It's that time of the year again. The grass is green, the sun is out, and the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championships are in full swing. This weekend it's all or nothing as the eight provincial finalists face off in the quarter-finals. Ahead of all the heavyweight action, we have six youngsters you'd be well served to keep an eye on.
Lenny Cahill - Dublin
The Castleknock man proved unstoppable as Kildare fell to Dublin in the Leinster Final, where the astute corner forward scored seven of Dublin's nineteen points and bagged himself the player of the match award in the process. While Cahill is a lethal point-scorer, if he's given any space at all he can create goals just as easily, with this cheeky chip coming against Westmeath earlier in the Leinster MFC.
@clubbersportsCheekiest of chips last night from Dublin’s Lenny Cahill 😮💨😮💨😮💨 Watxh the full game on ClubberTV NOW! 📺www.clubber.com♬ Don't Wanna Know (feat. Di & Skibadee) (feat. Di & Skibadee) - Shy FX & T-Power
Rio Mortimer - Mayo
Son of Mayo legend Kenneth Mortimer, Claremorris man Rio is forging his own path in minor football. He featured on last year's minor team of the year despite playing up a year, with the defender captaining the Mayo minor side this year. He has shone in Mayo's iron-clad defence so far, with the corner-back even sneaking up for a point against Galway in the Connacht semi-final.
Mayo captain, Rio Mortimer, lifts the cup for the newly crowned Connacht Champions 💪💪🟢🔴 pic.twitter.com/AMKzKtTmcf
— Mayo GAA (@MayoGAA) May 26, 2023
Ben Murphy - Kerry
The Kingdom is alive and Ben Murphy is at the centre of it. The Austin Stacks man plays full-back for Kerry but creates chances like a midfielder. His confidence on the ball and penetrating runs were at the centre of Kerry's two pivotal goals over Cork that saw them win 2-10 to 0-11 in the Munster Final. His minor football game-changing performance earned him the POTM award.
Conall Higgins - Derry
The Derry full-forward is nothing but cool and calm under the utmost pressure. With Derry down a point in the dying moments of their minor football Ulster final against Monaghan, it was Higgins who came up with the goods converting a high-pressure free to send the game to penalties. All this came just moments before he netted the winning penalty in a fashion that has to be seen to be believed.
— Derry GAA (@Doiregaa) May 28, 2023
Darragh Beirne - Mayo
Also a Claremorris man, Beirne had been nothing short of phenomenal for the Mayo minors. He scored five of Mayo's thirteen points in the Connacht final, with three of them coming from play. As well as his personal haul, the nippy corner-forward was awarded the POTM award to take home to the mantlepiece.
The Electric Ireland Minor Championships Player of the Week is Darragh Beirne. Mayo retained the Electric Ireland Connacht MFC title with a win over Galway. Beirne finished with five points in all, the scores coming at key times to ensure victory.
Well done Darragh 💪 pic.twitter.com/iYA7FhG3LF
— Mayo GAA (@MayoGAA) May 31, 2023
Jamie Mooney - Monaghan
The Monaghan goalkeeper is up there with the best at shot-stopping. Monaghan have went to penalties twice already and Mooney has shone with his heroics. His four wonderous penalty saves proved to be the difference in Monaghan's win over Tyrone in the Ulster semifinal and the netminder came up with more brilliant saves when they lost to Derry. As minor football keepers go Mooney has it all.
The future of Monaghan goalkeeping is in good hands. Great saves from both keepers in this game and enjoyed this one from Jamie Mooney. 👏 pic.twitter.com/VcRX8t8hAP
— GAA Keeper Coaching - Dr. Donal Hughes (@GAAKeeperCoach) May 28, 2023
The first of the minor football quarter-finals kick-off at 13:00 this Saturday as Cork take on Dublin in Nowlan Park Kilkenny. Straight after the first game, Nowlan Park will also host Kerry v Kildare with throw-in set for 15:00. There'll be no time to catch your breath with Derry taking on Galway at 15:30 in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, Leitrim. Finally, Mayo will take on Monaghan at 17:15 in Leitrim as well.