BECOME AN ADVERTISER

Advertise with us

2014 Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament

Wednesday 19.11.2014
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

This Sunday at 2:00 in Gardrum Park Dromore, Down champions Burren will face Antrim champions St. Brigids in the final of the 2014 Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament.

It will be a game between one of Ulster’s oldest and most successful clubs against one of its newest clubs with St. Brigids only having been formed 16 years ago this week. Burren enter the final having come through what appears to have been the toughest side of the draw which saw them secure narrow victories over Armagh’s Clann Eireann and a highly fancied Dungiven side. In both games Burren were put to the pin of their collars but a mixture of tremendous fighting spirit and undoubted talent saw the Down side emerge from each game with their reputations enhanced. Playing an attractive style of football with an emphasis on attacking play they have been a hugely impressive side and will be entering the final as the bookies favourites.

According to manager Jimmy McAlinden their achievements to date have not come as a surprise. “As Down Champions and having overcome a much fancied Clann Eireann side, we were surprised to be tagged as underdogs going into the Ulster semi-final against Dungiven. We go into Sunday’s final, knowing we still have the ability to raise our game further. The team is strong in all areas. We have top-class defenders in Conor Cox and Peter Fegan; more usually on opposing sides, playing Colleges football for the Abbey and St Colman’s respectively. At midfield Aidan Fitzpatrick and Liam Kerr have been consistent throughout the tournament. Aidan is strong, reliable and dependable in the centre of the field whereas Liam is unafraid to break forward whenever an opportunity arises. Playmaker Shea Murdock has created many chances for his cousin Declan Murdock who has been lethal in front of goals, well-supported by the emerging Conor McCartan who scored both goals in the semi-final.  With players such as these, we know that we are capable of winning this tournament and just hope that the little bit of luck, on which games can turn, is with us on the day. Sincere thanks to the organisers of the Spirit of Paul McGirr tournament for giving us the opportunity to compete at this level. Thanks also to our many generous sponsors and supporters who we know are here behind us today.”

DSC_8167rawcropp

Their opponents St. Brigids however will not be coming into the final without hope and they will be looking to emulate the recent success of Antrim sides in the tournament with O’Donovan Rossa (2011) and St. Endas Glengormley(2012) both having claimed the title in recent years. Under the tutelage of Greg Finnegan and Jack Dowling, they defeated a physical Crosserlough in the first round and then last week overcame Donegal champions St. Michaels in a very defensive low scoring semi-final. With the physically imposing Finnegan twins Patrick and Joe in midfield they will be expecting to shade the possession stakes in this area and up front they will be looking again for big performances from Peter Webb who has been one of the stars of the tournament so far and John Blayney, who will be donning the No. 11 jersey that his father, Down great Greg Blayney, wore on many occasions. Their defence who struggled somewhat against Crosserlough conceding 2-09 certainly made great improvements last week against St. Michaels conceding only seven points and they will be hoping for a similar performance this week against a prolific Burren attack.

Team coach Dowling is looking forward to the occasion and the challenge that Burren will present. “Our whole club is buzzing about this tournament and it has given a great boost to everyone involved with the club. It is our first ever Ulster Final. The club is 16 years old this week and it would be a tremendous way to end the season to win an Ulster title. Our lads have shown serious maturity in being able to cling on to the lead last Saturday even though they weren’t playing anywhere near what they are capable of. We can’t wait for Sunday against a very strong Burren side who are obviously favourites but we’ll just see what happens on the day. Hopefully the boys can do themselves justice with their performance.”

PaulMcGirrTrophy1

There are some great battles in store, no more so than the midfield area where the Finnegans come up against Fitzpatrick and the excellent Kerr who has notched seven points in the two games to date. The quality of the Paul McGirr tournament this year so far has been first class and no doubt Sunday’s game will live up to expectations. The magnificent Cuchullain trophy will be heading up the M1 motorway on Sunday, but whether it will be in the hands of Burren’s Cox or St. Brigid’s Patrick Finnegan we will have to wait and see

advert
advert
advert

BECOME AN ADVERTISER

Advertise with us