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Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament

Monday 28.10.2019
Team Talk Mag

Burren 8-15 v Magherafelt O’Donovan Rossa 0-09


In a repeat of the 2017 All Ireland Feile final, a devastating and ruthless Burren fully justified their favourites tag disposing of the challenge of recently crowned Derry champions Magherafelt O’Donovan Rossa following a display of dazzling attacking football on Saturday afternoon.

Featuring twelve of the starting team from the side that were defeated in last year’s semi final Burren are no strangers to the confines of Gardrum Park and they used this experience to the max as they convincingly advanced to next weekend’s semi-finals. There can be no doubt though that having come through a tough Derry final just three days before this game had a telling effect on Enda Quinn’s Rossa side who can be satisfied with their performance against the tournament favourites.  In Darragh Wade they have one of the most talented upcoming forwards in Ulster football but even a superb performance from Wade was not enough to stem the Burren tide.

Burren’s talisman centre forward Niall Toner who was to finish top scorer with 2-08 to his name was the star of the first half, notching points from an array of distances and grabbing the game’s second goal when he capitalised on a mistake in the Rossa defence, finishing with style past Callum Campbell. James Duggan who was a constant threat for Burren in his advanced role won a penalty that was converted in emphatic fashion by the stylish Odhran Murdock for the opening goal, Murdock edged an immense midfield battle with the towering Dan Higgins. Wade knocked over five first half points accounting for all of his side’s tally but great defensive work from Patrick McCarthy and Ryan Magill in particular nullified the rest of the Rossa attack leaving Wade fighting a lone battle.  Burren on the other hand had scorers throughout their forward line with two points each from Zach and Aaron Murdock along with one from Duggan leaving them with a commanding 2-12 to 0-5 half time advantage.

Rossa began to tire as the second half progressed and an unrelenting Burren side began to find holes in their rearguard.  Man of the match Zach Murdock was their tormentor in chief bagging a hat-trick of goals, one of which was an outstanding effort from 25 yards off the bottom of the crossbar.  Two points from Wade and one from raiding half back Michael Walls were the only response the Derry champions could muster as a well oiled Burren machine never let up. A telling interception from James Kelly led to Duggan getting a well deserved goal and further majors from Toner and Michael Murdock put a gloss on the final scoreline in a performance that will send shivers through the remaining sides in the chase for the coveted Paul McGirr title.

Burren manager Neil Coulter while delighted with his side’s performance had some sympathy with Magherafelt’s plight. “We were very happy with the performance and application of the boys but we are only back at the stage we were at last year.  We have a lot to work on for the Ghaoth Dobhair game but we will prepare well and are determined to go one step further this year.  The game was not a true reflection of thisMagherafelt side as I felt the Derry final on Wednesday had a big effect on their game. We have clashed with them a few times before and they are a much better outfit than their performance showed today.  We were without midfielder Conlin Bradley today so fingers crossed we will get Conlin back for next week for what will be a tough battle.”

Teams: Burren – Callum Grant, Shea Downey, Patrick McCarthy, Aaron Cole, James Duggan (1-1), Ryan Magill, Eoin McKernan, Odhran Murdock (1-0 1 Pen), James Kelly, Aaron Murdock (0-2), Niall Toner (2-8, 3f), Tiarnan Ryan, Eoin Loughran, Zach Murdock (3-3, 1f), Michael Murdock(1-1)

Subs – Thomas O’Hare for Loughran, Cian Cunningham for A Murdock, Ben McManus for Kelly, Ronan Kelly for J Kelly

Magherafelt – Callum Campbell, Conor Grimes, ConallHeron, Lorcan Bradley, Ronan Walls (0-1), Eoin McEvoy, Aaron Murray, Dan Higgins, Cormac Bateson, Ben Diamond, John Lavery, Odhran Martin, Darragh Wade (0-8, 3f), Michael McKay, Odhran Crozier

Subs – James Murray for Crozier, Cahir Spiers for Martin, Cahir Quinn for Diamond, Tiarnan Loughran for Bradley, Jarlath Gormley for McKay, Pearse McGurk for Grimes

Referee – Kieran Eanetta (Tyrone)


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