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Cracking Encounter On The Cards In Paul McGirr Competition

Sunday 05.11.2017
Team Talk Mag
Championship Football


 

The second game of the weekend in the prestigious Paul McGirr Ulster U16 competition takes place on Sunday afternoon with the preliminary round game between Armagh champions Crossmaglen and Derry’s Lavey.

 

Both clubs are heavy hitters at Ulster level and with names like Downey, McGurk, Morgan and McEntee appearing on the teamsheet one could be forgiven for reminiscing back to some of the great senior teams of the early 90’s. Crossmaglen come to the tournament having last secured the title in 2013 and managers Tim Gregory and Gene O’Callaghan will be looking to bring this experience to help the current crop emulate that team. They secured the league and championship double in Armagh this year and Gregory feels that this tournament will be of great benefit to the development of their players

 

“Crossmaglen Rangers are delighted to once again participate in the very prestigious annual Paul McGirr U16 tournament. The tournament has always been something that players from across the province very much look forward to on winning their County titles, presenting them with a great challenge and a unique experience of playing the top teams in Ulster at their age grade in a competitive competition. This opportunity undoubtedly adds significantly to these players ongoing development and stands them in good stead as they prepare to progress their careers into the Minor grade and beyond, and is also of great benefit to those who will make it on to County Minor panels over the next few years. We are very much looking forward to the experience of participating in the tournament again and in keeping alive the memory of Paul McGirr for his family, friends and club colleagues.”

Lavey were somewhat surprise winners in Derry this year and with 14 of their panel of 20 players underage again next year they will be going into the game as slight underdogs, but the incredible fighting spirit they showed in winning a tough Derry championship will certainly help them push their illustrious opponents to the wire. Managed by Michael Hassan and Seamus Scullion the 2017 title was the first Grade 1 championship for the Lavey club in 33 years, a feat that Hassan was understandably proud of.

 

“For such a small parish to be competing at A level grade in all underage competitions is a massive positive & bodes well for the future. This team has had a very successful league campaign which gave them the platform to compete in the championship beating Glenullin, Glen & Magherafelt in the final. It was a very proud moment for the club when captain Enda Downey lifted the championship trophy at the start of September in Owenbeg. The team are really looking forward to competing and pitting themselves against the top teams in Ulster in a fantastic tournament run in memory of Paul McGirr, it’s great to see the charity work being done on the back of the proceeds from this tournament.

 

We have to thank the Dromore club for giving these lads a chance to complete in an Ulster club competition, it’s something new for the lads & also nice to be still playing competitive football at this time of year. To get the chance to play in an Ulster Club competition at this young age is great experience & our lads are very proud to be representing our club & county. The draw has put us against a great club in Crossmaglen who have a good tradition in this tournament. Its different from playing in our own county championship where you know most other teams & what players to look out for but with this competition it is a level playing field for everyone as no teams have played each other before but our players will relish this opportunity of playing against a top quality team & we are looking forward to getting started.”

 

 

 

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