For the fourth time this year amalgamated partners Gaeil Colmcille and Loughcrew Gaels face Ratoath for the LMFM Meath Minor Hurling Division 1 Championship in Páirc Tailteann on Sunday 21st November, throwing in at 12 noon.
With one win for “The Gaels” back in July winning 2-17 to 2-12 in the League group stages, one win for Ratoath 1-16 to 2-08 in Páirc Colmcille in September in the Semi-Final of the League and one draw 1-15 to 3-09 in Grangegodden in the opening round of this years Championship means this Final is as evenly poised as possible.
When the sides met back in September in the opening round, The Gaels let a third quarter lead slip and relied on the trusty stick of Tom Shine to snatch a late draw. The draw was followed by a second round win away to Kilmessan, a two point win away in early October. In the final round The Gaels knew if they avoided defeat to Trim in Grangegodden they would seal their passage through to the Semi-Final. In a tight tense affair neither side could be separated and with the sides finishing 2-16 a piece The Gaels nicked second place in the group and set up a Semi-Final date with Clann Na nGael.
Dunganny was the venue for the Semi-Final on an evening where news broke of the sad death of Gaeil Colmcille legend Des Ferguson , a Hurling man to the core, it was fitting that The Gaels produced their best performance of the year leading throughout the game by small margins and clinging onto a five point win much to the delight of Manager Sean Geraghty. Scorers on the evening were Tom Shine (0-06), Ronan Cunning (1-00), Daire Shine (0-03), James McDonnell and Andrew Gormley (0-01 each).
After the draw in the opening round Ratoath ran out surprisingly comfortable winners over 2020 MHC Champions Trim when they won out on a 3-19 to 1-07 scoreline. If the result over Trim was surprising, so was their final round result away to Kilmessan where the sides finished level on 2-10 to 1-13. That left Ratoath top of Division 1A and a Semi-Final meeting with near neighbours Donaghmore/Ashbourne.
The Semi-Final had all the classics of a local derby with little between the teams throughout but it was the Ratoath lads who had the bragging rights winning 2-09 to 1-10 on the day to advance to the final.
There will be plenty of County Hurlers on show Sunday with Shine twins Daire and Tom leading the way for Gaeil Colmcille/Loughcrew Gaels while Ratoath also boast the names of Domhnall Rogers, Ronan Conheady and Sean & Liam Corbett. Both sides also will have All-Ireland winning footballers Oisin McDermott, Hughie Corcoran (GCLCG) and Mossie Corbett, Liam Kelly, Ronan Byrne and Ben Fraser (Ratoath) who are all handy with the small ball.
Sundays game is sure to be an epic final with both sides so evenly matched a draw can not be ruled out. Hopefully we can shade the verdict and collect the first Minor Hurling Division title since 2009 when Gaeil Colmcille beat Kilmessan 3-11 to 3-07.
Thanks to Declan Lynch of Meath Pics for providing the images for the poster.