Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Thír Eoghain held their eagerly awaited annual Girls’ 5-a-side Indoor Football Tyrone Final today, Thursday 10 March, in Cookstown’s superb MUSA Indoor Arena. Six schools from across the county had each won their respective heats, paving the way for their Tyrone Final appearance. The question on everyone’s lips was… Who would capture the prestigious trophy and be crowned Tyrone Girls’ Champions 2016?
The 6 team captains were invited to help make the draw. This took the format of two sections of three schools each. The girls were guaranteed a minimum of three matches in the day’s play.
Section ‘A’ contained the 2015 winners – St. Colmcille’s P.S. Carrickmore; St. Peter’s P.S. Moortown and St. Patrick’s P.S. Roan, Eglish. This was certainly a heavy-weight section. The young Eglish girls tried their hearts out, and didn’t lack for skill and effort but, despite their endeavours, they were to miss out on progressing from the section. Instead, Carrickmore recorded two wins to top the group with Moortown also securing their semi-final berth when they came second in the section.
Section ‘B’ featured three more classy teams in the shape of St. Joseph’s P.S. Galbally; Gaelscoil Uí Néill, Cluain Eo and St. Patrick’s P.S. Newtownstewart. Despite holding eventual finalists Gaelscoil to a thrilling draw in their opening game, Galbally bravely bowed out from the section. However, when they contested the fifth place play-off with Roan, Eglish, both schools served up a wonderful game of football that ended in a 1:1 to 0:04 draw. This was a fair result and meant Master Kelly’s Galbally and the girls from Eglish (mentored by Master McCreesh) finished joint fifth. This is no mean achievement – to be ranked in the county’s top 5 – considering we have almost 100 primary schools in Tyrone. Maith sibh!
Meanwhile, Master McGlone’s Newtownstewart battled for top spot with Gaelscoil in a match the latter won by just two points. This ensured St. Patrick’s P.S. Newtownstewart came second in the group behind section ‘B’ winners: Gaelscoil.
The scene was now set for our semi-finals where, first up, Carrickmore took on Newtownstewart in a tightly-contested match. However, with things in the balance, the Carmen girls pulled away in the final couple of minutes to book a place in the final. St. Patrick’s would play in the 3rd place play-off.
Our second semi-final saw Gaelscoil Uí Néill take on Moortown. The Moortown girls scored the first two points before Gaelscoil hit back to narrowly complete a 3-2 win to reach today’s final.
St. Peter’s P.S. Moortown and St. Patrick’s P.S. Newtownstewart played-off for third. There wasn’t much between the sides but a Moortown goal helped Master Quinn’s girls win silver county medals with a 1:03 to 0:02 win. Both schools played some great stuff and they can consider themselves ranked in the county’s top 4 schools for girls’ football!
The final was eagerly awaited as it featured the two schools who had gone unbeaten thus far: Gaelscoil Uí Néill and St. Colmcille’s P.S. Carrickmore. Clonoe got off to a flying start by bagging an early goal but, as befits defending champions, the Carmen girls responded in positive fashion. A brace of quick-fire goals and a flurry of points proved vital in seeing-off Master Paraic Martin’s teams brave challenge on a scoreline of 2:03 to 1:01. The talented Gaelscoil girls received gold county medals as worthy runners-up. Maith sibh go léir!
As for the victors, Master Emmet O’Neill, Sara McElroy and their triumphant Carrickmore girls can now bask in the glory of this tremendous accomplishment. The title of Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Tyrone Girls’ Indoor Football Champions 2016 and boxed commemorative medals is well deserved especially as it is a back-to-back success. That is some achievement!
Next up for them is a tilt at the Ulster Championship title next month.
Everyone associated with Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Thír Eoghain certainly wishes them well in their quest for further glory. Ádh mór oraibh!
A word of thanks to Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Tyrone Chairman, Brian McGurk; Secretary & PRO Eddie Doris, and Director of Games, Niall McQuaid, for organising this very successful competition. Allianz CnmB Ulster Officers Mickey Quinn and Pat McGivern both provided invaluable assistance throughout, and conducted today’s medal and trophy presentation. Our thanks, also, to Stephen McNamee, Marty Devlin & Brian McGinn for their expert refereeing throughout the various heats. A special word of thanks to Ronan Devlin (Mid-Ulster Council’s Games Promotion Officer) for his superb input today. Finally, our appreciation goes to the friendly, efficient staff at MUSA.