Saturday 26th Aug 17 saw the 29th year of the U12 Harte Memorial Tournament held at impressive grounds of St Teresa’s Loughmacrory. A strong line up of twelve teams in total battled it out over the course of the day to compete for the Cup and Shield honours.
The format for the competition had two groups of six teams play initially in a round robin arrangement with the top two teams entering the Cup semi-finals and the 3rd and 4th placed teams in the respective groups entering the Shield semi-finals.
In Group 1 the host club Loughmacrory performed very well to finish top with Carrickmore finishing in second place. Whilst Greencastle and Rock competed admirably it was Errigal Ciaran and Killyclogher who captured the 3rd and 4th positions which left them through to the Shield semi-finals.
In Group 2 Donaghmore proved too strong for the opposing teams and ran out comfortable group winners with Dromore finishing in 2nd place. The battle for 3rd and 4th positions went down to the final round of games with Beragh and Omagh eventually losing out to Galbally and Kildress.
Following a break for lunch the two cup semi-finals and shield semi-finals were run off concurrently.
The Cup semi-finals saw Loughmacrory face Dromore whilst Donaghmore faced Carrickmore in the other. The games proved very competitive with all four teams contributing to what was a fantastic display of skill, scoring and endeavour especially considering the boys are only 12 years old or younger. In the end Loughmacrory and Donaghmore proved the stronger and set up a much anticipated final given their impressive displays throughout the day.
The Sheild semi-finals saw Errigal Ciaran take on Galbally with Kildress taking on Killyclogher in the other game. Again, despite their age, the boys offered up two really high quality matches with Galbally edging out Errigal Ciaran and Kildress eventually getting the better of Killyclogher following extra time.
A sizeable crowd gathered to watch and cheer on their teams in both finals. First up was the Shield final between Galbally and Kildress. It turned out to be a really competitive game which saw both teams lead at different times during the game. In the end Galbally edged the win and in doing so retained the Shield having won it the previous year.
The final game of the day was a repeat of the Myles Mc Cann Tournament semi-final which had taken place the previous week in Errigal Ciaran. On that occasion Loughmacrory came out on top and subsequently went on to win that tournament. Perhaps using the defeat from the previous week as motivation, Donaghmore excelled in the Harte Memorial final. Whilst Loughmacrory battled hard it wasn’t enough to deny Donaghmore the title for the first time.
Following the conclusion of the finals Declan Harte, representing the Harte family, presented the finalists with their trophies and medals.
The St Teresa’s organising committee concluded the event by thanking all the stewards, referees, parents, those who helped with the catering and all those visiting teams who made the journey in order to make the tournament another great success.