Dicksboro captain Niall Rowe lifts the silverware after the 2020 minor hurling county final. The city side will be keen to hold on to their title this year Picture: Willie Dempsey
Over the next couple of weeks the Kilkenny People will carry previews of the Kilkenny Honda Centre Minor A, Minor B & Minor C hurling championships.
The work at underage level is hugely important and often takes place away from the limelight, with the real heroes of Kilkenny GAA working away to generate their future club heroes.
More than 800 players will take part in the Kilkenny minor hurling and football championships. They will find out who they face when the competition draws are made shortly.
Each week we will look back at the resulting championship two years ago at under-15 level and go through each panel whilst highlighting some unusual did you know facts about the clubs.
The cream of the crop in the whole country usually square up in this famous of underage championships.
This will be epic. All six sides will truly fancy their chances. The ‘Dream Team’ from Palmerstown in the guise of Dicksboro will be putting their unbeaten championship record on the line.
Players like Harry Shine, Mikey Raggett and Sean Keenan will be looking to lead the charge to add to their substantial haul, but standing in their way will be old nemesis Young Irelands led by Charlie Carter.
Tullogher-Rosbercon who have been a force at underage level for the last few years, getting to a number of underage finals, will have huge firepower in the guise of Danny Glennon while James Stephens, O’Loughlin Gaels and Roinn B winners Bennettsbridge will all fancy their hopes.
Also coming into the league stages of the competition will be Naas and Mount Leinster Rangers.
Lookback: Under-15 Roinn A 2019
Many were hoping for a high class affair in the Duggan Steel under-15 hurling championship as the leagues had thrown up some entertaining encounters, something which bodes well for the future talents of the county.
It ended with Young Irelands raising the league trophy for the two in a row. In the first round James Stephens gained revenge over Graigue-Ballycallan as a flurry of goals from the young Village men proving enough for victory.
In the all-city clash Dicksboro had too much for O’Loughlin Gaels as Harry Shine and his team-mates ran riot in the first half. They also beat a young Clara side in the county semi-final.
The other semi-final between Young Irelands and James Stephens was a much tighter affair. On the night Killian Carey proved to be the difference between the sides.
All eyes turned towards a repeat of the league final. Could the Gowran men make it a double?
Young Irelands 3-10
Many hoped for another classic to mirror the close-fought league final when Dicksboro and Young Irelands clashed in the Duggan Steel under-15 Roinn A Championship final in Clara.
The first half was a slow-burner with Harry Shine and Killian Carey exchanging points, but the game exploded into life in the 15th minute when Shine and Johnny Keane exchanged passes before Mikey Raggett sent the green flag waving.
Young Irelands responded instantly, Ben Phelan flicking the sliotar to the roof of the net after Daniel Manning had squared the ball to him.
Killian Carey followed this up with a goal of his own after the sliotar had ricocheted around the square. The mercurial centre-forward followed this up with a pointed long range free.
Declan Farrell had a big say in Shine’s goal which brought the Palmerstown outfit back into contention. Manning and Shine swapped points before Farrell put his side back in front with a fine goal, but Padraig Naddy had the final say of the half with a long range point from out on the wing, cutting Dicksboro’s lead.
Raggett and Kyle Maher got the first two points of the new half, which saw a tremendous and courageous fight back launched by Young Irelands, led largely by Carey, who rattled off five points in a row - he hit four from play.
Raggett and Keane landed points before Sean Keenan made a surge for goal and he blasted the ball to the roof of the net. Carey briefly lifted the siege with a converted free but Raggett and Keenan kept the pressure on with five points.
Carey then blasted a 21 metre free to the bottom right hand corner, putting game back into the melting pot, but points from Keenan Shine came after Carey was somewhat unlucky not to goal.
A goal from Maher in injury-time sealed the result where the Palmerstown men’s accuracy in front of goal proved to be the difference between the sides.
Meet The Teams
Panel: Sean Byrne, Diarmaid Greene, Oran Lavery, Paddy Walsh, Paul Mahon, Adam Cullen, Jack Campion, Tim Kelly, Joe Hughes, James Hughes, Eoin O’Connor, Luke McBride, Charlie Fitzgerald, Noah Walsh Brennan, Johnny Cash, Jack Forristal, Kyle Ryan, Bill Nolan, Conor Molloy, Stephen King Kohler, Gearoid Kent, Bill Hughes, Cillian Harding Kelly.
Management: Ben Tynan (manager), Shane Doyle (selector), David Treacy (selector), Tommie Hughes (selector). Minor team sponsor: PJ Cullen Centra, Bennettsbridge.
Panel -Patrick Langton, Sean Fitzpatrick, Padraig Naddy, Michael Knox, Killian Carey, Charlie Brennan, Jamie Middleton, Ray Lawson, Rory Farrell, Charlie Fitzgerald, Daniel Manning, Barry Dunne, Aaron Hosey, Darragh Travers, Jamie Carter, Ben Phelan, Bobby Brennan, Robin Carey, Eoin O’Neill, Diarmuid Langton, Timmy Brennan, Luke Phelan, Luke O’Donnell.
Management: Charlie Carter (trainer), Michael Maher (physical trainer), Cathal Fitzgerald (selector), Pat O’Neill (selector), John O’Grady (selector).
Bord na nÓg - Chairman: Stephen Drennan. Vice-chairman: Niall Byrne. Secretary: Karina Langton. Assistant secretary: Mary Higgins. PRO: Lorraine Carroll. Minor team sponsor: Farm & Industrial Supplies
Did You Know?
In 1996, while playing Glenmore in the first round of the senior championship down in Ballyhale, a streaker (yes, you read this correctly!) entered the field of play!
After being escorted from the pitch - socially distanced of course - by players Pat O’Neill and Christy Heffernan, Young Irelands went on to win the game that day and continued their winning ‘streak’ to become county senior champions later that year!
Panel - Adam Arthurs, Kevin Aylward, Fionn Connolly, Padraig Dooley, Danny Glennon, Jack Handrick, Finnbar Kelly, Dan Kennedy, David Kennedy, Aidan Lawlor, Jamie Lyng, Joe Malone, Cathal Mooney, Niall Mooney, Andrew Murphy, Lar Murphy, John Murphy, Martin Murphy, Ryan Murphy, Jamie O’Connor, Fergal O’Shea, JJ Ryan, Sean Ryan.
Management: John Murphy, Seán Kenedy, Pat Hartley, James Mullally.
Bord na nÓg - Chairperson: Jason Murphy. Secretary: Carmel Morrissey. Treasurer: Seán Kennedy. PRO: Michael Ryan. Minor team sponsor: Breen Hardware & Fleetwood Paints.
How they got on at under-15 level in 2019: Roinn B champions.
Did You Know?
Fourteen years before the founding of the GAA in November 1884 a type of Gaelic football match was held in Shanbogh between Tullogher and Glenmore.
The ditches at each end of the field served as goalposts with the object of the exercise for each team being to get the ball over the ditch as many times as possible in order to win the game.
From the very brief description of the game given in local newspapers of the time it appears that tripping, wrestling, lifting the ball off the ground and carrying it for long distances were allowed. When darkness began to fall the game was terminated and called a draw as each team were credited with four overs apiece.
Panel - Árón Ó Meachair, Bréannain De Bhál, Breandán Mac an Mhíle, Conchubhar Ó Dálaigh, Eoghan Ó Binéid, Dónal Briers, Caoimhín de Bhaldraithe, Éimhín Ó Néill, Darren Ó Ceallaigh, Éimhín de Búrca, Fionn Ó Leathlobhair, Anraí Ó Grádaigh, Anraí Mac Roibeaird, Anraí Ó Meachair, Seán Aighlmear, Seán Sionóid, Josh Ó hEidhin, Ciarán Ó Dubhshláine, Marcas Ó hUallacháin, Micheál de Buitléir, Orestas Balsys, Finn Ó hÓgáin, Eoghan Mac Cionnaith, Ruairí Ó Flannagáin, Ruaidhrí de Gaillí, Tadhg Ó Meára, Alistair Ó Sirideán. Management team: Alan O’Brien (manager), Paul Phelan, Dinny Tyrrell, Brian Kelly, Alan O’Meara.
Bord na nÓg - Chairperson: Brian Fox. Secretary: Niamh Carroll. Treasurer: Sean Casey. PRO: Eoin Lawlor.
How they got on at under-15 level in 2019: Lost to Dicksboro in the quarter-final.
Did you know?
The club crest shows a triangle of landmarks associated with the main areas of the parish - the Fort in Dunmore, The Holy Well in Johnswell and the O’Loughlin Memorial Church of St John the Evangelist in the city, all converging on O’Loughlin Gaels clubhouse at its centre.
Panel - Michael Clarke, Conor Kavanagh, Mick Carroll, Fionn McGarry, Tom McPhillips, Johnny Keane, Sean Keenan, Cillian Hackett, Mikey Raggett, Sean Cullen, Harry Shine, Peter Conroy, Sean Knox, Sam Tynan, David Mulrooney, Tom O’Neill, Denis Dalton, Charlie Miller, Luke Bourke, Luke Morrissey, Christy Murphy, Nathan Pollard, Billy Fitzpatrick, Joey Dalton, Mark Cleere, Mark McPhillips, Declan O’Farrell, Adam Hayes, Killian Dollard, Jamie McGrath, David Fitzpatrick, Kyro Merhem, Thomas Cassin, Kyle Maher. Management: Mickey Walsh (manager) Davy Ryan, Conor O’Grady, Podge Lacey, James Gittens, Peter Fitzpatrick, Edward Moylan. Minor team sponsor: Aut Even.
Bord na nÓg - Chairperson: Eddie Holohan. Secretary: Shane Kavanagh. Treasurer: Jason Dempsey. PRO: Conor O’Grady.
How they got on at under-15 level in 2019: County champions that year. Dicksboro lost the league final to Young Irelands by a point, but got their revenge when they beat a strong Young Irelands team in the county final.
Panel - Sean Adams, Oisin Bateman, Sean Casey, Aidan Cashin, Joe Cleary, Fionn Cody, Eoin Deely, Danny Delaney, Cias Dunne, Eoin Forde, James Gladney, Brian Gladney, Shane Glynn, Ronan Grace, Joe Greene, Liam Holohan jnr, Jack Kelly, Paddy Lacey, Sam Larkin, Darragh Lawlor, Stephen Manogue, Sam McEvoy, Liam Moloney, Andy Murphy, Jack Noonan, Patrick O’Neill, James O’Shea, Jamie Peters, Daniel Power, Michael Power, Stephen Kellett, Billy Wall Young, Bill Whelan.
Management team: Tom Leahy, Joe Hennessy, Brendan Long, Leo Hennessy, Noel Morrissey, John O’Donoghue, Cian Kenny, Michael Power.
Bord na nÓg - Chairman: Martin Phelan. Secretary: Richie Cody. County Board delegate: Val Malone.
Did You Know?
James Stephens lead the roll of honour in the Minor A roll of honour with 13 titles. They will be very determined to halt the men from Palmerstown clad in maroon & white in catching them at the top of this roll of honour.
Next week we will take a look at the Roinn B teams in the Minor Championship.
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