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Paul Mc Girr Champions Tournament Continues

Thursday 01.11.2018
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

The second game Saturday’s double header in the Paul Mc Girr u16 Club Champions Tournament could well be the tie of the round as two clubs with Ulster and indeed All-Ireland pedigree in the guise of Antrim champions St Galls and Down champions Burren face off .

The St Galls club are going through a bit of a resurgence at the minute and this particular team looks to have the potential to keep the conveyor belt turning at the west Belfast club. Manager and former Antrim star Kieran McGourty has set his stamp on the team as their Antrim final tally of 3-17 show they are a team laden with attacking talent. Their full forward line of Dubhaltach Wilson, Connla Maguire and Dara Delaney in particular will pose many problems for the Burren defence. Full back Adam Churchill and midfielder Eoin Burke are another two players of note in what according to McGourty are exciting times for the St Galls club.

“We are really looking forward to this game on Saturday. It is a great chance to see where we are at in terms of competing with the best in Ulster. It will be a tough challenge as we only have a squad of 20 players and we are playing against a renowned team with pedigree in provincial competitions. Obviously we don’t know a lot about this Burren side as we don’t play them every year so it’s important we focus on getting ourselves right, but we know theyll bring quality. Whatever happens it’s a great bonus to be playing in this prestigious tournament and at this time of year. Any underage game and competition should be about player development. Don’t get me wrong winning is nice and important but I’m more concerned about getting as many of these players through to senior level as possible. No better way to do this than playing competitive games against the best teams. Therefore it’s a real opportunity for these boys to continue their development.”

Burren enter the tournament having overcome last year’s Paul McGirr winners Kilcoo in emphatic fashion in the Down final.  Under a management team led by Aidan Woods Burren will be hoping to emulate the Burren U16 team of 2014 who annexed the Paul McGirr title for the only time in the club’s history. Indeed many of that team progressed to be part of the current Burren senior team who recently won the Down title.

Manager Woods is really looking forward to the challenge they face. “After our boys performed very well to win our own championship with such a young team we feel we’re in bonus territory taking part in the Paul McGirr tournament. It gives our boys a chance to pit themselves against the who’s who of Ulster football and we look forward to it immensely. It’s an opportunity for our boys to play at the highest level. A lot of the boys will have faced each other before with their various schools but, to play with your club in Ulster adds a bit more to the occasion. We play St Galls and they’re a very difficult team to try to get past. However, like every knock out competition, whoever gets over their first round game will start to believe they can win the competition outright.”

 

Burren are a very solid all round footballing team with a tenacious defence and their semi final eight point victory over neighbours Ballyholland was the tightest game they had in their championship so it will be interesting to see how their young charges cope with what looks to be a serious threat from St Galls. However their recent pedigree in this tournament should give them a slight edge in what promises to be an intriguing battle. The game throws in at 2:30 and as with all the games in the tournament all proceeds go to the ‘Spirit of Paul McGirr Trust’ for the wonderful work they carry out for the less well off in Lusaka, Zambia.

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