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Paul Mc Girr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament

Tuesday 22.10.2019
Team Talk Mag

Newtownbutler First Fermanagh’s 2-07 v Clan Na Gael 4-12


Armagh champions Clan Na Gael justified their favourites tag with an impressive victory over a battling Newtownbutler First Fermanagh’s to become the first side in the semi final draw of the Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament.  Wing backs Callum O’Neill, Michael McConville and centre forward Matthew Lennon were the star performers for the Lurgan lads who seem to have the perfect team balance that is required in a competition featuring the best teams in the province.  The rampaging O’Neill showed no sign of nerves as he got his team off to the perfect start with two fine pointed efforts which were added to by Odhran Mc Givern after a fine reflex save from Phillip McGuinness denied James Austin an early goal.  They weren’t going to have it all their own way though in a game expertly refereed by Ballinderry’s Mark McGeehan.

Newtownbutler’s midfield pairing of Diarmaid King and Sean Conlon were getting the better of their opponents, a point from Conlon and a converted Ger O’Keefe free got their scoring underway.  McConville responded for Clan Na Gael but Newtownbutler dominated the next ten minutes with a fifty yard effort from King, another O’Keefe free and a goal from bustling full forward Joseph Clancy with an assist by John-Joe McDaid putting them ahead for the first time.  An angled McGivern point and another from Odhran Reid reduced the deficit for the Armagh champions and it took a diving block from Cian Swift to deny Ronan O’Hagan a certain goal. They weren’t to be denied though with the outstanding Lennon showing his class to net twice in quick succession.

The first goal came after a great pass from Oran O’Kane and the second came after being put through again by a breathtaking fifty yard ball over the top of the Newtownbutler defence by O’Neill. Those scores sent them in at half time leading 2-07 to 1-04, a lead they were never to lose.

O’Keefe and Adam McDonald points gave Newtownbutler belief at the start of the second half but once again Lennon was the man to break their hearts. This  time a sharp turn and determined run was finished off into the bottom corner from twenty yards to complete his hat-trick. Lennon added four points to his tally to earn the man of the match accolade for the Armagh champions.  The towering Conlon flicked an O’Keefe free to the net as Newtownbutler battled well but all hopes were dashed when McGivern got his side’s fourth goal converting after a determined break from sweeper Ronan O’Hagan.

Clan Na Gael manager Laurence McGivern was a delighted man after the final whistle. ‘We are very happy with the performance against Newtownbutler, an experienced team from last year’s competition. We may have been slight underdogs going into the game, but this group of lads don’t know when they are beaten.  We have been underdogs in Armagh all year but the lads believe in themselves and the football they try to play.  Even though we have a young squad we believe we can give anyone a game if we play fast attacking football and we look forward to whoever we play in the semi finals’.


Teams: Newtownbutler – Phillip McGuiness, Sen Carson, Jamie McCaffrey, Connor McBride, Cian Swift, Dylan Martin, Ruadhri O’Keefe, Diarmaid King (0-2), Sean Conlon(1-1), Keelan Fitzpatrick, Adam McDonald (0-1), GerO’Keefe (0-3, 3f), Jack McKenna, Joseph Clancy (1-0), John-Joe McDaid – Subs Frank Carey for C Swift, Lochlan King for J McDaid

Clan Na Gael – Shea Murphy, Michael McConville, SheaMcCann, Niall Magennis, Callum O’Neill (0-2), Brendan O’Hagan (0-1), Michael McConville (0-1), Cian McCrory, Odhran Reid (0-1), Oran O’Kane (0-1, 1f), Matthew Lennon(3-4, 1f), Odhran McGivern (1-2), Matthew King, James Austin, Ronan O’Hagan – Subs Shea Harbinson for M King, Fionn McCrory for S McCann

Referee – Mark McGeehan (Derry)



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