MFC Div 4 Preview: Slane/St. Marys are the team to beat

August 14, 2019

Dunderry defeated Dunboyne in the MFL Division 5 final at Dunganny

The opening round of the LMFM Division 4 MFC gets underway tonight. Eight teams will compete for outright honours.

Division 4 – Ballinlough, Clann na nGael/Ballivor, Dunderry, Gaeil Colmcille, Na Fianna, Slane/St. Mary’s, St. Colmcilles (B), St. Peter’s Dunboyne (B). 

Division 4A – Clann na nGael/Ballivor, Gaeil Colmcille, Slane/St. Mary’s, St. Colmcilles (B)

Clann na nGael/Ballivor – The two clubs have joined forces after a spring which seen Clann na nGael not enter the Spring League and Ballivor concede all their games in it as they struggled to get bodies out to play. 

How the Independent side will get on in the Championship is anybody’s guess but getting their young players onto the pitch and playing competitive games will be a good starting point. 

Gaeil Colmcille – After coming second in their group in the Spring League, the Kells outfit suffered a heavy defeat to Wolfe Tones but with a very young side (many of whom went on to win the U-16 Division 2 title), they will have high hopes of doing well in the Championship.

The Tormay name is synonymous with football in the Kells club and there’s a new kid on the block in AJ who is likely to be a key figure along with his U-16 teammates Cormac O’Reilly and Alex Williams. Only having one of their three games at home is likely to be a handicap but it’s one they might just be good enough to overcome. 

Slane/St. Mary’s – The youngsters from the banks of the River Boyne lost out to St. Michael’s/Nobber in a very high scoring encounter in the Spring League playoff and if they can continue to shoot the lights out while tightening up marginally in defence then they will be there or thereabouts when the silverware is being handed out.

But the big question is whether or not they will be able to do this. With both clubs’ adult teams in the Junior B ranks this year but destined for the Junior A Championship in 2020 with the new competition structures they could do with further talent emerging from the juvenile ranks. There are a few players here who could make an instant impact next year. 

St. Colmcilles (B) – How a club’s second team will get on in the Championship can be notoriously difficult to predict but there are few clubs who have as rich a talent pool in the juvenile ranks as St. Colmcilles.  Injuries for the first team will likely dictate how many of the second team are seconded to their ranks and this is something to keep an eye on. 

If the Cilles can keep their team together then they might just have enough to push for outright success. 

Division 4B – Ballinlough, Dunderry, Na Fianna, St. Peter’s Dunboyne (B).

Ballinlough – Club teams through the decades have often had brothers who team up to wreak havoc on the opposition and it’s just possible Ballinlough have a pair coming through who might by on everyone’s lips by the time this years Division 4 MFC is complete in the Casserly brothers, Jamie and Brían. Capable of racking up big scores they are a very potent threat and will take plenty of watching in the Championship.

Of course, the team have much more than that to offer in their first year in many moons competing on their own in the Minor grade. Harry Ryan was a Meath Minor this year and is an imposing figure around the middle of the pitch and is also well capable of sallying forward to knock over a couple of scores in every game 

Dunderry – To date in 2019 the Dunderry Minors have competed in two finals, winning the Division 5 Spring League decider before losing out to Rathkenny in the Roinn F Summer League finale. Can they go forth and prosper by making it to a third final in the one season? Well winning becomes a habit and it’s definitely a habit they’ve gotten into this year so it would be rather foolish to rule them out. 

Their midfield pairing of Sean Traynor and Conor Mulligan are talented operators while up front Lee Walsh is just as good with the big ball as he is with a sliotar. Like other clubs though who haven’t huge numbers, juggling the demands of the MFC along with the MHC may just prove to be challenging. 

Na Fianna – Ballinlough are first up for Na Fianna when they travel to Kilskyre this evening but after this they have two home games as Dunderry and St. Peter’s Dunboyne (B) will be heading for Enfield. If they can manage to come away from Kilskyre with a victory or even a draw, then it will set them up for a tilt at the semi-finals.

Sean McDonnell and Oisín Bright will be among their key operators, but their greatest strength lies in the collective. They might just find a few teams too strong though. 

St. Peter’s Dunboyne (B) – Similar to St. Colmcilles it is very difficult to predict how Dunboyne will fare in the Championship with their second team but if the Spring League is to act as a barometer then they will do well as they topped Division 5 before losing out to Dunderry in a brilliant final. 

Another positive for them is the pattern of success for the clubs second teams in Coiste Mionúir competitions in the past twelve months. There a rising tide in Dunboyne and this crop of players might just be lifted by it. 

Predicted semi-finalists – St. Mary’s/Slane, St. Colmcilles (B), St. Peter’s Dunboyne (B), Ballinlough.

Predicted winners – St. Mary’s/Slane

Predicted Shield Contestants – Clann na nGael/Ballivor, Gaeil Colmcille, Dunderry, Na Fianna. 

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