U14’s Crowned Meath Division 1 League Champions

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Meath U14 Division 1 League Final

St Colmcilles 2-8(14) V Dunshaughlin 1-7 (10) 

In a week when St Colmcilles U14’s represented their parish and county with pride and distinction at the National Feile, they atoned for  their heart breaking 1 point defeat to Portlaoise in the Feile Division 1 Semi-Final played in Cavan Gaels when they beat a gallant Dunshaughlin side by 4 points played in St Pats Stamullen last Thursday evening

Meath U14 Division 1 Feile & League Champions 2017

The Meath U14 Division 1 Feile & League Champions 2017

Weather conditions were both wet and windy but this did not dampen the quality on show as both teams went at it from the get go.  St Colmcilles won the toss and elected to play with a very strong wind at their back. Indeed the wind was so tricky it was at times even difficult to take advantage with many balls across the match over  carrying their intended targets.

After a cagey opening St Colmcilles opened the scoring courtesy of a Luke Hanan free kick.   Minutes later young Hanan was again on the end of a great move which saw Adam Daly off load to him before splitting the posts and sending St Colmcilles two points clear. Playing into a very strong wind Dunshaughlin had their chances and created plenty in the opening quarter but in the end failed to convert.   After a period of play that saw both teams miss chances it was that man Hanan that fired St Colmcilles 3 points clear again after a fine off load from full forward Adam Daly.  Indeed the 3 point margin soon became  four points as Hanan’s boots were now on fire and duly kicked another wonderful point to see St Colmcilles race 4 clear and assert a degree of dominance.    

35397100972_a9ea7d1fc1_bDanny Ehichoya, the St Colmcilles net minder was in scintillating form in the County Final

Dunshauglin did however continued to play well and driven on by the impressive Fursey Blake and John McDonagh playing at wing back,  a brilliant run and shot from Aaron Murphy was heading towards goal only for a stunning save from Danny Ehicoya to keep the black and amber at bay.  It was a truly big moment in the match and it lifted St Colmcilles and  Sean O’Donoghue punished the miss as  he then kicked a great 45 yard free kick  before Conor Farrelly put his side six points clear with a terrific score as we neared half time.   As the half neared a close,  O’Donoghue imposed himself on proceedings once more with another monster kick from away  out the field as St Colmcilles lead at the break 0-7 V 0-0.

Luke "Bomber" Hanan who hit 1-4 in great display in the U14 County Final

Luke “Bomber” Hanan who hit 1-4 in great display in the U14 County Final

The 2nd half saw Dunshaughlin play with the very strong wind at their backs.  However it was in the opening 10 minutes that saw St Colmcilles galop into a 13 point lead as first a brilliant soccer style finish saw Luke Hanan hit the back of the Dunshaughlin net after great work from Sean O’Donoghue, Shaun Leonard and Fiachra Mac an Aba.    Moments later Conor Farrelly hit another goal, as the Dunshaughlin keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and it sailed in of the crossbar to the back of the net.  

Oisin O'Mhurchu who played great at wing half back for St Colmcilles

Oisin O’Mhurchu who played great at wing half back for St Colmcilles

13 points down however Dunshaughlin then began to play some great football as they proceeded to dominate and eat away at the St Colmcilles lead.  Points from Calum Deehan, Conor Gray, Jack O’Riordan and a goal from Aaron Murphy after an over carrying mistake from Godfrey Ehichoya saw Dunshaughlin reduce the margin to 7 points.    Two more great  Conor Gray points and the margin all of a sudden was down to 5 as Dunshaughlin piled on the pressure as the clock ticked down.   St Colmcilles now needed a score to stem the tide and a great catch by Sean O’Donoghue on a Danny Ehichoya saw him release Fiachra Mac an Aba and he found Luke Hanan and after he fired initially of the cross bar, it was Shaun Leonard who then  fired the rebound over the bar to stretch the St Colmcilles lead back to 6 points.  It was a critical score as Dunshauglin continued to press forward and two more great scores from Joey Dunne and Aaron Murphy saw the deficit down to 4 points.  

Godfrey Ehichoya whose battle with Dunshaughlins Aaron Murphy was a great contest

Godfrey Ehichoya whose battle with Dunshaughlins Aaron Murphy was a great contest

With minutes to go Dunshaughlin went searching for the goal but some terrific high catches from underneath his own crossbar saw Danny Ehicoya clear the danger on 3 different occasions as St Colmcilles  held onto their lead.  More great defensive work from Oisin O’Mhurchu and Caolan Nulty continued to frustrate Dunshaughlin as St Colmcilles held out to win the League for the first time since 2011.

This was a terrific contest with both teams going at it from the start. Dunshaughlin can count themselves unlucky as they played great but can curse the fine form net minder Danny Ehichoya was in, denying them a number of goal opportunities. For them Fursey Blake, John McDonagh, Calum Deehan and Aaron Murphy had wonderful games.  

For St Colmcilles the win was great tonic after losing in such a heartbreaking way against Portlaoise at the All-Ireland Semi-Final at Feile.  St Colmcilles played very well when it mattered and dug in when it really mattered too.   Their were some great performances especially from Luke Hanan who hit 1-4 and both Sean O’Donoghue and Conor Power played well at midfield.  At the back Caolan Nulty was superb as was Oisin O’Mhurchu, Godfrey Ehichoya  and Eoghan McCloughan .  This group of players in St Colmcilles have now collected the Division 1 titles at  U12, U13 , U14 Feile and the U14 League and they can thank man of the match Danny Ehichoya for their latest triump as on the night he was in stunning form  and the save in the first half from Aaron Murphy was just worth the entrance money alone.   



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