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Busy Weekend In Dromore With Triple treat

Wednesday 05.11.2014
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

 

This coming weekend the Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club champions tournament offers a bonanza of football with three great games in store.  First up at 1:00pm on Saturday is the clash of the two most recently crowned champions, Carrickmore of Tyrone and St. Michaels of Donegal.  Both teams will be making their first ever appearances in the tournament and it promises to be a tightly contested game.  Carrickmore who last weekend completed a historic league and championship double will be entering the tournament in a confident mood and will be looking for big performances from James McGurk in defence, the powerful running Conor ‘Shorty’ Loughran in midfield and the prolific Ciaran Daly and Paddy McElduff in attack.

According to manager Ciaran McAleer, Carrickmore are looking forward to the challenge “Having recently completed the Under 16 Championship and League double for the first time in the club’s history, it is a great honour for Carrickmore GFC to represent Tyrone in this year’s Paul McGirr tournament. This has now become a highly prestigious competition and our players are really looking forward to playing and testing themselves against the best U16 teams in Ulster. As management we see taking part as an experience that will help develop our players as they progress through the ranks of underage football to senior level”.

The St. Michaels team were somewhat of a surprise package in Donegal this season and performed brilliantly to defeat a highly fancied St. Eunan’s team in the county final.  Team captain Jamie Hunter at full back has been a rock all season, with Colin McFadden providing a physical presence in midfield and Odhran McFadden leading the attack with aplomb they will certainly not be underestimated.  St. Michael’s youth secretary Ann Marie Kelly states how they intend to make the best of their opportunity in Ulster.

“It’s been a great achievement for these boys to win a county championship. We are a rural club with small numbers but all the boys put in a big effort this year and it shows.  They intend to enjoy this Ulster series and are full of confidence after their county final performance. This team has shown great potential since under 10’s and it is fabulous to see them fulfil thatpotential.”

The second game at 3:00pm on Saturday is the first of this year’s semi finals and what a game this promises to be when the impressive Burren take on tournament favourites Dungiven who completely demolished the Monaghan Harps challenge last weekend.  If they are to progress to the final, Burren will hoping  star midfielder Liam Kerr can re-produce his quarter final heroics but team captain Conor Cox and his defensive team colleagues will have to be at their best to stem a Dungiven attack that has blitzed all before them this season.  Shea Murdock is the ideal playmaker for Burren at centre half forward and in full forward Declan Murdock, who amassed 1-03 in their quarter final victory over Clann Eireann, they have a player well capable of racking up an impressive tally if not tightly marked.  However this Dungiven team, rated by many neutral observers as one of the best underage teams ever to come out of Derry, will be a huge step up for Burren and will provide the stiffest test they have ever had to face.  Dungiven’s Conor Kelly was in imperious form in their quarter final win but they have an attack where scores come from all angles and a midfield partnership with strength and mobility that would trouble many senior teams.  While Burren are expected to have their moments of domination, it is hard to see them stopping Paul Mulrone’s charges in a game that is sure to be a spectacle for the large crowd anticipated.

Burren Liam Kerr

On Sunday at 3:00pm Antrim champions St. Brigids will be making their tournament debut against preliminary round winners Crosserlough of Cavan.  Crosserlough were impressive in their victory over Derrygonnelly and have some talented footballers throughout their team.  Full back Patrick O’Reilly is certainly a name to look out for in the future and was outstanding in their preliminary round win.  Owen Smith and Tomas Keaney are a hardworking midfield partnership and will be hoping to provide the ammunition to a forward line who certainly have an eye for goal.  Crosserlough will be hoping wing forward Connor Lee can recover from hamstring trouble as he is a key man in attack for them, but there is no doubt that in St. Brigids they face an opponent that will provide a much stiffer opposition than they previously faced.  Jack Dowling who is part of the St. Brigids management team reports that although it is unchartered waters for them, it is a challenge they are very much looking forward to.

“We are very proud to be representing Antrim in this year’s Paul McGirr tournament. This is the first St. Brigids team to ever win the Antrim U16 title and we are delighted to be taking part in this prestigious tournament.  We are extremely proud of this bunch of players and their success bodes well for the future of the club.  Having watch Crosserlough comprehensively defeat Derrygonnelly we are under no illusions that this will be a great challenge for the boys but we are confident that they can step up and meet this challenge head on”.

With three great games in store it will be an eventful weekend at Gardrum Park, one that many neutrals will be anticipating and looking forward to.

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