion to raid forward and send over the wining score in a 4-8 to 2-13 victory. Cian Gallogly, Ross McQuillan, Campion and Sean O’Neill (penalty) found the back of the Wexford side’s net in the opening period and they

went in leading by 4-5 to 0-8 at the interval. Bunclody gained the upperhand after the resumption and hit 1-1 in the closing stages to draw level but midfielder Campion had the final say. Dunshaughlin CC: Mark Foy; Tom Dalton, Adam Kealy, Robbie Clarke; Mampeme Mikamibua, Sam Butler, Jack Hetherington; Sean Irwin, Darragh Campion (1-2); Frank Carty, Ross McQuillan (1-1), Paddy Conway; Sean O’Neill (1-2), Cathal Murphy (03), Cian Gallogly (1-0). Subs: Rian Kealy, Paddy Maher, Neill Byrne, Donagh Garvey, Ross Shivmangal, Michael Long, Dylan O’Brien, Lee Lynch, Paddy McCabe, Cian Maher, Fionn Maguire, Ciaran Malone, Turlough Malone, Shane Clarke, Andrew Slevin, Sean Byrne.

The St Oliver’s Oldcastle squad that reached the Leinster Junior C final

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T

DUNBOYNE

wo victories from five outings proved sufficient to prolong Dunboyne’s interest in the hoganstand.com Senior Football Championship beyond the group stages but a rapidly improving Summerhill team eliminated them at the preliminary quarter-final stage en route to outright success.

Dunboyne were consistent in the A League Division 1, so much so that they reached the final where Navan O’Mahonys beat them, while the club’s teams in the B Leagues won the Division 1 and 5 titles. There were also progressive runs in the Junior and Junior C Championships where semi-finals were reached. Conor O’Donoghue managed the senior footballers this year and Dunboyne were drawn in group C of the championship along with Blackhall Gaels, Dunshaughlin, Na Fianna, Simonstown Gaels and Wolfe Tones and it was against the intermediate champions that they opened with a 1-11 to 2-10 defeat at Trim. Newcomer from Kerry David Geaney marked his Meath SFC debut with nine points and he might have scored an early goal when Na Fianna ‘keeper Shane Geraghty turned his fisted effort over the crossbar. At the other end Johnny O’Connor denied Dalton McDonagh with a great first half save. Wind-assisted Na Fianna led by 0-7

Neil Hackett raises the Division 1 HL Cup at Ashbourne

to 0-5 at the break but Dunboyne were level (0-8 each) by the 43rd minute. Jason Daly missed a goal chance and it was Na Fianna’s Dan Queeney and Shane Barrett who netted to give their team a decisive lead. Ger Robinson netted from a late penalty for the losers. Dunboyne bounced back with a 2-7 to 0-11 victory over Simonstown at Dunderry where Shane McEntee was a star. Goals from Daly and Donal Lenihan helped the St Peter’s men to a 2-4 to 0-4 interval advantage, by which stage O’Connor had denied

Sean Tobin with a superb save. The Gaels were more accurate in the second period but Dunboyne held out for a deserved win. David Gallagher was a key performer as Dunboyne defeated Blackhall by 0-14 to 1-5 at Summerhill. The half time lead stood at 0-6 to 0-2 and that stretched to eight points in the third quarter, before Dermot Carty replied with a goal for the losers. Geaney top scored with six points. Dunsany was the venue for a fourth round game against Dunshaughlin and Caoimhin King’s injury time point earned Paddy Christie’s team a 0-15 to 1-11 victory. Dunboyne had David Gallagher sent off late in the first half and they fell behind by six points before they trailed by 0-5 to 0-9 at the break. When Lenihan scored their goal with nine minutes remaining Dunboyne were level (1-10 to 0-13) but Dunshaughlin scored two of the last three points to shade the verdict. Geaney contributed seven points. A third group defeat followed when Wolfe Tones won by 2-9 to 1-11 at Ashbourne where, with the aid of the wind, Dunboyne opened up a 1-7 to 13 lead at the change of ends. Eanna Harrington scored Tones’ goal on three minutes but the impressive Lenihan found the net for Dunboyne six minutes later. O’Connor saved impressively from Mark Coleman on the restart but Tones took over and with Alan Fox getting

A BUSY 12-MONTHS

On duty against Na Fianna in the hoganstand.com SFC game at Trim, front l/r: Donal Lenihan, Conor Doran, Ger Robinson, Jason Daly, Barry Comer, John Meehan, Johnny O’Connor, Cathal Finn, Jack Scannell, Stephen Moran, Mick Convey. Back: Gerry Gallagher, Gary Timoney, Sean McGarrell, Damien Sweeney, David Geaney, Colm Brennan, Shane McEntee, David Gallagher, Gavin McCoy, Paul Hayes

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their second goal they pushed clear. Dunboyne kept battling away and cut the deficit but with an Andy Creevey shot hitting the crossbar they came up just short. The good news was that they had scraped through to the preliminary quarter-final in third position but their hopes of further progress were halted when Summerhill won by 3-14 to 2-11 at Ashbourne. Conor Gillespie netted for the ‘Hill and the superb Lenihan found the net for Dunboyne in the first half and it was the champions to be who led by 1-11 to 1-5 at the interval. Boosted by a Barry Dardis goal, Summerhill pushed 11 points clear within three minutes of the restart but Brian Ennis was wide from a penalty and after that they faded. Dunboyne rallied and when Gerry Gallagher punched a goal they were only four points adrift with five minutes remaining. Lenihan added a point but as Dunboyne went in search of an Ronan Jones climbs highest at Stamullen

equalising goal it was Summerhill who settled their nerves when Stephen Kennedy scored their third major. Dunboyne defeated O’Mahonys by 17 to 0-5 in the fourth round of the A League at Brews Hill in late March but when it came to the final it was the Navan side which triumphed by 1-10 to 1-6 at Pairc Tailteann on a day when three penalties were saved – two by the winners’ Mark Brennan and one by Johnny O’Connor. Brennan saved Geaney’s penalty after 12 minutes and two minutes later O’Connor deprived Paddy Smyth from the spot. The best of the three saves came after 50 minutes when Brennan did well to prevent Michael Dunne from finding the net. O’Mahonys led all the way and were ahead by 1-2 to 0-1 after six minutes, by which stage Stephen Bray had scored their goal. That advantage stretched to 1-6 to 0-1 after 18 minutes but boosted by a Dunne goal Dunboyne got themselves back into Hurling keeper Stephen Clince

contention and trailed by 1-2 to 1-7 at the break. Dunboyne limited O’Mahonys to just three points in the second period and were an improved team when backed by the wind but with the Navan men defending well they were unable to get sufficient scores to claw back the deficit. Significantly, Dunboyne had only two scorers – Dunne on 1-2 and Geaney with four points. “The year started off brightly,” reflected club PRO Christopher Moran. “Getting David Geaney was a big boost. He’s a good scoring forward off both feet and has very good technical ability. His brother Paul and one of his cousins are on the Kerry panel. We were delighted to get David. He’s been a great addition. “Lack of consistency has been a problem in recent years. When we lost our first championship game to Na Fianna you were wondering how things would work out but they went on to reach the final. We just about made

Sean Quigley strikes

Niall Watters

Ger Murphy with Na Fianna's Barry Slevin The juniors on championship duty against Simonstown in Dunsany, front l/r: Andy McWeeney, Jack Scannell, Philip Darcy, Michael Dunne, Aidan O’Carroll, Andy Hannigan, Gavin McCoy, Luke Harte. Back: Padraig Curran, Stephen Hogan, Niall Carolan, Gerry Gallagher, Mick Convey, Aodh Sweeney, Paul Hayes, Pauric Gallagher, Ciaran Boylan

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The Minor Football League Division 4 finalists, front l/r: Andy Hymerick, Alex Yourell, Craig Doyle, Johnny O’Hora, Conor Finn, David McEntee, Mark Daly, John Finnerty, Eamon J Gilligan. Back: Paddy Lee, Shane Weston, Philip Watters, Calvin McMahon, Dean Quinn, Cathal Meehan, Ronan Jones, David Fitzgerald, Sean O’Neill, Ronan Fitzmaurice, Killian Smyth, John Finlay, Robbie Comer

Ger Robinson is under pressure

Senior hurling manager John Gorry

it to the knockout stages thanks to our wins over Simonstown and Blackhall Gaels. “Summerhill were the better team in the preliminary quarter-final. They were too strong for us. Conor Gillespie was very good in that game and their forwards took their chances well. We fell 11 points behind. We rallied well but the game was as good as over by then. “Navan O’Mahonys beat us in the A League Division 1 final when we missed two penalties. We were poor on the day but I felt O’Mahonys were there for the taking. At that stage of the year we were still training but a fair bit of the interest had gone out of it.” Dunboyne have been producing a good batch of promising young footballers in recent years and that certainly augurs well for future campaigns. “Looking to the future, the talent is definitely there,” Christopher added. “Dunboyne have more or less been

Barry Comer

John Meehan

fielding the same team over the last six or seven years. There will be changes and with our minor team doing so well this year we have to be hopeful. That was the best minor team the club has fielded in a long time. There’s a lot of talent there. “We have some very good young players like Donal Lenihan and Cathal Finn who have been given trials with Meath. Jason Daly is another very good footballer. He was troubled with a shoulder injury and had a stop-start year as a result.” The club’s second championship string enjoyed a great run in the JFC, winning three group matches against Kilmainhamwood, Simonstown and Summerhill and losing to Meath Hill. That consistency was good enough to earn knockout football and a 2-16 to 115 win followed against Bective in a quarter-final which went to extra time at Dunshaughlin. However, dreams of a place in the decider for the Conor O’Donoghue-

553

Shane McEntee

managed side were dashed when Kilmainham edged them out by 1-10 to 0-11 in a semi-final at Trim. It was a huge disappointment for all concerned but reaching the last four represented a significant achievement. There was also semi-final disappointment for the third string team which was unbeaten in the group campaign. They defeated Cortown, St Michael’s and Ballivor in the opening three rounds and then received a walkover from Oldcastle. Rathkenny proved no match in a quarter-final when Dunboyne won by 2-16 to 0-6 at Trim but goals proved the key for Blackhall Gaels when they won a semi-final by 2-10 to 0-13 at Ashbourne. The B Leagues proved highly successful for Dunboyne this year, the highlight being the outright triumph in Division 1. This was a memorable unbeaten campaign which culminated in a 1-11 to 0-4 victory over Donaghmore / Ashbourne in the final


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The minor football championship finalists, front l/r: Mark Daly, Steven Brown, Simon Clarke, Gavin Ryan, Andrew Creevey, Ben Carolan, David McEntee, Daire Boylan, Conor Finn, Philip Darcy, Jack Cox, John Finnerty, Jordan McLoughlin. Back: Keith Doyle, David Fitzgerald, Robert Comer, Dean Quinn, Philip Watters, Ronan Fitzmaurice, Eamonn J Gilligan, Andrew Markey, Gary Harper, Sean McGrath, Killian Smith, Seamus Lavin, Shane Comiskey, Sean O’Neill, Cathal Meehan, John Finlay, Alex Yourell, Shane Weston

at Skryne. Michael Dunne’s goal helped Dunboyne to lead by 1-8 to 0-2 at the interval and there was never going to be any way back for Donaghmore / Ashbourne after that. Niall Carolan was the winners’ leading marksman with five points in what was a solid team performance. The second B League triumph followed when the Division 5 title was won with a 0-20 to 2-10 victory over Meath Hill in the final at Pairc Tailteann. This was a very enjoyable game in which the ‘Hill led by 1-2 to 00 after 10 minutes, with Pearse McGrath scoring their goal. The north county side held a 1-7 to 0-

7 advantage at the break and when Emmet Boyle scored their second goal shortly after the change of ends they were looking good. But Dunboyne took over completely and their total of 13 points in the second half represented a tremendous return. They were on level terms (0-15 to 29) with 10 minutes remaining and pushed on to be four points clear at the finish. Michael Dunne and Niall Connellan both contributed five points and John Delaney captained the victorious team. The Dunboyne teams in the B League finals were: Division 1: A Markey; P Hayes, G Timoney, S McKenna; S Hogan, T O’Connor, J

U16 hurling championship finalists

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Scannell; G Gallagher, C Berrigan; G McCoy, C Clarke, D Clarke (0-2); S Moran (0-3), M Dunne (1-0), N Carolan (0-5). Subs – M Convey (0-1), L Harte, A Sweeney, C Boylan, P Curran. Division 5: P Brady; P Gallagher, P Kelly (0-1), A McWeeney; C Boylan, S Horgan, A Sweeney (0-1); J Delaney (0-1), P Curran; D Gallagher (0-1), P Fagan (0-1), N Carolan (0-1); N Connellan (0-5), M Dunne (0-5), M Reilly (0-3). Subs – L Harte (0-1), E Darcy.

JUBILEE IN CENTENARY?

Come 2014 it will be a hundred year


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The squad that took on Carlow's Ballinkillen in the Leinster SHL Division 2 final at Trim, front l/r: Damien Buggle, Sean Moran, Darren Dunne, Gary Watters, Michael O'Grady, Andy McWeeney, Neil Hackett, Ger Murphy, Stephen Moran, Mark O'Connor, Shane Moran, Alan Watters, Niall Smyth, John Gorry (manager). Back: Brian Watters, Liam Kane, Danny Kane, Paul Gannon, Niall Watters, Barry Watters, Paul Fagan, Tommy Myler, Stephen Clince, Paul Brady, Stephen Reilly, Michael Dunne, Conor O'Shea, John Watters, Jamie Kilmartin, Sean Hayes

Division 1 Hurling League winners, front l/r: Cormac Hutton, Michael O'Grady, Brian Watters, Darren Dunne, Alan Watters, Mark O'Connor, Shane Moran, Niall Smyth, Ger Murphy, John Watters, Sean Moran, John Gorry, Colm Brennan. Back: Eoghan Jenkinson, Paul Fagan, David Moran, Danny Kane, Keith Moran, Mick Dunne, Stephen Reilly, Stephen Clince, Niall Watters, Barry Watters, Neil Hackett, Sean Hayes, Gary Watters, Des Rooney

The Minor Football League Division 1 finalists, front l/r: John Finlay, Conor Finn, Daire Boylan, Shane Comiskey, Gavin Ryan, Philip Darcy, Ben Carolan, Jordan McLoughlin, Mark Daly, Simon Clarke. Back: Cathal Meehan, David Fitzgerald, Keith Doyle, Andy Creevey, Killian Smyth, Dean Quinn, Ronan Jones, Andy Markey, Gary Harper, Seamus Lavin, Shane Weston, John Finnerty, David McEntee, Eamon J Gilligan, Philip Watters

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On duty against Wolfe Tones in the Minor Summer League Division 4 decider at Skryne, front l/r: Mark Daly, Cian O’Dwyer, David McEntee, Jack Cox, Simon Clarke, Hugh McCullough, Robbie Comer. Back: Sean O’Neill, Cathal Meehan, Ronan Jones, Andy O’Connor, John Finnerty, Philip Watters, John Finlay, Alex Yourell, Dean Quinn, Fionn McCarthy

since Dunboyne won the last of their five Meath SHC titles. That same year Clare won the first of their four AllIreland equivalent crowns and although St Peter’s have threatened to emulate the Banner men’s recent successes, they are still waiting for that winning moment. Since 2002 there have been four defeats in Jubilee Cup deciders, twice against Kilmessan and then to Rathmolyon and Kildalkey. This year Dunboyne promised to return to the final, running up a sequence of highscoring victories in their group games.

They had Johnny Gorry back as manager with Des Rooney and Colm Brennan as his fellow selectors and after winning in all five of their group outings, they lost out to Kilmessan in a semi-final clash. The latest attempt to lift the Jubilee Cup for the first time began with a whopping 6-16 to 1-8 win over Drumree at Kilmessan in a game which was mainly one-way traffic. The sides were evenly matched until Neil Hackett fired the first goal on 20 minutes to leave the scores 1-6 to 0-3. Dunboyne went to hold a handsome lead of 13 points (3-9 to 0-5) at the

break with Sean Quigley and Ger Murphy following up major scores in the first half. Gorry’s men comfortably increased their advantage after the switching of ends with Quigley netting his second goal three minutes after the restart and Niall Smyth finding the net twice. Quigley (2-3) and Hackett (1-6) were the joint top scorers. Sharpshooter Hackett shot an impressive 0-16 in the 2-23 to 1-11 second round success over Na Fianna at Boardsmill with the former county forward’s total including 12 converted frees and a 65.

B League Division 5 winners. Meath Hill were defeated in the final at Pairc Tailteann.

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The scoreboard read 1-12 to 0-6 at the halfway stage and Niall Smyth and Gary Watters netted the winners’ goal as the points plus difference was increased to 38. Dunboyne’s third round outing against Trim at Ratoath was a controversial affair with the game being abandoned by Kells referee Conor Ferguson in added time after a melee involving a number of players broke out. Trim were leading by 0-16 to 0-13 when Neil Hackett attempted to equalise from a close-in free which was blocked out. To add to Dunboyne’s frustration, one of their players, Gary Watters, had to be brought to Blanchardstown Hospital by ambulance to have an injury attended to. There were suggestions that the unfinished third round tie would be declared void and no points awarded. However, it was decided to refix the game and it was played after the fourth Conor Finn

Peter O'Halloran, Meath County Board Vice Chairman, presents the B League Division 5 Cup to John Delaney

round matches. Dunboyne scored a narrow 3-10 to 39 win over Rathmolyon at Longwood to bring their points total to six points,

having been after ahead by 10 points after 52 minutes. Goals from Ger Murphy and Neil Hackett (free) boosted the black and amber brigade to a 2-3 to 0-4 interval advantage. Niall Smyth netted the third goal and the scores were 3-8 to 0-7 before Rathmolyon rallied. Veteran Mickey Cole shot goals from a play and a last seconds free and Gary Doherty also netted for Rathmolyon. Sean Quigley and Neil Hackett steadied Dunboyne, who held out in a game in which the losers hit a total of 19 wides to 10 by the winners. Dunboyne went on a scoring spree in the refixed round three tussle with Trim, romping to a 5-23 to 0-10 victory at Pairc Tailteann. The first half was close enough with Johnny Gorry’s men just four points (1-9 to 0-8) to the good at the break. Sean Moran put his name on the first goal, finding the net after 28 minutes.

Kerry native David Geaney is a great addition to St Peters

Calvin McMahon

Senior football manager Conor O'Donoghue

Donal Lenihan On duty for the senior hurling clash with Na Fianna in Boardsmill, front l/r: Liam Kane, Damien Buggle, Jamie Gilmartin, Shane Moran Ger Murphy, Andrew McWeeney, Mark O'Connor, Sean Quigley, Niall Smyth, Danny Kane, Stephen Moran. Back: Stephen Clince, Brian Watters, Niall Watters, Stephen Reilly, Michael Dunne, Sean Moran, Barry Watters, Neill Hackett, Alan Watters

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Although suspension ruled out Michael Dunne for a couple of games, Gary Watters recovered from the injury sustained in the original clash to bag the second goal with a long-range drive soon after the restart. Moran netted a second goal and Michael O’Grady and Sean Quigley also raised the green flag. Quigley finished up as top scorer with 1-6 as his side ran out winners with 28 points to spare. Three days later the winning run was continued with a 1-22 to 0-12 victory over previously unbeaten Navan O’Mahonys in the last round of the group phase at Trim. As in Dunboyne’s previous outing, the margin was four points (0-11 to 0-7) at the halfway stage. Michael Dunne was back from suspension and John Watters fired the goal eight minutes into the second period to boost his side to a 1-15 to 0-9 at the three-quarter stage. Stephen Moran impressed with seven points from play while Neil Hackett totted up a similar total, six frees and a 65. Niall Smyth also figured prominently in the scoring as Dunboyne finished with a remarkable points difference of plus 80 to advance to the last four. . However, they fell at the penultimate hurdle despite playing with an extra man for most of the second half in the Pairc Tailteann clash which Kilmessan won by 3-15 to 2-13 with Charlie Keena netting all of their three goals. Neil Hackett fired 2-5 of the losing total, all from frees, and his side held a minimum margin 1-7 to 1-6 interval advantage. Dunboyne’s sharpshooter fired his first goal from 20 metres on 28 minutes and Keena quickly replied with his first goal. Hackett netted his second goal three minutes after the restart and they led by four points during the third quarter. Kilmessan forward and free-taker Darren Reilly was dismissed on receipt of a second yellow card on 37 minutes but their opponents did not take advantage. The teams were on level terms nine times but after John Watters edged the black and ambers into the lead on 52 minutes, they did not register again as Kilmessan tagged on six points. Dunboyne also finished with 14 players on the pitch, Michael Dunne being sent off in added time at the end. So, after threatening to make amends for the near misses of the last few years, there was another disappointing end to an SHC campaign for St Peter’s as they ran out of steam in the closing stages of the semi-final. Dunboyne had some compensation for again failing to lift the SHC title when defeating Navan O’Mahonys by 1-16 to 111 in the Division 1 HL final at Ashbourne in July to lift the O’Growney Cup. They led by 0-12 to 1-4 at the break and Neil Hackett fired nine points, four frees, two 65s and a sideline, of the winning total. Paul Fagan netted the goal for Dunboyne, who defeated Killyon at the semi-final stage, at the start of the last quarter and Niall Smyth and Barry Watters also impressed. Dunboyne team and scorers in the final: Stephen Clince; Mark O’Connor, Michael Dunne, Niall Watters; Darren Dunne, Paul Fagan (1-1), Alan Watters; Ger Murphy, Barry Watters (0-4); Sean Moran, Neil Hackett (0-9), Gary Watters; Michael O’Grady (0-1), John Watters, Niall Smyth (0-1). Sub: Val Gibney for Smith. While delighted to have Johnny Gorry back in charge of the team after a few years away, Dunboyne sharpshooter Neil Hackett was disappointed to again miss out on the elusive title. In Hackett’s first year playing senior hurling with the black and ambers in 2006, they were unfortunate to lose the Jubilee Cup decider to a late Rathmolyon goal as Gorry’s home club

picked the pockets of his adopted team. In 2013 Dunboyne still had a number of playing survivors from the final team of seven years earlier with the likes of Sean and Stephen Moran, Paul Gannon, Barry Watters, Michael Dunne and Hackett providing the experience. “The return of Johnny was a huge boost to the club. He was there when Dunboyne won the Intermediate Championship in 1999 before getting the team to senior finals in 2002 and ’03 and again in ’06,” said Neil. “He left after the 2007 season and we’ve had a few managers since, Paul Reilly, Dave Foley and Johnny Murray all worked well with us but we are still looking for the elusive SHC title. “We began training in mid-January but Neville Reilly was out for the season with an ankle injury and Paul Gannon committed himself to athletics. “It was probably our best season for a while, John Gorry got a very good response from the players, they all look up to him. The training went well and so did the results until the championship semi-final against Kilmessan. “In the group we won all of our five games and winning the Division 1 League with a final win over Navan O’Mahonys was a boost to confidence. “We started off with easy wins over Drumree and Na Fianna and then there was the abandoned game against Trim in which we were three points behind when it was called off with time nearly up. “Then we just scraped through against Rathmolyon before defeating Trim by a surprisingly big margin in the refixed game in Navan. Maybe that was because they were without three players – we were missing Michael Dunne. “We beat O’Mahonys in the last of our group games, we were going well and running up big scores. Confidence was high going into the semi-final against Kilmessan. “However, it didn’t go as well as we hoped on the day. It is often said that goals win games and they got three, all scored by Charlie Keena. We had an extra man for most of the second half but that often works in favour of the team affected by the sending-off and maybe we got a little complacent. “Hopefully we can learn and come back stronger next year. We have good players who can improve the team. County minor Sean Quigley did well this year and Ronan Dunne and Sean McGrath are others with potential,” concluded Neil Hackett. Although winning the Division 1 League meant that the hard work over the last few months was not all in vain, the big prize still eludes Dunboyne. Maybe it will come on the 100th anniversary of the last triumph in 2014.

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ROBERT JENNINGS

E

HARD WORK PAYING OFF

very club knows the importance of a good underage structure and Blackhall Gaels are no different on this front. About five years ago, the club developed a nursery to cater from five to ten-year-olds and one of the coaches of these age groups, Robert Jennings told the Royal County Yearbook about the hard work that has gone in to underage scene in the club over the past few years. Despite being a rural club, Blackhall have worked hard to promote the game of Gaelic football in the Parishes of Batterstown and Kilcloon and the fact that they now have on average of 80 players between five and ten years old in the park every Saturday morning is a testament of the hard being done. “About five years ago, the club decided to establish a nursery to cater for the younger age groups and through the hard work of a lot of people, we have managed to bring it to the level that it is at today,” said Robert. “It is a slow process and we are only bearing the fruits of it now as

The Blackhall U10s

the kids that were with us when it started are now only under-12. Robert believes that maintaining a set date for training has helped them in regards to attracting players and ensuring that they keep coming. “We train every Saturday morning regardless. We said from the start that there was no point in chopping and changing as people would get fed up of that. But the parents know that there will be training every Saturday morning, so it is now part of their routine.”

Young Blackhall Gael’s players in the new jersies

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Every parent will also be welcomed in the club if they feel that they have something to offer, according to Robert. “We would encourage parents to get involved and many have. You can never have enough people helping out and it helps to share the work load out.” Robert admits that the Meath County Board deserve a lot of praise for the organising of blitzes and other tournaments for the youngsters. “There are a good few blitzes on for the under-8’s and ‘10s and when you see the amount of teams and kids that they are catering for, they deserve great credit for the work that they do. All tournaments are very well organised, which takes a big effort.” Other sports are always a major ‘threat’ to the GAA family and Robert admits that it is something that has to be dealt with on a weekly basis. “We would have kids that play rugby and soccer and you can’t force them to do play football. We just have to ensure that we have the right set up and hope that they get more involved in the game. If you tried to pressurise youngsters into playing football, then I’m sure it would be us that would suffer. “We’re happy with the work that we have been doing and hopefully we can attract more kids to the club. The schools are doing their bit as well, so hopefully all will be bright for the future.”


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Erwin, Rob, and all JCL team want to say

“THANK YOU�

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SPECIAL FEATURE

T

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

en years have now passed since Blackhall Gaels won their one and only senior football championship title, but the club have implemented a structure in all grades to ensure that they wait for their second Keegan Cup success is not that far away. The Nestor family is one of the many families that backbone this rural club, Nigel, Paul and Alan have all represented Meath with distinction at various levels and All-Ireland medals adorn their homestead. However, eldest brother Vincent is part of a backroom team that are working incredibly hard to safe guard the future of the club and indeed trying to bring more success to the Batterstown/Kilcloon club.

For this year’s edition of the Royal County Yearbook, we speak to Vincent about his role in the club and what they are doing that has sparked new life into this ever burgeoning outfit. The stats for this year’s SFC campaign will read that Blackhall Gaels won two games and lost three. On first look, it would be fair to say that this was a disappointing return for a club of its stature, but Vincent pointed out that there were many positives to take from the season. Vincent was a selector with the club’s senior team this year, while he was also manager of the junior ‘C’ team that reached the county final only to be beaten by Navan O’Mahony’s in the decider. Alongside senior manager Liam Keane and selector Mark Crampton, they set out their stall early

Vinny issues some instructions from the sideline

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in the year to improve the structure of the club. In his job as Supply Chain Manager with Dutch headquartered Schneider Electric, Vincent has spent time in many countries and indeed it would be unsurprising if he held a record for playing Gaelic football in the most countries around the world. He can list England, Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, South Africa and Dubai as places where he has played football. “I went to England when I was 18 and it was there that I played the St Brendan’s club. When I got the job with Schneider Electric, I was travelling a lot, but no matter where in the world I was, I always got involved with the local GAA clubs,” said Vincent. “I met many friends that way and from a social point of view, it was a great


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Blackhall Gaels lost out narrowly to Wolfe Tones in this year’s SFC 

experience. While I was in Holland, I took up playing field hockey for a while and it was there that I learned of the preparation and fitness levels that they go through to get ready for games and I realised that GAA players were way

behind on this front. “I did a sports psychology degree and when I returned home I got more involved with the club. This year I was a selector on the senior team and managed the junior side. The one thing

that we implemented was that everyone was as equally important to the club, whether you were a sub on the junior team or the star player on the senior team, it made no difference to us.”

Blackhall Gaels Junior C football finalists. Front, l/r: Martin Hennessy, John Joyce, Liam Brosnan, Martin Whelan, Niall Mangan, Thomas Coyle, Kevin Coyle, Paddy Snee, Niall Kelly, Kevin O’Keane. Back, l/r: Michael O’Neill, Andrew Geraghty, David Ferris, Paul Kelly, Jamie Moore, Ciaran Cummins, John O’Brien, Kieran Devaney, Martin O’Neill, James Larkin, Donal Durkan

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JENNIE’S BAKE SHOP IS DELIGHTED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH VINCENT AND WISH HIM EVERY SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE


vinny nestor designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 13:52 Page 6

Vincent had been involved in underage coaching in the early 2000’s in what was a golden period for the club culminating in their championship success of 2003. “A group of us got together and we worked with the underage. In 2003, we worked very hard with the under-16s over the winter and it paid off as we won the division 2 title that year.” Vincent’s own playing career was continually interrupted by his work, but at underage level he really shone for the club and was part of the Meath under-13 development squad, which he admits was a huge honour for him. “It was great to be involved with the development squad. It was ahead of its time. Fintan Ginnity oversaw it and it was progressive thinking. It was certainly a major highlight of my footballing career.” Another highlight for Vincent came about in 1991 and this was more family orientated. “That year was the only time that the five eldest brothers in the family played together. It was in the under-21 championship of that year. We played Wolfe Tones in the championship and it took three games to separate us, unfortunately we lost to them, but it was great to play with the

Alan Nestor showed great form in 2013

Vinny wears the ‘bainisteoir’ bib with pride

569

lads. “The following year Paul won an AllIreland minor medal and we won the junior ‘B’ championship. After that I moved to Dublin, where I played with another St Brendan’s, this time in the East Wall area of the city. I also played out in Inchicore, not legally mind you, but the rules weren’t as tight those times,” he joked. In 1998, the year Blackhall Gaels won the intermediate football championship; Vincent suffered a major setback when he was diagnosed with kidney disease, an illness that took him some time to overcome. From his time in Holland and with his sports psychology degree to work from, Vincent got involved once again with the club this year as stated and he admits that they are a work in progress. “We set up structures within the club. We felt that there had been a loss of interest in some of the players, while we were also lacking some discipline. We decided to look at every player individually and try to improve on the areas that they needed improving. “We also brought in a strength and conditioning programme for all age groups right from underage up. From my time in Holland, I saw that GAA


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players were not as well prepared as players in other sports and we set about rectifying that. This year saw us win only two championship matches, but were missing players in other matches. "Against Ashbourne in the A Leauge we were without 13 of the first team player and Ashbourne had all players available (including county players) we were ahead at half time but lost out in the end by giving away 2 goals in the second half, but it was a great team performance. “With our strength and conditioning programme in place, we saw that this year, we had no injuries that weren’t impact based, not one throughout the year. We made sure we had healthy players and that was a major positive. “Hopefully, we can build on that next year and be a lot more energised. We have adopted an ethos in the club, with all our players having the #225 on them when going out to play. I believe no matter who you are, if you prepare properly and give it 100%, you can achieve anything in sport. “I remember a lot of people

Paul Nestor is plying his trade with St Paul’s in the twilight of his career

wondering why Dermot Kealy of Dunshaughlin made it on the Meath team, but Dermot was one of the most dedicated footballers I ever seen and he deserved his chance with the county. We are now trying to implement that with our players.” The club’s nursery has taken off in the past few years as people like Robert Jennings work with this group that sees players from under-5 up to under-10 put on the club jersey. Despite Blackhall Gaels having a small catchment area to work from, there can be up to 80 children between the age groups mentioned at the club grounds every Saturday morning. This has been running for the past five years and has proven to be a huge success. The Blackhall Gaels club have come a long way in a short space of time, from the days of when all the neighbours would gather in the Nestor’s front garden where many an All-Ireland final was played out to the heady days of 2003 when the Keegan Cup resided in the parish and it may not be too long before the famed old trophy is back again.

Nigel Nestor in action against Cork in the 1999 All-Ireland final

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BLACKHALL GAELS

013 will go down as a year to remember for the hurlers of Blackhall Gaels. The Kilcloon/Batterstown combination pulled off the championship and league double and senior hurling now beckons for James Battersby's charges. With two thirds of the Meath IHC final played, Blackhall Gaels were a man up and, more importantly, 12 points up on opponents Gaeil Colmcille. It was plain-sailing for the Thomas Delany captained outfit but they appeared to ease the foot off brake and paid the price when conceding three goals. They were relieved to hear the final whistle after which they got their hands on the Tommy Kane Cup courtesy of a 3-17 to 4-13 victory. County players Stephen Morris and Johnathan Meyler hit 1-3 apiece for the winners while Dermot Carty sent over six points, three of which came from placed balls. “I thought we played very well on the day, up until the last 15 minutes. Maybe we took our eye off the ball and relaxed a little bit,” team manager James Battersby recalled. “A few decisions went against us as well, they got some frees and we didn't really know how to deal with the high ball into the square and allowed them score their three goals. “That brought them right back into it

Thomas Delaney raises the Meath IHC Cup at Pairc Tailteann

and then when a team has a bit of a run on you it can be hard to quell or stop for a while. Thankfully, we had enough scores on the board before that to hold them off. “It would have been a disaster had we lost but, look it, these things happen. When you are on the line it's the boys on the field that are making the decision. You're just hoping they will take the right options. “We missed a few scores ourselves towards the end which would have made life that little bit more easier for us but it all added to the excitement of the day.” The Blackhall Gaels trophy cabinet

also plays host to the HL Division 2 silverware this year following their 211 to 2-9 final success over Kiltale at Trim in early August. County star Meyler provided the inspiration for that particular win when scoring 2-8 from his full-forward berth. Had Blackhall's hurlers high expectations at the start of the year? “Like every club you hope you achieve silverware at the end of the year and it depends on how it goes for you. “We had the same targets as we did four years ago. We probably would have felt that we hadn't done ourselves justice over the last number of years, beaten by Drumree initially in a semi-final and probably deservedly so. “Then, after that, Kilskyre and Dunderry, last year, bet us in quarterfinals. We probably would have felt that we wouldn't have performed to our own capabilities and that's not taking anything away from Kilskyre or Dunderry, they probably didn't allow us play to our potential. “We kind of knew amongst ourselves that there was more in the tank, if we could just get it out of the lads. “Hurling was struggling in the club for a number of years. We would have suffered with emigration, the same as a lot of clubs. Numbers were low but we kind of managed at all times to ensure that the lads were enjoying the training

GAELS DO THE DOUBLE

Intermediate hurling championship winners, front l/r: Niall Kelly, Dermot Carty, David McGowan, Nigel Hora, Daniel Carty, Philip Carey, Alan Nestor, Niall Mangan, Thomas Coyle, Kevin Coyle, Tom Murphy. Back: Ronan McGowan, Colm Whitty, Jonathan Meyler, Kieran Devaney, Paul Kelly, Shane Whitty, Stephen Morris, John Kelly, Thomas Delaney, Conor Delaney, David Farrell, Daniel Whitty

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Prior to the Intermediate hurling championship clash with Wolfe Tones at Kilmessan, front l/r: Tom Murphy, David McGowan, Dermot Carty, Philip Carey, Niall Kelly, Paul Kelly, Daniel Carty, Thomas Delaney, Sean Rattigan. Back: Ronan McGowan, Matthew Crehan, Daniel Whitty, John Kelly, Thomas Coyle, Kevin Coyle, Emmet Dalton, Kieran Devaney, Nigel Hora

and enjoying the hurling. “Then we were kind of concentrating on our own performance, we knew that if we performed together as a unit well hopefully you'd be coming out on the right end of the result at the end of the day.” Kevin Coyle celebrates a goal in the IHC final

Principal of Boardsmill NS and Trim resident, former Kilmessan hurler James took over Blackhall four years ago when his stint as a Meath minor football selector with Pat Coyle came to an end. “The Blackhall lads asked me to help

Conor Delaney clears his lines against Gaeil Colmcille

out four years and they were a joy to work with. They're really committed. There are certain challenges within the club, it's a dual club, and that brings it own challenges. A lot of the same lads were playing football as well. Just this year everything worked out well for us. “We had a great year, we were only beaten twice. Kildalkey's senior team beat us in the Brendan Davis Cup, we went down to Kildalkey and played well. It was probably one of our best performances of the year, even though we were beaten by five or six points but the lads never gave up and it was a great experience. “From there, we were unbeaten in the league, we drew with Kiltale in the league and went on and won it. “We were unbeaten in the championship as well and only the second time we were beaten was by Setanta in the Leinster club championship.” The year ended on a disappointing note when Dublin champions Setanta

Tom Delaney raises the Division 2 HL Cup at Loman’s Park

Thomas Coyle in action against Wolfe Tones

On duty for the senior championship clash with Wolfe Tones at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Jamie Moore, Aran O'Dowd, Conor Delaney, Conor Stenson, Stephen Morris, Alan Nestor, Tadhg Brosnan, Mark Mullally, Daniel Carty, Sean Rattigan. Back: Aidan Dalton, Donal Durkan, Niall Kelly, Declan Dalton, Dermot Carty, John Kelly, Sean Whelan, Paddy O'Brien, Colm McElligott, Ciaran Cummins, Thomas Coyle, Niall Mangan, Thomas Delaney, Kevin Coyle. Missing from photo: Johnny Meyler

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Junior Football Championship C finalists, front l/r: Martin Hennessy, John Joyce, Liam Brosnan, Martin Whelan, Niall Mangan, Thomas Coyle, Kevin Coyle, Paddy Snee, Niall Kelly, Kevin O'Keane. Back: Michael O'Neill, Andrew Geraghty, David Ferris, Paul Kelly, Jamie Moore, Ciaran Cummins, John O'Brien, Kieran Devaney, Martin O'Neill, James Larkin, Donal Durkan

John Kelly

proved too strong for Blackhall in the Leinster JHC. The Royal County standard bearers exited the competition on a scoreline of 3-14 to 0-1 at Loman's Park, Trim. “That was probably the one time all year we were flat and lads didn't perform. Obviously we were disappointed for ourselves, disappointed that it wasn't a true reflection on Meath hurling.” James – who managed his home club Kilmessan when Kiltale got the better of

Dermot Carty goes by Thomas McKeown

Senior team manager Liam Keane

them in the 2007 Meath SHC final - is confident that Blackhall possess the raw material to make a seamless transtition to senior hurling in 2014. “Obviously there are a number of challenges, the dual challenge within the club in that they are going to be competing to try to win a senior championship in both football and hurling. “That brings a challenge internally for the club but I think would have the big advantages for the club is that we're

going to be playing DIvision 1 hurling. That's really going to help in terms of it being a great experience and helping with preparations to play in the senior hurling championship. “We're under no illusions, it's going to be a step up, it's going to be a lot faster and much more intense and a lot more skillfill right across the board. It's only by playing those type of games regularly that you will improve. “It was the same this year. We always tried to get challenges off senior teams

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The Blackhall Drumree amalgamation that defeated Dunderry in the 2012 U21 B Hurling Championship decider after a replay in Loman’s Park Trim, front l/r: James Reilly, Shane Whitty, Paul Kelly, Philip Carey, Conor Delaney, James Rattigan, Colm Whitty, Niall Kelly, Brendan O'Malley. Back: David Reilly, Stephen Doyle, Niall Mangan, Conor O'Sullivan, Gareth Rooney, Stephen Morris, Andy Kiernan, Keith Rooney, Gavin Byrne, Sean Gavin

Liam Keane was the Blackhall senior manager this year, with Mark Crampton and Vincent Nestor acting as selectors, and they were drawn in group C of the championship, a demanding section which also included last year’s runners-up Wolfe Tones, 2012 intermediate winners Na Fianna, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin and Simonstown Gaels. Ahead of the championship they lost their first three games in Division 1 of the A League against Skryne, Oldcastle and Simonstown, before a timely boost arrived in the shape of an 11 point victory over Dunshaughlin.

which would have helped us along the way. I've no doubt that with the talent and dedication that is there amongst the lads in Blackhall, they can certainly hold their own next year.” The Blackhall Gaels team that was on IHC final duty against Gaeil Colmcille was: Daniel Whitty; Nigel O'Hora, David McGowan, Conor Delany; John Kelly, Thomas Delany, Dan Carty; Tom Murphy (0-1), Shane Whitty (0-1); Stephen Morris (1-3), Thomas Coyle, Dermot Carty (0-6, 3fs); Alan Nestor (02), Johnathan Meyler (1-3), Kevin Coyle (1-1). Subs - Colm Whitty for O'Hora, Shane O'Loughlin for Coyle, Niall Kelly for J Kelly, Ronan McGowan for K Coyle.

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There was also a precious win over Dunshaughlin in the concluding round which guaranteed Blackhall’s escape from the relegation dogfight, while another success story for the club this year was the progress of their second string to the Junior C Championship final where they were edged out by Navan O’Mahonys.

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Blackhall gave a very good account of themselves in an SFC opener against Tones at Pairc Tailteann but lost out by 0-10 to 2-6. Sean Whelan and Johnny Meyler impressed in the first half, during which Blackhall led by three points on two occasions, before holding a 0-5 to 0-3 advantage at the break. Colm McElligott stretched their lead with a point two minutes into the second period as they gave as good as they got but a brace of fisted goals from Cian Ward and David O’Neill helped Tones to a hard earned win. Whelan contributed five points. That noteworthy victory over Na Fianna came at Summerhill where the intermediate title holders opened up a six point lead during the first half. Blackhall cut the deficit to 0-6 to 0-10 at the interval but their chances of a successful recovery looked to have been killed off when Tadhg Brosnan was sent off in the third quarter. However, they battled with great determination and when Stephen Dual star Stephen Morris

Jenkinstown captains James Kelly and Robert Lawless receive the U16 Division 2 Cup from Tommy Mahon at Kilbride

Morris scored their goal they were level. Whelan edged them in front for the first time with a pointed free and after Na Fianna had Michael Farley dismissed, Blackhall pushed on for a 1-12 to 0-12 victory. Whelan (three) and Alan Nestor

Colm McElligott

had edged them five points clear and they did enough subsequently to stay in front on a day when Whelan tallied seven points. Summerhill was also the venue for a third round meeting with Dunboyne who deservedly won by 0-14 to 1-5. The St Peter’s men led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the break and pushed eight points clear during the third quarter. Dermot Carty scored a goal for Blackhall but they had fallen too far behind. When Simonstown inflicted a 0-15 to 0-10 defeat at Bohermeen the stark reality for Blackhall was that they were in serious danger of ending up in the dreaded battle for survival. This was an entertaining game in which Blackhall led by two points after 18 minutes but the Navan men were ahead by 0-6 to 0-4 at the change of ends. Shane O’Rourke returned to championship action for the Gaels who were five clear at the end. The Pairc Tailteann assignment between Blackhall and Dunshaughlin

John Kelly

Conor Stenson

Alan Nestor has a shot U14 Division 7 FL finalists, front l/r: Eoin Kealy, Daniel Byrne, Kevin Conway, Cameron Gallagher, Sean Kelly, Johnny Pearl, Fergal Kiernan, Adam McHugh. Back: Ciaran Nally, Mark Nicholson, Paul Gilmartin, Rian Kealy, Conor Moyles, Matthew O'Mara, John Morris, Tommy Lee O'Carroll

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was hugely important and it was the Batterstown / Kilcloon amalgamation which achieved an invaluable victory which consigned their neighbours to the relegation play-offs. The margin of the win (4-7 to 0-8) was a surprise and the issue was essentially without doubt at half time when Blackhall led by 3-7 to 0-4. Brosnan helped himself to a personal haul of 2-2 from play and the other goals were scored by Alan Nestor and Tom Murphy. When all was said and done in group C Na Fianna and Wolfe Tones advanced to the quarter-finals, while four teams – Dunboyne, Blackhall, Simonstown and Dunshaughlin - were tied on four points. Dunboyne filled the preliminary quarter-final slot and it was Dunshaughlin who had to battle for their senior survival which they did successfully. Blackhall were safe and can look back on the group campaign with a fair degree of satisfaction after two memorable victories. Blackhall’s second 15 were drawn in group A of the Junior C Championship along with Duleek / Bellewstown, Castletown, Simonstown, Summerhill and Dunsany and, after losing their first game to the Navan men (1-6 to 0-13), they received a walk over from Duleek/Bellewstown. That was followed by three successive wins against Summerhill (612 to 0-7), Castletown (4-10 to 2-6) and Dunsany (0-15 to 0-3) which assured them of knockout action. They defeated Cortown by 1-9 to 1-8 in a quarter-final and booked a big date at Pairc Tailteann when beating Dunboyne by 210 to 0-13 at the penultimate hurdle. The final turned out to be a disappointment as Blackhall missed too many chances and O’Mahonys won by 1-14 to 1-11. Poor defending presented a goal chance to the winners’ Barry McEvoy which he took after seven minutes but Blackhall responded positively two minutes later when Thomas Coyle provided the ammunition for Martin Whelan to find the net. The town team led by 1-8 to 16 at the interval and as they absorbed a lot of pressure they just about did enough subsequently to claim the title. The Blackhall Gaels’ team in the final was: M Hennessy; J Joyce, M O’Neill, D Durkan; N Kelly, K Coyle, K O’Keane; M Ferris (0-2), J O’Brien (0-1); C Cummins, P Kelly (0-3), J Moore; P Snee, M Whelan (1-3), T Coyle (0-1). Subs – N Mangan (0-1) for Moore, D Ferris for Cummins, J Larkin for K Coyle.

The celebrations begin for Jenkinstown Gaels as they are crowned U16 Division 2 Champions

Kiltale were defeated in the Division 2 hurling league final at Trim

The Intermediate Hurling Championship Cup is headed for Blackhall

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Football Cumann designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:30 Page 1

CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL FOOTBALL

Ratoath's Luke Newe raises the Boys Division 1 cup

Ratoath Senior Primary School Boys Division 1 winners

Dunboyne NS Girls Division 1 winners

St Paul’s NS Navan Boys Division 1 finalists

St Oliver’s NS Navan Girls Division 1 finalists

Kentstown NS Boys Division 2 winners

Dunboyne's Aoife Boylan raises the Girls Division 1 cup

O'Growney NS Athboy Boys Division 2 finalists

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Kentstown's Sean Commons with the Boys Division 2 cup


Football Cumann designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:30 Page 2

CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL FOOTBALL

Carlanstown captain Seona Lynch with the Girls Division 4 cup

Carlanstown NS Girls Division 4 winners

Baconstown NS Girls Division 4 finalists

Carrickleck Boys Division 7 finalists

Scoil Naomh Pion Knockcommon Boys Division 5 finalists

Rathkenny NS Boys Division 7 winners

Dunsany captain Paul O'Brien raises the Boys Division 6 cup

Dunsany NS Boys Division 6 winners

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Rathkenny's Olivia Gore raises the Division 7 cup


Football Cumann B designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:32 Page 1

CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL FOOTBALL

Yellow Furze captain Sorcha Gough raises the Girls Division 3 Cup

Gaeilscoil Na Boinne, Boys Division 3 winners

Stackallen NS Girls were Division 3 finalists

Yellow Furze Girls took Division 3 honours

Skryne NS Boys made it to the Division 3 final

Scoil Eanna Navan, Girls Division 2 finalists

Gaeilscoil Na Boinne captain Conor O'Coigligh raises the Boys Division 3 Cup

St Dympna's Kildalkey, Girls Division 2 winners

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St Dympna's joint captains Rachel Carroll and Debbie McMahon raise the Girls Division 2 Cup


Football Cumann B designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:33 Page 2

CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL FOOTBALL

St Ciaran's Castlejordan captain Dean Pluck raises the Boys Division 4 Cup

St Ciaran's Castlejordan, Boys Division 4 winners

Scoil Ultain Naofa Baile Ghib, Boys Division 5 finalists

Dangan NS, Boys Division 4 finalists

Drumbaragh NS, Boys Division 5 winners

Newtown NS, Girls Division 5 finalists

Drumbaragh captain Jimmy Corcoran raises the Boys Division 5 Cup

Scoil Mhuire Moylagh, Girls Division 5 winners

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Scoil Mhuire Moylagh captain Sarah McNamee raises the Girls Division 5 Cup


generali designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:36 Page 1

SPECIAL FEATURE

I

MOYNALVEY’S INSURANCE POLICY

n the past three years, Barry O’Keeffe has proved quite an addition to the Moynalvey club as both a player and a coach. We spoke to the Kildare native whom is also the Finance Manager at Generali Pan Europe in Navan. Switching allegiances is never easy, but during these past few years Barry O’Keeffe has comfortably made the transition to Moynalvey GAA from his native Kilcock in Kildare. A highly rated club footballer, Barry’s talents see him stationed in either defence or attack, with many

managers opting for the latter due to his scoring prowess and ability to set up crucial scores. Moynalvey, along with many other clubs in Meath, didn’t take long to recognise his ability as his first year with the club saw them capture the intermediate championship crown. “I’m playing with Moynalvey three years now and the main reason I started playing with them was because I was living there for the past three years and I was coming towards the twilight of my career and wanted to get involved for my kids and get to know people in the area.

Barry O’Keeffe in the Moynalvey colours

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“I always played between the backs and forwards and when I first started playing (with Moynalvey) it was fine. They’re a great bunch of players here and there’s huge respect for me being from Kildare! “We won the intermediate championship the first year I moved, which was 2011, and the Junior Bs won their championship as well. Alan Kelly was over the team that year and things were going very well for the club. “We started in Division Three and set objectives to get out of the group. We really wanted to play knock-out football


generali designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:36 Page 2

and things just took off for us, but unfortunately we lost in Leinster to the Louth champions.” The following year saw Moynalvey competing in the senior championship arena and Barry felt that the team were unfortunate not to make the big step upon their immediate return to the top tier. “We were unlucky,” he said. “We played Donaghmore/Ashbourne and there was only a kick of a ball in it between us. We were very disappointed to lose, but we knew we weren’t out of our depth playing in the senior championship and knew we were capable of doing well. “We were two points up against Duleek/ Bellewstown in a game that we should have won and of course they got a late goal and that put us out of the championship.” We lost the Division Three league final against Na Fianna but were thrilled to get promoted to division 2 and progress forward for the club. This past season, however, saw Moynalvey make all the right strides, after opening round defeats to two of the Meath SFC’s big guns, to book a quarter-final berth against Na Fianna. “Ian Kearney was over us and we were drawn against the two big teams in the championship, Navan O’Mahonys and Seneschalstown. We could have got something out of the Seneschalstown game but I think there experience told in the end,” said Barry. “We needed to win the next three games and we did. We beat Walterstown and Duleek/Bellewstown along the way to get to the quarterfinals where we met Na Fianna. “They’d progressed well in the championship and I knew that they were a good team in good form. Every time we came into the game they’d hit us with a goal and they ended up scoring seven goals which didn’t reflect our performance on the day. “We can have no regrets and I think we’re good enough to go further next year,” he added. Barry feels that the required amount

Barry gains possession in this year’s hoganstand.com SFC against Nobber in Waterstown

of work is being put in at present to ensure a bright future for the club. However, he knows that a few veterans on the senior team will still need to do their part to give some experience to the next crop of players coming through the ranks. “There is a huge amount of work being put in across all levels,” he said. “Just look at the winners of the last 3 young players of the year in Meath and they all came from Moynalvey, a brilliant achievement and they are a credit to us and the club. I managed the Under 12s team in 2013 and they were a great bunch of lads. Hopefully we can keep developing the underage and if some of those players can come through to senior with a few elder statesmen helping them along the way in a few years it would be great. “We want to get back to a quarterfinal at the very least again in 2014. I mean it’s great to see a team like Na Fianna getting to a county final and challenging for it. It really is wide open in Meath. Every year it seems to change and I like the league competition because it gives so many teams a better chance and that’s the key thing.”

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He added: “I’d like to thank the management, selectors and the club’s supporters for all their help during the year. We’re trying to develop better players all the time here and hopefully it will all pay off in the long run.” As for Meath’s prospects in 2014, Barry feels that there’s a new era coming to the Royal County. “There’s always a good bit of banter with the lads being from Kildare,” he laughed. “Meath are a very proud county and it’s great to see them back playing at a level they should be playing at. Gillespie showed well for them in the middle this year and Padraic Harnan played very well for his debut year. There’s a new bunch of lads coming in now that will bring a new era to Meath football.” For almost two years now, Barry O’Keeffe has been the Finance Manager at Generali Pan Europe Ltd, a Navan based insurance company that provide wealth management and employee benefit solutions across the European region. The company’s CEO is Paul Gillett and have been located in Ireland since 1999 with over 90 staff employed.


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D

DUNSHAUGHLIN

unshaughlin found themselves in unfamiliar territory this year with their senior status under threat. It was certainly a new experience for long-serving full-back Ken McTigue who is more used to life in the fast lane of the senior football championship.

Dunshaughlin GAA are due to publish an updated version of their club history 'Black and Amber' soon. Originally published back in 1986 to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the club, the new chapters will chronicle the many milestones they have achieved since winning the Intermediate title in 1997. At the turn of the millennium, they were the undisputed kingpins of the Meath club football scene putting three SFC successes back-to-back. Managed by Eamonn Barry, they carved a niche for themselves in the history of Meath GAA in 2002 by following in the footsteps of the famed Summerhill team of the seventies and

Shane Gallogly raises the MFL Division 2 Cup at Pairc Tailteann

the Walterstown team of the early eighties and becoming only the third club from the Royal County to capture Leinster SFC honours. Mattock Rangers of Louth were

dispatched on a scoreline of 0-13 to 0-7 in the final at Pairc Tailteann and the club trophy cabinet also housed the FL Division 1 and Feis Cup silverware that winter after they completed the clean sweep. As recently as 2011, Dunshaughlin were slugging it out for the most coveted piece of silverware in Meath football, narrowly losing out to Summerhill after a final replay, but they have lost some ground to their rivals in the intervening two years and found themselves embroiled in a relegation play-off in 2013. Long-serving full-back Ken McTigue had the honour of captaining the Black and Ambers to county and provincial glory 11 years ago and his illustrious medal collection includes Leinster SFC, 3 SFC and IFC honours amongst many others. In 2012, Dunshaughlin GAA club made a special presentation to Ken to mark his 100th senior championship appearance in the Black and Amber jersey.

BLACK AND AMBERS KEN DO BETTER

Victors over Simonstown in the opening round of the hoganstand.com SFC at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Liam Ormsby, Alastar Doyle, Cathal O'Dwyer, Trevor Dowd, Tadgh O Dushlaine, Martin Reilly, Tommy Johnson, Fearghal Delaney, Niall Murphy. Back: Caoimhin King, Fergus Toolan, Niall Kelly, Stephen Ward, Padraig Mc Hale, John Crimmins, Ray Maloney, Ronan Gogan, Stephen Clusker, Michael Ahern, Mark Devanney, Conor Devereux, David Mc Mahon, Kenny McTigue

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Log onto dlynchpics.com to view more club photos


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The MFL Division 2 winners, front l/r: Mark Galvin, David Reilly, Cillian Harte, Liam Carey, Conor Jones, Shane Gallogly, Ronan Geraghty, Niall Byrne, Diarmuid Christie, Seamus Doyle, David Beattie. Back: TP Toolan (selector), Cian Gallogly, Garreth Rooney, Oisin Foley, Daniel Quinn, Josh Wall, Jack O Sullivan, Adam Mc Dermott, Dan Ormsby, Ben Duggan, Stephen Duffy, Tommy Kinsella, Martin Nevin, Stephen Farrell, Frank Gallogly (manager), Pat Gargan (selector)

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The U12 Group A winners, front l/r: Sean O'Connor, Ordhan O'Riordan, Saran O'Hora, Paul Kean, Darren Murphy, Jack Considene, Leo Marsden, Andrew Quinn, Cathal McCormack, Sean Kennedy, James Traynor, Cormac Curtin, Gary O'Connor. Back: Brian Clinton, Bill Jennings, Mathew Costello, Cian Hegarty, Luke Mitchell, Ethan Mahase, Fionn Cummins, Patrick Dalton, Ruairi Meehan, Luke McCarthy, Kevin Bawle, Harry Dunne

The U14 Division 2 finalists, front l/r: Daniel Fildes, Matthew Moyles, Conor Keena, David Fildes, James Sherry, Wesley Goodwin, Erik Casserly, Eoin O Connor, Paddy Maher. Back: Josh Kalides, Paul Kennedy, Paul Briody, Andrew Lenighan, Jack Caldwell, Jack Hetherington, Shane Claire, Cathal Sheehan, Neil Byrne, Niall Hurley, Conor Oliver, Michael McHugh

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Paddy Maher

Ben Duggan

Jack Hetherington

Senior manager Paddy Christie

"I dread to think what the figure would be if Junior and Junior B games were included!" he laughed. Dunshaughlin recruited the services of former Dublin All Star Paddy Christie as manager but the 2013 season will not be remembered with any great fondness by supporters of the Black and Ambers. Despite winning two of their Group C championship games, other results conspired against them and they finished at the bottom of the table. They parted company with Christie in advance of the SFC relegation play-off and he was replaced by former stalwart Michael McHale. A 1-11 to 1-9 victory over Nobber in Game 2 spared their blushes. "Look it, these things happen, not

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everything goes according to plan all the time, that's life," McTigue who sat out the game versus Nobber due to illness - said. "There's years you think you're going to do well and it doesn't happen and then when you're not expecting it you end up doing well." Buoyed by the return of Fergal Delaney and Tommy Johnson from travels abroad, Eoin Hagarty's early converted penalty, following a foul on full-forward Ray Maloney, helped settle Dunshaughlin nerves but Nobber fought back and the sides went in level at the break. A brace apiece from Cathal O'Dwyer and Fergal Toolan gave Dunshaughlin a four-point cushion early in the second half and they withstood a late rally from their opponents which included a goal two minutes from time. In Game 3 they ended up on the


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dunshaughlin designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 15:52 Page 10

Mick Aherne

Fergus Toolan lets fly

Tadgh O Dushlaine

wrong end of the 0-12 to 0-11 scoreline against Oldcastle but the result was immaterial to Dunshaughlin who had already ensured their name would be in the hat for the 2014 Meath SFC draw. "It was my first time involved in a relegation play-off and it wasn't a nice experience. It wasn't fair on Nobber that we had nothing to play for against Oldcastle but that's the way it was. We lost by a point to Oldcastle but if Nobber had have beaten us there would have been no questions asked." Not many would have predicted that Dunshaughlin would have found themselves in such a perilous position following their opening round clash with Simonstown. Christie's charges put a bad start to the FL Division 1 competition behind them to hand out a 0-17 to 1-9 lesson to the Navan outfit. All bar four of the winners' scores came from play with Conor Devereux leading the way in that department with five such scores. The ever-reliable O'Dwyer raised six white flags, two of which came from placed balls. It was a performance that generated great optimism over the team's prospects. The previous year they had managed just one point from a possible ten and that included a 0-17 to 2-19 reversal against Simonstown in round four but, this time around, they gained revenge for that defeat with a convincing victory. "We had a strong team out that night against Simonstown but fellas got injured as the year went on and we struggled to replace them," Ken remarked. "Conor Devereux injured his ankle and he was a big loss. We don't have the strength in depth in the panel to cope with the likes of that but we won a MFC a couple of years ago and, hopefully, those players will be coming on stream soon." In round 4 they edged out local rivals St Peter's, Dunboyne by 015 to 1-11 but defeats against Wolfe Tones, Na Fianna and Blackhall Gaels in the last round plunged them into the basement battle. They finished on the same points as Dunboyne, Blackhall and Simonstown but score difference told against them.

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Martin Reilly

Ray Maolney and Sean Tobin contest the high ball at Pairc Tailteann

Dunshaughlin celebrate with the U12 Group A Cup at Stamullen


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"It was a crazy group. Dunboyne qualified for the knock-out stages on four points while we ended up in the relegation play-off on four points," McTigue pointed out. "But there's no point dwelling on it, we have to look ahead and, hopefully, we can improve on that next year." Good news for Dunshaughlin supporters is that the 37 year old has no intention of hanging up his boots just yet. "I'll be sitting at home for long enough once I retire. As long as I stay injury free I will be sticking around and I've been lucky enough with injuries over the years."

LEAGUE TITLE FOR TALENTED MINORS

Dunshaughlin claimed the MFL Division 2 title with a four point win

Wesley Goodwin shows determination against Trim

over Summerhill (1-12 to 1-8) in Pรกirc Tailteann. The wind blowing into the O'Mahonys clubhouse end had an impact on this game. Summerhill could only score six points with the assistance of the wind in the first half hour while Dunshaughlin scored 1-8 when they played with the wind advantage in the second half. Dunshauglin's goal came from a penalty that was awarded by referee Patrick Neilis with 39 minutes played. This was the second time the teams have met this year. In the group stage match on February 24, Summerhill won by five points on a 4-10 to 2-11 score-line. Ben Duggan got Dunshaughlin off the mark a minute later before Stephen Duffy and Liam Carey put them two to the good but Summerhill responded and led by two points at the break.

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Within four minutes of the restart Dunshaughlin drew level. Duffy got his third point of the day and Shane Gallogly fired over a free. Continuous pressure towards the Summerhill led to a penalty being awarded in the 39th minute. David Beattie put Dunshaughlin three ahead, 0-6 to 1-6 when he found the bottom right corner from 11 metres out. Dunshaughlin scored a free to put them two points up, a minute before Summerhill netted. This proved to be Summerhill's last score of the match. Dunshaughlin scored the remaining five points of the game. Duffy put his side in front from a free and three more points, including one out on the right wing by half-forward Daniel Quinn secured Dunshaughlin's victory in Pรกirc Tailteann. After the game Donal Forde presented the MFL Division 2 Cup to Dunshaughlin captain Shane


dunshaughlin designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 15:53 Page 13

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Gallogly Dunshaughlin: Jack O'Sullivan, Josh Wall, Ronan Geraghty, Diarmuid Christie, Oisin Foley, Dan Ormsby, Niall Byrne, Ben Duggan 0-1, David Reilly 0-1, David Beattie 1-0, Stephen

Alastar Doyle keeps possession against Simonstown

Cathal Dwyer has his eye on the Simonstown goal

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MEMORABLE COMEBACK SECURES U15 DIVISION 2 CROWN

Dunshaughlin secured the U15 Autumn Division 2 league title in an exciting final in Kilbride beating St Vincents/Curraga side by 4-7 to 3-9. The amalgamation started much the brighter and raced into a five point lead. Dunshaughlin quickly adjusted to pace of the game and were soon rewarded with an absolute gem of a goal from Luke Slater which got them right back into this contest. This was followed by a second Dunshaughlin goal from Conor Oliver following a pile driver from Cian Gallogly.

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Vincents/Curraha responded well and finishing the first half the stronger to lead by 2-6 to 2-0. The second half was a very different affair as Frank Gallogly's Dunshaughlin charges got on top and slowly reduced the deficit. Jack Hetherington's introduction in the second-half had a big impact on the outcome as Dunshaughlin levelled the scores with just 4 minutes remaining. It was the Dunshaughlin midfielder Sam Butler who had the final say with the winning point deep into injury time securing a memorable victory for this Black and Amber combination which had previously come up short in six finals from U12.

Dunshaughlin - A McDermott, T Dalton, C Kenna, D O’Brien, P Maher, L Donovan, S Walker, S Butler, A Kealy, S O’Neill, L Slatter, D Beattie, C Gallogley, N Byrne, C Oliver. Subs - J Hetherington, K Doyle.


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n his playing days – whether lining out for Kilmainhamwood, Cormeen, Moynalty or Meath – Gerry Hennessy could hold his own in any company. These days, Gerry is manager of the Moynalty minors and he is delighted to report that the north county club is making great strides at juvenile level. Away from football, the former Meath player runs Royal Safety Limited out of Carlanstown, a company which provides a nationwide construction plant and equipment training service. Even though he hails originally from Cormeen, Gerry Hennessy began his gaelic football career with a neighbouring club as there was no official GAA activity in the Cormeen area at the time. “I played my underage football up as far as U14 level with Kilmainhamwood,” he reflects. “The club was started up in Cormeen then and I played a bit of junior ‘B’ with them for a while. Jack Bennett was the main man who got the club in Cormeen up and running and we reached a ‘B’ championship semi-final and a Division Five league final, before the club disbanded again in 1980/81. Seven or eight of us joined Moynalty.” Gerry was around 23 or 24 at the time and it was the beginning of a lifelong association with Moynalty GFC, which is still going strong today, over three decades later… Wing half back with the Meath minors in 1973 and ’74, Gerry played with Moynalty as recently as 2001 – when he was 45! – before finally opting to hang up the boots due to his advancing years… “My last game was a Division Three ‘B’ final against Rathkenny at St Michael’s,” he recalls. “I could hardly get out of the bed the next morning so I knew it was time to knock it on the head.” The undoubted highlight of Gerry Hennessy’s playing career came in 1987 when he featured

Gerry patrols the line with the Moynalty minors

in goals on the Moynalty team that won the Meath junior football championship. He collected a league souvenir the following year and came home regularly to play for a few seasons thereafter despite having moved to England to work. “I had no interest in playing over there,” he states. During his days in the Moynalty colours, Gerry played in most positions

– including centre forward, centre back and full back – but it was almost by accident rather than design that he ended up being stationed between the posts. He takes the story up… “We were due to play Carnaross in the first round of the junior championship in ’87 and I had been selected at full forward that day but the regular goalkeeper didn’t turn up. Patsy Cahill was the selector at the time and if he asked you to do something, you did it. I had never played in goals before but I went in that day and we won. I stayed in goals after that and we went on to win the championship.” Although he now lives in nearby Carlanstown, Gerry has never severed his ties with Moynalty. He has been manager of the minor team since 2009 and is pleased to reveal that underage football in the club is going extremely well: “We are competing at Divisions Three and Four level and we are getting to finals most years,” he says. “There are very good structures in place in the club and things are looking good for the future.” In 2013, Moynalty’s minor team got to a championship quarter-final but came unstuck against a very strong Ballivor outfit. “We were still a very young side, with a lot of U17s, so I would expect Moynalty to have a good minor team next year. “There’s a lot of work going into the development of underage football in

The successful Moynalty minors from 2010 with Gerry Hennessy (front, extreme right)

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the club. Charlie Farrelly and the football committee are leaving no stone unturned and they have put coaching courses in place from U6 level right up to minor. The goal is to get all teams playing the same brand of football and all incoming coaches have to sign up to that. “We have great numbers at coaching level, with a lot of parents involved too, and we’re trying to get all our players – from U6 up to minor – singing off the same hymn sheet. We want them to play the same style of football and to get comfortable with that style, so that they can carry it through into their adult careers.” One successful product of the Moynalty underage conveyor belt is Gerry’s own son, Gary, who is currently based in the United States. Gary Hennessy captained the Aidan McAnespies club to a Boston junior championship four years ago and has collected an All Star award for his efforts. Gerry himself lined out for the Meath juniors for a couple of years in the early 1980s and had the honour of playing against Dublin in a Leinster final in Drogheda. He was drafted in by Sean Boylan for a few challenge games with the seniors but, at the age of 27/28, the prospects of forging a senior intercounty career had all but passed him by at that stage. As a stalwart of Moynalty GFC, he was bitterly disappointed to witness their heartbreaking, luckless defeat to Boardsmill in the 2013 Meath junior ‘B’ final in Navan: “With a bit of luck, they would have won,” he says. “They had

The Moynalty JFC winners from 1987

the game wrapped up but, unfortunately, were caught on the hop by a late goal. That’s football for you. Anything can happen. Unfortunately for Moynalty, it has happened in three finals in the last five years. “I was a selector alongside Shane McEntee (RIP) when they lost to Duleek-Bellewstown and they also lost one to Trim, but this year was their best chance of all. However, it just wasn’t to be on the day. They played well but were caught with a sucker punch” To put bread on the table, Gerry Hennessy is the brains behind Royal Safety Ltd., which provides safety training and consultancy services for operating plant and equipment to construction and manufacturing companies nationwide. All of Royal Safety’s plant and machinery programmes are FAS-approved and Gerry covers the 32 counties, from Belfast to Cork. Gerry with his son Gary (aged 3) and “I come from a construction the Matthew Ginnity Cup background and got involved in safety Best Wishes To Royal Safety, From training in 1999,” he points out. “I set the company up in 2002 and we have been providing our services ever since. We worked our way through the recession and have come out the right FOR ALL YOUR SAFETY & TRAINING NEEDS end of it. Things are Leitrim Lower, Mullagh, Kells, Co. Meath picking up again Phone: 046 9242105 Mobile :086 829 3747 and we’re very E-mail: oreillytraining@gmail.com | www.safetyandtraining.ie busy, thankfully.”

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SPECIAL FEATURE

T

AT THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY

urmec Teoranta is a vital part of the community in Rathcairn, as is the local GAA club, Clann Na nGael. Naturally, there are strong bonds between the two bodies. Twentythirteen was an eventful and exciting year on all fronts and – as the dust started to settle - ‘Royal County’ visited the Gaeltacht for a chat with Turmec General Manager and GAA supporter Paraic Griffin. It was an unforgettable year for the footballers of Clann Na nGael as they brilliantly blazed a path to the 2013 Meath intermediate football championship final. Alas, shorn of a handful of key men – including injured pair Shane McAnarney and Oran Fitzpatrick as well as the suspended Jamie Shaw - for the decider at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday, October 13th, the Rathcairn/Athboy club came up short against an on-song Gaeil Colmcille. While it was a disappointing end to the year for the Clanns, hopes are high that they can go one step further in the coming season, especially if they have the full complement at their disposal. Certainly, in 2013 they made people stand up and take notice with some exceptional performances in the IFC

There is a strong link between Industry and the GAA at Turmec, front l/r: Clann Na nGael players Garry Hanley, Aron Mac Donacha and Caoimhin O Griofa. Back: Fergus Fagan (long serving player and officer), Paraic O Griofa (Turmec General Manager) and Michael S O Griofa (heartbeat of Clann Na nGael)

(and the Feis Cup). Managed by Graham Geraghty and Aidan Walsh, Clann Na nGael were the surprise packets of the competition as they recorded victories over St Michael’s, Syddan, Dunderry and St Michael’s again at the semi-final stage to take their place in the decider. There was also a Round One draw with Carnaross. Paraic Griffin, whose nephew

Turmec has a wide and varied customer base

603

Caoimhin O’Griofa (son of Michael) who played on the day for the losers, reflects on the intermediate final defeat ruefully: “We had to play without Oran – who was a Meath minor two years ago - and Jamie, while Kells were certainly that bit more experienced. I think those were the decisive factors in the end. “We didn’t take the few opportunities we did get and we were playing catch-


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up from the start. We got back within four points at one stage and then hit one off the post at the O’Mahonys end and you could sense their tails going up again. “But those two guys were a huge loss to Clann Na nGael and it was always going to be a very tall order to try and win without them. Having said that, Kells are a very good side and I don’t think they’re going to be too far off in senior.” Paraic is confident that the club is moving in the right direction and, going forward, tips them to build on their encouraging 2013 form next year, pointing to the relative youth of the players as a major asset: “Clann Na nGael is a very young team, with an average age in the backline of just 22. They have some very young and gifted forwards as well

A mixed recyclable line for one of Turmec’s UK customers

Over the years, Turmec has been a great supporter and employer to local GAA players

and are definitely an up-and-coming team. They also did well in the Feis Cup this year, winning their first-ever game in the competition against Rathkenny and also beating Dunboyne

Turmec has provided innovative recycling and engineering solutions for over 40 years

605

in Athboy to qualify for a quarter-final against Seneschalstown in which they lost after been in contention up to the final quarter of the match. So, all in all, they’ve had a great year. “Next year, I’d imagine one of their main aims will be to get into Division Two. After that, I’m sure they’ll take another look at the intermediate championship…” Part of a family that’s steeped in Rathcairn GAA, Paraic Griffin is General Manager of Turmec Teoranta, a company which is entwined into the very fabric of the local community. Down through the years, Turmec has served as an excellent supporter, sponsor and employer of both Rathcairn and Clann Na nGael footballers and its proprietor – who is a keen GAA enthusiast – continues to help out in any way possible. Providing innovative engineering and recycling solutions, Turmec


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Continued Good Wishes To All At Turmec Teoranta


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Like Clann na nGael, Turmec Teoranta is an intrinsik part of the local community

has played a leading role in enhancing the lives of locals for 41 years now. “The company is an integral part of the community and a major employer,” Paraic notes. “I could safely say that every family in Rathcairn has had a family member working here at some stage. “We’d have strong links with Clann

Trim, Athboy, Navan and Kells areas, generally within a ten-15 mile radius of Rathcairn.” Turmec Teoranta has been operating out of its existing 46,000 sq ft, purpose-built manufacturing facility at Rathcairn since 1972, bringing over four decades of experience to its (general and contract) engineering and complete turnkey recycling solutions. Located less than 40 minutes from Dublin, the company is ideally-situated to serve the whole country, although up to 85% of its recycling equipment is destined for the export market. Ongoing investment in technology, equipment and personnel has seen Blyry Business & Commercial Park Turmec forge a reputation Athlone, Co. Westmeath for quality, service and Tel: +353 (0) 90 6472064 flexibility. Turmec – which is ISO 9001 accredited - is Unit 10, Royal Rock Park, committed to continual Ballybane Ind Est., Galway improvement and Tel: +353 (0) 91 752454 achieving the highest standards in all areas of its Email: info@cbsbearings.com business, from Quality www.cbsbearings.com Control to Health & Safety. Turmec’s customer base

Na nGael and three or four of the players work here as well as former players and a number of others involved in the running of the club (one of whom is Paraic’s brother, Michael). At present, gainful employment is provided to over 70 people. “It’s mostly local employment,” Paraic continues. “The vast majority would be from the

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Turmec Engineering

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Navan man Alan Clarke operating a Cnc brake press

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T

DONAGHMORE ASHBOURNE

hey say that the number 13 can be lucky for some but for Donaghmore Ashbourne we will be happy to see the end of the 2013 at adult level and look forward to a New Year.

Considering that the senior team contested the senior championship semi-final in 2011 and 2012 and were winners of the Division 1 league in 2012 hopes at the start of the year evolved around retaining the league title and going one step further in the championship. It would be fair to say that the flagship team underachieved. Although there were a number of victories for our junior D and hurling teams in their respective leagues the success of our Minor team and U15 teams in November gives the Donaghmore Ashbourne faithful hope that the future is still bright within the club. Despite making the previous two senior championship semifinals our senior team failed to make the knock out stage in their campaign this year. Our lads were drawn in a group with St. Patrick’s, Skryne, Rathkenny,

Meath Minor Board Chairman John Kavanagh presents the Delaney Cup to Jack McCarney

Oldcastle and Summerhill. Needing to get off to a good start we travelled to Pairc Tailteann in early April for our opening round game against St. Patrick’s. Although Donaghmore Ashbourne claimed a victory when the sides met in the league a couple of weeks earlier the result was reversed on this occasion as the Stamullen men ran out deserving winners in this opening round hoganstand.com

Senior Football championship encounter. In summary Donaghmore Ashbourne opened well and played some bright football for about 12 minutes yet this was not reflected on the scoreboard and when St. Patrick’s opened their scoring on 13 minutes they were the better of the two sides for the remainder of the game to claim victory. We trailed at the interval by 0-05 to 0-04 and eventually lost on a final score line of 1-11 to 1-08. In the second round of the competition a week later Donaghmore Ashbourne made the short trip to Ratoath knowing another defeat would make qualification for the group stages of the championship virtually impossible. Both Donaghmore Ashbourne and Skryne had the added pressure of a delayed start as the teams already on the field for the 5.30 start had to return to the dressing room and wait an additional half hour for a referee to turn up. A much different Donaghmore Ashbourne side both in terms of personnel and attitude produced our

UNDERAGE SUCCESS BRIGHTENS UP THE YEAR

The senior squad that took to Pairc Tailteann for the championship clash with St Patricks, front l/r: Conor Carey, Iarlaith O'Donnell, JP Casserly, Cormac McGill (captain), Matthew Devine, Ciaran Ellis, Bryan Menton, Eoin Reilly, Eric Callaghan. Back: David Morgan, Shane Melia, John Broderick, Padraig Durkan, Rory O'Connor, Andrew Tormey, Jack Hannigan, Andy Colgan, Paul Gilligan, Conor Carton, Gareth Deery, Sean Curran

Log onto dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

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first win of the campaign with a 3-13 to 1-08 win over Tara men. In summary there was little between the teams for the majority of the game but a strong finish by Donaghmore Ashbourne gave us a deserved victory albeit with a flattering score line. There was a five week wait for the third round of the competition and we travelled to Simonstown in late May to play Rathkenny on a fine evening for football. On paper Donaghmore Ashbourne would have been favourites to win this game but when the players crossed the white line they were a poor second in almost all sections of the field. County Player Brian Meade and veteran player Donal Curtis caused our lads a lot of trouble. We did trail at the interval by three points and although we managed to have a good start to the second half and did come back to level with 10 minutes to go but the Rathkenny showed more hunger for the 50/50 ball in the closing stages and ran out Paul Finglas accepts the Division 3 Hurling League Cup from Anthony Monaghan

deserving 1-12 to 1-10 winners to inflict a second deafest of the group stages. With Meath in inter county championship action the club championship was put on ice for until early August. Our 4th round game saw the team return to Simonstown again with North Meath side Oldcastle providing the opposition on this occasion. With the group table fairly tight our lads knew a defeat could put us in a relegation battle and a win could still give us a huge lift. The internal issues within the dressing room appeared to have been resolved over the summer weeks and there was a slight spring in our step. The lads played well and ran out comfortable 2-18 to 0-06 winners. The final game of the group stages still had a significance as our lads knew that a victory over Summerhill coupled with results going our way in the other groups games would lead to qualification. However we needed to John Broderick clears

get the win first. This game took place in late August in Pairc Tailteann while the other relevant game was taking place in Ashbourne. Although Andrew Tormey gave an outstanding performance with raising the flag 9 times he was only aided by one other point from his colleagues and we went down Summerhill on a score line of 011 to 0-10. On the league front the senior team failed to defend our league title as we had a mixed bag of results with six wins from thirteen games. We opened the campaign with a 2-07 to 0-10 away win over Seneschalstown in February. The following week we opened our home account with a 1-16 to 2-06 win over Castletown. Early March saw our first defeat of the campaign with St. Peter’s Dunboyne recording a 2-07 to 1-07 win. The end of March saw the visit of St. Patrick’s to Ashbourne in a dress rehearsal for the opening round of the championship. With the sides meeting within a fortnight of this fixture

Sean Benville

Andy Byrne

David Carey Prior to the JFC B clash with St Vincents at Kilbride, front l/r: David Carey, Mark Molyneux, Robbie Lawlor, Kevin Fenton, Dylan Brady, Rob Healy, Brian Fitzgerald. Back: Aonghus Mulvihill (capt), Gavin Kennedy, Keith Callaghan, Rossa O'Donnell, Jamie Dwyer, Paddy Warren, Christopher Brady, Terry Bruton, Danny Clarke

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In action for the IHC game with Kildalkey in Dunderry, front l/r: Paul Finglas (capt), Aonghus Mulvihill, Jamie Phillips, Aidan O'Connor, David Kent, Colm Randle, Paul Traynor, John O'Riordan. Back: Daniel Cullen, Sean Benville, Mark Donnelly, Andrew Colgan, Stephen Meagher, David Carey, Brian Fitzgerald, Martin Quinn, John Broderick, Sam Benville, Terry Bruton. Missing from photo: Andrew Byrne, Graham Byrne and Paul Rainsford

Brian Fitzgerald

Junior keeper Terry Bruton

both sides kept their cards close to their chest but our lads recorded a 108 to 0-08 home win. The fourth round game was a long trip away to Oldcastle and the journey was further enhanced as the game was moved to Moylagh. On this occasion we played some fine football in the opening period and although recording a 0-14 to 0-10 victory the margin should have been greater. A home defeat at the hands of Dunshaughlin on a score line of 1-11 to 0-10 in mid-May and an away 1-16 to 1-11 defeat to Duleek Bellewstown in Bellewstown in early June ended our hopes of retaining the league title. July saw our busiest period in terms of league football as the fixtures committee has us out in four occasions. In early July although we played better than the Duleek/Bellewstown we suffered a 109 to 1-07 home defeat to O’Mahony’s. The end of the month saw three games in 11 days. We suffered a second consecutive home defeat when Skryne claimed the points with a

Brian Fitzgerald

Mark Molyneux

1-11 to 2-07 win. We also lost away to Simonstown in a high scoring game that ended with a 3-11 to 3-07 score line. Our final two games of the campaign saw a 1-14 to 1-07 away win over Wolfe Tones in Kilberry and a 5-14 to 2-07 home win over Summerhill. In the Feis Cup we had an opening round win over St. Colmcille’s but exited the competition in Seneschalstown in a game we should have at least brought to extra time. Our Intermediate Team were paired with St. Colmcille’s, Trim, Longwood and eventual championship winners Gaeil Colmcilles. There was a lot of concern within the club with our opening round game against St. Colmcille’s in Stamullen in that it was felt that the team were facing a huge challenge. On saying that our lads gave the seaside club their fair share of trouble and it was only in the closing minutes that the Cilles pulled away on a final score line of 2-10 to 1-07. Our second round game took place in early

613

Graham Byrne

June in Dunshaughlin when Trim provided the opposition. On this occasion we were better organized and the blend of youth and experienced gelled well to shock the heritage town with a well-deserved 211 to 0-11 win. The third round of the group stages saw our lads travel to Trim to play Longwood. Our lads gave another spirited performance and held out for a fantastic 2-07 to 1-08 win. Although our minor footballers Shaun Byrne and the Mc Govern twins of Thomas and Darragh came of age, Gareth Deery’s performance on county player Rory Maguire was a joy to watch as he ignored reputations and was a constant thorn in his side. The final group game saw the team travel to Pairc Tailteann to play Gaeil Colmcille. Our young team gave a very spirited performance and worked very hard to the final whistle but the truth is that we had to concede a lot of physical strength to the eventual county champions and lost out on a score line of 1-11 to 2-04


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Minor football league Division 1 champions, front l/r: Lorcan Nolan, Cian Wall, Cian O'Rourke, Shaun Byrne, Dara McGovern, Jack McCarney, Connor Donnelly, Dylan Brady, Daire Kelly, Connor Heffernan. Back: Niall Kavanagh, Jack O'Connor, Anthony McElarney, Michael Deegan, Jack Giles, Connor Dwyer, Thomas McGovern, Cian Field, Jamie Murtagh, Aidan O'Connor, Kevin Fenton, Stephen Breslin, Ryan Bannon, Liam Finn

On the league front the second team had a comfortable campaign and were looking to record their third consecutive league title in a row. The side opening their campaign with a 3-18 to 0-11 home win over Dunshaughlin in early March. Although we had no fixtures for April the month of May was a busy time in terms of games with four matches in as many weeks. Our first away game of the year was in Kilberry when the lads recorded another high scoring victory winning by 318 to 1-02. Our only defeat of the league was at home to St. Peter’s Dunboyne in round 3 when we were beaten by 1-10 to 1-06. The winning form returned in round four with a 2-09 to 1-04 win away to Seneschalstown and by the end of the month the team were sitting pretty at the top of the table following a 3-10 to 1-05 home win over Walterstown. Two trips to Navan in June and July saw away wins over Simonstown with a 3-14 to 0-04 winning margin and O’Mahony’s on a 007 to 2-12 margin. The team were awarded a walkover by neighbours Ratoath and a final group game at home to Skryne at the end of August saw the team record another high scoring 3-18 to 2-08 win to confirm a place in the final. The side has to wait until the end of September for the final against the St. Peter’s, the only side they lost to throughout the campaign. Although going for a third league title in a row our lads were well beaten on a score line of 1-11 to 0-04. Our Junior B team were drawn in the same group as Nobber, Wolfe Tones, St Vincent’s and Boardsmill. Although we recorded an opening round victory over Nobber in Kilberry on a score line of 2-09 to 0-10 we were forced to replay the

game a couple of weeks later as the Nobber side objected to the result. Donaghmore Ashbourne could have appealed the objection as we felt we did not breach any rules but it is not the clubs nature to engage in appeals and such goings on and we agreed to replay the game. To compound the situation the game was fixed in Donore with only 24 hours notification given by the county board fixtures committee. In the replayed game both sides were different that the initial game with Donaghmore Ashbourne weakened by a number of playing not being available due to the short notice and Nobber considerably stronger on the personnel front. On saying that

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our lads did not perform well and lost their discipline due to the frustration of the fixture and we lost out by 2-10 to 006. We did record a good second round win over Wolfe Tones with a 310 to 1-09 winning margin in Donore. Our third round game was a short trip to Kilbride but we lost out on a 3-15 to 1-07 score line to St. Vincent’s at the June bank Holiday. There was a full 11 week gap between the St. Vincent’s game and the final group game against Boardsmill in Ratoath. With the Junior B team practically out of the competition and the Junior D team going well it was difficult to get a team together for this game and the management needed to call in the help of some players to fulfill the fixture. Timmy O’Regan made his only appearance of the year in this game and was a handful for the Boardsmill full back. Our lads lost out to Boardsmill on a score line of 1-11 to 108 but it took an injury time goal to separate the teams as out lads pushed Senior manager Leo Turley

the eventual championship winners all the way. On the league front our third team narrowly missed out on a place in the league final as we finished joint second losing out in the head to head with Summerhill. The side had to wait until May for their opening round game as Trim gave us a walkover in the first game of the league. The first played game was in early May when a weakened side travelled to Summerhill and lost out on a scoreline of 3-14 to 1-06. Our opening home game a week later was a comprehensive 3-14 to 106 win over Dunderry. We had a three day interval game to the round three game and our lads travelled to Moynalvey where we made it a second consecutive win with a hard earned 211 to 1-11 away win. The end of May saw a second walkover when only a handful of St. Patrick’s players turned up in Ashbourne for the fixture and they failed to field a team. Round 6 was an early start as we had a Sunday John Broderick

morning game away to Nobber. Our lads responded to the early championship issue with a welldeserved 3-06 to 0-05 victory. August saw the team lose out in an away game in Grangegodden to Gaeil Colmcille on a scoreline of 1-14 to 206 but we finished our home league campaign with a 3-09 to 1-12 win over Blackhall Gaels at the of the month. Our final game was away to Duleek/Bellewstown in early September and although we travelled on the Sunday morning the home side struggled to get players out and we were awarded another walkover. Our Junior D team were drawn in the championship group with Dunderry, Clonard, Gaeil Colmcille and Ballinlough. The management team of Jimmy Walsh, Ciaran Benville and Michael Doherty put together a squad of experience and youth that was built around the principles of respect, honesty and most importantly enjoying the game. The team started

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The U21 football championship finalists, front l/r: Aidan Hughes, Darragh McGovern, Thomas McGovern, Sam Benville, Dylan Brady, David Carey, Michael Deegan, Conor Carton, Matthew Devine, Conor Donnelly. Back: Chris Brady, Jack McCarney, Danny Clarke, Jamie Dwyer, Garth Deery, Evan Rogers, Shane Melia, Daithí Murtagh, Andrew Colgan, Liam Finn, Andrew Brady, Jack Hannigan, Conor McGovern, Martin Quinn

off their championship campaign ion the May Bank Holiday when they travelled to Seneschalstown to play Dunderry. Our lads controlled the game from the start and with the experience players such as Ian Dowd, Stephen Condon Mark Byrne and Doherty coming in after the break we enjoyed a 511 to 0-06 opening round win. The side had to wait until July for the round two game and again the team played well en route to a 2-16 to 0-11 win. This game saw the introduction of Shaun Byrne and Ian Dowd at the interval and both players made notable contributions in the victory. The end of July saw our lads travel to Walterstown to face Gaeil Colmcille. The opening period of this game was hard to watch as both sides failed to hit the target with the first score coming on 11 minutes. Our lads did run into a four point lead but fell asleep in the final five minutes of the half and trailed at the interval by 0-05 to 0-04. The second half was a better performance and with an improved attitude and higher fitness level we ran out 2-10 to 0-10 to book a place in the quarter final of the competition. We were awarded a walkover in the final round game. At quarter final stage we were fixed in early September against the 2012 runners up, Longwood, in Summerhill. We conceded a penalty in the opening minutes and found ourselves conceding two further goals as we trailed by 9 points after 7 minutes. Although we did much of the better football for the remainder of the game we failed to recover from the early set back and lost out by 4-06 to 1-05. The honour of capturing the only adult football silverware of 2013 went to our Division 4B league team. The team had a very good year suffering only one defeat in the entire league. Our opening round game at St. Patrick’s weekend was an away game to Dunshaughlin but they agreed to forfeit home advantage so the game could be played on the Friday night and give the players a free weekend. Our lads started off in fine form and recorded a 1-15 to 0-04 victory. In round two we had home advantage with Carnaross the opposition. The side made it two win from two with a 2-07 to 1-04 winning margin. The highlight of this game was Sean Smith’s battle with former All Star Ollie Murphy. It would be fair to say this was a battle of strength and cuteness as opposed to an out and out duel of speed with our man coming out on top. Our third round game in mid-May away to Ballinlough was played in Moylagh and our lads made it three from three with a deserved 3-10 to 3-06 win. The winning streak continued in

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promotion and a place in in the league final. Although we had to work very hard in this game we eventually shook off the challenge and recorded a 1-13 to 0-12 win. The final game of the league was an away game to Simonstown. Although the home side struggled for numbers they like all Simonstown teams did get a team on the pitch and got off to a great start with a goal in the opening minutes. However our lads settled well after this initial setback and recorded a great 517 to 2-04 win. The team finished their year with a great team effort to claim the Division 4B league title in O’Mahony’s after a 112 to 0-11 victory over Cortown. Credit must go to both teams for providing a very exciting game with the standard of skill and effort from both sides equal to or exceeding any final in the higher grades. In summary Donaghmore Ashbourne were the better of both teams with their platform of victory coming from a solid defensive unit performance. Up front Donaghmore Ashbourne were more efficient in front of the posts. Playing with the aid of the hill in the opening period Cortown opened the scoring on two minutes before Conor McGovern drew the sides level with a well taken point a minute later. Donaghmore Ashbourne did have a couple of chances to take the lead but it was the Cortown outfit who regained the lead on 8 minutes with a well taken point from play. Donaghmore Ashbourne took the lead on 11 minutes when Brian

Fitzgerald and Eoin Caffrey combined well to find Sean Benville in the square to flick the ball to the net from close range. Mc Govern converted another free on 12 minutes to extend Donaghmore Ashbourne’s lead. The final score of the quarter was a converted free by Cortown to leave two points between the team heading to the second quarter. Mc Govern added a point from a free on 16 minutes and another from play on 18 minutes to extended Donaghmore Ashbourne’s lead but a point from play on 19 minutes from Cortown reduced the deficit to 3 points. The sides traded scores with Eoin Caffrey pointing on 21 minutes before another Cortown reply a minute later to leave the half time interval at 1-05 to 005 to Donaghmore Ashbourne. With a three point internal lead the half time team talk from Jimmy Walsh and Michael Doherty was for the Donaghmore Ashbourne team to continue with the hard work and effort and match the opposition score for score. An early converted free from Mc Govern on 36 minutes and a David Carey point on 37 minutes gave Donaghmore a 5 point lead. To the sides traded scores again with Cortown converting a free on 39 minutes and Stephen Condon showing his experience with a point on 41 minutes. To their credit Cortown never gave up and continued to push Donaghmore Ashbourne in the final quarter. In this period the Donaghmore Ashbourne team had to defend in numbers but

their defence was solid and managed to get vital tackles and interceptions at critical stages. They also managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over with a number of counter attacks. Midfielder Danny Clarke raced up the field and although having an attempt go wide minutes earlier he showed great composure to split the posts from the same run on the second attempt on 51 minutes. Brian Fitzgerald also pointed minutes later with Fitzgerald and Clarke closing out the scoring. The closing minutes saw Cortown close the gap but Donaghmore Ashbourne held out for a well-deserved victory for a group of lads who worked very hard all year. Overall it was great team and squad effort with notable contributions from Mc Govern, Ian Dowd and Danny Clarke. Captain Tom Dreaper accepted the cup from Donal Smyth on behalf of the entire group. Donaghmore Ashbourne: T. Bruton; P. Finglas, S. Smith, M. Finn; I. Byrne, N. Moran, R. Healy; T. Dreaper, D. Clarke(0-2); B. Fitzgerald(0-2), I. Dowd, D. Carey(0-1); C. McGovern(05), E. Caffrey (0-1), S. Benville(1-0) Subs: S. Condon (0-1) for Caffrey, C. Brady for Benville, R. O’Donnell for Finglas At U21 level our side recorded an opening round win over Summerhill in Dunsany on a score line of 2-10 to 1-08. In the semi-final of the competition Timmy O’Regan’s team returned to Dunsany where Seneschalstown provided the

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opposition. On this occasion our lads found it difficult to shake off the Yellow Furze challenge and were glad to book a place in the final with a 0-12 to 0-08 winning margin. Heading to the final we were underdogs as our younger side were giving away to the experience of an older Ratoath side. Despite the setback of the game being delayed by 30 minutes due to extra time in the earlier game this was a very entertaining game from start to finish but for the second year in a row we lost the Under 21 final by the minimum of scores losing out by 012 to 1-08. Well done to Bryan Menton, Andrew Tormey and Sean Curran on making the Meath Senior Panel for 2013. Unfortunately Sean suffered injury at a crucial time but to see two Donaghmore Ashbourne wearing the Green and Gold of Meath in Croke Park is great to see. Well done also to Bryan Menton on his success with the DIT Sigerson Cup Team and his award on the team of the competition.

JP Casserly

HURLING

Hurling in Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA club continues to flourish. Hurling is being practiced and played by all age groups – from 3 and 4 years olds up to 34 year olds and beyond. This is not alone due to the enthusiasm for the skills of the game by the players themselves but also to the dedication, time given and expertise of all the mentors and trainers of the various teams. The support and encouragement of the parents of the underage, the good will of the game’s followers as well as the backing of the club’s executive is also welcome and appreciated. The work put in by our school coaches Aideen Ferry, Seán Benville, Aoife O’ Rourke and Faolan Smith is paying dividends in terms of increased numbers hurling on the various club teams. Great credit is due to Brian Thomas and Claire O Connell who introduce the skills of hurling to boys and girls in the U6 and U8 sections including hosting as well as travelling to arranged mini games. This good work is brought to another phase by Davy Gaughan and Eddie Mather with the U10 players especially in regard to their participation in GO GAMES as well as other organised blitzes and friendlies. The U12 hurlers under the stewardship of Niall O’Sullivan and Niall Battersby brought

Rory O'Connor

Meath Minor Board Secretary Donal Forde presents the MFL Division 1 Cup to Jack McCarney

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glory to the club by winning the B Shield final. Eamon Hogan and Sean O’Farrell kept the sliotar moving with their U14 hurlers. Two members of this team, Seán Hogan and Alex Power O’Rourke were amongst those that played for the Meath U 14 Team that won an All- Ireland Under 14 Tournament. Ciaran Benville, Gerry Giblin and Ray Lawton looked after the minor team that performed to the best of their ability in both league and championship. At Adult level it was a mixed year for our Hurling team. We managed to win the Division 3 league title and gain promotion to a higher standard of hurling for 2014 but the low point of the year was our exit from the championship, not so much the result but the manner of the defeat itself. The introduction of Mark Lynch as coach for the hurling team at the start of the year was a major step in the development of hurling within the club. Mark brought a level of professionalism, enthusiasm and belief to the team and this was evident with the increased numbers at training and indeed the performances on the field. On the championship front Donaghmore Ashbourne opened their campaign with a well-deserved win over Clann na nGael in O’Mahony’s at the end of June. Our lads trailed the Rathcairn/Athboy outfit by 0-08 to 007 at the interval but managed to take control of the game in the second period to run out deserving 0-13 to 0-10 winners. In the second round of the competition the side made the short trip across the Ballybin Road to Ratoath where Wolfe Tones provided the opposition. In a miserable wet evening for hurling our lads struggled with the conditions and lost out on a score line of 1-13 to 1-09. The round three game was played in much better conditions on a glorious July evening in Dunderry and this time round Kildalkey were the opposition. Our lads were in control from the throw in and recorded a very comfortable 420 to 0-03 winning margin. Round 4 was a local derby game with neighbours Ratoath providing the opposition when the sides met in Kilmessan in August. In this game our lads took the bragging rights and a place in the qualifier stages of the competition with a 3-13 to 1-14 winning margin. The final round game was against the table toppers and former senior side Blackhall Gaels. As expected our lads battled well and


donaghmore designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:27 Page 13

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came up short losing out to a 3-11 to 2-08 scoreline. In the qualifier game our lads travelled to Trim in early September where Kilskyre were the opposition. Although not an ideal evening weather-wise for championship hurling Donaghmore Ashbourne and Kilskyre served up a very exciting display of hurling. Such was the effort by both teams that it needed the last puck of the game in Injury time of extra time to separate the teams but for Donaghmore Ashbourne who were never behind for the previous 64 minutes the crucial score went to the North Meath men. Although conceding the opening score on 3 minutes to a free Donaghmore Ashbourne got a great start when Colm O Mealoid found the back of the net with a low drive to the corner of the net on 6 minutes. David Carey extended Donaghmore Ashbourne’s lead with converted frees on 10 and 12 minutes although Kilskyre replied with a point from play on 13 minutes. The second quarter saw Donaghmore Ashbourne settle into the game and during this period they extended their lead with a number of scores. Stephen Meagher pointed from play on 15 minutes and Brian Fitzgerald opened his account with a point a minute later. David Carey continued the scoring with a well taken solo score from play on 17 minutes and he followed this up with three long range frees on 18, 20 and 21 minutes. Colm O Mealoid kicked the ball to the Kilskyre net on 23 minutes and with Carey converting another free on 26 minutes Donaghmore Ashbourne

looked to have a good cushion heading towards the interval. However two late scores from Kilskyre left the interval score line at 2-09 to 0-04 to Donaghmore Ashbourne. Playing with the wind in the second half Kilskyre got a perfect start when a long range free caused some confusion in the Donaghmore Ashbourne defence and the high ball managed to make its way to the back of the net within a minute of the restart. The North Meath side chipped away at the deficit with four unanswered points on 34, 40, 48 and 51 minutes. Although Donaghmore Ashbourne worked hard they found it difficult to score and when Kilskyre found the next on 54 minutes from another long range free there was only a point between the teams going into the final stages of the game. David Carey looked to have sealed victory for Donaghmore Ashbourne when he registered their only score of the second half with a converted a long range free on the stroke of half time to put two points between the teams. Although the Donaghmore Ashbourne camp and followers thought they had done enough and that time was up the referee played a full six minutes of injury time. In this period Kilskyre managed to draw the sides level with two points on 64 minutes. The Kilskyre side were awarded a free on 66 minutes but the resulting strike was put wide giving way to a final score of 2-10 each and an additional period of extra time. Playing with the wind for the first period of extra time Adrian McManus regained the lead for Donaghmore

Donaghmore Ashbourne are crowned Division 1 Under 15 champions at Dunsany

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Ashbourne with a point within two minutes of the restart. Kilskyre did reply two minutes later with a free to bring the sides level. Brian Fitzgerald had a chance to turn the game but his solo run and strike from an acute angle hit the Kilskyre side netting. A David Carey free on 7 minutes regained Donaghmore Ashbourne’s lead and with Mc Manus and O Mealoid also raising the white flag Donaghmore Ashbourne took a 2-14 to 2-11 lead into the final period of extra time. With the aid of the wind Kilskyre hit three consecutive points in the three minutes of the restart to lead the sides level with 6 minutes on the clock. John Broderick converted a massive long range free against the wind with three minutes to go and with some excellent hard work in defence in the closing minutes Donaghmore Ashbourne looked as if they were going to hold on for a win. However Kilskyre did manage to get the equalizing score in the last minute of extra time and although a replay looked on the cards an additional minute of extra time was added and Kiskyre managed to find the net from close range to book a place in the semi-final of the competition. Naturally the Donaghmore Ashbourne players and management were bitterly disappointed with the result but the manner of the defeat, losing to the last puck of the game only compounded their misery. The team could not be faulted for effort and maybe on another day the result would have been different. Donaghmore Ashbourne: Sean Benville, P. Finglas, J. O Riordan, , Sam Benville; A. McManus(0-2), J. Broderick(0-1) (1f), M. Quinn; C. Carey, A .Mulvihill; C. O’Mealoid (2-0), S. Meagher(0-1), , D. Carey(0-9) (8f), B. Fitzgerald(0-1), G. Byrne, J. Philips. Subs: T. Bruton for Quinn, P. Durkan for Finglas. G. Byrne for Philips. On the league front the team topped the Division 3B with a number of wins and walkover throughout the campaign. As a result the side qualified for the Division 3 final with Drumree the opposition. The game was fixed for the morning of the All Ireland Football Final in Killmessan and this did have an effect on the attendance at the game. For Donaghmore Ashbourne it was vital that they won this game, not so much for the cup and the medals that go with winning the title but the prize of playing a higher standard of hurling in 2014 was a greater prize. An


donaghmore designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 16:27 Page 15

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The celebrations begin as the MFL Division 1 title is secured at Donore

early start (11am throw in) did not upset the Donaghmore Ashbourne lads as they hit the ground running from the throw in. Although Drumree took the lead from a free in the first minute a long range John Broderick effort 60 seconds later had the side’s level. Adrian Mc Manus converted a free on 3 minutes to give Mark Lynch’s side the lead for the first time in the game. The sides were level again on 4 minutes when Drumree converted another free and regained the lead on 7 minutes when they converted another free on the right hand side. The sides were level for the third time in the game on 8 minutes when Brian Fitzgerald finished off a good solo run with a point. Mc Manus swung the pendulum towards Donaghmore Ashbourne when he collected the resulting puck out and returned it straight back over the bar to regain the lead again. Colm O Mealoid put two points between the sides for the first time in the game with a close range point on 9 minutes but to their credit Drumree replied with their first score from play on 11 minutes.

Stephen Meagher showed his experience when he collected Sean Bernville’s puck out to go route one and straight over the bar to restore the two point deficit. The following couple of minutes showed mixed fortunes for Donaghmore Ashbourne as the goal machine Brian Fitzgerald fired to the back of the net on 12 minutes while Padraig Durkan was sent to the line on 14 minutes for a second yellow card. Although a man down Donaghmore Ashbourne seemed to up their game instantly and with Mc Manus striking over an excellent free from the corner of the 65 metre line and side line on 18 minutes and Fitzgerald raising the green flag again on 19 minutes they extended their lead to 9 points. Drumree did reduce the deficit back to four again with a goal on 21 minutes and two points on 23 and 25 minutes. Donaghmore Ashbourne final scores of the half came from Aonghus Mulvihill on 28 minutes, Mc Manus on 29 minutes and Colm Randle on 30 minutes although Drumree registered the final score of the half with an injury

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time free. Donaghmore Ashbourne with their tails up started the second half with a sense of urgency knowing that they needed to close out the game early. McManus duly responded with a converted free on 31 minutes, a converted 65 on 33 minutes and another free on 37 minutes to extend the lead. Fitzgerald added to his goal tally with a point on 38 minutes and although Drumree did reply with a free on 39 minutes this was cancelled out with another Mc Manus free on 41 minutes. Drumree did close out the third quarter with a free on 44 minutes and their final score of the morning coming on 45 minutes. The final quarter was played at a less intense pace as the result was inevitable however Donaghmore Ashbourne did keep the scoreboard ticking over with a goal from Martin Quinn and another long range free from Mc Manus. Donaghmore had the luxury of emptying the bench in the closing minutes. The only talking point of the morning was the final score of the game when Brian Fitzgerald had a


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close range free and opted to put it over the bar rather than look for his hat trick. A delighted captain Paul Finglas accepted the cup on behalf of the team and thanked the players and management for their work over the season. He and the team look forward to be playing in a more competitive league and hope that this will help progress hurling within the club. Donaghmore Ashbourne: Sean Benville, P. Finglas, J. O Riordan, Sam Benville; A. McManus(0-9) (6f), J. Broderick(0-1), P. Durkan; T. Bruton, C. Carey; M. Quinn(1-0), A .Mulvihill (0-1), S. Meagher(0-1); B. Fitzgerald(2-3), C. O’Mealoid(0-1), C. Randle (0-1), Subs: J. Philips for T. Bruton, D. Walsh for Finglas. D. Kent for Meagher. At the time of going to press our Under 21 team under the care of Mark Lynch, Cormac Fitzpatrick and Stephen Meagher are about to play in a championship quarter final and hopefully they will enjoy success in the competition. Sam Benville was the Club’s sole representative on the Meath Under 21 hurling panel. For the adult management team of Mark Lynch, Colm O’Méalóid, Owen Flanagan, Cormac Fitzpatrick and Michael Butler it was in general a successful year and they can look forward to 2014 with much anticipation. Overall hurling is going from strength to strength in Donaghmore Ashbourne and hopefully 2014 will be a better year for both adult and under age as they swing their camáns.

MINOR FOOTBALL

It was a great year for our Minor

Footballers as the side managed to recapture the Delaney Cup for the first time since 2008 to add to the league title won in early September. On the championship front the team had to come from behind to record a narrow 0-11 to 1-07 win over Dunshaughlin in early October. At semi-final stage the side travelled to Skryne where O’Mahony’s were the opposition. This was an excellent game of football with both sides going head to head in a good hard fully committed and fair game. Our lads tailed at the interval by 1-06 to 0-06 but a powerful performance in the second period of the game has the 3 point deficit turned into a 4 point lead within 7 minutes of the restart. Our lads booked a place in the final with a 1-15 to 2-08 winning margin. The final itself was a repeat of the league final with St. Peters Dunboyne the opposition in Pairc Tailteann. The game itself was played in miserable drizzly conditions which made ball handling very difficult for both teams. The first half was a low scoring affair with our lads trailing at the break by 1-01 to 0-05 with the goal coming from Darragh McGovern. The early stages of the second half looked as it was going to be the same as it took 11 minutes for the first score to come but our lads kept to the game plan. A Jamie Murtagh goal on 50 minutes gave us the lead for the first time in the game and when Michael Deegan found the net on 57 minutes after his penalty attempt was initially saved but he reacted to the rebound we were in control. Our lads held out for a winning margin of 3-05 to 0-07. Captain Jack Mc Carney accepted the Delaney Cup on behalf of a deserving

squad of players and management. The league campaign was a long drawn out affair running from the early part of the year and the league final only being played in early September. In the final our lads travelled to Donore where St. Peter’s were the opposition. On a wet night there were no holds barred as both team gave it their all to take the title. It needed extra time to separate the teams but thankfully Donaghmore Ashbourne showed the great resolve to come out narrow winners on a score line of 2-15 to 2-14.

LADIES FOOTBALL

The ladies section within Donaghmore Ashbourne is vibrant at present and we have good numbers attending training at the various age groups. Our teams range in age from U8 through to senior level. The Under 14 Championship success was the first piece of silverware to be delivered to the Club during the year and the level of skill displayed by the Donaghmore Ashbourne girls in the final against Dunboyne befitted the occasion, not to mention the fact that the team won every round in the competition. The victory speech by team captain, Emma McCarney was excellently delivered with all involved in the team preparation getting their deserved recognition. Well done to the management team of Paul Rea and Aideen Lee. Although we failed to record any other successes at club level the standard of football within the club is being recognised at county level with a number of players representing the club on the various county teams.

The Donaghmore Ashbourne squad and guests that took on Victorian Amateur Football Association in a challenge

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Maire O’Shaughnessy, Roisin Williams, Michelle Peel and Siofra Cleary were part of the Meath senior team throughout the year. At minor level we had Michelle Peel, Caroline Brothwood, Siofra Cleary and Riain O’Keeffe on the County team. Kate Heffernan was our sole representative on the Meath under 21 squad. At under 16 level we were represented by Sarah O’Brien and Sarah O’Connor. We also had a strong representation on the Meath under 14 team with Aoibhin Cleary, Emma McCarney, Lauren McClean and Judy Bobbett lining out for the Royals on a various occasions. Finally at under 12 grade Aoife Toner represented the club on the Meath team. Well done also to Michelle Peel who was voted Meath Minor Player of the Year. Off the field Donaghmore Ashbourne representatives continue to play a role on the County Board executive with Mary O’Shaughnessy acting as Children Officer, Debbie Leahy as Juvenile Fixtures Chairman, Barry Leahy is Senior Fixtures Chairman and Timmy O’Keeffe on the Fixtures Committee.

CAMOGIE

Like our ladies football Section our Camogie section within the club continues to develop with a lot of work being put in at juvenile level. We have a good pool of players from Under 6 to Under 16. The Under 6 team train with the Under 6 boys in a joint venture with the hurling section and are managed by Brian Thomas. The Under 8 team have large numbers attending training with 37 players registered in this age group and are managed by Bronagh Gaughan and Aoife O’Neill. They have participated in a number of blitzes, both inside and outside the county and were the only Meath Club to play in a camogie blitz in Iniskeen in Monaghan. With such numbers the future development of these young camogie players is awaited with interest. The Under 10 team also had good numbers training but did not enjoy as many games as the team management would have wished for due to blitzes being cancelled at the last minute. Aideen McMahon and Ger Kane are thanked for their efforts with the Under 10s. The Under 12 team had a good year in competition and finished second in their championship group. The future bodes well as most of this team are Under 12 again next year. Well done to mentors Maura

Roche and Jennifer McGrath. At Under 14 level the team performed quite well under the guidance of Lorna Dervan and Maura Roche. Most of the team are Under 13 and reached the semi-final of the Under 13 league. At Under 15 and Under 16 level the Club experienced similar difficulties to other clubs in Meath where playing numbers are low often resulting in the cancellation of games and some teams withdrawing from competition. However, our Under 15 team fulfilled all its league fixtures and all bar one in the Under 16 championship. Great credit is due to Ali Fitzgerald for mentoring this team. On a positive note there are several talented camogie players in this team capable of stepping up to adult level next year. At adult level two teams were fielded and all fixtures were played despite the difficulty posed by small numbers. The junior team held their own in their league while the Intermediate team retained their Division 2 league status with a great victory over near neighbours and rivals, Ratoath. Unfortunately the championship did not go well and the Club have been relegated to Junior for the 2014 championship. The team management of Ritchie O’Donnell, Eithne Tormey, Harry Randle, Maura Roche and Morgan Garry are confident that with some hard work and commitment from the players the adult team can bounce back and enjoy success once again. The club was well represented on Meath camogie teams with Anna Ronan and Ruth Redmond playing with the Meath Under 14 team. On the victorious Meath All-Ireland U 16 and Leinster Shield teams, Sarah O’Connor, Holly O’Donnell and Ciara Redmond represented the club. Maggie Randle was the club’s sole representative on both the Meath Minor and Intermediate camogie teams.

JUVENILE FOOTBALL

At Underage level Donaghmore Ashbourne continues to hold its own at the top tables of Meath Football. Although we did not capture too much silverware our teams are all competing at the highest levels. Our Ashbourne Acorns catered in 2013 for children born between 2006 and 2009. We had over 100 children registered with an average attendance of 80 on a Saturday morning. With such a young age group the emphasis is always on fun and full participation

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by all. For the younger children especially, co-ordination, agility and general ball skills are promoted with small balls, bats, hoops, bean bags. For the older children the skills of football are introduced with plenty of opportunity to practice, have fun and develop.  Parents of the children are encouraged to get involved in the activities and this ensures a healthy ratio of children to adults.  The Annual Street Leagues in May and June provided a festival end to the Acorns term.  This year we had attendances of over 200 children with a Gala Final Day on 15th June. At under 7 grade moved to their own slot on Saturday mornings where they will develop their skills as they look forward to a structured team environment in 2014 where thy will compete in Go Games blitzes with other clubs. 2013 has been an exciting year for the Donaghmore Ashbourne under 8 team. The team performed well in the Go Games this year with robust away performances at Ratoath, Duleek and Dunganny. The home form was also impressive with solid displays at the two blitzes hosted at home in Ashbourne.  All players have worked hard on their skills during the year and are well on the way to becoming stars of the future. At under 9 grade our team progressed very well during the year and competed in a number of Go Games blitz. They continue to develop their skills with number at training in excess of 30 players within the squad. Our under 10 team participated well in the Go-Games Blitzes this year. We hosted two blitzes and attended all the blitzes organised by the other clubs in their group. A series of challenge games were also organised with local clubs and the team are really enjoying these. The team also competed in the Community games which was a great experience for the team. At U11 grade the team are going strong with most of the same squad together since they were under 9 grade together with a couple of new faces this year. The team entered their first year of competitive football as they played in the under 12 reserve Spring and Summer Competitions where they reached the semi-final stages. Along with ten other local clubs they have organised a schedule of games to ensure that the team have plenty of football. This has been very successful and all are enjoying the games.


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Our Under 12 team have a strong panel of 28 players. The Spring league proved a tough challenge with the team not progressing to the knock out stages but there was plenty of learning from the experience. This was to prove useful as the team made the final of a summer blitz in Ratoath only to be beaten by small margin in the match by the hosts. The team have got off to an excellent start in the U13 Autumn Reserve league and have won 3 out of their first 4 matches and we look forward to a successful campaign. Our Under 13 team started off in January training with the under 14 team before taking part in the Spring league in the U14 Reserve Division. The team had a great win over Trim in the quarter-final on a score line of 4-06 to 3-07. On the semi-final they travelled to Donore where Ratoath were the opposition. Unfortunately our team came up short and failed to make the final. Although recording an opening round win over Summerhill in the Under 13 league we have suffered defeats at the hands of Na Fianna, Seneschalstown and Clann na nGael in subsequent games. The side did finish the league with a well earned victory over Skryne in the final game and look forward to Under 14 competition next year. Our Under 14 team reached the final of the league competition and the semi-final of the Championship. They also recorded success when they won the Under 14 seven-a-side competition. At County Development squad the team is represented by Dylan Cassidy, Sean Hogan, Colm O’Toole, Cian Flynn and Conor Cooley.

Our Under 15 team competed in the Division 1 league and opened up their campaign with an away win over Trim. They continued the winning sequence with victories over St. Peter’s Dunboyne, O’Mahony’s and Skryne. Although they suffered a defeat at the hands of St. Colmcille’s a they qualified for the league final with Skryne providing the opposition when the sides met in Dunsany. With very little between the teams in recent years the final was always going to be a close affair and for much of the game it looked as if it was going down to the wire. Our lads led at the interval 2-05 to 2-04 and with 5 minutes to go there was still only a point between the teams. However our lads showed great character to score 1-02 in the final couple of minutes to run out 3-11

to 2-08 winners to capture the league title. We also entered a second team in the Under 15 league and this team competed in the Division 5 league. The team recorded win over St. Peter’s Dunboyne, Dunderry and Dunsany but incurred defeats at the hands of Oldcastle and Round Towers. Unfortunately we failed to make the final but the experience against some physically stronger players will be a benefit for next year. At County development squad level we are represented by Leo Reilly, Shane Rea and Stephen Carton. At under 16 level we competed well in the all competitions in 2013 but failed to make any of the finals. At County development squad level we are represented by Ryan Bannon, Stephen Breslin, Niall Kavanagh, Connor Heffernan, Anthony McElearney, Donagh O’Donnell and John Wilson.

OTHER NEWS

Again this year we hosted the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) in an international rules game in October. Although our lads and playing guests were unlucky to lose out on a score line of 42 points to 36 points the overall day was a success. We had a full house at the game and many people stayed behind for the great music provided by The Rambling Band. Our visitors were completely blown away by the hospitality and professionalism shown by the club on the day and commented during the presentations that what they had witnessed in Donaghmore Ashbourne was way and above anything they encountered on their tour to date. Off the field one of our club Presidents Fr. Jim Lynch was reassigned to Beauparc and Kentstown following a reshuffle by Bishop Michael Smith. As well as being parish priest in the area he was also one of our club presidents for Donaghmore Ashbourne. To acknowledge his unending support and contribution to the club over the 15 years he was in Ashbourne the club gave him a small presentation to thank him for his support. We all wish Fr. Jim well in his new parish and welcome our new priest Fr. Michael Hinds into the parish. We also wish to congratulate Fr. Derek Darby on his promotion to parish priest for the parish. Defenders in both Hurling and Junior Football around Meath will have it somewhat easier in 2014 as one of our

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best forwards Brian Disco Fitzgerald left Donaghmore Ashbourne to emigrate to New York. Brian was a goal machine for the club and he won league medals with both the Hurlers and Division 4B footballers this year and managed to score 21 goals this year alone to add to his 18 goals in 2012. He will be greatly missed and we wish him every success and look forward to his return. On the multimedia front Donaghmore Ashbourne went viral early in the year when a photo taken by Michael Doherty at the opening round league game was posted on Facebook and twitter. The photo showed players from Donaghmore Ashbourne and Seneschalstown working together to push an ambulance off the field when it found difficulties in the soft ground. Shane Melia in the foreground of the photo did suffer from a bit of ribbing as he was seen as not being a team player which for Shane was a total misrepresentation. Back in the Summer of 2012 Joe O’ Connor had an idea to reform the Drama Group within the club and having discussed this with a number of people he decided to proceed with the venture. Having put together a team of actors and support people the fruits of the hard work have been evident in recent weeks in the club. A Wake in the West, a 3 act comedy by Michael J Ginnelly has been an outstanding success and has surpassed our expectations. We originally ran for 4 nights and each of these nights were sold out. Such was the demand that an extra night was organized and this sold out within a couple of days. The show was a great hit and everyone who attended the performances came away thoroughly impressed not alone with the quality of the acting itself but with the overall professionalism of the production from the meet and greet at the front door to the quality of the set and how smoothly the play ran. The cast were given a very special surprise on the second Saturday night when at the end of the show it was announced that the writer was in the audience. Well done to all involved and we hope this is the start of a new era in Donaghmore Ashbourne. Compiled by Michael Doherty


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A LYNCH-PIN FOR SUCCESS

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The Lynch's, back l/r: Andrew, Elizabeth, Martin and John with Una and Sean at the front

ean Lynch and his family have been playing their part for the Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA club for over 25 years now. Royal County spoke to the Foran Equine Products Sales Rep about his love for club, county and sport in general.

It’s often said that family and GAA go hand in hand and it certainly seems to be the case for Sean Lynch, his siblings and the Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA club. For the past 28 years, Sean has been a Sales Representative for Foran Equine Products, a Cherry Orchardbased company which has grown to become a market leader in the field of specialised equine nutrition and health care across the globe. In that time, Sean has become a stalwart of the company while his children have themselves played focal parts in GAA success at both club and county level. Sean’s wife Una is also GAA connected, she played with a Meath selection in Croke Park in her youth.

Her nephew Conor Tormey is currently acting as Meath county board chairman, while his grandfather, Jimmy Lynch, was a Kilberry man and involved with the Wolfe Tones club in

the past. This past September, Sean made it his business to watch the All-Ireland SFC final between Dublin and Mayo from afar on his annual trip to Australia with the Irish National Hunt Jockey’s team. Now in his 27th year, he is the team’s most successful manager. There’s simply no doubting the man’s GAA credentials, but he does admit that nowadays it’s his kids that are more heavily involved than he is. John, Martin and Elizabeth have all represented Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA club with distinction, while Andrew has been making the sporting headlines on a different front – one that has always been close to Sean’s heart. “My eldest son John played football for Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA and has won four championship medals along with numerous league medals. He received senior football player of the year in 2002. ‘’Unfortunately John tore his cruciate ligament last year and had to retire from playing football, however he remains heavily involved in the club as he currently manages the U-14 football team,” Sean stated. ‘’Martin, my second eldest son is

Andrew Lynch celebrates after his win in the Boylesports.com Fortria Steeplechase at Navan in November

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currently captain of the intermediate football team and previously captained the senior team. He has won an i n t e r m e d i a t e championship medal and Division 1, 2, 3 and 4 A’ league medals. In his seventh year playing adult football he hopes he’ll continue to play on for the next few years and perhaps win some more medals. “My daughter Elizabeth won the first All-Ireland medal in the Lynch household for camogie, when Meath beat Roscommon in Croke Park. It was a very proud moment for all the family. She has also won league and Leinster medals with the Meath comogie team and her club, Donaghmore/Ashbourne. In addition she won an Ashbourne Cup medal with her college Waterford IT and was honoured with player of the tournament. She’s has now retired from the county team but continues to

Over he goes - Anaglogs Daughter ridden by Sean Lynch winning the Glen Novice Chase at Thurles in 1979

represent her club. “As for me, I’m involved with running the Cheltenham preview night for Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA which helps them with their fundraising every year.” It’s all evidence that Sean’s kids have been following in his footsteps in regards to his love of Gaelic games, and sport in general. During his own playing career, Sean

played for his native Garristown in the north west of Dublin before hanging up his boots at an early age to opt for a different sport. A sport that has helped him gain the necessary experience to help hold the position he has with Foran Equine Products today. “I played football for Garristown and won a Dublin junior championship in 1965,” he explained. “I gave up football very early because I was a jockey and it was very hard to try and juggle both sports. I rode a Galway Hurdle winner in 1977 on ‘Paddy Bowler’. I also rode the last winner over fences in Ballydoyle before it shut down in 1972. The name of that horse was ‘Hilarious Boy’.” Sean has fond memories of his days as a jockey and his love for horseracing still sees him involved in the sport in all sorts of different areas. His profession sees him working for

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a company which boasts a comprehensive, wellestablished range of over 60 products. These include superior quality nutritional supplements specifically designed to optimise health and boost performance and essential health care products for performance horses. Products are developed by an experienced multidisciplinary team including veterinary surgeons, chemists, equine nutritionists and horsemen and women in accordance with customers’ needs. Through development and innovation trials in-house and in leading educational institutes, the products are put through their paces to ensure superior levels of efficacy, safety and quality. In keeping its strong links with the sport, Foran Equine Products recently added top National Hunt jockey Barry Cash to its sales team. A native of Rathcoffey in Kildare, Barry is a Grade 1 and Cheltenham winning jockey and linked up with fellow former jockey Sean to expand the equine sales force in the Irish market with responsibilities including looking after existing customers and developing new business for Foran Equine. The company revealed the news on their website (foranequine.ie) and released an official statement that they were looking forward to working with Barry and utilising “his vast array of experience and knowledge”. Working with jockeys has always been a pleasure for Sean, whose son Andrew is currently second (at time of print) in the list for top Irish National Hunt Jockeys in 2013. Andrew also has a background in GAA but, like his father, decided to step away from the game at a young age in order to pursue a career in horse-racing. That decision has worked out well for Andrew, who had his first ride in a bumper at Fairyhouse in April 2001 and his first winning ride in May 2002 on Tristernagh in a novice hurdle at Downpatrick. Last year, he was unfortunate to suffer a broken leg after a fall in Cork but this season has saw him bounce back brilliantly to be cited as one of the country’s best.

Mairead Ryan (daughter of Jimmy Curran) leads in Paddy Bouler ridden by Sean at Leopardstown 1977

Sean explained that Andrew would frequently train with Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA at their superb facilities to help keep him in superb shape all year around, while also staying in touch with his GAA roots. “He’d train with the lads the odd time but he’s a very good jockey and at the moment he’s second in the National

Hunt Jockey of the Year table ranks, behind Ruby Walsh,” said Sean. “It will be tough for him to catch Ruby now, but he’s done brilliant this year and hopefully next year he will continue to improve. Next season will be a big one and if he can stay injury-free there’s no reason why he can’t have an even better year than the one he’s just had.” The Meath GAA faithful may be thinking along the same lines. This past season saw the Royals making all the right strides off the back of a tough 2012 season, having achieved promotion from Division Three of the National Football League and reached the last 12 of the All-Ireland SFC, where Tyrone narrowly denied them a passage to the quarterfinals. 2014 will see Mick O’Dowd’s men attempt to gain back-to-back promotions in the NFL in a bid to play their league football back in the top flight, while in the championship the Royals will have already started to design their plans to halt Dublin’s dominance in Leinster as well as on the All-Ireland stage. Sean, for one, hopes that the old rivals can avoid one another next season so as he won’t be torn between his home county and his adopted one.

Sean with the Galway Hurdle Trophy in 1977

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“I’d follow Meath and they seem to be moving in the right direction at the moment,” he said. “I’m the manager of the Irish National Hunt Jockey’s team and this year was our 27th year going to Australia with the team. I watched the All-Ireland final this year in Australia and it was a great game. I was delighted to see Dublin winning, to be honest, but if they meet Meath next year it will be hard to choose who to cheer for. I played my football in Dublin but I’ve had a daughter that’s played for Meath, so it would be hard to cheer against them. Sean could be forgiven for supporting his native county and members of the Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA club will feel he owes them nothing, especially if he manages to bring the coveted statue of Arkle to the area in the early part of next year. Arkle was not only Ireland's most famous equine hero, but he was also a flag bearer for the country through the barren years of the 1960s. In tough times, Arkle lifted the nation with his heroics on the racecourse as Ireland was then, as it still is now, renowned and devoted to National Hunt racing. “The statue of Arkle is something we’re hoping to get in Ashbourne in March. It would be great to get it here and hopefully we can because it’s where it belongs,” said Sean. Many around Donaghmore/Ashbourne will be hoping the statue’s arrival can provide an early omen for the club in 2014 when silverware will be competed for across all levels once more with the cabinet undoubtedly set to hold a few cups this time next year. The future looks bright for Donaghmore / Ashbourne GAA club with nearly 50 teams across all grades and divisions. ’Sean hopes in the very near future that the clubs senior football team will bring home the Keegan cup. Sean and his family would like to wish Donaghmore / Ashbourne GAA club every success for 2014.

Elizabeth in camogie action for Meath

Sean clears on Paddy Bouler

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IRWIN PREDICTS BRIGHT FUTURE

rumconrath junior footballers looked to have turned a corner in the last two years and veteran star Leighton Irwin believes that it is upwards and onwards for the North Meath club now. It has been a tough struggle for the red and whites since Rathkenny edged them out in the 2006 IFC decider. They contested an IFC quarter-final the following year but, much to their frustration, hadn’t won a championship game since defeating Ballivor to retain their intermediate status in 2008. North county rivals Castletown sent them crashing through the relegation trapdoor in 2009 and they've been languishing in the junior ranks ever since. The club have a proud tradition and

picked up their first piece of silverware in 1928 when they won the junior championship that year. Two legendary figures of Royal County GAA, Fr McManus and Matt Nulty were part of that team. A lean period, in terms of silverware, ensued for the north Meath club and they had to wait until 1963 before the junior championship was once again captured. Thirty three years then elapsed before Drumconrath annexed their next junior title and on this occasion a young Leighton Irwin was present on the team. Neighbours Meath Hill were the opponents in the decider and following a classic encounter, it was the Drums that came out on top. The youngster’s performances that year earned him a call up to the Meath juniors and this was an experience that

he was never to forget. “I first played for the club’s adult team in 1994 and just two years later we won the junior championship, which was a great start to any young lad’s career. I was with the Meath juniors also and that was an experience in itself. We didn’t win anything, but it was great to be involved even if it was just the junior team,” said Leighton. In 1998, the club reached the intermediate semi-final only to lose to eventual winners Blackhall Gaels after a replay. However, they were to go one step further eight years later when they reached the intermediate final, but on this occasion Rathkenny triumphed. “We had a very good team around then and there were some excellent footballers on the team. I think if we had won the intermediate that year, a few of the lads might have stuck

Leighton weighs up his options against Dunsany in the league

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The Drumconrath squad that reached the 2012 Division 4 league final

around, but gradually that team broke up and it has taken us a while to get going again. “We’ve had a few very lean years since and going a couple of years without winning a game in the championship was very demoralising for everyone, but particularly the younger lads on the squad.” Drumconrath have kept plugging away though despite the huge exodus through emigration and this year saw them reach the junior football championship quarterfinals. Cortown were the opponents on this occasion and in a tight contest, it was they who came out on top, but Leighton stressed that there were many positives to take from the campaign. “A lot of young lads have been brought through to the junior team and the experience of this year will stand to them. We are always going to struggle with numbers because of emigration as rural clubs are hit harder than the urban clubs. “We needed someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck against Cortown, but it never happened. They went on and could have beaten Kilmainham, so it shows that we are

Leighton uses his experience to evade a tackle

not too far off the mark. “It is important that the good work is continued. Our underage structure is in a healthy state and there is a lot of work being done in this area. Tommy Smith was manager of the junior team this year and he has instilled a belief into the players and you could see the confidence growing Continued Best Wishes To in them with each Wesco game that we won.” Leighton revealed that there are MCC Controls rumours going Specialise In The around the area Supply Of Automation that two of the most talented players & Controls Products that the club ever 6/7 Robinhood Business Park, Robinhood Road, Dublin 22 produced may be Tel: + 353 (1) 450 6450 Fax: +353 (1) 450 6104 lining out in the Email: sales@mcc-controls.com Drumconrath www.mcc-controls.com colours once again

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next year. “There’s talk that Wayne Reilly is coming back, while there’s a rumour that Terry Skelly could be back also, but it remains to be seen. It would be great to have both of these players back and I’d be confident that we could win the junior if they did. “But if they don’t the talent is certainly there to do well. We have a good minor team in the making next year and if we can hold on to what we have and add a few more players to that then we have a bright future.” Drumconrath ply their trade in division 3 of the football league and Leighton feels that playing at this level has helped their younger players gain valuable experience. “In division 3, you are not only playing the best junior teams, but you also have some intermediate teams in there as well, some of which we beat this year and that also helped with the confidence. It’s a decent standard to be playing and it definitely sets you up for the championship.” Leighton is employed by Wesco Electrical Ltd for the past ten years and is based in their Drogheda branch. The company was established in 1972 by Jimmy Owens and the late Des Healy, in response to a need for a local Electrical Wholesale Distributor to supply electrical contractors and industry in the area. In 1973 their first location outside of Drogheda was at Academy Street in Navan, Co. Meath. In 1980, the first lighting showrooms were established there, which trades as The Lighthouse. WESCO Electrical Ltd is solely owned by Jimmy and Sheila Owens. They are proud of the fact that it is a wholly Irish owned Independent Company. Jimmy's son David and daughter Ann are also directors of the company.


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DAVID HONOURED BY MEATH COACHING ROLE

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s manager of the Meath U14 Development Squad team in 2013, former Leinster junior medallist David Harford put in an unbelievable shift. The Kilbride clubman doesn’t see it as hard work, however. To the contrary, he says it is a “great honour” to be involved at this level.

Dunshaughlin and St Pat’s, Stamullen. It was an all-round effort and without the support of the clubs you’d have nothing.” Numbers-wise, what size of a squad did the U14 management team work with for the year? “We finished off with 54 lads and we would have predominantly worked with them,” David reveals. “Every club was initially asked to send in their best players for trials at Dunganny and those were held with people like Colm O’Rourke and Sean Boylan in attendance. After that we did regional training, with all 138 kids involved for eight weeks. Once those eight weeks were over, we cut it down to 54.” So there were no limits on the number of players each club could send forward? “No. Trials are a very scary place for a kid at 14 years of age – I’ve been there myself! Take John McDermott as an example of a lad who can slip through. He came in and told his story and the bottom line is that we would hate to lose anybody with potential. My goal was to operate an open-ended panel and it remained open-ended for the year. “We tried to involve every club but, as we soon found out, we couldn’t do this where a particular club had no players

It may take place mostly behind the scenes, but developing underage players is one of the most vital roles in gaelic games. And nowhere is it more crucial than at county Development Squad level. In 2013, David Harford fronted the Meath U14 squad, ably assisted by selectors Eamonn Moyles, Aidan Quinn, Damien Hanan and Andy Hayes. The year was a resounding success as the players involved made clear strides and David is confident that he has a bunch of footballers at his disposal who can challenge for All-Ireland minor honours in four years’ time. The amount of work and planning that goes into overseeing a Development Squad is almost unquantifiable, especially if you attend every training session and every game, as David insisted on doing. “This was my first year with the Development Squads and it went very well,” he reflects. “It was a huge challenge but it was also a great opportunity for me to put something back into the game. “With the U14s, it was very much a team effort. I was ably assisted by the four lads, who brought an array of talent to the table, especially for the initial eight weeks of the regional training. As well as Dunganny, we were lucky enough to have access to the facilities of various clubs – Kilbride, Summerhill, St Vincents, Skryne, Grangegoden, The Meath U14 management presents kit bags to the squad, Ballinabrackey, Bective, l/r: Eamonn Moyles, Daniel Devine, Rian Kealy, David Harford

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who were at the right level with their personal development. You have to be conscious of the fact that kids have a lot going on with their bodies at this age and they can develop at different stages and they can also have good months and bad months. That’s why we didn’t drop anyone off the final squad.” The season as such stretched out for the guts of six months. “We started in late April / early May, which was possibly a little late as we were disjointed in our first Blitz. We trained right through into October and the last Blitz of the year was hosted in Stamullen on October Bank Holiday Monday.” The Royal County U14s won this intercounty Blitz to finish off their year in considerable style! “We trained twice a week during the summer and introduced the kids to all the things the great Meath teams would have done, to give them an insight into what it takes to be successful at this level,” David continues. “We played up to 25 games and I feel we have given them a great opportunity, with various coaches and intercounty managers coming in to give them a hand. Paul Clarke from Match-Fit and Meath Games Development Administrator Jamie Queeney have been a big help also coaching officer Eamonn Barry.” The manager is happy that the U14s made very clear progress during the course of the year. “The first Blitz in Darver also involved Louth, Westmeath and Dublin. We had two squads on duty that day and Dublin were streets ahead. They gave us a hiding and the lads were dejected afterwards. “We subsequently played Dublin in the final of the Leinster Blitz and beat them. We only brought one squad to the Leinster Blitz in Offaly and we defeated Dublin by 5-10 to 1-2 in the final, which was a huge turning point in our year. We also beat Wexford, Laois, Offaly and


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Kildare in that one. “Obviously, it’s not all about winning games at U14 level but these are talented lads and they like to go out and challenge themselves. There is a real pedigree there. “Familiarity and continuity are very

The U14 squad that defeated Dublin

important and in that respect I think it was a successful years. We have given them a platform but it’s not about us – it was down to the kids themselves and the parents who have supported us throughout the year. It wouldn’t be possible without them. We also face a very tough battle against soccer and rugby, which have massive commercial backing, and the county committee is doing a wonderful job keeping underage football up and running at the highest level possible.” Realistically, what’s an achievable objective for this group of footballers? “The goal should be to win a minor AllIreland. I believe they are a very talented group of lads who are determined to go

on and represent their county with distinction. You need to set goals and a minor All-Ireland is logical. These lads are fully committed to Meath GAA and I believe this group is going to be very competitive going forward. They have shown that already with the progress they made in 2013. The emphasis at Development Squad level is on development first and foremost, but their competitiveness is there for all to see – very like the Meath side of 1987/88.” Workwise, David is line manager on nights with Musgraves in Fonthill, which means he’s responsible for all the chilled produce (as well as fruit and veg) going out of the depot destined for the northern half of the country. This incorporates

The Meath U14 Development squad warm up

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some 700 stores, between Super Valu and Centra. It hasn’t exactly been easy to juggle the job with his Development Squad duties but, where there’s a will… “I work nights and I’d be finished on a Saturday at 7am and we’d be up again at 8:30 or 9:00 to go training with the Development Squad. When we were training midweek, I was able to swap my shifts. It’s been a huge challenge but my employers, my wife Clare, my kids and the in-laws have all been hugely supportive. My two sons Cian and Josh came to every training session and helped out as ballboys. Clare has been by my side as well, helping out with the First Aid. She played camogie and football with Kilbride and also played camogie for Meath and her father Tommy Mahon would have been a selector with All-Ireland winning Meath teams in the past. “It’s difficult when you have a young family but I’m in this for the kids; it’s not

The Development squad in their new Meath jerseys

about me. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a Leinster-winning Meath junior team and I know what it takes to be successful at intercounty level - that’s what I’m trying to give back to the kids. “It’s a great honour and challenge to coach your county team, regardless of what age group and I’m looking forward to working with this group again next year at U15 level.” At the age of 40, David Harford – who started out with the St Vincent’s club in Ardcath - still finds time to play and coach with Kilbride and has also served as club Best Wishes chairman for three years. He has been instrumental in putting juvenile structures in place in Kilbride and this was evident this year as they claimed the U12 7-a-side championship (playing

The U14 Development squad management team of l/r: Damien Hannon, Aidan Quinn, Eamonn Moyles and David Harford (missing from pic: Andy Hayes)

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against senior clubs). “We’ve also introduced the Gaisce Awards, which are a community-based initiative, and two of our club members – Jack Donnelly and Ordhnaith McKenna – have taken that up,” he concludes. “They have already graduated with their bronze awards, which is the first accreditation, and they received those at Croke Park at half time during this year’s second International Rules Test.”

To David Harford, From


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GOING THE DISTANCE

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ince leaving home in 1998, Eddie Travers has become one of many Irish success stories across the Atlantic. Royal County spoke to the Ardcath native about his business career, as well as his playing days both home and abroad. They say pressure changes everything for many people. For Eddie Travers, however, things seemed to have changed for the good thanks to coolness under pressure and the hard work that he and his wife Dervila Bowler, also from the Ardcath/Clonalvy Parish, have put in down the years to come to own the Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan, New York City. Their endeavours upon arrival in ‘The Big Apple’ saw them quickly climb up the ladder in the bar and restaurant business and when they were presented with the opportunity to take over one of the city’s most historic American Taverns, needless to say they jumped at the chance. “The first thing I did when I got here was get a license to ride the horse and carriages in Central Park however I was offered a job bartending before I could take this career path,” Eddie explained. “I was bartending and Dervila was managing restaurants in Times Square. I guess taking over a place was something we always wanted to do. That’s the career path we chose, and a lot of Irish out here choose it. If you keep the head right you can go far.” The couple met when Eddie was visiting home in 2003. St Vincent’s had claimed the JFC B title that year under David Beggy with Eddie’s brother, Sean Og, on the team. It was a special occasion and Eddie crossed the Atlantic to attend

the medal presentation dinner dance in Navan, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the club’s intermediate championship win. Dervila was in attendance as her grandfather Edward (Ned) Madden was on that team in 1953 and her brother Tomas was on the team that won in 2003. “We met that night and after the dinner dance went to the Ardboyne Hotel, where I worked before leaving for New York, for a night cap,” recalls Eddie. “The night porter Peter Black, who won a senior championship for St Vincents in 1955, let us in for a drink and the rest as they say is history. I guess I have to thank Meath football and St Vincents football for a lot in my life.  “On May 3rd 2008 we got married in

Eddie and Dervila outside Fraunces Tavern with Richard Hammond of Top Gear on BBC

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New York and 70 of our closest friends and family joined us for our special day. We had a good idea at this stage that we were staying here.” Three years ago, the Travers along with the Porterhouse Brewing Company in Dublin took the decision to lease Fraunces Tavern at an address that is one of the oldest in the world’s most famous city… no pressure. “I’m in New York since 1998 and I guess it was the right time to takeover,” said Eddie. “Dervila and myself are now partners in the Porter House at Frances Tavern which is located just by Wall Street. Just over three years ago we took it over and there are 44 people employed here now. “It has been a bar since 1762 and is also the oldest standing building in New York. It would be well known around the city as the place where George Washington gave his farewell speech to his generals after the Revolutionary War. We would have a lot of tourists coming in everyday from all over the world.” Among the worldwide tourists are plenty of Irish customers that come over on a yearly basis, practically, and many are happy to find an Irish man that’s up to date with GAA news, particularly in his native Meath. As a former St Vincent’s footballer, Eddie arrived in New York with more than bartending ability in his repertoire. Sure enough the Meath club came calling and he obliged them with his services both on and off the playing field. The highlight of his playing career with Meath came in 2004 when they


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defeated Armagh at Gaelic Park to claim the New York Junior A Football Championship title. “My club is St Vincent’s, Ardcath in Meath. I played with them growing up and when I moved over here I played with the Meath team,” he explained. “We won a New York junior championship nine years ago and there were a few Meath fellas on that team like Shane McAnarney and Caoimhin King. There’s a good Meath following out here. I watched them this summer and they played a nice style of football. I think the new rules coming in next year will help them because it will provide a more open game that will suit Meath’s game.” Stephen Ward was also among the Meath contingent, while Brian Newman was captain of the team that day against the Orchard men. Meath opened well, opening the scoring through their skipper Newman. The Royal County club were further boosted when their goal poacher supreme, Ratoath’s Ciaran Gaughan, flicked a long delivery from Seamus De Bruin to the Armagh net. However, that score seemed to inspire their opponents who responded with a string of points to lead 0-9 to 1-4 at the break. Armagh maintained their slender advantage throughout the third quarter and would have been out of sight but for two splendid save by Meath custodian Gareth Dooley from Dunderry. Inspired by the reprieve, Meath turned a two-point deficit into a similar advantage. First, Man-ofthe-Match, David ’Lar’ Callaghan

Dervila and Eddie on American TV

The historic Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan

cut the margin to the minimum before Dunshaughlin’s Stephen Ward fired to the net to restore their advantage. There was to be another twist in the tale as the Orchard County club regained the initiative with a goal after the Meath defence failed to clear. Anthony Gaughan’s charges were back in front when Callaghan provided openings for Clem McAuley and Ward to score. The sides exchanged scores before the finish but Meath held out for a famous 2-11 to 1-13 victory, their first at this level since 1995, which saw them advancing to the senior ranks. The Meath GFC team that contested the final was as follows: Gareth Dooley; Paddy Melligan, Cathal Loughnane, Eoin Loughnane; David Callaghan (0-3), Ciaran Greene, Seamus De Bruin; Jamie Shaw (0-1), Shane McAnarney; John

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Eddie with the legendary Sean Boylan

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The Meath team that claimed New York junior honours in 2004

Smith, Stephen Ward (1-3), Clem McAuley (0-3); Ciaran Gaughan (1-0), Brian Newman (0-1), Mickey Rennicks. Subs: Todd Bennett for Rennicks, Seanie Maher for Gaughan, J. McKeveney for Bennett, Eddie Travers for De Bruin. Since its famous success, the club has sadly disbanded but Eddie is adamant that there is still plenty of GAA interest from the Meath end and admitted that he enjoyed every minute in volunteering with the club out there. “The Meath club is gone, but you have a big enough Meath population out here that are still playing,” he said. “There was a time when I was the jack of all trades for that club, I suppose. I acted as secretary and treasurer and I used to write match reports and send them into the Meath Weekender after every game. If another Meath club were to start up I don’t think they’d be short of numbers.” Eddie knows that the current economic climate in Ireland will continue to

see Irish numbers grow out west, regardless of so many opting for Australia as their first choice over the last three or four years. “We go home at least twice a year and it’s sad to see what’s happened to the economy there,” he said. “You have a lot of people emigrating to Australia and Canada now, but there’s still a huge Irish population in New York and I think the Irish out here now are a bit older and wiser now compared to when they first came out and that’s a good thing. A lot of them

Eddie celebrates with the Meath team of New York

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are coming over now again because things are bad, but it’s nothing like what came out here before. “The GAA is still strong here too. There are new clubs popping up every year practically and all in all there would be between 25 and 30 now competing every season. If you go up to Rockland now there are a lot of Irish that have moved up there and they just started a club, and in Long Island as well.” While there has been no sign of a reformation of the Meath club in New York, Eddie will still be able to cheer on the Royals from the other side of the Atlantic in 2014 as they bid to gain back-to-back promotions in the National Football League and halt Dublin’s dominance in the Leinster senior football championship. He will also be keeping a close eye on St Vincent’s progress, with the club still be close to his heart having grown up playing football with them from a young age.


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MICHEAL O’BRIEN

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A LIVING LEGEND

egend is a term often used loosely but in the case of Micheal O'Brien it can said without fear of contradiction. A vital cog in the history-making Meath All-Ireland winning team of 1949, by the time the curtain came down on his intercounty career in 1955, the Skryne man had accumulated 2 All-Ireland SFC, 4 Leinster SFC, 4 Railway Cup, 1 AllIreland JHC and 6 county championship medals. Along with his cousin, Paddy 'Hands' O'Brien, and Kevin McConnell, he formed one third of a full-back line that has gone down in GAA folklore. Nowadays, Micheal resides with this daughter Aine in Stamullen following the passing of his beloved wife Patricia in 2011. Aine's husband is former Ardee and Louth footballer Bartle Landy and their two sons, Donal and Shane, line out with St Pat's and have followed in their grandfather's footsteps by

representing the Royal County at underage level. Micheal turned 90 back in June and while the passing of time may have dimmed his memory somewhat, he still has fond recollections of the year that the Royal County made the longawaited breakthrough on the senior intercounty stage. The '49ers', as they have become affectionately known, made history by overcoming neighbours Cavan on a scoreline of 1-10 to 1-6 in front of an attendance of 79,460 at Croke Park. Micheal first pulled on the green and gold senior jersey in 1942, in a game versus Louth, and his versatility saw him line out all over the pitch. For the first round of the 1949 campaign against Kildare for example he was picked at right corner-forward. He was switched to midfield during the course of the game and was retained there for the next match against Wexford. In the three-match Leinster final saga against Louth, Micheal was again

selected at midfield but had the misfortune of being sent off along with the Wee County's Stephen White in the second game. By the time the All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo came around, the selection committee decided to position him at right corner-back and it turned out to be an inspired move on the selectors' behalf as he would go on to make the number two jersey his own. 'The Meath Chronicle' match report of the final was glowing in its praise of Micheal's performance: 'Mick’s fielding was of the classic stamp. His courage and tackling was of the highest order. He outplayed the brilliant Mullagh boy, Edwin Carolan, and, in short, played the best game of his grand football career'. 64 years later, Micheal tells us his football philosophy was simple but effective: "Make sure your man didn't score, that was it. Make sure he didn't hinder anyone else. I was always a great believer in looking after your own

The great men on 1949, front l/r: J Kearney, P Connell, M O’Brien, F Byrne, K McConnell, S Heery, B Smyth, C Hand, Jack Meehan, P McDermott, P Carolan, P Meegan. Back: P O’Brien, M McDonnell, C Smyth, L McGuinness, P Dixon, K Smyth, D Taaffe, T Farrelly, W Halpenny, Jas Meehan, J Bashford, Tom ‘Boiler’ McGuinness

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player never to win an Allman," he said. Ireland senior football medal? The 26 year old O'Brien "Tony (Donnelly) was one of fulfilled his end of the bargain the best players ever with in the final against the Breffni Meath. He was the best County by holding Carolan player I ever saw who never scoreless. won an All-Ireland, without a "Edwin was a pretty good doubt. In my time playing he player but he didn't score so was the best player in the that was the main thing. county, I don't care what "Cavan were favourites anyone says." going into the final, they were In 1948, Micheal and Tony chasing a three-in-a-row and helped the Royal County to had a great team but we had All-Ireland JHC glory. "We a good record against Cavan. had some great hurlers, Tony We played them quite a lot and Pat (Donnelly), Joe around that time and we were Loughran. It was a big deal. confident enough that we Tony was a great bit of stuff, could beat them on the day if he missed out on an Allwe played as good as we Ireland football unfortunately were capable of playing. in '49. He shouldn't have. "The first All-Ireland was "The football would come hard won. We needed three first, with Skryne it did games to get over Louth in anyway. We had a hurling the Leinster final. We were team in Oberstown and I lucky to win them. We went played with Kilmessan then." into collective training before Micheal, Tony Donnelly and the final against Cavan and Paddy 'Hands' also shared we had a great time down in Gibbstown. The weather was Micheal pictured in 1999 with his wife Patricia and granddaughter Caoimhe great days together in the colours of Skryne but there great." were disappointments too. Five years later, Micheal McConnell wasn't half bad either. We "I lost a lot of games with Skryne that added a second Celtic Cross souvenir didn't get in each other’s way too pained me a lot. I think I played in 14 to his collection when Kerry were much." finals, someone told me that anyway, defeated in the decider on a scoreline Micheal won four Railway Cup and we lost eight. We won six though of 1-13 to1-7 and it made up for the medals in total and he laments the so I can't complain, it wasn't bad!" disappointment of losing the 1951 and demise of the interprovincial Gaelic football has undergone a '52 deciders to Mayo and Cavan. competition. "How did that happen!" he joked dramatic transformation in the years "It was a great honour to be selected when the subject of the loss to Mayo since Micheal excelled at it but his on the Leinster team but it has died out was raised in light of the Connacht interest in the fortunes of Skryne and since. It was a big deal during my County's present day trials and Meath has never waned and he's time." tribulations. glued to the television anytime there's Micheal skillfully sidestepped the Their famine stretches into a 63rd a game on. question: who he rated as the best year but, as regards the six-point "I like looking at it, there's a lot more victory over the Kingdom, Micheal players on the '49 team, answering it passing, hand ball in it than there used said: "I think we caught Kerry by to be. I was looking at a game on the would be impossible to name names, surprise. They probably took us for television there recently and I just but he had no hesitation in answering granted. They came back the following passed the remark that the teams kept the question: who was the best Meath year and won it. They didn't think going backwards, the ball wasn't that we were any good, they being kicked at all. thought we were a spent force." "I noticed that particularly one His understanding with his fullday. It's football, there should be back line colleagues, cousin Paddy more kicking in it but that's the 'Hands' and Kevin McConnell, is way it's gone." the stuff of legend and if it was In the early 1990s, Micheal's good enough for Meath, it was family home in Abbeylands, good enough for Leinster. The trio Navan was burgled and his vast played together on three Railway array of medals was stolen. One Cup winning teams from 1953-'55. thing the heartless thieves "Paddy was a giant at full-back, couldn't take away from him was he was a great man to catch the his memories of a remarkable high ball but sometimes he'd get gaelic football and hurling career, stranded. We'd have to be on our the great friends he made and his toes, ready to help him out and he status as a bona fide Meath GAA had to help us out of course. legend. Micheal and Patricia with Graham Geraghty

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ONE SIDE OF THE COYNE

here were encouraging signs this year that Cortown are on the brink of enjoying a reversal in fortunes. David 'Skipper' Coyne has targeted a JFC success for 2014. It was a case of so near and yet so far for Cortown in the JFC this year but there was some consolation when they secured a second successive promotion in football league. Next year they will pit their wits against senior and intermediate teams in the FL Division 2 and that can only stand them in good stead when it

comes to preparing for the more serious business of the championship. The club may have slipped down the Meath GAA rankings in recent times but, following their performances in 2013, Cortown supporters have every reason to look forward to the future with a fair degree of optimism. Long-serving player David 'Skipper' Coyne agrees that the glass is half-full rather than half-empty. “The year was disappointing from the point of view that we didn't win anything but I suppose when you look at it we were successful in getting back to back promotion in the league,” he said.

“This time last year we were in Division 4 and now we'll be playing in Division 2 next year. That's progress in any man's language.” 'Skipper' lined out at full-back in the team in yellow and green's 2-7 to 3-11 JFC semi-final defeat at the hands of Drumbaragh. Cortown topped Group B with three wins and a draw from their four outings before booking their semi-final ticket with a high-scoring 1-16 to 2-12 quarter-final win over Drumconrath. But, unfortunately from their point of view, they bit off more than they could chew in the last four against the

David Coyne (centre) presents a set of Dunbia sponsored jerseys to Seneschalstown player Adam Gleeson and chairman Jim Battersby

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eventual champions. They turned around at the halfway stage with a 0-4 to 1-5 deficit and they fell further in arrears when the Kells parish club hit two second half goals. Substitute Brian Casserly replied with a consolation goal for the Con Cleary/John Henry managed outfit. There were no complaints, or hard luck stories, from the losers at the final whistle. “We were unbeaten in the championship up until the semi-final stage. No one likes losing a semi-final but we were always chasing the game against Drumbaragh. “Again we were missing some players

David in action for Cortown

but the better team on the day won, they took their chances while we kicked too many wides. We left ourselves with too much to do. “It was a step further compared to last year and the B team also reached their league final and the quarter-final of the Junior C championship which they lost to finalists Blackhall Gaels. “Both teams motored well this year and we've a good mix of young and old players.” The injection of new blood into the Cortown first team is a welcome boost as they plot a return to senior football via the intermediate grade. “Three or four young lads stepped up

to the plate and staked a claim for a place in the first team. David Rispin is still a minor, Ryan O'Rourke, Stevie Clarke and Michael Costello, are three 19 year olds. “They're going to be a big help going forward. There's also another couple – Conor Whelan and Karl Sheridan – who were on the second team. We've had the same faces on our team for a long time now so they will help bring it on.” With promotion to Division 2 already in the bag, Cortown took on Ratoath in the FL Division 3 final but the Gary Coyne captained outfit finished on the wrong end of the 2-16 to 1-9 scoreline. “Ratoath are an up and coming team

The Seneschalstown squad - sponsored by Dunbia - that won the 2012 U21 F ‘A’ title

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as everyone knows. We were missing two or three lads on the night but we won seven out of our 11 league games and gained promotion so that's a big positive.” A regular on the club's first team since 2002, David only has a Division 4 league medal and a B League medal “from about 10 years ago” to show for his efforts. At 31 years of age, he has no intention of hanging up the boots just yet. “It's hard to get to finals, some of the older lads would know what it's like to win one but for, me and a few others, we never got to experience a win in a championship final. “But we'll hang on in there. With Kilmainham and Drumbaragh gone up, there's a championship there to be won and there's no reason why we can't, hopefully, go, at least, a step closer next year. “I'll hang on try and get a medal, once I'm able to keep going. I will be retired long enough.” During the week, David makes a living working as Procurement manager with Dunbia (Slane). Dunbia is a leading and innovative supplier of top quality red meat products for the local, national and international retail, commercial and foodservice markets and David has worked with the Westmeath headquartered company for the past five and a half years. Dunbia (Slane) has the capacity to process over 1500 cattle per week and the facility specialises in the production of beef to mainly export markets. Employing 60, Dunbia also plays its part in the local community by sponsoring the Seneschalstown Junior B and Under 21 teams and has also come up trumps with sponsorship in various guises for Rathkenny, Bective and, of course, Cortown. Meanwhile, on the county front, 'Skipper' is upbeat when it comes to the subject of the Meath senior football team. He is happy with the approach that Mick O'Dowd and his backroom team are taking as they prepare for the New Year. “It was great to see young lads getting their chance this year. Mickey Newman has been doing it for Kilmainham for years and this years he showed he can do it on the big stage and was deserving of his All Star nomination. Eamonn Wallace is another who stepped up to the plate. “Hopefully, they can unearth another two or three over the winter months that will help push them on a little bit further next year.”

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DAVID DEMPSEY

B

DEMPSEY’S DEDICATION

oardsmill official David Dempsey has been part of the furniture on the Meath Ladies County Committee for the past 15 years.

Brother of former TD Noel and current County Board treasurer Brendan, that stretch includes a three year stint as chairman. David's interest in ladies football stems from his daughters' participation and Ciara, Davina and Laura have represented their club and county with distinction. For instance, Laura captained the Royal County Under 18s who reached the provincial decider this year but, unfortunately, they were no match for a strong Dublin outfit who ran out winners on a scoreline of 2-14 to 0-4. The young Dempsey was joined by three club mates – Emma Troy, Helen Regan and Becky O'Toole – on the Under 18 squad. “It was disappointing but there could be no complaints, they were beaten by the better team on the day,” David remarked. The county minor side put that disappointment behind them to finish the year on a high when capturing the MF Blitz Shield title with a final victory over Westmeath in Naomh Mearnog, Portmarnock. Ten teams took part in the two day blitz and the Royal girls claimed the scalps of New York, Westmeath, Kildare and Westmeath, for a second time, to get their hands on the silverware. Laura put her name to 1-4 in the 3-13 to 04 success over the Lake County. “Ladies football is probably not as healthy as some people think. Teams not willing to play matches is a particular problem,” David revealed, “but there is good work being done in the schools. “Scoil Mhuire, Trim and Eureka, Kells did well last year while Loreto and Mercy of Navan reached their respective AllIreland finals this year.” Lining out at right corner-forward, Laura scored 1-2 for Scoil Mhuire Trim as they got the better of Presentation College Athenry in the Post Primary All-Ireland Senior B final at Kinnegad last year (5-9 to 1-6). Followers of the game in the Royal County will be hoping she can make a similar impact on the senior intercounty stage in the future. The Meath minor panel that secured outright success in the Ladies All-Ireland MF Blitz Shield consisted of: Ciara Donoghue (Moynalvey), Siofra Cleary (Donaghmore/

Laura Dempsey in the colours of Boardsmill

Ashbourne), Niamh Sheridan (Simonstown), Sarah Powderly (O'Mahonys), Katie Queeney (Na Fianna), Michelle Peel (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Ellen Hennelly (Walterstown), Aisling Cassidy (Simonstown), Lauren Patterson (O'Mahonys), Laura Murray (Royal Gaels), Aine Bennett (Oldcastle), Maeve Scanlon (Royal Gaels), Kelly Harris (Simonstown), Naoise de Graaf (Simonstown), Laura Dempsey (Boardsmill), Emma Troy (Boardsmill), Helen Regan (Boardsmill), Hannah McKeown (Ballivor), Gillian Hawdon (Oldcastle), Aoife Dunne (St Colmcille's), Riain O'Keeffe (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Alicia Curtis (St Michael's), Becky O'Toole (Boardsmill), Grace Malone (Dee Rangers), Catriona Keoghan (Skryne), Orlagh Geraghty (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Saoirse McGrath (Skryne), Amy Gaffney (Ratoath), Anna Rothwell (St Colmcille's), Emma Healy (Oldcastle).

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SPECIAL FEATURE

SULLIVAN NOT LOOKING BACK IN ANGER

P

eter Sullivan appeared to have the GAA world at his feet in the early 1990s when he captained Meath to All-Ireland minor football glory before going on to add an All-Ireland U21 medal a year later. But the glittering senior career that so many had predicted for him never materialised… Now approaching his 40th birthday, Sullivan looks back on his football days with fond memory. “Yes, people often say they did expect more from me at senior level, but you have to remember that around the early 1990s there was a seriously strong underage set-up,” the St. Pat’s, Stamullen clubman reflects.“I was brought onto the panel in 1994 or 95 and played a few league games. But the talent in Meath at the

time was unbelievable so the competition for senior places was fierce. “Would I liked to have had a long senior career with Meath? Of course. But I soon realised that it wasn’t a matter of life and death, and that there are more important things in life. I got to play for my county at all levels and was lucky enough to win All-Ireland minor,captaining that side and U21 medals. I know a lot of lads would love to have achieved that.” Peter was one of three brothers to represent the Royal County at various levels. His older brother John won provincial honours at minor, U21 and junior level, but Cormac is the most decorated of the three, having garnered All-Ireland senior medals in 1996 and ’99 (he was goalkeeper in the latter year). Equally at home out

the field, he also played for Ireland in the International Rules series and recorded a remarkable feat at the beginning of his career when lining out in four different grades – minor, U21, junior and senior – with the county in the same year. The brothers’ love for the GAA was instilled in them by their father Johnny, who was chairman of the Meath minor board when Peter was the last Meath captain to raise the Tom Markham Cup in 1992. “Dad would have been involved (with the minor board) regardless of whether or not we were playing. He also served as chairman of St. Pat’s. The GAA is his passion. He still goes to three or four games every week,” Peter explains. “Talk to anyone associated with St Pat’s and they will tell you how obsessed Dad is with the

Former Meath stars Cormac and Peter Sullivan run Peleus Steel

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game. He’s famous for loading 15 lads in the back of his Mitsubishi Shogun Jeep(short wheeled base) back in the day and bringing them to an U-14 match in Simonstown.The first 15,no subs.I could tell story after story really”. The Gormanston College past-pupil recalls how he was bitten by the football bug after seeing his older brother John keep goal for Meath in the first round of the 1985 Leinster minor championship victory over Kildare in Navan “John was inspired that day, he made saves from every angle, he got man of the match.” That kick-started the whole thing for me and for Meath football as well,” he remembers. “Meath went on to win the Leinster title that year but lost the AllIreland semi-final to Mayo , but it was really the start of a golden era for the county. There was a conveyor belt of talent for 10 years after that.” Peter was a brilliant underage talent whose scoring exploits helped Meath capture their third All-Ireland minor title in 1992 and their second in three years. Lining out at full forward, he was hugely influential as the Royals defeated Westmeath in the Leinster final before going on to score a lastgasp victory over Armagh in the AllIreland final. The following year, he was top of the right as a Meath team laden with All-Ireland minor medallists from 1990 and ’92 beat Kerry to win the All-Ireland U21 title for the first and, thus far, only time. “We beat Armagh by a point in the minor final

and Kerry by a point in the U21 final,” Sullivan fondly remembers. “Meath has only won three All-Ireland minors and one All-Ireland U21 in its history, so I feel very privileged to have the two medals. We had an exceptional U21 team in ’93 with the likes of Graham Geraghty, Enda

McManus,Conor Martin, Tom Hanley, Jimmy McGuinness ,Cathal Sheridan and Trevor Giles on board, and it was very satisfying to beat Kerry who had Seamus Moynihan and Billy O’Shea, while a very young Darragh O Se came on as a sub.” Peter attributes Meath’s lack of

Peter skippered Meath to All-Ireland minor glory in 1992

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peter sullivan designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 11:24 Page 4

underage success since those heady days to a failure to move with the times. “There was such a buzz at that time that we thought it was going to last forever. People like Paul Kenny,Pat O’Neil, Mattie Kerrigan, and Johnny invested so much of their time in Underage football, but then success suddenly dried up and now we’ve been left behind by the likes of Dublin and Tyrone. We didn’t move with the times and probably rested on our laurels to a certain extent. But these things come in cycles and hopefully we’ll be on another roll at underage level in the near future.” While his senior inter-county career proved to be short-lived, Peter continued to showcase his talents on the club scene until 2010 when injuries finally took their toll and he was forced to retire. 2000 was an unforgettable year for the Stamullen men who won an IFC and Division 1 double Peter with his wife Emer and children Diarmuid and Kate under the guidance of Dudley Farrell. “We beat Ballivor in the intermediate final and Dunshaughlin – who were senior champions at the time – by a point in Best Wishes To Peleus Steel From All At the league final. They were great times for the club and we had the two Cormacs (Sullivan and Murphy) on the county team as well. It was a huge relief to finally win an intermediate championship after having lost finals in 1991,92,98 and 99 to Ballinlough, Dunboyne , Castletown and Sydden respectively. We also won a Feis Cup with St. Pat’s in 2001. In fact, looking back I’d say my club medals mean more to me now than my All-Ireland medals. To win a club championship with the lads that you grew up with is special and that’s the great thing about club football.” As his brother Cormac and Ronan Kearns prepare to take over the St. Pat’s reins next year, Peter admits he would like to try his hand at management himself at some stage in the future. He confesses that the timing just hasn’t been right up until now though. “I’ve two young kids and this year was a tough year for us as our youngest Diarmuid was very ill and spent three months in Crumlin. Thankfully he’s made a great recovery and doing well now. So family commitments aside, I do hope to try my hand at management in near future.I go to a lot of matches when I can from County to Club Matches. Mick Bohan, who managed St. Pat’s this year, was part of the Dublin back-room team that won the All-Ireland, and he has been giving coaching courses which have given me a taste for management. I’d like to start out with a junior team and see how it goes from there,but if an intermediate or senior team came knocking id probably jump at it” he says. Peter lives in Drogheda with his wife Emer and children Kate Best Wishes To Peleus Steel, From (three) and Diarmuid (two). He works in the family business, Peleus Steel, which operates out of Duleek Business Park. Peleus Steel specialises in the distribution and processing of abrasion resistant, high yield and specialist steels. The company is a sole agent for Abraservice UK in the 32 counties of Ireland. The Abraservice Group is a European leader in wear resistant and high yield steels, offering customers complete solutions, from the analysis of their needs to the supply of finished and machined parts, ready for assembly. Peleus’ products are used Unit A8 Station Road Business Park, Clondalkin, Dublin. in industries such as agriculture, cement production, crushing E: sales@engineering-machinery.ie and quarrying, energy and power plants, machinery Tel: 01 457 1399 Mobile: 087 258 2058 manufacturing, mining, rubber recycling, glass recycling, metal www.engineering-machinery.ie recycling, wood recycling and waste recycling.

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Shane McAnarney designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 18:03 Page 1

SHANE McANARNEY

HEART ON HIS SLEEVE

F

ormer Meath captain Shane McAnarney always preferred to do his talking on the field of play but he had a story to tell this year and he hopes it will help save lives in the future. Shane's life was turned upside down this year when he was informed that he needed a double bypass operation. A routine screening of his heart – organised for all intercounty gaelic footballers and hurlers by the Gaelic Players Athletics Association – highlighted some abnormalities. An angiogram would later reveal his worst nightmares – one artery was fully blocked and another almost completely blocked. It's no exaggeration to say that the Clann na nGael man is lucky to be alive but he has come out the right side of the operation and is making steady progress on his road to recovery. He now hopes others will learn from

his experience and urges all young sportsmen and women to get their heart checked as soon as they can. It's better to be safe than sorry is the message he wants to get across. “There's been a lot of talk about it alright, probably more than I would have expected,” said the 33 year old who captained the Royal County in 2012. “I suppose the story has created awareness too which is a good thing. If it makes people more aware to get young boys and girls tested and make sure everyone is safe playing sport, it will have been all worthwhile. “I heard the stories of lads aged 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 collapsing on the sports fields but it was never on my doorstep. As I have found out, it could happen to any of us or any of our kids. It's something that can be prevented, get tested, get checked and get stuff done about it. Why not do it?” The former New York, London and

Royal County footballer was overwhelmed by the large volume of messages of goodwill and support he received when his personal health battle entered the public domain. “The GAA is unbelievable. The amount of texts and calls I got, best wishes from lads in New York and London, lads that I would have played with over there and lads who would have known me from my time there. “It's unreal. At home, people have been great. Lads who would have been texting before games wishing me luck in the past were now texting me wishing me the best of luck and saying it was great to hear that I was on the mend. “The support and well wishes from everyone gave me a great lift.” The financial support of the GPA was also very much appreciated by the carpenter by profession: “I really couldn't speak highly enough of the GPA. They put me in the hands of a

Shane in action for Clann Na nGael in the group stages of the 2013 IFC against St Michaels at Kells

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Shane McAnarney designed_Layout 1 25/11/2013 18:03 Page 2

great team. 'Whatever it takes, we'll get it sorted', they told me.” His gaelic football playing days may be numbered but Shane is looking forward to the future and, naturally enough, possesses a new perspective on life. The little things that he took for granted in the past have grown in importance. “Number one, the whole thing has made me appreciate life more, appreciate things more. Football was always a big part of my life and I probably had it up at the top but there's more important things in life. “I only realise that now, it took me a double bypass to realise that! You health is your wealth and there's more important things in life than football.” Not that the carpenter by profession intends to be putting his feet up altogether either. It's just not in his nature and he has set himself a target of completing the Dublin City marathon in 2014. The prospect of trying his luck at triathlons is also something that gets his competitive juices flowing. As regards gaelic football, the 1996 Meath championship debutant wants to keep his hand in by getting involved in the coaching and management end

Shane goes by Louth's Paddy Keenan and Darren Clarke

of things. “I hope to get into triathlons, maybe do the marathon next year, set myself that goal, that target. “I'd like to get into the management and coaching side of football. I've been lucky to have played under a good few managers with Meath, even on my travels in New York and London. “I've met some top class managers and good footballing brains along the way. I definitely want to stay involved and that's something I'd be interested in pursuing.” He got a taste of what life on the sideline is like in the latter stages of this year's Meath IFC when Clann na nGael reached the Mattie McDonnell Cup decider. Shane was discharged from Beaumont Hospital on the Thursday before the 0-5 to 0-18 defeat to Gaeil Colmcille. In the not too distant past a defeat of that magnitude would have caused him a sleepless night or two but he has mellowed somewhat. “It was great achievement in itself reaching the final, we weren't far off in the league and were competitive in the Feis Cup. It's something for the young lads to build on looking ahead to next year.

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“The better team won on the day, Gaeil Colmcille were more experienced, they've been knocking on the door for a few years now. “It was disappointing having to miss the final but it wasn't because of a pulled hamstring, it was something a lot more serious than that. “We were also missing Oran Fitzpatrick and Jamie Shaw but it was a learning curve for our younger lads. They were obviously not happy with the fact that they didn't do themselves justice in the final but I expect that the experience will stand them in good stead moving forward.” In a Facebook tribute, Meath's Strength & Conditioning coach Colm Brady – who knows Shane McAnarney, the gaelic footballer, better than most – wrote: 'I have rarely worked with a player who has given as much of themselves to the task at hand as Shane has. 'He has true character and I am confident that it is this strength in depth that he possesses that will help him through this recent challenge!' All Meath gaels echo those sentiments and wish Shane the very best on his road to recovery to full health.


commons hardware designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 17:36 Page 1

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commons hardware designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 17:36 Page 2

SPECIAL FEATURE

S

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

ponsorship is an integral part of running a GAA club on an annual basis. Even through, its amateur status, it costs thousands and thousands of euro to run a club every year.

Securing financial aid is not as resourceful as it used to be in the past as money is not as plentiful as it was when the Celtic Tiger was roaring throughout the country. Clubs have found it more difficult to seek sponsorship and it is now common place for then to have different sponsors every few years. However, there are some clubs that are fortunate to have very generous sponsors that have stuck by them for many years. One such club is Navan O’Mahony’s whose association with builder providers Commons Hardware has been ongoing for two decades now. The Brews Hill outfit have had the Commons Hardware logo emblazed on their jerseys since the early 1990’s and there is no sign of this long term sponsorship deal coming to an end anytime soon. Commons Hardware was founded in 1984 by Seamus O’Byrne and Peadar Newman. Initially a shed for storing coal, the business expanded to providing Meath and the surrounding counties with a broad selection of builders providers and home improvement products. Now managed by Paul O’Grady, and part of the HPC group since 2006, Commons Hardware has continued to expand the range of products it offers, and has moved into new areas of opportunity such as renewable energy and solar panels. For almost 30 years, Commons Hardware has been recognised as the leading Builders’ Provider and

Commons Hardware service all your building needs

Hardware Supplier in the Northeast. Servicing the needs of both the trade and home buyers, Commons Hardware is the ideal one-stop shop for all hardware products and continues a tradition of expert knowledge of products and materials, plus informed personal service. The company supplies a vast range of product lines to trade professional and self-builders, including general building materials, timber, plumbing, heating and bathrooms. Assistant manager Michael Reilly and Sales manager Fran McCabe both spoke to this year’s edition of the Royal County Yearbook to discuss the business and the long standing sponsorship deal with O’Mahony’s. Commons Hardware are a widelyrecognised supplier to trade, selfbuilder and DIY user for the supply of hardware and building materials. “We continue to be respected as a major supplier to builders, contractors, subcontractors, and end-users (DIY),

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with delivery-to-site guaranteed from our prime location in Navan,” said Fran. The expertise that Commons Hardware offers their customers is an inherent element in their leadership position today. For inside the home you will find they have an extensive range of bathroom, plumbing, doors and floors, D.I.Y. equipment, locks, paints and brushes, power tools, radiators and much more. For outside the home, they supply cement, flue liners, gutter and sewer piping, insulation, oil and gas burners, oil storage, pumps, roofing and timber as well as roof windows. “We cater for everything to do with the building trade. Our customer base has grown extensively over the years and our main priority is to look after them best as possible.” Fran admits that the customers are more price conscious since the recession struck the country a few years back and although they know they have to be competitive in their prices, their standard of quality has never dropped. “Definitely people are a lot more price sensitive, but we would still be pushing quality over price as in the long run, it will pay to have the better product. Our customers know that they will be well looked after as they would be on first name terms with all our staff, who all have been here for many years now.” An added attraction of Commons Hardware is that they offer a prompt free delivery service. They are also stockists of all the major leading brands. “We also have a new display on show for doors, stoves and flooring. We are always looking at ways of bringing in new business and improving on the


commons hardware designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 17:36 Page 3

The Commons Hardware sponsored Navan O’Mahony’s with the ACFL Division 1 trophy

or so and he sees a real change in the building trade. “Business has definitely improved in the last year. We would do a lot a business with building contractors, big and small, as well as DIY enthusiasts, while the building trade in general has picked up also, particular private work and the retail sector,” said the Cortown clubman, who has been one of the most loyal servants to the club over the years. “Asides from sponsoring O’Mahony’s for so many years, we also sponsored the Meath senior football championship for a number of years. Football and the building trade go hand in hand and not a day goes by when football wouldn’t be discussed with the customers at some stage.”

service that we already provide to the customers.” When a company is taken over like Commons Hardware was in 2006, many would expect wholesale changes, but Fran stressed that this was not the situation in their case. “When the Group take over, they didn’t change a thing, they knew that the company was being well run and they stuck with it. They even kept on the O’Mahony’s sponsorship, which was great. It is very important to give something back to the local community and we try to help out with sponsorship with many local associations,” stated the Navan O’Mahony’s clubman. Michael added that business has picked up in the last year

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SPECIAL FEATURE

O

BREEDING SUCCESS

n the football field Meath have proven to be one of the most successful teams, but the county has produced many champions off it also. Not many might know that the Royal County has in its fold one of the top Limousin breeders in the country and British Isles, the Millbrook herd, which belongs to William Smith of Millbrook, Oldcastle and is recognised throughout the world of cattle breeding. Two thousand and thirteen has been an exceptional successful year for William and his family with their homebred Limousin heifer Millbrook

Gingerspice conquering all before her, remaining unbeaten in the Livestock show rings of Ireland. The first show of 2013 was the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society Show held for the first time at its new venue at the maze. In an outstanding achievement, Millbrook Gingerspice, the January 2011-born in-calf heifer brought out by Mr William Smith, Oldcastle, Co Meath, Southern Ireland was crowned Overall Individual Interbreed Supreme Champion for the second year running at the Royal Ulster Show, Belfast. The Interbreed title, judged on the second day, followed hard on the heels of the

Supreme Limousin Championship title picked up on the opening day of the 2013 Royal Ulster Show held at its new Belfast home on Wednesday 15th May.Gingerspice is by the prolific Wilodge Vantastic and is out of Millbrook Baby. In 2012, she had won the Limousin, Junior Interbreed & Overall Individual Interbreed Championships and was presented here in-calf to Brookmill Fearless, a Sympa son, being due in January. Along with Balmoral show, Millbrook Gingerspice was also successful at the Athlone, Mullingar, Oldcastle, Tinahely, Strokestown, Iverk, Limerick and Trim shows as well as the National

Pictured at the Irish Limousin Cattle Society book launch “Irish Limousin - A History” in Kinnity, Co. Offaly are William Smith (President ILCS), Brendan Smith (Minister for Agriculture) and Donal O’Brien (author)

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Livestock Show in Tullamore where the first National Limousin Show was held with over 160 entrants. In November, Millbrook Gingerspice was nominated for the champion of Champions at the Royal Dublin Society, Ballsbridge which will be presented in December. Breeding such quality animals is not something that can be done over night as William testifies to this year’s edition of the Royal County Yearbook. The former Moylough and Oldcastle footballer founded the Millbrook herd in 1986 and now has up on 50 breeding females. Through hard work and dedication to his profession, William has made the Millbrook herd name well known throughout the Limousin world. William is also a recognised judge of Limousin cattle both nationally and internationally having officiated at many shows in Northern and Southern Ireland as well as overseeing shows in Scotland, England and France. An internationally renowned judge, William is a former president of the Irish Limousin Cattle Society. The Smith family name is synonymous with cattle breeding as William’s father John is well known throughout the pedigree beef breeding industry. William’s wife Claire and his four children John, Karen, Florence and Oliver have all been of great support to him also. “My father has always been involved in cattle shows and he was the chief livestock steward at the Limousin shows at the RDS for many years,” said William. “When I was 20 I bought four Limousin cattle and I

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began bringing them to shows from there. Over the years, we have been very successful and to win at Balmoral for an unprecedented third year in a row was brilliant.” William was a member of the Irish Limousin Council from 2000 up to 2009 and he was vice-president of the society for three years before taking up the role of president in 2008, during which time he was involved in the launch of the history of the Limousin breed in Ireland. “I enjoyed my time as President of the Irish Limousin Council. It was a very time consuming role and last year I decided to take a step back from the council to spend a bit more time with the family, but I intend going back to it in the future,” he stressed. William was a founding member of the North East Limousin club and former chairman, while his passion for his work knows no bounds. At the 2013 National Ploughing Championships, Commercial farmers were the target audience for the Limousin Cattle Society with all commercial animals being exhibited at the show this year. The popularity of the breed continues to grow, with 2,500 pedigree breeders producing 9,000 calves in 2013, according to the society. Millbrook Limousin has produced many other great Limousin cattle over the years. Millbrook Lancelot was champion at the Royal Ulster and Royal Highland show in England for its owners the Crawford brothers. Millbrook Tanko (T.K.O), who was top performer at the National Tully Beef Test Station in 2003, was sold for


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Limousin heifer Millbrook Gingerspice remains unbeaten in the Livestock show rings of Ireland

€15,000 to Northern Ireland AI company Western Farm Enterprises. ‘Tanko’ went on to become one of the most successful Irish bred sires of all time with over 15,000 calves registered in this country, 3,000 of which are pedigree. His semen has been exported all over the world to countries in Europe, America and Australia, while some is stored in the U.K. Other high profile cattle are Millbrook Partankan (M.B.P), now standing at the Dovea AI Station and he is recognised as one of the best Limousin bulls in Ireland today. Millbrook Celine and her mother Millbrook Ulla are both top performers in the herd with outstanding show records behind them. Away from work, William is an avid follower of Meath football and more so his local Oldcastle, where he is involved in underage coaching. “I was involved as coach this year with the Girls’ under-16 in the Spring and then the under-15s in the Autumn. Both teams were successful this year with the under-16 girls winning the

division 4 title and the under-15s winning the division 2 title. During his own playing career, William picked up a division 4 league medal with Moylough, before going on to win the Feis Cup with Oldcastle. He feels that the current Oldcastle team is at something of a crossroads as they rebuild for the future. “Of the side that won the intermediate title in 2009, about 60% of them have now emigrated. “There is huge work being done at underage level and hopefully a lot of young players will be brought through over the next few years, there is great talent in the club. The ladies section is also very strong at the moment and we are getting stronger by the year.” William was impressed by Mick O’Dowd in his first year as manager of the Meath senior footballers and he is confident that the Skryne clubman can restore the glory days to the county. “Mick O’Dowd did a great job in his first year. He has brought his own ideas to the scene and they seem to

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be working and I wish him all the best for the 2014 campaign. They are not too far away from winning an AllIreland and best of luck to them.” Like all Meath teams, William is a born winner and as he strives for more glory in his field of expertise.


U14 Sevens designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 11:28 Page 1

UNDER 14 SEVENS FINALS

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DRUMCONRATH MEATH HILL

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U15 Sevens designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 11:27 Page 1

UNDER 15 SEVENS FINALS

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Rivalries designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 14:41 Page 1

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GREAT RIVALRIES

GREAT RIVALRIES: O’MAHONYS v SKRYNE

T

he history of Gaelic games has been marked by rivalries at club and intercounty level which have helped to lift the feelings of anticipation, passion and excitement way above the norm. That was certainly the case in Meath in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Navan O’Mahonys and Skryne fought out some Trojan battles.

These are the two most successful clubs to grace the Senior Football Championship, with O’Mahonys topping the rankings on 18 outright successes going back to their first in 1953 when Tony McCormack became the initial recipient of the Keegan Cup. Skryne’s breakthrough triumph in the top flight was achieved further back in 1940 and when they defeated Seneschalstown in the 2010 final it was their 13th crown. O’Mahonys and Skryne have met in several big matches since that great era of rivalry going back approximately half a century, including Senior

Championship finals, but nothing can compare to the extraordinary level of interest generated by their many gripping encounters at a time when the town club was at the height of its powers. Skryne had already won six senior titles by the time the Navan O’Mahonys’ club was founded in 1948 and the 1940s is regarded as the club’s golden era. They had won the Intermediate Championship for the second time in 1937 and have been in the top flight unbroken since 1938. The historic breakthrough in the Senior Championship came in 1940 when they defeated Kells in the final with a team which included Matt O’Toole, who had lined out at midfield on the Meath side which lost the AllIreland decider to Kerry the previous year, and Packy Mooney, a member of the National League-winning team of 1933 when he was a Donaghmore player. Skryne retained the senior title in 1941

when Miceal O’Brien lined out in his first final (again against Kells) and regained it in 1944 when it took three games to get the better of Navan Parnells in the decider. Paddy O’Brien came into the side that year at midfield. A fourth senior crown followed in 1945 when Oldcastle were the beaten finalists and when title number five arrived in 1947 with a final win over Syddan Paddy O’Brien was no longer involved as he was lining out with Sean McDermott’s in Dublin. But among the newcomers were Brian Smyth and Tony Donnelly who were part of the half-forward line on a team which is regarded as possibly the best the club ever fielded. O’Toole was still playing at full-back, but when Skryne retained the title the following year he was no longer involved, having called time on a glorious career. This was the year that Navan O’Mahonys came into existence and they had already made the Senior Championship breakthrough before Skryne claimed their seventh title in

The Skryne senior panel for the 1959 Keegan Cup decider versus O'Mahonys, front l/r: T. Mooney, J. Halligan, F. Carty, K. McManus, J. Curtis, D. Carty, H Bowling, S. O'Brien, Dom O'Brien, M. Staunton, J. Daignan. Back: B. Hayes, D. Donnelly, N. Collier, M. O’'Brien, T. Murphy, E. Swan, T. O'Brien, P. Mulvany, J. Gordon, S. Smith, Jack Connor, C. Cromwell, Jim Connor, Donal O'Brien

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1954 when defeating Kells Harps in the decider. O’Mahonys’ 1953 triumph came courtesy of a final victory over Trim and the greatest era in the club’s history wasn’t too far away. St Vincent’s of Ardcath won their one and only senior crown in 1955 and a year later Syddan claimed the top prize for the fourth time in eight years when Skryne tasted final defeat, just as they did so often in that decade. O’Mahonys demonstrated signs of their potential in 1956 when they won the Feis Cup and Intermediate Championship with a young team, but nobody could possibly

have predicted the extent to which they would dominate. Skryne and O’Mahonys had met in a couple of Feis Cup finals in the first half of the 1950s, but the real rivalry started in 1957, the year that the town club commenced its fabulous run of five successive Senior Championship annexations. The drama started in a Feis Cup semi-final at Ashbourne when they finished level, before O’Mahonys won the replay narrowly at Skryne en route to outright success. Several months later they contested a brilliant championship final at Pairc Tailteann which became known as the ‘Miceal O’Brien Final’. Jimmy Swan

goaled for Skryne in the early stages, but O’Mahonys took over and led by 07 to 1-0 after 20 minutes. With full-back Donal O’Brien retiring injured Skryne moved Miceal O’Brien to that position and he turned in a tremendous performance. The Tara men were inspired and recovered to be level with five minutes remaining, but there was drama at the end when Colm Hilliard won it for O’Mahonys (0-11 to 17) with a disputed point. Miceal O’Brien was later presented with a special medal by the County Board in recognition of his brilliance.

An O’Mahonys all conquering team from the late ‘50s

O’Mahonys easily defeated Skryne in the Feis Cup in 1958 and once again the teams progressed to clash in the championship final. Skryne took the scenic route courtesy of a play-off and it was late November by the time the decider was played at Kells. This time Skryne earned a replay thanks to a late point from Tom O’Brien, but it was a game they should have had wrapped up at half-time when they led by only 1-3 to 0-3 after Michael Dennehy had got their goal. It finished 1-5 each. Unhappy with their overall performance, O’Mahonys wielded the axe for the replay a week later, introducing 1957 All-Ireland-winning

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Meath minors Seamus Clynch and Jack Fagan, as well as Bill Shannon who played for both Mayo and Sligo and who was working in Navan for a short spell. This time there was no denying O’Mahonys’ superiority as they won by 2-6 to 1-2, with Dom Tighe and Jim Fitzsimons particularly impressive. A Tighe goal helped the town team lead by 1-2 to 0-0 at the break, by which stage Brendan Cahill and Miceal O’Brien had been sent off. Paddy Fitzsimons scored a second Navan goal and Jimmy Swan’s major for Skryne was little more than a consolation score.

A third successive final defeat was another huge blow to Skryne, but they bounced back and when they defeated O’Mahonys in the Feis Cup at Kells in the spring of 1959 their championship prospects were being talked up. By this stage they had acquired the services of Jack Gordon from Walterstown, who was later to be tragically killed in a motor cycle accident in England, and once again they went on to contest the championship final against O’Mahonys. Trim was the surprise choice as venue and this was arguably the best of all the games between the great rivals in this era. Skryne trailed by a few points late in


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Rivalries designed_Layout 1 26/11/2013 14:41 Page 6

the first half and then lost Miceal O’Brien with a head injury, resulting in the introduction of the talented Frank Carty short of his 17th birthday. O’Mahonys led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the interval, with Harry Ratty getting the goal, and by 1-8 to 0-5 with 10 minutes remaining. However, goals from Colum Cromwell and defender Gordon put Skryne level. The Tara men pushed forward in search of a winner, but with time running out a draw looked likely. However, there was more drama and more agony for Skryne when a mix-up in defence allowed Patsy Ratty in for the winning point as it finished 1-9 to 2-5. It was O’Mahonys’ third successive final victory over their great rivals. O’Mahonys and Skryne were back in championship opposition when they met in the first round on Easter Sunday, 1960. Again, the Navan men won, but it was an encouraging performance from a weakened Skryne team which gave hope for the future. This was Miceal O’Brien’s last game for the club. O’Mahonys later won their fourth successive title, beating Drumbaragh in the final. O’Mahonys completed the five in-arow in 1961, getting the better of Trim in the decider after scoring a comfortable 3-6 to 1-2 win over Skryne at the penultimate hurdle in Trim. A Paddy Lynch goal helped Skryne to lead by 12 to 0-3 at the break, but second half goals from Jim Fitzsimons (two) and Colm Hilliard propelled O’Mahonys towards victory. That left the Navan men one success away from emulating the feat of Bohermeen who won six consecutive senior titles between 1909 and 1914, but it proved a step too far. Having suffered so must heartbreak at the hands of the town team Skryne, at last, got a first SFC win against them, but it didn’t come without controversy in 1962. The great rivals clashed in a quarter-final in mid-July and it looked like O’Mahonys would maintain their dominance in the head-to-heads. They held a substantial interval lead, but with Dom O’Brien and Davy Carty starring Skryne came from seven points behind to lead by one with 10 minutes remaining. Amazingly, O’Mahonys failed to score in the second half and Skryne held out for a sweet victory. Or so they thought! It was argued that referee Gerry Tuomey blew up four minutes early and

he later reported that he erred in his timing. The County Board deemed that the result should stand. O’Mahonys appealed to Leinster Council and, after what seemed like an age, a replay was ordered. Skryne were angry, but the rematch took place at Kells in midSeptember and attracted a huge attendance. Skryne played with ferocious determination and led by 0-5 to 0-0 at the interval and by 0-7 to 0-0 at the three-quarter stage. It looked all over bar the shouting, but young Tommy Monaghan started to cause serious problems for the Skryne defence and O’Mahonys cut the gap to a goal. Skryne were rattled, but with O’Mahonys pressing they rallied and scored a scrambled goal which secured a truly memorable win. Defeat followed in the semi-final against champions to be Trim, but the Tara men still derived enormous satisfaction from that overdue victory over O’Mahonys. In 1963 O’Mahonys and Skryne progressed to meet at the semi-final hurdle, with St Vincent’s awaiting the winners in the final. Skryne had a new full-forward in Dubliner Aidan Kavanagh and O’Mahonys a new full-back in Cavan man Vincent Cahill. With young Willie Shiels a big influence the town team led at the break, but Skryne took over and with Kavanagh and Frank Carty scoring goals they led by a point near the end. But, just as they had done so often before against Skryne, O’Mahonys pounced late as Seamus Clynch equalised with a brilliantly struck free. A week later they won the replay by two points and went on to make it six titles in seven years. O’Mahonys and Skryne were beaten in the early stages of the championship in 1964 as a new super power in the making entered the arena - Kilbride. The great rivalry was over, but it’s still talked about in glowing terms today. Dom Tighe won six SFC medals with O’Mahonys between 1957 and 1961 and in 1963 and recalls those years fondly. “It was a massive rivalry between ourselves and Skryne, like Meath and Dublin,” he said. “It was terrific and the couple of draws added to the excitement. We possessed great selfbelief and that was hugely important to our successes.

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“There was great understanding between the players, great comradeship. Even if things weren’t going well for us at half-time we believed we could turn it around. We exploited our assets, played to our strengths. Of course, we had some great players, like Tony McCormack who was a terrific footballer. He had been captain for the SFC win in 1953. “We also had a great backroom team who instilled that self-belief in us, men like Boiler McGuinness. They would tell us it could be done even when things weren’t going well. But there was no shouting or anything like that. It was a great dressingroom to be a part of.” Dom believes that enjoying successes at under-age level played a significant role in the development of O’Mahonys into an outstanding senior team. “The nucleus of the team which won all those senior championships came from winning the under-14 title in 1949 and three minors in 1950, 1952 and 1953. We won the intermediate championship in 1956. It all generated great friendship, great comradeship. We won something like 13 championship titles.” Dom O’Brien won two SFC medals with Skryne 11 years apart in 1954 and 1965 and was the only player to be a member of both teams. In between he suffered his fair share of disappointment against O’Mahonys. “It was a great rivalry between Skryne and O’Mahonys and there were so many great games,” he recalled. “They were usually close and I think they beat us by a point on three occasions. We drew one final with them, in 1958, but they beat us in the replay. “O’Mahonys beat us in three finals in a-row between 1957 and 1959. That was heartbreaking. We had the winning of any of them, but they had the better balanced teams. They had 15 solid players all the time, with some very good individuals, like Brendan Cahill, Eanna Giles and Tony McCormack to name a few. “They also possessed great self-belief and had great motivators on the sideline. We were the best two teams in the county in those years. The defeats against O’Mahonys were tough, but we were able to keep coming back. There were many disappointments, but they were great years to be part of.”


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COACHING

a

SPREADING THE GOSPEL

s per usual, it was a busy year for Meath Coaching & Games. With 112 Primary Schools, 19 Second Level schools and 59 clubs to look after, there is a sizeable workload. Coaching Officer Eamonn Barry talked us through some of the Coaching & Games initiatives undertaken during the 12 months just coming to an end. 30 projects A lot of people involved in clubs see Coaching & Games as purely about coaching but, behind the scenes, there were 30 different projects run by the staff in Pairc Tailteann as part of Coaching & Games. The six main areas are Primary Schools, Second Level Schools, Clubs, Development Squads, Administration and Coach Education. This year, for instance, we had the Head of Coaching & Games in Croke Park, Pat Daly, give a games based approach coaching session on March 20 which was attended by over 100 people from clubs. We also organised goalkeeping coaching workshops with former Meath 'keeper Brendan Murphy and a hurling workshop with former Kilkenny goalkeeper James McGarry in Trim.

club/school link This was a big success with 48 clubs involved in 90 National Schools and over 70 coaches trained up by County Coaching & Games Development in conjunction with the local clubs. But there is still room for improvement and we'd be hoping to that more clubs will come on board in 2014. In light of the huge competition the GAA is faced with from different sports, it's important that we maintain the strong links with our local schools and encourage children to get down to their local club. That's the roots of the GAA.

meath coaching officer eamonn Barry

kellogs Gaa cul camps We increased the number of Summer Camps this year from 28 to 35. We put on an extra five football camps and two hurling camps and there was an approximate attendance of 3500 at this year's Camps during the summer. That proves that there is a market there for the camps amongst parents and they are great value for money. Plus that allowed us provide part-time employment to 40 coaches during the summer months. The biggest attended camp was at St Colmcille's in Pilltown where 220 took part between August 19-23. leinster u14 Football Feile Shane Flanagan of Leinster Council asked myself and Bord na nOg secretary Ciaran Flynn to take on

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responsibility for a Leinster U14 Football Feile competition. That was run on the same weekend as the National Football Feile competition up in Derry where Na Fianna flew the Meath flag. We had a total of 76 teams take part, 44 teams from outside Meath and 32 from the county. 19 venues throughout the county were used and it was run on a fun and enjoyment basis. There were no finals yet that they didn't take away from the competitive element of the games. We received great feedback from the clubs from outside the county who took part and they, along with Leinster Council, were very complimentary of the hospitality provided by Meath clubs. special olympics summer camp This was a new initiative run by


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kilmessan stars for the future take to Pairc tailteann at half time in the shc final to take on longwood in an exhibition game.

Meath Coaching & Games in Pairc Tailteann. It was the first Special Olympics Summer Camp run by any county in the country and we had 30 participants. From a Summer Camp point of view, it was one of the highlights of the year and the Coaching staff in Pairc Tailteann are to complimented on their great organisation of that.

u13 high kings hurling The U13 High Kings hurling coaching sessions were organised every Saturday morning in Dunganny by Peter Durnin, James Toher and Paul Fagan. 40 players participated and it finished off with a trip to Kilkenny to play three games against club teams in Kilkenny.Â

u12/u13 Football schools of excellence This was organised every Saturday morning in August and a final day on

September 14 with a blitz format on a regional bassis. This year 153 U12 and 130 U13 boys participated in the coaching sessions which were organised by Seamus Kenny and myself with great help from Greg Carry, Eddie McCormack, Denis Lynch, Joe Treanor, Brian McCormack and members of the Meath senior football team which kindly gave their time to help out. development squads (Football & hurling) The two highlights of the year, from the Development Squads point of view, was a win by the U14 hurlers up in Newry in a National Blitz towards the end of August and the U14 footballers success in a blitz which was played in St Pat's, Stamullen. Managed by Nick Fitzgerald and Pat O'Halloran, the U14 hurlers won the Tony Forrestal Cup in Newry on Saturday, August 31 defeating Mayo, Down and Armagh in

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the group stages. Kildare were defeated in semi-final in a real cracker of a match on a scoreline 2-10 to 0-12 and Westmeath in the final by 2-9 to 16. Captain Brian Dowling and vice captain Cathal Reynolds received the cup on behalf of a very happy group of players, mentors and supporters.We had two teams entered in the football blitz at Stamullen on the October Bank Holiday Monday. The green team lost a semi-final to a strong Kildare team but the yellow team got the better of Kildare, who entered just one team, in the final. David Harford (Kilbride), Aidan Quinn (Ballinabrackey), Eamon Moyles (Dunshaughlin) and Andy Hayes (Nobber) looked after the U14 football squad. Thanks to all who helped out with our Development squads this year ...

u15 Football development squad management: Tommy Maguire


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(Rathkenny), James Leddy (Skryne), Kevin Kealy (Dunshaughlin), Mickey Conlon (St Colmcile's).

u16 Football development squad management: Denis O'Shea (Moynalvey), Paul Conneely (Moynalvey), Richie Harding (Slane), John Nugent (Navan O'Mahonys), Jimmy McGovern (Blackhall Gaels). u17 Football development squad management: Eoin Carroll (Walterstown), Tony Wall (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Kenny Morgan (Trim), Ciaran Shankey (Kilmainhamwood).

u16 hurling development squad management: John Delaney (Dunboyne), Paddy Kelly (Kiltale), Paul Reilly (Dunboyne).

Going forward One of the areas we, as a county, have to look at is the development of our Coaching & Games section. When you compare ourselves to Dublin and their structures, we have to ask ourselves the question: why have Dublin 55 full-time coaches and we have only two? That has been going on for the best part of five years now and it's certainly not a level playing field. How are we expected to be able to compete with Dublin? Dublin have one full-time coach working between two clubs and the local schools. To survive and keep providing good, quality coaches with need at least eight full-time coaches in the county to look after each region of the county – north, west, east and south. That would allow us organise a proper structure for each club and develop

coaching and games in each club in conjunction with the local schools. That's the only way young players will improve.

thanks I want to conclude by paying tribute to all the coaches in the county who give up their free time to help out with Go Games, Development squads and working in their clubs to keep things going. A lot of the time those people don't get much appreciation for their efforts. I also want to thank the Coaching & Games staff in Pairc Tailteann who do trojan work within the county – Dudley Farrell (Games Manager), Christine O'Brien, Seamus Kenny, Jenny Rispin, Jamie Queeney, Maria Kealy and Peter Durnin. And also the Meath County Committee for their help and support throughout the year.

It was a great year on the football front for the kells area. kids from the round towers club provided half time entertainment at the JFc final.

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UNDER 14 HURLING

M

MEATH WIN TONY FORRESTAL CUP

eath under 14 hurlers produced some brilliant performances to win the Tony Forrestal Cup in Newry in september. Meath were drawn in the only four group of the tournament with Mayo, Armagh and the hosts Down. First up for Meath was Mayo whom were defeated on a scoreline of 2-8 to 0-0, with captain Brian Dowling contributing 2-3, while the other scores came from Adam Murphy (2) and Conor Hayes (2) and Brin Kelly. From the outset Meath were in control, especially in defence where Sean Martin gave a brilliant display of hurling. The midfield pair of Jacob Ryan and Evan Fitzgerald delivered a constant supply of ball to our hard working forwards where Dowling was on top of his game. Next up were Down and this was the game targeted as a must win if Meath were to progress to the business end of the tournament proper. After a shaky

start where a soft goal was conceded Meath settled to play some good hurling and caused a lot of problems for Down, which ended in a 1-7 to 1-5 win. Next up was Armagh and with qualification secured it afforded the side the opportunity to rest some of the key players. Daire Gilmartin excelled, scoring three of their five points, in a 05 to 0-3 win. The semi-final was against Kildare and the team had to show some true determination, none more so than Jacob Ryan who put his body on line which ended his participation in the competition due to concussion. Heading into the last five minutes Meath were four points down. With the Kildare supporters sensing victory, the Royals made one last push and Conor Hayes finished to the Kildare net. Within a minute the same player had his second major and Kildare were on the racks. With all of the six backs standing tall – O’Reilly, Brennan, Devine, Fadden, Martin and Hennessy

- Kildare could not get in for the score they so desperately needed to recover. Instead Murphy and Hayes added points for Meath. The final against Westmeath produced the best Meath had to offer from the outset. The side were focussed on the silverware on offer. From 1 to 15 they battled for their lives and at the halfway stage we were up by 1-4 to 0-6. Meath held Westmeath to just one goal in the second half and with the forwards adding 1-5, that meant that the Tony Forrestal Cup was heading south on the M1 to Co Meath. The team lined out in the final was: Steven Quinn, Brian O’Reilly, Evan Brennan, Daniel Devine, Darren Hennessy, Sean Martin, Tom Fadden, Evan Buckley, Evan Fitzgerald, Adam Murphy, Colm Kiernan, Brian Dowling, Brin Kelly, Conor Hayes, Daire Gilmartin. Captain Brian Dowling and Vice Captain Cathal Reynolds lifted the cup in front a very happy group of players supporters and mentors.

The Meath U14 squad, Tony Forrestal Cup winners, and mentors that were introduced to the crowd before the throw in of the senior hurling final at Pairc Tailteann

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SPECIAL FEATURE

I

25 YEARS LATER ...

n 1988, Declan McCabe won a Cavan SFC medal in the colours of his native Gowna. In 2013, he marked that landmark anniversary in style by leading Summerhill to the Meath SFC crown for the second time in three years. We caught up with the Cavan man to get his views on what was another momentous year for his adopted club.

Winning the Keegan Cup once is an incredibly difficult task; to win it for a second time is a test that most teams fail to pass. In 2011, Summerhill put years of frustration behind them when they finally captured the Meath SFC for the first time in 25 years (and sixth time in all). But, such is the nature of GAA followers, that there were always going to be doubts unless they could repeat

the dose… After a fruitless campaign in 2012, the ‘Hill bounced back in tremendous fashion this year to reclaim the most coveted prize in Meath football, staging a remarkable recovery after losing their first two group games to finish top of the pile for the second time in three seasons. It was a truly sensational feat and Declan McCabe, the man who managed the team to both those successes, says ultimate glory was his target from the start of the year: “Winning the championship was the goal, as is the case with every manager,” the Cavan man confirms. “To be honest, we felt we could win it in 2012 as well. But I’ve always believed that there is a very competitive situation in Meath, with six or seven teams that could win the senior championship any given year. In

that respect, it doesn’t matter what group you end up in, it’s going to be a difficult task to get out of it.” Despite playing well, Summerhill got off to the worst possible start in their group when they suffered narrow defeats to Skryne (2-8 to 1-10) and Rathkenny (1-13 to 0-15) on Sunday, April 14th and Sunday, April 21st respectively. From there on, there was no room for error… “We played a total of nine games, Declan reflects. “After the first two games were lost, we then had to win seven in a row. For the first three of those, we couldn’t even afford a draw because we wouldn’t have had enough points to get out of the group. “The championship had started in April with two games in a week and we were effectively out of it in April – or so it seemed. We knew we needed to get

Summerhill manager Declan McCabe prior to this year’s Meath SFC final win over Na Fianna

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things corrected – and quickly!” So, what changed between the second and third games that enabled Summerhill to turn things around so dramatically? “To be fair, there was no intention on our behalf to lose those first two games and we only lost them by a point. The rub of the green might have went against us there and then it went our way later in the year when we subsequently won games by a point ourselves. The goal was just to keep winning the next game and if you can do that you will see progress and gain momentum.” The corner was turned with a 1-11 to 0-9 victory over Oldcastle in Athboy on Friday, May 31st and St Patrick’s were accounted for by 1-13 to 1-4 in Walterstown on Saturday, August 17th. This set up a winnertakes-all last-round clash with Donaghmore-Ashbourne on August 31st where Adrian Kenny’s injury-time strike handed the ‘Hill a 0-11 to 0-10 triumph and a place in the knockout stage. Does the manager think there was a tangible turning point in the season? “Once your county players return to the

Declan’s son Diarmuid in action for the Hill’s U14s

fold it makes a big difference. We are very proud of them representing Meath but when they are away with the county it makes for an increased task for everybody else. So, that helped and I would also say that the way the games fell for us was a help as well.

“The last game in the group was against Donaghmore-Ashbourne, who are genuine title contenders themselves. We figured that we could get that far and still be in with a chance of qualifying, then we’d be happy enough. As it turned out, we won with

Captain Brian Ennis and Summerhill take possession of the Keegan Cup for the second time in three years

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a point in the third minute of injury time and we were through to a preliminary quarter-final. At this stage, the games were coming in quick succession and you don’t have time to think about anything apart from going out and trying to win the next match. That helps build momentum and momentum is vital in championship football.” In Ashbourne on Sunday, September 8th, Summerhill booked the eighth and final quarter-final spot with a 3-14 to 211 victory over St Peter’s, Dunboyne. That was followed by a stunning 1-9 to 1-8 quarter-final defeat of defending champions Navan O’Mahonys the

through that game.” The final itself was a real thriller. Summerhill had their mettle well and truly tested but refused to panic and kept coming up with the right answers no matter what Na Fianna threw at them. To what extend does Declan think that the experience of 2011 saw them through? “It’s hard to say for sure because we had a number of new players who wouldn’t have played two years ago. We were very careful to repeat the same steps that we had taken in 2011, particularly on the day of the final, and the players were reminded over and

were capable of, even under pressure. We had talked about the fact that they had played in a number of tight matches and they were content enough to play under those conditions again, even though obviously it’s not what you’d ideally wish for… “It was great to see the players getting their rewards and there are a lot of people in the background who did great work as well. I have to especially thank David Gannon and Billy Shaw for their high levels of input at crucial times during the year when he had to get vital decisions right. They contributed enormously and it was a

Declan McCabe and the 1988 Cavan SFC winning Gowna team were presented to the crowd at Breffni Park before this year’s Cavan football final

following Sunday and a routine 0-15 to 1-7 win over Rathkenny a fortnight later. Neighbours Na Fianna provided the opposition on county final day and Declan McCabe’s charges kept their composure to battle back on a couple of occasions before prevailing by 1-13 to 1-10 at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday, October 20th. “We had to play the preliminary quarter-final because we only finished third in the group – I thought we played well in parts against Dunboyne. Facing Navan O’Mahonys in the quarter-final is a challenge that any team would rise to. Again, the rub of the green went our way and the lads worked hard to get

over again that you don’t win finals easily. But, when it got tight, there’s no doubt that experience and strength in depth did tell. “They clawed back a six-point deficit in the second half to draw level with ten minutes left and they had the momentum at that stage and were kicking some good scores. But they couldn’t get back in front and we took over again and our experience told.” One of the most impressive things about the all-conquering Summerhill players was that they seemed to be completely calm; unfazed; unflustered… “They raised their game level and kept doing the things they

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real club effort, with everybody doing their bit.” Former Gowna star Declan McCabe is very much an honorary Summerhill man at this stage. After masterminding two SFCs in three seasons, he has written his name indelibly into the club’s illustrious history. Declan has been living in the village for over a decade now, with his home literally overlooking the GAA pitch. Away from football, he works as a sourcing engineering manager with the world’s largest technology company, Hewlett Packard, whose Irish facility is located nearby, in Leixlip, County Kildare.


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Best wishes to Meath GAA in 2014 682


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Mattie Mullen was the guest of honour at this year’s county hurling final. The former county star won five senior hurling medals with Athboy during a club career that spanned three decades. Mattie was a key player on Meath hurling teams of the 1960’s before injury ended his intercounty career


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BRIAN SMYTH

S

A TRULY WONDERFUL MEATH MAN

even Meath footballers have had the distinction of being presented with the coveted Sam Maguire Cup after captaining the Royal County to All-Ireland SFC glory. While all of the ‘magnificent seven’ hold a special place in their county’s history, Brian Smyth gained the honour of being the first of them to raise the trophy aloft in triumph. Picture the scene shortly before the throw-in for Meath’s opening Leinster championship game against Kildare at Croke Park in 1949. The team in green and gold had only 13 players in the pre-match parade and their supporters in the crowd must have been wondering where the other two were. Some years ago Mattie Gilsenan, one of the selectors for the famous breakthrough triumph, recalled: “The

county champions supplied the Meath captain at the time and in 1949 it was left to the Skryne club to decide. They left it between Brian Smyth and Micheal O’Brien to sort out the matter. Micheal was a very shy man, so he let Brian have the honour and, of course, the rest is history.” Both players were on Meath’s AllIreland JHC winning team the previous year and it was touch and go as to whether Meath would make the big breakthrough in football or hurling. After winning the NFL in 1946 and gaining a Leinster success in ’47, Meath football had dropped into the doldrums. Before the upsurge in 1949 there was an embarrassing 0-3 to 3-10 league defeat to Cavan at Breffni Park and worse was to follow with a walkover conceded to Westmeath in a Kells fixture when a transport mix-up left the home side with only eight

players. Before 1949, Meath were among the also-rans of inter-county Gaelic football. In 62 years of competition they had won only four Leinster titles, there were two unsuccessful AllIreland final appearances and two National League victories. Meath captured the All-Ireland title against all the odds in 1949 and many people felt that the three Leinster semifinal clashes with defending provincial champions Louth hardened them for the tough games in the All-Ireland semi-final and final against Mayo and Cavan respectively. Mattie Gilsenan paid the following tribute to the 1949 captain: “Brian was very clever, he was as clever as a fox. He was great at pulling on a dropping ball near the goals. He was often at his most dangerous when appearing to be out of a game.”

Meath’s All-Ireland winners from 1954, front l/r: Patsy Ratty, Jimmy Reilly, Kevin Lenehan, Tom O’Brien, Matty McDonnell, Peter McDermott, Paddy Meegan, Patsy McGearty, Billy Rattigan, Larry O’Brien, John Clarke, Michael O’Brien. Back: Paddy Brady, Ned Durnin, Richie Mee, Jimmy Farrell, Brian Smyth, Kevin McConnell, Michael Grace, Paddy Connell, Tom Moriarty, Bernard Flanagan, Frankie Byrne, Gerry Smith, Paddy O’Brien

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Six of Meath’s All-Ireland winning captains and Sean Boylan with the Sam Maguire Cup, front l/r: Peter Darby, Brian Smyth, Peter McDermott. Back: Tommy Dowd, Mick Lyons, Sean Boylan and Joe Cassells

The arrival of Fr Pat Tully as county chairman was a key factor in Meath’s big breakthrough on the national football stage. As well as spearheading the county board, the Moynalty-based curate also took over the training of the senior football team. In a Meath Yearbook article in the ‘70s, Fr Tully described Brian Smyth as one of the best footballers he had seen wearing the green and gold. “One who always had the last laugh was none other than Brian Smyth. In his time Brian played in all the forward positions, at midfield and even at centre half-back, but his best position was on the ‘forty.’ “He was a natural leader. He was laughed at for apparently stumbling, slipping or half falling as if he could neither walk or run. He had the last laugh because when he was in that innocent looking mood was most dangerous and in a flash produced something brilliant from the bag. “To this day Cavan players of the late

‘40s and early ‘50s talk of him as the most dreaded of opponents. At times he could be subdued for 59 and a half minutes but in the other 30 seconds the stroke of genius would strike to make all the difference,” wrote Fr Tully. As well as the two All-Ireland medals, Brian Smyth, who began his intercounty senior career in 1946 and played up to ’57, starred in Leinster championship successes in 1947, ’49, ’51, ’52 and ’54s well as the All-Ireland triumphs of 1949 and ‘54. Another notable triumph during that wonderful era was the National League triumph in New York in the autumn of 1951. In 1947 Meath captured the Leinster SFC for the fourth time with Smyth wearing the number 11 jersey in the 37 to 1-7 final victory over defending champions Laois. The big prize for the All-Ireland semifinal winners that year was a trip to New York for the Sam Maguire Cup decider but Meath lost out, being well beaten by holders Kerry on a 1-11 to

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0-5 scoreline. Cavan defeated Roscommon in the other ‘semi’ and the Breffni men went on to triumph in the US. Meath would have to wait another four years before seeing the Big Apple. After the provincial success of ’47 there were more downs than ups before embarking on the road to glory in 1949. Remarkably Meath played six games in that year’s Leinster championship, all at Croke Park. The first outing resulted in a two points win over Kildare before Wexford were defeated on a bizarre scoreline of 0-14 to 4-0. Then came the three titanic struggles with Louth with Brian Smyth and Mattie McDonnell netting the goals and Paddy Connell shooting the winning point in the 2-5 to 1-7 second replay victory. A crowd of 39,000 watched the third tie and there was an aggregate attendance of over 100,000. After five close tussles, the Leinster final was one-sided with Westmeath no match for their Royal neighbours


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who romped to a 4-5 to 0-6 success. Hardened by the tough games in their province, Meath turned on the style in the All-Ireland semi-final, scoring a 310 to 1-10 victory over Mayo, who had lost the previous year’s final to Cavan. Cavan, bidding for a third title on the trot, went into the September 25th clash as favourites to deny their neighbours but Meath rose to the famous occasion in great style to record a 1-10 to 1-6 victory. Brian Smyth scored four points and a press report of the final paid the following tribute. “Probably the cleverest display was given by Brian Smyth. Giving a scintillating display from the first minute, the Meath captain was a captain par excellence. “His uncanny anticipation, impeccable judgement, shrewd eye for an opening, speed on the ball, ability to lap up punishment, intelligent backing up of the man in possession, superb fielding, talent for giving a well-timed pass and accuracy in scoring efforts were the hallmarks of a classic display of centreforward football.” In between the two years of September glory there were final defeats to Mayo in 1951 and to Cavan in the replayed decider of 1952 and the famous National League triumph over New York at the Polo Grounds. As with the great Meath team of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the Royal County could have won more than two AllIreland titles between 1949 and ’54. Louth were unable to get the better of their Royal rivals in the three-match saga in 1949 but they did in 1950 when taking Leinster honours for the second time in three years. The Boyneside foes again met in the provincial decider and drew once more - a low scoring contest finished 1-3 each before the Wee County scored a slender 3-5 to 013 victory in the replay. The men in red and white went on to defeat Kerry in an All-Ireland semi-final clash before losing out to Mayo in the Sam Maguire Cup decider. The

wearers of the green and red also denied Meath in the fourth Sunday of September in 1951. After defeating Mayo by 0-6 to 0-3 in the ‘home’ National League final, Meath, captained by Seamus Heery and with Brian Smyth, Frankie Byrne, Paddy Meegan, Mattie McDonnell and Peter McDermott of the ’49 team still in attack, were well fancied to regain ‘Sam.’ However, the Connacht champions made it a famous two-in-a-row on a 2-

Brian with one of his favourite reads

8 to 0-9 scoreline. Press reports of the time suggested that vaccinations before the trip to New York for the League final may have affected Meath’s performance. But the team obviously recovered to score a thrilling 1-10 to 0-10 win over New York. Brian Smyth wore the number 13 jersey and centre halfforward Mattie McDonnell netted a late winning goal, much to the delight of the home radio audience. Meath won their way through to a third All-Ireland final in four years in 1952 and were unlucky in the drawn

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game against Cavan when the ball appeared to be gone over the end line before Edwin Carolan fired over a late leveller. The Breffni men were 0-9 to 05 winners of the replay on a very wet day with their captain, Mick Higgins, in sparkling form. Louth bounced back to win out in Leinster in 1953 but, against all the odds, Meath went all the way in 1954 with victories over Offaly and Cavan putting them into another All-Ireland final, against defending champions Kerry. The Kingdom took the field as red hot favourites but after leading by 1-5 to 0-7 at the break, they only managed to add two points as the team captained by Peter McDermott dominated to record a 1-13 to 1-7 victory with eight of the 1949 team on the winning side. Brian Smyth led the winners’ attack in his customary crafty manner, 20year-old Micheal Grace turned in a man of the match performance in the right halfforward position and Paddy Meegan, playing in front of the Kells man, shot five points. Speaking about that wonderful era of Meath football a few years ago, Brian Smyth recalled: “It was a great team and I was happy to be a member of it. We could have won another AllIreland or two but we played too many games at the time, tournaments were a big thing in those days.” Smyth continued playing inter-county football until 1957. In 1955 he was on the Meath team which was at the receiving end of big hidings from Dublin in the Leinster and National League finals. Meath were back in the League decider in 1956 when Cork scored a narrow 0-8 to 0-7 victory. Brian had only one surviving member of the 1949 team, Mattie McDonnell, playing with him in that game. The winner of five SFCs with Skryne gave it one more year with the county team but a defeat by Wicklow in the first round of the 1957 Leinster championship in Athy spelt the end of


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contribution as a board officer. After the Croke Park and that was followed by a a glorious career in the green and gold. formation of the Meath Hurling Board landslide success over Donegal at Brian Smyth would have, in 1946, he served as its secretary for Trim. A 5-9 to 2-1 win was recorded undoubtedly, gained All-Star accolades over 20 years. over Limerick in the ‘home’ final at had such an awards scheme been in In 1979 he was elected as county Portlaoise. operation in the forties and fifties. In chairman in succession to Pat O’Neill Then it was over to the British capital 1950 and ’51 he was in attack on and held the top position for seven to face London in the title decider at Ireland teams for representative years until Fintan Ginnity took over for New Eltham, a game which finished games against the Combined a 20-year stint in 1986. level, 3-5 each. Before an attendance Universities. of 6,000, a Meath side, which included Those games started in 1950 and Smyth had been vice-chairman of the other notables like Tony and Pat Smyth captained his side from the County Board from 1967 to ’70 and Donnelly, Dick Grogan, Ollie Reilly and centre-forward position to a 1-12 to 2also represented Meath on the Paddy Kelly, took the replay honours 3 victory that year As well as other Leinster Council in a number of years on a 2-7 to 2-5 scoreline with Tony Meath players, Kevin Smyth and since 1958. During his reign as county Donnelly the winning captain. Paddy O’Brien, other notables on the chairman, he played a big part in Ireland team included Sean bringing Dunboyne clubmate Flanagan of Mayo, Jack Bell Sean Boylan in as senior of Louth and the Cavan trio football team manager and of Tony Tighe, Peter was in the position for the Donohoe and Victor Centenary Cup success in Sherlock. PJ Duke (Cavan), 1984. Padraig Carney (Mayo) and Brian returned to the Jim Brosnan (Kerry) were position of Hurling Board among the stars of the secretary in the ‘80s for Universities side. another few years and was Ireland won by 0-10 to 0-9 delighted to hold the post in 1951 with Smyth at right when Meath won the Allcorner-forward, O’Brien Ireland B championship with again the winners’ full-back a final victory over London in and Cavan great Mick Ruislip. His nephew, Enda Higgins on the ‘forty.’ Smyth, later spent a period in Although playing for Leinster the position. a few times, a Railway Cup While Brian Smyth has medal eluded Brian. enjoyed a number of highs Brian Smyth was a man of during his long association many parts during his long with the GAA, he has also involvement with the GAA suffered his share of trauma. and refereeing was another He came close to losing his of his roles. He took charge life when involved in a car of hundreds of games in both crash near Dunshaughlin football and hurling, while travelling to a meeting in including county, provincial Navan. He had his spleen and All-Ireland finals. Still going to games - Brian with Sean Boylan at the Dunboyne removed, spent four months v Trim SHC quarter-final in Pairc Tailteann Handling five Leinster in hospital but made a full senior deciders were among recovery. Even though he gained more the highlights of his whistling career. Another well-deserved high was honours in football, Brian Smyth has He was the ‘man in the middle’ for being inducted into the county Hall of had a great love for hurling down the hurling finals between Kilkenny and Fame in 1992. A sad low arrived in decades. He played hurling with his Wexford in 1957, ‘58 and ’66 and for 2006 when his only son, Bernard, a native Batterstown, Oberstown, the Offaly v Louth and Dublin v Laois county senior hurler for a few years Flathouse, Ratoath and Dunboyne, football deciders in 1960 and ’63 and Meath hurler of the Year for 1981, where he has lived for many years. respectively. Another big honour was died suddenly. Following Meath’s All-Ireland JHC taking charge of the Louth v Yorkshire Despite moving close to his 90th triumph in 1948, the dual star played All-Ireland JFC final in Leeds in 1961. birthday, Brian Smyth retains his senior hurling with the county and in Smyth was at left full-forward for strong interest in Gaelic games and the late ‘40s and early ‘50s the team Meath’s All-Ireland junior hurling attended a number of games in 2013 could hold their own with some of the triumph in 1948 when London were including the county finals in football top guns of the small ball game. defeated in a replayed final at Pairc and hurling. His contribution to the As well as his heroic efforts as a dual Tailteann. GAA over the last 70 years plus has player and a top referee in both codes, Brian was in brilliant form in the been quite extraordinary. Brian Smyth made a handsome Leinster final victory over Kilkenny at

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OBITUARIES

FRIENDS WE LOST Matt Gilsenan (Moynalty) Matt Gilsenan, the Grand Old Man of Meath GAA, passed to his eternal reward last April. We attempt to include some of the deeds, and there were many, of this great Moynalty hero within the columns of our publication. To do so we revert back to an interview carried out by Royal County Yearbook in 2007. It is titled ‘The Great Mattie Gilsenan’. It was 1939, with World War Two blazing across Europe and the Maginot Line demonstrating its vulnerability. Franklin D. Roosevelt was half-way through his spell as US President, Pius XII was Pope, Eamon De Valera was Taoiseach and a great man from north Meath captained his beloved county in the All-Ireland SFC final. Some 68 years later that same great man is as fit and well as it is surely possible to be at the age of 92 and talking to him in his Moynalty home makes you appreciate how remarkably fresh he looks and how alert his mind still is as he recalls so many great days playing football for club, county and province. Mattie Gilsenan scored a fabulous goal in that '39 decider against a starstudded Kerry team at Croke Park, but it wasn't enough as the hotly fancied and immensely talented Munster champions won by 2-5 to 2-3 to deprive Meath of their first title in the premier grade. It had been 44 years since the Royal County had previously contested a final and the weight of history was firmly against them as they went into battle against a county that had already claimed the most coveted prize in Gaelic football on a dozen occasions. But Meath gave a tremendous account of themselves against a Kerry team that contained such magnificent players as Danno Keeffe, Joe Keohane, Dan Spring and Paddy Kennedy and which went on to retain the All-Ireland title in the following two years. Mattie had played for the Meath minors in 1933 and made his senior intercounty debut in the Leinster Championship match against Westmeath at Kells in 1935 when the home county won by four points, before bowing out of the title race with a single point loss to Louth at Croke Park three weeks later. He held his place for 11 years and normally lined out at right half-forward, with the occasional

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positioning on the 'forty'. He was very much part of the action as Meath claimed only their second Leinster title in '39 when they beat Wexford by four points in the final and again the following year when they got the better of Laois by three points to retain the provincial crown. That was the day that the great Peter McDermott won the first of his six Leinster SFC medals. However, leading your county in an AllIreland senior final has to be the high point of a player's career and it was a proud moment for the Moynalty man as he lined out alongside the likes of Tommy 'Boiler' McGuinness, Tony Donnelly, Ted Meade and Jim Kearney before 46,828 spectators at Croke Park on 24th September, 1939. Meath, who had earlier lost the National League final to Mayo, pushed Kerry all the way and were considered quite unfortunate not to win. They were on level terms at the interval, thanks largely to the brilliant goal scored by Mattie which gained rich praise in one of the newspaper reports of the match the following day. Judging by this grand assessment, it must have been some score. "The Meath captain was in sparkling form and his goal was not only the best of the match, but the best of the season and one of the best in the records of the GAA," it stated in glowing terms. "The movement that led up to it was delightful. Gilsenan started the movement and the ball was handled by Joe Loughran, Tony Donnelly and Jack Cummins. The latter centred a low ball for Gilsenan who had crossed to the far wing in support to tap the ball down to toe and send in a first class drive which O'Keeffe, the Kerry custodian, did not see until the ball shook the net." It was clearly a spectacular goal, but it was Kerry who just about did enough in the second half to shade the verdict by a couple of points. Sadly, Mattie is now the only surviving member of the Meath team that started the final that day. Galway ended Meath's dream of a second successive All-Ireland final appearance the following year when eliminating them at the semi-final stage and they in turn were beaten by the Kingdom in the decider - the first of three successive defeats at the last hurdle for the Connacht men. However, 1940 was a particularly

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successful year for Mattie because, apart from winning his second Leinster SFC medal, he became the first Meath player to captain Leinster in the Railway Cup and led them to a final victory over a Munster team that was packed with many of the Kerry players who had deprived the Royal County of All-Ireland glory the previous September. The other Meath players on the Leinster starting 15 were Tony Donnelly and Jim Kearney (brother of Mattie's wife Eileen) and that was one of three Railway Cup medals which Mattie won during a magnificent career. The highlight of his club playing career was winning a Senior Championship medal with St. Mary's - a combination of Moynalty and Kilbeg - in 1937. They caused a shock by defeating the powerful Navan Gaels team in that championship. The town side won nine senior titles in the 15-year period between 1924 and '38, so beating them represented a great achievement. He also picked up an Intermediate Championship medal in 1936, as well as some Feis Cup medals. If his career as a player was impressive, even though it didn't bring the ultimate reward in the shape of an All-Ireland medal, his contribution as a Royal County selector was absolutely extraordinary. Apart from being captain in 1939, he had the added responsibility of being a selector, a position he also held the following year when Meath again won the Leinster title. And how about this for a truly amazing statistic - he was actually a selector on 11 Meath teams that won senior provincial titles. Apart from '39 and '40, there was also '47, '49, '51, '52, '54, '64, '66, '67 and '70. And, of course, Meath went on to claim the Sam Maguire Cup in three of those years - '49, '54 and '67. That is some record of service and some record of success. Mattie had subsequent spells as a county selector and was part of Sean Boylan's set-up in the early stages of his long tenure as Meath manager, which clearly demonstrated the extent of the respect the man from Dunboyne had for him - above all a respect and admiration for his great knowledge of the game. He has retained a tremendous passion for football throughout his life and must surely hold some sort of record for the


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number of club matches he has attended at various venues around the county over the years. Indeed, he is still going to games and loves his football as much as ever, maintaining a keen interest in the local club scene and the various Meath teams. Mattie, who attended his first All-Ireland final the best part of 80 years ago in 1928 when Bill 'Squires' Gannon led Kildare to their second successive title with a one-point victory over Cavan, looks back with tremendous clarity at a magnificent playing career that was surely highlighted by the 1939 AllIreland final appearance. "It was marvellous to play in an AllIreland final, though I suppose when you are young you don't think much about it," he said. "We were just beaten by a great Kerry team that had players like Paddy Kennedy, Joe Keohane, Eddie Walsh and Dan Spring. They were great players, honest players. "It was the first time Meath contested a final as a county team. We had a lot of talented players at that time. Jim Kearney was the only member of the 1939 team to still be there in 1949 when Meath made the breakthrough. "Collective training took place at Randalstown for about three weeks before the All-Ireland final. We had won some games in the Leinster Championship before serious training started. We had beaten Laois in the first round at Mullingar and Kildare in the semi-final at Drogheda, before beating Wexford in the final at Croke Park. "Cavan were very good, but we beat them in the All-Ireland semi-final and then ran Kerry to two points in the final. Of course, they were very different times then and we enjoyed it all. Fellas were easier pleased in those days. It's a real rat race now." Mattie can vividly recall the day he made his debut appearance for the Meath seniors - over seven decades ago. "I can remember it as if it was yesterday," he added. "It was on a Church holiday in May, 1935 and it was a lovely day. We played Westmeath in Kells and I was at right half-forward. That was 72 years ago." Leading his province to Railway Cup honours was another of the big highlights during Mattie's playing days. "I captained Leinster when we won the Railway Cup in 1940," he said. "We beat Munster in the final. That was a big thrill. The Railway Cup was a big thing then and attracted huge crowds, over 40,000 as far as I can recall. It was a really great competition." Having lined out for his county for 11 years, he obviously played with and against some great footballers, including his Meath colleagues in 1939 and the Kerry team that deprived them

of a first All-Ireland senior title. They were clearly tremendous teams packed with fabulous players. "I played with some really great footballers during my years with Meath, including Tony Donnelly who was a truly wonderful player," he recalled. "Others included Bill Shaw, Mattie Rogers, Joe Loughran, Ted Meade and Dick Cassidy from Kilbeg. "Paddy Kennedy of Kerry was a brilliant midfielder, a really great footballer. Eddie Boyle from Louth was a great full-back and Tommy Murphy of Laois was another fabulous footballer." Mattie played with some fine footballers at club level too and that 1937 Senior Championship success for the Moynalty-Kilbeg combination, St. Mary's, is still recalled fondly some 70 years later. "We had a very good team then and beat Navan Gaels in that championship in '37," he said. "They were very strong and very successful. It meant a lot for the area here to win it. Sadly, they are all dead except for myself. We had also won the Intermediate Championship in 1936, so they were a great couple of years for us." Mattie was part of Sean Boylan's selection team in the early stages of his long spell as Meath senior manager and he is full of admiration for the man who helped bring so much success to the county after many barren years when the Royal County supporters couldn't have even dreamt of the remarkable transformation that lay ahead. He is fully aware of the massive part the immensely popular man from Dunboyne played in that transformation and is fulsome in his praise for the former county manager. "Sean is one of nature's gentlemen," Mattie said. "You never hear a cross word from him; never a rough word. He is a great man and was a wonderful addition for Meath football. He did a huge amount for it and was so successful. He is a brilliant man who has made friends all over the country." Now into his 90s, Mattie is still working away on the farm, driving his car, staying active and attending football matches on a regular basis. And why wouldn't he when the great game has been such an integral part of his life over so many years. "I was out counting cattle in Carlanstown this morning," he added as the rain pelted down outside on a miserable day. "I have been lucky. That said, I never drank and never smoked. I have kept active all my life. It's great to be able to be active. It gives you independence. A farmer running after livestock tends to keep fit! "And I am still going to games and was in Croke Park for Meath's Leinster

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Championship matches against Kildare and Dublin this year. What a great place Croke Park is now, with wonderful changes from my time playing there. "I can remember the Cusack Stand being built in 1937 and I remember it being demolished as well. I was in Croke Park for the 1928 All-Ireland final when Kildare beat Cavan and Squires Gannon was the first man to receive the Sam Maguire Cup. I saw it being presented for the last time, to Mick Lyons in 1987, and the new one being presented to Joe Cassells in 1988. I saw them all." And, having seen Meath in action several times during 2007, how does he assess the county's prospects for the future? "I would be hopeful," he said. "The young lads look promising and that is important." Mattie Gilsenan's record as a player and also as a selector of Meath teams is one of the truly remarkable stories in the proud history of Meath Gaelic Games. Chatting to him about it all so many years later was fascinating and enlightening, helped in no small way by his wonderful memory. Joe (Josie) Davy (Enfield) There was shock and sadness at the news that Joe passed away. He was well known to all Na Fianna followers and was a big supporter of the club, as well as the county. He was immensely proud when Na Fianna captured the 2012 Meath IFC title and gained senior status. Joe was a talented player with the old Enfield club and played alongside his brother Bill (RIP). He also coached underage teams in the now defunct Clan na Gael club. His sons, Kenny and William, played with both Clan na Gael and Na Fianna. Joe's passing leaves a huge void in the Enfield area and his knowledge, wit and kindness is sorely missed by all.

Eoin Murray (Leixlip and Melbourne) The death occurred of Eoin, who was originally from Leixlip, Co Kildare, in Melbourne. Eoin's father Stephen is a dedicated Na Fianna clubman who currently holds the role of Juvenile coordinator. Na Fianna CLG would like to express their condolences to Eoin's family and friends on their tragic loss.

Bill Daly (Enfield) Bill was a talented footballer and played with Enfield, Kilmainhamwood, Nobber and Kingscourt. He worked with CIE for almost 40 years until he retired in April 1982 at the age of 65. Bill was involved with the railway in Enfield for a number of years before being transferred to the


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Kilmainhamwood area. It was during his time around north County Meath that he met Elizabeth (Betty) Carolan whom he married in May 1964. Bill was one of the 'Nobber men of 1946', when Nobber won their first Junior Championship, although the match was not played until April 1947. He was part of that team, and often cycled from Nobber to Enfield and back again on a 66 miles round trip. Bill was the last surviving member of the old Enfield football team from the 1940s. Up until recent years he would travel to Croke Park to support the Meath senior footballers. Peter Reynolds Peter's brother Jim and Matt played with the Baconstown club while Matt's daughter Claire currently plays camogie for Na Fianna. Kathleen Dixon Kathleen's daughter Mandy played senior camogie and football with Na Fianna while son Marty hurls with the south Meath club. Kathleen's grandchildren also play underage hurling and football. (Thanks to Brian Queeney of Na Fianna GAA club for submitting the above obituaries)

Larry Daly (Trim) Larry was a founding member of Boardsmill hurling club along with his brother Paul and a few neighbours that included Pat Morgan, Pat Fay and Joe Darby. During his sporting years Larry won many medals and cups including a Junior Hurling Championship medal in 1947. His big love was athletics and he was a founding member of Trim Athletic Club. His most treasured possession was a runner's up medal team which he obtained in an All-Ireland cross-country race. This was with the Stoneyford Club and the winning team that day included the great JJ Barry or the ‘Ballinacurry Hare’ as he became known. In 1972, Larry formed the Trim AC BLE and acted as treasurer for 15 years. He was also founder of the Community Games in Trim and Boardsmill and President of the Meath County Board AC BLE for a further 15 years. Today the Larry Daly Cup is awarded to the winners of the Meath Senior CrossCountry Championships. An Honorary President of the Royal Meath Show and Boardsmill HC, Larry was the recipient of a Sean Gael Award from Meath County Board.

Peter McLoughlin (Longwood) Peter's sudden death came as a shock to members of Boardsmill hurling club. He played for many years with the ‘Mill, winning numerous underage and adult

championships. He had a keen interest in everything that went on in the club and three of his sons were members of the senior hurling team this year. His daughters also played camogie with Boardsmill. Outside of hurling, Peter Daly's great interest and love was dogs and he enjoyed many successes. He was also a popular card player. To the Daly and McLoughlin families we extend our deepest sympathies. (Thanks to secretary Caroline Loughran and Boardsmill GAA club) Tony Stapleton (Navan) Tony was a great supporter of Navan O’Mahonys and Meath GAA but was best known for his role as chairman of the Fianna Fail constituency organisation, the Meath Fianna Fail Comhairle Dail Cheantair, for 20 years. He was director of elections for all of former MEP, Jim Fitzsimons' European Parliament and Dail election campaigns.

Charlie O'Brien (Drumree and Navan) The unexpected death of Charlie was the source of widespread shock and sadness across the county. A native of Drumree, his son Gary has represented Navan O'Mahonys and Meath with distinction in recent years. A mine captain at Tara Mines, Charlie was involved in Dunshaughlin Athletics club. Josie Duignan (Navan) Josie's late husband Jim was, along with his brothers, a founding member of Navan O'Mahonys in 1948. Her son Eamonn played with the Brews Hill club.

Tom Brady (Navan) Tom's son John ('Bod') was a substitute on the Meath team that captured AllIreland SFC glory following the replayed final victory over Mayo in 1996. John was also full back on the Royal County minor side that defeated Armagh in the 1992 All-Ireland MFC final and won a SFC medal with O'Mahonys in 1997. Another son, Anthony, played with Bective. A native of Clones, Tom was a loyal supporter of Meath and sent many match programmes to John who currently lives in Australia. Tom's sonin-law, Declan McCabe, is the current Summerhill senior football team manager.

Bridie Kerrane (Navan) Bridie's husband Liam is well-known in Meath GAA circles and is the current head steward at Pairc Tailteann. A prominent Navan O'Mahonys member, Liam is a former vice-chairman of the Hurling Board. A minute's silence was observed in Bridie's memory prior to the

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IFC final between Gaeil Colmcille and Clann na nGael. (Thanks to Michael Bennett and Navan O'Mahonys GAA club)

Kevin Honan A native of Kildare, Kevin's grandson Colm Honan is goalkeeper on the Navan O'Mahonys minor and Under 21 football teams.

Meta Geraghty A loyal Navan O'Mahonys supporter, Meta's late husband Michael was a former club secretary while her son Donnchadh was successfully involved at underage level in Dunshaughlin GAA club during recent years. Mark O'Callaghan Mark was a great supporter of Navan O'Mahonys and attended the weekly bingo in the club. Jimmy Power Jimmy's sons and grandsons played for Navan O'Mahonys.

Noel Matthews A member of a well-known Navan O'Mahonys GAA family, Noel was a fullback of renown with the Starlights club in Wexford. A member of An Garda Siochana, the Navan native arrived in Enniscorthy in the mid-60's and it wasn't long after when he became a regular with the famous Enniscorthy club. He was also a top referee in the seventies and officiated at numerous county finals in his adopted county, including both senior finals in 1974. Growing up in Navan, he won football and hurling medals with Navan O'Mahonys. His two sons, Colm and Paul, were outstanding dual players. Noel served as both chairman and secretary of the Enniscorthy District in the seventies and also played hurling with St Aidan's and the Shamrocks during his playing days. A brother of O'Mahonys members Peter and Paul, Noel was an uncle of current corner-back Ian Matthews while Meath Chronicle Sports reporter Fergal Lynch was also a nephew.

Paddy Cunningham Only answered to the name of Dinky. A true gentlemen and one of the most popular men in Navan, a fact backed up by the huge crowds who attended his funeral. Dinky had a clear, distinctive voice that would not have sounded out of place were it transmitting the RTE news to the nation. A lover of all sports Dinky Cunningham always kept an eye on how the Meath team were progressing. Gone but never forgotten. Tommy Rogers A soccer player of note with Parkvilla,


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Tommy was a former underage player with Navan O'Mahonys while his brothers Martin and Anthony both played senior football for the Brews Hill club. His nephew Diarmuid Rogers (Anthony's son) is a regular on the club's senior hurling team. Tommy was married to Bernadette Cosgrave, a member of a well known Dunderry family, while his brother-in-law, Davy Nelson, is the current O'Mahonys senior football manager. (Thanks to Michael Bennett and Navan O'Mahonys GAA club)

Kieran O'Farrell (Kilbride) Kieran was an Honorary President of the Kilbride club at the time of his passing and his sons Bosco and Liam represented the club during the 1980s.

Betty Colfer (Kilbride) Betty was predeceased by her husband David who was a former vice-chairman of Kilbride GFC. Her grandsons Paddy, Keith and Cormac O'Neill are former and current players with Kilbride. Betty was heavily involved in the local community, sitting on school and parochial committees for many years, and was a long time member of Kilbride ICA. In later years, she was involved in Ratoath and Ashbourne Active Aged Groups. Pat Sullivan (Kilbride) Pat was a member of the famed Kilbride squad of the 1960s and his brother Owen captained the club to Meath IFC success in 1962.

Johnny Farrell (Clonee) Johnny was a brother of well-known Kilbride official Patsy who is also heavily involved in the Meath GAA Supporters club - Club na Mi. (Thanks to Eamonn McGovern and Kilbride GAA club) Ted Murtagh - (Trim) An appreciation There have been many accolades paid to Ted Murtagh since his death on the Tuesday 18th June 2013. Now it is fitting that our club also pay tribute to a man whom we regard as one of the most outstanding persons that we ever had amongst us. We have had many great personalities over the generations, in our 117 years of existence, but a few stand out from the crowd and hold the title of club legends. We think of men like Paddy Yore, Mick Leonard, Ollie O’Reilly et al. Ted Murtagh certainly was befitting of this title of “a club legend”. Ted came to Trim in 1951 as a 16 year old to work in Leonard’s Drapery shop at Athboy Gate.  Having been brought up in the Westmeath hurling hotbeds of Collinstown and Rickardstown he

already had the GAA bug. Ted immediately became involved with the Trim club and the following year was a member of the hurling team that won the Meath Minor hurling championship.  He won a Feis Cup hurling medal with his adopted club in 1954.  He switched back to his native club Rickardstown in 1959 and was a member of their senior hurling team that won the Westmeath championship.  The legendary Jobber McGrath was the undoubted star of their team at the time.  Ted was privileged to play alongside the Jobber who was a star of Westmeath and Leinster hurling and was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.  Ted used to cycle the 20 miles from Trim back home to North Westmeath to play games with his club.  Such was his then passion for the game of hurling. Shortly thereafter he returned his allegiance to the Trim club as he settled here by virtue of making many new found friends and having a successful career in the drapery business.    One of these great friends was to become his lifelong partner as he met and married Ann, a local Trim girl, in 1963. Anne's father John McGee was a popular Trim GAA personality in the 1920s, 30’s and 40’s and was a wellknown photographer of events and matches in the area.  In recent years Ann helped set up and run the Trim Active Retirement Group and along with Ted they formed a formidable partnership in continuing to run this great organisation for the elderly. As a young man here in Trim, Ted continued to play junior and senior hurling for the club again and was a regular participant in the successful street leagues during the 1950s. Occasionally he played football but admitted that he was too small to play at senior level “I only weighed nine stone so I was always going to struggle against bigger opponents.”  In later years he often told the story of one of his few outings with the Trim senior football team.  Ted was picked to play at left corner forward in the championship against Skryne.  As he ambled down to the top of the left position before the throw in he noticed that the Skryne corner back Michael O’Brien was waiting to mark him.  At the time O’Brien was one of the top corner backs in the country having won All-Ireland medals with Meath in 1949 and 1954 and also three Railway Cup medals with Leinster.  As Ted often said, “the rest is history, I never got a kick of the ball that day”. Ted Murtagh was still in his twenties when he commenced a refereeing career that would extend over 25 years.  He had never intended to take up the whistle, it just happened. “There

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was a tournament football final on in Trim between Kells and Navan O’Mahonys one Sunday and Tommy Murray from Boardsmill was down to referee it. For some reason Tommy never turned up and Ted was asked to step into the breach.  He was relucant to do it, but if he did not, the game would have been postponed.  The Westmeath native went on to become one of the most respected referees in Meath, refereeing at every level in hurling and football and also on the inter-county stage.  His big assignments in the Royal County included four senior hurling championship finals as well as a number of senior football semi finals. Further afield Ted refereed at intercounty level with many games in the National Hurling League. In an administrative capacity Ted served in a variety of roles within Trim GAA club over the years.  He had long stints as secretary and treasurer and held the position of juvenile treasurer for 25 years.  In later years and up until the commencement of his short illness this spring, Ted was the mainstay behind the club bingo every Friday night.  He was organiser-in-chief, was immensely popular, had a warm welcome for all of the attending bingo players and also managed to play every night himself. In the early 1970’s he became very active in the juvenile club.  This involvement coincided with the initiation of the GAA careers of his two sons Derek and CJ to whom Ted had obviously passed on his love for Gaelic games. Derek cut short his hurling and football career when he emigrated to Tenerife where he pursued a working career as a musician.  He was a talented dual player and won an All Ireland ‘B’ minor hurling championship medal with Meath in the 1980s.  Derek was part of the Trim senior hurling set up in the mid 1980s when they came back to prominence as a major force in Meath. CJ went on to become one of Trim’s finest dual stars in the 1980s and 1990s.  In football he represented his club at Meath minor and U21 level and played senior football for the club up to the late 1990s. But it was in hurling that he gained the most success.  Over the period from 1997 to 2004 he collected nine Meath senior hurling championship medals.  During that spell the Trim club won nine senior hurling championships, drew one final, losing the replay and lost out in four semi finals.  CJ was a central figure in all.  He went on to manage the senior hurlers in 2004 when they narrowly lost to Kilmessan in the senior championship final. 


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It was with great pride that in recent years Ted watched the next generation of Murtaghs take to the playing fields, his grandchildren. David has come through the Trim juvenile system in hurling and football and is presently togging out at u16 level in both codes. Ted's grand daughters Elaine and Julianna play juvenile camogie and ladies football for the Trim club while his grandson Ross in Tenerife has been a soccer prodigy with schoolboy connections to Manchester United and Real Madrid. As a supporter of Gaelic games Ted’s record was second to none.  Over the years he was ever present at Trim matches, working behind the scenes as a selector and preparing team sheets before the games.  As one Trim Gael put it recently “Ted was the ultimate behind the scenes man.” At inter-county level he was also a keen supporter of Meath and his native Westmeath in both hurling and football and he could hold the record of AllIreland finals attended by any one person.  Ted attended his first in 1951 and every year thereafter he made it to both hurling and football finals, including replays up to the football final of 2012. A total of 124 finals plus four replays. He had great recollections of many great finals in Croke Park which he often regaled to enthusiastic listeners. Ted's own words “The Cork - Wexford hurling final of 1956 when Christy Ring unleashed an ‘exocet’ that the Wexford goalkeeper somehow managed to block.  It was a wonder save and Ring strode forward to shake Art Foley’s hand in an iconic moment that has become part of AllIreland folklore. “Back in those days, long before health and safety regulations were strictly enforced it was possible to sit literally on the sideline and end line and watch the action unfold just a few metres away. “I  remember the 1953 football final showdown where Armagh’s Bill McCorry missed a penalty when the Ulster side had the mighty Kerry on the rack. “The wonderful performance of the Kells youngster Michael Grace as Meath defeated Kerry to win the Sam Maguire for the second time in 1954. “The sight of Mattie McDonagh in tears after Galway lost out to Dublin in the 1963 final.  The final that gave me the most safisfaction was the 1967 win when Trim player Peter Darby captained the Meath team.  They were great celebrations around the county after that win. “Galway’s three-in-a-row in the 1960s was an exciting time. I don’t think I saw a better footballer than Galway’s Sean

Purcell, he was magical. “I  had a bad experience at the 1961 final when Down played Offaly. The attendance that day was around 91,000, when the stadium had a capacity of 70,000.  Like many other supporters I was nearly crushed in the pushing that ensued.” For his outstanding contribution to his club and county in a variety of capacities over the years Ted received the Coiste na Mí Sean Gael award in September 2005.  That same weekend he was presented with the Benemeranti medal for 50 years of service to the St Vincent de Paul. Apart from his GAA activities Ted was also well known in Trim and further afield for his work with the St Vincent de Paul. So, from all of us at Trim GAA club, we say goodbye to our friend Ted.  We remember him as one that was diligent, friendly, honest and passionate. To his wife Ann and his family we extend our deepest sympathy. Go ndeana Dia trocaire ar a anam. (Seamus Brennan - Trim GAA club)

Joe Fitzsimons – (Trim) An appreciation It was with great sadness that the community of Trim learned of the death of Joe Fitzsimons. It was especially sad for all his colleagues in Trim GAA club as he was a former great on the hurling and football fields with his native club and also a star hurler for Meath for the best part of two decades. After his playing days were over Joe followed the fortunes of his club and county right up until his later years. At 95 years of age Joe was the oldest member of our club, was the last remaining player of the great senior hurling championship winning teams of 1935, '40, '41 and '42 and was the last of the 1934 Trim junior team that won the Meath Junior football championship. Joe's final visit to our club was in July of 2010 when he attended the launch of our Pictorial History. The large attendance that night felt a great sense of pride to have Joe amongst them as he was regarded as one of the great individuals of yesteryear, one that graced the hurling and football fields of Meath for his beloved Trim club. On the night he recalled his experience with the club as far back as seventy years. As a contribution to our recent Club History publication he wrote a letter to the authors. His comments typified the man who was proud to have represented his club back in the 1930's and 40's. The following is an extract from his letter - “My first introduction to hurling was at home in our field when a few locals would gather together to play

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matches. I started playing football when I went to the Technical School in 1932. We won the Meath Schools title that year and a few times altogether. I was a member of the Trim GAA team that won the Meath Junior Football Title in 1934. We also won several County Senior Hurling titles over the 15 years I played for Trim. I was also a member of the 1942 team to reach the Senior Final (abandoned). “I would rate the 1935 team the best team ever to represent Trim. It would be impossible to mention any individuals, they were all so good. While Trim was a hurling town it was in football that they succeeded in winning a football title in 1934 …………. I would also like to see the return of the old jersey i.e. yellow cuffs and collars, there was something magic about it. It was the jersey that was dreaded. It was said to be worth 2 points. “The meetings of Trim and Kilmessan were always the highlight of the year. A titanic struggle ensued. It was great, very tough stuff. I believe we always had the edge. It would be remiss of me were I not to mention some of the stalwarts of the past who kept the flag flying in hard times. Names like Matt Ward (Senior), Bill Fay (Senior), Hynes Brothers, Mathews brothers, Jack Keegan, Jack Shaw, Mick Fagan, Kit Fay, Kane brothers, and the Kellys.” Joe came to the fore as a school boy star in 1932 when he captained the Trim vocational school to a schools championship. It was not too long before he progressed on to the Trim adult football and hurling teams and this was the start of a fifteen year career in football and hurling for his club coupled with many years starring for Meath hurlers. Trim had never won a football championship although beaten in two Meath Senior finals in 1906 and 1908 and had not won a hurling championship since their three in a row, 1919 to 1921. Finally their footballers delivered in 1934 with the seventeen year old Joe starring. In 1935 he lined out for the Trim Senior hurling team that won the Meath championship after a gap of fourteen years. That same year he held the full back position on the Meath minor hurling team during their Leinster championship campaign. In 1936 he lined out at centre field for the Meath senior hurling team in the Leinster hurling league. He would go on the play for Meath for a number of years after that. In all he won two junior football championship and four senior hurling championship medals and numerous Feis cup competitions for his club. After his retirement from playing circa 1948 Joe continued to have an active interest in the club. In 1953 he trained


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the senior football team that reached and were beaten in the Meath final by Navan O'Mahonys, the first Keegan Cup final. That Trim team included two recently deceased players in Sonny Kelly, who was captain of the team, and Jim Fay.

Paddy Bird (Trim) After a long illness, Paddy passed away on April 4th last. There was great sadness within the Trim club and the county. All during the late eighties, the nineties and up until to the start of his illness, Paddy could be regarded as the face of Trim GAA club. As the club’s regular gateman he was the first person that supporters met as they came to the many games that were played in the grounds at that time. He was hugely popular with the incoming supporters, was always ready to have the banter with them and consequently was a well-known and liked character throughout the county. Paddy was born and reared in Loman Street in the heart of Trim town. During his school days in the Christian Brothers he first came to prominence as a footballer and hurler when he was a member of the successful championship winning U14 teams, hurling and football, of 1954. Among his team-mates at the time were future Trim stars such as Sean Colgan, Paddy Keogh and his brother Chris. In the following three years he came up through the juvenile ranks, mainly in hurling, his first love. In 1955 he played at corner forward on an U16 team that was beaten in the county hurling final. A year later, he a was member of the Trim minor hurling team that lost out in the county final. He finally got his reward when a key figure on a minor hurling team that won county honours in 1957. In the following year, and still a minor player, he graduated on to a Trim senior hurling team that was arguably the best ever in the club. In the previous nine years they had won six senior hurling championship titles and were heading for a three-in-a-row. Their chances of outright victory were scuppered by a superb Boardsmill team that drew with them in the latter stages of the championship thus effectively putting them out as they had been beaten earlier by Kiltale. Boardsmill went on to win their first ever senior hurling championship that year. Trim returned to winning ways in 1959 and 1960 and Paddy donned the red jersey for that Jubilee Cup two-in-a-row. Paddy Bird remained on as a player in the sixties but hurling in the club had gone into decline as the great team of the fifties had all retired. In 1966 he emigrated to England with his wife Mary which put a hold on his

hurling career. On their return to Ireland in 1972, Paddy quickly got back into harness as a member of the Intermediate hurling squad. He played intermittingly up to the midseventies but age had caught up with him and Paddy retired from the game in his mid-thirties. When his playing career was over he continued on as a club member, a very active committee member and was involved in most of the grounds upkeep all through the eighties, nineties up until 2006. May he rest in peace.    

Pauline Lynam (Trim) Members of Trim GAA club were saddened to hear of the passing of Pauline Lynam last February. Pauline was a member of a great GAA family in Trim and her two sons, PJ and Frank, were key players for the club during the seventies and eighties. Frank was a member of the Trim team that won three SHC titles in-a-row in the late eighties and was also an accomplished footballer, lining out for the club's senior football team. Pauline's grandson Eimhin Lynam (Frank's son) was likewise an outstanding hurler and footballer during the nineties and has a number of senior hurling championship medals to his name. Her brothers, Sonny, Frank and George Kelly are part of Trim GAA folklore. During the forties and fifties, they hurled for Meath and Trim and played football for Trim. Between them they won over twenty Meath SHC medals. Pauline's father, Jack Kelly, was also a hurler of note in the early years of the last century. After winning five Meath senior hurling championship medals, he went on to become one of Trim's great club men in his later years.

James Power (Trim) James was well known in Trim as a great GAA supporter and his passing following a long illness caused widespread sadness amongst club members. Growing up he would have watched his two older brothers Maurice and Michael play football for Trim so it was part of his family tradition that James would follow the same path. He became a key player on the club's juvenile hurling and football teams in the late seventies and eighties when Trim were a force to be reckoned with at Meath underage level. James was a very effective full-forward on the 1983 minor team that won the county title after beating Killyon in a replay. He scored a marvellous goal in the drawn match. In 1986, at 21 years of age, he was a key player for the club's junior hurling team that reached the county final and was a member of the U-21 hurling team

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that won the Meath championship that year. James' playing career was cut short by a car accident in the midnineties but he continued to support the club in the years that followed.

Marie Lynch A member of the well-known Matthews family who have a long association with Navan O'Mahonys, Trim resident Marie's brothers served the Brews Hill club with distinction. Her son Fergal is well-known to Meath gaels as a sports reporter with the Meath Chronicle while her daughter Ann is married to former Summerhill player and current selector Billy Shaw. (Thanks to Seamus Brennan and Trim GAA club for their assistance)

Cepta Timmons (Beauparc) Cepta was a member of the well-known Carter family who have made a major contribution to Seneschalstown GAA club. Her father Pat served as chairman of the Yellow Furze outfit and her brothers, Sonny and Maurice, played with the club. Cepta's late husband Patsy, who was a native of Slane, was also a keen football supporter. Leo Darby (Hayes, Navan) Leo's sons, Conor and Brendan, played with Seneschalstown and, more recently, his grandsons, Robert and Neil, have followed in the family tradition.

Mary Finnegan (Kentstown) Nee Kennedy, Mary's husband Sean was a former player with the Seneschalstown club. (Our thanks to Elaine Battersby and the Seneschalstown club)

Ricky McDermott (Crossakiel) The entire parish of Kilskyre and Ballinlough was thrown into a state of complete shock last Easter when news of the tragic death of Clonabreany lad Ricky McDermott filtered through. Only two weeks into his 17th year, Ricky had played a star game for Ballinlough on Easter Sunday afternoon as Nobber were beaten in the Division Three league. Without doubt he was Ballinlough’s brightest prospect. Commencing with the club’s under 10 team, Ricky, a fifth year student at St. Oliver’s Post Primary School, Oldcastle, was the shooting star as Ballinlough gained titles at under 14, 15 and 17 level and a minor win with the St Oliver’s amalgamation His accuracy from placed balls was exceptional and one recalls him playing an under 15 match against Dunderry, while a 14 year old, and driving the O Neills size 5 straight between the posts from two 45s. A feat most senior


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players would only dream about. A one man scoring machine, Ricky McDermott notched 0-9 against Ballinabrackey in the 2010 under 15 decider while a year later he shot all of 1-15 in an under 16 semi final which went to extra time. His proudest moment came that same year when his tally of 1-8 was the main reason why Ballinlough downed Wolfe Tones in an under 17 final. These scoring exploits attracted the attention of county selectors and Ricky featured for Meath in the 2012 Gerry Reilly under 16 tournament. Popular with all and completely dedicated to his training he would have been a regular on the Meath minor team in the season ahead. Ballinlough GAA have lost a great player but more importantly his family have lost a loved son and brother. We extend our deepest sympathy to Ricky's parents Richie and Ita, his sister Sarah, brother James grandmother Rosie and all his relations. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. Ballinlough GAA

Michael O’Keeffe (Crossakiel ) Absolutely devastated to hear about the death of Michael O’Keeffe from Creevagh after a farm accident. Michael was a larger than life character who was involved in a number of local and national organisations. From an old Creevagh farming clan, Michael was not only a progressive farmer but indeed a successful businessman. Way ahead of his time in farming methods, Michael, after studying in the various farming colleges and watching events unfold in the UK and Europe, introduced many new, more modern methods of farming to the family holding. Schemes that are now part and parcel of everyday farming life some 30 years later. The O’Keeffe's were always fond of their GAA and when cars were scarce back in the 60s, Michael’s father Jimmy was always on hand to drive young budding footballers to then far away places like Moynalty or Carnaross. Michael's grandfather was none other than Paddy Hopkins, who was secretary of the old North Meath Board for years. Paddy ran a popular butchers establishment in Kells and was regarded by many as Mr GAA in the area during the middle portion of the last century. On that side of his family Michael was also a first cousin of Carlanstown native Tom Clinton, former President of the IFA. Michael completed his secondary education as a boarder in Gormanston College and there became attracted to the game of hurling. Earlier he had played juvenile football with Ballinlough and because of his healthy frame was usually thrown into the full back

position. But it was at hurling that the young O’Keeffe was to excel. He was a regular on Meath underage teams and full back on a Kilskyre side which moved up and down the grades, from senior to junior, during the 70s. Michael O’Keeffe, despite another bad farming accident twelve years back, was never one to sit around and was involved in a number of associations. Invariably he was elected to a position of responsibility. At the time of his passing he was President of the North East Regional Council of the St. Vincent De Paul. Michael is survived by his wife Anne– Marie, son James, who has lined out at all levels for Ballinlough, daughters Karen and Ruth and by his sister Mary. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam---JL

Bridget McCormack (Kilskyre) Bridget was a native of Westmeath. Situated on her family farm is the site where James Connell, author of the Red Flag, was born. Brigid’s son Seamus played for both the Kilskyre hurling and Ballinlough football teams. Her son in law Joe Nealon was a star player with Kilskyre during the 1980's

Nancy Muldoon (Kilskyre) Nancy's son Paddy lined out in goals for Kilskyre, Ballinlough and the old Killallon club. Her grandsons, the Muldoons, Padraig and Derek, play with both Ballinlough and Kilskyre while the Farrells have togged out for Ballinlough. Robbie Farrell is a regular in defence for the north Meath club over the past number of years. Eveline Tevlin (Kilskyre) Eveline was a native of Moynalty. She and her late husband Matty took a big interest in all local clubs and the progress of the Meath team.

Elizabeth (Lilly) McCaffrey (Kilskyre) Lilly was a native of Leitrim and with her husband James came to farm in the area over 40 years back. Their family are very valued members of the local community and Lilly's grandson Karl O’Reilly was a regular on the Ballinlough senior team for a number of years. Another grandson Johnnie Reilly is a present player with Ballinlough. Mary Reilly (Crossakiel) Nee Dunne from Newcastle, Moynalty, Mary’s husband Michael tragically died at a young age. She was left to bring up a large family and at the same time run a garage business, roles which she performed to perfection. Mary was 92 years of age at the time of her passing. Her sons James and Finian were terrific sponsors of both Ballinlough and Kilskyre clubs over the years while another son John has been active on

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Ballinlough committees and with various fund raising ventures associated to the Meath County Board. John's son Johnnie (see above obituary with Lilly McCaffrey) is a current Ballinlough player. Sons in law of Mary include former Ballinlough club chairman and player Cathal Flynn, Seamus and Gerry McNamee, excellent performers for Ballinlough and who both wore the Meath senior jersey, and Seamus Davis who has served Bective as secretary for a long number of years. Our sincere thanks to Peadar Byrne, senior, for all his help with the Ballinlough and Kilskyre obituaries

Kathleen Norris (Navan) Kathleen's late husband, well-known car dealer Joe Norris, served as chairman of Syddan GFC. A native of Fennor, Slane, she came to live in Lobinstown in 1968 when she married Joe and the family later moved to Navan in 1994. Kathleen's sons Gerald, Paul and John all played with Syddan at various levels. The Norris family have always been generous supporters of the Syddan club. Phil & Mary Taaffe (Ardee) Phil played football with Syddan, winning many underage accolades and he remained a loyal supporter of the club. His wife Mary also sadly passed away this year.

Tommy Farrelly Tommy lined out at underage level with Syddan but never really played much at adult.   His first cousin of the same name is still the only Syddan player to lift the Keegan Cup in 1956.  Tommy is also an uncle of former All-Ireland medal winning goalkeeper Michael McQuillan. Marie Meade Marie was a daughter of George Dillon. His brother Bill played full back back for Meath in the 1920s and 30s, winning a national league medal in 1933.  Bill was also the founding member of the present Syddan club in the mid 1930s.  Marie's husband Oliver played with Syddan and also looked after the underage teams in the 1940s and 50s.  Her grandchildren are presently playing underage with Syddan.

Harry Malone Harry was a very strong supporter of both Syddan and Meath teams down through the years despite not playing very much himself. Harry’s granddaughters are all presently lining out with the Dee Rangers ladies teams. Dympna Halpin Nee Dolan, Dympna was a member of


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one of the families which have played a central role in the development of the Syddan club. Her father was treasurer of the club for over 30 years while her brothers, Sean and Andy, served as secretary and treasurer respectively for over 50 years between them. Andy, along with another brother Paddy, both played for the north Meath club. Dympna was a dedicated supporter of the Syddan club and was very proud when her first cousin, Joe Cassells, lifted the Sam Maguire Cup for Meath in 1988. (Thanks to Catherine Byrne, Gerry Dillon and Syddan GFC) Johnny Lenehan Johnny was a member of the Duleek intermediate winning side of 1955 and also represented the county junior team. He was involved in the underage section within the club in the seventies and his grandchildren currently play for Duleek/Bellewstown.

Nelly Dunne Nelly’s sons Donal and Paul are former players with Duleek while her two grandsons currently play with the club Casey won a Junior B Championship in 2009 and is a regular on the Duleek/Bellewstown senior team while Shane lines out with the club's junior side. Peggy Murray Peggy’s son Cianan won an IFC medal in 1978. Another son, Ken Murray, also played underage with Duleek and is a well-known reporter.

Sandra Clarke Sandra’s husband George was a selector with Duleek in the early nineties while sons Philip and Robert both played underage football. Robert is currently a member of our junior team. George hails from a very prominent GAA family in Castletown and was centre half back on an outstanding Meath team which won the Leinster minor championship in 1980. Vera Powderly Vera’s husband Joe won SFC and Feis Cup medals in 1943 and an IFC medal in 1955 with Duleek. Her sons Gerry, Pat (later Simonstown) and Kevin also lined out for Duleek while Vera herself was heavily involved in the ICA in the village.

Olive Lynch Olive was wife of John and both were great supporters of the club. Olive’s nephew Seamus Curley is a former player and secretary of Duleek GFC. Maureen Lenehan Maureen was married to the late Bartle

Lenehan, Slane, who won an IFC medal with Duleek in 1955.

Kathleen Woods Kathleen’s sons Michael, Kenneth and Noel are all former players with Duleek. Noel is also involved with Duleek/Bellewstown underage ladies teams. Tom Heavey Tom won a MFC medal in 1960 and an IFC medal in 1966 while his nephews Barry and James are current players with Duleek/Bellewstown. Eucharia Carroll Eucharia was wife of Mickey and mother of Kevin. Mickey was a key member of the Duleek intermediate winning team in 1978 and Kevin won a JFC medal in 1995. William Ludlow William's sons, Vincent and Nicholas, were regular players with Duleek GFC in the eighties.

Mark Dowling Mark, who died tragically, was a cousin of Duleek/Bellewstown ladies player Katie Dowling.

Olivia Sheridan Olivia was sister to Seamus Byrne and her two nieces, Orla and Kate, play with Duleek/Bellewstown ladies. Mary Noone Mary's son Peter, otherwise known as PP, played with Duleek and is a regular at matches. Her other son Kevin of Noone Transport is also a great supporter of the club. Mary's grandson Wayne and her great grandson Conor currently line out with Duleek Bellewstown. (Thanks to Joan Lenehan and the Duleek/Bellewstown club for all their help)

Paddy 'Sport' Gilligan Paddy was a member of the St Pat's committee in the early years and was father-in-law of the late Patrick Mooney, a former club player who died tragically on helicopter duty. Gretta Curran Gretta's late husband was Jimmy Curran of Mayo fame and her son Ivan was a prominent player with the club for many years. She was a sister-in-law of well-known committee member Martin Curran. Miriam Woods   Miriam was a sister of current St Patrick's chairman 'Anto' Woods.

Dara Cooney Kearns   Dara was partner of Enda Kearns,

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brother of present St Pat's player Ronan Kearns. Rosario Hannigan Rosario was a sister of Kevin Loughlin, the development officer for St. Pat's.

Tony Berrill Tony's brothers Matt and Patsy Berrill played for St Pat's. Fr. Eamonn Newell   Order of Friars Minor Gormanston College.

(OFM),

Frances Ryan Frances was married to David Ryan and his uncle Tom Ryan won a medal with the club in 1963.

Patrick Maloney   Patrick's son Darragh Maloney is a well-known RTE Sports commentator who resides in Stamullen. Nan Whelan   Nan's husband Eamonn won a minor medal in 1951 with Julianstown and their sons Peter, Ciaran and Richard played with St. Pat's.  Peter won a 'B' championship medal in 1975.

Dominic Smith   Dominic's son-in-law Daithi Whyte has represented St Pat's and Meath with distinction.

Johnny Matthews Johnny was a member of the St Pat's panel that claimed Junior Football 'B' honours in 1975. Tommy McCausland Tommy was father of John Mc Causland whose daughters play football with the St Pat's ladies section. Ann McGuinness    Ann's brothers, John and Paul, played with St Pat's while sister Debbie Wogan's son and daughter play with St Pat's today. Brian McConville    Brian's wife Anne was a member of the St Pat's club committee and both were great supporters of the club's team and Meath. Joan Moran Joan's son Alan played with St Pat's.

'Lofty' Black       'Lofty' was a St Pat's committee member in the early days and his son Liam played with the Stamullen club. Maureen Cunningham    Wife of the late Tony Cunningham, Maureen was also related to current St Pat's club committee members, Declan Russell and Thomas Reilly.


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Mark Dowling   The only son of John and Ann Dowling, Mark's sisters Clair and Susan played ladies football with St Pat's and his cousin Shane is a member of the senior football team at present. Patrick Rowe      Patrick's brother Michael played with St Pat's and coaches at underage level.

Jim Geoghegan   Jim's son Gary played with St Pat's and he was a great supporter of the club and Meath alike.

Margaret O’Brien Margaret's son Colin plays hurling with St Pat's and won a Junior 2 medal this year.  Margaret was a sister of Rosie Gaughran whose husband Ollie Gaughran was a former chairperson of St Pat's and is currently involved in the Development Committee. Tom Kiely     Tom was an uncle of Pat Ryan, secretary of St Patrick's, and granduncle of J.P. Ryan who captained the 2013 Junior 2 Hurling team.

Breda Reilly Breda's husband Eamonn Reilly was a founding member of the St Pat's hurling team and her sons, David and Niall, played with the club. Ben Whelan   Ben's brother Andy won a 1963 medal with St. Pat's, his nephew, John Nealon, lined out with the club and his grandnephews, Conor, Kevin and Ruairi, play with the club today.

Paddy Finn Paddy was on the 1975 ‘B’ winning St Pat's panel. His late father Paddy was a former player and committee member and his brother Ronan played with the club.

Mr and Mrs Belton Mr and Mrs Belton died within days of each other. They were parents of Gerry Belton whose sons Stephen and Conor play with St Pat's at underage.

Billy Doyle   Billy's father, also Billy, played with St Pat's. His cousins Gary and Keith Traynor likewise lined out with the club. Grandad Traynor also passed away during the year Jim Monks     Jim's brother Joe lined out for St. Pat's and his nephew Jonathan won a Junior 2 medal this year. Peggy McEntaggart    Mother of Martin who played with St

Pat's. Her grandson Bryan Mallon currently plays.

Alec Hutheson   Alec's son James played with St Pat's. (Thanks to Myra O'Flaherty and the St Patricks Stamullen club for their brilliant help)

Maureen Moloney (nee Keane) Maureen, formerly of Lyreacrompane, Co. Kerry was long associated with Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA club, especially in our old home in the Wotton where she and her husband James were the drop in point for access to the Wotton. She was a great supporter of the club and helped out at many social events. She always encouraged the family to participate in the GAA and saw her sons play for the club at underage level. Maureen and James celebrated 60 years of marriage in our new clubhouse a couple of years back and were surrounded by family and friend on that special occasion. Maureen is sadly missed by her loving husband James, family Ray, Josephine, John and Denis. Deeply regretted by her family, grandchildren, great-grandchild, son-in-law, daughterin-law, sisters in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and her many dear friends within the Donaghmore Ashbourne community. Ar Dheis De go raibh a hanam.

Phil Synnott (née Kearns) Phil was a member of the Kearns family, one of the founding members of the club. She passed away suddenly during the year. Phil's father and his brothers played for the original Donaghmore team from 1924 to the 1930s. Her husband Joe was also deeply involved with the club. Phil’s family all played for the club with Joe being one of our club referees. Phil was a great family person and tried to pass on all her knowledge to her grandchildren. She was long associated with the library in Ashbourne and in later years was also seen within the company of Aily O’Regan and Terry Tormey at club events. Phil is sadly missed by her children Christine, Marie, Carol, Joe, Declan and Catherine, brother Paddy Joe, and sister Helen, nephew Hugh, daughter in law Anne, grandchildren, sister-in-law, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and her immediate family and also the Donaghmore Ashbourne community. Ar Dheis De go raibh a h-anam. Larry Geraghty Larry was a member of another family associated with the formation of Donaghmore GAA club back in 1923.

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His brother Kit supervised the construction of our first clubhouse known as the hall in Greenogue back in 1925. Larry himself was on the Donaghmore minor team that won the Meath title in 1938. This team included Jackie Maye and Oliver Walsh, grandfather to club and county player Andrew Tormey. Larry is sadly missed by his family and friends and also the Donaghmore Ashbourne Community. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam. Attracta (Trixie) Isdale Trixie Isdale was a member of the famous sporting O’Flanagan family. Her brothers Dr. Kevin and Mick played both soccer and rugby for Ireland and Charlie played for Bohs. Dr. Kevin also served with the International Olympic Committee. Trixie married into the Isdale family who were long associated with the club in Donaghmore. Her husband Jimmy served the club as Chairman in the past. She is saddly missed by her sons John and Jim, daughter Siobhan, grandchildren Emma and Cerys, Sylvia and Serena and extended O'Flanagan family, relatives and friends. Trixie is fondly remembered by the Donaghmore Ashbourne Community. Ar Dheis De go raibh a h-anam. Shane McEntee A true GAA Gael and brother of our former senior football team manager Andrew McEntee.

Mary Deery Mother of Willie Deery and grandmother to club players Gareth, Danny and Becky. Carmel Cawley Mother of Junior Footballer Eunan and sister in law to Ladies football chairperson Timmy O’Keefe.

Bridget O Sullivan, sister of Mortimer O Sullivan

Rita Stenson, mother of Edel Stenson and grandmother to club players Rachel, Kevin, Mark and Stephen. Harry Ellis, father to Jack and grandfather to senior player Ciaran. Joseph Leahy, father of Ladies football mentor Barry and player Shelby

Michael Keane, brother of camogie player Ger Keane. Kathleen Wood, mother of former hurler Noel Woods.

Mary Neil (nee Brady), sister of former deceased president Dinny Brady and grand aunt of Greg Twomey and Kathleen Tormey


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Jim Lanigan, father of senior footballer Kevin Lanigan. Chrissy Broderick, mother of Joe Broderick and grandmother of senior footballer and hurler John John King, uncle of Michael King

Bernie Rowe, sister of Michael Deegan Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA Club extend their sympathies and condolences to all club members who suffered a bereavement in the past year

Pat Sheridan (Oldcastle) Thirty four year old Pat was principal of Lismullin N.S. at the time of his death. He had played all grades of football from underage right up to senior with Oldcastle. Pat was a very committed clubman and a huge driving force behind Gaelic Games in his Lismullin school.

Carmel Clarke (Oldcastle) Carmel was a sister of Bishop Michael Smith. Her husband Eamonn played for Oldcastle during the 1950's. Karen Callan Karen died in Norway. Her husband Peter Callan was an excellent footballer for Oldcastle in the 1950's

Nora Farrelly (Oldcastle) Nee Burke, Nora was married to former St. Brigid’s, Ballinacree footballer John Farrelly. The couple’s four sons have all worn the Meath jersey at underage level. Ronan, who played senior championship football for Meath, Thomas, John Paul and Terence have also backboned the Oldcastle senior team since the mid 1990's. Nora's daughter Alison lines out with the Oldcastle ladies team. Ann (Cissy) Halpin (Oldcastle) Cissy hailed from nearby Castlerahan and was the wife of former Oldcastle President Kevin Halpin. Patsy Lynch (Oldcastle) Patsy's family have a long association with the club. His brother Tommy was a star player.

Brendan Smith (Oldcastle) Brendan was President of Oldcastle at the time of his death. An outstanding player, he won a junior championship medal with the north Meath outfit in 1956. Kevin acted as chairman of Oldcastle and the tradition lives on with his grandchildren, the Delaneys, playing underage with the club. He was one of the driving forces behind the

excellent work carried out on the Millbrook pitch.

Eugene Coyle (Oldcastle) Eugene's family have a long involvement with the club. His son played underage while grand daughter Sinead Coyle has won medals with both Oldcastle and Meath ladies.

Oliver Keogan (Oldcastle) Oliver always followed the fortunes of the Meath footballers. His son Kenneth played for the Oldcastle club during the 1990's. Michael Mullen (Oldcastle) One of the best known personalities in the Oldcastle area. A leading businessman, Michael's family have a long association with Oldcastle GFC. His son Declan was a star defender for both Meath and Oldcastle and served as a Meath senior football selector with Sean Boylan. Goretti Smith (Millbrook) Sadly Goretti's husband Jim passed away only two years past. Their son Jim Smith was an outstanding defender for both club and Meath underage teams. Jim was left full back on the All Ireland winning Meath minor team of 1992.

John Herbstreit (Oldcastle) John never played football himself but in his lifetime made an outstanding contribution to Oldcastle GFC. As long as anyone can remember Herbstreit's shop was the football house in Oldcastle town. Long before mobiles, long before the very phone itself all messages with regards matches, training etc were left in Herbstreits. John acted as President of the club and was one of the founders of Oldcastle juvenile section. He was an uncle of former Oldcastle stars John, Bart and Leo McEnroe. Oliver Tuite (Oldcastle) Oliver was a big Meath supporter and his two brothers Peter and Andrew played for Oldcastle. Margo Farrelly (Castlepollard) Nee Fox, Margo was the sister of former Oldcastle star T.P. Fox and from a family long associated with the club. Tom Caffrey (Millbrook) Tom's company have sponsored Oldcastle GFC while his son James plays underage.

Mick Reynolds (Oldcastle/ Leitrim) Mick's sudden death stunned everybody in the north Meath community. He came to live in

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Oldcastle 40 years ago from county Leitrim where he played for Aughavas, the club associated with Colm O Rourke's family. Mick played on the Aughavas team which captured the Leitrim senior title in 1963 and was preparing to travel home to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that occasion An old fashioned midfieder with an excellent catch, Mick was a key player for the fine Oldcastle team of the mid to late 1970's. A product of that famed GAA academy, St. Mel’s of Longford, where he won a coveted Hogan Cup medal, the Leitrim native served his adopted club in probably every position except that of chairman. His son Vincent won an intermediate championship medal with Oldcastle in 2009 and two Feis Cup awards. In fact Vincent captained the 1999 Feis Cup winning team. Mick Reynolds trained underage teams in the club and was very committed to the re development of the Show Hall. It was while working on this pet project that Mick sadly departed this world. As a dedicated worker to Oldcastle football he had no equals. Vincent Coyle (Oldcastle) Vincent's father James Michael Coyle played with Oldcastle during the 1950's and 1960's. His two sons play underage football. Rosa Carroll (Oldcastle) Rosa owned Carrolls Drapers shop in Oldcastle. Her sons Paddy and Thomas played underage football with the club.

Nobby Flanagan (Oldcastle) Nobby hailed from the Ballinvalley area of the parish, was a big supporter of all sports, with a particular eye on the well being of the Oldcastle and Meath teams. Our thanks to Peter Galligan and Eddie Reilly for all his help with their Oldcastle obituaries Ray Prendiville There was widespread sadness and shock following the sudden and untimely death of Ray Prendiville, Sutherland, Curraha, who passed away on August 30th of this year. Ray played a major part in Curraha’s annexing of the 1976 Meath junior football championship, when they defeated Nobber 1-10 to 3-1 in the final. In a preview of the game, the Meath Chronicle reported that ‘Curraha has a fair share of experienced performers, notably the former Dublin county man, Shay Donnelly, and Ray Prendiville, who has assisted Kerry in the senior and under-21 grades over the past couple of years.’ It continued: ‘Prendiville, in his first


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season with the Meath club, has been proving his worth on the full forward line’. In the quarter final against Bohermeen-Martry Harps, he and Sean Galway had been ‘especially brilliant in the winners’ attack. And he didn’t let Curraha down in the final, giving his side the lead in the fifth minute with a point. He went on to make appearances for Meath in the National Football League, and continued to play for Curraha for a number of years in the late 1970s. Fittingly, members of that 1976 team plus other members of Curraha GAA Club formed a guard of honour for Ray at his funeral. Speaking on RTÉ’s Sunday Game show before this year’s Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland semi- final, former Kerry footballer Pat Spillane paid tribute to Ray, remarking how he was a sub on the team for the 1975 All-Ireland.  He scored a goal for ‘The Kingdom’ in his only championship outing, against Tipperary, and was on the bench for the final, some months later, when Kerry beat Dublin. He was one of the members of the 1975 team honoured in The Irish Nationwide Jubilee Team on All Ireland day in 2000.   A former Garda, Ray was born in 1961 to parents Sean and May and lived in Scartaglen, Co Kerry.  Ray’s parents moved to Sutherland in Curraha around 1969, where his brother, Tom, still runs the family farm with other members of the Prendiville family living in the area. Tom’s son, Sean Prendiville currently plays on the Curraha team.  Ray won a Munster Championship medal playing with Kerry in 1975. He commenced his playing career with Scartaglen and also played for the Civil Service and with Tramore GAA in Waterford, winning the 1984 Waterford senior championship.    Jimmy Lynch Jimmy was an Honorary President and long time stalwart of the club. He was always the first man at the grounds when any work was to be done. Jimmy was also our ‘gateman’ for many years and could always be relied on to be on duty whatever the weather. He was one of the great characters of the parish and enjoyed socializing and recalling many stories of old. Jimmy passed away in November 2012.

Rowan Farrell Rowan was an Honorary President and served as first aid officer to the club for 25 years. His knowledge and expertise of sports injuries was of immense benefit to those he attended. He was also a founder member of Kilmoon Order of Malta Ambulance Service and gave many years of service at numerous race meetings and football

games. Rowan passed away in July 2013.

Martin Colfer Martin was one of those who revived the club’s flagging fortunes in the early 1950s and served as club secretary in 1951/52 and as chairman in 1953/54. He continued to support Curraha since then and always kept a keen interest on how the club were doing. Martin passed away in September 2013.

Marjorie Farrell The Farrell family are the proprietors of The Becks public house and are long time supporters of our club. Marjorie passed away in February 2013. Ita Lynch Ita’s husband Christy was club chairman from 1955 to 1960 and the family have close connections with the club. Ita passed away in September 2013.

Beatrice Pentony Beatrice was a sister of Shay Donnelly who played with our club in the 1970s and her family are long time supporters of the club. Beatrice passed away in August 2013. Curraha GAA.

John Moran (Bective) As Bective GFC prepares to embark on its 50th anniversary, those associated with the club will be forgiven for allowing themselves a few reflections on the first half century. A recurring personality in many of those memories will be John Moran, who served the club in every way for over 30 years until his sad passing on Sunday, August 11th, 2013. At the time of his death John was the President of Bective GFC, and until illness robbed him of his ability to play a leading role in the day-to-day running of the club he was centrally involved in everything about Bective. He himself played for the Salles - indeed, he was a founding member of the old Commons club in 1960 - but to many it is as a Bective man that he will be forever associated, having joined the club in 1980 and served on the executive committee in every officer role over the following thirty years, including more than 10 as chairman. He was also a faithful servant of Meath County Board, as fixtures secretary and vice-chairman, and his service to Meath GAA culminated in his nomination to the Meath Hall of Fame in 2010. There’s half a century there, but how do you tell John Moran’s story beyond that, beyond words on a page? It’s hard, because to anyone who met him John was so full of life. You’d see him carrying a sheaf of papers en route to

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or from one meeting or another invariably it involved football; whether it concerned club or county often depended on whatever night of the week you met him. You’d see him striding purposefully from clubrooms to pitch. In later years, after he’d left the training and the selecting to others, the day of a game would never go by without him. You’d see him resting on the pailing, watching attentively as events unfolded on the field, never short of a barked word of advice or censure. The big voice and the big smile were so familiar to everyone who knew him. Always, year after year after year, his motivation was the betterment of Bective, on the field and off it. And always, always there was humour. Sitting in the kitchen of his Commons Road home on the night of his wake, one couldn’t help but think that John himself would have loved it there. All the chat was about football - about one old stager who might have another year or two in him with the county; about another, of the younger brigade, who might be showing signs of becoming a great player; about a well-remembered and half-forgotten game back in the day where there was only one ball and a big full back, in a fit of temper, kicked it into a field of corn beside the pitch. Talk of football and quiet, respectful laughter. Football and good humour were two things always on offer whenever John Moran was around. It felt fitting that we should experience them again now, and it felt wrong too, that they were taking place without him. A big man, with a big voice and a big smile, with a sheaf of papers and a few long strands of hair gone wild in the wind. The Moran family, the Commons, the Bective club, the county of Meath and the GAA have lost a legend. Rest in peace, John. --Bective GFC

Lar Dixon A modest and quiet man, Lar came from a family immersed in GAA. In his younger years, Lar played football with his native Roddenstown which later joined forces with Kilcloon and took on the colours of red and white. In 1970 Lar, wearing his usual midfield jersey, lined out for Kilcloon when they won the Junior Championship title for the first time. The same year, he married Eileen Walsh (Moynalvey) and came to settle in the parish of Kiltale. Lar continued with his love for the GAA and, as an avid follower of Meath football, he passed down that grá to this eight children, six of whom represented Moynalvey football and Kiltale hurling and camogie. Although a shy man, he loved the banter especially whilst attending club matches and his 'class' match comments always drew the amused


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attention of supporters from both sides. Lar followed the local clubs' successes and, in 2007, witnessed Kiltale snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the Meath SHC final against Kilmessan in a thrilling match. The following year, he travelled to Rochfortbridge to support Moynalvey as they won the Leinster JFC final. More recently, he took great delight when the Kiltale hurling and camogie club won seven pieces of silverware, including the SHC title, the JFC and league titles and Intermediate camogie and league titles in which the Dixon family was well represented. Lar is greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.

Sheila Lynch Sheila was well known and respected throughout the county during her 20 years' service in administrative roles in various departments with Meath County Council. In 1993, she continued her career in the Public Service by moving to the Fire Prevention Unit of Dublin City Council where she remained until her retirement in December 2011. Her hobbies included dress-making, gardening, travel and she had a keen interest in Gaelic Games. Sheila's brother Francis Lynch is one of the county's best known hurling administrators and has served as chairman of the Kiltale HC and the County's Hurling Promotion Committee. In the 1970s, Sheila was an active member of Kiltale Macra na Feirme and represented the club and county in many competitions including the AllIreland Make and Model. She was active in Kiltale Parish, being a Minister of the Word and a member of the Church Altar Society and prior to moving to Dublin was a member of the Legion of Mary. (Thanks to Kiltale GAA and secretary Liz Phelan for the above information)

Laurence McCormack Father of former intercounty referee Seamus, following sport was one of Laurence's great pastimes, particularly gaelic games and horse racing. He also got great enjoyment when the local soccer team played in Follistown in the eighties. Laurence's grandson Mark is a member of the current Walterstown senior football team while his granddaughters also play for 'The Blacks'. Fr Nicholas Dunican A native of Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, Fr Dunican was parish priest of Johnstown and Walterstown and he was an honorary president of the Walterstown club. A relation of Mick Dunican who played for Meath in the sixties, he was a also a cousin of the

late Fr Seamus Dunican who played and trained Walterstown during his time with the club.

Cecil Geoghegan Cecil was hugely involved in many sports, including football and racing, but, in GAA circles, he was best known for his exploits on the hurling field with his native Kildalkey. He won a Meath JHC medal in 1969 and an IHC medal two years later in 1971. He was also a member of the Meath side which captured Leinster JHC honours in 1972. Cecil lined out in three SHC finals with Kildalkey but, unfortunately, a senior medal proved elusive. He brought the curtain down on his playing days at the age of 40 and, in later years, he followed the fortunes of the Walterstown club with whom his sons, John and Joe, currently play with. Shooting and fishing were also two of Cecil's passions. His brother Jimmy is a popular local sports reporter with the Meath Chronicle. Maureen O'Connor Maureen was member of the Farrelly family from Lismullin, Garlow Cross which has a long association with the Walterstown club. Her brother Joey Farrelly senior played with the club and his sons, Joey, Jason and Christopher, continue to don the black jersey. Another nephew, Mark Farrelly, also represented the club with distinction.

Thomas Burke There was widespread sadness following the passing of Garlow Cross native Thomas (Tommy) Burke in England in June. The Burke family has a long tradition of involvement with the Walterstown club and Tommy was a keen footballer in his younger days and played on underage teams before his promising gaelic football career was cut short as a result of a road accident. His brothers, Frank and Pat, also played with the Oldtown-based club. Tommy worked as a bar manager in various establishments around London, including the House of Commons, and he remained a loyal follower of Walterstown GFC. Mary (May) McMahon May's late husband Tom played for Walterstown while her sons, Pat and Gerry, are current committee members and their children play underage football with the club. Gerry Smith Gerry and his wife Helen were great supporters of Walterstown down through the years and their son, Wayne, played underage and adult football with the club. (Thanks to Aidan McCague and the

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Walterstown club)

Margaret Martin Predeceased by her husband John in 1994, Margaret was a member of the Doyle family of Kilmessan Station. Her daughter, Pauline, served as secretary of Kilmessan HC for a number of years and son Pat represented the club at senior level.

Nora Martin Nora's husband Benny played an instrumental role in buying Kilmessan HC's current field circa 1960. Her son, Gerry, is a former secretary of the club while another son, Joe, played with Kilmessan. Ann Murphy Ann was a member of a well-known family in Kilmessan and her husband Michael, who works at Ennistown Stud, was chairman of the local hurling club from 2008 to 2010. Her son Terence, plays hurling with Kilmessan while one of her two daughters, Tara, is an integral member of the camogie team. Anthony Reynolds There was widespread sadness following the death of Anthony last June. A native of Galtrim, he was the last surviving member of his generation of the Reynolds family and carried out a number of farming enterprises at Curtistown. He played hurling with Kilmessan after the war and was a lifelong supporter of the club. Anthony also had a great love of all animals, especially dogs and horses, and Meath Hounds huntsman Kenny Henry paid him a wonderful tribute at his graveside by playing 'Gone to Ground' on the hunting horn. Anthony always took a day off when the Meath Hunt or Ward Union Hunt were near by. His flower garden was admired by all and he grew his own vegetables. Anthony was proud to win many prizes at the Royal Meath Agricultural Show in Trim. Eamonn Whelan Formerly of Balsoon, Eamonn was a lifelong supporter of Kilmessan HC. (Our thanks to secretary Tommy Brennan and Kilmessan HC)

Annie Gorman A native of Dunmoe, Annie's son Dessie has served Simonstown Gaels with distinction in a variety of administrative roles. He occupied the chairman's position on two separate occasions, 1976-'80 and 2000-'04. Annie's grandson Barry is following in his father's footsteps and is currently secretary of the north Navan club. Barry is also a former PRO of Meath County Board. Another grandson


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Martin Gorman, a first cousin of Barry, was a star defender with Simonstown during the 1990's.

Paddy Tobin The Simonstown Gaels club lost one of its most ardent supporters with the passing of Paddy Tobin in November. A native of Maghera, outside Virginia, Paddy was a regular on the Cavan senior football panel during the seventies and his son Sean has inherited his gaelic football talent. Born into a keen GAA family (brother Ambrose has played for Maghera and has held practically every official position with the east Cavan club), Paddy's ability on the football field was evident from a young age and in 1969 he was part of a Mullagh combination which annexed the Cavan minor championship. Paddy won a Cavan junior medal with his club Maghera McFinns in 1973 and the McFinns followed this up by winning the intermediate title in '74. It proved to be a momentous year for the late Paddy as that same autumn a Virginia parish amalgamation of Maghera, Virginia Blues and Lurgan, titled Ramor, won the Cavan senior football championship. Left footed Tobin, who often alternated between midfield and the half forward line, was one of the stars of the show. Paddy's work took him to Navan where he married local girl Mary Dunne and the family happily settled on the Kingscourt Road. During the late 1990's he became very active in the underage section of the nearby Simonstown club. Son Sean was proving himself to be a chip off the old block and his age group won a number of competitions in the Royal County, starting at Under 12 level in 2003. He had the honour of captaining Simonstown to their first ever Under 21 FC in 2012 and was a huge driving force from the middle of the field in the final against Donaghmore/Ashbourne. Like the old man, he has a more than useful left foot. Sean's performances with the club resulted in his selection on Meath minor and under 21 squads and Paddy was a proud father when he was called up to the Royal County senior football squad for the 2013 season. An ever-present at games, Paddy Tobin will be sorely missed around the Simonstown club and from the stands, terraces or grassy banks when the Gaels or Cavan or Meath are playing. The Simonstown, Maghera McFinns and Ramor clubs formed guards of honour as Paddy was laid to rest.

James Kerr Troytown Heights resident Jamsie was

a regular at bingo in Simonstown Gaels and Navan O'Mahonys. He attended many GAA matches and enjoyed supporting his grandchildren. Jamsie's daughter Geraldine Moroney was the second recipient of Meath Ladies' 'Hall of Fame' award at their annual presentation earlier this year. A former secretary of Simonstown's ladies club, Geraldine also served as Meath county secretary for a number of years. Jamsie's brother, the late Joe, was another great servant of Simonstown while a nephew Billy Kerr, Joe's son, was a very productive forward for the town club during the 1980's Frances Cremin A resident of Silverlawns in Navan, Frances was a keen badminton player with Simonstown and also enjoyed supporting Meath's senior football team. Her son, Tim, played underage football with the Navan club.

Phelim Smyth Phelim was reared in the St Mary’s Park area of Navan and, on marrying, moved to nearby Blackcastle Estate. His father Felix was a star footballer for Castletown back in the 1940's. Phelim, like all his brothers, was a big sports fan and followed the fortunes of the Meath footballers. Rose (Lolo) Duignan Nee Kearney and formerly of Randlestown, Kilberry, Lolo’s brother Eamonn has been a prominent member of Simonstown. Her nephew Ned Kearney captained the North Navan club to Meath IFC honours in 1995 and has represented Meath at minor, Under 21 and senior levels. He was a selector with the Simonstown senior team this year.

Patricia Hegarty Patricia was a Fianna Fail member of Meath County Council from 1991 to 1999. A native of Wexford, she lived in St Mary's Park with her husband Michael who played football with Simonstown Gaels. Her family are supporters of the north Navan club.

Francie & Tera McDonagh Husband and wife Francie and Tera passed away within weeks of one another this year. Their son Sean ('Rasher') has won numerous underage and adult accolades with Simonstown and lined out between the posts for the club's Junior C team this year. Francie's brother, Michael, also has a long involvement with Simonstown while his nephew Gerry is currently vicechairman of the club. Tera was a sister of the late Michael Sweeney whose family have made a big contribution to Simonstown. A number of Francie and

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Tera's grandchildren have also played with the club. Derek Fitzgerald There was widespread sadness following the passing of Derek in April. Son of former Walterstown and Navan O’Mahonys footballer Derry and Carmel Fitzgerald, the Navan native had a keen interest in gaelic football and was also a lifelong supporter of Chelsea FC. He worked as a fitter in Tara Mines for over 20 years.

Shane McEntee As the people of Castletown, Nobber and surrounding areas went about their business on Friday, December 21st last, little did they know about the terrible news that was about to unfold. At about 11.30am, information started coming through about the untimely death of our beloved friend and club colleague, Shane McEntee TD. To say this was a shock would be an understatement. To us and, the community, Shane was a larger than life, unbreakable character. Shane had a hello and a big smile for everyone, with nothing on his mind but helping and caring for those who crossed his path. From his early days with Nobber GFC, he showed tremendous promise and ability. He lined out in two minor finals with Dee Rangers but, undoubtedly, his greatest day on the football field came when Nobber won the Intermediate championship in 1980. We will never forget Shane’s unbridled joy after that victory and his great enthusiasm for the celebrations that followed. As we set out to play Senior championship football, Shane was the driving force. He derived great pleasure from our first and only Feis Cup Final appearance against Skryne in 1983. On that occasion Shane, who captained the side, implored the selectors to play him at full forward, promising he would win the cup for us from that position … and he duly did! Again days of celebrations followed culminating in a trip to Fairyhouse Races with Shane proudly carrying the Feis Cup. Unfortunately, Shane’s playing career came to an untimely end when he suffered a very serious leg injury while taking part in a challenge match against the Cavan Juniors in 1984. He then turned his attention to life at committee and management level where he proved an outstanding success. He was a great man for the players, championing their needs on every possible occasion. He was also an outstanding manager, taking Syddan and Ballinlough to championship success and was


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involved with a host of other clubs. Along the way he also found time to manage the Meath minors. Shane was a very proud man when his brothers, Gerry and Andrew, played key roles in Meath’s emergence, winning the All Irelands of 1987/1988. At all levels Shane’s commitment to our club, community, county and country were enormous. We can but only pass on our heartfelt condolences to Kathleen, Aoife, Vincent, Helen, Sally, Mother Madge, Shane’s brothers, sister and extended family. You will never be forgotten. Sean Lambe There was further shock on December, 26th when Nobber lost another great Gael with the sudden passing of Sean Lambe, Rahood. A contemporary of Shane McEntee's on the local football teams of the seventies and eighties, Sean was a forward and a panellist when the Intermediate championship was won in 1980. He also won a Feis Cup Medal in 1983 by which time he was playing centre half-back when Nobber beat Skyrne. Sean, who was 55 year of age, played underage football with the local club and before his 17th birthday, he had joined the adult team at Junior B Level He also played in the 1977 Intermediate final when Dunshaughlin beat Nobber. Sean went on to play in three senior championship semi-finals in the eighties. When his playing days finished, Sean delighted in recording club games and successes and presented various recordings of club activities when it was celebrating anniversaries and jubilees. Sean was educated in Nobber and Navan and worked in Gypsum Industries Ltd, Kingscourt. To his wife Eileen, family Aisling, Eimear and Aoife, relatives and friends, Nobber G.F.C. convey their sincere condolences. Mona McEntee A loved member of an old Nobber family, Mona was a sister of the late Tony McEntee and aunt of Gerry, Shane (RIP), Larry, Andrew, Tony, Jimmy, Alan and Mary McEntee. (Our thanks to Nobber PRO George Kellett)

Philomena (Philly) Eiffe The Eiffe family name is synonymous with Ratoath GAA club. Philomena was a sister of former Meath player Bill, Noel, who refereed all the matches on Meath's historic trip to Australia in 1968 and the late Andy who was chairman of the local club for many years. Ratoath GAA's grounds are named in honour of her nephew Sean, Andy's son.

Bridie Rogers A native of Granard, Co Longford, Bridie's son Francis Rogers is the juvenile chairman of Ratoath GAA club. Brendan Halpin Brendan's brother Brian is an underage mentor with Ratoath and former Juvenile chairman. Mella Everard Wife of the late Tommy, Mella's sons Paul and Martin both both played football with Ratoath.

Aidan Conway (Ratoath) There was widespread shock and sadness in Ratoath at the sudden passing of Aidan Conway in October, aged just 61. After growing up on Glascarn Lane on the outskirts of the village, he and his wife, Alice, built their own home on the same lane in 1982, where they had two children. Aidan had a lifelong connection with Ratoath GAA. He played juvenile football with the club before moving into the adult ranks. By all accounts, he was an extremely talented corner back. He was a member of the Ratoath panel which won the 1970 Junior football championship, beating Cortown in the “A” final, before defeating Navan O’Mahony’s in the final itself. When his playing days were finished, he would regularly volunteer to assist at games and events held in the club. Aidan was always the “go-to guy” when help was needed in the club as he would willingly assist when needed. Indeed, just weeks before his death, he could be seen assisting with car parking and acting as an umpire at the All Ireland Intermediate football 7’s tournament held in the club. On the intercounty scene, Aidan was a dedicated supporter of the Meath footballers since the 1960s. One of his most treasured memories was attending each game of the epic Meath – Dublin saga in 1991. He passed this dedication down to his son and they have been season ticket holders and Club na Mí members and both would travel anywhere in the country to see Meath play a game, whether it was championship, league or O’Byrne Cup. Aidan is survived by his wife, Alice; his children, Aoife and Daragh; his brothers, Pádraig, Noel and Brian and his sister Nuala. A true gentleman, he will be greatly missed by his wide circle of family and friends. His coffin was draped in a “half and half” Meath and Ratoath flag (provided by the club) and players and members of Ratoath GAA gave him a guard of honour from the church to the cemetery. Aidan's family would like to

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thank the club for these gestures and the great support they have provided during this immensely difficult time.

Padraig Halton (Cavan/Ratoath) A native of Lough Gowna in Cavan, Padraig settled in Ratoath around 1980 and played over a number of years with his adopted club. Back in the Breffni County he is best remembered for the fantastic goal he scored for Arva in the 1972 Cavan IFC final at Breffni Park. His brother Seamus is currently the treasurer of Gowna while his nephew Damien lined out for the club’s senior team. Padraig was a former member of An Garda Siochana. He also made a name for himself as a very successful businessman after establishing Halton Concrete which is a well-known company in the construction industry. After he finished playing, Padraig remained a great supporter of Ratoath and helped out the club financially. Bridget “Aggie” Donohoe (Shraigh Hill/Bunnawillian/ Ratoath) The passing of Aggie Donohoe, aged 90, after a short illness brought with it great sadness around Ratoath. Aggie was born in Shraigh Hill, near Belmullet, Co. Mayo. She married Anthony in 1945 and they moved to nearby Bunawillian. In 1953, thanks to the Land Commission, their family settled on the Fairyhouse Road in Ratoath and there she stayed until her death. She was a loving mother of 10 as well as a wonderful grandmother, greatgrandmother, mother-in-law and aunt. Aggie lived her life to the fullest, regularly undertaking outings with the ICA and Active Age and rarely missing Bingo on a Sunday night, even in her 91st year. Many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are heavily involved in Ratoath GAA club. Though she lived in Meath for over 60 years, she never lost her Mayo accent and come championship time, the green and red would fly proudly outside her home. Aggie will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. Our thanks to Vincent Donnelly and Ratoath GAA for all the help with the obituaries included.

Mary Nevin A native of Donegal, Mary's husband Jim was actively involved with the Moynalty over a number of years and served for a period as club chairman. Her son, Jimmy, won a Junior Championship medal in 1987 and is still involved with the club on various committees while another son, Terry, also played his part during his playing days.


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Grandsons James, Robert, Anthony and Shane are all talented footballers and line out with a number of club sides. Mary’s brother James was a talented player with Moynalty when he resided in the area for a period during the late 1960’s.

Paraic McEntee A great Moynalty and Meath supporter, Paraic was a popular and valued playing member of the club at underage and adult level during the eighties and nineties. His brother Seamus captained Moynalty to the Junior title in 1987 and also won a Leinster Minor Championship medal with Meath in 1977. Seamus is currently involved with the St Vincent’s club in Ardcath while their nephew Alan Clarke was team captain of the Cavan senior football side in 2013.

Marian Lynch A talented footballer, Marian was on the Cormeen team that won the first Meath Ladies Senior Championship title in 1976 and they retained their crown in 1977. Marian's son Adrian is a dedicated and long serving playing member and lined out in the half backline for Moynalty in the 2013 Meath Junior B final versus Boardsmill. Her husband Mick played with Cormeen and Moynalty and sons, Damian and Neville, also played their part with the Moynalty club at underage level. Fr Michael Murchan The Murchan family have given great service to the Moynalty club over a number of years. Fr Murchan’s brother Paddy was in charge of juvenile sides in Moynalty for many years and is currently an Honorary President of the club. Fr Murchan’s nephews, Michael, John, Peter, Damian and Louis, were all actively involved with the club during their playing days. In recent times Peter Murchan has acted as team doctor for the successful Tipperary hurlers.

PJ Hynes Great Meath supporters, the Hynes family moved to Moynalty, from Ballinlough, in the late sixties and made a significant contribution to the Moynalty club in their time. PJ’s brother Kieran played at minor level with Meath and was an outstanding underage player with Moynalty. His other brothers, Brendan and the late Petey, also lined out regularly with the club in their playing days.

Kathleen Nevin Kathleen’s grand-daughter Fiona was a very talented underage player with the club and regularly helps out in her role as physiotherapist with various club teams. Grandson Fintan has been an

active club member over many years and continues to tog out with the Junior team when available. (Thanks to Michael Casey and Moynalty GFC)

Monica Lynch There was widespread shock on the sudden death of Monica in September throughout the Dunshaughlin/Drumree area and wider afield. Monica was very actively involved in the community as she was one of the driving forces in renovating Cullmullen Hall in recent years, together with Eleanor Delaney, who sadly passed away a year ago. She was very supportive of her husband, Johnny, who was a chairman of Drumree football and hurling club. Johnny and her sons also played for the club, winning many titles over the years. Anthony (Fred) Walsh A native of Culmullen, Drumree, Anthony was a dedicated supporter of the Meath senior football team. He travelled far and wide to enjoy a game and even kept the ticket stubs for all the games he attended. In his younger days, Anthony played for St Martin's and then went on to line out in goals for Drumree for many years. (Thanks to Drumree secretary Rosaleen Rooney) Drumbaragh GAA club would like to extend their sympathies to the families of the following:

Paul Carry Paul's son Luke, current club PRO, and nephew Paddy Murray were both members of the successful Drumbaragh junior football squad this year. Gaeil Colmcille goalkeeper Justin Carry-Lynch, a member of the Meath senior football panel in 2012, is also a nephew while Paul's daughter Ruth plays football with Gaeil Colmcille. Mary Forde Mother of former players John, Hugh and Jim and grandmother of current players Brian, Colin and Sean Forde.

Larry Smith Former Drumbaragh player throughout the fifties. Tommy Cooney Father-in-law of current chairman Niall Carry and father of Julie.

Eileen Doyle Eileen was a member of the McGowan family of Drumbaragh. Wife of former player Jim, who was a member of the 1975 team, and mother of current player Andrew.

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Alphonsis Stewart Father of former players, Martin and Sharon, and father-in-law of club stalwart Pat Carry. Eddie Kelly Eddie's son Paul was a former treasurer and player with Drumbaragh.

Ned Joyce A former player with Drumbaragh throughout the fifties. Austin Smith Played with Drumbaragh throughout the fifties.

Margaret Grimes Her sons Declan and Paddy played with the club (Thanks to Peter Carry and Emmett Og, Drumbaragh) Sarah Nugent Sarah was a member of the Murtagh family from Proudstown in Navan and her three sons, Thomas, Peter and Patrick, are players with Carnaross. Her husband Peadar is one of the club's presidents. Sarah was a keen football supporter and attended all games and functions.

Pat Nugent Pat played with Carnaross and was a brother-in-law of the aforementioned Sarah Nugent. Tommy Reilly Tommy was the brother of Carnaross county board delegate Christy Reilly. Carnaross GFC

The St. Brigid’s club Ballinacree offer their deepest sympathies to the families of the following:

Kathleen and Delia Nulty Kathleen and Delia were sisters in law. Kathleen's sons Patrick and Laurence both played for the Brigid’s Sadie Fitzsimons A sister of Vincent Walsh, a long time servant of the club and the aunt of club stalwarts Nobby and Vincent Walsh junior.

Bridie Plunkett Bridie's children and grandchildren have played with the Brigid’s. One of these, George has been involved with various Meath underage squads. Nee Sheerin, Bridie was a very popular and active member of the local community. She was to the fore on many committees, one of which purchased the local hall for the parish from the VEC. A keen follower of the Brigid’s club, also a big Meath supporter, manys the prayer that was said by Mrs Plunkett when the game was close.


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Bridie will be missed by all in the area

Hal and Betty Porter Their nephew Robert Porter played for the club. Eithne Smith Eithne was the aunt of well known St Brigid’s player and Meath underage star Sean Treacy. Rose Dempsey A sister of Mickey Gannell who played for the club.

Tom Kelly From Castlecor, the Kelly family were always great supporters of St. Brigid’s Ballinacree. Margaret Farrelly Margaret was married to former St.Brigid’s footballer Michal Farrelly. She is a sister of former Oldcastle player T.P. Fox.

Brian Daly Stood between the Ballinacree posts for years. Brian was an outstanding goalkeeper who gave great service to St. Brigid’s, on and off the field of play. A well known north Meath personality, huge crowds attended the funeral of Brianie. He will be sadly missed by all in the area.

Margaret Maguire Margaret was the wife of Seamus Maguire, one of the famous Maguire footballing brothers. Three members of his family played in the drawn and replayed All Ireland finals of 1952 and on opposing sides. Des and Liam represented their native Cavan while the younger Brendan lined out for Meath. Seamus also pulled on the Cavan jersey and like his brothers played for famed Cornafean in the Breffni county. Margaret and Seamus' sons Des, Jim and Michael all lined out with St. Brigid’s while Des played minor for Meath back in the early 1970's Our thanks to Catherine Fanning and Barry Kevin for all their help. Catherine (Kitty) Nelson (Kilmainham) Kitty's son Jimmy and grandson Joe Gillespie both played for Kilmainham. Kilmainham GFC.

Peter Clarke (Castlemartin) From an old Castlemartin family, part of Bohermeen parish, Peter worked in Navan Carpets for over 30 years. A big follower of the GAA, he kept a close eye on the fortunes of all local teams be they, Ultan’s, Tones or the old Martry and Bohermeen combinations. Peter was, of course, a big supporter of the Meath footballers.

Nancy Sheerin (Castletown) Nancy (nee Weldon) passed away after a short illness on the 18th August 2013. She was the church sacristan in Castletown for over 30 years. Nancy was pre deceased by her husband Ned at an early age in 1971. Ned played many a game at corner back for Castletown, a position one of his sons Gerrard also played in for the club. The Sheerin family are great supporters of our club and Nancy’s grandsons are part of our underage teams. May she rest in peace. Corby Hoey (Castletown) It was with great shock and sadness when we learned of the untimely death of Corby Hoey in his 46th year. Corby and his company CF Hoey Construction have been a major sponsor and a great supporter of our club and the Meath team and is still currently the main club sponsor. Corby’s sons Francis and Robert are current members of our intermediate panel. Testimony to Corby’s popularity and respect was the thousands of people who attended his wake and funeral while Castletown GFC formed a Guard of Honour. Ar dheis De go raibh a ainm.

Jennifer Kerr (Dunmoe, Navan) Jennifer Kerr (nee Bellew) came from Knightstown and her family have been associated with Castletown GFC for many years. Jennifer played for the Castletown ladies team in years gone by and her father Paul held many positions including chairman over the years. In his later life he would be seen taking his seat at county board meetings and fighting his corner for our club. Presently Jennifer's brothers Liam and Francis are involved in Castletown and her nephews play underage football for the club. Her mother Mary is an honorary president. May she rest in peace. Mark Quinn (Castletown) Mark whose untimely death occurred in 2013 played underage football for Castletown GFC. His family have been great supporters of the club over the years. May he rest in peace.

Shane McEntee (Castletown) In December 2012 the news of Shane’s death came as a major shock to the local area. Though he was associated with Nobber, Shane lived in Castletown all his married life and his son Vincent played underage football with Castletown GFC. In 1996 Shane trained Castletown to an Intermediate football final against Simonstown which Simonstown won by a narrow margin. Indeed he still had an interest in the club up until his untimely death. Shortly

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before he met with club officials with regards to acquiring funding for renovation at our club facilities. Ar dheis De go raibh ainm Obituaries kindly written by Pat McMahon, ---Castletown GFC

David Drew The untimely and tragic loss of Davy at the age of 26 last December had a profound effect not only on the Gaeil Colmcille club but on the whole parish of Kells and surrounding areas. Davy was a very popular club member who simply loved his sport. He was an excellent goalkeeper and was the club’s number one since the age of 16. David excelled in this position in both GAA and soccer from a young age and won many titles at underage, representing Meath in GAA and Drogheda Utd at soccer. For the past 10 years he had kept goal as the Gaeils fought to return to senior ranks and was a vital player in the 2011 run to the IFC final and success in the A League Division 3. The club's win in this year's IFC was dedicated to Davy by team captain Gary Arkins while Davy’s father, Tony, helped to lift the Mattie McDonnell cup in Pairc Tailteann on the day. This was a fitting tribute to a player who remains in everyone’s thoughts and who would have thoroughly enjoyed this success. In recent years David coached the clubs ladies team and was making great progress. His work with this group had seen more numbers getting out to play and his coaching was enjoyed by all who took part. Davy's talents will never be replaced and his presence in the dressing room will always be missed. Laurence (Larry) Smith Larry was a life long member of the Gaeil Colmcille club and was heavily involved in the club since it was founded in 1964. Earlier Larry had played most of his football with Drumbaragh. He would have been a proud man that week in September when Drumbaragh and Gaeils pulled off that remarkable junior – intermediate double. For many years he held the role of caretaker in the club. This was at a time when the Meath team played all their home games in Kells and Larry took great pride in the upkeep of the club facilities. He enjoyed playing pitch & putt too and would often been seen out on the club’s course in the summer evenings. The Smith family always had a great association with Gaeil Colmcille and Larry’s sons and grandsons have gone on to play for the club with distinction in


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the eighties and nineties and up to today. Son Paul 'Smiley' Smith featured on the successful 1986 intermediate team and the Keegan Cup winning side of 1991 while another son Gerry also lined out at senior level for the town combination. Gerry was a tremendous worker behind the scenes with the Gaeils team during the year gone. Grandson Barry Smith (Gerry's son) was midfield on that intermediate winning side. Larry was an uncle of Gaeil Colmcille stalwart Benny Reddy while other grandsons, Michael and Ciaran Rogers, played football with Simonstown. His passing in January was a great loss to the club and his many years of dedicated service will forever be remembered and appreciated by Gaeil Colmcille members. Dick Dardis Dick's son Barry played hurling and football with Gaeil Colmcille while his grandsons Paul and Barry Tormey and Fionn, Cormac and Liam Ferguson currently line out for the Kells club. Well-known Gaeil Colmcille official and former star player Conor Ferguson was a son-in-law of Dick's. Conor's wife Olivia was a very useful camogie player. Paddy & Patricia Bennett Paddy and Patricia's grandson, Martin Barrett, was full-forward on the Intermediate winning Gaeil Colmcille team. Paddy and Patricia's son Harry has sons playing underage with Gaeil Colmcille

Sean Hetherton Sean of Balrath Road, Kells was known far and wide for his garage business, which he operated for over four decades. He hailed from Ballydurrow, County Cavan, close to the Cavan/Meath border, and played football for local club Munterconnaught alongside his brothers Liam, Michael and Seamus. Sean was good enough to win a county minor medal and he remained a keen supporter of Cavan GAA throughout his life. He was especially proud of the role his brother, Fr Seamus, played on the Cavan All-Ireland winning team of 1952. Sean continued to be a loyal supporter of the GAA long after he stopped playing and travelled to matches all over the country.

Edward (Nedo) Molloy Nedo was a brother of well-known Kells handballers John Boy and the late Liam. He played handball himself with the Kells club into his twenties and won county championships. Nedo lived in England for 12 years where he worked

with Billy Smart's Circus and was also a keen golfer. His nephews Gary Arkins and Declan Smith were key players for Gaeil Colmcille in the year gone.

Ray McLoughlin Navan resident Ray spent his early life in Carrick Street, Kells and played gaelic football for the local team. In the late fifties, he emigrated to England where he worked for a number of years and joined Garryowen GFC in Hammersmith. As a player and a committee member, he played a leading role in raising the club's profile. On returning to Ireland he settled in Navan. Ray’s main passion in life was the GAA and the Meath team and he spent many nights at training in Dalgan Park and Pairc Tailteann. He travelled the length and breadth of the country supporting the Royal County. Martin Grace The parish of Kells was shocked by the sudden passing of Martin back in September. He had worked as parish secretary since 1977 and was a very popular member of the local community. An avid supporter of Gaelic football, he followed the Meath football team around the country.

Cathy Gaynor Cathy was 98 years of age when she passed away in August. From an old Kells family, her son Mattie is one of Meath's most loyal supporters. (Thanks to Joe Flanagan and the Gaeil Colmcille club for all asistance provided)

Kathleen Harding Kathleen (Kitty) was the wife of Slane GFC trustee and long-serving clubman Gerry Harding. Gerry is a member of the Harding family which is central to much of the history of Slane GFC and he was on the 1952 team which won the junior championship and then later served as chairman of the club. Kitty too was a great supporter of the club.

club's most prominent footballers, lining out at midfield. He later became involved with St Paul's in Clonmellon and held numerous positions, including chairman, within the Westmeath club. In fact, the power for the club's floodlights for many years was supplied by Christy's house next door. His son Eugene represented the Lake County in both football and hurling and won nine Westmeath SHC medals with Brownstown. Michael Gilsenan Michael likewise was a founding member of Moylagh GAA club in 1947 and lined out in goal with the club during the early years. (Our thanks to Moylagh PRO Brian Farrelly) Reggie Coffey Reggie played minor football with Ballinabrackey and also served as club treasurer for a number of years.

Tommy Haughton Tommy represented Ballinabrackey up to minor level before emigrating to London for work. But he continued to return home for any important game involved Ballinabrackey or Meath. (Thanks to Tommy Quinn and Ballinabrackey GFC) Jenny Thompson Predeceased by her husband Jim, son Joe and daughter Patricia, Jenny's son Seamus (Seamie) was a corner-back on the 1986 Summerhill championship winning team. Other sons Mark, Billy and Jonathan also played underage and Junior B football for the 'Hill.

Peter Hevey Peter's sons David and Ivan played football with the local Slane club.

Ellie Lyons A native of Castlebar, Ellie was predeceased by her husband Austin. Sons Austin and Paddy were members of the great Summerhill team of the seventies and Austin, as a teenager, was a member of the Meath squad that captured All-Ireland glory in 1967. Another son, John, lined out at centre half forward on the Summerhill team that won the Keegan Cup in 1986 and guided Na Fianna to this year's SFC decider.

Christy Dolan Christy was a founder member of Moylagh in 1947 and was one of the

Padraig Dixon Padraig was the son of the legendary Paddy 'Stonewall' Dixon, centre half back on the great Meath team of the

James Gargan The community of Slane was stunned by the death of James in a road traffic accident in the village during late 2012. Jem, as he was affectionately known, was a great lover of the GAA and was a frequent visitor to Croke Park to cheer on Meath football teams. (Thanks to secretary John Greene and Slane GFC)

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Mary Murtagh Formerly from Bohola, Co Mayo, Mary in recent years resided in Maynooth. Predeceased by her husband Johnny, two of her four sons, Denis and Tommy, won SFC medals with Summerhill in 1986. (Thanks to Mattie Kerrigan and the Summerhill club)


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late forties and early fifties. He played under age with Ballivor but in later years became heavily involved in rugby, his sporting love. Padraig played with Athboy RC and later became attached to the Navan club. He founded Dixon Sand and Gravel and was a very generous employer.

Katie Doyle Katie was the mother of Paddy Doyle, a star player with Ballivor who later became a very successful manager of the club. Paddy also served the west county club in a number of official capacities. Kathleen Molloy Kathleen was a sister in law of Katie Doyle (see above) and mother of the late Patsy Molloy, a member of the Ballivor intermediate winning squad of 1971. Anne Feeney Anne was the mother of Richard Feeney, a former star player with Ballivor. Thanks to Anne Corrigan of Ballivor GAA for all her help

Jack Leahy (Navan) A native of Ballymaurice, Granard, Co Longford, Jack emigrated to England in the 1950s. He was very involved in the Irish community in Britain and often had large crowds gathering at his house on Sundays as he had one of the few radios which could receive Radio Eireann and the gaelic football matches from Ireland. Jack helped establish St Catherine’s Club in West Drayton in the 1960s and also served on the committee of St Claret’s Men’s Club in Hayes for many years, holding the position of vice chairman for a period. He founded the St Claret’s tug-of-war team which became very successful. In 1980, Jack came home to Ireland, and bought Newgate Stores, outside Navan. Being back in Ireland allowed him to travel all over the country to watch football, particularly Meath. He could converse extensively about football and the players both past and present. William Scully (Oldcastle) Billy was a dedicated supporter of Meath GAA teams.

Fr Owen O’Leary (Dalgan Park) Fr Owen, ssc, St Columban's, Dalgan Park, was very proud of his Kerry roots and the Dr Crokes GAA club in Killarney for whom he had played and whose jersey was placed on his coffin. Kaline Murray (Navan & Drogheda) Nee Plunkett and from an old Navan family, Kaline, and her husband Jim,

were heavily involved with the Wolfe Tones club in her adopted town of Drogheda.

Rose Heaney Rose was the matriarch of the wellknown GAA family from Kilberry. She was the mother of long standing Wolfe Tones delegate Owen Heaney, proud members Padraig and Brian and loyal supporters Fr Sean, Fr Seamus, Nuala, Roisin, Mairead, Micheal, Dympna and Theresa. Fr Sean was chairman of the Offaly County Board when the Faithful County famously denied Kerry a famous fivein-a-row of All-Ireland SFC titles back in 1982. He was also in charge when the Faithful County won their first All Ireland senior hurling title the previous September. Fr Seamus, meanwhile, has served Meath County Board in a number of capacities, including that of vice chairman. John Lynam John was a brother of Wolfe Tones club members Terry, Michael and Tom and an uncle of former players Terence, Frankie and Fergal. Jean McFadden Mother-in-law of former Wolfe Tones player Gerry Thompson and aunt of past player and senior team selector Michael McFadden. Sile Bowler Sile's brother Liam played with Wolfe Tones.

Patricia Blaney Mother of former Wolfe Tones player Oliver and mother-in-law of Sean Halloran who was a star midfielder with the club back in the 1970's.

Patsy Halligan Patsy's son Derek is a Wolfe Tones mentor and loyal member.

Sister Catheran Kitty McFadden Aunt of former Wolfe Tones player and senior team selector Michael McFadden. Eily May Harrington Aunt of county player Eoghan and Eanna Harrington who play for the Wolfe Tones senior team. (Thanks to secretary Michael Carr and the Wolfe Tones club for their assistance)

Lilly Halpenny Lily sadly passed away in June and, along with her late husband Tom, was a lifelong supporter of Drumconrath. She has numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren involved in the club. Her son-in-law, Michael

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Gallagher, is the current chairman of Drumconrath and grandson Micheal is secretary. Grandsons Leighton, Kevin, Terence and Thomas are all involved with the north Meath outfit's adult teams while she has many great grandchildren who play in the underage ranks. Liz endured many personal tragedies late in her life but performed with dignity and grace throughout, being an inspiration to many in the parish and beyond. She is survived by her brother Terry and children, Mary, Lizzy, Trisha, Sheila, Joan, Terence and Laurence. (Thanks to Dumconrath GAA club) Clonard GAA send their deepest sympathies to the families of the following: Sean Campbell (Clonard) Sean was chairman of the Clonard club when they won their first championship in 1971 and held that position for a number of years. His brothers, Eddie and Finn, are also heavily involved with the south Meath unit while nephews, Eamon, Ian, David and Alan, have all worn the club colours with distinction. Sean's sister, Josephine, is married to Thomas Clynch who has a long association with the Simonstown club.

Dan Walsh Dan was President of the club for many years. John Plunkett John was a past player with the Clonard club. Joe Dixon Passed away this year.

Terry Coyne A members of the 1961 team, Terry lived in America. Verdie McGuinness Sadly passed away in America.

James Thornton A noted singer, Jimmy played football in his younger years with Moynalvey. His two sons also lined out with the club, while his grand daughters Emma and Ciara are current players.

Kevin Clarke Kevin's son Damian is involved with the Moynalvey juvenile section and his grandson Evan currently plays with the club. Kathleen Thornton Mother of former player Eddie who is a keen Moynalvey supporter. Kathleen was a sister in law of the aforementioned James Thornton


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Laurence Dixon Laurence, aged 70, passed away in August. He was an avid supporter of both Moynalvey GFC and Kiltale HC. Son Brendan is a current player while another son, Damien, is a former player and selector with the present Moynalvey senior football team. Moynalvey GFC provided a guard of honour at Laurence's removal. (Thanks to secretary Kathleen McDermott and Moynalvey GFC)

Tom O'Neill A native of Kilbride, Dunderry, Tom was a loyal, hard working and dedicated club member over many years who neither sought or courted recognition for the many hours of voluntary work carried out on behalf of Dunderry GAA club. The fruits of his labour are still there to be seen and shall remain for many a year to come. Tom's great love of Dunderry GAA has been passed on to his son Georgie who has carried on the great legacy of involvement in the club. Alacoque Coffey Alacoque was the mother of three stars of Dunderry football in the sixties and seventies, Pat, Francie and Joseph. Alacoque was a dedicated club member and supporter of Dunderry throughout her life and passed her love of Dunderry down to her siblings.

Dinny Feeney Dinny's sudden and unexpected passing dimmed a bright light that will never be extinguished to all of those who were honoured to have known him or befriended him. The light may flicker occasionally but remembering his greeting smile, the twinkle in his eyes and words of encouragement that glow, will go on for eternity. A life long member of Dunderry GAA club, he wore the club colours with pride, dignity and honour.

Dunderry GAA club would like to extend their sympathies to the families and friends of the following members of their club who have suffered bereavement during 2013 - the Fitzgerald family, Robinstown; Clarke family, Bellewstown, Robinstown; Michael and Tom Sherry, originally from Eskeroon, Yellow Walls who played with Dunderry for many years; Martin McDonagh, Tullaghanogue, Kilbride. That little word for everyone will always be remembered, a life long member who wore the black and white jersey of Dunderry with pride. (Thanks to Michael Minogue and Dunderry GAA) Mary Clinton The matriarch of a popular Donore

family, Mary's late son Joseph played for St Mary's and the Joey Clinton Cup - which is presented to underage winning teams - honours his memory. Joey was awarded the Young Player of the Year award in 1985 and was a member of the St Mary's team that reached the Meath IFC final in 1985. Her other sons, Michael, James, Oliver and Henry, all played at different levels for the Donore club while Michael and Oliver are former committee members. Oliver acted as a selector when St Mary's captured A League football honours in 2010. Mary's granddaughters - Ceire Cudden and Siobhan Clinton - are continuing the family tradition and currently serve as secretary and treasurer respectively of the club. St Marys GAA Skryne GFC wish to express their sympathy to the family and friends of the following: Sean O'Brien - Acted as a selector on the Skryne team of the sixties and was a committee member for many years. His brothers Micheal and Dom played for Skryne and Meath with distinction for a number of years with Micheal winning All Ireland SF medals in 1949 and 1954.

Miriam Hogan - Cousin of Michael and Peter who played for Skryne at juvenile and adult level for many years.

Kevin Lynch - Grand uncle of former Skryne secretary and player Michael Lynch. Kevin played for Rathfeigh in the early fifties. Paddy Daly - Great Skryne supporter all his long life and played both football and hurling for the club in the thirties.

Mary Staunton - Mother of Michael and Kieran who both played for Skryne. Michael won an All Ireland Colleges medal with St Jarlath’s Tuam in 1960.

Cyril (Sonny) Reeves - A Kildare man who followed his county through good and a lot of bad times for over 70 years. He also took a keen interest in the affairs of Skryne GFC as his three grandsons Allan, Cyril and Darren Carty played at all levels for the club from under 12 right up to senior. All three have won league and championship medals with Skryne. Allan winning SFC medals in 1999, 2004 and 2010 was a source of great delight to Sonny. Oliver McDonnell - Oliver was very much involved in Skryne GFC from a very young age, right up to the time of his sudden and unexpected death. He played at all levels for the club, from

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juvenile to senior, winning an under 21 medal in 1995 and starring in goals on the winning Feis Cup team of 1998.  Oliver was an excellent fundraiser for the club and also did great work for the Irish Guide Dogs foundation. Ed McKeown -  Father of Robert and Martin who play football for Skryne. Colm Hanley - Father of Colm who is a valued member of Skryne GFC committee. His granddaughters play for Skryne Ladies. Bridie Farnan - Sister of former Skryne player Jimmy who won a Senior Championship medal with the club in 1954.

Dermot McAuley - Grandfather of Shane who presently plays underage football for Skryne.

Rose Crocock - Wife of the late Jimmy Crocock who supported Skryne all his life.

Mary Blaney - Wife of ardent Skryne follower, the late Johnny and mother of John who has been involved with both Skryne and Dunboyne recently. Des McCann - Former Westmeath footballer and father of George who won underage championship medals with Skryne.

Gerry Stafford - Played with St Michaels’ in his youth and for the last fifteen years lived in and supported Skryne up to his untimely death.

Fergal O'Reilly - Father of Ciaran, John, Brendan (Barney), Michael and Paul who all played for Skryne. Michael, the most successful of the five brothers, has played all grades of football and won Championship medals with the Club. He is presently playing his football in London. Thanks to Dermot Carty and Skryne GFC for all their help. David Tuite There was a deep sense of loss and sadness in our community and the surrounding areas with the untimely passing of David Tuite. David died suddenly on 25th February this year, in the prime of his life, just 35 years of age. David was very energetic with a chirpy personality and loved playing jokes on people. He played underage football with St. Vincent’s for a number of years, leading an active life. However his greatest passion was car racing and particularly F1. Life changed completely for David in 2001 following a serious accident at


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work. This life changing event did not deter him from leading an independent existence with the support of his family, in his own house. His independence blossomed as he continued to drive and socialise in his flashy car. David enjoyed looking after his flock of fowl and took great pride in his garden. His death suddenly this year was due to a complication concerning that brain injury. David is deeply missed by his mother Vida, sister Caroline and brother Alan, and his many friends and relations. Patrick Arnold There was great shock and sadness over a wide area, spanning many counties following the death of Sonny Arnold on the 27th May last. Sonny passed away in his 85th year under the care of staff in St. Mary’s Hospital, Drogheda. For a number of months prior to hospitalisation Sonny was lovingly cared for at home by his family. Sonny was affectionately known as “Sunshine” , always sporting a radiant smile and an outstretched hand of friendship. He was a well known cattle dealer, attending fairs and marts throughout the country, where he made many connections. His years of experience with cattle set him up nicely as a much in demand judge of cattle at various shows. Sonny was also a “fat stock exhibitor” at various shows, winning many awards and prized trophies. Sonny had a great zest for life and his greatest means of enjoyment was sweeping the floor with Bernie as they demonstrated their talent as ballroom dancers. He took great pride in his family, supporting their every career move. His son Patrick is a current player with St. Vincent’s. Sonny is survived by his wife Bernie, daughter Breda, son Patrick, sisters Nuala and Vera and his many relatives and friends.

Olivia Sheridan There was widespread sadness in the parish of Ardcath/Clonalvy and the adjoining parishes following the death of Olivia on 5th April this year. Following a brave and dignified battle with ill health, Olivia died peacefully at home in the loving care of her family. Despite her illness she was always in good form, with a very positive outlook. Olivia had an infectious smile and maintained a gentle disposition, always seeing the good in people. She tended her garden and updated her book keeping accounts right to the end. She led a very active life, producing a winning performance with Ardcath Pioneer Association in “Tops of the Town” in Drogheda in 1976. Also in the

early 70s she graced the fields of east Meath representing Vincent’s in ladies football. Her sons Ronan and Ciaran followed in her footsteps and at present play with St Vincent’s. Olivia was an active member of Ardcath ICA, representing the guild in many talent shows and dancing competitions. She loved cycling and was an energetic member of the local “Well Oiled Wheelers” cycling club, completing many fundraising cycles. Another of her favourite pastimes was attending race meetings with Martin. This gave her immense satisfaction especially when their horse Sam-Ollie (named after their grand children) was a runner. After a few wins Martin presented Olivia with her own horse which they named after her, called “Lilly’s Prince”. Those race outings gave Olivia a platform to sport her undoubted fashion couture. In between all of that Olivia practiced and sang twice a week with Ardcath Church Choir, performing with the “Welsh Choir” and for all church occasions and events. Olivia took immense pride in her family, following and supporting them through their educational and sporting careers. She was especially close to her grandchildren, spending much time babysitting, visiting and caring for them. Olivia’s family and Martin’s family span the parishes of Ardcath and Garristown, and represent all that is good in rural Ireland, from sport to volunteerism. Olivia is survived by her husband Martin, daughter Sinead, sons Ronan, Ciaran and Darragh, brothers Seamus, Nicky and Michael, sisters Una and Mary, grandchildren, daughters-in-law and her extended family and friends. Olivia’s funeral was one of the biggest funerals in recent years. This included an impressive guard of honour by the local ICA Guild and the “Well Oiled Wheelers” on her journey from Ardcath Church and by Garristown GFC as she reached her final resting place in Garristown Cemetery. Compiled by Brian Carberry, St Vincents GAA Peter O’Toole, Kilbreena / Foliestown Peter was a dual player for long number of years with St Peter's, remembered for his high catches at full back in football and running game in hurling. Peter won a Junior Football and Intermediate Hurling championship medals in 1962. Peter also enjoyed his horse racing and many other sporting activities. Jim Reilly The Dunboyne clubman was a versatile player, starring in defence and attack in major successes. The high point of his

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career came in 1954 when, filling the centre half-back position, the Royal County lifted the Sam Maguire Cup for the second time. After victories over Wicklow, Kildare, Longford and Offaly in Leinster and Cavan in the penultimate round of the championship, Meath went into the AllIreland final against Kerry as rank outsiders. Eight of the history-making team of 1949 were still there five years later with Reilly in the middle of an entirely new half-back line. Kevin Lenehan and Ned Durnin were on the wings. Jim, a noted athlete in his younger days, recovered from an injury which forced him to retire during the semi final win over Cavan to play a notable part in the impressive 1-13 to 1-7 victory over the defending champions. That was his fourth All-Ireland SFC appearance, including one replay, in as many years. The other three were at full-forward, against Mayo in 1951 and two clashes with Cavan in '52. Jim Reilly, who was 89 years of age when he sadly passed on, was also in the number 14 jersey for the National League triumph in 1951. After defeating Mayo by 0-6 to 0-3 in the 'home' final Meath overcame New York by 1-10 to 0-10 at the Polo Grounds. Another notable inclusion on Jim's playing CV was lining out at right halfforward on Leinster's Railway Cup winning team in 1954. Connacht were defeated by 1-7 to 1-5 in the final and as well as Meath colleague Paddy Meegan, the Dublin trio of Ollie Freaney, Kevin Heffernan and Cathal O'Leary and Louth's Jim McDonnell were also in the winners' attack. Jim Reilly enjoyed notable success on the club scene with St Peter's, Dunboyne. He was centre-field for the IFC win in 1952 and centre-forward when the Feis Cup was annexed in 1959 - St Vincent's being defeated in both finals. He continued playing into his 40s. Brendan Reilly, son of Jim, followed in his father's footsteps when gaining two All-Ireland senior medals. He will be most remembered for shooting the spectacular winning point at the end of the final replay against Mayo in 1996. In 1988 he played a starring role at right half-forward in the NFL final replay win over Dublin. He was among the substitutes when the All-Ireland two-ina-row was completed later that year, having sustained a shoulder injury in the opening round clash with Louth. Jim's other sons, Peter and Leo, also starred for their club and played on various Meath teams. Dinny Keague, St Peter's Park Dinny was corner back on the Dunboyne 1958 Feis Cup winning


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team, Dinny enjoyed the horse racing and knew how to keep you thinking while playing a game of 25's.

Aine (Nancy) Moran, Bennettstown. Long time Dublin supporter Nancy came to Dunboyne to marry into a strong Meath GAA family. She was wife of the late Jack who played hurling for Dunboyne and was club president for several years. Nancy's family continue to be heavily involved in the club at all levels. Alice Moran, Jarretstown Alice was the oldest person in Dunboyne parish at the time of her passing. She was the wife of the late Peter Moran who won an All Ireland junior hurling medal with Meath in 1927. Angela Barry Baytown Park. Angela's family have long supported St Peter's and our race night would not be a success without the help of the Barry family.

Nora Forde, Woodview Nora was the wife of Paddy and mother of Luke who both played hurling for the club. Luke has in recent times lit up the road running scene with many winning performances. Our thanks to Gillian Reilly and Brendan Boylan for all their help.

Eileen Kelly Sons Michael, Pat and Paul played with Kildalkey and won underage medals with the club. Tony Rooney A former player with Kildalkey, Tony was almost 103 years old when he passed away.

Nancy Ledwith Nancy's brothers, Frank and Val Ledwith, represented Kildalkey on the field of play. Val won a JHC medal in 1969 and captained the 1971 Intermediate winning team. Nancy's nephew, Andrew, currently plays with the club while her niece Suzanne Ledwith-Reilly started camogie in Kildalkey and is still involved. Jimmy Reilly A former player with Kildalkey, Jimmy also served as chairman in the nineties.

Mary Canty Mary's brothers, Jimmy and Jack Canty hurled with Kildalkey. Jimmy won a JHC medal in 1969 and an Intermediate in 1971. Mary's nephew John Canty also played with the club. Paddy Potterton Paddy captured JHC in 1969 and IHC

honours two years later in '71. His five sons – Seamus, Pauric, Colm, Micheal and Eoin – all played with the club and were on successful underage teams. Pauric, Micheal and Eoin won SHC medals in 2009, '10 and '11.

Cecil Geoghegan Cecil played an instrumental role in the JHC and IHC victories of 1969 and '71 respectively. He played in three senior finals but missed out on a winners medal. Cecil Geoghegan was also a regular on the Meath senior hurling team for a spell. His nephews Padraig, Raymond and Gerard have won senior medals with the club.

Brian Reilly Brian was a member of the Kildalkey team that claimed the SHC in 1951, having won a JHC medal previously. He was involved with the club all of his life. Brian served as secretary and treasurer and was active in the juvenile section of the club almost up to the time of his death. Grandson Anthony Smith plays with Kildalkey. Joe Forde Joe's son Alan lined out at football with Kildalkey and his nephew, Stephen Forde, plays hurling and won three senior medals in 2009, '10 and '11. Stephen is the club's current minor hurling manager. Sean McAuley A long-time supporter and member of Kildalkey, all of Sean's sons played underage with the club.

Rose Healy Nee Brady, Rose's brothers Tommy, Jimmy and Michael played with Kildalkey. Jimmy and Michael won JHC and IHC medals in 1969 and '71. Her nephews, Michael, David and Thomas, also played with Kildalkey and were on successful underage teams. Michael won JHC medals while David gained SHC medals. Ollie Bird A long-time supporter of Kildalkey, Ollie's grand-nephew Tiernan Bird currently plays minor with Kildalkey. (Our thanks to Brendan Harmon and the Kildalkey club)

Kitty Meade Grandmother of Christopher Meade who plays minor and senior with Rathkenny and a sister of the late Paddy Meegan, the legendary Meath and Syddan footballer. Kitty's son, Fr Michael Meade, is the parish priest in Donore. Patsy Halligan Patsy's son Derek

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played

with

Rathkenny and his grandson, Caolach, currently lines out with the club. Through the course of his life he was actively involved in the parish and community of Rathkenny. Patsy gave his time freely to a number of local groups like Castletown Accordian Band and Rathkenny Athletic Club and in more recent years, Rathkenny Hall Committee and Rathkenny Revels. He was also a director of Slane Credit Union.

Teresa Meade A former treasurer and committee member of Rathkenny, Teresa was a first cousin of current players John and David Donegan and was a lifelong member of the Rathkenny Revels, with roles on stage, as secretary and box office bookings. Margaret Reilly Formerly of the Post Office in Rathkenny, Margaret was a sister of Kay Gogarty who was a former secretary of the Royal Meath Association, Dublin. Mary Crahan Mary's husband Brian is a former player with Rathkenny.

Lily Lawlor Nee Timmons, Lily was an aunt of former County Board chairman Barney Allen. She was also the aunt of the Timmons and Wall families who have had a long association with the club. (Thanks to Barney Allen and the Rathkenny club)

Gerry Stafford Originally from Kilbeg, Gerry played on the Carlanstown team that won the Division 3 championship in 1978 and later lined out on the first St Michael's team that took the field in 1980. His father Larry is a current club President and trustee while his brother Martin is club treasurer. Another brother, Justin, is a past chairman of St Michael's while all Gerry's brothers, Martin, Justin, David and Patrick, played with the club. (Our thanks to Gerry Kealy and the St Michael's club)

Denis Keague Dinny was 80 years old and is survived by all his nine children and six siblings. He lived most of his adult life in St Peter's Park, Dunboyne and was a well recognised and liked character in the village. His first love was his family and his wife Vera who predeceased him eight years ago. His second love was horse racing. Along with Vera, he was a regular at race meetings, both in Ireland and the UK. His brothers, Oliver and Dermot, both current members of


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St Paul's GFC, were founders and players of the now defunct Flathouse club. St Paul's rose from the ashes of the Flathouse club. Dinny was an uncle of current team manager, and former Meath selector, Tom Keague and current St Paul's secretary, Willie Keague. (St Pauls GAA)

Declan Rooney (Kingscourt) There was much sadness over a wide area following the sudden passing of Declan from Kingscourt in September. The 32 year old was a keen sportsman and played underage football with Kingscourt Stars GFC before transferring to Meath Hill GFC where he played under 21 and junior football. Rose Maguire (Longwood) Nee Geraghty, Rose was a sister of Tom Joe Geraghty who is a vicepresident of Longwood GAA club. Both her brothers, Patrick and Tom Joe, played hurling and football with the local club while 'Posie', as she was known, was an avid bingo player.

Aidan Foran (Longwood) There was widespread sadness in June following the passing of Aidan Foran, one of the great Meath GAA players of the late 1940s and 1950s era. An outstanding footballer and hurler, Aidan enjoyed success at club level with Longwood, Trim and Ballivor. In 1945, aged 15, he won a MHC medal with Trim and added a second minor medal two years later in 1947. His trophy collection also included two Feis Cup medals, won with Ballivor in 1950 and Longwood in 1952. Aidan's performances in the Feis Cup with Ballivor brought him to the attention of the Meath senior football selectors and he was called up to the county panel. In 1951, he was a part of the Meath team that defeated Louth by 18 points in the Leinster senior football championship final before losing narrowly to Mayo in the All-Ireland final. On the intercounty hurling front, he won Leinster and All-Ireland junior hurling medals in 1948 before winning a Division 2 National Hurling League medal the following year. Aidan was later a member of the Trim team that captured SHC and O'Growney Cup honours in 1956. An accomplished boxer, Aidan won a Meath light welterweight boxing title in 1946. He was also a prominent member of the Longwood Dramatic Society. The talented dual star spent his working life as a postman, covering the Moyvalley, Broadford, Cadamstown and Clogherinkoe areas. Aidan worked out of Moyvalley Post Office and served the area for 47 years before his

retirement. His interest and love for the GAA never waned throughout his life and he kept a close eye on the fortunes of local and county teams right up until his passing. He also served as secretary of Longwood GAA Club for 22 years. In GAA Centenary Year of 1984, he was honoured with his team mates for his 1948 hurling success and in 2003 was presented with a Seán Gael trophy. There were also Hall of Fame awards in 1998 and 2008 to mark the anniversaries of the 1948 win. At the removal to Longwood Church a guard of honour, drawn from present and past members of Longwood GAA Club and former colleagues from the Post Office, escorted his remains from the village green, where Aidan spent his youth perfecting his shooting skills, by his home place to the Church of the Assumption, Longwood. Following burial in the adjoining cemetery, a graveside oration was delivered by former club chairman, Michael Leonard. Mary Doyle (Kilcloon) Nee O Brien, Mary was the daughter of Cyril O'Brien who was a co founder of Kelly, Fitzgerald and O Brien Park in Kilcloon which is one of the home pitches of Blackhall Gaels GAA Club. Her brothers, Noel, Johnny, Dessie and Gerard, all represented the Kilcloon club with distinction and the latter, popularly known an 'Jetser', played for Meath. Married to Tipperary native Richie Doyle, their sons played football and hurling with Blackhall Gaels.

Barry Fitzgerald A son of the legendary Meath GAA administrator, the late Jack Fitzgerald, Barry sadly passed away in November. A selector with the breakthrough AllIreland winning team of 1949, Jack holds the distinction of being the only Meath man to have occupied the role of Leinster Council chairman (1951 to '53). Barry inherited his father's passion for the GAA and was a member of the Kilcloon team that captured JFC honours in 1973 and also served on the club committee during the early days of the Blackhall Gaels club. His sons, John and Bernard, wore the club colours. Mary Joe Carty Mary Joe Carty (née O’Toole) was 21 years old when she moved to Meath with her parents and siblings, under the Land Commission migration scheme, in 1951. She was born in 1930 and grew up in Conagher, a small townland in County Galway on the border with Mayo. Mary Joe always claimed both heritages: “The house was in Galway

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but we went to mass, to school, to the shops and to the pub in Mayo”. Her attachment to those counties was very obvious when either one of them was playing against Meath in GAA matches; we never needed to ask which side she was on. When, on the rare occasion, the match was between Mayo and Galway she found herself in a win-win situation. In 1951, upon arrival in Waynestown in the parish of Kilcloon, Co. Meath, Mary Joe was spotted by her next door neighbour, Harry Carty, whose family had also just recently migrated from Shraigh, near Belmullet on Mayo’s Atlantic coast. Within a few years they were married and started what was to become a very large family of ten children, of which I am one. We grew up on a small farm in the sixties and seventies where the Beatles were rarely heard and long hair deeply frowned upon, “You can’t tell the men from the women nowadays”. Most of our neighbours were farmers too and most hailed from the Wesht. We were a generation that lived with parents and grandparents who spoke with strong Mayo and Galway accents though living only a short few miles from Dublin city. Place names like Ballindine, Claremorris, Ballyhaunis, Belmullet, Ballina, Castlebar, Erris were far more familiar to our childish ears than Navan, Trim, Kells, Athboy. Mary Joe left the Wesht but the Wesht never fully left her. From her stuffing, soup and brown bread recipes, to her fascinating way of celebrating Halloween, to having Santy arrive on Christmas Eve, all her traditions (and now ours) were brought directly from the Wesht. She had peculiar vocabulary too: some were Gaelicisms, some from her native Wesht and some just plain selfinvented (the spellings are mine): a buddah (pompous); putog (spoiled child); bowdies (head lice); Amàdan (idiot); Lord Oran More (a reference to some high born person from her part of the world and used to reprimand signs of pretentiousness or fussiness). There were some cryptic, incomprehensible ones too - though we always understood them perfectly-: By troth; It’s woe betide ye; Don’t start your Andra Martins; The Dickens Hize ye; He’s as wise as Paddy the thimbles, She’ll make kittle binders of it… Mary Joe was of the generation that unquestioningly went to mass every Sunday and observed all the Catholic rituals; she saw to it that her large brood did likewise for as long as she was able to exercise that kind of authority. Yet towards the end of her life she yielded gracefully to the new norms of the younger generations.


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Mary Joe was not a boat-rocker but she was nevertheless a strong woman who defended her views and principles. She suffered the very sad loss of her fourth son Jarlath in 1994 and then of her beloved Harry in 2000, yet she continued to protect her family by never allowing her own sadness to cause distress to us. She was proud of her children’s and grandchildren’s achievements and liked to hear of football and hurling victories by the Blackhall Gaels where they figure prominently. Her idyllic marriage, her gentle-assertive ways, her earthy intelligence and her unconditional love for her children and grandchildren have left us with the impossibility of repaying that debt and we all possess a tremendous gratitude. When she died on January 6th 2013 Mary Joe departed leaving us without a single reproach, and I know we are much better people for having had her as a mother. We have been given an invaluable legacy. Padraig A. Carty, on behalf of the Carty clan.

Billy Maguire An avid GAA fan who never missed a Meath game. Talented man with his hands which he passed down to his children and grand children. Great follower of the hurlers in Rathmolyon where his grandson David Morgan now plays in the senior team. Billy's son Robert Maguire is also on the committee of the club for a number of years. Will be missed around the Parish. Packie Maguire A loyal follower of the Meath footballers, travelling near and far to cheer on the Boys in Green. Well able to tell a yarn or two and sing a song around the fire at home. Sadly missed by the local community and further afield. His son in law is Dominic Reilly who is the Chairman of the Hurling Development group in the County. Brother of the aforementioned Billy.

Tess Hendron Nee Farrell, Tess was a woman of great faith and would be seen walking down the path to the church in Rathmolyon when she would be staying in her son's house in the village. Her son Pat and her grandson John both won senior titles with the boys in green over the years and her great grandson Rhys is now pulling on the jersey. She is survived by her husband John Hendron. Michael Tuite Michael was a great follower of of the GAA in the parish, buying the lotto tickets and having the chat after games

in the local. However his first love was the horses. if there was a meet on he would give you"a dead cert”. Michael will be sadly missed by all in Church View and around the village.

Dessie Christie Dessie Christie was a stalwart of the Rathmolyon football team. Playing full back there were not too many full forwards who got the better of him. Following the Meath team was a passion with Dessie, travelling near and far to support the boys in green. Paddy Christie who played full back for Dublin was a nephew of Dessie’s. Mary Fagan Mary was a well loved figure around the village, and bingo and travelling with the senior citizens was what she enjoyed the most. Living in Church View all she saw was the kids playing hurling, the Coles, the Farrells, the Gantleys, the Geraghtys and the Reillys would be pulling on the sliothar outside her front door. Mary loved the buzz when a big game came to the village. Thanks to Rathmolyon hurling club for all their help. Tom Halpin senior (Kilbeg) Tom's son, also Tom, represented Meath at all levels and is presently coach of the St Michael's intermediate and Under 21 teams. Tom junior is married to Meath 1949 and '54 AllIreland winner Mattie McDonnell's daughter Ann. Their son, Matthew, was selected on the Meath under 16 Development Squad this year. Stephen Farrelly Stephen represented Athboy on the hurling field in the seventies.

Betty McGovern A former ladies committee member, Betty was a dedicated worker with the club. Her husband Joe lined out on the football fields with the old Martinstown club while sons Joe, Martin, Kevin and Michael hurled with Athboy. Betty was a sister of Mattie Mullen who was the guest of honour at this year's SHC final between Kilmessan and Longwood. Caroline Hanlon Originally from Dublin, Caroline's two sons, Craig and Ross, play underage football and hurling with Clann na nGael.

Gerry Renehan A former footballer and hurler with Athboy in the fifties and sixties, Gerry's medal collection at domestic level included IFC and JHC medals. He also represented the county in both codes and won a Leinster junior medal in 1958. Unfortunately for Gerry and Meath, Galway beat the Royals in the

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All Ireland Home final. Gerry Renehan was centre field on that junior team. Two years previous he was full back on the Meath side which went under narrowly, 1-10 to 1-9, to Dublin in the Leinster minor decider. Dublin proceeded to comfortably win the competition but many of the stars who shone for Meath the following summer, when the young Royals captured their first minor crown, gained their baptism of fire in that ‘56 campaign. His sons Dessie and Damien likewise played with the club while his grandchildren are following in the family tradition at the moment. Gerry was also an accomplished golfer and had a great affinity with Headfort Golf Club.

Ollie & Phyllis Bird Owners of Centra, Athboy, Ollie and Phyllis, who sadly both passed away this year, generously sponsored the local club and were great supporters of the county teams. Their son James still runs the family business and continues to provide generous sponsorship to Clann na nGael. Ollie and Phyllis' grandson Jack plays underage with the club. (Our thanks to Brian Connor and Clann na nGael) Leanne McCloskey The St Colmcille's club was shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Leanne McCloskey in April. Leanne's brother, Robbie, lines out at midfield for the Pilltown club and her cousins, Gary and Frankie, also play. (Thanks to St Colmcille's)

Maura Owens The village of Kilmainhamwood and the entire GAA community of north Meath were saddened to learn of the death of Maura Owens in late 2012. Wife of club official Francie and mother of Thomas, Gerry, Francis and Martina, Maura had been a shining light in the life of the club for the past 35 years. Gerry and Francis were part of the Kilmainhamwood team of the nineties who won under 21, intermediate and senior championships. Maura could also claim to have been Meath's greatest supporter with family trips to far away counties and overnight stays for even insignificant league games an absolute must in their footballing calendar. A photo of the great Brian Stafford celebrating victory in Croke Park in 1987 accompanied by a then 10 year old Francis took pride of place in the Owens household. Nothing was ever too much trouble for her family especially where the GAA was concerned. Her house was always open and most welcoming to both club and county board officials.


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Francie and Maura looked after tickets for Croke Park, match fixtures, preparation of jerseys and a million other things which arose in the life of a club official. She was always a joy to meet socially, a beautiful smile and with infectious good humour she brought joy to all around her. Kilmainhamwood football club provided a guard of honour at her funeral. Lily Owens Nee Farrelly, Lily was a native of Mullagh and sadly passed away at the age of 94 years last February. Lily's son Francie has given long and distinguished service to the local Kilmainhamwood GAA club and her grandsons have also represented the Wood with distinction on the field of play.

Paddy McGee A native of Limerick, Paddy took great pride in seeing his son Raymond play for Meath at senior and underage levels. He was active in Kilmainhamwood GAA and coached the camogie teams at various underage levels. Ray lined out for Kilmainhamwood in their JFC D final win over Seneschalstown the day after his father's funeral and captain Tommy Owens dedicated the victory to Paddy's memory in his speech. Limerick hurling was one of Paddy's greatest passions while he took a keen interest in his local community and church where he sang for many years in the choir. Ollie Stafford Ollie - who died peacefully last Christmas Eve - was the father of Meath great Brian Stafford who, of course, played starring roles in the AllIreland wins of 1987 and '88 and who later captained Kilmainhamwood to SFC glory in 1996.

Fr Jimmy Duffy The death occurred in January of Fr Jimmy Duffy, the retired parish priest of Oughteragh and Ballinamore, Co Leitrim who was a native of Tulleweel, Kilmainhamwood. One of his classmates at St Patrick’s College, Cavan was the legendary PJ Duke from Stradone, the great Breffni footballer. He played a major part in the GAA in North Leitrim while serving in Drumkeerin and was chosen as Cathaoirleach of the North Leitrim Co Board in 1955 at a time when all was not well with football there. Then according to Fr Duffy, there was

"hardly a match without trouble". Objections, counter objections, abandoned games, suspensions. His committee rescued the situation and brought discipline to the game. Fr Duffy was at that time a great fund-raiser and through card games and mini fundraisers he funded different projects in Drumkeerin. He also carried out great work in paying for the new church in Ballyjamesduff when he was transferred there. Fr Jimmy was involved in community organisations like Muintir na Tíre in Drumkeerin, the Tidy Towns in Ballyjamesduff when they won the All Ireland in 1966 and 1967 and the GAA in Ballinaglera. Eugene MacMahon A popular Meath farmer, Eugene, or Gene as he was fondly known, had a keen interest in the GAA and was a talented footballer with Kilmainhamwood in his day.

Noel Curran (Moynalty/Dunshaughlin/Dublin) If you ask anyone in Dunshaughlin and the surrounding area who has played, or religiously supported the club down through the years, about who was the finest player ever to don the black and amber, one name always seems to crop up and that is the recently deceased Noel Curran. A native of Moynalty, and one of 17 children, Noel came to Dunshaughlin as a child to be reared by an aunt. He attended school in Dunshaughlin, and from a young age Gaelic football became his love and he lined out with the local parish under 14 team St. Martin’s in 1958. At sixteen, Noel left school and Dunshaughlin to learn his trade as a barman in Mohan’s in Phibsboro. But that did not stop him playing for his beloved Dunshaughlin and he often came out to Meath to play, with Patsy and Johnny McLoughlin and Val Dowd among others on chauffeur duties, collecting and bringing Noel back into Dublin. Noel first wore the club’s black and amber at adult level in 1961 and went on to win a junior medal in ‘67. Operating in his favourite full-forward position he notched six points as Dunshaughlin beat Nobber in the Meath intermediate final of 1977. Noel's, pre-match routine of warming up in Murrays before a match and warming down back again in Murray’s after the game are now legendary in these parts and he was never shy of

breaking into a rendition of Danny Boy while celebrating a hard-earned black and amber victory. With Noel’s exploits on the football field becoming a focal point for many, it came as no surprise when he answered ‘The Royal Call’ to play for Meath, and he had the great honour and distinction of being the first man from the Dunshaughlin club to capture that elusive All-Ireland medal in 1967. Noel lined out at full forward as Meath went on to beat Cork. He occupied the same position the previous year when Galway outscored a fancied Meath team to complete a three-in-a-row. Noel missed out on Meath’s 1970 final defeat to Kerry, but returned to the county colours for a spell during the early ‘70s. Noel also got to savour life ‘Down Under’ with clubmate Jimmy Walsh, both being key figures on the Meath panel which travelled on the historic tour of Australia in 1968. In the twilight of his footballing career, Noel joined the Thomas Davis club in Dublin, he was living nearby and continued to play the game he loved, lining out for the Thomas Davis’ intermediate team well into his forties. And still causing many defenders heartache and misery. Noel had five children, his sons Michael and Paul standing out as fine footballers, with Paul, a devastating, attacking wing back, who many consider up there with Paidi and Tomas O Se, stars who also wore the No. 5 jersey with such great distinction. After years of heartbreak, Paul finally tasted All-Ireland success with the Dubs in 1995 with a 14-man Dublin team beating Tyrone in the final. Noel eventually gave up the bar business, going on to work in security in Bank of Ireland on Baggott Street and recent years were spent working driving a taxi in Dublin. Gaelic football was not the only sport he was good at. Noel Curran was a competent golfer and in his younger years enjoyed a game of tennis and handball. Noel was Guest of Honour at the 2011 Meath county final and only last March received his much deserved Dunshaughlin Hall of Fame award from club chairman Jim Smith. Noel Curran was a true gentleman, on and off the field of play, and people only had good things to say about him. He had a great pair of hands and had an outstanding knack of being able to score with his back to goals. Noel was a truly fantastic, old style full forward who would not look out of place today playing in Croke Park. ----Dunshaughlin GAA

We have endeavoured to include all Meath Gaels who passed away between the time of publication of last year’s Royal County Yearbook and mid November 2013 when this edition went to press. Every effort has been made to ensure all relevant deaths were included. However, if an omission has been made, we apologise sincerely. Some obituaries are included more than once, as they were requested by other clubs. We offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our departed. Thanks to all the clubs who assisted in compiling this year’s obituary list.

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MEATH U15 FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT SQUAD YEAR REVIEW U15 FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

F

ollowing the appointment of the management team in early April, the formation of a panel began with trials. This year it was decided to have regional trials, which took place in Carnaross, Skryne and Dunganny. These proved to be very successful and much new talent was discovered. On the competition side of things, the month of May was very busy. on 11th May, two teams played against Monaghan in Dunganny. on 18th May, one team played against Wicklow in Ratoath. on 25th May, 2 teams took part in a blitz in Rochfortbridge against Westmeath and Roscommon. on 26th May, our trials were concluded in Dunganny with North vWest and East v Central In June the squad took a break, as some squad members were doing their Junior Certificate.

The squad got back together at the end of June, and on 6th July two teams took part in a blitz competition in Darver, Co. Louth with opposition from Dublin and Louth. On 29th July, one team travelled to Kilcock to play Kildare. This was a very competitive event and Meath ran out winners in the end, against a strong Kildare squad. On 17th August, two teams from Meath took part in the National Blitz, which was the highlight of the year and was held in Ratoath and Ashbourne. The opposition was made up of two teams from Tyrone, two from Sligo and one team from both Antrim and Carlow. The Meath teams qualified from both venues. The two Meath teams were not allowed play each other in the final, so the result was that both teams had an unbeaten run in this event. In September, the squad members and their parents were invited to an information night in Aras Tailteann. Guests speakers on the night spoke on

Meath U15 Development squad

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injury prevention, strength and conditioning, commitment and nutrition. This event was well attended and feedback from those present was very positive. In October, the squad members attended strength and condition screening with Paul Clarke and Seamus Kenny in Aras Tailteann on Saturday mornings. They were given a programme to follow over the coming months. In conclusion, this has being a very busy but enjoyable year. The squad has proven themselves well capable of competing against any opposition they have come up against in the past year. The commitment shown by the players and their parents is much appreciated by all the management team. It has being a pleasure to work with such a talented and able group. Finally, thank you to all in Pairc Tailteann for their help and support.


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Na Fianna’s Tommy Cosgrave (right) got more than he bargained for when he got hold of the ACFL Division 2 trophy


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