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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

8 things to know about this weekend's Leinster and Connacht minor action

There’s provincial minor football and hurling final places up for grabs this weekend.

Dublin's Sean Barrett.
Dublin's Sean Barrett.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Leinster MHC semi-final:
Dublin v Kilkenny, Parnell Park, 3pm
Connacht MFC quarter-final: Mayo v Leitrim, Elverys McHale Park, 5.30pm

Connacht MFC semi-final:
Sligo v Roscommon, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 1.30pm
Leinster MHC semi-final: Laois v Wexford, O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 1.45pm


1. Dublin

Dublin have made four changes for their clash with Kilkenny from the team that defeated Offaly in early May.

In the defence Jack Malone, Shane Barrett and Mark Kavanagh are selected at corner-back, wing-back and centre-back respectively. In attack Chris Bennett comes into the half-forward line while Cian Boland, who has been sidelined through injury, has returned to training.

DUBLIN (MH v Kilkenny): J Treacy; J Malone, C Mac Gabhann, J Bellew; F Ó Riain Broin, S Barrett, M Kavanagh; R McBride, AJ Murphy; S Ryan, E Conroy, C Bennett; C O’Callaghan, E Ó Conghaile, S Treacy.

2. Roscommon

The Rossies are the standard-bearers at minor football level in Connacht in recent years and are bidding for a third successive provincial minor crown. They retained their title last year for the first time in the county’s history with a 0-10 to 0-8 win over Mayo after defeating Galway by 1-9 to 0-6 in the previous year’s final.

From the Roscommon minor side that lost out to Kerry by a point in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final, there are survivors in  Shane Mannion, Ronan Daly, Ultan Harney and Diarmuid Murtagh.

ROSCOMMON (MF v Sligo): Shane Mannion (St Brigid’s); David Neary (Strokestown), Sean Mullooly (Strokestown), Martin Flannery (Clann na nGael); Ronan Daly (Padraig Pearses), Evan McGrath (Strokestown), Shane Pettit (Clann na nGael); Cathal Compton (Strokestown), Ultan Harney (Clann na nGael); Tadhg O’Rourke (Tulsk), Niall Connaughton (St Kevin’s Castlerea), Jack Early (Oran); John Gannon (Kilmore), Diarmuid McGann (Strokestown), Diarmuid Murtagh (St Faithleach’s).

Roscommon’s Diarmuid Murtagh.
Pic: INPHO/Colm O’Neill

3. Kilkenny

It’s been an interesting campaign so far for the Kilkenny minor hurlers. They defeated Laois in their opening clash by 3-20 to 1-9 before they suffered a setback when they were beaten 3-7 to 1-10 in their next clash by Wexford.

But they bounced back in a convincing fashion to dismiss Kildare by 7-16 to 1-9 in their Leinster quarter-final tie in Newbridge. Alan Murphy from Glenmore and Michael Kenny from Lisdowney notched six goals between them in that game and they will require policing by the Dublin rearguard.

4. Sligo

The Yeats County minor side are managed by Glen Young and will be hoping to reverse a poor recent record that the county have endured at this grade. You have to go back to 1998 for their last Connacht minor final appearance and 1968 for the last time they lifted the Connacht minor football title.

5. Wexford

There was no doubting who was the star man in the Wexford line-up when defeated Kilkenny in their provincial opener in early May. Conor McDonald weighed in with 3-4 as they defeated Kilkenny by 3-7 to 1-10 to record Wexford’s first Leinster minor hurling success over the Cats since 1985. Current senior boss Liam Dunne was on that Wexford minor side 28 years ago.

6. Mayo

Mayo’s side is populated by players who can lean on family members for advice on Gaelic football inter-county matters. Midfielder Diarmuid Walsh is a brother of current senior Cillian while older brothers Padraig (2004-05) and Ruaidhri (2007) also played minor for Mayo.

Centre-back and team captain Stephen Coen is a cousin of county senior attacker Darren while wing-forward Cian Hanley is a younger brother of AFL star Pearse who lines out for the Brisbane Lions. His older brother Andy was a Mayo minor in 2004.

MAYO (MF v Leitrim): Marc Mulligan (Claremorris); Eddie Doran (Achill), Seamus Cunniffe (Ballaghadereen), David Kenny (Aghamore); Ronan Finn (Claremorris), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Michael Hall (Breaffy); Val Roughneen (Balla), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Brian Walsh (Ballintubber), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina), Cian Hanley (Ballaghaderreen); Tommy Conroy (Kiltane), Liam Irwin (Breaffy), Darragh Doherty (Kilmaine).

Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor
Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer

7. Laois

Laois are bidding to reach the Leinster minor hurling final for the first time since 1991 with Pat Critchley guiding the fortunes of the O’Moore County. After losing to Kilkenny in their first round clash, they have bounced back impressively to defeat Meath and Offaly to reach this stage.

8. Leitrim

Ahead of today’s quarter-final tie, Leitrim will be desperately hoping to reverse their 1-13 to 0-3 defeat against Mayo in the Connacht league in early April. Manager Enda Lyons, a county minor goalkeeper in 1997, will be hoping to inspire his side.

Talking points: 5 things to look out for in the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers

Dublin, Wexford, Antrim and Westmeath reveal senior hurling sides

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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