If, like me, you are superstitious in nature, the prospect of garnering a 13th Leinster MFC title in the county’s history will have been approached with quite a degree of trepidation. We should have feared not, now read on…
To the utmost joy of many and the betterment of the county’s present and future, Meath teams re-discovered a winning culture at underage level, and right from the get-go here the imposed their dominance on proceedings, as Oisin O’Murchu and Sean Emmanuel netted early on. Allowing Cathal O’Bric’s charges build up a lead of 2-05 to 0-01 at the interval in rain-lashed Tullamore.
When another point was tacked on immediately after the restart it proved that this Meath team has acumen to go with intent. Dublin had dominated possession in the very early stages but lacked the drive and clinical finishing which has come to be expected from those in the two shades of blue but with regard to same, utmost plaudits most be afforded to the Meath defence – Conor Ennis, Liam Kelly, Shaun Leonard and Tomas Corbett in particular – who laid the foundations for the excellence which ensued further up the field.
Hughie Corcoran’s name was deservedly up in lights after the imperious nature of his display against Louth and even though he didn’t appear to be as prominent today, the gifted Drumbarragh Emmets clubman still amassed a haul of 1-5 over the hour, with the ‘major’ being a particularly sublime piece of artistry.
This was a particularly laudible triumph for Meath, firstly coming as it did only weeks after they collected the same trophy for the 2020 competition, but perhaps requiring even more commendation is the fact that it was their second game only together as a team. Not to mention that less than a handful of the 2020 group were available to O’Bric and his fellow mentors..
It was also their fourth provincial title at the grade in five years, which has to bode well for the medium to long term future of football in the county. For great days like today to lead to where they potentially can, these talented young players need to be kept together to continue their developmental journey on the way to success at the highest level.
For now though, little fish are sweet.
Fogra: How poignantly fitting it was that Kilbride’s Josh Harford was part of the victorious Meath panel today, just days after his grandad Tommy Mahon was laid to rest. Having nurtured generations of young footballtrs over decades, there was one talent scout very happy and proud in the football field far away.
Fogra II: On a personal level, I was particularly delighted for Meath manager Cathal O’Bric today. After a decorated playing career, An Muinteoir coached his native Navan O’Mahony’s to unprecedented levels of success before becoming involved with his adopted club, Wolfe Tones.
Not surprisingly, success soon began to flow back to Joey McKeown Park once again. After which, belatedly in my view, he got his chance to work his magic with a county team. Methinks the Cathal O’Bric success story has many chapters to come. Adh Mor leat mo chara.