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Minor A Hurlers Preview

posted 31 Mar 2013, 10:43 by Unknown user
Kinvara minor hurlers take to the field in this years Minor A Championship, for the first time since 2005. Since then in those 8 years we have bordered  between the B and C grades, including one year having difficulty even fielding a team. After competing at U16A last year, it was decided to put this years minors in at the A grade as it was felt that they can compete at this level. Two years ago we played at U16B and fell at the quarter-final stage, losing to Kilconieron on a day we really underperformed. Our only other times at Minor A were a result of getting to an U16B final the two years before, so this is a big step up for our lads, and one they will certainly relish.

This year the Minor A championship (don't forget, sponsored by Pier Head) is split into 2 groups of 8 teams, with the top four in each group heading for the quarters-finals, and the bottom four playing in the Shield quarter-finals. Either way, we have a minimum of 8 cracking Minor A matches to look forward to.
The groups are as follows:
Group A:
Turloughmore, Tommie Larkins, Ardrahan, TAD, Portumna, Leitrim-Kilnadeema, Castlegar, Craughwell
Group B:
Loughrea, Gort, Kinvara, Cappataggle, Meelick-Eyrecourt, St.Thomas', Athenry, Liam Mellows

Kinvara's opener this Easter Monday in Ballindereen at 5pm is against a strong outfit from Liam Mellows. Based on recent years, Liam Mellows would be on paper the strongest side in our group. Two other title favourites Turloughmore and Kilnadeema-Leitirm are grouped together in the other side, while Gort in our group are another side reckoned to feature this year. Outside those four teams, there may be little to separate the remaining sides. However, in Kinvara's group are some clubs with vast experience at competing at this level and that will also count in their favour. Loughrea, Athenry and St. Thomas have all won this title in recent times, and will be familiar how to prepare and compete at this grade. Also in our group are Cappataggle who are always a strong side, while Meelick-Eyrecourt are very much like ourselves, taking the step up this year for the first time in a while.
Back to tomorrow......the city side lost the U16A final two years ago in a replay to Turloughmore, and so are one of the favourites for this years minor title. Mellows will be strong and skillful and will give a stern test to our lads.
The Kinvara side will be missing both centre-forward Neasan O'Hanrahan and midfielder Mark Bermingham through injury, while two more players are recovering from flu. The Kinvara management of Derek Smith, David Huban, Pat Conole, Martin Sullivan and Anthony Byrne will know every game at this grade is huge and also, that every game can be won just as easy as lost. They will be hoping for a positive start to the group and hope to cause an upset in Ballindereen.

U16A 2011.
Quarter-finals.......Liam Mellows 2-6 beat Loughrea 0-9, Gort 1-18 beat Oranmore-Maree 1-12, Kilnadeema-Leitrim 1-13 beat Craughwell 0-6, Turloughmore 1-11 beat Cappataggle 1-8
Semi-finals.......Liam Mellows 4-14 (1-14) beat Gort 1-8 (2-11) replay, Turloughmore 1-10 (2-14) beat Kilnadeema-Leitrim 1-6 (3-11)
Final......Turloughmore beat Liam Mellows

U16B 2011.
Quarter-Finals......Kilconieron beat Kinvara, Castlegar beat Michael Cusacks, Portumna beat Padraig Pearses, Killimor beat Meelick-Eyrecourt.
Semi-finals.......Castlegar beat Killimor, Portumna beat Kilconieron
Final........Portumna beat Castlegar

Minor A 2012.
Quarter-finals.......Tommie Larkins beat Gort, Turloughmore beat Kilnadeema-Leitrim, Athenry beat Clarinbridge, Loughrea beat TAD.
Semi-finals.......Tommie Larkins beat Athenry, Turloughmore beat Loughrea
Final......Tommie Larkins beat Turloughmore (replay)

Minor B 2012
Quarter-finals......St. Thomas beat Kinvara, Oranmore-Maree beat Killimor, Mountbellew-Moylough beat Rahoon-Salthill, Portumna beat AhacraghFohenagh.
Semi-Finals.....St. Thomas beat Oranmore-Maree, Portumna beat Mountbellew-Moylough
Final......Portumna beat St. Thomas (replay)