It's not often that the half-time whistle calls for a standing ovation, but that's exactly what happened in the titanic clash of Meath vs Dublin in the ELectric Ireland Minor Football Championship. Thankfully for the Royals, they also had reason to celebrate at the final whistle too.
It didn't look that way early doors as an evenly matched contest somehow saw the Dubs race into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes. They could only manage another two points for the rest of the half though, as the Meath boys reeled them back in to take a three point advantage at the interval.
Try as they might, Dublin could not overcome the home team despite having talented dual star Luke Swan in their ranks, scoring two goals here off the back of his hat-trick performance against Kilkenny two weeks ago.
Cífidh sibh réalta an todhchaí go heisiach gach Luan ar @SportTG4 ag 20.00
Exclusive coverage of the minor championships continues this Mon on #GAA2018 #TG4@gaaleinster MFC@MeathGAA v @DubGAAOfficial @MunsterGAA MHC@TipperaryGAA v @OfficialCorkGAA @GaaClare v @WaterfordGAA pic.twitter.com/ozYFDVKg9K
— GAA 2018 (@GAA_2018_TG4) May 22, 2018
A superb team performance ensures that, while Dublin may have the senior championship all to themselves these days, there is still plenty of competitive action to be had in the Leinster Minor Football Championship.
The Meath minors still have a long way to go yet as the round robin format means that Dublin are still very much in the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship.
On a weekend of fantastic action, here are your nominees for player of the week:
Luke Mitchell - Meath
The king among equals has to be Luke Mitchell, who ended Wednesday night's game with an impressive tally of 0-6.
Only two of those points came from play, but without the accuracy from his boot on free-taking duty, we might very well be talking about a near miss for Meath instead.
The @ElectricIreland @gaaleinster Minor Championship Group 1 table after Round 2. Next up is a local derby against @louthgaa on Wednesday evening in the Gaelic Grounds, Drogheda. #AnMhíAbú #COYBIG #thisismajor pic.twitter.com/hBJYUefjVp
— Meath GAA (@MeathGAA) May 24, 2018
The Dunshaughlin player was also acting as provider on the day, supplying Brian McCormack with a perfectly timed pass to set up the goal just before the break.
With the side behind early on, Meath needed the determination of players like Mitchell to come back in such strong fashion. While the senior side suffered a loss to Longford at the weekend, there is hope for the future in the youth ranks.
Eoin Darcy - Wicklow
Blanket defence? Sorry, you've come to the wrong place.
Attacking football was in full flow on Wednesday evening as Wicklow and Louth played out a 5-12 to 6-9 thriller. It was one of those games where no one deserves to lose, and neither team did.
— Wicklow GAA Online (@wicklowgaa) May 23, 2018
Eoin Darcy thought he had the winning of the game with his late goal giving them the most slender of margins, but Ryan Walsh nabbed the equaliser for the Wee County in a fittingly frantic finale to the game.
Darcy's early penalty got the game going for Wicklow and he ended up with a fine tally of 2-3 in a match that no one present will surely ever forget.
Jack Smyth - Kildare
Kildare's senior footballers may have fallen to a shock defeat to Carlow on Sunday, but there was no doubting the result when the minor equivalents faced off, the Carlow youngsters managing a solitary point in either half.
The Lilywhites will hardly have an easier game in their careers, winning out the one-sided tie by a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-2.
The Kildare Minor Football team are top of the Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship Group 2 Table.
— Kildare GAA (@KildareGAA) May 24, 2018
Carlow employed an extremely defensive approach, positioning three of their forwards as sweepers, while at one point they hit a free 40 yards backwards. We want to focus on the key performances though and it's worth highlighting Jack Smyth in that regard.
Smyth scored three gorgeous first-half points against a turgid defence that set out to limit their opponents, earning themselves a second consecutive win in the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship. The Carbury player was singled out in many of the media's match reports for his impressive shooting.
Any county hoping to instigate a similarly defensive approach will have to deal with Smyth's exceptional long-range ability.
Have your say and cast your vote for the player of the week nominees on Electric Ireland's Facebook page by clicking here. All nominated players will be in with a chance of making overall team/player of the year at the 2018 Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards.