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A look back at 2013

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ARVA .............................................. 260 BAILIEBOROUGH ............................222 BALLINAGH .................................. 230 BALLYHAISE ............................... 137

BALLYMACHUGH .......................... 380 BELTURBET ................................. 343

BUTLERSBRIDGE .......................... 245


.............................. 332

CAVAN GAELS............................... 270 COOTEHILL ................................... 403

CORLOUGH .................................. 166 CORNAFEAN .................................130

CROSSERLOUGH .......................... 387 CUCHULAINNS ............................. 292

DENN .............................................. 322 DRUMALEE ................................... 144

DRUMGOON .................................. 125

DRUMLANE.................................... 210

DRUNG .......................................... 317

GOWNA ........................................... 216 KILDALLAN .................................... 299

KILL ............................................... 120

KILLESHANDRA ........................... 238 KILLINKERE ..................................176

KILLYGARRY ................................ 181

KINGSCOURT ............................... 203

KNOCKBRIDE ............................... 170

LACKEN ...........................................365

LARAGH ........................................ 277

LAVEY ......................................... 442


...................................... 161

MOUNTNUGENT ........................... 398

MULLAHORAN .............................. 306 MUNTERCONNACHT .....................150


............................. 354

REDHILLS ..................................... 188



SHERCOCK ................................... 286

SWANLINBAR ............................... 156

TEMPLEPORT ................................. 194


editor’s welcome ...............................2

senior football ................................. 6 Ladies football................................ 12

u21 football .................................... 20 David Givney .................................. 26 Camogie ........................................... 29

County Hurling ................................ 32 Joe McQuillan.................................. 35

Jason McLoughlin ..........................38 Grainne smith ................................. 42

u16 football .................................... 46 Terry Hyland .................................... 50

Cumann na mBunscol ....................54 Minor football ................................ 58 Team of the Year ............................. 62

Paddy Lyons .....................................66 Tom Cahill ........................................ 70 Adge king ........................................76 Alan Clarke ...................................... 80 Mark o’rourke ................................ 82

st Pat’s College ................................87

Hurling Promotion .......................... 90 friends we lost ................................92

Junior football ..............................100 Mike reilly ......................................104 Handball ......................................... 108

Cavan institute................................110 James Mcenroe .............................115

Martin McCourt...............................250 Declan Goldrick............................. 254 Pe services ....................................257 Pat Mcenaney.................................348

Bridget Clarke .............................. 351

five to Watch ................................. 376 Pat o’flaherty ............................... 410

Buddy kiernan Milling ................. 415 John McCartin ............................... 425

underage Ladies ........................... 428 Paul McGovern .............................. 432 keith fannin .................................. 434 Margaret farrelly ........................... 438

CAvAN GAA YeArBook BreffNi BLue

Published by Lynn Group Media Kells Business Park, Kells, Co Meath

Telephone:  (046) 9241923 fax (046) 9241926 email: Website:

CoNTriBuTors Shane Corrigan Kevin Carney Shane O’Brien Stephen Reilly Gerald Robinson Randal Scally

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be published or reproduced in any way without the written permission of the author or Lynn Group Media © Copyright Lynn Group Media 2013

The opinions expressed in Breffni Blue do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, publishers or their agents. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear.

editors note designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 20:58 Page 1


Editor’s note

t’s an honour to welcome our readers to this special edition of ‘Breffni Blue 2014’. For more than 24 years now our objective has been to bring you the best coverage of Gaelic games in Cavan and we thank the support of the devoted gaels that have helped us to do so.

What a year it has been for Cavan GAA! From a third Ulster U21 success in April to All-Ireland ladies glory at Croke Park in September, 2013 won’t be forgotten any time soon by Breffni supporters. Here we’ve done our utmost to try and capture all the action at both county and club level across the county, and its borders, in words and pictures in this packed edition. All 40 clubs are again profiled in depth with their own sections, while the early pages are dedicated to providing you with authentic reviews of the Cavan senior, U21 and minor football teams’ campaigns, with the success story again being the county’s U21 footballers after bravely defending their coveted Ulster title for a second time. Peter Reilly’s talented group proved themselves as the province’s finest with a 0-13 to 1-6 victory over Donegal in Enniskillen, from where the Irish News Cup again made the short journey back across the border into the Breffni county. We spoke to talented corner-back and Shannon Gaels clubman Jason McLoughlin about the experience in Brewster Park that night. The good times rolled into the summer for Cavan’s devoted followers as the county’s senior footballers stepped up to the mark immensely after missing out on promotion from Division Three of the National League. The early signs of Cavan’s extended summer were there back in the early part of the year when they came out on top in derbies against Monaghan and Meath, but many would write them off when they faced into the preliminary round of the Ulster SFC against Armagh in May without the injured Gearoid McKiernan. Martin Dunne’s 0-9 helped the home side to an overdue championship win at Kingspan Breffni Park over the Orchard men and Fermanagh would be next to fall on the Breffni men’s sword before a one-point defeat to eventual winners Monaghan at the semi-final stage.

In the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers, Terry Hyland’s side came through a potential banana-skin when they defeated Fermanagh for the second time in a month before travelling to Derry in midJuly. At Celtic Park, Cavan would deliver the performance of their season to stun the Oak Leafers after extra-time on a 122 to 0-20 score-line which left them in an ideal position to move the county into its first ever All-Ireland quarter-final. In the way stood a defiant London outfit and a heavy favourites’ tag upon the group’s first visit to Croke Park. After a shaky end to the first-half, Cavan eventually got motoring from the 40th minute onwards to score a nine-point victory which pitted them against Munster champions Kerry in the last eight. On the day, the game’s aristocrats had too much for the Blues and the curtain came down on their campaign in early August. We spoke to Hyland, star midfielder David Givney and captain Alan Clarke to relive the experience of a promising season, while also looking at their hopes for 2014. On the ladies football front, Gerry Sheridan’s talented crop finally banished their ghosts of 2011 by capturing the coveted All-Ireland intermediate championship title in late September. Having missed out on their goals in the National League and Ulster, the Breffni women timed their All-Ireland run to perfection and it eventually saw them


create history when Bronagh Sheridan’s late penalty at Croke Park put a seal on a 1-14 to 1-12 victory over Tipperary. Grainne Smith told us about the joyous success and the relief of finally getting over the line. The silverware didn’t stop at senior level either for the ladies, with the county’s Under 16s and 14s both enjoying Ulster triumphs, while the minors just missed out on a provincial title of their own after suffering defeat to Donegal in the final. Camogie and handball continues to thrive in the county, with provincial and All-Ireland titles the highlights of another fruitful year, whilst hurling is still on an upward curve thanks to the endeavours of so many supporters of the small ball game in the county. As for the club season, Ballinagh were the success story of 2013 after defying 7/1 odds to upset the mighty Cavan Gaels in the senior championship final at Kingspan Breffni Park in October to capture a first Oliver Plunkett Cup in their history. Seven days later, Stephen King’s Killeshandra overcame Shercock’s strong challenge in the intermediate final which will see the Leaguers back competing at senior level again in 2014. In the junior decider, Kill’s late show denied Arva the Sean Leddy Cup and booked an immediate return to the intermediate ranks for the club. Congratulations to the winning clubs, and condolences to those that lost out. You will be back again. Keeping with the clubs, I would like to wish them each the best of luck for 2014 and thank all involved that have helped us over the past few months in putting together their sections, whether it was through simply providing information, identifying photographs or giving interviews. I also wish to thank the loyal advertisers to this publication who continue to support us, even in these difficult economic times. Your continued support allows us to put this publication together, and also benefits each of the clubs around the county, to whom we will once again be sending €7,500 worth of O’Neill’s GAA equipment. On a final note, I would like to bid a farewell to each and every gael that we lost during 2013. Shane Corrigan

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The Cavan team that defeated Armagh in the preliminary round of the Ulster SFC. Front row l/r: Jack Brady, Niall McDermott, Cian Mackey, Ronan Flanagan, Feargal Flanagan, Alan Clarke (capt), Martin Dunne, Jason McLoughlin, Killian Brady, Killian Clarke, Mark McKeever, Turloc Mooney, Kevin Meehan. Back: James Reilly, John McCutcheon, Barry Reilly, James McEnroe, Damian O’Reilly, Eugene Keating, Conor Gilsenan, David Givney, Rory Dunne, Declan McKiernan, Oisin Minagh, Kevin Tierney.


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rom disastrous defeat at the hands of Kildare to playing against Kerry at Croke Park in August, these past 12 months have been dreamlike for that of a Gaelic football sleeping giant like Cavan and it feels like the whole country has now woke up to what has been going on in the Breffni county recently. By Shane Corrigan After a harsh end to their progressive 2012 campaign, Terry Hyland’s Cavan surpassed all expectations this past season by reaching the last eight of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, demonstrating that the business end of things was where this focussed young crop of players intend to be for the future. With Anthony Forde and Peter Donnelly for good company in his backroom team, Hyland had originally set promotion from the Division Three of

the National Football League as the primary target for his players in 2013. As the season unravelled, however, promotion narrowly slipped away from them and a win over Armagh in mid-May became top priority for the group. With star midfielder Gearoid McKiernan lost to a long-term knee injury and the return of Jamie Clarke for Armagh, Cavan were cast as outsiders for the Orchard men’s visit to Kingspan Breffni Park on May 19th but delivered an emphatic performance to dispatch of the visitors. From there, the Blues’ campaign grew by the game and but for some poor luck against Monaghan could well have been bringing a first Anglo-Celt Cup in 16 years back to the county (maybe next year!). In the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers Cavan were handed an ideal opportunity for an extended run and took it by overcoming Fermanagh, who they defeated in the Ulster quarter-finals the previous month,

Eugene Keating gets out ahead of Kerry's Marc O Se


Derry (after pulsating extra-time) and minnows London at Croke Park, where the dream ended a week later via Munster champions Kerry. It was all a much needed shot in the arm for Cavan senior football on the back of the county’s third consecutive Ulster Under 21 Championship success, but the Breffni faithful will be hoping it’s only the start of things to come from such an eager young group of players. The early signs had been there for the supporters in February when Hyland’s charges bounced back from a 1-14 to 29 defeat to Antrim in the opening round of the National League by trouncing Monaghan on a 1-10 to 0-5 score-line at Kingspan Breffni Park, where a goal from substitute Martin Reilly sealed the deal for the home side. The manner of the derby victory saw Breffni supporters heading for Navan at the start of March with high hopes and once again they surpassed expectations

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when they played Meath off the park at Pairc Tailteaan, where it finished 0-15 to 1-6 to the visitors, with Cian Mackey simply outstanding in the playmaker role for the Ulster side. There would be plenty more to come from the Castlerahan man too as the season wore on. Cavan’s first-half performance blew the Royals out of the water and despite a below par showing against Sligo the following Sunday, which earned them a draw (2-9 to 1-12), promotion was still on the cards. However, a narrow defeat to Peter Canavan’s Fermanagh (1-12 to 1-10)

disaster by so many different media sections. Gearoid McKiernan - the heartbeat of Cavan’s midfield and almost certain to be named captain for the pending championship - out for the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage sustained in a ACFL Division Two game for Swanlinbar against Cornafean. The 6ft 3in midfielder had been crucial in Cavan’s wins over Monaghan and Meath in the NFL and was sure to be a focal part in Hyland’s tactics for getting past Armagh, but over the next three weeks the players and management found a way to move on without him.

ring his n football du formed Cavamanager ns tra s ha nd Terry Hyla and senior time as U21

before a hard fought win against Wicklow (0-14 to 0-11) would leave promotion out of their hands. When Roscommon came to Kingspan Breffni Park the hosts would be hit with the heaviest defeat of their season, as the Rossies emerged from Cavan town with a 2-14 to 1-7 victory, denying their opponents any chance of a Division Two slot for 2014 which neighbours Monaghan and Meath booked ahead of Fermanagh. Undoubtedly, Hyland and co reminded the players afterwards that they had hoped to be in Monaghan’s position next year, but as the April weeks flew by the players’ preparations were gearing them towards the Armagh showdown. What came next was forecasted as a

Martin Dunn

also stood up in the forwards, while Shannon Gaels youngster Jason McLoughlin did a fine job in shackling Armagh’s danger man Clarke, who was held scoreless. Courtesy of Dunne and Mackey, Cavan went in at the break leading by 16 to 0-4 against their opponents, who did not look to be at the races. Their long ball tactic was snuffed out on many occasions by McLoughlin, Rory Dunne and the excellent Killian Clarke at the back, with the only lapse coming in the 44th minute when Clarke was threaded through for a goal which was fortunately ruled out by Laois referee Maurice

e scored 1-33

With McKiernan out and Clarke back, the odds were stacked against Cavan for Armagh’s visit but there was only one man everyone would be talking about once the 70 minutes were up at Kingspan Breffni Park – Martin Dunne. On his senior championship debut in the blue of Cavan, Dunne converted 09, 0-8 of which came from play, to help bury Armagh and ignite a campaign to remember for the Breffni men. The Cavan Gaels’ attacker display had outshone everyone, including Cian Mackey, who struck a sublime individual goal in the 21st minute to keep Paul Grimley’s team at bay. In a game where Cavan were hands down the better team, players such as Eugene Keating and Niall McDermott


in the 2013 Al

l-Ireland SFC

Deegan, who awarded a free in instead after McLoughlin had tugged the Crossmaglen ace’s jersey on his route towards goal. It worked out better for Cavan though as they weathered the inevitable Armagh storm and owned the last 10 minutes of the game with Dunne to the fore to see out a 1-15 to 1-11 win and book a last eight berth with Fermanagh at Brewster Park. Cavan (Ulster SFC v Armagh): Conor Gilsenan; Jason McLoughlin, Rory Dunne, Killian Clarke; James McEnroe (0-1), Alan Clarke, Ronan Flanagan; Damian O'Reilly (0-1), David Givney; Cian Mackey (1-0), Killian Brady, Feargal Flanagan; Niall McDermott (02), Martin Dunne (0-9), Eugene Keating

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(0-2). Subs: Martin Reilly for Brady, Jack Brady for McDermott, John McCutcheon for O'Reilly. What came next was a dour affair in Enniskillen – a happy hunting ground for so many of the young Cavan crew as of late – where the historic G8 summit was taking place. Hyland went for the same 15 to take on the Erne men on June 16, bar Ramor’s Jack Brady coming in for Killian Brady of Mullahoran at centre-forward, and in the end it was Cavan’s sharper full-forward line that made the telling difference as they contributed 0-9 of their team’s 0-13 winning tally, with Dunne (0-5) again his opponents’ chief tormentor. However, there was no denying Mackey’s ‘Man of the Match’ performance this time and it was his 24th minute point that ushered Cavan into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead before Ryan Jones eventually got the home side off the mark. Four points (0-7 to 0-3) separated the sides at half-time but Fermanagh blazed out for the restart to trim the difference to just one, leaving the travelling support nervy approaching the fourth quarter. Daniel Kille’s frees tied things up at 011 by the 57th minute. Crucially, Cavan never panicked, with experienced heads

Killian Clarke breaks the tackle of Fermanagh’s Tommy McElroy

David Givney puts pressure on London’s Caolan Doyle


like Ronan Flanagan and captain Alan Clarke (the oldest member of the team at just 27) recycling possession at the back, and in Dunne they had a match winner as the full-forward popped over two scores (one a free) to ensure a 0-13 to 0-11 victory and passage through to the last four of the province. There was little doubt that the Breffni men would need to up the performance against Monaghan the next day out if a final place was to be achieved. Malachy O’Rourke – a former manager of Cavan Gaels – was bringing his side to Clones full of confidence that they could dispatch their neighbours having seen off Antrim with relative ease in their respective quarter-final. In front of 15,644 supporters at St Tiernach’s Park, Cavan made the better start through the points of Eugene Keating and midfielder David Givney before they found themselves behind in an instant when Christopher McGuinness crashed the ball to the net in the 13th minute. The Blues were stunned only momentarily though and took back a two-point lead via Givney, Mackey and Niall McDermott. Monaghan hit back and had themselves level by the interval, 1-5 to 0-8, and took the lead after 11 scoreless

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minutes of the restart when Conor McManus floated over, but within six minutes Cavan were back with the advantage through a brace of points from the deadly accurate McDermott. Their counterparts rallied in the final quarter though and took a two point-lead before goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan trimmed it to one in injury-time with a ‘45’. Cavan forced a last ditch effort which saw Monaghan retreating back to goalkeeper Rory Beggan from a sideline ball and despite the Farney netminder clearing over carrying possession, Sligo referee Marty Duffy failed to award a free and O’Rourke’s

incentive no doubt on the Ernesiders’ minds when Hyland’s team came to visit for the second time in the space of four weeks. Martin Dunne’s early goal, created by some excellent vision from Mackey, having his best summer yet in a blue jersey, had Cavan on their way at Brewster Park, where a mass brawl at half-time made more headlines than the Breffni men’s comfortable 1-14 to 0-10 win over the home side. That undoubtedly suited Hyland and his players down to the ground when they were drawn against Derry at Celtic Park, where the winners would receive the prize of playing London for a place

and Jack Brady shot them in front. The visitors were very unfortunate not to concede a penalty in the meantime after Killian Clarke had appeared to pull down Eoin Bradley and they made the most of it through another Dunne single and a fabulous long range effort from the outstanding Ronan Flanagan, which helped them to the two-point lead at the half-way stage. Derry upped it after the interval to take back the lead, but it was Cavan that looked to be on their way come the final quarter thanks to points from Keating and 19-year-old substitute Dara McVeety. The pendulum swung back in favour of the Oak Leafers though as

Jack Brady feels the heat up against Derry's Patsy Bradley and Aidan McAlynn during the All-Ireland SFC qualifier

side held on for a 1-10 to 0-12 win to advance to the Ulster final, where they’d comfortably defeat a flat Donegal outfit in the final three weeks later. In the meantime, Cavan were left to graft in the qualifiers to try and keep their season alive, and off the back of three decent performances in Ulster a decent draw would give the players and management no reason to believe that they couldn’t stretch their summer. Out of the hat again came Fermanagh in Enniskillen and the potential for a real banana skin, with a major revenge

in the All-Ireland SFC quarter. Amazingly, ex-Derry stars Paddy Bradley and Enda Muldoon took to Twitter to hype up their native county’s chances of reaching the last eight – a move which Cavan captain Alan Clarke would later describe as “stupid”. Fuelled by so many factors, Cavan were often too hot for the hosts to handle in the sweltering heat as they erased an early 0-3 to 0-0 deficit to move 0-9 to 0-7 in front by half-time, with Givney, Martin Dunne and Keating squaring the sides before Martin Reilly


they levelled and almost won it with an injury-time free before a last ditch effort from Cavan saw Keating link-up with Ronan Flanagan, who cutely found an unmarked Damian O’Reilly and the Belturbet man forced extra-time. With the momentum and energy in their favour, Cavan flattened Derry in extra-time, re-introducing Mackey and Givney to the fray while big midfielder Michael Argue also played a ‘stormer’, contributing 0-2 off the bench. Derry were done and dusted when a slick break down the left released Mark

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McKeever, who crossed brilliantly towards fellow substitute Kevin Tierney and the ball found his way to Mackey, who crashed to the net to end a dramatic evening on a 1-22 to 0-20 score-line and confirm one of Cavan’s finest championship triumphs in some time. Cavan (SFC qualifier v Derry): Alan O'Mara; Killian Clarke, Rory Dunne, Alan Clarke; James McEnroe, Damian O'Reilly (0-1), Ronan Flanagan; Tomas Corr, David Givney (0-1); Feargal Flanagan (0-1), Jack Brady (0-1), Cian Mackey (1-0); Martin Reilly (0-5, 1f), Eugene Keating (0-3, 1f), Martin Dunne (0-6, 5f). Subs: Kevin Tierney for Givney, Michael Argue (0-2) for Dunne, Dara McVeety (0-2) for A Clarke, Killian Brady for McEnroe, Mark McKeever for Mackey, Niall Murray for Dunne, C Mackey for Brady, D Givney for Keating. Hundreds of Breffni supporters flooded on to the pitch afterwards to congratulate the team, but the warm down was more of a priority for the players as the beaten Connacht finalists (which would be London the following day) weren’t about to be taken for granted, with a long-awaited championship win at Croke Park beckoning for Cavan. A week on from their renowned win in Derry, Cavan were at GAA HQ taking on the championship’s biggest long shots and strolling after the first quarter of an hour with a 0-6 to 0-1 lead thanks to the likes of Martin Dunne, Eugene Keating and Feargal Flanagan. Sure enough though, nerves played a part somewhere along the way and when London nabbed a sloppy goal through Paul Geraghty it would see the sides going in level at half-time (0-9 to 1-6) and about 10,000 Cavan supporters on the edge of their seats for the early stages of the second-half before scores from Mackey, Keating, Givney and Feargal Flanagan outweighed a point from Cavan native Lorcan Mulvey down the other end to bring the Blues’ advantage back to three. From there, things ran a bit more smoothly for the victors, despite an simple goal chance for Keating incredibly coming off the post, as Givney stood up to shoot two more points after a Dunne free and when Mackey unselfishly set-up sub Niall McDermott for the game’s only goal towards the end Cavan’s were already looking towards their quarter-final date. With a provincial final winner to face, the majority of Cavan fans were hoping for a Monaghan re-match but as it turned out it would be a Polo Grounds

Alan Clarke leads Cavan ahead of the Ulster SFC semi-final against Monaghan

re-match as their team were drawn to face Kerry at Croke Park on August 4th. Despite being hardly a shade of the past sides that demolished Cork and Mayo, and running Tyrone and Dublin close, in All-Ireland SFC finals, the Kingdom were still viewed as heavy favourites to end Cavan’s extended season and, after strolling to an emphatic 0-11 to 0-2 lead in the firsthalf, they did exactly that. Tactically, Cavan weren’t set-up to try and outscore Kerry at Croker but credit must go to all involved to the way they came at the Munster kingpins in the second-half to help take some tarnish off the scoreboard. Rory Dunne was the Breffni men’s most outstanding player, nullifying the threat of Kieran Donaghy, while Dara McVeety was also superb in his first senior championship start for his county – and what a stage to have it on! The Crosserlough man looks to have a fantastic career in store. Points from David Givney, Martin Reilly (‘45’) and substitute Niall McDermott cut Kerry’s lead to six within nine minutes of the resumption and two long range points from Keating left Cavan with an outside chance heading towards the closing stages. However, Kerry, who never looked like losing the game, closed out the 0-15 to 0-9 win with a final point from Colm


Cooper, who pulled the strings for them at centre-forward, to set-up a meeting with Leinster champions Dublin in the semi-finals. Cavan (SFC quarter-final v Kerry): Alan O'Mara; Tomas Corr, Rory Dunne, Killian Clarke; Jason McLoughlin, Alan Clarke, Ronan Flanagan; Damien O'Reilly David Givney (0-1); Cian Mackey (0-1), Dara McVeety, Feargal Flanagan; Martin Reilly (0-1, 45), Martin Dunne (0-1), Eugene Keating (0-2f). Subs: Niall McDermott (0-3, 2f) for R Flanagan (35mins), Michael Argue for Corr (43), Jack Brady for M Dunne (49), James McEnroe for Givney (58), Kevin Tierney for Keating (68). Looking at the season as a whole, Hyland felt that his side gained so much needed experienced but admits that the team will probably need to be playing in the higher divisions of the National League if they are to continue to improve. "We have learned that we have ability and that we can compete. We also learned that the pace of the game in Division One and Division Two is a different thing. We need to get up out of Division Three and get playing at a higher level so our lads get more used to the pace,” he added. Let’s hope it’s onwards and upwards from here…

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hen Cavan ladies returned to Croke Park this past September victory was simply all that mattered. The pain of 2011’s narrow defeat was set aside and an All-Ireland IFC title finally delivered after edging out Tipperary in a dramatic finale in the capital. Thirty-four years is a long stretch to wait for anything, but when it comes to a group of determined and talented players and an All-Ireland title, sometimes it’s just a matter of time. For the Cavan ladies, 2013 was just about getting there. Getting back to the arena where they were so cruelly denied two years previous and then worrying about whoever stood in their way when the time came to cross that bridge. At the helm were two men with a

wealth of experience when it came down to playing a winning game, and there was no way that either Finian Farrell or Gerry Sheridan would let neither the players, nor the county, down come the big occasion at Croker, when a world of pressure would be on the Breffni women’s shoulders to deliver. And deliver they did, when it mattered most. In the end, Bronagh Sheridan’s casually-struck penalty, Ailish Cornyn’s late bee-line for the corner flag and Donna English and Roisin O’Keeffe raising the Mary Quinn Cup aloft from the Hogan Stand podium where the iconic images in a portrait of a historic triumph. One that had been a long time coming for Cavan even before their onepoint defeat to Westmeath after a replay at the same venue in 2011, as this crop

of brilliant players had been promising great things in the intermediate grade long before reaching their first All-Ireland final. Looking back at the start of the year, some of the early signs were there for Cavan to achieve their destiny as they once again held their own against some of the country’s big guns in the National League to maintain their status in Division Two for 2014. Convincing wins over Clare (2-19 to 1-9) and old rivals Fermanagh (3-16 to 2-8), along with a hard fought draw against Waterford (211 each), were the highlights of a satisfactory league campaign which saw them staying in the second tier and entering the Ulster intermediate championship in decent form. Cavan had been drawn to play Down on June 23rd in Inniskeen, where the

Donna English and Roisin O'Keeffe get their hands on the silverware in Croke Park


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Cavan – All-Ireland winner intermediate football champions 2013, front l/r: Caitriona Smith, Aoibhin Kiernan, Claragh O'Reilly, Rosie Crowe, Niamh Daly, Donna English, Roisin O' Keeffe , Sinead Greene, Racheal Jordan,  Grainne Smith, Ciara O' Reilly, Geraldine Sheridan. Back: Debbie Lee Gaffney, Laura Fitzpatrick, Grainne McGlade, Aisling Doonan, Rachael Doonan, Ciara Grey, Ailish Cornyn, Jennifer Kane, Caron Fay, Bronagh Sheridan, Erinn Galligan, Mona Sheridan, Aishling Sheridan, Joanne Moore, Patricia Lynch

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winners would go straight through to an Ulster final against either Antrim or Fermanagh. Down were coming off the back of an impressive league trail which saw them gain promotion out of Division Three as champions. Their opponents were cited as favourites going into the


y takes the aragh O`Reill

Cavan celebrate with the Mary Quinn Cup at Croke Park

game but they saw their provincial campaign cut short by the Mourne women, whom came away from Grattan Park 1-13 to 1-8 winners, with a late controversial goal proving a massive blow for the Breffni ladies. Although the defeat was a bitter pill to

challenge to

RoisĂ­n O`Keef


swallow, Cavan would get their shot at revenge down the line against their Ulster counterparts as Farrell, Sheridan and the players went back to the drawing board to outline their designs for the All-Ireland IFC. Many of the players identified it as crucial stage in

fe holds off th


e attentions

of Down’s La

ura Sharvin

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Cavan at the ready before the meeting with London in Ashbourne

the team’s season three months on, as the squad came together and all but said to each other that it was ‘now or never’. Former junior champions London would stand in their way in their opening game on August 10th, when Cavan produced an exhibition of eye-catching forward play in Ashbourne, Co Meath to hand the Exiles a 3-22 to 0-4 trouncing and cruise into the quarter-finals. Although impressive, the manner of victory over the competition’s minnows wouldn’t leave Cavan knowing exactly where they were at. Seven days later,

however, the fire was well and truly ignited down in Birr, Co Offaly, where the Blues washed away Waterford with an emphatic 3-18 to 1-8 victory. The fact that Cavan had only managed a draw with the Deise women in the league four months previous was a strong indication of where the group stood, timing their red-hot form to perfection as a mouth-watering semifinal with Down beckoned at Kingspan Breffni Park. The Cavan town venue would be of huge significance to the Blues, whom would have staunch home support for

Roisin O'Keeffe won’t be stopped


the last four clash with their provincial conquerors. On their home turf, Cavan made the early breakthrough which saw Donna English and Claragh O’Reilly linking up at midfield and the latter offloaded to Patricia Lynch on a brave run from her corner-back station. The defender found a trademark dash from Aisling Doonan inside and from there the Templeport star set-up Bronagh Sheridan to fist beyond Katie Farrell to the Down net. It was first blood to the Breffni women and as the game grew on so did their confidence, as Grainne Smith, who had

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an outstanding game at corner-forward, sent over her first point before the second goal arrived in the 16th minute via Roisin O’Keeffe. With Down’s floodgates opened, clinical Cavan weren’t about to let the chance slip and points from Sinead Greene, Bronagh Sheridan (2) and Claragh O’Reilly (free) cushioned their lead to 2-6 to 0-3 by half-time. It took just three minutes of the resumption for the home side to continue tormenting their opponents,

keep the lead at double figures before Sheridan snuck in for her second goal to end the game as a contest, as the 4-12 to 0-11 final score-line sent Cavan comfortably through to the All-Ireland decider. Cavan (IFC semi-final v Down): Caron Fay; Ciara O’Reilly, Grainne McGlade, Patricia Lynch; Sinead Greene (0-1), Ailish Cornyn, Rachael Jordan; Rosie Crowe, Donna English; Claragh O’Reilly (0-1), Roisin O’Keeffe (1-0), Mona Sheridan (0-1); Grainne Smith (1-3),

favourites before the throw-in. Cavan, on the other hand, were jittery at the start and it showed in the manner which they started at Croke Park, as Tipp raced into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead with the Ulster women yet to mount an attack against their opponents’ double sweeper system. A slick one-two between Grainne Smith and Roisin O’Keeffe eventually saw Smith fire over to get the Breffni women off the mark in the ninth minute and they were soon level thanks to a

Rosie Crowe strides forward

with Doonan’s precise free locating Smith down the right and the Butlersbridge woman took off and soon buried in goal number three which all but sealed Cavan’s final berth. Down were in desperate need of a Lazarus-like comeback but could find no way past a compact Breffni defence, which saw Ciara O’Reilly, Grainne McGlade and Lynch holding the fort brilliantly in front of goalkeeper Caron Fay, to get the goals that they required to get the goals they required. Doonan (free) and Smith added more points to

Bronagh Sheridan (2-3, 1f), Aisling Doonan (0-2, 2f). Subs: Ciara Grey, Joanne Moore, Caitriona Smith, Geraldine Sheridan, Erinn Galligan (01). Back in the big arena after two years in waiting, Cavan would be denied a September showdown with old rivals Fermanagh after the Ernesiders had their dreams foiled by a late Tipperary goal. Somewhat of a surprise package, Tipp wouldn’t have felt the same nerves heading into a final where their opponents were ranked as 2/5


Sheridan free, won inside by one of many powerful bursts from midfield by Rosie Crowe, and a placed ball from Aisling Doonan. By the 12th minute Cavan were into their first lead when Claragh O’Reilly won a second free for Doonan to convert but disaster soon struck when Mairead Morrissey raced through and flashed a brilliant shot past Caron Fay to give the advantage back to the Premier County. Fay would have little else to do for the afternoon, as Cavan closed up at the back to deny their opponents another

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sniff at goal, but the Belturbet shotstopper’s strong campaign would eventually see her nominated for an All Star along with neighbour Bronagh Sheridan of Drumlane and Templeport’s Doonan. Cavan’s response to the goal was a resolute one, to their credit, as Crowe drove through for an excellent individual point and Doonan and Smith eventually found some space inside to shoot over scores which cut the gap to two. The game could have been level had the Blues not struck two bad wides, but the momentum was flowing in their favour by the end of the half and points from Mona Sheridan and Bronagh Sheridan

of the Match’, to fly down the flank and set up Grainne Smith for her third point. Tipp sent out a warning shot in reply, as they finished a menacing move with Sheelagh Carew blasting over Fay’s crossbar. Hanley pushed their lead to 110 to 0-11 soon after, but the best was yet to come from the resilient trailers, as deadly duo Sheridan and Doonan struck pressure frees to draw the game level. Now comfortably on top in the possession stakes, Cavan needed to turn it into profit and finally regained the lead after 22 minutes of second-half labouring, when Bronagh Sheridan cut inside and sailed over a gem with her left boot to ignite a huge roar from the

beaten in ter Down are ions begin af semi-final at br le ce e Th the All-Ireland

outweighed a Tipp single to send Cavan in at the break trailing by 1-7 to 0-9. Cavan were given specific orders at half-time to find whatever space they could inside their full-forward line, which struggled for large portions of the firsthalf in the face of a congested Tipp defence, but it was their opponents that made the more promising start to the second-half with an Edel Hanley free and it wasn’t long before Farrell and Sheridan introduced Caitriona Smith to the fray. The substitute had an immediate impact which saw her assist Sinead Greene, a worthy candidate for ‘Player

Breffni crowd. The game’s salient moment arrived moment later when Caitriona Smith squeezed past swatting Tipp defenders and picked out Doonan’s run with a perfect pass in front of the goalmouth at the Hill 16 end. The corner-forward was axed down by goalkeeper Patricia Hickey, who was sin-binned as a result, and referee Gus Chapman signalled horizontal arms for a penalty. The moment of truth had arrived for Cavan and Bronagh Sheridan stood cool, after a long delay, before dispatching past Tipp’s sub ‘keeper to put her side within touching distance of glory.


The job was by no means finished though as Tipp pressed for a late goal to try and snatch victory and it took heroics from an unwavering Cavan defence, which put their bodies on the line, to hold on before Ailish Cornyn nabbed the breaking ball and rushed to the corner to draw out the final whistle and the jubilant scenes which followed. Cavan (IFC final v Tipperary): Caron Fay; Patricia Lynch, Grainne McGlade, Joanne Moore; Sinead Greene, Ailish Cornyn, Rachael Jordan; Rosie Crowe (0-1), Donna English; Claragh O’Reilly (0-1), Roisin O’Keeffe, Mona Sheridan (0-1); Grainne Smith (0-3), Bronagh Sheridan (1-4, 1pen, 2f), Aisling Doonan

Grainne Smith

lets fly

(0-4, 3f). Sub: Caitriona Smith for O’Reilly (40mins). Tears of joy flowed from the players faces as their long-awaited destination had been reached. From the Hogan Stand podium, Arva star Donna English wept as she explained to the thrilled Cavan supporters what it all meant to her and her team mates before raising the Mary Quinn Cup high with fellow joint-captain Roisin O’Keeffe, who, along with so many of the team, had finally banished the ghosts of 2011. Their mission had been accomplished and they can now rest easy, knowing that a glorious chance did not elude them after all…

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Donna English powers through against Tipperary at Croke Park

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Cavan's Feargal Flanagan lifts the Irish News Cup

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hat a difference a few years can make. From one of Ulster’s minnows to the province’s kingpins, things have changed beyond recognition for Cavan Under 21 footballers, writes Shane Corrigan. Nobody saw it coming; maybe that's what makes it, more than anything else, so special. The past is another country; they do things differently there. Maybe we are exaggerating ever so slightly but it will be hard for our youngest readers to appreciate that there was a time, in the recent past, when Cavan didn't really count at Under 21 level. It's not that long ago, remember, since selector Ciaran Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying that, back in late 2009, he and other members of the backroom team contacted 80 players, inviting them to be part of a provisional U21 panel. Of the four score young men who got the call, exactly half were interested in donning the blue jersey. The stock of the Cavan U21 team had fallen so low that talented footballers who were eligible for the grade were turning their noses up at a chance to represent the county. Many were more focused on club and college football, probably utilising the risk-reward ratio so beloved of the professional boxer. An unbeaten young fight prospect, they say in the States, will only risk his '0' for real dough. Prospective Cavan U21 footballers were working off a similar logic – why put in all the effort, sacrifice the time and all the rest of the incumbent hassle for a tracksuit, a pair of boots and, almost inevitably given the way results had gone, a demoralising first round defeat? Now, we are pleased to write, all has changed, utterly; for the rest of Ulster, a terrible, blue and white beauty has been born. And when we say 'the rest', we mean it. Since the dawn broke on the morning of the opening round of the 2010 championship, Cavan have beaten Down twice, Monaghan twice, Tyrone twice, Donegal twice, Fermanagh, Derry and Armagh. The only side who haven't been guillotined are Antrim, whom Cavan have yet to meet. It truly is an amazing turnaround. How did it come about? The recipe was simple: planning, vision and hard work, mainly, with

UNDER 21 FOOTBALLERS a huge measure of belief and a sprinkling of luck. “There had always been fights between the senior and U21 manager, which goes on everywhere. So I decided there would be no crossover when U21s are playing,” county chairman Tom O'Reilly explained in an interview during the year. “Now we were in a situation this year where the last two league matches had to be played without our U21s and it had a bearing on our promotion prospects. But we stuck with it because we believed in it. “Initially we found it didn’t cost a fortune and in the second year we saw the players coming through because we had 20 players ready to go straight away.” Breaking new ground is a hard thing to do in sport, which is why those who do it – we're thinking of Ger Loughnane's Clare, Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen, Declan Kidney's Irish rugby team – are rightly lauded. Their names are mentioned whenever feats of sporting heroism are recalled; into that list, we can now add Cavan U21 footballers. This year's team, in the opinion of many observers in Cavan, was the best of the four sides which reached the Ulster final and the three which won it, even including the class of 2011, which went all the way to the All-Ireland final. But from the outset, from way back when the evenings grew short and the Irish News Cup began to gather dust in

Cavan U21 manager Peter Reilly


Kingspan Breffni Park last November, they knew they faced a battle to retain their title. Heavy is the crown, and Cavan's element of surprise was gone after two successive championships. Monaghan came to Kingspan Breffni Park with a huge reputation and buoyed by a massacre of perennial contenders Tyrone in the Shamrock Cup final. Such was the manner of Monaghan's victory – they won by 4-8 to 0-10 - that they were only very narrow underdogs in Fortress Breffni, starting the match as 6/5 outsiders. Cavan did the business in what was a very high-standard match. The defence was brilliant, Dara McVeety turning in a revelatory performance as a sweeper and Ciaran Brady and Jason McLoughlin also outstanding. Monaghan led by three early on but Cavan rallied, with points from Jack Brady, Enda O'Reilly, the fantastic Turloc Mooney and goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan (free) to lead 0-8 to 0-6 at halftime. An excellent goal from Paul O'Connor, who picked the pocket of the Monaghan full-back and crashed to the net, made it 1-8 to 0-6 five minutes into the second half. The game turned moments later, however, when Brian Sankey hit the crossbar and Enda O'Reilly the upright and when Jack McCarron tapped over a free, Monaghan were back within four. Their tails up, they goaled through McCarron and with time almost up, led by one. O'Reilly did well to win a free to tie the match and although Monaghan opened the scoring in extra time, Cavan went on to run away with it, with subs Conor Madden – who kicked two amazing points from distance – and Joe Dillon, along with another sub, Drung's Aaron Watson, helping the hosts storm to a 1-16 to 1-12 win. Next up was a highly-rated Down side in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh. Roared on by a large travelling support, Cavan turned in a tremendouslydisciplined, composed and powerful performance to dominate right from the throw-in. Peter Reilly’s charges were brilliant. They dominated in almost every position on the field and their work-rate, shooting, passing, movement and ball handling were all superb. Cavan's patient use of possession was startling; they

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Michael Argue holds possession ahead of Donegal's Martin O'Reilly

recycled and recycled and never, ever wasted the ball. Captain Feargal Flanagan turned in an outstanding performance but in truth, the whole team played well. Points from Flanagan, Jack Brady, the towering Michael Argue, Enda O'Reilly, Mooney and Gilsenan (from a 45), made it 0-7 to 0-1 after 22 minutes and further points from O'Reilly and Brady had Cavan 0-9 to 0-2 up at half-time and 30 seconds into the second half, Paul O'Connor gathered a long ball from Chris Conroy and ended the match as a contest with an excellent finish to the net. In the end, the Breffni boys ran out 112 to 0-6, a score-line which probably flattered the young Mourne men. Amazingly, Cavan had qualified for their fourth Ulster U21 final in succession. Before that match, manager Peter Reilly – who captained the county to their second-ever Ulster U21 success back in 1996 – was asked what he thought was the key behind Cavan's renaissance at underage level. His answer was illuminating – Reilly was a naturally gifted player, and he saw a group before him carrying similar traits.

“The first thing I’d always say is the footballers,” he stated. “Some people say it’s hard work and other things but ultimately if you haven’t got footballers, you’ll win nothing.” And he knew what Donegal would bring. The county's senior team, in the days before the era of Jim McGuinness, was described by one sportswriter as “half football team, half stag party”, but Jim fixed that problem and the confidence and focus has begun to seep down to underage level. This would be no pushover... When the Cavan players awoke on the morning of Thursday April 12, they were Ulster champions once again. There was no drama, no fuss, no huge homecomings or celebratory poems – just the satisfaction of a goal achieved, a box ticked and a job well done. The most encouraging aspect of the Ulster final win is that Cavan achieved it without hitting top gear. They were the better side – well-organised, disciplined, composed and confident – but some poor shooting allowed Donegal to stay in the game. Jack Brady's free-taking was exemplary, Chris Conroy turned in a Man of the Match performance 'on the


40', Gerard Smith oozed class and Enda O'Reilly won every ball that came his way. In the previous two Ulster finals, Cavan were a goal up within a minute and their start this time around was almost as valuable, points from Conroy, Smith and O'Reilly sending them into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead. Cavan led by five at the break, with Donegal losing some key men to injury over the hour. When Maxi Curran's men goaled midway through the second-half, however, it was game on and with Paddy McBrearty finally shaking off McLoughlin's shackles, they made a game of it. However, Cavan were too slick and too assertive and they were never going to be denied. The celebrations afterwards were somewhat subdued from the players’ point of view, as they geared themselves up for an All-Ireland semifinal showdown with Cork in Tullamore, which would take place 10 days after their provincial success. Cavan made the better start at O’Connor Park, where points from Paul O’Connor and Enda O’Reilly had them into an early 0-2 to 0-0 lead before they

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had to endure a purple patch from the Muster champions which saw them trailing by 0-7 to 0-5 by the interval. Cork would extend their lead to five after dominating for the majority of the third quarter, but Cavan dug deep in the closing 20 minutes to fight their way back into contention. The introduction of Conor Madden paid dividends as the Gowna sharpshooter grabbed a badly needed point for the Breffni men and when Killian Clarke found Chris Conroy in space the Lavey man netted the

to 1-11 defeat. The challenge now is to follow up a fourth time. It's hard to get to the top, but much harder to stay there. The next challenge, after the heart-breaking onepoint semi-final defeat to Cork, is to retain the Ulster title and take it to the next level. For now, though, let's reflect on how things have changed, and pinch ourselves to make sure that we are not dreaming. The Breffni boys are back! Bravo.

Sankey, P Flynn for McLoughlin

April 4, Athletic Grounds, Armagh Cavan 1-12 Down 0-6 Cavan: C Gilsenan (0-1, 45); J Mcloughlin, K Clarke, C Brady; D McVeety, D Sexton, F Flanagan (0-1); B Sankey, M Argue (0-2); P Graham, C Conroy, T Mooney (0-1); E O’Reilly (05, 4f), P O’Connor (1-0), J Brady (0-2). Subs: J Dillon for Graham (45), K Duke for Conroy (50), P McEvoy for Flanagan

Gerard Smith is outnumbered but still in charge against Down

trailers to back within a point with six minutes remaining. The Blues had all the momentum heading into the closing stages, which saw Dara McVeety quickly cancelling out point from Mark Sugrue, who had been a thorn in Cavan’s side all evening, to keep the difference at the minimum. In the dying stages O’Connor earned a free for O’Reilly, who was reintroduced to the game after being withdrawn by Peter Reilly, to attempt from the right side but the Mullahoran man’s effort drifted just wide and Cavan fell to a 0-15

Cavan's path to Ulster glory: March 21, Breffni Park Cavan 1-16 Monaghan 1-12 (AET) Cavan: C Gilsenan (0-1); J McLoughlin, K Clarke, C Brady (0-1); D McVeety, D Sexton, F Flanagan; B Sankey, M Argue; G Smith, C Conroy, T Mooney; E O’Reilly (0-5, 4f), P O’Connor (1-1, 0-1f), J Brady (0-3, 2f). Subs: C Madden (0-2) for Conroy, A Watson for C Brady, J Dillon (0-1) for Mooney, A Graham (0-2) for O’Connor, C Moynagh for Sexton, T Mooney for


(55), C Madden for Mooney (57) C Moynagh for Argue (60).

April 10, Brewster Park, Enniskillen Cavan 0-13 Donegal 1-6 Cavan: C Gilsenan; J McLoughlin, K Clarke, C Brady; D McVitty, D Sexton, F Flanagan; B Sankey, M Argue; G Smith (0-2), C Conroy (0-3), T Mooney; E O’Reilly (0-3, 2f), P O’Connor (0-1), J Brady (0-3f). Subs: C Madden for Conroy (52), P Graham (0-1) for Mooney (55), J Dillon for O’Connor (59).

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Cavan players celebrate their Ulster U21FC final win

David Givney Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:23 Page 1


David Givney gets the better of Kerry's Johnny Buckley

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013 isn’t likely to be a year that David Givney will forget anytime soon. The midfielder earned himself Sigerson and M Donnelly Cup medals before going on to represent his county twice at Croke Park in the summer. Shane Corrigan found out what it all meant to one Cavan’s brightest stars. As far as talented midfielders go, there are few better around these parts than David Givney. The 24-year-old Mountnugent man has been a permanent fixture of Cavan’s centrefield these past few years and tasted Inter-provincial and Third Level successes with Ulster and DIT, respectively, in the build-up to the Breffni men’s 2013 campaign. The fact remains, however, that Givney has yet to win silverware with Cavan, although coming agonisingly close in 2010 when Cavan lost out to Donegal in the Ulster U21FC final. The following year’s historic success over Tyrone in the same competition, at the same venue (Brewster Park, Enniskillen) would see him missing out, after turning 21 too early, and since then Givney has had to watch as more and more Ulster U21 medal winners filter through to the Cavan senior set-up. However, as someone that is likely to be around the Cavan senior panel for the foreseeable future, Givney is not complaining, having seen a notable change in the team’s fortunes as of late. What has it come down to? “It’s probably two things,” said Givney. “The quality of the players coming through and the mentality of them. It’s a big change from a few years ago. There are no egos in the dressing room anymore. Everyone is pulling in the one direction, which, when I was brought in the panel first, probably wasn’t the case. There was probably a few individuals and that’s all changed now. It’s all about developing as a team now and never knowing when to give up. “It’s a case now too where some of the older lads that haven’t won silverware with Cavan are now learning off the Under 21s coming through. It’s never too late to change your ways and you’ve some of the boys coming back in there recently doing that. Cian Mackey has come back and is after having a great year and he’ll probably tell you the same that it’s great to be playing alongside these young lads who know how to win.” After winning the M Donnelly Cup with Ulster, playing alongside Sean Cavanagh at centre-field, at the end of


2012 before going on to capture a Sigerson Cup with DIT a few months later, Givney was intent on keeping the winning habit with Cavan in 2013. The previous season had saw defeats to Donegal and Kildare force another early exit for Cavan in the All-Ireland SFC before the trauma of a county junior championship final defeat to Laragh United by a single point. Success with Ulster soon eased the pain before triumph with DIT helped erase some of the bad memories of the October defeat at Kingspan Breffni Park. “It was something that I always wanted to do before I even signed to a college,” he stated. “Even when I first signed up to college I looked at sides like Sligo (IT) that had great success back then so I went there for football reasons. So getting the chance to go to DIT and then actually winning the Sigerson with them was great. It was something I always wanted and I can cross it off my list. “When we got together at the beginning of the year I didn’t know a lot of the lads but most of the lads knew each other and they felt they were hard done by in the few years leading up to that and they felt they kind of had a point to prove. “Last year they had a big push to get in some big names like Tomas O’Connor and Darran O’Sullivan – players of that calibre – and that always makes a difference. We had the quality players and went out on a few team bonding trips and as a team we got on very, very well. So I think that sort of made a difference too because when you really get on well with all your team mates you’ve lots of respect for each other and that goes a long way when it comes to winning tight games.” As for Cavan, many of Givney’s team mates had played alongside each other in the Ulster U21 campaigns of 2010, 2011 and 2012 and were keen on outlining some new goals for the 2013 season when collective training started in the New Year. “We sat down at the beginning of the year and we probably said that we wanted to get out of Division Three,” the midfielder explained. “I suppose that didn’t happen but we sat down again and decided that for the championship that we wanted to be playing football into August and an All-Ireland quarterfinal was kind of our objective at the beginning of the year, and we were lucky enough that that’s the way it turned out.” He added: “With regards to training and the fitness end of things, I’m not


saying that we did more this year than we did last year but the running that we did was probably more related to Gaelic football to what we were doing the year before. We were doing crazy running the year before and everyone seemed to be tired towards the vital parts of the year. “This year it definitely just seemed to click and probably Peter Donnelly coming in maybe changed that. He’d been there and done that, played at the highest level being involved with Tyrone in All-Ireland finals. So he knows what sort of fitness you need, when you need to be coming in fresh and when you need to do the hard work. So he’s definitely made a difference there.” Cavan had the work put in for what they knew would be a tough Division Three campaign in the National Football League, with neighbours Meath and Monaghan having come down from the second tier. Cavan would finish up impressive winners in both derbies, but defeats to Antrim, Fermanagh and Roscommon would deny them promotion which saw the focus sharply turn towards their Ulster SFC opener with Armagh in May. “We had put such a big emphasis out of getting promoted out of the league. We went up to Antrim and we were very flat that day and things just didn’t click for us,” Givney admitted. “Everyone was sort of thinking that it was the same old story about Cavan and to be honest the mood with ourselves wasn’t great after. But after that game we went back and worked hard and Terry (Hyland) just kept saying that if we work to the system that things will click for us and they did because we had some very good performances in the league. We didn’t get promoted, but there was definitely some positives to take and it sets us up nicely for next year’s league. It’s something we’d like to push on for and get out of Division Three.” Come May, Cavan were primed for the Armagh test, according to Givney, and despite the loss of midfield partner Gearoid McKiernan through a cruciate ligament injury, they were confident in upsetting the odds against Armagh. A convincing victory over the Orchard men at Kingspan Breffni Park was backed up by another winning display against Fermanagh in Enniskillen which sent Terry Hyland’s men into the last four of the province. From there, it would be Monaghan in Clones standing in Cavan’s way of a first Ulster SFC final appearance since 2001 and their number 9 admitted that nerves played a

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part in the team’s performance at St Tiernach’s Park. “It was a bit different going in against Monaghan than the two previous games,” said Givney. “There was a lot of pressure because it was an Ulster semifinal and you knew that you were only 70 minutes away from reaching a final. “We played Monaghan in the league and we beat them but when you look back and see how early they had a man sent off you knew that it wasn’t going to be the same kind of game. They went on after and won the league final, so we knew what we had to deal with. “We were a bit nervy going in. In the first-half, we kicked the ball in a lot to the full-forward line and we weren’t winning it in there and we didn’t play our game plan that we’d brought in the last two games before that. We sort of switched off and we ended up paying the price for it.” After their narrow 1-10 to 0-12 defeat at the hands of the Farney men, Cavan regrouped to put in an impressive performance again against Fermanagh in the qualifiers before the second round draw paired them with Derry. Hyland’s charges were ranked as big outsiders for the clash at Celtic Park, where they would end up delivering the performance of their season to stun the home side after extra-time. “When we were looking at the draw there was a few teams that we were sort of thinking ‘yeah, we definitely have a good chance against them’, but when Derry came out it was hard to know what to think of it. They were a good side that were playing a division ahead of us in the league and a lot of people would’ve rated them as better opposition than us. But, then again, we went in as underdogs and it was sort of a back to normality kind of thing where we were going in as underdogs,” said Givney. “We knew we were after having a good performance against Fermanagh again and it’s something that Cavan haven’t done in a while – beating the same team twice in the same championship. So it gave us a bit of belief going in against Derry. We knew that if we stuck to the game plan that we had the last few games that it could work well for us and that we were going to be there or thereabouts towards the end of the game. “In the end, we were probably a bit fortunate to get the draw but we showed in extra-time what we were made of and were delighted to get the win.” Asked whether or not it was the best team performance he had been involved

in as a Cavan player, the DIT student said: “It’s definitely up there. It was probably one of the most emotional performances. It gave Cavan that chance. Everyone knew that if you won that game you’d a serious chance of getting to an All-Ireland quarter-final, so the stakes were huge and I suppose Cavan teams of the past, when the chips were down like that, they’d usually fold. So it was refreshing to see the young lads come on and have that ‘never say die’ attitude, so the feeling at the final whistle was just unreal.” The win saw Givney and the majority of his team mates making their first winning appearance at Croke Park in a Cavan jersey, as they dispatched beaten Connacht finalists London after a nervy first-half to set up a quarter-final showdown with Kerry at the same venue on August 4th. While Givney admitted that the Munster champions were not the first choice opposition that Cavan wanted in the last eight, he maintained that Cavan could have anticipated a worse draw. “When we were looking at the draw we were kind of hoping for Monaghan,” he said. “Everyone sort of wanted to get revenge on them because we felt that we were kind of robbed in the Ulster semi-final but after Monaghan, Kerry would have been our next choice, so everyone was kind of happy enough to get them. “You are never going to get an easy draw in the All-Ireland quarter-finals

anyway, so it was nice to test yourself against one of the best in the country and who better to get than Kerry in Croke Park?” As the game unravelled, the Kingdom began to pull away from their opponents towards the latter stages of the first-half, opening a 0-11 to 0-2 lead by half-time, before Cavan finally upped their game in the second-half to close the gap to four. Missed chances in the final quarter, along with an anxious first-half display, had cost Cavan dear in the end. Givney’s assessment was similar to many Breffni supporters after, whom felt that it was a game that Cavan could’ve won had they performed in the first-half as they did in the second. “I honestly think that if we’d played the whole game like the way we played in the second-half, we definitely were in with a shout,” he stated. “I suppose the big occasion maybe got to us a bit. None of the players would’ve played in front of such a big crowd before and we were very nervy in the first-half. “We were giving away handy ball that we’d usually never give away. We were getting turned over in the tackle and bringing the ball into the tackle, so it wasn’t the first-half that we wanted. We stepped up in the second-half though and if we’d played that way the whole game we definitely, I think, would’ve won the game.” 2014 is a whole new year, David.

David Givney in action for Mountnugent


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amogie, in common with the other GAA codes, is on the up and up in Cavan, as dual star Roisín O'Keeffe explains. Take a close look at Cavan GAA Inc and you'll find a corporation in rude health. The balance sheet is judged on the bottom line – success, trophies won, finals made – and the Breffni one makes for pleasant reading for accountants of the hallowed turf. The men's and boys' teams are now regularly competing against, and beating, top teams. Our rounders players retain their position at the forefront of the sport and our handballers continue to adorn the court, at home and abroad, with distinction. Ladies football has undergone a transformation and teams, at all levels, are breaking new ground in that ultracompetitive environment, while hurling is, for the first time in a generation and more, finally growing from grassroots up. Away from the limelight, however, offBroadway but earning rave reviews from the critics, another Breffni GAA revolution is taking place – Cavan's camógs are improving by the year, at all levels. Take the 2013 season, for example. After winning an Ulster junior title in 2012, consolidation was the name of the game and Cavan's premier side exceeded expectations, retaining their provincial title in style with a demolition of Armagh in the final back in May. With a team littered with girls taking a break from their Leaving Cert and college exam studies, that was no mean achievement and, along with the remarkable work going on at underage level, provides genuine hope for the future. Need proof of the improvement in

The Ulster winning squad and management, front l/r: Catriona Leddy, Aoife McDermott, Jenny O’Rourke, Brid Boylan (captain), Roisin O’Keefe, Erika Joyce, Tina Reilly, Kara McCabe. Back: Anthony Sheridan (coach), Aisling Smith, Mairead McCabe, Sinead Moore, Aideen Coyle, Nicola Collins, Eimear Brady, Roise Crowe, Emm Denning, Grainne Power, Orla Smith, Claire Fitzpatrick, Katie Smith, Ronan O’Hagan (coach)

Brid Boylan raises the Ulster trophy

The winning squad celebrate with the trophy


standards in camogie in Cavan? Well, just for a second, ignore Crosserlough’s fantastic Ulster success late in 2012. More pertinent is the fact that they were pushed to the pins of their collars to even retain their county crown nine months later, a sure sign that the level of skills and intensity has surpassed previous years in this county. Managed by Charlie Galligan and Colm McEvoy, Crosserlough – backboned by several county players – began the championship as hot favourites. However, they needed a late scoring burst to see off a very youthful Castletara side in the county final in early September. With the likes of Erinn Galligan, Sinéad McKenna and captain Lorraine Day to the fore for the eventual winners, the sides were tied at 0-4 apiece at the break. However, a goal from county footballer Gráinne Smith sent Castletara, for whom Bríd Boylan, Eadaoín Minagh and Anne Donnellan excelled, into the lead and it took two points from McKenna and a pointed penalty from Day to seal a 0-9 to 1-5 win for the Ulster champions. “The standard of camogie has improved over the years. Castletara have a young team and I suppose it’s the work that goes in, it starts off a national school and has been improved over the years,” said Crosserlough captain Day. “They have been building on that for a number of years and it’s coming through at senior level, as it is with a lot of clubs.” The formbook doesn’t lie and based on the results in this year’s championship, it seems likely that at least three Cavan clubs – Crosserlough, Lacken and Castletara – could be among the best handful at junior level in the province.

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Lacken and Cavan forward Roisín O'Keeffe believes so anyway. The 24-yearold has been playing on county camogie teams since U14 level and feels the sport has never been better-positioned to move to the next level. “The 2013 season went well, I suppose our main goal was to retain the junior championship in Ulster and we won that back in May. We played Armagh in that final in the centre of excellence in Derry, and we beat them well, although the scoreline didn’t show hard hard the actual game was,” said O'Keeffe, a PE and biology teacher in Castleblayney. “That was our main goal for the year so it was nice to achieve it.” The blend of youth and experience in the side makes for a potent mix, said the dual star, who also leads the line for the successful Cavan footballers. “There are a few of the older girls, the likes of Bríd Boylan, who have been around for years – Bríd was captain this

Peter Brady ie Chairman ie Cavan Camogpy of the Cavan Camog ent) id presents a co Lawlor (Camogie Pres leen History to Ai

year – and Rosie Crowe and Mairéad McCabe and after that you’re looking at girls from about 17 upwards,” she explained. ”A lot of young girls who are still minor were in on the panel, which I suppose was good for down the line.” The team was managed by Cavan Gaels clubman Tom Walsh – a minor hurling AllIreland winner with Wexford in 1968 – and Mullahoran duo Ronan O’Hagan and Anthony Sheridan. When Tom wasn’t able to commit any more in the middle of the year, the other two took over and got a great response from the players. The Ulster final win was a boost, as was Loreto College and St Clare's success in reaching an Ulster colleges final, but the overall standard has been improving steadily for a number of years, says O'Keeffe. “It is definitely coming on, you can see it the way a few more clubs are after developing, especially at underage level, the likes of Redhills and Cavan Gaels have

set up teams. Denn and Bailieborough have also set up teams and grown strong in the last few years, especially underage. You can definitely see that it’s developing,” she enthused. “There are three main teams in the senior championship, ourselves (Lacken), Crosserlough and Castletara and Laragh were up senior this year as well. We’d be looking forward to getting a few more teams up senior to make it a bit more competitive but the standard is good. “It’s very tight between the three of us. We know each other so well, we might be playing each four or five times a year so we know each team and each player inside out. But we’re looking forward to a few of the other teams making it up to the senior grade soon because that would improve things too.” The relative strength of camogie in Cavan was proven by Crosserlough's victory in the Ulster junior club championship, a victory which backs up

Maura McGurren Vice Chairperson of Ulster presenting Roisin O Keeffe with Player of the Match

the notion that the top clubs in Cavan are as good as what's out there in the province. “Crosserlough did really well. In previous years when Castletara went up to Ulster, they did well, and a few years back we won the Ulster intermediate. The clubs can compete with the Ulster teams and we are definitely on a par with them,” said O'Keeffe. Juggling the demands of two sports isn't easy but O'Keeffe, and county and club team-mate Rosie Crowe, has managed it for years. Just don't ask her to decide which she prefers... “It is tough being on a football field every day of the week but it’s not too bad, obviously I want to do it and I love doing it, if I didn’t I wouldn’t do both of them. “Having Rosie, who is from my club as well, helps, she’s doing county football and camogie as well. If there’s a day when you don’t want to go training, having someone to tell you to come on makes it easier. “I wouldn’t be able to choose. I have been


playing camogie since I was five or six, I always say if I had a match on at the same time, I probably wouldn’t go to either of them!” While the ladies' footballers deservedly garner plenty of plaudits, the camógs toil away in the background. That, however, could be about to change. “There’s a huge amount of work going on with underage and development squads, I suppose when you look back when I was that age, there was nothing like that, you were grabbing a few girls maybe to play a minor game once a year. “Now there are blitzes and development squads every Saturday, U16 county teams, U14 county teams, and we didn’t have that. There’s a lot of young talent coming on and it is looking bright.” Given a magic wand to conjure up a dream scenario, there isn't much O'Keeffe would change about Cavan camogie at present. “Starting with the underage, they are doing everything right,” she said.

Ulster Camog ie Pr present the troesident Kathleen Woods phy to Brid Bo ylan

“One possible thing that could be tried is to look at joining with Monaghan or Westmeath or some of the neighbouring counties and get some kind of a league going there, just so we’re not always playing the same teams. It would bring us on as well. “Maybe look at something like that, a Monaghan-Cavan league or whatever. All the clubs in Cavan would be getting challenge matches against them anyway and it might help improve standards even faster.” Before that, however, O'Keeffe is entitled to a well-earned break. If only she could pull her herself away from the sports she loves, she might even get an extended holiday during the summer months. She laughed aloud at the notion. “I need to go away! Every year I’m like ‘I’m gone next summer’ but I just can’t go!” she smiled. And at that, Roisin is gone, out to training again. It's tough at the top...

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he Cavan minor hurlers of 2013 had a hard act to follow this past season after last year’s run all the way to the AllIreland C final. Under the guidance of former senior forward Mark McEntee, only narrow defeats to Monaghan stood between them and silverware in the end.

performance in Garvaghey. The Blues were dominant from start to finish as they scored an impressive 4-8 to 0-2 win over the Red Hands to get their season off to a flyer. Out from Cavan’s stellar attacking display, which saw them fire four goals past hosts, McEntee would have been more impressed with his side’s defensive performance which reduced their "The state of hurling at this moment in opponents to just two points over the time would be at a level far above what hour. it would have been in the past in Cavan. However, Tyrone were mere minnows The reason being, there’s hope for compared to Cavan’s next opposition in hurling now." the Ulster MHL. Against Monaghan, The words of county board chairman Cavan were underdogs, despite their Tom O’Reilly during the 2013 campaign resounding win in the O’Neill County the weren’t far off the mark after the week previous, as they made the short county’s huge strides the previous year, trip to take on the Farney County on Jessie Holland being presented the Super as only a single score prevented the their home turf. Touch Shield by Ulster GAA president Martin McAviney young Breffni men from competing in The game would be the first of an Ulster championship final to five over that weekend to help make even further strides. open the new Monaghan GAA When Mark McEntee, who was Centre of Excellence at ably assisted by Seamus Cloughan, where the crowd Hughes, took over from John would be treated to an Hunt for the start of 2013 he set enthralling contest between the out a stall which saw them taking two neighbours. In the end, it each game as it came there way, was just four points (Monaghan with an Ulster final place the chief 3-9 Cavan 3-5) that separated objective for his players. the sides in what would be the Talent like Fiachra Hughes, first of their three meetings Neasan Neary and Sean Keating together in the space of just were amongst those expected to over a month. lead the way for Cavan in their When the two teams met new season and when the Ulster again three weeks later an Minor Hurling League campaign Ulster league title would be at got underway in early March it stake and despite Cavan Martin Comerford, Willie Gaughan, Eoin Morrissey and Brian was Tyrone that would provide registering a score-line of 3-12 Geary at the East Cavan Gaels activity night them with their at Kingspan o p e n i n g Breffni Park opposition. 3G, it was the Cavan made visitors’ knack the trip north, for goals that focused on would see getting their them over the season off to line. the best Luke O’Dea, possible start D e r m i e and did exactly Connolly and that when they Caoimhin t h u m p e d Carney struck Tyrone with a three first-half The Cavan minor hurling squad for 2013 that took on Mayo in the All-Ireland C semi-final resounding goals for the


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hosts to put them into a 3-5 to 2-7 lead at half-time, but in the second-half Monaghan went on a rampage, adding five goals to their tally for a 7-10 to 3-12 win in the Ulster MHL final. It would be a much closer contest when the two sides collided again on April 19th at Inniskeen. This time it was in Division Two of the Ulster Minor Championship and the stakes were higher as both sides went hell for leather at Grattan Park. Cavan looked to be on the cusp of recording just a second win at minor level over their neighbours in six meetings since 2011 only for goal poacher supreme Donal Meegan to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for the young Farney men. It was a cruel blow for a Cavan side that looked set to gain revenge for the season’s previous two defeats handed them by Monaghan earlier this year and again it was Meegan and his chief coconspirator up front, Tony Forde, played pivotal roles in shaping Cavan's downfall. The twin towers of the Monaghan attack bagged 7-8 of their side's 7-10 (to 3-12) tally last time out against Cavan and after Castleblayney's Forde netted on the double inside the opening six minutes of last weekend's clash, an alltoo familiar vista loomed large on the horizon. However Cavan's tactics of employing Brian Deering as a seventh defender and ensuring that centre-back Neasan Neary resided immediately in front of the Forde/Meegan axis threw Monaghan off-guard and left the match favourites off-key for large tracts of the match. Cavan enjoyed most of the possession over the hour-plus and while it would be stretching it a tad to suggest Monaghan's success ought to be bracketed in the 'daylight robbery' category, the hosts' were far the more relieved crew at the final whistle. Of all Monaghan's victories over Cavan in the past three years, this was their least impressive displays; a messy victory squeezed from a lack-lustre performance only rescued by their forwards' proven ability to bag gamechanging goals. Monaghan were harried and hassled off their rhythm but were helped on their way to the winner's enclosure by Cavan's ill-luck in losing experienced pair Caoimhin Carney (30) and Ryan Rogers (42) to injury. Carney scored Cavan's opening point

A group of U12s playing hurling in Croke Park

The U13 Academy team with mentors Tom Jenkins and Pauline Shalvey

St Feilims U14s who represented Cavan in the All-Ireland Feile

Cootehill Celtic hurlers taking a well deserve rest


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and Cootehill club mate Rogers rifled home the visitors' opening goal to help counter Forde's double and also level matters, 2-0 to 1-3 with 11 minutes on the clock. Meegan was only denied a goal in the 13th minute by a fine reflex save by Alex Hamilton and two minutes later Cavan were on the pig's back when Sean Keating's free from 23 metres went all the way to the Monaghan net. A brave block by Aaron Cosgrove subsequently prevented Forde from making it a hat-trick of goals but Monaghan, mainly through the forceful and adroit play of midfielder Aodh Curran, stubbornly refused to allow Cavan to push on and build on Keating's fortuitous goal. Sadly, the Breffni boys struggled to find the burst of quality in the key areas that would have put sufficient daylight between them and their rivals. Most specifically, the lack of purposeful, quality deliveries arrowed to Cavan's full-forward line proved damning and hurt the visitors' cause no end. In contrast, messrs. Curran, Boyle and Flood were adept at pinging ball at a textbook height and pace into the paths of their every-ready forwards. Cavan were all heart though and a tigerish fetch and overhead point by Dermie Connolly fairly epitomised the visitors' brio and ambition. Monaghan were much more energised in the second half though as they sought to overturn Cavan's fully deserved 2-6 to 2-4 interval lead. Suddenly, the hosts were a lot less hands-on and a lot more eager to hunt down their opponents in packs and support the man in possession. Pointedly, Monaghan's enthusiasm for

Eoin Morrissey, Martin McAviney, Paul Divilly and Conor Dourneen at the finals of the Summer Super Touch Blitz in Kingspan Breffni Park

That’s dedication from Seamus Hughes of Cootehill Celtic

Ger Gribben, Shane Dooley, Aileen Lawlor (Camoigie President) and Eoin Morrissey at the Castlerahan  Hurling and Camogie Camps

Shane Dooley signing autographs for hurling stars of the future


the fray visibly improved with their improved reading of the game and their gradual dominance of the midfield exchanges proof positive of a re-vitalisation of their challenge. As the second half gathered pace, Monaghan were seen to hoover up a galaxy of mis-directed and aimless clearances by the Cavan rearguard. Cavan kept their noses in front though and only a fine double save by 'keeper O'Dowd on the three quarter hour mark prevented Connolly and O'Dea from extending the visitors' 2-8 to 2-5 lead. Monaghan won the lion's share of possession in the third quarter but the following ten minutes saw Cavan get right back into the driver's seat. Sadly, Cavan failed to convert their hard-worth possession into the hard coinage of scores in the runin while Monaghan succeeded in recording a 12 unanswered tally. Ronan Curran pointed in the 57th minute to cut Cavan's lead to a single point but only a goal, it seemed was going to save Monaghan's bacon. On cue, hometown boy Meegan took delivery of yet another pin-point Conor Boyle pass to drive through and find the Cavan net. In an instant, Cavan were left shell-shocked and pinching themselves that after winning so many battles, the war had been lost. Cavan (Ulster MHC v Monaghan): Alex Hamilton; Fiachra Hughes, Caolan Kelly, Aaron Cosgrove; Enda Gormley, Neasan Neary (0-1, 65), James McKitterick; Enda Shalvey, Joshua Crowe; Dermie Connolly (0-2), Sean Keating (1-3, all frees), Luke O'Dea (0-1); Caoimhin Carney (0-1), Ryan Rogers (1-0), Brian Deering. Subs: Paidi Donohoe for C Carney (inj); Anthony Loughman for R Rogers (inj).

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nly a handful can boast being top of their field, but Cavan referee Joe McQuillan is now certainly among an elite group of match officials in the GAA having taken charge of two of the last three All-Ireland Senior Football Championship finals. Shane Corrigan caught up with the Kill clubman to look back on a year of further career fulfilments. Shane Corrigan: Firstly, Joe, I guess I should ask what took you into refereeing and what made you want to be a referee in the first place? Joe McQuillan: I picked up a bad shoulder injury and just wanted to keep fit after it. I couldn’t play football at the time and at the same time Kill were

stuck for a club referee and I started off doing ladies games when I was injured. The injury probably kept me out of football for two or three years and to keep fit was the main reason I got involved. When I got into it first it wasn’t to get refereeing an All-Ireland final anyway.

SC: Do you remember the first game you refereed in? JM: No. It would have been a ladies game, but Redhills and Cornafean was the first senior league game that I refereed back in 1998.

SC: How long was it before you started refereeing at inter-county level? JM: I went on to the Ulster panel in 2000 and did the Ulster Minor League

final in 2001 and 2002 and then the Ulster Minor Championship final in 2003, I think it was. In 2004, I joined the national panel. SC: What was the main difference you found between refereeing club games and inter-county games when you started? JM: I think you have a hell of a lot more respect at inter-county games. Any forms of abuse would be at a minimum at inter-county games as regards club games. It’s probably because the standard at inter-county would be stronger than it would be at club games. The attitude to the referee at intercounty would be a hell of a lot better than it would be at club level.

Joe McQuillan lays down the law during the All-Ireland final


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SC: What was your first All-Ireland SFC game? JM: It was in 2004 between Roscommon and Sligo in Hyde Park. It was the first round of the Connacht championship and the game ended in a draw.

SC: Did you feel much nerves or pressure going into it? JM: It would have been fierce pressure at that stage alright. It would have been the first time I was refereeing in front of

that I got a televised game as my first championship match.

SC: You were chosen for the 2011 AllIreland SFC final, obviously a tremendous honour. How do you go about preparing for such an occasion? JM: You will always have a feeling that you’re going to be in the running for certain games. In 2011, I felt I was in with a chance alright, but depending on who gets to it as well, it obviously has an impact as to who might referee it. In

schedule that weekend because you’re weekend is in Dublin. You don’t have that for other games. So it’s slightly different than any other game but, on the field, nothing different.

SC: Did you maybe feel that bit more comfortable going into this year’s final? JM: I got three weeks’ notice in 2011 for the final and this year I got 10 days’ notice. So it kind of came on top of me any awful lot quicker and I was very busy at work and one thing or another

Captains Andy Moran and Stephen Cluxton with Joe McQuillan prior to the All-Ireland final

a full house and it would have been a very nerve wrecking experience. But it was a great experience at the same time and it was a great game of football. It was televised live and it was a cracking game and probably one of the reasons why I was pushed on a bit faster. The fact that it was a televised game, a tight game and it went well for me. You’ll always be measured on a tight game more than a one-sided game because every decision is vital in a very tight game. So I was probably lucky the way

regards to preparing, it’s another game and you still have to prepare the same as any other game. I know it’s the biggest game of the year, and that will add its own wee bit of pressure, but the preparation wouldn’t have been that much different to any other game. At the end of the day, it’s still another game and it has to be refereed the exact same way as any other one. Okay, certainly the fact that it’s an All-Ireland final does bring its own bits of nerves and everything and it has slightly different


and never really got thinking that much about it until the weekend of it. I wouldn’t say I was any calmer going into it. You’ll never be calm going into an All-Ireland, especially on the morning of it. But look at; you know what to expect that wee bit more two years later than you did the last time. It still carries its own pressures because nobody wants to make a bad job of the biggest game of the year. SC: Were you surprised to be given the final again after having refereed one

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two years previous? JM: I suppose Brian Gavin had been appointed to referee the hurling final and he’d done it in 2011 as well, so they were probably going to make the appointment based on whoever was on form at the time. Of course, it depended on who was in the final as well. So I knew that once it was a LeinsterConnacht final that there was a brave chance that I was going to be in the running for it again, but, again, until you get that call you’re never sure.

SC: The general consensus afterwards was that you did a good job. As a referee, can you ask for anything more than that? JM: You’ll never get perfection. You come off the field the day of the AllIreland and you can’t do anything new at that stage because what has happened has happened. There will always be a decision or two in the game that maybe when you look back you might have changed, but overall I would have been happy enough with it. I’d have no major complaints out of refereeing the All-Ireland. I know there might have been a few complaints from managers but that’s them trying to get their own wee gripes out after and I don’t think there were many decisions that would have differed had I refereed it today.

SC: A little closer to home, what did you make of the standard in the Cavan club championships this year? JM: Believe it or not, I haven’t seen an awful lot of it this year. I haven’t been involved that much in the championship because there’s been involvement with the All-Ireland and I haven’t been available too much. I only done two championship matches myself this year and bar being at my own club’s games, I really haven’t been at any other games this year. In the games I’ve seen, like the final that Kill won I thought was a very strong standard for junior football. The two seniors matches I done had Cavan Gaels involved in both against Lacken and Castlerahan. The Gaels certainly looked very strong and they just seemed to have gotten better as the year has gone on. Bar that, I haven’t seen many games, to be honest. I mean I haven’t ever seen any intermediate championship games at all (this year). SC: You’ve refereed your fair share of important championship games in

Cavan down the years. How do you think the standard in Cavan compares with other counties? JM: Things have improved a lot in the last couple of years and it’s probably mainly down to the success of Cavan’s minor and Under 21 teams. It’s brought a better standard to the county and you’re seeing more teams coming more into contention in the senior championship. Earlier on in the year, a lot of people might have been saying that Cavan Gaels wouldn’t make it to a county final and the likes of Castlerahan, Ramor and maybe Kingscourt and Mullahoran were the teams to watch. They all fell by the wayside though and the Gaels are still there. Look at, the standard probably has improved over the last couple of years and it’s probably mainly down to the minor and Under 21 success that’s been followed through into club level now.

SC: What do you think Cavan need to do in the next few years to continue their upward curve? JM: It has to continue with the hard work their doing with development squads at Under 17 and Under 15 level. They need to keep that up because it is reaping rewards and once you have a reward at minor and Under 21 I definitely think it’s only down the road until you have success at senior level. We have Armagh again in the first round of the championship next year and it’s not going to be easy and if they get through because they have a tough semi-final. But, realistically, in the next two or three years you’d be hoping that there’ll be an Anglo-Celt Cup coming back to Cavan. I don’t think it’s beyond the possibility of happening because if Monaghan can do it there’s no reason why we can’t do it as well. We were only a kick of the ball away from them and on their day I think there as good as any of them. SC: Is there an Ulster SFC title in this current crop of Cavan players? JM: I think, Cavan at this moment in time, if they were told that they were going to win an Ulster they’d take the hand off ya. There are a great bunch of lads in there at the moment that have come through the development squads and the minor and Under 21s. Most of them have been used to success and I have no doubt that they will reap the rewards if they keep it up. A lot of them have that winning mentality behind them


of winning games and winning games brings its own success. I hope to hell that they do actually pull an Anglo-Celt Cup out of it in the next year or two.

SC: Your own club Kill enjoyed championship success recently. What has been different with them this year? JM: They brought in a new management team from Monaghan of Barry McLoughlin and Liam McDermott and they dropped down a division. We were trying to rebuild and with new management the lads were hungry for success. There was a lot of hard work put in. I think there was over 100 training sessions done this year and they have a good blend of youth and experience there. You have lads playing at 17 years of age and then the likes of Pearse McKenna, who is 37, and Damien Foster, who is 35 years of age. So there’s a good mix there. SC: Are there a few future Cavan players on the horizon? JM: If they’re handled correctly and if they keep the work up there’s no doubt that there’s one or two of them lads that could don the Cavan jersey. But, look at, you have to be a wee bit lucky as well just to get the breakthrough to get in on the Cavan team as well. It’s not just always straightforward when you come from a Division Three club it doesn’t always mean you can get a Cavan jersey because you have to work for it and you have to be a wee bit lucky to get called into a development squad. You just don’t be seen as much in Division Three as you do be in Division Two or Division One, especially.

SC: Lastly, it will be hard for you to top this year between an All-Ireland final and your club winning their championship, but what are your hopes for 2014? JM: I guess it’s to put pressure on every other referee again to try and handle another All-Ireland. At the end of the day, All-Irelands are handed out for whoever is on form at that stage of the year. If the ball falls the right way and you have no Ulster team in the AllIreland, all you can do is put pressure on the committee to appoint you and after that you either get it or you don’t. Look, it’s highly unlikely that you will get it. But, at the same time, if things didn’t go well for other referees you could be back in the limelight again.

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Jason McLoughlin keeps the ball away from Armagh’s Jamie Clarke

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s far as young rising defenders go, there have been few more impressive around these parts recently than Jason McLoughlin. Shane Corrigan spoke to the Shannon Gaels youngster about another Cavan Ulster Under 21 success this past season. “We just wanted to win every game. That was our primary focus and we obviously wanted to win Ulster again and go another step and try and win the All-Ireland, but unfortunately it didn’t happen for us on that day in Tullamore.” – Jason McLoughlin on the Cavan U21s’ 2013 campaign. The last 12 months have been rollercoaster-like for the 20-year-old Cavan corner-back. From spending the early part on his Erasmus in Spain to returning home to Blacklion at the end of February and helping Cavan to their third successive Ulster U21 championship crown. That, of course, would be followed by two appearances at Croke Park for Cavan seniors in the summer – the latter game against Kerry would see him assigned to marking none other than Colm Cooper in an All-Ireland SFC quarter-final. While it all seemed to happen in a flash, it’s something which McLoughlin has taken in his stride as one of the county’s most promising defenders from his days as a fresh-faced minor in 2010. Back then, McLoughlin and co were ‘the nearly men’ – the Cavan minor side under Mickey Graham that failed to break the resistance of Tyrone and Armagh when it came to the big summer curtain raisers in Clones. Recently, however, the tune has changed for all concerned. Cavan ended their 37-year wait for an Ulster MFC in 2011, and although McLoughlin was not a part of the historic success, he would get his taste the following season when the Blues’ retained their Ulster U21FC title with a 1-10 to 0-10 win over Tyrone in Enniskillen. Under the bright lights at Brewster Park, McLoughlin and his team mates shined to down the Red Hands – a side they’d experienced such pain to in past years at minor level – and a year later they’d repeat the trick at the same venue to topple Donegal and make history of their own. The feat of three Ulster U21FC titles in-a-row isn’t likely to be repeated any time soon by any other county and with another batch of promising young stars coming through,


Cavan will be fancied to land the Irish News Cup again next April and perhaps (dare say it) even an All-Ireland title. Under former Cavan and Knockbride stalwart Peter Reilly, the Breffni men set out their stall at the start of 2013 to win every game, according to McLoughlin, and by the time their Ulster championship defence came around on March 21st it would be a strong Monaghan outfit that provided them with their opening test. In fact, McLoughlin rated the Farney men as favourites for the quarter-final at Kingspan Breffni Park and as the game unravelled you could understand why. The visitors raced out of the traps before Reilly’s side hit six unanswered points to lead by the interval. Monaghan regained the lead, then lost it before forcing their opponents to extra-time, where Cavan’s fitness proved the difference, according to their number two. “We knew that Monaghan were going to be very strong,” stated McLoughlin. “They had some very good players and they were probably favourites going into that game, being honest. We didn’t take them for granted one bit. We set our stall out early on and focused hard in training and trained really hard for that game in the weeks leading up to it. “We were probably lucky in that they maybe had a few chances in normal time to put us away and we just hung in there and I think Enda O’Reilly chipped over a point to level it at the end. Once we got to extra-time we knew that our fitness could carry us through.” He added: “We had no doubt in extratime that we’d carry it through and beat them. I suppose that was kind of a credit to Peter and the backroom team. They had us in pristine shape.” The next day out saw things run more smoothly for Cavan, as they made the trip to Armagh and outclassed Down with a champions’ display at the Athletic Grounds. Cavan exploded from the blocks to hold a 0-9 to 0-2 lead by the interval, with Jack Brady and Enda O’Reilly in excellent scoring form. There was never a doubt of getting the win after that and when Paul O’Connor struck the game’s only goal early in the second-half a place in a fourth consecutive Ulster final was sealed. “The crowd was fantastic as usual,” recalled McLoughlin. “You can’t fault them. Any time we lose you could never fault the crowd, because they’re always 100 per cent behind you. “Those nights in Brewster Park are the ones you will remember forever. It’s


fantastic for Cavan to have that support at Under 21 level – or any level. That night we went up to play Down in Armagh it was fantastic. It was a sea of blue and it really helped us make such a strong start. I think we played extremely well that night. We led them by a good bit after getting off to a good start and we probably nullified some of their better players out the field. We really ticked that night, I think.” The manner of the victory sent Cavan into the provincial decider against Donegal – a county still on a high from the previous year’s All-Ireland SFC success – as favourites. That was a dangerous thing, as far as McLoughlin was concerned. None of the past Cavan U21 sides had entered an Ulster final with the odds in their favour, and their last meeting with Donegal at Brewster Park ended in defeat to a stronger outfit, led by the awesome Michael Murphy, which were unlucky not to go on and capture an All-Ireland crown. “I know there was lots of talk about the three-in-a-row and everything but coming from the group we didn’t let that get into our heads. There was no talk of that among us and again that was probably due to management, they had us focused,” said the Cavan defender. “I mean Donegal didn’t care about what we done the previous two years and I suppose that was one thing unique about the Under 21s these last few years – they wanted to make their own success. “As I said before, we took it one game at a time and, thankfully, we got through it that night again,” he added. Once again it was Cavan’s sizzling start (the last two finals saw them registering goals in the first minute) that laid the foundation for victory, as Chris Conroy, Enda O’Reilly and Gerard Smith notched over the early points that moved them towards a 0-7 to 0-2 halftime lead. At the back, Cavan had been practically faultless with McLoughlin amongst the top performers on the night and despite Donegal grabbing a goal in the second-half the Breffni men never panicked, as the frees of Jack Brady helped them over the line to a 0-13 to 16 victory and historic third consecutive Ulster championship success. McLoughlin’s recap again paid tribute to the loyal Cavan support that travelled to Enniskillen that night: “I just remember the massive roar from the crowd when we came out on to the field in Brewster and we got off to a good

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Jason McLoughlin Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:30 Page 4

start again,” he said. “Our forwards’ tackling was outrageous and we just wouldn’t let them get out (of their own half) and they were finding it very hard to get the ball out of their defence and that just set the platform for the night. “Donegal came back into it a bit in the second-half, like you would expect from a good team. They had their purple patch and we held out and we were just happy enough to get the win in the end.” He also pointed to the experience that Cavan had as a factor in the road to victory, stating: “It definitely stood to us this year on big nights, big games. At Under 21 level there’s some exceptional young players in Ulster and the nights against Monaghan and Donegal really were tough tests for us that we’ll hope can stand to us in the future.” What would follow next for an ambitious group of players would be sheer heartbreak – a one-point defeat to Cork in Tullamore, denying them a place in the coveted All-Ireland final. After having trailed for a large portion of the game at O’Connor Park, Cavan dug deep in the last 20 minutes to bring themselves back into contention against

Jason out in front of Cork’s Jamie Wall during the All-Ireland U21FC semi-final

the Rebels and very nearly force extratime. However, in the end it just wasn’t to be for the brave Breffni men and defeat is one that still stings a little for McLoughlin. “We really did think we could go all the way and that’s why we were extremely disappointed after the Cork game,” he said. “I don’t think it came down to effort though. The lads gave it everything. Maybe we just didn’t get the breaks on the day. They got a few more breaks than we did and that stood to them in the end.” Despite the disappoint of defeat, McLoughlin knows that the strides Cavan have made at minor, U21 and now senior level have been huge ones and hopes that the county will continue to benefit by earning more and more silverware. He also feels that the county board, and the recent coaches they’ve Jason McLoughlin in his club colours for Shannon Gaels appointed, deserve


plaudits for the work that’s been put in to help turn things around in Cavan for the better. “It’s coming from the structures that the county board have put in place and the management teams that they’ve brought in, I have no doubt about that,” stated the GMIT student. “Terry Hyland is a great coach and great manager. He always seems to get the team right on the day and the tactics right and when Peter came in he did the same. Then you have Gary Donohoe and Dermot McCabe with the minors. They obviously have the same philosophy. They’re eager for success and dedicated Cavan people at the end of the day and they just want Cavan to be winning. “I suppose we (the Cavan seniors) had a nice run this year and again we were disappointed afterwards because we felt we left it out there. We thought we could have took Kerry on the day but it didn’t happen. It’s a young team though and I know we’ll definitely learn from that and just push on again for the future. I know next year’s Under 21 team is going to be very strong again and the minors as well. “There’s going to be a new group of lads coming on to the seniors again next year to freshen things up and have lads fighting for places.” That’s what we like to hear.

Grainne Smith Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:30 Page 1



t was complete relief. That last minute was the longest minute and it was such a great feeling when it was over. It was just like ‘we finally done it’ and it took a lot of pressure off.” – Grainne Smith Fourteen years is a long time to wait for anything, but when you talk to Grainne Smith you get the feeling that the lengthy journey towards a first AllIreland title with Cavan ladies has been worth the wait for the Butlersbridge woman. Now, at 29 years old, she can rest easy knowing that at least one of her chief goals as a Cavan player has been achieved – ‘Promised Land’ reached, even if it took a rollercoaster ride to get there. Ending their long wait for the coveted Mary Quinn Cup along with Grainne would be the likes of Aishling Doonan, Bronagh Sheridan, Rosie Crowe and Ailish Cornyn – all long time servants to the Breffni cause that feared their

chance of making history for their county had come and gone two years previous when Westmeath denied them by a mere point in a replayed final at Croke Park. It’s no secret that Cavan took the best part of a year to recover from the devastation of that painful defeat before this season saw them time their form to perfection to get back to a September decider at Croke Park, where history would finally be made in the form of a first ever All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship crown for the Breffni county. Smith outlined that there was no such talk of All-Ireland titles when the group met up at the end of 2012 to discuss their plans for the forthcoming season. “We had our first meeting in November and then we started back around December time and just had a general chat about the training we were going to do and preparing for the league,” she said. “We were in Division Two and knew

that we had to be well prepared for it because we were coming up against some tough teams in it. In the last two years though we’ve had a few new players like Aisling Sheridan and Caitriona Smith, who both had a great year with us, and a few more good young players that have come and helped us. There were also a few older players that had come back after taking a year out as well, so we knew we had a good squad to start the year with.” While Cavan wouldn’t come through their National League with flying colours, the team had done enough to maintain their status in Division Two for 2014 and it was a campaign that the players could be satisfied with, according to Smith. “We were hoping to stay up,” she said. “That was kind of the priority but we would have also been hoping to try and get to a league final. We were coming up against a good few senior teams which was a big challenge for us and by the end of it we were just hoping to stay up, which we managed to do. We lost a

Gráinne about to gain possession against London in Ashbourne


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Gráinne Smith powers away from Down’s Niamh McGowan

few matches by a point or two, so we were unfortunate in that way, but we were happy enough in the end up to maintain our status to be playing in Division Two next year.” With league safety assured, Cavan’s focus quickly shifted towards an Ulster semi-final meeting with Down in June. Just off the back of a NFL Division Three title success, Down were coming into the provincial last four clash in redhot form and on the day outplayed a Cavan side that simply weren’t at the races to book their place in the Ulster final. “I think we built up Down too much going into that semi-final and we didn’t concentrate on ourselves enough and we were worried about the players they had,” Smith stated. “Down have been senior for a good few years and they’re a good strong team. When we went out and played them we didn’t really perform at all and I think we lost it by five points in the end. It was just a bad performance on everybody’s behalf. I mean I can’t say anyone had a good game that day and we were very disappointed after that, so we had to go and look at the backdoor.” The defeat would act as somewhat of an eye-opener for Cavan, with Smith of the opinion that an impressive victory over Tyrone in the weeks after acted as a major boost, and somewhat of a turning point in their season, heading

into their next two games against London and Waterford in the All-Ireland IFC qualifiers. “We regrouped after the disappointment of the Down game and we just sat down and spoke about what we thought we needed to improve on and what areas we needed to work on. We started fresh for the All-Ireland series and got run of form together in those games,” said the corner-forward. “We played Tyrone in a challenge match the week before we played London and Tyrone would be a good senior team and we beat them up there. I suppose that gave us our first lift because that was our first good win because it was a challenge and then against London it wasn’t as tough a match and we won fairly well in that. “We were surprised about how well we did against Waterford because they would have been in an All-Ireland final last year and they’re a good strong team. We had a great performance against them and it gave all the girls a great boost. So we were very positive facing in against Down in the semis.” All of a sudden, Cavan found themselves back in a place where they had been a few weeks previous – a semi-final against Down. This time, however, there would be an All-Ireland final place at stake when the two teams met at Kingspan Breffni Park, where Cavan would have the majority support


in their favour. On the day, Cavan’s slick forwards tormented the Mourne women to claim a comfortable 4-12 to 0-11 victory, with Smith contributing 1-3 from play, as well as setting up Bronagh Sheridan’s goal, in an outstanding performance, which saw them cruise into the All-Ireland final. “We were kind of nervous with home advantage because it’s not too often that we get to play in Breffni and maybe there was added pressure on us to play well,” Smith said. “We were a bit anxious too after being beaten by Down in the semi-final, but it was great on the day when we had the support behind us. We just got off to a good start and everyone fought really hard and they were all up for it. We turned it around and had a great game against them and won the game fairly convincingly in the end. It was great to get past them.” By ousting Down, all that stood in the way of Smith and her team mates of AllIreland glory was a Tipperary side that had stunned Fermanagh with an injurytime goal in their respective semi-final. Despite a late goal just seeing them through, Smith knew that Tipp were into the final on merit and felt that Cavan couldn’t afford to let the big occasion get to them if they were to see off the Premier County’s challenge in the capital on September 29th. “A good few of us had experience

Grainne Smith Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:31 Page 3

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playing in Croke Park and I think it really stood to us this year,” she stated. “The management kept it really low key and there wasn’t as much hype as there was two years ago. The players were just more focused on it as a game of football like we’ve taken every game this year and we looked at the final like that. It was just a game that we needed to win. “We trained really hard and there was no major focus on the fact that it was an All-Ireland final. Obviously we were going to be played in Croke Park and that was the biggest thing, but we had a plan in place and we just worked hard to make sure and get the end result, which we did, thankfully. “We knew Tipperary were a good strong team and I suppose some people had written the off after they’d won their last couple of matches late on, but we knew they were a good strong team and didn’t take them for granted. They got off to a good start and there were nerves on our part early on because we fumbled a lot of ball to begin with. They had their homework done on us too and they made us very tough for us and had our forward line very well marked. The scores we got were hard got but I think maybe experience got us through in the end and maybe our fitness too. We were lucky that we got the penalty right

towards the end too because that kind of sealed it for us.” In the end, every point counted for Cavan as they overcame Tipperary’s challenge with just two to spare. Smith, scorer of 0-3, played an important role as any but after the final whistle sounded there was a mutual felling shared amongst the Cavan players. “It was complete relief. That last minute was the longest minute and it was such a great feeling when it was over. It was just like ‘we finally done it’ and it took a lot of pressure off,” said the 29-year-old. “When you’re playing a long time you just really want to win it. You’re there or thereabouts all the time and just not able to finish it and the minute the whistle went we were just delighted and really happy, which was fairly evident on the day by everyone’s reaction.” The celebrations that ensued were well worthy of an All-Ireland success, as the team crossed into the Cavan border as a whole with the Mary Quinn Cup in hand before being greeted by delighted supporters in both Virginia and Cavan town. “The support was unbelievable,” said Smith. “The amount of people that hung around and waited for us to come home was amazing. The county board did a

great job organising it all and we had a great night in Cavan and went around all the clubs and schools in the days and weeks after, so it’s been an amazing experience.” The experience has truly been one to savour for Smith and her team mates. As of next year they’ll be looking towards a new challenge which will see them competing against the country’s top teams in the All-Ireland senior championship and it’s a task that she feels they are up to. “We’ll just regroup and train as hard as we have been, but I suppose we’ll have to up our game a bit to keep up with that standard. We’ll train hard for the league anyway and hopefully progress a bit more in Division Two. The standard of teams we’ll be playing in Division Two should help us in the championship next year,” she stated. “There’s a good young team there and I’ve no doubt if we all stick together that in the next year or two that we can progress well at senior level. There could be one or two thinking about retirement but none of them have decided yet and the majority of that team are young and hopefully they’ll stick at it and hopefully all the same players will be there next year.”

Cavan's Grainne Smith takes on Tipperary duo Brid Condon and Barbara Ryan


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avan’s Under 16 footballers did their utmost to keep the good times rolling for the Breffni underage fraternity in 2013 but unfortunately got pipped at the final hurdle this past August. Here’s a look back at another progressive season for some of the county’s top young talents. When it rains, it usually pours. That so nearly proved the case for the Cavan Under 16s this year, after the county’s third consecutive Ulster U21FC success and the seniors run to the last eight of the All-Ireland SFC series. After the excitement of two trips to Croke Park in the summer for Breffni supporters, it was the Under 16s that saw Blues fans travelling east again at the end of August to cheer on their team in the Gerry Reilly Cup final at Millbrook, Oldcastle, Co Meath. After the team’s Fr Manning Cup campaign, which saw them pick up just one win from their three group games in July against Longford (2-12 to 4-4), the players focused their attentions on a meeting with Meath the following Sunday which would commence their Gerry Reilly Cup tournament. Under the guidance of former Mullahoran and Gowna stalwarts Danny Brady and Dermot McCabe, whom were ably assisted by Andy McGovern,

Cavan went into the game at Millbrook focused on the win and it was a dominant spell in the first-half that made the difference for them against the young Royals. It had been all square on 0-1 apiece until Cavan hit their purple patch around the 10-minute mark, striking 1-5 without reply through Sean Keating (2f), Adam Masterson, Peter Corrigan and ‘Man of the Match’ Daire McEnroe netting the goal. Meath hit back to reduce their arrears, but it was Cavan that went in at the break with the 1-6 to 0-5 lead. Cavan had a dream start to the second half with a deflected goal and added three more points without reply to stretch their lead to 10 points (2-9 to 05). Meath looked to be dead and buried at that point, but in their typical fashion they made a real fight of it. Two points from frees by Tomas O'Reilly reduced the gap before Conor O'Rourke pulled one back for Cavan. Padraig McGowan's goal seemed to lift Meath even more and it was their time to dominate in the game. They registered four unanswered points from Padraig McGowan (2) and Tomas O'Reilly (2, 1f) which had the sides level. Meath had chances to take the lead, but it was points from Daire McEnroe and Sean Moynagh that put Cavan ahead again. Tomas O'Reilly pulled one back from a free to leave the minimum

between the sides. The home side had chances to get the equaliser, but it was the Cavan defence that held out strong for the win. The victory set-up Cavan for a showdown with Wicklow on August 5th at the same venue, where the winners would advance through to the tournament’s final. In a game which provided some great football for onlookers, it was Cavan that edged matters in the first-half thanks to two well-timed goals. The first came from Castlerahan ace Daire McEnroe to help stem the tide of a decent start from the Leinster side and the second a deflected effort off a Wicklow defender which ended up in his own net. It meant the young Breffni men would be starting the second-half with a 2-6 to 0-5 score-line in their favour and in the early stages a superb save from Liam Brady had denied Wicklow a goal which would have brought them right back into contention. It proved to be a wake-up call for Cavan as they hit back with three points from Darragh Gannon, who would later be named ‘Man of the Match’, and Adam Rehill to stretch their advantage to 10. The Wicklow comeback started with a goal from Patrick O’Connor and they went on to hit five points in the final quarter to reduce the deficit to two, but Cavan dug deep in the closing stages to

The squad for the Gerry Reilly tournament final against Dublin


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shoot over points via McEnroe, Gannon and Lacken’s Shane Moynagh to see out a 2-15 to 1-11 win and book their place in the final. Cavan (Gerry Reilly Cup v Wicklow): Liam Brady (Ramor United); Marcus Duffy (Ballyhaise), Donal Monaghan (Drumlane), Fintan Carolan (Cavan Gaels); Stephen Cooney (Laragh), David Wilson (Lacken), Adam Masterson (Ballyhaise); Adam Rehill (Mountnugent) (0-1), Killian Maguire (Ramor United); Shane Moynagh (Lacken) (0-2), Daire Mc Enroe (Castlerahan) (1-2), Ryan Magorahan (Arva) (0-2); Darragh Gannon (Killgarry)

(0-7, 6f), Sean Keating (Ballinagh) (0-1), Peter Corrigan (Kingscourt). Subs: Conor O'Rourke (Laragh) for Corrigan, Shane Fortune (Cavan Gaels) for Masterson, James McGahern (Cornafaen) for Magorahan, James Brady (Ramor United) for McGahern (inj). Dublin were fancied to overcome Cavan’s challenge on August 25th and add a fifth Gerry Reilly Cup to their collecting, with the Breffni County gunning for their fourth, and a large crowd travelled to Oldcastle the final and were treated to some great football from both sides for whom the future looks

bright. Cavan started strong from the throw-in and had the first chance to score but shot wide from a resulting ‘45’. Dublin's Jon Kindlon got the opening point of the game. Cavan responded with a point from Peter Corrigan after a scramble in the Dublin goalmouth and a Sean Caffrey free edged Dublin ahead before Shane Moynagh got Cavan's second point after a great pass from Killian Maguire. Minutes later Moynagh found the Dublin net after great work by Daire McEnroe to give Cavan a three-point lead and land an early blow against the

Peter Corrigan kicks a point against Meath in Millbrook

Dubs in this decider. Dublin would then have their best period of the first-half with five unanswered points from Brian Howard, Sean Caffrey (2, 1f), Cathal Doran and Darren Byrne to lead by two points. A Darragh Gannon free reduced the arrears to one before McEnroe's attempt on goal was superbly blocked by Dublin's goalkeeper Jack Carey to deny Cavan a second goal which would have brought them into the lead. In the 24th minute, a McEnroe converted free had the sides level again, before Cathal Doran got the final score of the half to lead give Dublin the lead by the minimum (0-8 to 1-4) at the break


after Cavan sent two scoring chances the wrong sides of the post. On the first-half display, it looked as though the game was going to go down to the wire, but Dublin seemed to have moved up a gear and added three points to their tally by the 40th minute without reply. Cavan had a great chance to reduce the gap between the sides when they were awarded a penalty, however Killian Maguire's kick was saved by Dublin 'keeper Carey, who was having a fine evening between the posts.  Dublin substitute Darragh Dixon responded with a point which extended the young capital men’s lead to four.

David Brady, who had been leading the line strong at full-forward for the Ulster side up to this point, converted a free which turned out to be Cavan's only score of the second-half. They had chances from frees, but failed to convert them. Dublin on the other hand were creating chances and showed great speed adding three points to their tally before the final whistle. Overall Dublin deserved their victory and especially with their second half performance. Credit has to be given to Cavan for putting up a great fight and never gave up. After the match, the Gerry Reilly Cup was presented to Dublin's captain, Barra

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McGarry by Claire Reilly (mother of Gerry Reilly) and Martin Reilly (brother of Gerry Reilly). Cavan: Liam Brady (Ramor United); Marcus Duffy (Ballyhaise), Donal Monaghan (Drumlane), Fintan Carolan (Cavan Gaels); Shane Fortune (Cavan Gaels), David Wilson (Lacken), Stephen Cooney (Laragh); Killian Maguire (Ramor United), Adam Rehill (Mountnugent); Shane Moynagh (Lacken) (1-1), Daire McEnroe(Castlerahan) (0-1, 1f), Ryan Magorahan (Arva); Darragh Gannon (Killygarry) (0-1, 1f), David Brady (Ballyhaise) (0-1, 1f), Peter Corrigan (Kingscourt) (0-1). Subs: Breffni Mc Kiernan (Swanlinbar) for Magorahan, Adam Masterson (Ballyhaise) for Cooney, Cian Carolan (Knockbride) for Moynagh, Conor O'Rourke (Laragh) for Rehill.

The 0-14 to 1-5 defeat was a painful one to take for the young Breffni men, knowing that had they registered a few of their missed goal chances it may well have been a different outcome for them on the day. Nonetheless, after topping their group to get to the final, it seems as though are certainly looking up for Cavan at this level.

Daire McEnroe heads for the Wicklow goals

Players like Daire McEnroe and David Brady look to be amongst the top contenders to be the next supply of Cavan minors for the coming years, whilst Drumlane’s Donal Monahan has already made his Ulster MFC debut this past May against Armagh – a game which saw Killygarry ace Darragh Gannon come on as a substitute.

The experience of playing a side like Dublin in the final of a competition such as the Gerry Reilly Cup is no doubt set to stand to this group of players, whom will be hoping to repeat their county’s feat of 2011 and capture at least one coveted Ulster MFC title over the next two to three years. Here’s hoping they can do exactly that!

Darragh Gannon against Dublin in the Gerry Reilly football tournament final


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Damien O’Reilly breaks up a Kerry attack in the All-Ireland quarter-final

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013 was a year which saw Cavan make some longawaited strides under Terry Hyland in his first full season in charge. Breffni Blue Editor Shane Corrigan spoke to the Lacken man about a season of progress and his hopes for next year. While the Cavan managerial post has proved to be a poisoned chalice for so many, Terry Hyland has managed (literally) to make it look somewhat easy in his first full season at the helm, having guided his native county to a first ever All-Ireland SFC quarter-final appearance this past season. When Hyland arrived at the Cavan post in the middle of last year it was on full merit, having just guided the county’s Under 21 footballers to a second successive Ulster U21FC success and assisted his predecessor Val Andrews, who stepped aside after some difficult results. His first competitive game in charge would see his side fall to a sixpoint defeat at the hands of eventual AllIreland champions Donegal. Since then, Hyland’s championship

record has read six wins (Fermanagh x 3, Armagh, Derry and London) and three defeats (Kildare, Monaghan and Kerry), but he’s in no way content, nor ready, to rest on the progress. In fact, the Lacken native cites 2013 as a season in which Cavan missed out on all of their chief objectives. “Our aims were to try and win as much as we could,” explained Hyland. “We would have set out to win the McKenna Cup and get promotion from Division Three and neither happened, and we would have set out to win an All-Ireland and that didn’t happen. I suppose the aspirations and aims of most intercounty teams are probably all the same. “We did make progress though. We had a reasonably good National League campaign in Division Three. It was very competitive with some local derbies involved. It was probably the first time in a couple of years that we weren’t under pressure in the relegation end of it as the promotion was down to the last day. “In the championship, we felt we had a good chance of getting into an Ulster final this year because we had seen an improvement in our own group and felt

Terry Hyland points the way for Cavan footballers


that we were good enough to get that far. But we got pipped by Monaghan in the semi-final and it was very disappointing to go down by a point, but then Monaghan proved themselves and went on to be worthy Ulster champions after that.” While the McKenna Cup only saw Cavan warming up to a long season which extended into August for the first time since 1997, missing out promotion from Division Three would be a disappointment for Hyland and his players, particularly with the form they went on to demonstrate in the summer. The one main positive Cavan could take from April was a third successive Ulster U21FC success, this time under new manager Peter Reilly, and the team’s elimination at the hands of Cork at the semi-final stage would see some of the county’s top young guns filtering into Hyland’s squad as the team geared up for their fast-approaching Ulster SFC opener with Armagh. Disaster soon followed though as star midfield Gearoid McKiernan endured a cruciate knee injury whilst on duty with Swanlinbar that put an early end to his season.

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While McKiernan’s loss was undoubtedly a colossal blow, Hyland felt there was no cause for panic as he and fellow tacticians Anthony Forde and Peter Donnelly went about devising a plan to try and fill the void of McKiernan’s huge influence for the rest of the summer. The first test without the Swad powerhouse would see Cavan’s firepower make the difference, as they advanced past Armagh into the last eight of the Ulster SFC. “Our only thought is the panel and while Gearoid was a major loss to us, there’s always somebody else to step in and that’s the same with any player that

A hard fought victory over Fermanagh at Brewster Park, Enniskillen – a happy hunting ground for Hyland and many of his players in recent years – saw Cavan enter another local derby, with an Ulster SFC final place at stake this time around. Cavan would match Monaghan pound per pound in Clones and finish a point short at the full-time whistle, with no complaints afterwards from the Breffni boss. “The Armagh and Fermanagh games were two different kinds of games, but what it probably came down to was us taking our chances,” he said. “Against

scoring a seven-point win over their Erne neighbours. The Blues made the win look easier than it was, leaving plenty of doubters to write them off when the travelled to Celtic Park to take on Derry on a scorching July evening. Cavan would deliver the performance of their season to dump out the Oak Leafers and, according to their manager, it all came down to the players’ self-belief. “As I’ve told the lads before, you have to earn respect,” he said. “In fairness, we were coming in as a Division Three team that hasn’t been around, albeit we’d won a few Ulster U21

The preparation is done as the Terry lets the players have one last word

gets injured,” said Hyland. “We want to get away from the days where Cavan’s lamenting who they haven’t got. That’s where the panel stepped up this year and our championship run probably proved that. “Armagh were under new management and their Division Two campaign hadn’t gone all that well for them. We had played them in the McKenna Cup and got a good feel for them that night as well. We felt that if we tagged our scores and kept Jamie Clarke tight up front that we’d be in with a very good chance of winning that game. That’s how we set out our stall on the day and, thankfully, it worked out for us.”

Monaghan, I wouldn’t necessarily say that things ‘went wrong’ for us, but the problem for us was that we probably didn’t score enough when we got the monopoly of play. In fairness, Monaghan tied down our inside line and they played a different style of a game and we had to adapt our game rather than play a lot of ball in for the first 15-20 minutes. So we had to change that. But, at the end of the day, it was only a onepoint game going into the dying minutes of it so it wasn’t like there was an awful lot in it, one way or another.” In the qualifiers, Cavan faced the test of a potential banana-skin when they again met Peter Canavan’s Fermanagh and came through with flying colours,


championships, but people probably hadn’t been looking at us. You have to earn your respect and next year we have to build on what we’ve done this year, and if you build and improve on it then people will start looking at you and get that credit as it comes to you. “It (the Derry game) probably was our best game of the year and not just because of the high-scoring or the fact that the lads pulled it out of the fire to draw the game, but because of the way they kicked on in extra-time. It’s the belief factor and maybe it’s something that we’ve been missing in Cavan the last few years. Lads starting to believe in themselves and their own ability is what gets them across the line and gets

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them to win games. We just reinforce that when we talk to them. There’s no magic words, otherwise you’d be bottling it and selling it.” Many supporters cited the extra-time win at Celtic Park as the best Cavan have experienced in the championship since their famous one over the same opposition in 1997. The players would be mobbed by the euphoric travelling support on the pitch afterwards and while there was no silverware prize on offer, they’d be left in poll-position to advance to the last eight of the AllIreland series. In the way stood London – a side that Hyland and his players would in no way take for granted, as a nine-point victory illustrated in the end. “It was a little bit of unknown territory for some of our lads to be going up and playing in Croke Park,” he explained. “Look at, London were written off but people forgot that they were playing in a Connacht final and had given reasonably good account of themselves in it. It was this thing where people were assuming ‘Ah, London’, as in the same as 15 or 20 years ago, but London have a lot of players that would be getting on county panels if they were at home and available. Up until half-time it was tight and I think we ended up winning by eight or nine points, so we were happy that the lads were able to kick on and win the game quite comprehensively in the

end.” It all meant that Cavan had advanced into a first All-Ireland SFC quarter-final in their history, and whom better than old foes Kerry to stand in their way? The Kingdom were already there on merit, having impressed on route to a sensational 75th Munster SFC title, and while many of the Breffni faithful were hoping to avoid All-Ireland contenders, Hyland said he was content with the mental test his players endured against the game’s aristocrats that afternoon at Croke Park. “People were saying to me that it was a pity that we didn’t get such and such a team, but the way I look at it is that if you’re going to win anything you have to play the strong teams. Sometimes you’re better getting out against them rather than moving on just for the sake of moving on,” he said. “I think perhaps the fact that we got Kerry and the fact that we’re back in Croke Park would probably have an effect on our mental toughness, but I still think we improved on that in the secondhalf against Kerry. They’re a young squad and I think they have as much to learn about the mental side of it as they do the physical side of it.” While the result was an anticipated one amongst many neutrals, it was still a tough one to take for the Breffni men after coming so far in a rollercoaster-like journey.

Hyland believes that 2014 could prove a tougher assignment for his young side, with their surprise factor now gone, but, nonetheless, league promotion still remains the priority for Cavan as they continue their bid for a stronger brand of football. “We’ll be looking to get out of Division Three and we would hope that the panel will be a bit more settled that it was at the start of the National League this year,” said the Cavan boss. “We’re also going to be looked at in a different light from the teams we’re going to be playing against. So it’s probably going to get more difficult for us than easy, even if we are improving because people are looking at us differently than this time last year.” As for the Ulster SFC in 2014, Hyland envisages nothing easy for his team their either. “It is what it is,” he said. “Armagh up in the Athletic Grounds is going to be different than they were this year because they’ve learned a little bit more about us. It’s going to be a much tougher game the fact that it’s up there. People are again going to be making a big play on the groups and the easy side and the tough side, to me it doesn’t matter because you have to be good enough to compete on any given day to beat any of the good teams if you want to win something.”

Jubilation as Armagh are defeated in the Ulster SFC preliminary round tie at Kingspan Breffni Park, l/r: Cavan doctor Phillip Carolan, Terry Hyland and secretary Liam McCabe


Terry Hyland Designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 14:36 Page 4

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Cumann Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:35 Page 1


Ballynarry claimed the Division 2 title

Shanise Fitzsimons (Crosskeys)

Bailieborough accept the Division 1 trophy

Ballynarry are presented with the Division 2 trophy

Killinkere were Division 2 finalists

Muff were Division 3 finalists

Goals for Killinkere`s Chantelle Curran against Ballynarry

Crosskeys claimed the Division 3 title


Cumann Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:36 Page 2


Nรกoise McKenna of St. Aidan, Bawnboy

Schools mini 7`s Skills winners, front l/r: Boys Football - Gavin Brady (Mullahoran), Hurling - Jack Barry (Ballinamoney), Hurling - Shane Hanly (Knocktemple), Camogie - Shanise Fitzsimons (Crosskeys), Girls Football Deirbhile McCaffrey (Crosskeys), Girls Football - Rebecca McLoughlin (Blacklion). Back: Fiachra O Mordha (PRO), Aidan McCabe (Secretary), Fidelma Sheridan (Chairperson), Michael Reilly (Treasurer)

Mullahoran, Division 2 Hurling winners

Mullahoran are presented with the Division 2 hurling trophy

Bailieborough, Division 1 winners

Belturbet, Division 1 finalists

St. Aidans (Bawnboy)

Christina Dennehy from Belturbet


Cumann Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:36 Page 3


Arva accept the Division 4 silverware

Leah Brady (Arva)

Crosskeys accept the Division 3 trophy

Arva won the Division 4 title

Killyconnan lost out to Arva in the Division 4 final

Corliss/Coronea were Division 5 finalists

Milltown`s Niamh Gunn leaves her Corliss-Coronea markers behind her

Milltown – Division 5 winners


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Knocktemple `keeper Conor Hetherton comes under pressure from Ballinagh`s Dean Kilkenny

Ballinagh won the Division 1 hurling title

Ballinagh receive their silverware

Currin claimed the Division 6 title

Ballinamoney were Division 6 finalists

Milltown accept the Division 5 silverware


Niamh McManus scores for Currin


Minor Football Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:39 Page 1




wo gutsy championship wins and a heartbreaking defeat to the eventual winners in the semi-final represents a good year's work for an inexperienced Cavan minor team, writes Shane Corrigan. It's a cliché but it's one of the hundreds of well-worn GAA mantras that always rings true – minor football is totally unpredictable. The majority of minor inter-county footballers are, technically, still children and pressure naturally gets to them. Experience is the teacher of all things and when something is new, and overwhelming, it's impossible to know how someone who hasn't built up that experience will react. So it was with the Cavan minor crew of 2011, who defied the odds to reach an Ulster final. Once there, they reacted better than any supporter could have hoped against favourites Armagh, going 0-5 to 0-0 up and eventually winning the match by holding the Orchard boys scoreless in the second half.

Then again, that's how it was, too, with the class of 2012, who were being spoken about as potential champions but who failed to show anywhere near their best form in losing at home to an unheralded Donegal side. At the outset of the 2013 season, then, the prognosis for the Cavan minor team's season was as clear as mud. Would they react well to the big day? Would they keep their composure in a tight match? Had they got the requisite talent in the first place? Questions, questions, questions... This past season is one and that the Cavan supporters, players and management can look back on with pride. The young Breffni men answered those questions in their three championship matches. They showed that they had guts, heart and skill – what more could we ask for? It took a mighty effort to see off Armagh on the first day out. Rumours abounded that Cavan's preparations under a strong managerial ticket of Gary Donohoe (Gowna) and selectors Fintan

Reilly (Redhills) and Jody Clarke (Shercock) had not gone well but a sort of inverted logic was in place among the supporters as they filed into the big house on the edge of Cavan town for the visit of the well-regarded boys in orange – maybe, where expectation once choked Cavan teams, now they could breathe. And breathe they did. The sides delivered a thrilling contest which, while not one for the purists, was dead even from the throw-in. A point from Pierce Smith and two from Ryan Connolly – both of whom have captained St Pat's College teams to Ulster triumphs in recent seasons – helped Cavan into a 03 to 0-2 lead after nine minutes but Armagh replied with 1-1 in the next three minutes. Cavan, however, kept their nerve and points from Templeport speed merchant Liam Galligan and big Drumlane lad Kian Monahan brought them back into it and they led by the 26th minute after a classy left-footed point from Templeport playmaker Ben Kiernan.

Ryan Connolly celebrates at the final whistle after the Ulster MFC win over Armagh


Minor Football Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:39 Page 2

With Barry Fortune gobbling up possession in his sweeper role, Cavan enjoyed more of the possession but Armagh were more economical and led by one at the break. The pendulum swung over and back in the second half (by the end, no more than two points would separate the sides at any one time) and a draw looked the likeliest result, but Cavan dug deep once again. Great work from inspirational captain Tom Hayes released Connolly – whom All-Ireland-winning manager Eugene

Clerkin; K Monahan (0-1), G McGovern; P Smith (0-2), R Connolly (0-4), B Kiernan (0-3); T Hayes (0-1), L Galligan (0-1), D Brady. Subs: S McKeogh for D Monahan, D Gannon for P Smith, H O'Neill for D Brady, B O'Connell (0-1) for S McKeogh. Cavan had beaten Armagh by a single point in the Ulster Minor League back in March and now they had repeated the trick and, in the process, silenced any critics in the best manner possible. Fermanagh were next, and the occasion couldn't have been more

was none other than Cian McManus, the Fermanagh corner-back. In the end, Cavan ground it out, thanks in no small part to an amazing display of ball-winning by Tom Hayes, who belied his small stature to grab a hold of everything which came his way. The Cootehill lad also kicked four points for good measure, with impressive wing-backs Niall Clerkin of Shercock and Conor Bradley of Ramor adding white flags of their own. Cavan dominated the opening 15 minutes but, in tough, slippery

Tom Hayes gets away from Armagh’s Shea Heffron

McGee, writing in the following day's Irish Independent, singled out as a player with a huge future – to level it in the 50th minute. More scores were exchanged but a draw looked almost certain as the clock ticked into injury-time. Suddenly, Kiernan combined with sub Harry O'Neill, and the ball broke to Ramor United youngster Brian O'Connell, who held his head to fist over the winner. Cavan (Ulster MFC v Armagh): S McDermott; B Fortune, B Kelly, D Monahan; C Bradley, M Magee, N

different. Whereas Armagh were beaten on a bright championship Sunday afternoon, the sizzle of the burger vans and blare of the airhorns in the air and thousands in attendance, the Fermanagh game was played on a dank, muggy Sunday evening in Clones before a small crowd. This was no place for prima donnas – the team with the most heart would win it. An interesting sub plot was to be played out, too; the centre-back on the St Pat's Rannafast team, six of whose team-mates were on the Cavan panel,


conditions, failed to make their superiority count on the scoreboard. Two frees from Ben Kiernan and a point from play by Pierce Smith helped them into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead but Fermanagh replied with a goal and two points just before the interval. Cavan captain Tom Hayes had the beating of the Erne defence, however, and he pulled back two super points in first-half injury-time to leave the sides level at the break. The Ernesiders goaled again 20 seconds into the second-half but points

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from sub Harry O'Neill, Hayes, impressive defender Conor Bradley and Niall Clerkin made it 0-9 to 2-2 by the three-quarter mark. Fermanagh responded with a Shane Mimna point but another good score from Cootehill's Hayes, a second for Bradley and a fabulous free by Ben Kiernan from the right corner saw Cavan hold on in what was a tense finale, 0-12 to 2-5. Greg McGovern was also a tower of strength in midfield, showing excellent high-fielding ability in tough conditions but just as Cavan's preparations for the semi-final against Monaghan got underway, the news broke – McGovern would be unfit to start due to injury. Monaghan came into the semi-final as massive favourites. They had toyed with Cavan in the Ulster Minor League in Breffni Park and their sextet of forwards, led by soccer star Fearghal McMahon on the edge of the square, were the most talked-about in years at this level. They looked the real deal and their manager Frank Brady, a Galway native who works in Cootehill, wasn't shy about talking them up before the match. He had good reason – they had kicked 4-20 against Antrim in the first round, although shipping 3-6, and were already league winners.

So, to the big day and the clash between the lightweights on the undercard of the big senior bout in Clones. Cavan and Monaghan – there could only be one. Cavan started well, setting up defensively and hitting on the break but when Monaghan buried two goals in the space of two minutes midway through the first half, their fans came to life. Would Cavan drop their heads or would they make a game of it? They answered emphatically. McGovern, who had made a Lazaruslike comeback, was sprung from the bench, as were Liam Galligan of Templeport and Thomas Galligan of Lacken, as Cavan, who had been eight points down at the break, threw everything at their neighbours. Ryan Connolly stroked over a huge free off the ground, Hayes squeezed over a point and Monaghan looked shaky as the pressure mounted. Cavan still needed a goal, though, and it would take a moment of genius to provide it. Up stepped Liam Galligan, who caught hold of a ball he had no right to win, side-stepped two defenders and sent a rocket to the roof of the Monaghan net. Time, though, was ticking, ticking, ticking and Monaghan, somehow, held

on. It was a truly heartbreaking way for any team to exit a championship but Cavan died with their boots on. The management, as usual, came in for some criticism afterwards for their team selection but it must be mentioned that had Cavan actually got over the line, they would have been praised for their inspired substitutions. It's a tough and, in the most part, thankless task and to reach the last four, winning two championship matches by a point and losing another by two, is a fine achievement for a young panel, a dozen of whom are underage next year including starters such as Pierce Smith, Ryan Connolly, David Brady (who has two more years), Mark McGee and several other key men. Oh, and did we mention the denouement to the championship? Monaghan went on to beat Tyrone in a dramatic final and, at the time of writing, have advanced to the last four and are fancied by many to go the whole hog. Cavan are not far off and with a strong MacRory side in place for next season, which will be expected to backbone the county minors, a repeat of the heroics of 2011 would not be a massive upset. Only a fool would bet against it, but only a fool would bet on it happening. That's the beauty of minor football. We will watch with interest...

Barry Fortune holds off Conor Martin and Cathal McKenna


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Caron Fay

1 Caron Fay (Cavan Ladies and Belturbet) 2013 isn’t likely to be a year that Fay will forget anytime soon. After helping her club to a historic treble success, the Belturbet shot-stopper experienced AllIreland glory with Cavan Ladies at the end of September when the Breffni women defeated Tipperary by 1-14 to 112 in the final at Croke Park. The 27year-old kept a clean sheet in Cavan’s semi-final victory over Down at Kingspan Breffni Park and her performance against Tipp in the final saw her clinch a deserved All Star nomination. A few weeks before the Croke Park decider, she captained Belturbet to the league title, capping off a memorable season for the Rories after having claimed the intermediate championship crown as well as the 9-aside earlier in the year.

Jason McLoughlin

clubman to remain on permanent fixture at number two on Terry Hyland’s team sheet for 2014. His excellent reading of the game leaves him as a sound choice in defence, while his ability to shackle even the most dangerous forwards makes him a nightmare to play against. Honourable mentions: Killian McBride (Ballinagh), Barry Fortune (Cavan minors and Cavan Gaels), Fergal Reilly (Castlerahan).

3 Patrick Carroll (Ballinagh) Carroll was a colossus at full-back for Ballinagh in their county senior football championship triumph this year and his performance in the final itself saw him pull off many heroics to deny Cavan

Honourable mentions: Conor Gilsenan (Cavan and Bailieborough), Alan O’Mara (Cavan), Gary Tiernan (Kill).

2 Jason McLoughlin (Cavan and Shannon Gaels) McLoughlin’s star continues to rise at both club and county level, having added another Ulster U21 medal to his collection this year, along with marking Colm Cooper in an All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park and leading his club to a junior championship semifinal. Should he keep up his strong form then you can expect the Shannon Gaels

Killian Clarke


Patrick Carro


Gaels’ deadly forward-line what surely would have been winning scores. As far as ‘number three’ players go, there aren’t many better in the county than the man they call ‘Butsy’ and it showed with his performances for his club this past season. Boasting both strength and height, Carroll has all the ingredients for the making of a great full-back and it would be no surprise to see him back in the Cavan jersey in 2014 after his displays in this year’s senior championship for its eventual winners. Honourable mentions: Rory Dunne (Cavan and Redhills), Colm Duffy (Killeshandra), Liam O’Reilly (Shercock).

4 Killian Clarke (Cavan and Shercock) Along with Cian Mackey, Clarke was probably Cavan’s most consistent performer during their run to the AllIreland SFC quarter-final in 2013. He lined-out for the Breffni men at number four, but, in truth, Clarke is a complete all-rounder as he demonstrated in the intermediate championship this past season. His performances at centreforward drove Shercock to their second championship final in three years – this time on the intermediate stage, where they just fell short to Killeshandra. It still wasn’t a bad year for the versatile youngster though, as he collected another Ulster U21 medal in April, as well as an All Star nomination which comes as the first in his club’s history.

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Honourable mentions: Ciaran Brady (Cavan U21s and Arva), Conor Smith (Ballinagh), Cillian O’Reilly (Killeshandra).

5 Sinead Greene (Cavan Ladies and Templeport) Greene was one of Cavan Ladies’ most consistent performers during their successful 2013 campaign and she capped it all off with a splendid display in Croke Park which helped see the Breffni women over the line against Tipperary. The Templeport woman was one of the main driving forces for Cavan on AllIreland final day, as her countless bursts forward from wing back helped untangle a packed Tipp defence and create precious scores. After the 1-14 to 1-12 victory over the Premier women, Greene rightfully received as much credit as any of her team mates with some suggesting that she had a good shout of the ‘Player of the Match’ award which went to club mate Aishling Doonan in the end. Honourable mentions: James McEnroe (Cavan and Ramor), Damien Higgins (Killeshandra), Luke O’Brien (Kill).

6 Alan Clarke (Cavan and Kingscourt) Clarke was granite-like once again for club and county in 2013, captaining Cavan in a year which saw Terry Hyland’s team make huge strides on route to the last eight of the All-Ireland series. Clarke was solid at number 6 in the Breffni men’s opening Ulster SFC wins over Armagh and Fermanagh and was one of the team’s better performers in their provincial semi-final showdown with Monaghan in Clones, where his heroic goal-line clearance helped keep the visitors in touch until the very end. In the qualifiers, Clarke’s experience was immense to Cavan,

Alan Clarke

Ulster U21 championship victory and despite not making an appearance in the Ulster SFC, he still managed to impress for Terry Hyland’s team when he was thrown on for the second-half at Celtic Park against Derry in the qualifiers. McVeety got on to a lot of ball and managed to kick 0-2 in the win over the Oak Leafers, which helped his cause in being introduced after 47 minutes against London in the next round before starting against the Kingdom in the quarter-finals. He continued his rich form in the Cavan SFC too, as Crosserlough became the surprise package of the competition to reach the last four.

Sinead Greene

particularly in Derry, where the team kept calm to force extra-time and secure a splendid victory. In a year which surprisingly saw Kingscourt fail to reach the last eight, Clarke was utilised in both midfield and defence and was undoubtedly one of the Stars’ better performers throughout the campaign. Honourable mentions: Damien McInerney (Ballinagh), Eamonn Reilly (Cavan Gaels), Ailish Cornyn (Cavan Ladies).

7 Dara McVeety (Cavan and Crosserlough) 2013 suggested that McVeety is a star in the making for Cavan after some incredible performances which eventually saw him making his starting championship debut for the Breffni men at Croke Park against Kerry this past August. The Crosserlough lad was an ace during Cavan’s third successive

Dara McVeety


Honourable mentions: Ronan Flanagan (Cavan and Castlerahan), Darragh Sexton (Cavan U21s and Cavan Gaels), Niall O’Reilly (Ballinagh).

8 Padraic O’Reilly (Cavan and Ballinagh) Simply outstanding in Ballinagh’s major upset of Cavan Gaels in the county senior championship final, O’Reilly soared at centre-field on countless occasions and worked like a Trojan at the back to deny the Gaels’ danger forwards. While he saw little action for Cavan in the summer, the 27-year-old made up for it come club championship time with some splendid displays on route to the final. His performance in the decider would be as good as he’s ever delivered in a Ballinagh jersey and one that rightfully saw him collecting the ‘Man of the Match’ award after team captain Killian McBride raised the Oliver Plunkett Cup. Honourable mentions: Michael Argue (Cavan and Bailieborough), Tomas O’Reilly (Killeshandra), Rosie Crowe (Cavan Ladies and Lacken).

Padraic O’Re


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Declan McKie

9 Declan McKiernan (Cavan and Killeshandra) McKiernan again proved the key player in a historic season for Killeshandra, having clinched promotion in both the league and championship. The midfielder’s expert free-taking proved invaluable to the Leaguers throughout the campaign and bailed them out on one or two occasions. Stephen King’s team looked to be on the brink of elimination at the quarter-final stage against Drung before McKiernan converted pressure frees late on to rescue a draw. From there, Killeshandra’s form sizzled until the final stage when they trailed Shercock by four points at half-time. In the secondhalf, he converted 0-5, including a free from the side-line with the outside of his boot, to help haul his team over the line and clinch the Tommy Gilroy Cup for the club.

Cian Mackey

after their thrilling extra-time victory Derry in the qualifiers and his five-star displays continued for his club in the Cavan SFC. Castlerhan’s run to the semi-finals, which included wins over Cavan Gaels and Ramor, largely came down to the contributions of Mackey from centre-forward, along with fellow Cavan senior Ronan Flanagan. In the semi-final, the Gaels would successful disrupt his influence by deploying a host of different markers on. Mackey would still end the season on somewhat of a high though, being honoured with an All Star nomination. Honourable mentions: Claragh O’Reilly (Cavan Ladies and Lurgan), Gerard Smith (Cavan U21s and Lavey), Thomas Moore (Ballinagh).

11 Jack Brady (Cavan and Ramor) Brady was outstanding for both club and county in 2013, leading Cavan’s attack superbly in their Ulster U21FC defence in the early part of the year. His 0-4 contribution in the final against Donegal in Enniskillen saw him earn his third provincial medal at Brewster Park and it was no surprise to see him summoned as Terry Hyland’s first substitute on so many occasions on Cavan’s Ulster SFC campaign. He would start at centreforward in the wins over Derry and London in the qualifiers and replaced Martin Dunne in the quarter-final defeat to Kerry. Come mid-August, Brady maintained his rich form in the opening rounds of the Cavan SFC to help shoot Ramor into the last eight, where they eventually fell to Castlerahan. Honourable mentions: Chris Conroy (Cavan U21s and Lavey), Roisin O’Keeffe (Cavan Ladies and Lacken), Pearse McKenna (Kill).

Honourable mentions: David Givney (Cavan and Mountnugent), Brian Sankey (Cavan U21s and Shercock), Donna English (Cavan Ladies and Arva).

10 Cian Mackey (Cavan and Castlerahan) Mackey was the central figure in Cavan’s progress to the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals and his brilliant individual goal against Armagh in the preliminary round of the Ulster SFC truly ignited the Breffni men’s summer campaign. RTE pundit Joe Brolly cited Mackey as “the key link” in Cavan’s successful system

Jack Brady

Sean Gaffney


12 Sean Gaffney (Kill) The driving-force behind Kill’s junior championship triumph in 2013 and his winning injury-time free against Arva will be one that the Shamrocks will never forget. Capable of lining-out at centrefield or attack, Gaffney’s has been a major asset to Kill and delivered some exceptional performances on route to the JFC decider. His 0-5 contribution was vital for the Shamrocks in their semi-final victory over Shannon Gaels and he got them off to the perfect start in the final by netting a goal in the

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opening three minutes which helped settle his team on the big day. When Arva threatened to snatch a late win at Kingspan Breffni Park, Gaffney stepped up to the mark and converted three frees, including a wonder strike from 50 metres, in five minutes to secure the Sean Leddy Cup for the club. Honourable mentions: Feargal Flanagan (Cavan and Butlersbridge), Mona Sheridan (Cavan Ladies and Mullahoran), Turloc Mooney (Cavan U21s and Redhills). 13 Niall McDermott (Cavan and Ballinagh)


ot Niall McDerm

McDermott’s deadly free-taking was salient for Ballinagh on their route to the Oliver Plunkett Cup, while his performances for Cavan this past summer demonstrated the calibre of that player he is. The 22-year-old is up there with the most reliable free-takers in the county and his contribution from play saw him hold on to the number 13 jersey for Cavan for most of the season. Come August, his scores would be vital in seeing Ballinagh through to the knockout stages, where 0-7 against Lacken and 1-5 against Crosserlough were crucial in booking Ballinagh’s final berth. In the decider against Cavan Gaels, McDermott landed 0-7 and the rest, as

they say, is history.

Honourable mentions: Grainne Smith (Cavan Ladies and Killygarry), Enda O’Reilly (Cavan U21s and Mullahoran), Tom Hayes (Cavan minors and Cootehill).

14 Bronagh Sheridan (Cavan Ladies and Drumlane) Her penalty sealed Cavan’s fate as AllIreland champions this past September and her 2-4 contribution in the semi-final played a significant part in getting them back to Croke Park. Like so many of her

Bronagh Sheridan

team mates, winning the All-Ireland intermediate championship became a mission for Sheridan after the Breffni women had let the title slip from their grasp in 2011. This year saw the team click at the right time as they overcame past conquers Waterford and Down to reach the final against Tipperary at GAA HQ, where a nervy start had Cavan supporters on the edge of their seats. In the second-half the Ulster women upped the pace and were given a glorious chance when Aisling Doonan won a late penalty which Sheridan converted with composure to help secure a 1-14 to 112 win and a first Mary Quinn Cup for her county. Honourable mentions: Eugene Keating (Cavan), Paul O’Connor (Cavan U21s

and Cavan Gaels), Kevin Bouchier (Arva).

15 Martin Dunne (Cavan and Cavan Gaels) The 24-year-old had a sensational campaign in 2013, scoring 1-33 for Cavan in the All-Ireland SFC and leading his native Cavan Gaels back to the Cavan SFC final after a year’s absence. His Ulster SFC debut would see him contribute 0-9 in a 1-15 to 1-11 victory over Armagh after which Cavan’s championship campaign took off and saw them reach the quarter-finals stage.

Martin Dunn


Only Cillian O’Connor would outscore him by the conclusion of the All-Ireland SFC after the Mayo corner-forward made a late return for the final defeat to Dublin. His contribution to Cavan Gaels was immense too, as Joe O’Connor’s men came through the senior championship the hard way seeing off Kingscourt, Mullahoran and Castlerahan, with Dunne playing a salient role in the wins. In the final against Ballinagh, he scored 0-4 but the Gaels finished one short. Honourable mentions: Aisling Doonan (Cavan Ladies and Templeport), Brian Ellis (Arva), Barry McKiernan (Crosserlough). 65

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ver the course of four decades, spanning from the 'fifties to the 'eighties, Paddy Lyons was a luminous presence on the Cavan football landscape 1969 was the year the Troubles kicked off up North. It was also the year that Cavan Football Inc. went into a nosespin. History shows that after the Breffni blues beat Down in the senior provincial championship final in '69, Cavan didn't lay their hands again on the Anglo Celt Cup 'till 1997. Paddy Lyons was Cavan's goalie in the 1969 Ulster decider. Although the blues' subsequent defeat to Offaly in the AllIreland SFC semi-final was a hard pill to swallow, he could never have envisaged that he would never again taste championship success with his native county. "That's football," Paddy tells us. "There was so much talent there; that panel of players should have won more but it just didn't happen for us." Four decades on and the Loretto Cross, Cavan town-domiciled football veteran has thankfully a lot more to occupy his mind than dwelling on barren days with Cavan. He's busy fly-fishing these days. Plays a mean game of golf too - his handicap isn't far off single figures. He is content to watch football from a distance. "I catch up with the results on a Sunday night and watch the highlights of the different matches," he explains. "I follow Cavan but I've never been a good spectator. I'd prefer to be playing sport than watching it. That's why I'm more often than not out playing golf on a Sunday when the football is on." Over the course of four decades, spanning from the 'fifties to the 'eighties,

Paddy was a stand-out figure in football circles in Cavan. He has the medals and the war wounds to prove it too! He first played football at club level at the tender age of 14 for Crosserlough. He was still a student at St. Pat's, Cavan when he followed up a stint playing minor football with Cavan Gaels by turning out for the famed black and ambers at senior level when he was 29, four years after he began playing for Drumalee. If the truth be told, the personable Lyons was courted by a rake of clubs and he had the opportunity to play for Butlersbridge, Ballyhaise and Drumalee as well as the Gaels and Crosserlough. GAA was in his blood so it was no surprise that he warmed to Gaelic football or to the task of pitting his skills against others in Cavan and Ulster. His Walsh relatives, on his mother's side, were dapper footballers with one of them, Michael (who lives within a couple of 45s from Breffni Park) good enough to play with Drumalee and Cavan. Meanwhile, another relative Mick McGurk - his great, great grandfather was deemed to be one of the founders of the GAA in Cavan. Ironically, Aidan Elliott, former Cavan Gaels netminder and the man who took over from Paddy as Cavan's number one 'keeper, is also a distant relative. He began his senior Cavan career in 1964 but his burgeoning career was guillotined fairly early on: "I got two years suspension for playing soccer. It was the time of the ban and I think I was the last person to be suspended. "There were four of us (from the Cavan senior panel of the time) playing for Dundalk reserves and another team in Longford but I was the only one suspended." Paddy's first and primary love was


Gaelic football though and there was never any question of him forsaking the native game; the game he enjoyed the most and excelled at most. Those of a certain vintage and young anoraks of football know what Lyons did for Cavan football at all levels but what did the Gaelic game do for him then? "I was able to play with a great crowd of lads. A lot of them from back then have stayed friends too. There was great camaraderie among the players. "As footballers, they were great to play alongside too. You had fellas in front of me, in the full back line, like Andy McCabe, Brendan Donohoe and Gabriel Kelly that you would put your house on keeping out danger. "In those times, the goalkeeper could be tackled and you couldn't be a coward about the thing but if I wanted to make my way out with the ball, you could depend on those fellas to help lay a path for you." Paddy remembers travelling in 1962 with four other students from St. Pat's College to Kilnacrott and lining out in a match against Meath on a Cavan team that also included such luminaries as Ray Carolan, Peter Pritchard and Jimmy Stafford. During the course of his club and county career, Paddy was wont to take the rough with the smooth. The rough was manifest in some scars being left. In that regard, he recalls after one match ending up with a knee injury that meant that he had to wear a support bandage for the remainder of his career. There were other injuries too. A broken rib and a broken collar bone were other unwanted souvenirs. Pointedly though, he has absolutely no regrets. "In those days, the goalkeeper could be charged. You were looked upon by the ref as the same as an outfield player. "You couldn't be in between the posts and be a coward. You had to be alert

Paddy Lyons Designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:41 Page 2

and on your toes. ""It was rough stuff at times but I loved every minute of my career and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way," he reflects. What does he think of high profile, modern-day 'keepers like Stephen Cluxton (Dublin)? "He's great. He's worth an extra-man to Dublin. He's like their 16th man with his kick-outs and free-kicks." If Paddy had his crosses (injuries), he most certainly had his blessings. For his troubles, he amassed a tally of honours which amounted to: three Railway Cup medals; three Dr. McKenna Cup medals; Ulster SFC medal.

What did he think made the difference on the day? "I think the turning point was Gene Cusack's goal in the second half. I never saw a score like it. I think most of us reckoned that after it went in, we would go on and win it." Cusack had some great lieutenants alongside him up front in those days. Was Charlie Gallagher as good as they say? "There was only one Charlie and there'll always only be one Charlie as well. He had such an unusual style and he was such a flamboyant character. "He must have averaged eight or nine points every game he played. Who else

"Fellas like Paddy Doherty and Sean O'Neill were deadly forwards and if they got any sort of room in front of you, you were in trouble and you'd be lucky to keep them from getting a goal." The now 68 year old remains an avid follower of Gaelic football even though his trips to matches are rare enough these days. He isn't enamoured by the proliferation of the handpass in recent times. "It can be way over the top at times," he explains. However he delighted in watching this year's all-Ireland SFC clash between Kerry and Dublin which he rated as "one of the most exciting and best games of

The 1969 Ulster SFC winners, front l/r: H McInerney, S Duggan, C Gallagher, G Kelly, G Cusack, P Tinnelly, E McGowan. Back: R Carolan, D Coyle, JJ O’Reilly, P Lyons, H Newman, T Lynch, B Donohoe, A McCabe

As regards, the pick of his time on the biggest stages of all, Paddy - who featured for Cavan in an All-Ireland JFC final defeat as well - unhesitatingly fingers the 1969 provincial final victory over Down as the highlight of his career. "They had won the all-Ireland the year before and were strong favourites to win the Ulster title in '69 but we had a strong team and were confident going into the final that we'd give them a good game. "Even when they (Down) were at their best, we were always able to give them a run for their money."

had such a record? "It was great to see the likes of Gene and Charlie and others like Hughie McInerney and Steve Duggan in training all the time. "They used to help me out by taking penalties in training against me. It was really the only training I got that was different from the rest of the players." And on the Down side? "They had a lot of star men. Their team deserves all the credit they got for the way they changed the way Gaelic football was played at that time.


football I've ever seen." "If you have 15 fellas who go out with the right attitude and play football to win, then a good result is likely. "Take a look at Monaghan in this year's Ulster championship. And then you have Ballinagh in the (senior) championship and the way they lifted themselves for the final." What are his hopes for Cavan's senior footballers in 2014? "They need to get out of Division Three of the league and I think they will. They're a young team though and the supporters will have to be patient."

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Minor B Championship Final

The O’Raghallaigh Gaels squad that defeated Laragh in the Minor B Championship final at Virginia

The defeated Laragh Utd team

O’Raghallaigh Gaels joint captains Ryan Clerkin and Aaron McMahon receive the Minor B Championship Cup from Jodie Clarke with Laragh captain Joseph O’Donoghue (right) looking on

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Kingspan Breffni Park hosted the opening Test of the International Rules series in October

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Tom’s parents Michael and Eileen came out to New York when Tom was Guest of Honour at the Cavan Dinner Dance

or nearly 20 years, Crosserlough native Tom Cahill has been immersed in the Cavan GAA club in New York. He recently spoke to Breffni Blue about the different roles he has held within the club and how it is preparing to celebrate its centenary in 2015. The 43-year-old sheet metal worker hails from a family steeped in the GAA. His uncle Peter Cahill played for Crosserlough and Cavan, while another uncle, Hugh Donohue, was part of the famous Crosserlough team that won a seven-in-a-row of Cavan senior football championships in the 1970s. Tom’s late uncle, Bartley Cahill was President of the GAA in England in the late 80s and early 90s. He is also a cousin of Detective Garda Adrian Donohue, who was shot dead during a robbery while on duty at a Credit Union in Dundalk last January. Adrian played football for Crosserlough before going on to win Louth senior football championship honours with St. Patrick’s, Lordship, who have honoured

his memory by naming their club grounds after him. To mark the official naming of Adrian Donohue Pairc in September, a four-team tournament involving Crosserlough, St. Patrick’s, his

Crosserlough native Tom Cahill


wife Caroline’s home club of St. Senan’s, Kilkee and a Garda team took place. “Adrian was a brilliant person, family man and footballer, and we miss him dearly,” Tom says of his tragic cousin. Tom had stints working in Waterford, Newbridge, Dundalk, Dublin and Spain before settling in the Big Apple in 1994. He immediately got involved with the Cavan GAA club (the Cavan Gaelic Football & Social Club of New York to give it its official title) and has been one of the club’s most dedicated members ever since. Having played minor, U21 and junior football with Crosserlough, he continued his football career with his adopted club before serving as a senior and junior team selector and junior team manager. He also had a spell as club chairman and is currently the club’s delegate to the New York county board. Tom is no stranger to New York GAA affairs, having held the position of county board registrar a couple of years ago. Tom is also a member of the Cavan P&B Association and has taken great pride in

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Danny Mac’s

Best Wishes To Tom Cahill, From Proprietors Sean & Julie McEvoy 869 McLean Ave., Yonkers, NY 10704. Telephone:(914)-237-2320 Email

PROUD SPONSOR OF THE CAVAN LADIES & MENS JUNIOR TEAM IN NEW YORK Best wishes to Tom Cahill, from Gabriel McMahon and all at

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Tom Cahill is presented with the Guest of Honour award by Rosie O’Reilly

carrying the Cavan banner up 5th Avenue on the past three St. Patrick’s Days. The Woodlawn resident explains how New York GAA has been given permission to knock down the existing building at the southern end of Gaelic Park and replace it with a new banquet hall and bar. The overall cost of the redevelopment is expected to be in the region of $7 million. “When the new complex is open, it will be able to cater for all the big GAA events in New York, including club dinner dances. So clubs will be able to play their matches at Gaelic Park and also have their functions there,” he explains. Speaking of club dinner dances, Cavan will hold their annual knees up in

Ricardo’s, Astoria on Saturday 7 December. This is the social highlight of the club’s year and the guests of honour will be Cavan full back Rory Dunne and Aisling Doonan, who was corner-forward on the Cavan ladies football team that won the All-Ireland intermediate title on the last Sunday in September. Mullahoran’s Ciaran Shiels will be presented with the Senior Player of the Year award, while the Junior Player of the Year award will go to Paddy Donohue from Denn. “Not only are we one of the oldest GAA clubs in New York, we are also one of the most active. We have and will continue to provide an important social outlet to Cavan people coming to New York,” Tom stresses. “2014 will be the centenary year of the

GAA in New York, and Cavan GAA will celebrate its centenary the following year. We’d love to mark our centenary by winning a few trophies. We are the only GAA club in New York to field senior and junior men’s teams as well as a ladies team, and it would be something else if those teams could win silverware in 2015. It’s a big incentive for them.” 2013 was a disappointing year for the Cavan senior team who lost to Leitrim by 2-9 to 2-13 in the semi-final of the New York senior football championship. Cavan also lost the semi-final of the junior championship to Westmeath, but the ladies footballers captured yet another senior championship, with Lavey’s Rosie O’Reilly in the role of player/manager. The senior men’s team was managed

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Tom From Rory & All The Staff At

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by Mullahoran’s Brendan Reilly, who was ably assisted by selectors Seamus Sexton (Kingscourt), Mike ‘Fall’ Reilly (Ballymachugh) and Ciaran McCabe, who has both Cavan and Kildare connections. The juniors were managed by Senior Player of the Year Ciaran Shiels. His selectors were two Ballymachugh men, PJ Smith and Philip Reilly, who is a brother of Mike’s. As most of the Cavan players are based in Queen’s, training takes place in Randall’s Island, which hosted the 1997 clash between Cavan and Kerry to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous Polo Grounds All-Ireland final of 1947. “We haven’t won the senior championship since 1990, so there were a lot of disappointed Cavan people in New York when we lost the semi-final to Leitrim,” Tom recalls. “Our goalie Gavin Joyce got injured two days before that game but, in spite of that, we started well and had led by four points before they came back strongly to win. We had brought out the likes of Enda Reilly, who was on this year’s successful Cavan U21 team, Laois’ Gary Walsh and Brendan O’Sullivan from Kerry for the summer, but still fell short. “However, we’ll regroup and coming back stronger than ever next year, please God.” Like all Cavan supporters, Tom took tremendous satisfaction from the Breffni County’s achievements this year which included winning the Ulster U21FC title

Tom accepts the Cavan junior player of the year award from then manager Peter Hennessy

for the third year in succession, reaching the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final for the first time and an historic All-Ireland ladies football intermediate title success. “I was pleasantly surprised by how well the seniors did this year,” he admits. “Having said that, Cavan has had a lot of success at underage level and it was only a matter of time before that translated onto the senior scene. Hopefully, this year’s great championship run wasn’t a flash in the pan and that Terry Hyland and the boys will be able to build on it next year. My only concern is that emigration might become an issue in the next couple of

years when some of the younger players finish their college studies.” For 18 of his 19 years spent in New York, Tom has worked for Celtic Sheetmetal, Inc, which was established by Sligo brothers Michael and Brendan Cunney in 1992. Located in Congers, New York, the family-run business has grown over the years into a leader in the sheet metal business. Celtic Sheetmetal, Inc is recognised as a generous supporter of the GAA in New York and also sponsored the Tourlestrane team that won this year’s Sligo senior football championship at the expense of neighbours Tubbercurry.

Tom Cahill surrounded by loved ones as he holds his Guest of Honour award at the 2009 Cavan Dinner Dance in New York


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Eugene Keating wins possession against Monaghan

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A Laragh team from 1990, front l/r: Dermot King, Michael Leddy, Michael Shields, PJ Duffy, PJ Farrelly, Ray Cullivan, John Brady. Back: Dennis Brady, Eugene Brady, Patrick Shields, Joe Brady, Padraig Smith, Adge King, Fionan McDonagh, Donal Donohoe

n 1973, Adge King began his Cavan senior football career and went onto grace the intercounty stage for a further 11 years. For those of a certain vintage, it's hard to believe that it's all of 40 years since Adge King first lined out with the Cavan senior football team. Straight away, it's perhaps wise to point out that we're talking about Adge King snr. Not Enda King, erstwhile Cavan Gaels stalwart, who is Adge's son and who also goes by the name of Adge. In his formative years as a senior footballer, Enda was ordinarily known as Adge King's son. For the last ten years or thereabouts, the Cavan star of the seventies and eighties has become known countywide as Enda King's father. Such is life. Mind you, the 1973 Cavan senior debutant is still kicking ball, still playing the role of enforcer, albeit in the less salubrious, less pressurised context of five-a-side soccer. His continuing penchant for competitive action at a stage of his life

when most of his peers are content with fetching their slippers and watching champions league fare is hardly a surprise, especially given the ferocious will-to-win and the esprit de corp he demonstrated as a player in his pomp. Of course, the fun-filled foreign games he now enjoys is flat beer stuff compared to the champagne football he enjoyed when he collected a Sigerson Cup medal with UCD in 1974 (sub) and again as a starting player three years later. In Belfield, he took his place alongside a raft of young luminaries who, like himself, were facing into many years of intercounty action. To set the pulses racing of opponents and team-mates alike, UCD could call on upcoming stars in the seventies such as Gerry McEntee (Meath), fellow Cavan man Ollie Leddy, Meath's Colm O'Rourke "the best player I ever played with" and Tony Mc Manus (Roscommon). Those were halcyon days for young King, fresh out of St. Pat's College, Cavan where he contributed to the school's one and only all-Ireland Hogan


Cup success (1972). The combination of ambition and opportunity to develop his football talents was fully taken advantage of with St. Pat's, the UCD Sigerson Cup crew under Eugene Mc Gee as manager and his Laragh United club (St Bridgets as it was then) provided the platform which led to his promotion to the county team. How ironic then that it was the Longford native and current Irish Independent columnist who effectively guillotined King's Cavan county career by deciding not to include him in his plans when succeeding Gabriel Kelly as Breffni boss in 1985. It must have come as a shock to him when he discovered that his services on the county front were no longer required? "I suppose. I was 29 then and I would have thought that I had at least another few years to go with Cavan but a new man (McGee) came in. "He had obviously his own ideas of the type of player he wanted on board with him and that was his prerogative and he also probably had a three or four year

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plan which revolved around working with younger players. "I was disappointed when the new panel appeared in the local paper and my name wasn't on it. That's the way it was done in those days.� King's exclusion from McGee's inaugural county panel came as a surprise to most football fans in Cavan. The Laragh schemer had, after all, amassed massive experience and garnered lots of kudos for his performances in three Ulster SFC finals, namely 1976, '78 and '83. On each occasion in those provincial deciders, the strapping Poles-born midfielder gave as good as he got against some of the best footballers in Ulster. He has vivid memories of the '76 meetings with Derry, the Oak Leafers winning the Anglo Celt Cup after a replay.

form." All told, Adge King played for Cavan seniors for 11 years, 1973-84. In all that time he won nothing with the county. How come? "Probably because we just weren't good enough as a team in those years. We were good enough to get to league quarter-finals and to championship semi-finals and finals but not just good enough to go the distance. "The seventies and eighties were a poor period for Cavan football. Maybe we were a bit unfortunate, maybe we didn't always get the rub of the green Were the proper structures in place in Cavan in those days to facilitate the construction of an Ulster title winning team? "I'm not sure. Looking back, we probably weren't up to speed in those years with the way the GAA was developing across the border in terms

There was no lack of self-belief among the players I lined out with. "We got to finals and to semi-finals and there was no question of monkeys being on our backs. "At least the players I played with definitely had no hang-ups about what other Cavan teams from the past achieved. They weren't comparing themselves to great Cavan footballers from down the years." Any regrets about the way his intercounty career seemed to peter out? "Disappointed that I didn't play after '84 and that I hadn't a medal to show for my time with Cavan but I'd have to say that I enjoyed every minute wearing the county jersey. I got my chance." Of course, Adge's football career wasn't guillotined entirely by his noninclusion in the county squads, post1984. Au contraire. He continued to strut his stuff on the domestic front 'till 2000

The Laragh senior championship winners of 1979 honoured at the 2004 county final, front l/r: PJ Farrelly, Kieran King, Hugh Brady, Philip Cullivan, Aidan Carolan, Kieran Brady, Paul Tobin on behalf of Matt Rudden, Tracey Smith for PJ Smith, Laurence Brady, Martin Brady, Jimmy Carroll, Ray Cullivan. Back: Hugh Reilly, Vincy Smith, Adge King, Fionan McDonagh, Donal Donohoe, Bernard Donohoe, Michael Hannon, Dermot King, Anthony Conaty, Laurence Brady junior for Brian Brady, Theo Duke, Joe Sharkey, PJ Smith, John Reilly

He recalls coming up against his selfconfessed greatest adversary Colm McAlarney (Down) - "he wouldn't stand with me and slug it out" - in the 1978 decider. And then there was the 1983 final where he crossed swords with messrs. Molloy, Murray, Griffin etc: "Losing to Donegal that year was probably the most disappointing of all three Ulster finals," he opines. "I suppose '83 sticks out in my mind because I was more of a permanent, established player at that time and I felt there was an added responsibility on me because of my experience and playing midfield. "I remember that final mostly because I didn't play well on the day. Like many another player, I had my bad days. I was inconsistent at times. I was either good or bad in a game. There was no inbetween. In the '83 final I wasn't on

of facilities, tactics and training. "The managers of the various teams I was part of did their best but I think the teams from the Six Counties were always that wee bit of a step ahead of us in the way they prepared their teams. "And when the Troubles were at their height, it seemed like Gaelic football took on another identify as far as the northern teams were concerned. "Teams up the North really wore their heart on their sleeve when it came to the football and they had a tremendous passion for Irish culture which showed up in their determination on the football field." What about the notion held by many in Cavan that the county teams of the seventies and eighties suffered from being compared to very good provincial title winning Cavan teams from the sixties and even fifties? "No I wouldn't go along with that idea.


when he brought the curtain down on his Junior 'B' innings with Laragh. Six years before hanging up his boots, he played an instrumental role - at the age of 40 - in helping United claim the Intermediate Championship win a win over Cornafean. There were other honours collected too after quitting the intercounty premier scene. He enjoyed collecting an AllIreland Masters medal with Cavan. No matter what the team or competition, he always sought to go out and enjoy togging out. He says playing football remains the best buzz he has ever gotten from his involvement with the GAA. "Like everyone else, of course, winning helped the enjoyment of playing. If your team won and you played well that was the ideal package because you personally felt good as well as your team-mates and the club as

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2013 has been a great year for Laragh U14’s, winning league and championship Division 1 honours

a whole." Our man King has been a one clubman all his life despite living for a period of his married life just a few 45s away from Cavan General Hospital. Of course, by dint of the location of his familial home, Adge's son Enda played with Cavan Gaels all his career and was well decorated too. Reflecting on his club career, King snr. fingers Laragh's 1979 SFC title win as the stand-out memory for him. "We were a new, young club and that was our first senior championship title for the parish," he explains. "I think the importance of titles depends on their context and that is why the '79 one stands out for me." Like his son in later years, King snr. would go on and become one of the most significant and influential club players in Cavan for the guts of two decades. He brought strength, discipline, leadership and total commitment to the cause of Laragh

football and was still a top footballer in Ulster terms by the time the Stradonebased crew got to the semi-final of the Ulster club championship in 1982 where they lost out to a crack Scotstown team. One former clubmate proffers the belief that Adge's days in UCD would have brought him "on a pile and the experience and skills he picked up in Dublin would have benefited Laragh a lot at that time.. "Then, later on with Laragh, he was able to link up with the likes of Ray Cullivan, Donal Donohoe, Bernard Donohoe, Fionan McDonagh and a couple of others who all benefited from the experience of playing 3rd level college football. This experience proved invaluable to the club in its initial years particularly as we had a very young panel.� Since relocating to Poles three years ago with his Galway born wife Marian (the couple have five children, Enda, Laura, Jonathan, Regina and Maeve),

Adge has put his shoulder to the wheel in developing the underage structures at Laragh. He is chairman of Laragh's underage committee and is delighted by the progress the club's juvenile teams in recent times. But what of the game itself, of modernday Gaelic football? "It's a great sport. The GAA has come on a long way from the days of togging out in ditches and washing yourself in the river beside the pitch. "It's still a great source of entertainment and brings great joy to a lot of people and camaraderie too. "Football itself has changed phenomenally. I wouldn't like the excessive amount of hand passing that some clubs and county teams currently engage in. The style of football that Dublin, Kerry and Mayo showed in this year's all-Ireland Championship series was top class." A bit like the man himself.

The Cavan Masters All-Ireland winning team from 1996, front l/r: Mickey Freehill, Seamus Kiernan, Pat Flanagan, Mickey Reilly, Paddy McNamee, John Joe Martin, Peader Queally, Paraic Brady. Back: Paddy Gaffney, Noel Corcoran, Adge King, Ollie Stanley, Fergus Costello, Michael Lyons, Robbie McDermott


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avan were back in the limelight this year for the first time since 1997 and it was a 'great honour' for Alan Clarke to be captain … but he regrets not getting his hands on any silverware. Seven championship games and a quarter-final appearance against Kerry in Croke Park gave Breffni supporters plenty to cheer about in 2013. The blue and white flags were flying proudly when Terry Hyland's charges claimed the scalps of Armagh, Fermanagh (twice), Derry and London in the championship. A narrow one point Ulster semi-final defeat to next door neighbours Monaghan and a 0-9 to 0-15 loss against the Kingdom took some of the gloss of those wins but, all in all, Cavan can look back on the past 12 months with a fair degree of satisfaction. Team captain Alan 'Toastie' Clarke acknowledges that progress was made but he's not getting carried away.

The players, he says, won't be happy until they have something tangible to show for their efforts. “It was a start and nothing more. We have no silverware to show for it so we wouldn't be happy from that point of view … but it was a start." A first ever All-Ireland quarter-final appearance on the August Bank Holiday weekend ended in a disappointing six point defeat. The team in blue and white were slow out of the traps, allowing their opponents establish a 0-11 to 0-2 half-time lead, but displayed commendable character to produce a much improved second half showing and outscore the Munster champions by seven points to four. "In hindsight, we probably showed them too much respect in the first half. You can have all the tactics in the world but you have to go out and perform. "The sheer movement of the Kerry forward line was tough to deal with and they are all good ball players so they will punish you if you stand off them.

"The manager said to us at half-time that we had nothing to lose and we went out and played much better in the second half but we were always chasing the game. Clarke added: "Kerry weren’t that far away from Dublin in the semi-final so that’s a positive from our point of view looking ahead but next year is a different year and we have a lot of work to do." The last eight loss to Kerry was a bitter pill to swallow but the centre-back's biggest regret of the year is missing out on an Ulster final appearance. Referee Marty Duffy's failure to penalise Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan for over-carrying the ball in the closing stages of the penultimate clash at Clones robbed the Breffni of a replay. The final whistle arrived 10 seconds later and Cavan lost out by the narrowest of margins, 0-12 to 1-10. "You can blame referees and all that but the better team generally wins on the day and Monaghan were the better team on that day because they were

Alan Clarke holds off Kieran Donaghy during the All-Ireland quarter-final


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Cavan captain Alan Clarke leads the way at Kingspan Breffni Park

ahead when the final whistle was blown," the Kingscourt Stars clubman diplomatically conceded. "There’s decisions that goes against you in every game but they usually even themselves out over the course of the season. "Monaghan came to Breffni Park in the league and they probably left unhappy with some decisions that day so we're not using that as an excuse. "It would have been a great step to get to an Ulster final. When you see how Monaghan blew Donegal away in the final, I'm not saying we would have done that to Donegal, but, at the very least, the experience of playing in the final would have been a massive plus for us. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be." The 1-22 to 1-20 round 3 qualifier success over Derry at Celtic Park following extra-time is the game that stands out for Alan. "All games at this level are tough. We had a couple of tough battles against Monaghan in league and championship but, against Derry, both teams went at it hammers and tongs, both teams played to the final whistle and we were lucky to come out on the right side of the result." A building surveyor with the Mullagh based Boylan Engineering, Alan paid tribute to the work and effort of team manager Terry Hyland and his backroom team.

"What you see is what you get with Terry. If you’re not doing what he wants he won’t be long in letting you know. "The entire backroom team put in great work behind the scenes. They all have different roles to play. As players we give up a lot of hours to play for Cavan but the management team put in about double that again. It requires a lot of commitment and dedication from them." A championship debutant as a halfback in the ill-fated Ulster SFC quarterfinal against Fermanagh in 2010, Alan was deemed surplus to requirements by Val Andrews and drifted away from the intercounty scene. But his stand-out performances with the Stars earned him a recall this year under Hyland. A commanding, physical presence at the heart of the Breffni defence, his leadership qualities made him an obvious choice to lead the team as captain. He did, however, point out that there is no shortage of leaders in the current Cavan set-up. "Usually, it’s the younger lads who look to the older lads for leadership and motivation but in Cavan’s case it’s probably the other way around! "They’ve come in and set their stall out. They've great confidence which comes from their success at Under 21 level but the older lads have also stepped up to the plate. Cian Mackey, for instance,


can’t be considered a young lad any more and he had a great year." As far the New Year, the Ulster championship draw has thrown up a quarter-final encounter against Armagh, a repeat of this year's preliminary round encounter. Confident that Cavan can mix it with the best, Alan is eager to prove that 2013 was no flash in the pan. The first objective will be to secure promotion from Division 3 of the football leagues. They will then turn their attention to the Orchard County. Are Cavan far off the pace of the top teams? "On any given day any team is capable of winning the All-Ireland if you have the preparation done. You need look no further than the hurling championship for proof of that. Clare and Cork wouldn’t have been mentioned as All-Ireland winners at the start of the year. "Dublin have set the standard and they are a serious outfit but Kerry weren’t too far away from them and we would feel that we weren’t that far away from Kerry. "Promotion is the number one thing for us. That would give us a stepping stone to, hopefully, bigger and better things. We’d feel we should have got promotion this year but didn’t but we learned a lot and, as a result, we had a settled team going into the championship."

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s children’s officer with Cavan County Board, Ballyhaise clubman Mark O’Rourke is playing a leading role in the battle to safeguard the future of Breffni County GAA. We caught up with the Univet Ltd. sales manager to take a look at his contribution to gaelic games in the county and to get his views on the quality of the young players currently coming through the system.

He’s still a relatively young man but Mark O’Rourke has already given a lifetime of commitment to Cavan GAA. He started off as a club footballer with Ballyhaise, representing the local team right through the ranks at all levels, including two decades in the senior team. He finished up in 2008 – but not before the customary couple of seasons serving the junior Bs! He certainly wasn’t doing it for the glory. Honours won were few and far between. His father Donal was on the 1968 IFC-winning Ballyhaise squad; forty years later, in what would be his final hurrah, Mark enjoyed his most memorable season in the club colours, captaining them to the reserve junior title, beating Crosserlough in the decider. Ballyhaise also contested the intermediate final that year but came up short against neighbours Redhills. Normally lining out either at midfield or full back, Mark O’Rourke got involved in administration while he was still playing and he was also secretary back in ’08 (serving that office for six years). At present, he is juvenile chairman, senior club vice-chairman and is also part of the U14 management set-up. He has

Mark and the Cootehill team that contested the All-Ireland Feile na nGael final in 2012

young players coming along and developing. It’s good to know they are getting the best possible start. We’d have good numbers at minor and U16 and also at U10 level; in between, it’s a bit tighter at U14 and U12 levels.” Mark, who has been youth officer / children’s officer with Cavan County Board since 2010, strongly believes that young players should be enjoying themselves first and foremost. “Primarily, young players should be enjoying themselves,” he says. “That has to come first. After that, you work on Cavan County Board children’s officer developing their skills. Of course, Mark O’Rourke winning is important – and all the young worked as a juvenile club coach for the lads will be naturally competitive – but past ten years and was also a first-team it’s not the be all and end all. It’s not selector in 2009/10. about medals; developing the players is “The underage section in Ballyhaise is key because they are the future of both going quite well,” he notes. “We’ve had club and county.” numerous successes down through the Mark is confident that there is no years and we’re very lucky in that we shortage of young talent coming through don’t ever have a problem getting the Breffni County production line: people to help out. We have four or five “There are definitely juvenile players people involved with every team and there who you could pick out with the we’re very lucky to have that kind of potential to go on and play senior help. Hopefully it will continue like that. football. But players develop differently “You get great satisfaction from seeing and you do your best with them all. Even if a young lad doesn’t have natural skills or isn’t going to be a brilliant footballer, it’s important to keep working with him and to nurture his interest in the GAA because they may develop later or you could have a great future clubperson on your hands. “I became youth officer with the County Board in 2010. Traditionally, you would have been involved Mark O’Rourke (front, eighth from left) and the Ballyhaise side that won the junior ‘D’ championship in 2008


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Mark O’Rourke with wife Anne and son Gary

with fixtures and working with clubs but the role has changed and it’s now termed children’s officer. Your main role is to look after child protection; to ensure that all child protection policies are fully implemented. “This includes making sure that all coaches have completed at least the Foundation level coaching qualifications and, as part of that, that they have completed the child protection welfare course. Also, to make sure that all underage coaches are Garda-vetted.” With over 2.000 coaches currently working in the various clubs around the county – and that number increasing all the time – this is certainly no small undertaking. Looking to the future, Mark O’Rourke will undoubtedly remain heavily involved in the development of gaelic games. Call it a vocation, a sense of public duty or an insatiable appetite for voluntary work – either way, the Ballyhaise man has clearly got the bug! “I enjoy doing what I’m doing, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing

it, so hopefully I’ll continue with this and we’ll see. My wife, Anne, used to say that when I retired I’d be spending a lot more time at home and wouldn’t know what to do with myself but I’ve been involved in administration and it’s keeping me going. “We’ve two sons to keep us busy at home – Gary (14) and Brian (11) and they are both playing football, hurling and soccer. I’d like to see them get the best possible start and that applies to all kids in the county. It’s important that hurling doesn’t get forgotten – I’ve been co-ordinator with the U14 hurling development squad for the last two years and I’d like to do more work at that level.” No doubt, he will find the time somehow! They say that where there’s a will there’s a way – and in the case of this Ballyhaise clubman there is clearly a will… In November, 2013, Mark celebrated 15 years working with Univet Ireland Limited in Cootehill, the leading veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. He is employed as sales manager for Irish sales covering the northern half of the Island. “We supply a full range of animal health products to co-ops, merchants, vets, chemists, wholeslaers etc. Our leading brands include Growvite, Sacrolyte, Curafluke & Tramazole and I look after promotion and marketing” he explains. Between work, family and football, Mark O’Rourke is busy, busy, busy. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

At home with wife Anne and sons Gary and Brian

Cavan County Board children’s officer Mark O’Rourke

Ballyhaise captain Mark O’Rourke accepts the 2008 Cavan Junior ‘D’ championship cup from county board vice-chairman Ciaran Callaghan

The Ballyhaise U14s of 2012


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The Cavan minors ladies that reached the Ulster final against Donegal. Front row l/r: Thea Clarke, Ashleigh O’Connell, Karen Delaney, Neasa Byrd, Aishling Sheridan, Naomi Smith, Aoibhinn Kiernan, Sarah McCabe, Chelsi Curran, Danika Doonan, Aisling Halton Smith, Karen McGovern. Back: Anthony Brady (management), Caoimhe Smith, Amy Gaynor, Maggie Mai Smith, Sarah Nulty, Shannon Smith, Una Galligan, Holly Lynch, Nicole Fleming, Kate McIntyre, Shauna Lynch, Beth Farrelly McGee, Emma Duffy, Breffni McIntyre, Siobhan Jordan, Tony Shields (management).

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The St Patrick’s College squad celebrates their Rannafast Cup success

ith the flow of Ulster underage titles continuing in the county, it was no surprise to see St Patrick’s College maintain the trend towards end of last year. November saw the Cavan students deliver the school’s seventh Rannafast Cup success after a sensational comeback against Omagh CBS in Emyvale.

November 16, 2012 – you can chalk it up as another landmark date for St Patrick’s College, Cavan’s rich GAA history. In the most dramatic of circumstances, St Pat’s captured the Rannafast Cup by turning a five-point deficit into a six-point victory in the space of eight breath-taking minutes against Tyrone side Omagh CBS. Under the guidance of former Cavan star Finbar O’Reilly, who was ably assisted by Killygarry footballer Andy McGovern, Gerry Gunn and Fr Kevin Fay, the Cavan students’ caught fire once they overcame the challenge of St Pius’ Magherafelt. After a draw with Patrician High School, Carrickmacross, their campaign grew by the game as Abbey CBS and St Pat’s, Dungannon were next to fall on their sword as they advanced into Ulster’s last four.

Donegal’s Colaisti Inis Eoghain awaited St Pat’s in the semi-final in Cookstown, where centre-forward Ryan Connolly was in sensational form for the Cavan side as he struck 2-6 over the hour to help his side into the final. What was even more impressive than Connolly’s personal tally was the team’s resilient defending as Declan Lunney, Paul Sexton and Cian McManus were all outstanding, while team captain Pierce Smith also put in a huge display at centre-field. The fact that the winners hit the ground running helped them cruise in this contest as a goal and five points without reply in the opening quarter set them on their way. David Brady opened the scoring in the first minute when he carried the ball through from midfield to slot between the posts.

Fr Kevin Fay, assisted Finbar O’Reilly


‘Man of the Match’ Connolly found the net a minute later after good work on the right by Ben Conaty. Further points by Darragh Gannon, Pierce Smith and two by Connolly gave the Breffni boys a commanding lead which they would never relinquish, running out 2-15 to 07 winners to book their final slot. Only Omagh CBS would stand in the way of St Pat’s seventh ever Rannafast Cup success and when the two sides met in mid-November at St Oliver Plunkett Park, Emyvale it would be the Cavan side that were favoured to overcome their Tyrone counterparts. St Pat’s, winners of the Dalton Cup (U13 and a half) and Brock (U15 and a half) had only lost one match in four campaigns, to, coincidentally, Omagh in the Corn na nOg final, and entered the game as hot favourites, having come through their semi-final with 15 points to spare. It was a contest that swung from end to end throughout with Omagh CBS looking as though they were going to upset the odds when they led by three points with five minutes of normal time left to play but Cavan produced a storming finish to take the silverware. The Tyrone lads got off to a whirlwind start as they established a 1-4 to 0-1 lead with less than ten minutes gone on the clock but they failed to

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score for the remainder of the half as St Pat’s got on top to turn things around and lead by two at the break. Padraig McGirr and Andrew McGrath put Omagh into an early lead before Matthew McKenna opened the Cavan lads’ account in the fourth minute when he blasted over when a goal was on the cards. McGirr and McGrath tagged on further points before Ciaran McCormack played the ball to Rion McKenna who brilliantly first-timed the ball to the bottom left corner of the net. Instead of building on that lead, that was the signal for St Pat’s to begin to come into the game. Left half back James Veale joined the attack to point before they grabbed a goal in the 11th minute when McKenna got on the end of a Ryan Connolly delivery to punch to the net. Pierce Smith added a point before a well struck penalty from Ronan O’Reilly saw them lead 2-3 to 1-4 at the break. Omagh defender Ciaran McCormack opened the second half scoring with a point before full-forward Aiden Fullerton struck for a brilliant goal after four minutes. McGirr and Fullerton added points before Darragh Gannon opened St Patrick’s second half account. Eamon Rae and the superb Cian McManus exchanged points before St Pat’s full-forward Ben Conaty from the Denn club cut

vid Brady

Midfielder Da

Ryan Connolly

in from the left wing to send an unstoppable shot to the top right hand corner of the net to level matters. Fullerton then went past four challenges to land an inspirational point for Omagh but that proved to be their last score of the contest as the Cavan lads found another gear in the closing stages. Smith, Tomas Galligan and McKenna all had points before defender McManus put the icing on the cake when he punched home an injury time goal. Omagh were reduced to 14 men late on when McGirr was dismissed which was quickly followed by jubilant scenes from the Cavan contingent come the full-time whistle. St Pat’s (Rannafast final v Omagh CBS): Brian Sheanon (Killygarry); Jason Rahill (Laragh United), Declan Lunney (Drumlane), Paul Sexton (Cavan Gaels); Donal Monaghan (Drumlane), Cian McManus (Teemore Shamrocks, 1-1), James Veale (Cavan Gaels, 0-2); Thomas Galligan (Lacken, 0-1), David Brady (Ballyhaise); Pierce Smith (Crosserlough, 0-2, 1f), Ryan Connolly (Drumlane, 01), Matthew McKenna (Killygarry, 1-2); Darragh Gannon (Killygarry, 0-1),


Ben Conaty (Denn, 1-0), Ronan O’Reilly (Ballinagh, 1-0 pen). Sub: Thomas Edward Donohoe (Denn) for O’Reilly. Finbar O’Reilly heaped praise on his players for standing up when they were needed. The Lacken man feels that this group of players have the potential to go on and make history for St Pat’s in 2014 when they bid to end the school’s 40-year famine of trying to capture the MacRory Cup. He even went as far as saying that the players are bidding to become one of the best teams in the school’s history. “These type of players don’t go through the corridors of school every day,” O’Reilly stated. “We know there’s a two-year gap between the Rannafast and MacRory, so you’ll have this panel for next year along with a handful of older boys. Every effort will be made but ultimately it’s two years’ time when the real, real chance will present itself. The panel were thought to have trained together a total of 110 times over 13 months for the successful Brock and Rannafast campaigns and O’Reilly knows that there will be plenty more hard work to come for the group if they are to add the MacRory Cup to the collection next year. “It’s onwards and upwards and it’s very positive for St Pat’s and Cavan football in general,” O’Reilly concluded.

Darragh Gann


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Crosserlough’s Neasa Byrd was Ulster’s Young Player of the Year in 2013

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n July 10th last two superstars of the modern game, six time All Ireland winner and three time All Star, Kilkenny’s Martin Comerford, and two time All-Ireland U21 winner and Limerick stalwart for over a decade Brian Geary, made a visit in the company of the Liam MacCarthy Cup to East Cavan Gaels Hurling club. It was part of local company, Gypsum Industries, Community Outreach Programme in which they delivered new coaching equipment to the club as well as an evening’s coaching and pictures and autographs for eager young hurlers. Outlining the reason for the visit event organiser and club PRO Willie Gaughan said that Gypsum Industries new outreach programme hope to help local organisations that have an input from local employees: “Lucky for us that I work for them and it is through them that we have organised today’s events. Martin and Brian were more than agreeable when approached to help out. “They wanted to see how hurling was developing on the ground and you will find that they have been impressed with the work that has been going on in this club to help develop hurling.”. Founded in 2009 using a regional model with which to develop hurling in the region this new club has went from strength to strength. They now have over 80 boys under 10 playing regularly each week and 30 plus boys in the U12/14 section. Their first success came in 2012 when they captured both the U12 and U13 championships. Club Secretary Kathryn O’Flynn has been delighted with the progress made so far. “It’s going very well, lots of boys out hurling it’s what we want and we are getting there,” said Kathryn. “It always helps to have that little bit of success on the field also. ”Our U12/13/14s have been going very well with some great performances. Our U14s came very close to capturing county Feile this year so we feel we are on the right track.” Speaking on the regional model of club

Current legends and possible ones of the future, l/r: Martin Comerford, Padraic, Cian, Cillian, Danial, Brian Geary, Darragh and Shea

she was delighted with how it’s going. “We have players and coaches feeding in from all parts of our catchment namely Bailieborough, Kingscourt, Shercock, Killinkere and Knockbride. Logistically it’s a big area and a big operation but everyone working together and getting results on the field we feel it is the way forward for hurling in the region. raining sessions are very good in that we have the numbers required to have good sessions. “Our partner football clubs have also been very supportive and, as you can see this evening, this event could not happen but for the help and support of Bailieborough.” Martin Comerford commented on the evenings events: ”This is a wonderful

evening here. It’s great to see so many young boys out playing hurling. The numbers here are comparable to the numbers we would have in any club in Kilkenny so the club must be doing something right. “Lots of under 6/8 hurlers will feed into the older teams going forward and that can only be good. I’ve spoken to the club coaches here and they are fiercely determined with where they want to go with this club and with that determination will come future success that there can be no doubt of.” Brian Geary was also very effusive of what this club is doing: “The numbers are the big thing here and the numbers this club have at the moment is a credit to the work they are doing. We will

Martin Comerford and Brian Geary with a cross-section of East Cavan Gaels HC players aged from 4 to 14


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this age group by 40%. definitely hear a lot about “Again this could not have this club in the future as happened without the work the foundations they are of the parents, eight of building are very strong. “There are quite a few whom have just completed talented young hurlers their Foundation Level here tonight also. It’s not Award for Hurling. We are just the numbers but the on the right path and with all talent that’s on show that is strands of hurling in Cavan impressive. Speaking to working together then East Kathryn and her team they Cavan Gaels Hurling Club seem to know what they can be at the forefront of are doing so the future is future success at both club bright.” and, hopefully, county Young East Cavan Gaels hurlers get their hands on the Liam MacCarthy Cup Eoin Morrissey from success. We have a lot of Cavan Hurling our U14s starting to feed Development was also on into the county Development hand to applaud the work of this Squad which, by creating more club. “They have created the competition for places with model for other new clubs to quality players, can only be follow,” says Eoin. “From small good for Cavan hurling going beginnings this club has grown forward. rapidly providing games for boys, “Our primary aims remain the which is a massive step. In the growing of this club in the years ahead they will be immediate years ahead where successful and Cavan Hurling we hope to compete in both U16 Development will be on hand to and Minor level. With new help them as much as possible.” regional competitions, which we Club PRO Willie Gaughan was campaigned hard for, like the quick to point out the role of the Martin Comerford and Brian Geary talk with the East three county club league for parents in the club. Cavan Gaels HC U10s U14 and hopefully U16 as well “Our player parents are doing a as the possibility of the Tain fantastic job,2 says Willie. “It can’t have helped them deliver success on Adult league moving down to the minor be easy bringing boys to a central venue the field for themselves and that will grade in the years ahead, there is now week after week to train especially when hopefully lead to a long career as a a clear pathway for young hurlers to it’s a new club and you don’t know hurler here in East Cavan Gaels. develop and we hope to be an integral whether it will be a success or not. The “We also have a nice conveyor of part of that development.” older boys who come from Shercock young hurlers coming behind them. Our There you have it! A new hurling club and Kingscourt to train in Bailieborough, U10 squad this year are a lovely bunch doing what needs to be done in order to as well as the local boys, have to be of hurlers and we predict a bright future be successful. It’s not often that commended for making and sticking to for them. superstars of hurling visit a Cavan that level of commitment. It takes “We have also branched out this year hurling club so they must be doing serious dedication,“maybe 8 miles to go with a new training group in Kingscourt training and 20+ miles for matches. something right. There are bright days for mostly players under 9 which added “Thankfully Kathryn, Maurice ahead for hurling in the region and for to our existing group in Bailieborough O’Shaughnessy and Liam Morrissey the East Cavan Gaels Hurling Club. has increased our playing numbers at

n Gaels the East Cava with some ofthryn O’Flynn (Club y ar Ge n ia coach), ford and Br coach), Ka Martin Comerstaff, Pat Rossiter (U10 ughan (club PRO and U8 Morrissey Willie Ga , in coaching h) Eo ac d co an 14 h) coac d U12/ Secretary anMarie Carroll-Walsh (U10 lopment Officer) Rose ng Deve (Cavan Hurli


Kilkenny lege nd Martin Cavan Gaels Comerford speaks with HC U8s and their parents the East

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Adrian Donohoe (Crosserlough) The Kilnaleck community, all of County Cavan, everybody in Louth and indeed the entire population of Ireland were shocked and sickened by the brutal murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe on Friday, January 25th, 2013. An extremely popular husband to Caroline and father of two young children – Amy and Niall - the 42-year-old Kilnaleck native was renowned as a pillar of the community in his adopted Louth, having spent his entire working life serving in Dundalk Garda Station. Adrian was a brilliant footballer who excelled with Crosserlough, the Cavan minors and U21s, and latterly with St Patrick’s, Lordship. Adrian’s father Hugh was part of the great Crosserlough sevenin-a-row side, while – standing at 6’5” – Adrian himself was a gifted midfielder who could also do serious damage up front, if utilised there. Described by everyone who knew him as a gentle giant, he scored the winning goal for Crosserlough in the 1989 county U21 final and also won a minor title that year. In 1991, he added another U21 medal. The tributes that poured in for Adrian from the sporting world and the political spectrum in the aftermath of his death reflected the high esteem in which he was held not just in Cavan and Louth but on the national stage also. In the Wee County, Adrian was a member of the St Patricks team that brought the Joe Ward Cup (SFC) to Lordship in 2003 – as well as an ACC Cup the previous year - and he went on to serve the club with great distinction as an underage coach. A great role model in St Patricks, where he had just been appointed as Og Sport Director, the Cavan man also pulled on the red jersey of Louth at junior level. During his all-too-short time amongst us, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe touched the lives of many. Adrian was honoured with a state funeral and his love of the GAA was to the fore as he made his final journey. As the cortege passed the St Patricks pitch, Aidan's coffin was carried by his family, friends and colleagues to his final resting place.

Among those to have this honour were his friends from St Patricks, who were reigning county champions at the time.

Patrick O’Sullivan (Belturbet) Sorrow across Belturbet and its environs followed the sad passing of Patrick ‘Pat’ O’Sullivan, Kilconny. A native of Macroom in County Cork, Pat and his wife Kathleen set up residence in the town after retiring in 1998. He always had a keen interest in football and quickly offered his services to the local Rory O’Moores club. He served the club with distinction, no more so than during his stint as secretary. A true gentleman, Pat was instantly recognisable in the area for his soft Cork lilt. On the evening of his removal, the Rory O’Moores provided a guard of honour en route to the church. Philip Devine (Laragh) Laragh GAA was plunged into sadness on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 when one of the club’s great sons, Philip Devine, passed away. A man who was tremendously respected in GAA circles all across County Cavan and beyond, Phil served the local GAA club in a variety of capacities over the years and his popularity was all too evident from the huge crowds of people who flocked to his home and to the church to bid him a final farewell. Formerly a maintenance officer at the army barracks in Cootehill and Cavan, Phil gave sterling service to the local Laragh United GFC, which acted as the perfect conduit for his deep love of football and sport in general. An uncompromising but fair full back, Phil gave of his all on the field of play, no more so than in the 1972 county SFC final (lining out for St Brigid’s, now Laragh United) against Crosserlough, who were in the process of completing the famed seven-in-a-row. After serving the club with distinction as a player, Phil went on to offer his services in a variety of capabilities behind the scenes as well as holding down numerous official roles. He was club president and officiated at the club’s dinner dance this year to


recognise the 2012 JFC-winning team. Phil Devine will perhaps be best remembered by the club as manager of the three-in-a-row SFC-winning Laragh United side of 1982-84, a team which had the manager’s identity stamped all over it, playing a lovely attractive style of attacking football. He also managed a host of other teams in the club, including the successful camogie side. Phil went on to work as an umpire for his good friend, the referee Brian Crowe, and acted in that capacity for the 1997 All-Ireland final between Kerry and Mayo at Croke Park – a tremendous honour for club and county. It’s hard to capture in mere words how much of himself Philip Devine gave to Laragh United and Cavan GAA down through the years; suffice to say that he will be sadly missed and that his death leaves a void that will never be filled. Ronan Hanly (Shannon Gaels) The Shannon Gaels club was shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Ronan Hanly. Down through the years, Ronan was a regular fixture in the Shannon Gaels backline, representing the club alongside his brothers Mick and Coman. Shannon Gaels GAA club provided a guard of honour at the funeral and removal.

Neil Phair (Killeshandra) The untimely death of Neil Phair, Portaliffe, on Thursday, January 17th, 2013, aged just 57, caused widespread sadness in Killeshandra and beyond. A popular member of the local community, Neil will be remembered as a quiet, gentle and decent man. He was a son of the legendary Packie Phair, who starred on the Cavan team of the 1930s, and inherited from his father a great love of the national code. Neil lined out for the Leaguers himself for many years, winning league and championship honours in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Prior to that, he had represented the St Joseph’s minor team as well as playing underage hurling for Cornafean, winning an U14 medal in 1967. A

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versatile footballer, who was equally effective either in attack or in defence, Neil continued to support his local club long after hanging up his boots. At the removal of his remains to St Brigid’s Church, a guard of honour was provided by members of the Fire Brigade, former work colleagues from Lakeland Dairies and Killeshandra Leaguers GFC.

Noel Hanley (Crosserlough) Christmas of 2012 was shrouded in sadness in the Kilnaleck, Crosserlough and Mountnugent areas due to the death on December 15th of Noel Hanley, who was much admired and respected in local GAA circles. Noel was a member of the great Crosserlough seven-in-a-row SFCwinning side and was a driving force behind the club as a total of nine titles were culled in that golden era between 1958 and ’72. He first came to prominence during the 1956 league final victory over Belturbet, partnering the great John Byers at midfield. The legendary Mick Higgins was match referee that fateful day. Noel, who had started his football career with Mountnugent, always played the game with a smile on his face. His work brought him to Dublin and Noel’s popularity in the capital was evident in 1977 when he persuaded Jimmy Keaveney, Pady Cullen, Fran Ryder and Bobby Doyle from the Dublin AllIreland winning side to come to The Carraig Springs in Cavan to present medals to the Crosserlough Cavan U14 FC-winning side.

Joe Murphy (Ballinagh) A former worker with Cavan County Council, Joe Murphy was in his 75th year when he passed away around the turn of the year. From Aughadreena, he played football in his early years for both Ballinagh and Drumavaddy. A deeply spiritual man, Joe also enjoyed cards, hunting and fishing.

Jimmy Reilly (Drung) Shock and sadness followed news of the passing of Jimmy Reilly, Bunnoe. A member of a well-known and highlyrespected family in the local community, Jimmy – who was a great lover of Irish music – will be sadly missed by his family and friends. An avid GAA follower all his life, Jimmy played football with distinction for his

beloved Drung and was a member of the team that won the league title in 1958. Up until the time of his passing, he continued to faithfully follow the fortunes of both his local Drung and the Cavan county team. Drung GFC provided a guard of honour at the removal of his remains to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Drung.

Jimmy ‘The Miller’ Smith (Crosserlough) A native of Toher, Crosskeys and from a family of ten children, Jimmy ‘The Miller’ Smith, Tullyboy passed away on Tuesday, December 18th, 2013, aged 74. He was a member of the golden era of Crosserlough football, playing his part in a run that saw the club capture nine SFCs in 15 seasons. A goalscorer in the 1958 senior final, when he lined out on the ’40, he was one of the club’s all-time greats and he will be sorely missed by those who knew him. Jimmy also served as secretary of Cavan County Board between 1974 and ’77 as well as acting for his home club in an official capacity. ‘The Miller’ lined out for St Pat’s in 1954 and ’55, winning a MacRory Cup title as a defender in 1955. He also represented the county minors those same two years and was on the Cavan team beaten by Antrim in the 1955 Ulster MFC final. With Crosserlough, he collected minor medals in ’54 and ’55 and was captain of the three-in-a-row-seeking side beaten by Killinkere in the 1956 final. He went on to win SFC medals with Crosserlough in 1958 and ’61, firing three goals, including the all-important clinching score against Cavan Gaels in the 1958 decider (3-7 to 3-4). During the 1980s, Jimmy became heavily involved in both Bord Peil na nOg and Feile. He successfully managed underage Crosserlough sides in 1982, ’83, ’84 and ’85 and was also a successful club manager at minor level in ’86, ’88 and ’89 and with the 1991 U21 team. He managed the club’s seniors on a number of occasions in the 1980s and 1990s. In big demand with neighbouring clubs for his coaching / training abilities, the Crosserlough man led Ballymachugh to the Division Two league title in 1992 and also tasted success at the helm of the Drumlomman Celtic amalgamation team. In 1974, he defeated the outgoing Hughie Smyth in an election


at annual convention to become County Board secretary – no mean feat as Hughie had been secretary for 37 years! Married to Gertie and with six children and 13 grandchildren, Jimmy was also a proud family man. He will be missed greatly by all those who knew him. At Jimmy Smith’s funeral from St Patrick’s Church, Kilnaleck to Crosserlough Cemetery, the coffin was draped in the black and amber of the club he served so well. Guards of honour were provided by Crosserlough GFC, Ballymachugh GFC and Ballymachugh ladies, Innyvale Athletics Club and County Cavan Athletics Board. Surviving members of the Crosserlough seven-in-a-row side were amongst the attendance as were representatives of Cavan County Board and Ulster Council. Frank Brennan (Mullahoran) The sudden, unexpected death of Frank Brennan, Carnagh Upr, Kilcogy on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 caused regret and sadness throughout the local area. A quiet and unassuming man, who was from a farming background, Frank’s two great interests in life were farming and football. Indeed, the two gifts brought to the altar at his funeral were his cattle record cards and a football. He took great pride from Mullahoran’s great double-winning exploits of 2012 and it would be fair to say he followed the local club with enthusiasm all his life. Paddy Farrelly (Cootehill) The death on Sunday, November 11th, 2012 of 64-year-old Paddy Farrelly, The Cottage, Drum, caused deep sorrow and regret in counties Monaghan and Cavan. Paddy was a keen supporter of gaelic games – both football and hurling – and he regularly attended matches on Sundays, particularly if either of the two local counties were in action.

Fr Gerard Cusack (Drung) Much sadness followed the death in March, 2013 of Fr Gerard (PJ) Cusack, whose heart was very much in Bunnoe all his life even though his vocation brought him as far afield as Australia. A much-travelled man, who was ordained in 1969, Fr Gerard faithfully followed the fortunes of the local Drung GAA club and was honorary president for a number of years. As his remains

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made their way to Bunnoe Cemetery, members of the club provided a guard of honour.

Martin Crowe (Lacken) In April, we said farewell to Martin Crowe, Carrickabawn, a keen GAA follower. From a family of nine, Martin ran a successful butcher’s business in Longford for a number of years and was also seen regularly behind the bar of The Dew Drop Inn in Cavan town. He played gaelic football for Lacken Celtic in his youth, mostly as a defender, and he knew how to look after himself on the pitch. After he bought a farm in Crosserlough, his sons went on to wear the Black & Amber, with Jonathon representing Cavan. Martin managed to follow the fortunes of both Lacken and Crosserlough thereafter and GAA members provided a respectful guard of honour at his funeral in Drumkilly Church. Jack Higgins (New York) The late Jack Higgins, who passed away in New York, was a brother of the great Cavan gael Mick Higgins. Jack was also a gifted footballer himself but his career was cut short when he emigrated in 1951 at a young age. He will be missed by his family and a wide circle of friends both at home and in New York. Josie Murphy (Killeshandra) Killeshandra was plunged into shock and sorrow by the sudden passing at her home of Mrs Josie Murphy (nee Magarahan), Railway Road, on Sunday, March 24th, 2013. Josie was a long-standing member of the local GAA club, which had been served faithfully by her late husband Raymond. Josie’s sons Meehaul and Shane and daughters Sinead and Ashling would all have represented Killeshandra in various capacities down through the years.

PJ Duffy (Ballinagh) Ballinagh GFC provided a guard of honour at the removal of Peter Joseph Duffy of Crossdoney Road. PJ ‘s sudden passing caused widespread shock and sorrow in the local community, of which he was a muchrespected member. A true gentleman with a good sense of humour, PJ represented the local GAA club with distinction during his youth. His

favourite position was goalkeeper and he delivered a number of magnificent displays in the No.1 jersey for Ballinagh over the years.

Tom Briody (Mullahoran / Lacken) The communities of Mullahoran and Aghaloora were deeply saddened to learn of the death of 81-year-old Tom Briody. A native of Mullahoran, Tom moved to Aghaloora after marrying Bridie Halton and the couple raised four sons and six daughters together. A very hard-working and decent man, who was a builder by trade, Tom also possessed a deep love of gaelic football. He followed the Lacken Celtics with a keen interest and was especially proud in 1997 when his son Declan lined out at full back on the side that defeated Knockbride in the county intermediate football championship final. Tom was also a trustee and diligent member of the club, who was never afraid to get his hands dirty on their behalf, such as when he helped out on the redevelopment of the pitch in the ‘70s.

Brendan Smyth (Cavan Town) Originally from Creighan, on the outskirts of Cavan town, the late Brendan Smyth – who passed away in January, 2013 – was proprietor of Mid West Furniture in Westport, County Mayo. The eldest of five children born to John Francis and Eileen Smyth, Brendan grew up within a stone’s throw of Breffni Park and naturally had an interest in gaelic games all his life. Whilst living in London, he regularly brought his young family to GAA matches at Ruislip. In his adopted Mayo, the Cavan man became deeply involved in the local Kilmeena GAA club, whom he served as a supporter, committee member and a valuable sponsor. He had the honour of presenting the Clubman of the Year award every year and also got involved in refereeing. Brendan became a keen supporter of Mayo but also maintained a love for Ulster football, especially the Breffni Blues. With a keen interest also in vintage cars and country music, Brendan Smyth invariably made the pilgrimage to Croke Park for the AllIreland final every September. Frank McPhillips (Shercock) Frank McPhillips, Lisdrumskeagh was a member of a well-known and popular Shercock family. He was a


keen GAA man and a guard of honour was provided at his funeral by members of Shercock GFC, Bawn Handball Club and pupils and teachers from Shercock National School. Frank’s sons Paddy and Francis play for Shercock and, as a mark of respect to the McPhillips family, the county intermediate football championship final against Killeshandra was postponed until Sunday, October 20th. Sean Conneely (Arva) Sean Connelly, Ard na Greinne, Holybank, Arva passed away on Friday, September 27th, 2013. During his lifetime, he made an enormous contribution to the local GAA club. Sean served Arva as treasurer for many years and was a driving force behind the purchase and development of Michael Cully Park. He was also instrumental in having the stand erected and Arva was one of the first clubs in the county to have covered accommodation for spectators. As Sean’s remains were removed to the Church of the Sacred Heart, members of Arva GFC provided a guard of honour. Oliver Sheils (Denn) Shock and sadness followed the sudden passing of popular hotelier Oliver Sheils, who owned the Farnham Arms Hotel. A native of Crosskeys, Oliver purchased the hotel in 1983 and transformed it into one of the most successful businesses in the county. Oliver loved music and sport and was a keen supporter and sponsor of the GAA. He was a generous and longserving sponsor of both Denn GFC and Cavan Gaels GFC down through the years and both clubs provided guards of honour at his removal.

Margaret Maguire (Ballinagh) Widespread regret followed the passing on September 20th, 2013 of Margaret Maguire, Glenboy, Oldcastle. Aged 89, Margaret was originally from Ballinagh and was married to Seamus Maguire – the eldest of the Maguire brothers who famously represented Cavan and Meath on football fields around the country in the 1940s and 1950s. John Brady (Mullahoran) Sadly, Mullahoran’s 1963 SFCwinning captain John Brady of Drumcorr, Loughduff passed away at

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Cavan General Hospital on Monday, January 28th, 2013. Aged 77, John was a member of a family of 13 children born to the late Danny and Julia Brady, Middletown. John set himself up as an insurance broker and established John Brady Insurances alongside his loving wife Nancy. Today, the family business is based in Killydoon and overseen by John and Nancy’s son Ciaran. Like all the extended ‘Gunner’ family, John had a keen interest and deep involvement in the GAA. He represented the Dreadnoughts at all levels and loved nothing more than the drama, excitement and controversy of a big game. In 1963, John captained the Mullahoran side – also boasting the talents of his brothers Danny and Fr Jim – which won the Cavan SFC. An uncompromising full back who always gave 100% on the field of play, John Brady was good enough to make the county minor team in 1953 and he also represented his beloved county at junior level. During the 1970s, John became a renowned referee and he officiated over many county finals. He was voted Referee of the Year on three separate occasions and was a member of Ulster Council’s intercounty refereeing panel. John derived great joy from Mullahoran’s double-winning season in 2012 and was proud to see his grandson Killian pick up the Senior Player of the Year award. The massive number of people who turned out for John Brady’s removal and funeral demonstrated the high esteem in which he was held not just in the local community but also further afield.

Brian Matthews (Virginia) Originally from Virginia in Cavan, Brian Matthews made Newbridge his home and was a well-known menswear retailer in the Kildare county town. He played football for Moorefield GFC, winning three Leader Cups, and also served as club treasurer and sponsor over the years. Brian was a GAA man through and through and he always dreamed of an All-Ireland final between his native Cavan and adopted Kildare.

Rose Cosgrove (Belturbet) A fluent Irish speaker and keen GAA supporter – who attended many matches with her husband James and son Raymond – the late Rose

Cosgrove was originally from Finn Valley in County Donegal. Nee McNeill, she moved to Belturbet with the late James in the late 1940s and they lived first at Barrack Hill before moving to Marian Park. Mother of Raymond, Elizabeth and the late Josephine, Rose took great pride from seeing her native county win the Sam Maguire Cup for the second time in September, 2012. Fr Seamus Duffy (Kilmainhamwood) Originally from Kilmainhamwood, on the Cavan border in County Meath, Fr Duffy went to school at St Pat’s where one of his classmates was future Cavan football great PJ Duke from Stradone. After leaving Maynooth, he served in Drumkeerin, County Leitrim; Ballyjamesduff; Ballinaglera, County Leitrim; and Ballinamore, County Leitrim. Fr Seamus played a big part in promoting gaelic football in Leitrim, serving as chairman of the North Leitrim County Board.

Paddy McGee (Kilmainhamwood) The late Paddy McGee from Kilmainhamwood played hurling in Kingscourt in his younger days and was an employee of Gypsum Industries for many years. His son Ray represented Meath with distinction, winning an All-Ireland medal in 1999, and was on the Kilmainhamwood team that famously won the Meath SFC crown in 1996. Padraig Halton (Arva/Gowna) The late Padraig Halton of Ratoath, County Meath and formerly of Lough Gowna, passed away on September 1st, 2013. Padraig was a former Arva footballer and sponsor. He will be remembered for the fantastic goal he scored in the 1972 Cavan intermediate championship final at Breffni Park as Arva took home the silverware. Padraig’s brother Seamus is Gowna club treasurer, while his nephew Damien lines out for the first team. As a mark of respect to Padraig Halton and his family, a minute’s silence was observed before the Arva - Knockbride league game in Arva. Maura McManus (Denn) Sadness crept across the parish when word spread of the passing of


Mrs Maura McManus, Dennmore. She was a member of the Gaffney family, who are synonymous with Crosserlough GAA and are also wellknown as local shopkeepers. Maura, who was predeceased by her husband Ben in 1989, was a true lady who worked hard to maintain the family farm and to give her family the best possible start in life. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Mary Ellen McDermott (Killeshandra) The late Mary Ellen McDermott (nee Curran) of Gurteen was a native of Crenagh and became a deeplyrespected member of the local community during her life. Affectionately known as ‘Minnie’, she played camogie as a young girl and was also very fond of Irish dancing as well as playing the fiddle and tin whistle. These loves of music and sport would stay with Minnie throughout her life. She suffered many hardships but never lost her faith and will be remembered as a wonderful family woman.

Kathleen Reilly (Denn) One of the oldest residents of the locality at the time of her passing, the late Kathleen Reilly was born at Stradone Street, Ballyjamesduff, where Coleman’s shop is now located. She married Bennie Reilly of Farragh and the couple went on to raise their family there. Kathleen’s son Noel is a former committee member of Denn GFC. Her son-in-law Martin Tennyson is a current coach with Denn and her daughter Eimear plays camogie and football with the club. A guard of honour was provided by Denn GFC. John Joe Dunne (Cavan) Great sadness was generated in February, 2013 by the passing of John Joe Dunne, Drumullen, Farnham. John Joe was originally from Crossdoney Road, Ballinagh and was one of eleven children to the late Jack and Margaret Dunne. A master craftsman, John Joe was also a talented musician (renowned especially for his prowess on the accordion) and skittles player (winning All-Ireland honours). A keen GAA follower, he was an enthusiastic member of the local Cavan Gaels club.

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Padraic Kiernan (Denn) Everybody in the community of Carrickaboy and Denn parish was shocked and numbed by the tragic death on Friday, July 19th, of 33-yearold Padraic Kiernan of Pullakeel, who had travelled home from London attended the Cavan V Fermanagh Ulster SFC match that weekend. A qualified builder / surveyor, the deceased was a member of Denn GFC, having lined out for the club, and will be remembered as an exceptional handballer. During his school days at St Patrick’s College, he won an U16 All-Ireland doubles medal, to which he would add an U21 doubles medal (alongside future world champion Paul Brady). Padraic’s father Matt is an active member of Denn GFC, and Treasurer of Cavan Youth Board, and the club cancelled its match against Cavan Gaels as a mark of respect. Denn GFC, Cavan County Board and Denn Parish Committees provided guards of honour at his funeral. Paddy Walshe (Ballyhaise) Paddy Walshe of Carrickmore passed away on Sunday morning, August 18th, 2013. An ardent Ballyhaise GAA volunteer, Paddy was a true community activist with a great passion for sport, politics, history and drama. Paddy had the distinction of holding literally every possible position in the club: chairman (1981-82), secretary (1969-77), assistant secretary (seven years), selector (two stints), PRO (1981-92), juvenile manager (1969-72), delegate to the County Board (1967-91) and Ulster Council delegate (two stints). As a gifted writer, he served The Anglo-Celt as their Ballyhaise GAA correspondent for many years and was meticulous in his coverage of all matches involving the local club. He also acted as the club’s PRO and his reports always stood out as they were extremely detailed but also pieced together using beautiful and precise prose. Paddy truly loved the game, loved his club and loved writing about them. He won the first ever County Cavan Club Secretary award in 1974. A great family man who will be sorely missed by all who knew him, it is safe to say that Ballyhaise will never see the likes of Paddy Walshe again. Jimmy Hughes (Shercock) Residents in the Shercock-Killann

area were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of 76-year-old Jimmy Hughes, Glasleck, at Cavan General Hospital. Originally from Latton, Jimmy moved to the area with his mother Maggie to work in Flanagan’s of Tullybrick. A noted haulage driver, Jimmy served Hannigan’s and Eugene Lambe before spending more than 20 years driving for renowned local firm, Angretia Ltd. A great supporter of gaelic games and Cavan GAA in particular, Jimmy was married to Alice Conlon in 1972 and was devoted to his wife, four sons and eight grandchildren. Lily O’Reilly (Lacken) There was great sadness in the parish when news emerged that 87year-old Mrs Lily O’Reilly, Mullaghboy, Carrigan had passed away at her residence. Predeceased by her husband John twelve years earlier, Lily appeared to be in good health and had attended mass the Saturday before her death. Throughout her life, Lily had a tremendous interest in gaelic games and she was especially proud of the performances of her grandsons Finbarr, Karl and Shane in the Lacken club colours. When Finbarr O’Reilly was doing his stuff in the Cavan jersey, nobody was prouder than his grandmother! Lily completed the club lotto every week without fail and was one of Lacken’s greatest supporters. Joe McCaul (Kingscourt) There was sadness all around the town of Kingscourt and further afield following the passing on March 24th, 2013 of Monaghan native Joe McCaul from Main Street. A member of the farming community, Joe was in his 89th year and was an ardent supporter of Kingscourt Stars all his life, rarely missing a game, home or away. Members of Kingscourt Stars GFC provided a guard of honour at his removal to the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Thomas McCaul (Kingscourt) The town of Kingscourt and surrounding areas were stunned on Saturday, September 14th, 2013 by the sudden death of Thomas McCaul, Main Street. An active member of the farming community who was also involved in the running of the family restaurant for many years, Thomas


was a Kingscourt Stars stalwart during the ‘80s and ‘90s, winning a total of six championship medals. Lining out in the half forward line, he had the ability to kick with both feet and invariably finished up matches with at least two or three points to his credit. A quiet and unassuming man, Thomas never hogged the limelight but thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the local GAA club. Thomas’ father died earlier on in the year (see above). Fittingly, Kingscourt Stars GFC provided a guard of honour at his removal to the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Patsy McEntee (Shercock) Patsy McEntee of Corclare passed away on Thursday, September 5th, a month short of his 90th birthday. Known affectionately as ‘Patsy Mac’, he worked on roads all over East Cavan during his years with Cavan County Council and was also employed as a barber and gardener. He was a big GAA supporter and was proud of the role his family played in the local club. Patsy Mac was inducted into the Shercock GFC Hall of Fame in 2012 and members of the club’s juvenile and adult teams provided a guard of honour at his removal to St Patrick’s Church.

John McKiernan (Cornafean) On Wednesday, September 4th, 2013, the death occurred at Cavan General Hospital of 84-year-old John McKiernan, Drumkeeran. A dairy farmer all his life, John and his wife Kathleen raised a family of seven children – four girls, three boys – all of whom donned the red jersey of Cornafean in either football or camogie. Sons Thomas and Peadar represented Cavan with distinction, while John’s youngest daughter, Catherina, is the renowned international athlete who represented the Breffni County and Ireland with such distinction around the world.

Rev Fr Matt Farrelly (Kingscourt) In his 99th year, the late Rev Matt Farrelly of Kimmage Manor, Dublin and formerly of Drumbar, Kingscourt passed away on August 12th, 2013. A native of Kingscourt, Fr Matt lined out for the local Kingscourt Stars club as a young man and would certainly have represented Cavan too but for his priestly vocation. Fr Matt served as a

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priest around the world in locations such as Paris, Mauritius, Rome, New York and Gambia.

Tommy McTeigue (Corlough) The late Tommy McTeigue of Owengallis, Bawnboy and formerly of Tullyderrin, Corlough represented the local GAA club in goals and remained an avid supporter of Corlough throughout his life. A quiet and modest man who supported the club’s lotto every week, Tommy will be remembered as a decent and humble clubman. Corlough GAA club provided a guard of honour at the removal.

Edward McKiernan (Denn) Affectionately known as ‘Ned’, Edward McKiernan was originally from Crosserlough but came to live in Newtown after meeting and marrying Mary ‘Mamie’ Corcoran, subsequently working the family farm and raising a family of four. As well as being a diligent and industrious farmer and provider, Ned was also renowned as an exceptional storyteller. He had a keen interest in sport and especially supported the local GAA club as well as the Cavan county side. His grandsons Aidan and Martin are current footballers with Denn, while David is a former player. There was a large attendance at both home and church for the funeral of one of the parish’s oldest residents, with Denn GFC providing a guard of honour.

Cecil Rapple (Killeshandra) In early August, widespread regret surfaced in Killeshandra when word emerged that Cecil Rapple, Market Avenue had passed away. Raised on Upper Main Street during the 1950s, Cecil was an extremely popular member of the local community. In his younger days, he was a brilliant footballer, representing the Leaguers with distinction. In 1970, he helped the local club annex the Cavan junior football championship. He was also a very talented boxer and badminton player. Despite being in indifferent health, Cecil faithfully continued to support the local Killeshandra GAA club all his life. Rev Edward V Burns (Cormore/Arva) Rev Edward Burns was parish priest in Denn for 16 years and also served

the parishes of Cootehill and Killinkere. Equally at home in attack or defence, but perhaps best known as a wing back, he lined out with distinction (alongside his brothers) for the Cormore club during his student days. Fr Eddie was born in Arva in January, 1931 and passed away on Friday, July 19th, 2013. He was ordained in June, 1956 and served in Coventry, Leitrim and his native Cavan. During his homily at the requiem mass, Bishop Leo O’Reilly reflected on how gifted a footballer Fr Eddie had been during his younger years and noted that he brought that same determination into his calling.

Pat Bradley (Ballyhaise) There was great shock at the death following a farming accident of Pat Bradley, who was a former employee of the Agricultural College. Pat lined out at corner back on the Ballyhaise team that contested the 1976 Cavan SFC final against St Mary’s. Jimmy Martin (Drung) In July, 2013, Drung said farewell to Mr Jimmy Martin, formerly of Doohasson. A quiet man who worked for Cavan County Council for many years, Jimmy was a loyal supporter of Drung GFC down through the years and was honorary president of the club.

Pat Lynch (Shercock) It was a bitter blow to the close-knit community of Shercock when Pat Lynch of Main Street – where he had spent most of his life – passed away at Castleross Nursing Home in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. A respected member of the local farming community, Pat also enjoyed sport (especially gaelic football) and politics (following Fine Gael). He was the last surviving member of the Shercock football team of 1950 and had often crossed paths with Cavan GAA legends such as ‘The Gunner’ Brady and Victor Sherlock. At his removal to St Patrick’s Church, Pat’s beloved Shercock GFC provided a guard of honour. Sean Hetherton (Munterconnaught) Sean Hetherton of Balrath Road, Kells, County Meath – who passed away on June 5th, 2013, aged 75 -


was known far and wide for his garage business, which he operated for over four decades. He hailed originally from Ballydurrow, County Cavan, close to the Cavan / Meath border, and played football for Munterconnaught alongside his brothers Liam, Michael and Seamus. Sean was good enough to win a county minor medal and he remained a keen supporter of Cavan GAA throughout his life. He was especially proud of the role his brother, Fr Seamus, played on the great Cavan All-Ireland winning team of 1952.

Joseph Smith (Cootehill/Kill) On June 15th, 2013, Cootehill and the surrounding areas said a fond farewell to Joseph ‘Joe’ Smith of Riverside House, Cootehill, who passed away at the Mater Hospital in Dublin following a long illness. An active member of the local community, Joe played football for both Cootehill and Kill GFC for many years and was also a member of Cootehill Badminton Association.

Seamus McNally (Cootehill) The death took place on Thursday, June 20th, 2013, following a long illness, of Seamus McNally, who was born in the townland of Drumroohill. Throughout his life, he had a deep interest in sport, especially the GAA and darts. Elizabeth McSeain (Cornafean) Sadness spread across the community when word emerged of the passing of Mrs Elizabeth McSeain, Cherrybank House, Cornafean. Aged 88, she was the youngest and last surviving member of a family of 14 children. Nee O’Reilly, from Moyne in County Longford, ‘Bessie’ – as she was affectionately known – moved to Cornafean after marrying Enda McSeain in 1950. Sadly, Enda passed away just five years later, aged 32, leaving Bessie to raise three young children on her own. A keen football follower, she rarely missed a Cornafean game and was so respected in the local GAA club that she was vice-president at the time of her death. Gary Martin (Denn) A great sense of sadness was felt in Denn parish and beyond following the sudden death of Gary Martin, who was

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just 28 years old and was home on holidays from Australia. Gary was tragically killed in an accident in Newcastle in England. As a member of Denn GFC, he was a highly-regarded footballer before emigrating first to America and then Australia. At Gary’s funeral and removal to St Matthew’s Church, Drumavaddy, guards of honour were provided by Denn GFC, the Cavan county football team and Breffni Air. Fr Patsy Sullivan (Denn/Ballinagh) Fr Patsy Sullivan, who passed away in Glenbar, County Leitrim, was originally from Dennbawn in his beloved County Cavan. Born on October 16th, 1933, he played his football with Drumreilly as there was no club in Denn at the time. He also lined out at minor level for Ballinagh and gave a Man of the Match performance in the 1951 county championship semi-final against Ballyconnell, when he capably marked the great Tom Maguire, who would go on to captain Cavan and Ulster. Fr Patsy held the distinction of being the last priest to be ordained from Denn parish.

Sean Kane (Ballyhaise) Sadness enveloped Ballyhaise on the morning of Sunday, May 19th, 2013, when great clubman Sean Kane passed away, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Carrickaboy in July, 1945, Sean found his dream job when he became Ballyhaise GFC groundsman. For 21 years, he took tremendous pride in looking after the local GAA club’s grounds and they were in immaculate condition at all times. Sean was also a steward at Breffni Park on championship match days and gained great satisfaction in seeing any of his own clubmen pulling on the county colours. He was a great man to provide encouragement to Ballyhaise players as they were coming up through the ranks and all the club’s players would have known him well, from U10 right through to senior. He also had a positive influence on the camogie players of Castletara. When Cavan won the Ulster SFC in 1997, they did most of their training at Annalee Park that year, where Sean was groundsman and caretaker. He became familiar with the team but was always one to keep a low profile rather

than hogging the limelight. A member of numerous local committees, he also co-founded Ballyhaise tug-of-war and brought great joy and assistance to many during his lifetime.

Tommy Galligan (Killeshandra) Much sadness followed the death in his adopted parish of Aughavas, County Leitrim of former Killeshandra and Cavan footballer Tommy Galligan. A strong and determined full forward who liked to run at the opposition defence, Tommy could be seen embarking on numerous purposeful solo runs during the course of a match, invariably leading the opposing No.3 a merry dance. He represented Cavan at minor, U21 and senior levels and also wore the colours of Leitrim at senior level. A very natural footballer who could undoubtedly have been a permanent fixture on the intercounty scene, Tommy wasn’t one to seek the limelight and was more than happy just to tip along with his clubs, Killeshandra and latterly Aughavas. His love of the game was epitomised by the fact that he once returned from a broken leg to play again – this in a time when such serious injury often spelt the end of a football career. At Tommy’s funeral on February 2nd, guards of honour were provided by both Killeshandra and Aughavas GAA clubs. James Maher (Mullagh) James Maher of Cormeen Lower, Mullagh, passed away at Cavan General Hospital on Sunday, May 5th, 2013. Originally from Roscrea in County Tipperary, Jimmy worked as a van salesman for Spicers for over 30 years, during which time he became well-known and popular with shopkeepers and customers alike throughout Bailieborough and surrounding areas. Jimmy hurled in Tipp during his younger days and remained a fervent supporter of the Premier County, while also keeping a close eye on the Kerry footballers. Kevin Kiely (Cootehill) Kevin Kiely, Enaugh, Lisnageer was a popular member of the local community in Bunnoe. A hard-working farmer and thoughtful neighbour, he was in his 80th year. He always had a very keen interest in gaelic games and especially the Cavan team. The local angling club provided a guard of


honour at his removal.

Margaret Cullen (Cavan) The Cavan Gaels club was deeply saddened by the death of Margaret Cullen, Wolfe Tone Street. Margaret’s husband Phil was an excellent manager with Cavan Gaels while her son Des played in goals. Des captained the 1987 minor championship side – managed by Phil – and also the junior ‘B’ championship winning team of 1990. In 1988, he was also on the team that won the Division 1A league final after a replay.

Brian Gaffney (Lacken) Brian Gaffney, Costruce and formerly of Corduff, was a well-known and popular member of the local community and his death caused great sadness not just locally but also further afield. A gifted farmer and a great man to work in the bog, Brian lined out for Lacken Celtics as a goalkeeper in his youth and he was a very agile man to have minding the house, He made many friends during his 72 years.

Jack Galligan (Cavan Town) Jack Galligan, St Joseph’s, Cootehill Road, Cavan worked with P Elliott & Co up until his retirement. Aged 91, he was originally from Kilnaleck. His interests included music and cycling and he was also an enthusiastic GAA follower, both at club and county levels. John James Nolan (Blacklion) Widespread regret followed the death of John James Nolan, Cornaha, Blacklion, a man who was held in great esteem in the local community. He had a keen interest in music and gaelic football and will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

Owen McCrudden (Ballyhaise) Great sadness was felt in the local community on Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 at the death of Owen McCrudden, Woodlands, Ballyhaise. For his removal to St Mary’s Church, guards of honour were provided by both Ballyhaise and Redhills GAA clubs, Owen having lived in Redhills first before moving to Ballyhaise. Originally from the north Monaghan GAA heartland of Scotstown, Owen – affectionately known as ‘Ownie’ hailed from a family rich in football

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tradition, with his cousin being none other than former Monaghan manager and GAA president Sean McCague. He was a very talented footballer himself and invariably stood out in most matches he participated in. Three of Owen’s sons lined out for Cavan, while Barry and Gerry still play for Ballyhaise. Grandson Ryan is an upand-coming juvenile star.

Margaret Lee (Drumalee) Mrs Margaret Lee, Drumcrave, Cavan, passed away at Cavan General Hospital on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012, generating deep sorrow and genuine regret throughout Cavan town and its environs. Aged just 57, Margaret was originally from Drumhirk, Kilnaleck and was daughter of PJ and Annie Galligan. She married Michael Lee at the age of 18 and was a loving wife and devoted mother. Margaret loved gaelic football and was deeply involved in the Drumalee club at a number of levels. Her son Mickey started to play for the local club at the age of eight and developed into a topclass forward with both club and county, winning numerous honours. In 2010, Mickey was manager of the Drumalee side that won the Cavan intermediate football championship and nobody was prouder that day than Margaret. She served on a number of committees within the club and was a loyal and long-serving supporter. Her passion for the game was probably most evident when any of her sons were playing. At Margaret’s removal, guards of honour were provided by members of Drumalee GFC and Kill Shamrocks. Mary Ferguson (Denn) Originally from Dublin, Mary married Oliver Ferguson from Carrickatubber in 1977. They returned to the local community in 1990 and raised their family there. Mary’s husband Oliver is a former player with Denn GFC and she was a supporter of the club herself.

Bridget O’Reilly (Cavan Town) Bridget lived at Golf Links Road Cavan and hailed from Cormeen, Ballinagh. Her son-in-law Finian Farrell has been active with the Cavan Gaels

club for a number of years at various levels and grand-daughter Ciara Farrell is a team manager of under-age teams with the club. Bridget’s grandsons Dylan & Jamie McMullan are playing members of Cavan Gaels at under 14 level.

Sean Clarke (Shercock) The passing of Sean Clarke, Corclare on Sunday, October 13th, 2013 caused great sadness in the area as Sean was a true son of Shercock. Sean worked for O’Reilly Bros, Kingscourt for 43 years and – away from his working life – also made a great contribution to the local community. He lined out for Shercock GFC after the club was reformed in 1975 and was a proud club chairman when the redeveloped O’Hagan Park was officially reopened in 1981. He was always happy to see his sons and grandsons involved in football and was honoured to witness grandson Killian Clarke and the Cavan senior team do so well in the summer of 2013. Sean’s son Jody Clarke is a coaching officer with Cavan County Board. Jody is also an ex-Cavan county and Shercock player and manager and a former county minor manager. Past and present members of Shercock GFC provided a guard of honour as the coffin made its way into St Patrick’s Church for the funeral mass.

May Brady (Mullahoran) One of the eldest and mostrespected members of the local community, Mrs May Brady of Middletown, who passed away on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 was a sister of the late Tanaiste John P Wilson, who represented club and county on the playing fields with such distinction. Padraig Smith (Ballyjamesduff) Padraig Smith of Beech Hill House, Kilmore, Ballyjamesduff passed away on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013, aged 60. The Lavey native, who was a wellknown auctioneer and valuer, was a sponsor and supporter of Castlerahan GFC. Edward O’Reilly (Mullahoran) There was great sadness throughout

the locality as word spread of the passing of Edward O’Reilly, Bawn, Kilcogy, who was aged 68. A builder by trade, Edward was synonymous with the local GAA club, which he served above and beyond the call of duty as both a player and supporter. He was part of the panel that won the 1963 championship and also collected an intermediate medal in 1978. Edward’s sons all inherited his love of the game and they went on to represent Mullahoran with distinction, winning championship medals in 1998, 2006 and 2012. Edward was instrumental in the development of Our Lady of Lourdes Park and was one of the driving forces behind the building of the old clubrooms when the park was officially opened on July 10th, 1983. Members of the Mullahoran GAA club formed a guard of honour at the removal to St Joseph’s Church, Loughduff.

Paddy Reilly (New York) The death in New York of Cavan-born entrepreneur Paddy Reilly on Monday, May 27th, 2013 caused widespread sadness on both sides of the Atlantic. A native of Feugh, Milltown, Paddy emigrated to New York in the mid-50s, where he was to run a host of bars and restaurants in Queens. Paddy married his first wife Helen in 1966 and the pair had two children together, Kathleen and Colm. Helen died tragically in 1987 and Paddy subsequently married his second wife, Angela – Helen’s sister - with whom he owned and managed the Molly Wee bar and restaurant on 8th Avenue. An active member of many Irish organisations in New York, Paddy was always a great supporter and sponsor of the GAA. He helped out members of the Irish community who went to the States to work or play football and was very supportive of New York GAA in general. Paddy Reilly will be remembered not just as a keen businessman but also as a very kind individual who never forgot Cavan GAA or his Breifne roots and remained a generous supporter of many causes back home including the Cavan webpage.

We have endeavoured to include Cavan gaels who passed away between the time of publication of last year’s Breffni Blue Annual and the end of October 2013, when this edition went to press. Every effort has been made to ensure all relevant deaths were included. However, if an omission has been made we apologise sincerely. We offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our departed. Thanks to all the clubs who assisted in compiling this year’s obituary list.


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fter the heroics of 2012, which saw a first Leinster football title come to the county, Cavan juniors’ hopes of more provincial silverware were narrowly dashed in June by neighbours Longford. We take a look back at an encouraging, albeit short, campaign for another one of Terry Hyland’s young sides. Cavan’s junior footballers had a hard act to follow in 2013 following the previous year’s historic Leinster JFC success, but given the combined youth and talent in their ranks it was no surprise to see them touted as one of the teams to beat once provincial championship rolled around this past summer. In his sixth season in charge of the Breffni men, Terry Hyland again stuck to his profitable agenda of utilising young talent (namely the trimmings of his county senior panel) to enter the battle in Leinster. The previous season had saw some experienced campaigners like Martin Reilly and Keith Fannin, who captained the team to provincial glory, come to the forefront for Cavan juniors in their Leinster crown crusade.

However, this past season would see an even younger side take to the field at Dowdalshill come the end of May when Cavan opened their Leinster title defence against Louth. Players of the calibre of Barry Reilly, Alan O’Mara, Dara McVeety and Michael Argue (incidentally the latter three would all feature for the county seniors at Croke Park come August) were in Hyland’s deck for the clash with the Wee County which would go right down to the wire. The Lacken man, who had good company in Anthony Forde and Peter Donnelly on the side-lines from the start of the season, selected a starting 15 for the trip east which saw the most experienced players aged just 25. In the bright and blustery conditions at Dowdalshill, it was the visitors that made the dream start when Lavey livewire Chris Conroy was sent through for a goal inside 10 seconds. The goal echoed that of the one which Niall Murray, who was playing on the opposite flank as Conroy at left halfforward, struck in the opening stages of the 2011 Ulster U21 final which stunned Tyrone in Enniskillen to help end Cavan’s 14-year wait for an Ulster football title at any level.

Cavan looked poised to control the game from there and were the better side in the first-half, after which they led by 1-3 to 0-4, David Hyland, Niall Murray and Conroy again providing the points. Conor Madden had won a lot of possession in the opening half but struggled to make an impact on the scoreboard, although his distribution was impressive. Facing into a low sun and a stiff breeze, Cavan struggled for periods in the second half and when Turloc Mooney lost the ball in the sun Louth pounced for a well-taken goal from Cathal Bellew to turn the game on its head. A Sean Hand point put the home side into a 1-8 to 1-6 lead with 20 minutes remaining in the game, but in the final quarter the holders finished strongly. Hyland made some changes, with Mooney going off, Oisin Minagh to fullback and Paul Graham coming into the attack and along with the introduction of midfield giant Michael Argue, this helped shore things up. With Dara McVeety having an outstanding match, Cavan hung on throughout the third quarter and after points from Kingscourt ace Barry Reilly

Chris Conroy gets out ahead of Louth duo Cathal Bellew and Patrick Sheelan during the Leinster JFC clash at St Brigid's Park Dundalk


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The Cavan squad that defeated Louth in Dundalk

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– who nailed a 45 and a free-kick from 50 metres – Cavan stayed in touch. The visitors’ use of possession was exemplary as they played “keep-ball” in the closing stages, Killygarry’s Ross Sheridan getting on the end of a move to make it 1-10 to 1-8. Louth had the final score from James Califf but Cavan held possession for a full two minutes in injury time before referee Garryowen McMahon blew it up in the sixth minute of injury-time. Cavan (Leinster JFC v Louth): Alan O'Mara; James Morris, Turloc Mooney, Oisin Minagh; Niall O’Reilly, Damien Barkey, Michael Brady; Marc Leddy, Ross Sheridan (0-1); Chris Conroy (12), Barry Reilly (0-3), Niall Murray (0-2); Dara McVeety, David Hyland (01), Conor Madden. Subs: Paul Graham (0-1) for Mooney; Michael Argue for Madden; Padraig Faulkner for Conroy; Thomas Moore for Hyland. A fitter, more energetic Cavan side saw out the win in Louth to propel themselves towards a semi-final, where neighbours Longford awaited, while favourites Kildare, who handed Meath a 1-17 to 1-7 defeat, met Wicklow on the same Wednesday evening (June 12) in Newbridge. With a host of Ulster U21 and minor winners in their ranks, Cavan made the short trip to Pearse Park as the fancied side to oust the hosts and make their way to a fourth consecutive Leinster junior championship decider. Again the Breffni men started well and raced into a two point lead, 0-3 to 0-1, inside the opening five minutes. Conor Madden, Paul O’Connor and Barry Reilly were to the fore for the Ulster outfit, while Longford’s point came from a Paddy Dowd free. The hosts then took a hold on proceedings and two Dowd frees along with excellent points from Shane Doyle turned a two-point deficit into a two-point lead in the 13th minute.  Cavan rallied to try and get themselves back level, but in the 19th minute Barry O’Farrell did very well to intercept Argue’s attempted pass to O’Connor and it was the Midlanders that stretched their advantage. One minute later, Longford’s net-minder Paddy Collum pulled off a terrific double save to deny Turloc Mooney and then O’Connor.  From there, the home side went down the other end and added to their lead to five points in the 25th minute with welltaken points from Daniel Mimnagh, Doyle and wing-back Mark Duffy. After

going over 20 minutes without a score O’Connor got Cavan’s fourth point in the 26th minute. Another Dowd free restored Longford’s five-point advantage in the 27th minute before Mooney replied with a fine point to leave four between them at the break, 0-09 to 0-05.  One minute into the interval, the leaders had their advantage at five with Doyle firing over another excellent point (his third of the game). Cavan then began to come into the game with Argue and Conor Madden (two) cutting Longford’s lead to two points in the 37th minute. The Breffni county were then guilty of being wasteful in front of the posts while down the other end Longford hit a dry spell which could

Damian Barkey tracks down his man

have cost them the game had their opponents not been so wasteful with their possession. However, two great efforts from substitutes Barry McKeon and John P Reilly put Longford ahead by four in the 50th minute before Barry Reilly and Madden brought it back to a two point game again in the 55th minute. As the clock ticked down Cavan went in search of a goal but, to their credit, Longford were fairly resilient in defence and stood firm as they booked their place in the provincial decider against Kildare. Cavan (Leinster JFC v Longford): Alan O'Mara; James Morris, Turloc Mooney (0-1), Oisin Minagh; Dara Sexton, Damien Barkey, Michael Brady; Marc


Leddy, Michael Argue (0-1); Chris Conroy (0-1), Barry Reilly (0-2), Niall Murray; Dara McVeety, Conor Madden (0-3), Paul O'Connor (0-2). Subs: Paul Graham for C Conroy, Thomas Moore for D Sexton, Padraig Faulkner for Marc Leddy. Longford would be inflicted defeat at the hands of a strong Kildare side in the final, while many of the Cavan contingent went on to experience bigger and better things on the senior front in the weeks that followed. Following a foot injury to his fellow clubman Conor Gilsenan, Alan O’Mara was handed a start in the All-Ireland senior football championship qualifiers against Derry at Celtic Park, where the visitors brilliantly triumphed after extra-time after being written off by many before making the trip north. The Bailieborough man’s performance would be more than enough to see him hold on to the number one jersey for the Breffni men’s next two outings against London and Kerry, respectively, at Croke Park, where he was again faultless. There would be similar success stories for both Michael Argue and Dara McVeety as well. Both would make vital contributions when introduced against Derry that July, combining for 0-4, while Argue was on hand to collect the quick kick-out from O’Mara in the dying stages to help setup Damian O’Reilly, who forced extra-time. The giant midfielder could well be a major asset for Cavan in years to come. McVeety, meanwhile, made his first start in the All-Ireland SFC against Kerry at Croke Park following some splendid displays when introduced by Hyland. Despite a diminutive stature, the Crosserlough youngster is not easily pushed around and carries possession calmly out of defence as well any player in the county. Against the Kingdom, he was one of Cavan’s stand out players alongside ‘Man of the Match’ Rory Dunne, who handed Kieran Donaghy an early shower when the two came headto-head in the capital this past August. Whether or not the likes of Argue and McVeety will be used in the Leinster JFC by Hyland again next season remains to be seen, but with a flow of young talent coming through you can rest assured that another provincial crown will be the aim when the Cavan juniors take to the field again next summer.

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cornerstone of the Cavan GAA club in New York for the past 25 years, Mike ‘Fall’ Reilly reveals how football is helping him to win his battle with cancer.

Mike is now, thankfully, in remission after being diagnosed with the disease in November 2012, having received tremendous support from his family and many friends on both sides of the Atlantic. A father of five young children and a successful businessman to boot, the Finea native has remained actively involved in the GAA through his ordeal, having served as both a selector to the Cavan and New York senior teams this year. “It’s been a tough year, but the football helped me to get through it and it’s such a relief to be in remission now,” he says. “Everyone has been so supportive and I’m looking to the future with optimism now. After being manager of the Cavan senior team for a number of years, I took a step back this year to become a selector instead. I was also involved in the New York management set-up along with Connie Molloy (Donegal), Mickey Coleman (Tyrone) and Collie Fern (Armagh). “As it turned out, we went down badly to Leitrim in the first round of the Connacht championship. That was a huge disappointment, but it’s difficult when some of the best footballers in New York won’t make themselves available because there’s very little incentive for them to get involved. We don’t get challenge matches and usually end up playing only one game per year.” There was also disappointment for Mike when Cavan lost to Leitrim by 2-9 to 2-13 in the semi-final of the New York senior football championship. Cavan also lost the semi-final of the junior championship to Westmeath, but the ladies footballers captured yet another senior championship, making it not a bad year at all for the Breffni County in the Big Apple. “We’re one of the oldest and most successful clubs in New York GAA. In fact, we’re the only club that fields three teams between men’s and ladies football,” the former Ballymachugh player proudly explains. “We had high hopes of winning our

Mike and wife Sonia with their five children, Michael (13), twins Orla and Frances (11), Claire (8) and Margaret (3)

first senior (men’s) championship since 1990 this year, but were beaten by a Leitrim team that had 11 inter-county players on board. We were 0-5 to 0-1 up early on before letting them back into it. We missed a number of chances and those misses came back to haunt us in the end.” Mike was joined in the senior management by Mullahoran’s Brendan Reilly, who was the manager, Seamus Sexton from Kingscourt and Ciaran McCabe, who has connections with both Cavan and Kildare. The trainer was another Derry man, John Downey, who had assisted James McCartan in Down earlier in the year. The juniors were managed by senior player Ciaran Shiels from Mullahoran. His selectors were two Ballymachugh men, PJ Smith and Mike’s brother, Philip. As most of the Cavan players are based in Queen’s, training takes place in Randall’s Island, which hosted the 1997 clash between Cavan and Kerry to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous Polo Grounds All-Ireland final of 1947.


This year Cavan bolstered their senior squad by bringing Cavan U21 Enda Reilly, Gary Walsh from Laois, Brendan O’Sullivan from Kerry and Leitrim’s Kevin Conlon over from Ireland for the summer. The team was backboned by Cavan men such as Daniel King (Mullahoran), Alan Carroll (Knockbride), Michael Reilly (Shercock) and the aforementioned Ciaran Shiels. Mike Reilly has been a mainstay of the Cavan club since moving to New York at the age of 29 in 1989. He started his football career in the colours of Castletown-Finea in Westmeath before lining out for Ballymachugh at U16 and minor level. He played most of his adult football in Leitrim with Carrigallen, where he worked for 12 years. With Carrigallen, he won back-to-back junior and intermediate championship medals in 1980 and ’81, and helped them reach a senior championship semi-final against Aughawillan in 1982. “I started playing with the Cavan team in New York as soon as I came out here. In 1994, I got involved with the management team and I’ve either been manager or selector for the last 10

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years,” he explains. Mike was named Player of the Year in 1992 – two years after Cavan won their eighth and last New York senior football championship. “It hasn’t been for the want of trying. We’re nearly always there or thereabouts every year, but just haven’t been able to get across the line,” continues Reilly, whose nephew Gareth ‘Nesty’ Smith from Dublin qualified to play for the Breffni County under the GAA’s grandparent rule in 2010. Mike has always been able to find the time to help out Cavan GAA in New York, despite his family and business commitments. Married to Armagh woman Sonia (nee McGuinness), the couple live in Woodside, Queens with their five children – Micheal (13), twins Orla and Frances (11), Claire (eight) and Margaret (three). Reilly also runs two bars, Maggie Mae’s and The Dugout, as well as a construction company called Mike’s Exterior, which he set up in 1996 and employs up to 30 people during the busy summer months. He also purchased Maggie Mae’s in Sunnyside in 1996 and The Dugout in Woodside the following year. Fittingly, The Dugout is the current sponsor of the Cavan senior team. A few years ago, Mike was all set to return to Ireland for good, only for the recession to scupper those plans. “We were very close to upping sticks and coming home. In fact, my wife and kids went home for a year while I continued to run the businesses in New York. But then Ireland was hit by recession and they came back to New York. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise,” he recalls. Like all Cavan supporters, Mike took enormous satisfaction from the county’s upswing in fortunes this year which culminated in a first ever All-Ireland quarter-final appearance at Croke Park. “I come home every year for the All-Ireland final and Cavan

Gearoid McKiernan strides forward

weren’t too far away from being in it themselves,” he points out. “If Gearoid McKiernan, who played football in San Francisco a few years ago, hadn’t got injured at the start of the year, they might have gone further than the quarter-finals. He was a massive loss around the middle of the field against Kerry. “Having said that, it’s not too often Cavan gets to play seven championship matches in the one year, and twice in Croke Park. Cavan has won the last three Ulster U21 championships and the players from those teams are now beginning to make their mark at senior level. “For Cavan to continue their progress next year, they will need to get out of Division 3 of the National League. That has to be a priority for Terry Hyland and his management. You will only improve from playing against better quality opposition week-in, week-out.” Footnote: Cavan GAA in New York are holding their annual Dinner Dance in Ricardo’s, Estoria on December 3. The Guests of Honour will be Cavan full back Rory Dunne and AllIreland ladies football intermediate winning joint-captain Donna English. Ciaran Shiels will be presented with the Senior Player of the Year award, while Denn’s Paddy Donohue will receive the Junior Player of the Year award.

A CANCER SURVIVOR’S STORY In November last year, I was diagnosed with stage 4 of Non hotchkins Lymphoma. Even though it was stage 4 I was not feeling sick, as in sick. I would not have known only I was playing with the kids and when I put my arm around my neck I felt a large lump. After seeing my local doctor he sent me to a specialist in Long Island for a check up, with that I was sent for a PET scan where the results did not come back good. Not knowing which way to turn since I had no insurance and five young kids I called a good friend of mine Stephanie Reilly from Finea who is a nurse in Sloan Kettering. She gave me the doctors number in Sloan and set up an appointment for three days later as I was informed a week later of what I had, which was not a very nice experience as a lot of you out there today know. With no insurance, I had to start the process of getting treatment so I was transferred to a specialist on Lymphoma, his name was Dr. Hamlin. Luckily enough a friend of mine found an insurance that only covered cancer patients, a law that Obama brought in. I was delighted, as you know treatment in America is not cheap. To all cancer patients out there,

Mike undergoing treatment

New York take on Leitrim


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when getting treatment you have to be mentally positive. I started my chemo at the end of November 2012, which was a 6-hour process every two weeks with a buster shot every 3 days later. There were seven treatments in total. Everything was going good until the third session. Every morning I woke up, I seemed to look more like KoJack but that did not bother me, as it was the trend here at the time. It was not easy for the first five months. The amount of support I had from family and friends in New York and especially at home where they even held a mass for me in Carrigallen, a place I had spend my last 12 years before I moved to America. I said to myself am I worse than I know? With the help and prayers from everyone, I got through my treatment with out any major complications other than minor ones. I finished my treatment on the first week in May. I went for a PET scan 2 weeks later and the following week the results came back.

The Cavan team’s meeting place is ‘The Dugout’

As I waited for two hours in the waiting room, it felt like days, I did not know what to expect. Finally, The Doctor came in smiling. I knew it was good news as he told me I was in remission. No money could buy this feeling, I felt like I had won the lotto. A month later, I went for prevention treatment, which was radiation. It brought my blood count down to as low as 15 when it should have been 130 plus. I was brought in for a blood transfusion on a Saturday morning, when the doctors took blood again I was up to 23 so I did not need it. I was afraid I would get some brain boxes blood and they would be wondering how I became so brainy late in life. I had another PET scan on Oct 7 where I found out I was still in remission. Thank God. I am going to leave you with this note: To cancer patients out there, you have to stay mentally strong and NEVER NEVER give up. God Bless

Mike Reilly during his battle with cancer

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013 was a tough year for Cavan handballer Eddie Halligan, but the experienced St Pat’s man is made of stern stuff.

Sitting in the Mater Hospital last winter, Eddie Halligan’s thoughts turned to handball, and whether he would ever get the chance to don the Cavan jersey again. The popular Cavan Town man, 31, had been diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia, effectively a cancer of the white blood cells. After weeks of feeling run-down, listless and weak, Halligan was encouraged by girlfriend Ciara to attend the doctor – within a couple of hours, he was being rushed to Dublin. “When I was sitting in the Mater, I definitely didn’t think I’d be back in the handball alley by the end of the year. It looked like handball, Gaelic football, college, everything was going by the wayside. But when you’re in hospital, your back is against the wall and you say to yourself ‘I have to fight this’, I have to come out all guns blazing,” said Halligan, a final-year Sports Management student in UCD. “I got great support from my family and friends and I was very lucky that it was caught early. I went to the doctor and got blood tests done and it was discovered – I’m glad I did! “When I got back in the handball court at the end of August, even though I was fecked after a few rallies, it was a great feeling, a brilliant feeling.” Thankfully, Halligan’s health has steadily improved to the point where he has been able to return to competitive handball, which is good news for the sport in Cavan. The former two-time All-Ireland inter-club medallist and county junior singles champion is a popular member of the thriving Breffni handball scene. “I suppose handball in Cavan better than when I started to be honest, but it could be better again,” he said. “The county 40x20 championships are a big help, as is the growth of One Wall handball. The game has definitely progressed but more work is needed to get more people participating. “The county championship is a very important event, and I think changing the time of it from January to November is a very, very good

St Pat’s player Eddie Halligan

Shane Briody in action at the St Pat’s One Wall tournament

Cathal Sheridan receives his Irish One Wall Nationals B Singles runner up award from GAA Handball President-elect Willie Roche


idea. The 40x20 season is only starting really in November so it gets everybody tuned in and focused and then they can hit the ground running for the big one, the Ulster Championship in January.” Halligan excelled on his last appearance in the championships. Better known as a dynamic rightsided doubles player, the 6ft 1 righthander picked up the Junior Singles title in January 2012 in Kingscourt with victories over three players from the home club, a memory he cherishes. “When I hit the last ace in the final, to win 11-7 in the tiebreaker, it was a great feeling, I was a very happy man. The junior grade is extremely hard to get out of. I had a bit of luck but when you have the trophy in your hands, you are a county champion and nobody can take that away from you,” he recalled. “I had a very close game against Jimmy McKeon in the quarter-final. He beat me 21-6 in the first game and we were tied at 20-each in the second game when Jimmy missed a kill, the next rally I got a kill and that just made the difference. I won 11-2 in the tiebreaker. “Then in the semi-final I played Brendan McCormack and got through that one and I beat Ryan McCormack 11-7 in the tiebreaker in the final.” The win elevated him to senior ranks in the county, a grade dominated by two of the best players on the planet in Michael Finnegan and Paul Brady. “There is a massive gap, a huge gap from Paul and Michael down. The next group of players down would be James Brady and Patrick Clerkin, who are playing at intermediate level. My worry would be that when Paul and Michael retire, where the next senior All-Irelands are going to come from. We could be waiting a long time. “There are a lot of young players in St Pat’s but, without being negative, the problem handball encounters is that a lot of these players are heavily involved in football and soccer as well. The likes of Stephen Smith and Cian McManus and Thomas Edward Donohoe are very good handballers but they’re involved in other sports, so it’s a battle to keep them in handball, but so far, so good. “That’s a big issue and one that

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the county handball The four-time world board are going to have open Singles champion to deal with in the future.” has been virtually Halligan feels that One untouchable for a Wall could be the future decade and, if anything, of the sport. the gap between himself “First of all, it’s exciting and the rest of the field to watch when you see it has widened in recent played at the top level, it years. takes speed, reactions He followed up his and it’s a very enjoyable success when retaining game to play. It’s the his All-Ireland Senior easiest form of handball Doubles title with to introduce to new Michael Finnegan, and Winners all around in The Slieve Rossa after the successful St Pat’s One Wall tournament in Corlurgan. Left to right: Caolán Smith, Michael Mooney (sponsor), players and I suppose it recording another Tom O’Reilly (county board chairman), Paul Fitzpatrick and Adrian Fitzpatrick needs to be pushed fantastic win in the US more. Nationals final, defeating the greatest handballer the sport has “I think there should be a county Galway’s Martin Mulkerrins in the final. seen with a straight-games demolition of championship in One Wall as well. The Meanwhile, at underage level, there Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy last St Pat’s club have use of a three-court was further success for the St Pat’s club March in the GAA Handball All-Ireland One Wall complex in Corlurgan, outside when they picked up their third and 40x20 Senior Singles final at Abbeylara, Cavan Town, and we are one of the only fourth Ulster Colleges titles in 13 years. Co longford. clubs in the country to have facilities like Both wins came in doubles against Brady spoke before the final of his that, so it would be great to make the Omagh CBS, with Stephen Smith and desire to leave a “legacy of greatness” most of it. Thomas Edward Donohoe winning the and he certainly achieved his goal with “I enjoy them all but I’d say One Wall 40x20 junior doubles in February and a comfortable 21-6, 21-14 win. And the is my favourite, it’s a battle for position, Smith teaming with Cian McManus to chasing pack may not have, as you have to be thinking two or three win the intermediate 60x30 doubles in previously thought, seen the back of the steps ahead and it’s very enjoyable.” October. 33-year-old Mullahoran man, either. At the time of writing, Halligan – who In late September, the sport received Having won nine successive titles, also plays football for the Denn club – is another significant boost when James Brady hinted that he may postpone his back in the ‘small court’ and already has Brady and Patrick Clerkin won the Allretirement plans. his eyes on the prize for next season. Ireland 60x30 Junior Doubles for only In his speech Brady admitted he was “The aim for 2014 is to win the Allthe fifth time in the county’s history. delighted to finally reach his goal of ten Ireland Junior Doubles title with Paul The St Pat’s pair had been beaten in a All-Ireland titles and thanked everyone Fitzpatrick.  We are not too far away. We heart-breaking third game against for their support throughout the years. have played in three Ulster finals, Tipperary in the 2012 final but they “This might be my last time to be winning one, at that level and we ran showed admirable resilience to retain playing in Senior Singles as I now have into the eventual All-Ireland winners in their Ulster title and go one better this a decision to make over whether I the All-Ireland semi-final that year. season, seeing off Wexford’s David continue playing or not, I need a break “Any year we have done well we have Kenny and Eugene Kelly. at the moment as I have put so much started training early and really put in an The Model County is often seen as ‘the into winning these titles over the last 11 effort and that’s what we need to do home’ of big alley handball and years,” he said. again this year. invariably turns out strong sides. Having fallen 6-1 down in game one, “Ulster is a very difficult province but However, on this occasion, the Cavan Brady soon found his groove and, please God we’ll get out of it if we are at men were clearly superior, with Brady dominating from the service box, closed full tilt. If we are fit and ready to go, we covering the court well and killing out the opener 21-6. have every chance. throughout and Clerkin rock-solid on the McCarthy struggled to cope with “James and Patrick have won that title right in the final in Kells. Brady’s power and the Cavan man rode in 40x20 and ‘big alley’ and we want to Cavan led 13-3 in game one but made his momentum to a straightforward win emulate that success. That’s the goal.” hard work of closing it out, eventually in game two. Having overcome bigger winning 21-14. The hurdles in the last 12 Leinster champions rode months, only a brave their momentum to take man would be against a 12-1 lead in the Halligan’s dream second game but Cavan becoming a reality. dug deep and closed it out 21-19. BRADY STILL The win was Cavan’s LEADING THE WAY fifth in the competition, It was a fantastic following on from Hughie season for Cavan Smyth and John Molloy handballers and, as (1930), Louie and John usual, it was 'numero Gilmore (1963), Greg uno' who, literally, started and Dominic Sheridan the ball rolling. (1976) and Pat Donagh World no1 Paul Brady Paul Brady added another Ireland 40x20 Senior Singles to his collection in 2013 and Patsy hand (1985). affirmed his position as


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or nearly 30 years, Cavan Institute has provided the highest quality education to the people of Cavan and beyond. The Institute’s commitment to promoting sporting excellence is reflected in the wide range of sports-related courses it offers, its

Sports Scholarship recipients at Cavan Institute

success on the playing fields and the awarding of Sport Scholarships each year. Since opening its doors for the first time in 1985, Cavan Institute has grown to become the third largest college of Further Education in Ireland

The Cavan Institute ladies gaelic football team


with 1,400 students currently enrolled and 100 staff (including part-time) employed. The Institute welcomes students of all ages, abilities and nationalities, and guarantees to provide each student with a learning environment which is both innovative and supportive.

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Cavan Institute boasts a wide range of courses from motor vehicle maintenance, multimedia and science to make-up artistry and electronics. Sport plays a big part in student life with the Institute fielding teams in men’s and ladies Gaelic football, camogie and soccer as well as having handball, boxing and badminton clubs. Students also have the opportunity to start up their own sports clubs or societies within the Institute. All courses are fully accredited by the relevant awarding bodies, such as FETAC (Further Education & Training Awards Council) and HETAC (Higher Education & Training Awards Council) awarded by QQI (Quality & Qualifications Ireland), ITEC

Cavan Institute provides the highest quality education and service to the people of Cavan and beyond

(International Therapy Examination Council) and others. In addition, Cavan Institute has agreed advanced entry links (dependant upon required certification results) for its students to the Institutes of Technology at Dundalk, Athlone, Sligo, Letterkenny and Blanchardstown as well as NUI Maynooth. Formerly known as Cavan College of Further Studies, Cavan Institute was originally located on Main Street, Cavan. Nowadays, its campus spans over four buildings in the town with the main campus being located on Cathedral Road. Among the many facilities provided to students are lecture theatres, high spec computer labs, a music studio, a library, an industry-standard catering kitchen, canteen and stationary shop, a fullyequipped gymnasium, an indoor sports hall and GAA and soccer pitches. “We have students from all over Ireland studying with us,” Cavan Institute Director Anne-Marie Lacey proudly explains. “Based on their academic achievements, they can progress to the ITs where they can continue their studies if they so wish. Students also have the opportunity to work and study abroad under our Lifelong Learning Leonardo Da Vinci Mobility Programme. Our aim is to provide a broad range of services in an enjoyable and fulfilling environment. “We have courses to cater for everyone and facilities which are second to none. The recent acquisition of the former Army Barracks has enabled us to develop our sports facilities. We also strongly encourage students to get involved in the Student Council and Board of Management. After all, the improvements we make are based on feedback from them.” Cavan Institute’s links with the local community are further strengthened by the diverse range of evening courses it offers. “We are providing about 60 evening courses at the moment,” Ballybay, Co. Monaghan native Anne-Marie continues. “There has been a renewed focus on education, training and up-skilling since the recession started. The courses we offer are aimed at making people more employable. Many of our mature students are seeking to get a qualification which is nationally recognised and will get


Nevin O’Donnell accepts the Ulster FE 7-a-side tournament

them back into the workforce. “We are very proud of the contribution Cavan Institute makes to everyday life in Cavan and to the local economy. Shop owners have often remarked how the town is a lot quieter in the summer when the students are on their holidays.” Cavan Institute has earned a reputation for sporting excellence and is delighted to be able to offer a broad range of sports-related courses to its students. The Institute’s Sport Scholarships Programme supports high performance sports men and women who have the talent and

Daria Anna Lack from the Childcare class group represented Cavan Institute at the Intervarsity Boxing Championships

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connection with the Institute, has put Aaron Watson, Neville O’Donnell, dedication to combine an academic forward his services year after year Andrew Graham and Vincent Coyle – course with excellence in sport. The and is known as ‘Mr GAA’ around the who won Ulster U21 medals with programme is also open to students corridors of the college. Cavan last spring. And Cavan senior who do not want to compete in sport When Cavan Institute won the AllNiall McDermott has also recently activities, but wish to get involved in Ireland Higher Education Division 3 started studying at the Institute. We are running a club and have a proven track football championship in 1996, it attracting more and more people of record in organising and developing represented the college’s first GAA that calibre which is great.” club structures. silverware. In 2011, The Sport the Institute won a Scholarships Higher Education Programme reflects Division 3 league the commitment of and championship Cavan Institute to double and nurture high retained the league performance title in 2012. This athletes and sports year, under the people. guidance of Shane “We award four-toM c C a b e five sport (Crosserlough), scholarships every Brian Bates year to students (Drumgoon) and who participate at a Aidan Crossan, the high level in sports Ulster Further such as Gaelic Education 7-a-side football, camogie, title was annexed handball, soccer in Cookstown, Co. and boxing,” Tyrone. explains Student Following on from Services Officer and the revival of the former Crossercamogie team – lough footballer The Cavan Institute camogie squad this team is trained Enda O’Reilly. by Ian Fivey who is “Recent recipients a second year include Cavan Sports DevelopUlster U21 football ment & Coaching winners Christopher student – a ladies Conroy and Neville football team was O’Donnell, Cavan formed last year by Ulster minor winner Donna English and Shane O’Rourke Racheal Jordan. and Longford U21 Both were Shane Donohue. members of this “There is a major year’s Cavan Allemphasis placed on Ireland winning sport and this would intermediate team, not be possible with Donna acting without the terrific as vice-captain. support and They are encouragement we supported by receive from our Rachel Rudden Director Anne-Marie and Philomena Lacey, Deputy McCloskey. Directors Adrian Cavan may not Delaney and Gerry Graduation time with Cavan Institute Director Anne-Marie Lacey (centre) have a senior McKenny, and hurling team at Acting Deputy present, but the Institute is in the Cavan Institute first started Director Philip McDonald. Adrian is an process of forming one with the help of competing in GAA competition in 1993 ex-county footballer for Offaly, while Cavan GAA Hurling Development when it affiliated to the Higher Philip has had a long association with Manager Eoin Morrissey. Education Leagues in Gaelic football Cavan camogie. For further details about Cavan and camogie. The football team “We strive to promote every sport Institute and the courses which it mentors in those early days were Fr whether it’s Gaelic football, camogie, offers, telephone: 049 4332633; email: Gerry Kearns, former Cavan VEC soccer, handball or boxing. We had or log onto CEO Colm McEvoy and Aidan five players on our men’s football team Crossan who, despite having no formal in 2012/13 – Christopher Conroy,


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James McEnroe surges forward against London at Croke Park

here’s no denying that Cavan were one of the success stories of the 2013 championship season. The Breffni Blues recorded magnificent victories over Fermanagh (after a replay), Armagh, Derry and London to take their place in the All-Ireland series – a stunning accomplishment for Terry Hyland’s reinvigorated charges. Strong, focussed and determined; wing back James McEnroe personified everything that was good about Cavan football during the course of the year. Although understandably pleased with the progress made, the Ramor United clubman points out that 2013 will count for nothing unless it is used as a launching pad. Reflecting on the events of the 2013 intercounty season, James McEnroe says while Cavan enjoyed an extended

championship run there was more they wanted to achieve: “Of course, there’s still lots to improve on but we’re still a young team and those players are going to be there for a lot of years. Great effort was put in during the year but we were disappointed not to get out of Division 3 even though we got to Croke Park in August.” At the start of the year, very few – if any – neutral observers would have singled out Cavan as potential AllIreland quarter-finalists. Were the players themselves surprised by how well the year went? “No, if you look at what these players have achieved at U21 level, reaching three successive Ulster U21 finals – contesting the AllIreland final in 2011 and a semi-final in 2012 – the boys had already shown that it can be done and that Cavan football can compete with the big boys. “I remember in the dressing-room one day in Lavey we said that we could get


to an All-Ireland quarter-final and we genuinely believed that was possible. A lot of people didn’t rate us or give us a chance, but we believed we could put a run together. “We were written off straight away going up to Derry in the Qualifiers. But we didn’t have any question about our ability and we took it to extra time. Young blood like McVitty and Argue came on and drove on the rest of the players to go on and win. “Training was great this year and there was a whole different mentality in the camp; we knuckled down and everybody was focussed. All the lads were focussed from the off and they were prepared to work for one another to make the most of it. Communication between players and management was also excellent. The County Board and everybody else did the best they could – if there was something needed we just asked for it and we were looked

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after.” Even at training there was a great buzz; it was hard work but it never felt like a slog. Everybody bought into the task at hand. “When you put in the hard work, it’s great to get the rewards,” continues James, who was a veritable rock for Cavan at No.5 throughout the season. “We did train hard all year but we had Peter Donnelly from Tyrone in [as strength and conditioning coach] and he’s young like ourselves and he really knows his stuff. He assured us that if we put in the work that we would be where we wanted to be and we bought into that. “Training was enjoyable; it was varied and different each week and we didn’t mind it. That was a big thing. Lads were keen to work and they kept their focus.” In a season of many highs, the brilliant 1-22 to 0-19 defeat of Derry after extra time in Round Three of the SF Qualifiers on July 20th was arguably the highlight. “We went up there full of confidence but everybody said before the match that we were finished,” the Ramor United clubman recalls. “But there were no doubts in our minds. We knew that if we performed we could get a victory out of it. We were convinced we had the team to beat them – and so it proved. “It was one of those games where the whole panel contributed. The whole squad had been working together all year and we were rewarded.” Following a routine victory over London, Cavan took their place against Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park. Getting here was an indication of the improvement that had been made but the fact that the

Ray, James and Sean Cole of Virginia Transport are uncles of Cavan’s James McEnroe

James is employed at Virginia Transport

underdogs failed to show up for the first half meant they left HQ with not just a six-point defeat but also more than a few regrets… “The occasion got to us and we didn’t attack as much as we had in other games,” James concedes. “We held

James on club duty up against county colleague Mark McKeever


back … maybe because it was Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final. We showed them too much respect. We came back strongly in the second half and held our own but it could have been a different result if we hadn’t held back in the first half.” Now that the dust has settled, however, James accepts that the year as a whole was a definite success: “At the start of the year, if we’d been told that we were going to be playing Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final, we’d definitely have taken that! It was great to be there and I honestly think it’s going to be a regular thing for Cavan football now. We don’t fear anyone and we’re going to do all we can to be up there again. We have a talented young team and we have minors and U21s with potential coming through again, which will only help us.” Is there going to be extra pressure in 2014, though, now that the surprise element is gone? “Of course there is but that’s what you have to expect if you want to go up there and compete with the top teams. We want that pressure. We intend to work hard and keep pushing each other at training

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and to strive to be a better team. If we can do that, then we can push on.” To an All-Ireland final, perhaps? Is that on the radar? “None of these boys fear it now. A lot of people didn’t think we’d get to Croke Park this year and we did. If things go our way and injuries are kept to a minimum, who knows where we could be next September. “Gearoid McKiernan will be back next year and he was a big loss to us. Having him back will be a massive boost. I honestly believe it’s there for us if we want it badly The Meath All-Ireland Junior Football winners of 1988, front, l/r: Packie Henry, Martin Kirk, Paddy McIntyre, enough.” John McEnroe, Robbie O’Connell, Leo McEnroe, Niall Rennick, John Cunningham. Back, l/r: Jody James McEnroe didn’t lick Devine, Declan Lynch, Tom Mullen, Paul Curran, Trevor Kane, Declan Mullen, Phil Fay football off the ground. It’s a religion on both the maternal and paternal Sean’s sons Adrian (Ado) and Shane running medal. Add to that the national sides of his family. have all worn the club colours with titles that James won with Virginia His mother Ann (nee Cole) is part of distinction. College (2), Ballyhaise and in a great GAA family in Virginia. The Meanwhile, James McEnroe’s father basketball, and you can see that this is Coles, who operate the successful Leo and uncle John McEnroe are a sporting household. haulage company Virginia Tansport, former Meath county footballers. Looking back on how his son and are also synonymous with Ramor Indeed the McEnroe house has Cavan performed in 2013, Leo is United and Cavan GAA. Ann’s brothers plenty of All-Ireland medals in the understandably content: Ray, Sean and James are all wellcabinet. Leo won an All-Ireland JFC 25 “It’s a step in the right direction. When known former Ramor players while years ago while Ann has an All-Ireland you get to Croke Park that’s the first step and now they have to look at their other goals – a place in Division Two and an Ulster championship.” For a Meath man, how does Leo – who has another young son, Neil, coming up through the Ramor ranks feel watching his son togging out for the Breffni County? And does he become a Cavan supporter? “It’s a great feeling and it’s a proud time for myself and Anne because we are totally dedicated to football. Of course I support Cavan – that’s a rhetorical Leo McEnroe (far right) judging at the European Angus Young Bull Class question. When you rear them and try to develop them and teach them all you can about football, then you support them in all their endeavours. It’s where you live and there’s no perjury in that …” What if Cavan and Meath were to meet in an All-Ireland semi-final? “When they met in the league this year, I’d find myself cheering for Cavan but then you’d see a flash of the green jersey and obviously you support Meath too. But sure it would be great craic and a great boost for the local communities. With the state the country is in, at least people have the GAA to hold onto. “It’s much more than just a game. It’s a way of life for people and it puts a lot of purpose into people’s lives. Playing football can help young lads a lot in the future because it’s all about being a team player and you will need those Leo McEnroe preparing a Sharlios for competition skills in your working life.”


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013 saw Kill Shamrocks make a quick return to the intermediate ranks after edging out favourites Arva in a thrilling junior championship final this past October. Chairman Noel McMenamin was part of an enthralling season which finished in sweet success, ending a 16-year wait for the club. October 6th, 2013 – you can chalk it down as a landmark date for the progressive Kill Shamrocks club whom earned their way back into the intermediate ranks the hard way after overcoming two of the junior championship’s form teams this past autumn. Having come through their three team group of Munterconnacht (finalists in 2010 and 2011) and Templeport (semifinalists in 2012) with flying colours, Kill saw off are Shannon Gaels side, rejuvenated by the return of their young stars, in the semi-final before leaving their best till last against favourites Arva in the final. Sean Gaffney’s awesome injury-time free would be the talk of the county after the decider at


2013 RESU

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Kill captain Sean Gaffney raises the Sean Leddy Cup

Kingspan Breffni Park, where the Kill captain went on to raise the Sean Leddy Cup on the club’s behalf and take home the ‘Man of the Match’ award for good measure. It was a day that many of Kill’s devoted supporters won’t likely ever forget, least of all Noel McMenamin. The Donegal native, who took the reins as club chairman four years ago watched from the team dug out as his son, Barry, played a starring role for the Shamrocks from full-back, reducing Arva danger man and Cavan U21 sharpshooter Kevin Bouchier to 0-1 from play. It proved a crucial feat in a county final which was decided on a 1-14 to 1-13 score-line in the end. Noel explained that many from the Kill camp knew even before the ball was thrown in that it would be a game that would come right down to the wire, due the nature of their league meeting earlier on in the year. “There was a feeling around the parish beforehand was that it was going to be a game where there would be nothing in it between the teams,” he said. “We have two senior men -


Pearse McKenna and Damien Foster that would have been there before. Pearse was giving the younger lads some words of advice beforehand and his words were: ‘you are in a county final and it’s 60 minutes’. He was ‘Man of the Match’ in the ’97 final and reminded them that the club hadn’t been in a final since and said that this was the time to step up to the plate and do it.” Kill’s scorching start and cool finish in the final would see the team achieve their destiny for 2013, but if you rewind back to the start of the year you get a better prospective of what it all meant to the players, mentors and supporters. Having suffered relegation from Division Two of the All County Football League at the end of 2012, Kill opted to take their chances in the junior championship as well for the following season. As many teams have harshly discovered, the dungeon section of club football in Cavan is often hard to resurface from but the club were confident of making an immediate return to their former ranks with the calibre of players at their disposal and Monaghan man Barry McLoughlin at the helm. With

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Kill Junior Championship winners, front l/r: Brendan Hannigan, Liam McDermot, Aishling McKenna, Vera Fannin, John Kelly, Damien O’Brien, Liam Keane, Paul Foster (mascot), Sean Gaffney, Cormac McQuillan (mascot), Ray Magee, Conor McCaffery, Niall McCaffery, David Pickens, Shane McCann, Kevin Pritchard, Ian Middleton, Luke Smith, Kevin Reilly, Ben Reilly, Shane Tiernan, Emett Magee. Back: Barry Kissane, Gerry Pritchard, Mary Gaffney, Noel McMenamin, JP Drumm, Pat O’Brien, Luke O’Brien, Aaron McIntyre, Liam Gaffney, Gary Tiernan, Pierce McKenna, Damien Foster, Anthony Brady, Darren Tiernan, Liam Kelly, Killian Brady, Francis Hand, Conor McKenna, Morgan Farrell, Daragh McMenamin, Barry McMenamin, Donal Kissane, Barry McLoughlin

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Lining out in the Junior B championship final, front l/r: Noel McMenamin, Vera Fannin, Sean Gaffney, Conor McCaffery, Damien O’Brien, Ciaran Reilly, Pat O’Brien, Liam Kelly, Kevin Pritchard, Morgan Farrell, Brendan Hannigan, Damien Foster, Niall McCaffery, Luke Smith, John Kelly, Ray Magee, Donal Kissane, Luke O’Brien. Back: Liam McDermott, Gerry Pritchard, Barry McLoughlin, JP Drumm, Stephen McEnroe, Pierce McKenna, Ben Reilly, Liam Keane, Ian Middleton, Francis Hand, Darragh McMennamin, David Pickens, Barry Kissane, Gary Tiernan, Liam Gaffney, Shane Tiernan, Aaron McIntyre, Shane McCann, Bary McMenamin, Anthony Brady, Brian Crowe

Liam McDermott as his selector, McLoughlin was coming into the club with a glowing reputation after his appointment in December and by early in the New Year he was putting the players through their preparations for what would unravel as a stellar season. A good start is half the battle, as they say, and by April the team were well on their way as promotion contenders in the league, with the loss of ace midfielder Darren Tiernan to a cruciate injury the

only drawback, as their championship opener with Templeport inched closer with each game. “Last year we were relegated out of the league, so we went and got a new manager,” the chairman explained. “So we set out to play in the junior championship and we got the new management in and they felt that if the team were willing to put in the training that we’d be capable of winning it. “At the beginning of December, Barry

McLoughlin came on board and I guess we just started off from there. We only lost four games in Division Three by the time the championship started and were sitting in third place with three games left. Arva were top all year and we were the only team to beat them, as far as I know.” All the signs were positive heading into a junior championship opener with Templeport in early August. The Bawnboy men had lost out narrowly in

The St Finbars U14 Division 4 league winners, front l/r: Seamus Reilly, Ronan Brady, Leon Mc Gill, Conor Reilly, Reece Keogh Hall, Brian Brady, Lorcan Hammond. Back: Tiernan Reilly, Colm Brady, Jason Curran, Conor Smith, Ryan Mc Carville, Nialll Fitzpatrick, Caolan Reilly, Ryan McCann

Niall McCaffery

Killian Brady

Orla Reilly presents joint captains Conor Reilly and Niall Fitzpatrick with the U14 Division 4 league cup

Kevin Reilly


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With 10 minutes remaining in the half the difference was Gaffney’s opening score and it was Arva that moved through the gears with two frees from the reliable Bouchier before a superb individual effort from Brian Ellis, which closed the half at 0-8 to 1-5. McLoughlin would have had some inspirational words for his side, whom he knew were being outplayed for the last 20 minutes, at half-time and his players responded by registering the first two scores of the half through frees from Brady and Gaffney. It took Arva the best part of 10 minutes to rediscover their firsthalf rhythm but when they did they’d it the jackpot. Good work from Peter Morris saw the wing forward narrow the difference to one before Gavin Doyle struck his side into their first lead. After good approach play from Ciaran Brady, Arva slipped Doyle through and the midfielder rounded Gary Tiernan in the Kill goal to dispatch to an empty net. However, as had been their mantra all afternoon, Kill never gave in and were back in front by the 46th minute following a Brady free and two superb long range scores from McKenna. The former Cavan senior lashed over off each foot from beyond the 40-metre mark in the space of five minutes to try and ignite the Shamrocks. The lead would be short-lived as their opponents came into a rich spell of possession which Brian Ellis turned into profit for them. The nippy corner-forward sent over a hat-trick of points in the space of four minutes which looked to have the blue and whites with one hand on the cup, leading by three with five minutes to go. In that time Kill took every chance that came their way, earning back-to-back frees for Gaffney to convert and when Damien O’Brien cut inside and raised their 13th white flag the momentum was firmly flowing in their favour. Towards the added minutes Arva had an attack foiled which allowed their opponents to break and earn a free along the right flank at midfield. From there Gaffney’s audacious effort off the outside of his right boot would see him become the Kill hero as the ball sailed over Sean Donnelly’s crossbar to break Arva hearts and secure the coveted Sean Leddy Cup for the Shamrocks. Kill (JFC final v Arva): Gary Tiernan; Ray Magee, Barry McMenamin, Ciaran O’Reilly; Aaron McIntyre, Luke O’Brien, Damian Foster; Liam Gaffney, Liam Keane; Conor McCaffrey (0-1), Pearse McKenna (0-3, 1f), Sean Gaffney (1-5, 5f); Niall McCaffrey, Anthony Brady (0-4, 4f), Damien O’Brien (0-1). Subs: Shane McCann for D Foster (HT), Kevin O’Reilly for L Gaffney (49), Shane Tiernan for L O’Brien (50, inj), Darren Tiernan for N McCaffrey (57). “Everybody was fit and up for it,” McMenamin assed. “Barry

the semi-final of last year’s competition to eventual winners Laragh United and would no doubt be out for blood when the two sides collided in Redhills. In the end, only two points separated the sides as Kill came away from Max McGrath Park with a 1-11 to 1-9 win to put one foot into the semi-finals. Victory over Munterconnacht in the next round meant a place in the last four for McLoughlin’s side and in their way stood a Shannon Gaels side in hot form having welcomed back a number of key players from injury and emigration. Played at Kingspan Breffni Park, Kill trailed by three points at half-time after only managing 0-2 in a below par first-half hour from their viewpoint, but were inspired by Pearse McKenna and Sean Gaffney in the second-half, with the latter notching 0-5 to help see them over the line. Eamon O’Reilly, who also finished with 0-5, led the line strong for the Blacklion men in the first-half but was denied the net in midway through the second-half thanks to a fine save from Gary Tiernan in the Shamrocks goal and had it hit the net it could well have made a huge difference to the game’s outcome. Instead it was Kill that pushed on and got the necessary scores through Conor McCaffrey, Gaffney and full-forward Anthony Brady to setup their final date with Arva. “We didn’t get out of the blocks at all in the first-half and then in the second-half everything just seemed to go into place and we played better as a team,” the chairman stated. As with any county final, the players went in feeling some nerves for the big occasion, but McMenamin explained that some of the more experienced members of the team played a salient role in calming things ahead of the showdown with Arva on October 6th at Cavan GAA HQ. “There was a feeling around the parish beforehand was that it was going to be a game where there would be nothing in it between the teams,” he said. Kill’s ‘nerves’ were nowhere to be seen at the start of the final as they utterly dominated the first 10 minutes having been ignited by Sean Gaffney’s fourth minute goal which saw the captain race into yards of space and screw a shot into Sean Donnelly’s near top corner. Conor McCaffrey, Pearse McKenna (free) and Anthony Brady (free) doubled the Shamrocks’ lead by the eighth minute, with Arva yet to string together an attack, and when Brady slotted over a free from his full-forward station Ciaran Brady’s men were in danger of being completely overrun. A coolly struck 40-metre free from Kevin Bouchier eventually settled the favourites in the 12th minute and from there they took off as Brian Ellis, Bouchier (free) and Jonathan McCabe reduced the deficit to a goal. Bouchier’s first from play was cancelled out by a Gaffney free in the 20th minute, ending a 10-minute scoring drought for Kill after making such a pulsating start.


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kill designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 23:04 Page 5

Liam Keane

Damien Foster

Sean Gaffney

Brian Crowe

Those who started the voyage with a first round game in the JFC, front l/r: Daragh McMenamin, Liam Kelly, Pat O’Brien, Damien O’Brien, Ciarian Reilly, Kevin Pritchard, Donal Kissane, Conor McCaffery, Shane McCane, Shane Tiernan, Kevin Reilly, Niall McCaffery, John Kelly, David Pickens, Luke O’Brien, Noel McMenamin, Darren Tiernan. Back: Gerry Pritchard, Barry McLoughlin, Anthony Brady, Ian Middleton, Brian Crowe, Aaron McIntyre, Damien Foster, Sean Gaffney, Killian Brady, Pierce McKenna, Liam Keane, Liam Gaffney, Gary Tiernan, Francis Hand, Luke Smith, Barry McMenamin, Stephen McEnroe, Ray Magee, Liam McDermot, Daragh McDermott

had the players well-motivated and we got off to a dream start in the game itself going up 1-4 and we went in level at halftime he told the players that they were just 30 minutes away. “I was with the team in the dug-out and we knew that Arva were going to come back at us after the start we got. We said at half-time that our fitness was still going to be there until the end and our backs were doing quite well too. We just never gave up and even though we were in a bit of trouble when (Brian) Ellis got those three points, we made the changes we needed to and it gave us the chance to win it late on. The likes of Pearse and Sean Gaffney geared the lads on from midfield and we made a couple of subs which helped make the difference.” He added: “It was a great lift for the whole club, especially for younger lads that see now that this can be done. We went up to the school on the Monday after and Pearse was saying that some of the lads that are on the team now were in school when we won it in ’97. It gave great buzz in the parish altogether and to keep the underage teams going is something that we have to make out

of it.” No doubt, McMenamin and co will feel that the future is very bright for Kill after a historic season and who would bet against them holding their own in the intermediate ranks in 2014?

JUNIORS TAKE LEAGUE TITLE A week after the club’s junior championship success, the Shamrocks landed the Reserve Division Three league title when they overcame Ballymachugh by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling final at Kingspan Breffni Park 3G. Kill dominated the game for long periods early on but were made survive a revival from their opponents in the second-half, having held a 0-6 to 0-2 lead at half-time. Their dominance around the field for the first 30 minutes was turned into profit by scores from Kevin Reilly (2), Luke Kelly (2), Darragh McMenamin and Liam Keane. Kelly’ third point extended the lead to five within three minutes of the restart but Ballymachugh’s comeback soon arrived when Mark Kiernan fired the ball into the top corner of Gary Tiernan’s net. With the momentum flowing on their


Kill`s Liam Keane sees off the challenge of Arva`s Ciaran Brady

favour, Kiernan tacked on two more points to level before Ballymachugh took the lead in the 41st minute through Richard Fitzsimons. Fitzsimons would double the lead soon after, but Kill responded like champions by striking a superb goal which saw Kelly nab possession and round Darragh McGoldrick in the Ballymachugh goal and blast to the net. A McCaffrey free pushed Kill’s lead to two points before Kelly made it four with a quick brace heading towards the closing stages. To their credit, ‘the Hughs’ never threw in the towel as they closed the gap to one but with the likes of Barry McMenamin and Aaron McIntyre solid in defence Kill held on for a 1-11 to 1-10 victory which saw veteran captain Damien Foster collecting the cup on the club’s behalf. Kill (RDiv 3 final v Ballymachugh): Gary Tiernan; Shane McCann, Barry McMenamin; Darragh McMenamin (01), Aaron McIntyre, Shane Tiernan; Damien Foster, Liam Gaffney; Ian Middleton, Liam Keane (0-1), Liam Kelly; Kevin Reilly (0-2), Niall McCaffrey (0-2, 1f). Sub: Luke O’Brien for Middleton.

drumgoon designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:55 Page 1



t’s a dozen years now since Drumgoon came hurtling, seemingly from nowhere, from junior obscurity to the bright lights of the big senior stage. They won a junior championship, followed by an unofficial – but highlyprized – All-Ireland in that grade, before winning the intermediate championship a year later and holding their own at senior level. A lot of shooting stars burn out, however, and it’s remarkable to think that the Eire Ogs will start 2014 in the senior ranks. The club has truly been transformed from what it once was and having consolidated and become well established at the top table, the challenge now is to take it to the next level. This year, they didn’t do that but, says Michael Hannon – who made his name on those successful early 2000s sides – it wasn’t for the want of trying. “We got drawn in the preliminary round and I suppose the disappointing thing for us was we seemed to pick up injuries at the wrong time,” he explained. “We had to play another


2013 RESU

SFC or United 0-7 4-9 Ram oon Drumgoon g m ru 2 3-9 D Lacken 4-1 rel. playoff – n o o g -10 Drum 1 -9 1 n n e D

ion 1B ACFL Divis na 2 1-7 -7 Gow Drumgoon on o g -8 4-5 Drum goon Belturbet 2 m ru D eltic 0-8 1-9 Cootehill C rumgoon 0-14 2-10 D e Ballyhais malee 1-15 1-8 Dru oon Drumgoon g m ru -7 1-17 D arry Drumlane 4 yg ill K 1 2-10 2-1 Drumgoon elturbet 0-14 1-11 B Drumgoon hill Celtic te o 1-12 Co 2 -1 0 n o o g goon Drum 0 2-15 Drum goon Gowna 1-1 5 Drum gh 0-11 0-1 Crosserlou rosserlough 2-10 1-10 C goon Drumgoon D 4 2-11 rum ise Redhills 1-1 llyha 1-13 0-9 Ba Drumgoon mgoon -14 0-10 Dru Drumalee 1 dhills e R 3 3-13 1-1 Drumgoon goon m ru D 0 -6 1-1 Killygarry 0 o - n t played V Drumlane Drumgoon

match a week after our first game and that was our championship over. We picked up a spate of injuries and we were relying on people to play that were carrying injuries. “In the old championship, in the group stage you had three matches, you could lose a game and have a week or two to prepare for your next game and then the same again for your third game, but we didn’t have any of that, it was just, bang. A couple of bad injuries, lose the preliminary round, lose in the backdoor and that’s us sitting on our backsides watching everyone else play out the rest of the championship.” The new championship format, then, didn’t lend itself to Drumgoon, but Hannon doesn’t dismiss it offhand. “It has its pros and its cons, some teams got an easier draw than others and I don’t know if we got the best four teams in the semi-finals, I’m pretty sure we didn’t,” said the former Cavan senior. “Seedings would make it more predictable and you’d have to say that the


Patrick McCabe

championship wasn’t predictable. Then again, teams might feel that their best chance of beating a team is in the earlier round, so seeding it could help. “It’s a tricky one. From our experience this year, it probably didn’t work well but if you asked a team like Crosserlough, they’d probably say it was brilliant.” Drumgoon, who have one of the smallest catchment areas in the county, sandwiched between Cootehill, Shercock, Kill, Knockbride and Monaghan giants Latton, have managed to keep the show on the road through hard graft but, while young talent has emerged, the same old names – Hannon, Keith Fannin, Jim McNally and Co – still provide the spine. That’s something Hannon would like to see change if Drumgoon are to go a step further in senior ranks. “I’d say we’re probably not as strong as we were when we first went senior years ago but most aren’t because every club has been affected by emigration. We’re relatively as strong, but in actual fact we are probably

drumgoon designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:55 Page 2

Michael McDonald

weaker,” he said. “We could probably do with more players coming on. There are a couple of young lads who started to knock on the door last season. Paddy Smith came in and Barry Cooney, two lads of 18 and 19, and they started featuring and popped up with vital roles to play, which was encouraging. “The frustrating thing, though, is none of the young lads have come through yet and completely nailed down places on the team, some of them are still bit part players and we’re hoping they’ll step up another notch and fulfil their potential. “You’d hope that these guys can earn a place on the team rather than just get a place through default because of numbers going down or people retiring or whatever, you’d like to see them take a place from someone else rather than be given a place. “There are a few good decent footballers coming through. We stayed up senior, we beat Denn in a relegation play-off and if we can maintain our status for another year or two, you’d have another few lads knocking on the door hopefully.” There is a core group of talented players at Under 14 level, where the club field on their own, and Under 16 level, but running underage teams is a tougher role than ever before. Children have a lot more options for their recreational time now and, says Hannon (who coaches the club Under 21s during that short winter season), it’s not getting any easier.

Shane McGorry

“In the last census, the population increased, so if clubs are struggling for numbers, obviously there has been an urbanisation in Cavan, towns are expanding and clubs haven’t expanded,” he said. “But at the same time I think there has been a cultural change, parents aren’t as involved in some clubs as they were. “Managing an underage team is a big effort, it isn’t just about training the lads, it’s about knocking on the doors, going out and meeting the parents, trying to get them involved. If they’re talking about football at the dinner table and the breakfast table, the child has a better chance of playing. “When I was young, parents were training teams and weren’t relying on someone else. You need that personal touch, it’s a massive part of getting the kids out and parents onside. Soccer, rugby, even Sky Sports and Play Station. There are so many different things kids can be doing now to keep them entertained so it is a battle for the hearts and minds of the young fellas.” Luckily, Drumgoon are well-served by an eager and talented committee. It’s a cliché but ‘the Goonies’ truly are a close-knit rural club who can produce excellent leaders, on and off the field. For proof, see exhibits A and B, GAA President in waiting (we hope) Aogan Farrell and outstanding Cavan U21 defender Conor Moynagh. That sort of spirit is driving things off the field. “The committee is doing great work.


Tommy McKitterick

They ran a duathlon this year and last year as a fundraiser and it was a great community initiative,” explained Hannon, who is employed as a secondary school teacher. “The club is thinking outside the box, it’s such a small community that you’re always relying on the same few people to do all the work. It is a close-knit place, though, and people do really work hard for the community.” Hannon is a deep thinker on the game and his take on the standard of club football is illuminating. Despite the presence of 60-70 Ulster medalists where there never were before, he is not convinced that the standard has risen. In fact, the opposite is the case. “The standard of club football has dipped, but the style has changed and I think people get confused sometimes,” he said. “The standard hasn’t dropped as much as people are making out it has because it’s masked by the fact that teams are playing more defensively. There is still a lot of good football being played and better defensive football but that’s not what people pay money to see. “I think there always were good underage players but there probably weren’t the same structures in place to help make a group of players into a formidable outfit. I remember playing Under 21 when Mattie Kerrigan was senior manager and he had 12 or 13 Under 21s on the team. There were as many then as there is now, there was always good young talent in Cavan.”

drumgoon designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:55 Page 3


The Drumgoon seniors, front l/r: Simon Boyle, Ronan Crosson, Mark Murray, Edward Gaffney, Adrian Crosson, Shane Smith, Michael Hannon (captain), Patrick Smith, Aogán Farrell, Adam Bates, Barry Cooney, Jim McNally, Killian Moynagh. Back: Dominic Donnegan, Henry Reyburn, Sean Smith, Philip Smith, Ryan Craddock, Keith Fannin, Shane McGorry, Niall McIntyre, Patrick McCabe, Brendan McCabe, Tommy McKitterick, Michael McDonald, John McDonald, Anthony McGibney, Ian Craddock, Paul McCabe

drumgoon designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:55 Page 4

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Patrick McCabe

A budding coach who has already enjoyed success at colleges level, Hannon doesn’t reckon he will be “one of those guys who plays till their 40”. He has a mind to take a summer off soon and go travelling   - and then there’s the coaching bug… “I would like to get into coaching, I have coached Sigerson teams and college teams and helped out with the seniors and u21s in the club. There is a definite line between coaching and management, club managers need to be a jack of all trades. You need a different skill set to be a manager than to be a coach,” he said. “At this moment in time, I do enjoy

Team manager Martin Clerkin

Aogán Farrell

coaching and I might help out with one of the club underage teams next year, I’m playing with the idea.” For now, though, he is looking already to the next challenge. What does 2014 hold for Drumgoon? “It’s an exciting year for the club with Aogan Farrell being nominated for the presidency which would be massive for the club and for Aogan if he could secure it,” the defender stated. “From a playing point of view, I think if the senior team can consolidate for another year and maybe develop some of the younger lads coming through, they could improve their standing.

Edward Gaffney


Michael McDonald

“Every club would love to win a Senior Championship but you have to be realistic I suppose, it’s such a hard thing to do, you can see clubs who have a far bigger pick than us struggling to do it. Even if you got a lucky draw and get to championship final… I know Denn got to two a couple of years ago and didn’t win it but that’s probably something their players still cherish. “You’d hope to have some sort of achievable target you could reach. You need something to aim for in order to feel like you’re making progress.” That, though, Drumgoon surely are.

Conor Moynagh

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013 was a year in which the semi-final hurdle of the junior championship proved just too high for Cornafean. However, club secretary Bernard Martin has high hopes for the Reds next season though. There aren’t many clubs in Cavan with a richer history than Cornafean GAA and despite what the last decade or so has suggested, the past two years have shown that the Reds are on their way back out of the county’s basement division. 2012 saw Terence Reynolds’ team narrowly pipped at the quarter-final stage of the junior championship by eventual winners Laragh United and although further strides were made this past season, it seems as though Bernard Martin and others involved with the club aren’t fully content with only progression. “The aim at the start of the year was to stay in Division Two and to win the junior championship,” said


2013 RESU

JFC fean 2-18 Corna -8 2 afean rn Knockbride o C 0 -1 1 els 2-11 a G n playoff o n – n n a a Sh Cornafe 2 -1 1 3 -1 0 n – playoff Templeport 1-7 Kildalla 4 -1 0 n a fe - semi-final Corna 0 1-17 Arva -1 1 n a fe a rn Co ion 2 ACFL Divis van Gaels 0-7 0-10 Ca Cornafean Cornafean gh 1-9 0-12 kere Bailieborou 0-5 1-5 Killin Cornafean afean rn o C 0-10 0-4 ra d n a ght sh e ill K nterconnau 0-5 1-5 Mu n a fe a rn Cornafean 3-12 1-7 Co Laragh Utd anlinbar -7 0-12 Sw 1 n a fe n a rn o C 0 Cornafea nt 0-14 1-1 g n ru Mountnuge 2-5 0-12 D Cornafean orough 0-11 Bailieb -8 0 n a an fe a rn Co -11 Cornafe aught 1-9 0 n n o rc n a te n fe u a M -8 3-7 Corn Killinkere 4 ragh Utd a L -8 1 6 -1 0 Cornafean ornafean 0-10 1-13 C Swanlinbar Cornafean ls 3-16 1-10 tnugent Cavan Gae oun 1-12 2-7 M Cornafean andra sh e V Kill Cornafean afean rn o C -6 2 Drung 0-10

Martin. “We got to the knock-out stages and I suppose that was some achievement, but we got to one last year as well and we were hoping to go one better this year.” When Reynolds and his selectors – Eamon O’Reilly and Peter Donohoe – set out their stall for Cornafean at the start of 2013, league was priority but as the season wore on it became clear that the summer’s championship would be their best chance of silverware. Having gained promotion in 2012 with some consistent winning in the ACFL Division Three, Cornafean were keen on protecting their status in the second tier of the league, but minus the services of some of their best players that would always be a tough obstacle for them. “We lost two of our best players to emigration,” Martin explained. “Injuries came and went, but there wasn’t anything too serious thankfully. Liam Duignan went to Manchester and he was a big loss to us. He was missing for us


Pauric Tully

all year and Fergus Reilly went last year, so we knew that we were going to be without them for the whole season and we had to move on with the team that we had.” A 0-12 to 1-9 draw away to Bailieborough Shamrocks proved one of Cornafean’s most encouraging results in the early rounds of the ACFL Division Two, but too many defeats followed for the Reds to be in promotion contention. Wins over Laragh United (0-16 to 1-8) and Mountnugent (1-12 to 2-7) saw them come into the championship in decent form. Reynolds’ charges would meet Knockbride in the first round in early August and hand the Canningstown men a heavy 2-18 to 2-8 defeat to ignite their championship campaign. “We didn’t do as well as we expected to do in the league, but we came good at the right time for the championship,” said the secretary “We played Knockbride the first day and we won fairly well, I mean we were the better team and deserved the win.

cornafean designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:57 Page 2


The squad that took on Knockbride in the junior championship, front l/r: Andrew Wharton, Adrian McCaffrey, Val Sheridan, Cormac Geogehegan, Paul Brady, Jack Wharton, Niall Corcoran, James Cullen, Paul Fitzpatrick, Wayne Johnson, Ciaran Briody. Back; Gerry Sheridan, Barry Doyle, Ciaran Duignan, Niall Sheridan, Andrew Smith, Pauric Tully, Cian Geogehegan, Cathal Sheridan, Mark Johnson, Paddy Brady, Eamon Gaffney, Dan Wharton, Gavin McDermott

cornafean designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:57 Page 3

The Cornafean squad that took part in the U12 league final, front l/r: Michael Martin, Wayne Sheridan, Jason Mc Intyre, Peter Doyle , Dean Kilkenny, Cuilin McSeain, Amy McIntyre, Ronan Traynor, Emmet Martin, Ryan Morrow, Daniel Madigan. Back: Ciaran Martin, Pete Hogan, Daniel Brady, Shane Halton, Cian McPhilips, Jack Traynor, Chloe McGauraghan,  Dervla McCaffrey, Emma McGahern, Hazel Sheridan, Killian Reilly, Rory McSeain

We got it together and it gave us confidence that we could go further in the championship than we had the previous year.” The next day out Cornafean met Templeport, beaten semi-finalists in 2012, at Kingspan Breffni Park, where the winners would be just one game away from a place in the semi-finals. The Reds went to Cavan town with

their season practically on the line and saw Liam Galligan get Templeport off the mark inside the opening minute, with a quick response coming from Gerard Sheridan down the other end. The Bawnboy men would own the next few minutes to create a threepoint lead, via Galligan’s second free, a Dylan Maguire point and a placed ball from Ben Kiernan that sailed over

from all of 40 metres. Barry Doyle grabbed a quick brace of points to trim the difference to one before setting up Adrian McCaffrey in the square to blast past Daniel Shannon and hand Cornafean their first lead. The cornerforward was afforded all the time and space he needed to pick his spot after Doyle had cut in from the right flank. Templeport responded immediately

Up against Templeport in the championship, front l/r: Mark Johnson, Jack Wharton, Cormac Geogehegan, Eamon Gaffney, Dan Wharton, Val Sheridan, Paul Brady, Adrian McCaffrey, Paul Fitzpatrick, James Cullen, Niall Corcoran. Back: Andrew Wharton, Wayne Johnson, Gerry Sheridan, Cathal Sheridan, Barry Doyle, Andrew Smith, Pauric Tully, Niall Sheridan, Gavin Duffey Andrew Johnson, Ciaran Duignan, Ciaran Briody, Paddy Brady

Val Sheridan

Niall Sheridan

Cormac Geogehegan

Pauric Tully with Adrian McCaffrey


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Peter Doyle

Cuilin Mc Sean

Jack Traynor

Gerry Sheridan

Terrence Reynolds The squad that took on Gowna in the U16 Division 3 league final

with a Galligan free, which was cancelled-out by Niall Sheridan after gathering the rebound of another McCaffrey goal chance, which Shannon had done brilliantly to keep out. It provided somewhat of a wakeup call to the St Aidan’s Park outfit, as they got their sixth point in superb fashion when full-forward Ciaran McManus gathered at the 45-metre line, turned and split the posts with plenty to spare. Galligan landed his fourth free from similar distance to close the half level at 0-7 to 1-4. Templeport took back the lead just 30 seconds into the restart after Dylan Maguire shook off his marker to raise a white flag, but it didn’t take long for the Reds to hit back through Padraig Tully. Galligan (free) and Barry Doyle kept things even approaching the final quarter, as Templeport manager Patrick Maguire introduced Sean Murphy, Michael Galligan and Liam McAweeney to the fray.

The switches looked to have paid dividends after scores from Galligan (free), Kiernan (free) and Murphy outweighed a Gerard Sheridan point to leave Templeport with the initiative

U12 captain Cuilin McSeain


heading into the final quarter. However, it was there that the Reds caught fire, with their midfield talisman Doyle to the forefront, outscoring their opponents by 0-5 to 0-1 through ‘Man of the Match’ Doyle (2), James Cullen (2) and McCaffrey. Cornafean (JFC v Templeport): Andrew Smith; Niall Corcoran, Eamonn Gaffney, Dan Wharton; Paul Brady, Mark Johnston, Cormac Geoghegan; Val Sheridan, Barry Doyle (0-5); Padraig Tully (0-1), Niall Sheridan (0-1), Cathal Sheridan; Ciaran Duignan, Gerard Sheridan (02), Adrian McCaffrey (1-1). Subs: Jack Wharton for C Sheridan (29mins, inj), James Cullen (0-2) for N Sheridan (HT). The win left Cornafean pitted against Kildallan in a play-off for a place in the last four and when the two sides met in Killeshandra it would be a case of ‘do or die’. In the end, it would be Cornafean’s

cornafean designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:57 Page 6

sharper forwards that would see them through against the Ballyconnell men, as they came away with a 0-14 to 1-7 win to set-up a showdown with neighbours Arva in the semi-finals. Arva, under the management of former Cavan stalwart Ciaran Brady, were ranked a strong favourites to see off Cornafean’s challenge and when the derby got underway at Kingspan Breffni Park they’d make a flying start with points from Jonathan McCabe, Gavin Doyle and Kevin Bouchier  (2) outweighing a Barry Doyle single to create a three-point lead after eight minutes.  Even at that early stage, Cornafean looked in danger of being overrun given their opponents sizzling start, but they'd wipe out all of Arva's early good work in an instant when Barry Doyle's free dropped short and wasn't cleared in time before Padraig Tully crashed the ball in from close range. James Cullen put the Reds in front

Ciaran Duignan

soon after, but Arva were only getting started and grabbed the next four points via Bouchier (free), Brian Ellis, Fergal McGlade and Gavin Doyle before landing a goal of their own with five minutes to go in the half. Some good approach play from McGlade slipped Gavin Doyle through the centre and the midfielder lashed past a hapless Andrew Smith. Bouchier and Barry Doyle traded frees on the eve of half-time to leave Brady's team with a 1-9 to 1-3 advantage to work with for the start of the second-half.  Two points from Ciaran Duignan and Barry Doyle within three minutes of the resumption was the perfect tonic for Cornafean from the second-half throwin. A Bouchier free pushed the lead back to five for his side, but Cornafean were beginning to discover a bit of rhythm as Barry Doyle began to take a foothold and centre-field.  First, Gerard Sheridan ripped through Arva's rearguard for a fisted score

Shane Doyle

before some brilliant work from Doyle released Cormac Geoghegan and the wing back had time and space to fire over. A long range from Mark Johnston quickly followed to leave two points in it with a quarter of an hour remaining. Bouchier (free) and Niall Sheridan traded points but when Johnston was once again allowed to roam forward from centre-back and split the posts only the minimum separated the sides.  However, the last 10 minutes saw Arva up their performance considerably as two more frees from Bouchier were backed up by Ellis and Peter Morris to leave five in it with as many minutes remaining.  Cornafean looked for a way back but weren't about to get another soft goal, with James Morris and Thomas Brady to the fore at the back for Arva as late scores from Gavin Doyle and Ellis ensured the win and a first championship final slot in 20 years.

Brian Sheridan

Cormac Cullen

Dan Wharton The Cornafean side that took on Arva, front l/r: Killian Reilly, Mark Johnson, Andrew Wharton, Eamon Gaffney, Cormac Geogehegan, Val Sheridan, Niall Corcoran, Dan Wharton, Paul Fitzpatrick, Jack Wharton, James Cullen, Paddy Brady. Back: Paul Brady, Wayne Johnson, Ciaran Briody, Andrew Johnson, Ciaran Duignan, Barry Doyle, Cathal Sheridan, Andrew Smith, Pauric Tully, Cian Geogehegan, Adrian McCaffrey, Gerry Sheridan, Niall Sheridan, Gavin Duffey


cornafean designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 17:57 Page 7

Niall Corcoran and Barry Doyle

The defeat brought about a premature end to Cornafean’s season and Martin conceded that Arva had been the better team on the day. “We played fairly good for about 20 minutes of the second-half and then it all fell apart,” he said. “We lost it in the first-half really though. We kicked a lot of wides and it

Jack Wharton

kind of slipped away from us at that stage because we went in at half-time six points down. We did well to bring it back to a point and if we had to have kept it up at that stage maybe we would have won, but Arva were just a bit sharper than us in the end.” Now the focus is on 2014 for Cornafean and going one better than

Adrian McCaffrey

they did in this season’s past championship campaign, according to Martin. “Hopefully next year we can do better in the league and maybe go a place further in the championship. It would be great for the club to get to a championship final and we haven’t been that far off in the last two years.”

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ballyhaise designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:12 Page 1



wealth of talent and experience still hasn’t seen Ballyhaise capture that elusive intermediate championship crown, but something tells us that it won’t be long before the Tommy Gilroy Cup makes its way to the club’s trophy cabinet. Progress is never something to complain about, and for Ballyhaise 2013 was a year of progress after the previous season had seen their hopes cut short in the intermediate championship after three games. 2012 saw the team struggle in the ACFL Division One before being knocked out of the championship by Cootehill, but this past season saw strides made under new manager Kit Henry as his team more than held their own in Division 1B before advancing to the semi-finals of the intermediate championship, claiming scalps over Killinkere and Swanlinbar along the way. Minus the services of former Cavan senior Ray Cullivan, who transferred to Lavey at the start of the year, Ballyhaise would be starting 2013 without one of their key


2013 RESU

IFC haise -9 1-12 Bally quarter-final Killinkere 1 – e is a h lly 0-9 3-15 Ba – semi-final ra d n a Swanlinbar sh e ill K 0 -1 1 0 0-1 Ballyhaise ion 1B ACFL Divis sserlough 1-5 1-5 Cro Ballyhaise tehill Celtic 0-9 2-8 Coo Ballyhaise malee D 0-8 1-11 ru ise Ballyhaise ha lly a B -5 1-7 Drumlane 0 wna o G -3 1 3 1-1 Ballyhaise aise h lly -5 0-9 Ba Belturbet 1 goon m ru D 0 0-14 2-1 Ballyhaise a h ise -6 1-7 Bally Killygarry 1 dhills e R 0-11 1-8 Ballyhaise llyhaise a B -9 eltic 2-9 2 C ill h te o o C haise 6 0-14 Bally Gowna 0-1 haise lly -6 1-8 Ba Drumalee 1 erlough ss ro 1-10 0-8 C e is a h lly a B elturbet 1-10 0-10 B Ballyhaise llyhaise 1-13 0-9 Ba Drumgoon ygarry ill K 1-13 0-3 Ballyhaise rumlane 1-14 0-13 D Ballyhaise e 0-7 1 Ballyhais Redhills 2-1

stalwarts in recent years and had a battle on their hands to try and maintain their Division 1B league status against some of the senior championship’s main contenders. Nonetheless, the club’s objectives wouldn’t change come the first throwin of the season, according to PRO Barry Tierney. “The same as ever year, we wanted to win the intermediate championship. It has been a long standing objective of Ballyhaise’s for a while now,” Tierney explained. “1968 was the last time the club would have won it and we contested a good few senior finals in the 70s and into the 80s we were quite strong but we just couldn’t win one. We went back into intermediate and every year we start off as favourites to win it, because we’re usually playing in Division 1 or 1B, as it was this year. In Division 1B, Ballyhaise showed that they were more than capable of holding their own against senior sides and would find themselves in the running for a league semi-final by the time the championship


Padraig Moore

rolled around in August. With his team moving well, Henry had them focused for a first round clash against a Killinkere side that wouldn’t be taken for granted after some strong performances in Division Two in the ACFL and a hard fought win would be backed up by an impressive performance against Swanlinbar a few weeks later. “We acquitted ourselves fairly well in the league and the championship began with a win over Killinkere by three points and then we won our quarter-final against Swanlinbar fairly comfortably,” Tierney stated. “The Swanlinbar game was so onesided that it was of little value to them and for whatever reason Swanlinbar didn’t play well and Ballyhaise played very well and the game was over after about 20 minutes. At that stage, Ballyhaise were training well and seemed to be responding well to Kit Henry and right up to that semi-final they were fairly hopeful of doing well in the championship.” With 2012 beaten finalists Cootehill ousted by surprise package Shercock

ballyhaise designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:13 Page 2

The junior championship winning ladies, front l/r: Niamh Fitzsimons, Emma Nevin, Brenda Lynch, Sinéad Moore, Shirleen Burns, Aisling McEntee, Sinéad Lyons, Roisín Greenan, Shannon Scully, Leona Sexton, Karen Delaney. Back: Adrian Delaney (manager), Elaine Reilly, Orlaith Prior, Elaine Reilly, Mairéad McCabe, Niamh Briody, Fiona Callaghan, Aoife Costello, Ciara O'Malley, Aisling Carey, Lauren Conaty, Hannah Duggan, Colette McCaul, Mickey McEntee (manager). The mascot is Peter Delaney

in their respective semi-final, Ballyhaise now carried the favourites’ tag and headed into their showdown with Killeshandra “hopeful”, as Tierney put it, of booking a first final berth since 2008. Played under lights at Cavan GAA’s headquarters, Ballyhaise settled into the game with two points from marksman Stephen Smith and a single from Shane McKiernan to level after

the Leaguers had created an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead. With Shane Briody and Sean McCormack doing their utmost to shackle their opponents’ inside forwards, Ballyhaise were given the chance to take in a half-time lead with points from full-forward Padraig Moore (2) and Cavan senior Kevin Tierney, but the town side finished out he half strong to lead by one at the interval. Full-back McCormack would look to

set the tone for Ballyhaise at the start of the second-half with a fine long range score and when Rory Donnellan produced a brilliant save to deny Tomas O’Reilly a goal the breaks looked to be going the way of Henry’s team. However, in the 38th minute Killeshandra landed the crucial score of the game when O’Reilly raced through and fired past Donnellan at the

Castletara junior camogie squad, front l/r: Thomas Smith, Geraldine Mulvanney, Hazel O Connor, Catriona Smith, Caroline Reilly, Anne-Marie FaySmith, Caoimhe Rudden, Brenda Lynch, Lorraine Brady, Grainne Smith, Elaine Lynch, Orlaith Prior, Deirdre Mulcahy. Back: James Brady, Emma Costello, Philomena McCloskey, Catriona Lynch, Roisin Dunne, Eadaoin Minagh, Corina Briody, Darina Fitzpatrick, Karen Treanor, Victoria Langrishe, Majella Prior, Colm Lynch, Serena Morrow, Aishling Wallace, Susan Smith.


ballyhaise designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:13 Page 3


The Ballyhaise senior team, front l/r: Barry Reilly, Niall Costello, Shane McKiernan, Enda Fay, Brendan Lyons, Fergal Slowey, Sean Fay, Colm Reilly, Christopher Reilly, Stephen Smith, Shane Briody, David Duggan, Francis Moore, Francis McConnell. Back: Barry McCrudden, Don Gorby, Fiachra McGoldrick, Mark Brennan, Ryan Brennan, Padraig Moore, Conor Lyons, Sean McCormack, Rory Donnellan, Brendan Maguire, Barry Kelly, Adam Boyle, Kevin Tierney, Cian Tierney, Kevin Lynch, Darragh Prior, Darragh O’Rourke

ballyhaise designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:13 Page 4


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Castletara senior camogie finalists, front l/r: Thomas Smith, Caroline Reilly, Brenda Lynch, Mairead McCabe, Grainne Smith, Catriona Smith, Brid Boylan, Anne-Marie Fay-Smith, Sinead Moore, Fiona Lynch, Caoimhe Rudden, Aileen Flynn, Aishling McEntee, Hazel O Connor, Elaine Reilly (Blondie), Elaine Reilly (Blackie), Philomena McCloskey, Serena Morrow. Back: Claire Smith, Tara Smith, Victoria Langrishe, Emme Duffy, Shirleen Burns, Majella Prior, Lorraine Brady, Roisin Dunne, Deirdre Mulcahy, Eadaoin Minagh, Colm Lynch, Anne Donnellan, Orlaith Prior, Maria Mc Barron, Geraldine Mulvanney, Claire Fitzpatrick, Jolene Lynch, Corina Briody, Karen Treanor, Catriona Lynch, Susan Smith, Elaine Lynch, Aishling Wallace, James Brady

second attempt and with Declan McKiernan soaring at midfield for the rest of the night Ballyhaise would find it tough to respond in kind. Frees from Smith and Tierney were all they could

Stephen Kane accepts the Man of the Match award for U16 Division 1 League final from Youth Board Chairman Brian Seagrave

manage past a stingy Killeshandra defence which was enough for the town side to hold on for a 1-10 to 0-10 victory, bringing down the curtain once more on Ballyhaise’s championship hopes. Ballyhaise (IFC semi-final v Killeshandra): Rory Donnellan; Brendan Lyons, Sean McCormack (01), Shane Briody; Sean Fay, Barry Kelly, Fergal Slowey ; Conor Lyons, Stephen Smith (0-4, 3f); Kevin Tierney (0-2, 1f), Christy Reilly, Shane McKiernan (0-1); Colm Reilly, Padraig Moore (0-2), Francis Moore. Subs: Fiachra McGoldrick for B Kelly (26mins), Adam Boyle for B Lyons (HT), Barry McRudden for C Lyons (37), Don Gorby for C Reilly (40), Niall Costello for C Reilly (51). “They didn’t really take the game to Killeshandra,” said Tierney. “Offensively they didn’t create the goal chances and Killeshandra did, creating two and taking one of them, and I think that was the difference in the end. In the first-half it was point for point and they went in a point ahead, I think it was 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time, and in the


second-half Killeshandra broke through and Rory Donnellan made a great save and they broke through again shortly afterwards and got the goal. “They were able to keep that cushion of the three points ahead and even though Ballyhaise tried hard, they couldn’t break through. So I suppose lack of forward power was maybe the undoing for us in the semi-final. “Unfortunately, they’ve become used to disappointments in the championship, but they definitely would have been hugely disappointed afterwards because it seemed to be set up for them this year in terms of Killeshandra playing in a lower division, as would Shercock who were through to the final at that stage. Things seemed to fall in place in that Cootehill had been beaten in their semi-final by Shercock and Ballyhaise needed to beat Killeshandra to get into a final with Sherock but failed to do that.” He added: “The game itself just didn’t reach any great heights. They weren’t completely out of it but that goal just

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Christopher Reilly

seemed to be the difference.” Next year will see Ballyhaise wanting to go one better in the IFC and, as ever, there can be no doubting that they have the right ingredients to do so.

JUVENILE Great work continues to go on at the club’s renowned juvenile section, spearheaded by chairman Mark O’Rourke, with Ballyhaise’s Under 14 footballers having reached the latter stages of their respective championship. The Under 16 footballers also did the club tremendously proud by competing in the Division One league final and the semi-final of the championship. In the league, they were denied the title by the concession of a goal via an injurytime penalty which handed a one-point win to Ramor, while in the semi-final of the championship eventual winners Castlerahan denied them by a similar margin late on in the game. Nonetheless, 2013 will still be regarded as an exceptional year for this promising group of players. At minor level, the club were without two of their star players in Conor Smith and David Brady for the championship, which did them no favours when they lost out to Mullahoran at the quarterfinal stage having competed so strongly in the league. CAMOGS CLAIM JFC TITLE In September, Castletara kept their silverware count following when they

Cormac Boyle

defeated Crosserlough to clinch the county junior championship title. Under the guidance of jointmanagers James Brady and Colin Lynch, the team made up for their narrow two-point defeat in the senior championship final somewhat when they defeated the same opposition a week later at PJ Duke Park in Stradone. After making a slow start to the game, which saw them fall 1-1 to 0-0 behind, Castletara began to discover their rhythm around the 13th minute when Elaine Lynch managed to wriggle free of several Crosserlough challenges along the right corner before cutting in and squeezing a shot off which flew past Annie Smith in the Crosserlough goal. Three minutes later the would-be winners were in front when Majella Smith netted a free which sent her side towards a 2-2 to 13 half-time lead. Castletara made a strong start to the second half, earning a free in the opening seconds through Caroline Reilly for Majella Smith to convert. Remarkably it would be another 21 minutes before a score was registered as both defences were on top. Castletara's Lorraine Crudden, Hazel O'Connor, Karen Treanor, Cathriona Lynch and Brenda Lynch, when she moved back into the back line were outstanding in thwarting Crosserlough’s attacks. Smith, who produced a masterful display from both play and frees, ended the long wait for the second score of the second half


Caroline Reilly

with 52 minutes played, with her third free of the match. Crosserlough ended their own scoring drought of some 29 minutes when they struck for a goal in the 56th minute. With the tie firmly in the balance, Castletara were holding a slender 2-4 to 2-3 lead, the game was decided in the 59th minute through a blistering counter-attacking move by Castletara. Crosserlough were attacking the Castletara defence looking to tie the game up, with the ball being cleared by the Castletara defence out the field, to Roisin Dunne. Dunne offloaded to Grainne Smith, who in turn found Caroline Reilly and she had acres of space in which to operate. The pass was played into Elaine Lynch, who got the better of Mary Lovett to finish emphatically to Annie Smith's goal, and put the seal on a 3-4 to 2-3 win to clinch the title. The win would be the start of an excellent month for the club, as the Under 16 camogs delivered more silverware when they defeated Lacken by 2-1 to 0-0 in the championship final in Stardone. Castletara (JC final v Crosserlough): Geraldine Mulvanney; Lorraine Crudden, Hazel O'Connor; Serena Morrow, Karen Treanor, Cathriona Lynch; Majella Smith (1-3 3f), Corina Briody; Grainne Smith, Brenda Lynch, Caroline Reilly (0-1); Philomena McCluskey, Elaine Lynch (2-0). Subs: Shirleen Burns, Eadoinne O'Reilly, Roisin Dunne.

drumalee designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:34 Page 1



lack of talent is certainly not Drumalee’s problem, but any problems can be rectified, says senior footballer and underage coach Damien Donohoe. Looking back on the diverging paths of what were once nascent teams is always intriguing. Back in 2006, Drumalee and Ballinagh drew 0-7 apiece in an Intermediate Championship final, with Drumalee winning the replay. Both sides were young, talented and full of promise and having sealed their passage to the senior ranks, Drumalee looked set to gate-crash the party in a big way. It was Ballinagh, however, who accelerated off over the horizon. The following year, they won the intermediate title and followed up by winning the Ulster crown and a Division 1 league prize. Six years later, they claimed the Senior Championship title.


2013 RESU

SFC malee -11 0-7 Dru Ballinagh 0 en GAA ck a -8 1-13 L 1 e yoff le a m ru D lee – rel. pla 1-10 Druma yoff 4 la -1 p 0 l. s ill re h – d Re alee 5-7 m ru D 0 -1 1 Belturbet ion 1B ACFL Divis rumalee D -7 0 5 Redhills 0-1 -11 Drumalee 1 -8 0 Ballyhaise tehill Celtic -10 0-2 Coo 3 e le a m ru D mlane -15 0-8 Dru Drumalee 0 erlough ss -11 2-9 Cro Drumalee 1 lturbet e B 0 -12 0-1 Drumalee 3 malee 1-15 1-8 Dru rry Drumgoon a yg ill -7 0-10 K Drumalee 1 ills h d e R -8 1-8 Drumalee 2 malee ru D 0 -1 2 0 gh 2-1 lee a Crosserlou m -9 1-7 Dru Drumlane 0 ise a h lly a B -6 1-8 Drumalee 1 na w o G 1 -1 1 -6 Drumalee 1 lee 0-19 Druma -8 0 t e rb ltu oon Be g m ru D -14 0-10 1 e le a m ru la D ot p yed rumalee – n e Gowna v D -8 Drumale eltic 2-12 0 0 -1 4 Cootehill C e le a -9 Drum Killygarry 2

Cian Byrne

As for Drumalee, their record in the intervening years has been pockmarked by relegation, another intermediate title and, this year, a win in a play-off against Belturbet to preserve their status. A hard luck story? Experienced forward Damien Donohoe doesn’t think so. “It comes down to effort really,” said an honest Donohoe. “I’d have to say 2013 was disappointing. Our aim would have been to win a couple of Senior Championship games and get promotion out of 1B, but we slipped up in the league in a few games which left our promotion hopes pretty much gone before the championship. “Overall it definitely was a disappointing year because we felt we were good enough to come out of that division but we didn’t perform to our potential.


“We did have an unlucky season in one way in that we had a run of injuries. Gary Ferncombe got injured very early, he was out for a long period after the second or third league game. Mickey Brennan was missing for a few as well. I think a lack of effort in some cases too, where boys didn’t put in 100% of the effort that was needed and came up short. “Especially a club like ours that’s coming from winning an intermediate a few years ago, having been intermediate consistently for the last 15 or 20 years. If we’re going up to senior and want to make an impact on it, it takes an increase in effort and we haven’t done that any year that we’ve been senior. “The years where we put in the biggest effort were the years that we did well at intermediate level. We have to change that mentality. I suppose now this will be our third year in a row at senior level so after two years of not

drumalee designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:34 Page 2


The squad that faced up against Ballinagh in the senior football championship, front l/r: Gary Ferncombe, Damien Donohoe, Philip McArdle, Kevin Gavigan, Enda McCormick, Leigh Dunne, Shaun Lynch, Timmy Looney, Michael Brennan, Tomas O'Keeffe. Back: Michael Higgins, Cian Byrne, Kevin Donohoe, Daragh Gaffney, Brendan Smith, Craig Sheridan, James Heffernan, Michael Goldrick, Gary Malone, Fionnan Lee, Kevin Downey, David Goldrick, David O'Keeffe, Liam Scully

drumalee designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:34 Page 3

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putting in a huge effort, the boys might be willing to put in a big effort for this year coming.” Looking back on 2006, and where Drumalee and Ballinagh have wound up in the intervening year, hurts for Donohoe. When the club bounced back to convincingly win the Gilroy Cup in 2011, having never even hit their full stride, they looked set to kick on, but it has yet to happen at senior level. “The funny thing about 2011 was we hadn’t necessarily a good year up until the championship quarter-final,” he recalls. “We weren’t playing terribly well but when we saw our draw for the quarterfinal on, we were looking at teams that were really struggling in the league and the effort started to increase. “It was a short enough time that we put in a huge effort but we really did win that at a canter, we weren’t even at full tilt to win that. That’s the frustrating thing for older players like

Craig Sheridan

myself and a few others. When you see the talent and ability of some players, like the younger players, they haven’t stepped up to the senior grade, which they’re well capable of playing. “They’re good enough to make an impact at senior if they put in the full effort required. They have to start to do that.” Unless Drumalee get their act together in the next season or two, the fear around St Felim’s Park is that the current generation will be seen as one that didn’t fully realise its potential. “In 2006 when we beat Ballinagh in the final, that was a breakthrough, we were underdogs going into it and Ballinagh were very much fancied. We were, at that stage, an extremely young team, the likes of Gary Malone, Finbar Donohoe, Kevin Donohoe, Dara Gaffney, Gerard Reilly. It was a very young panel of players who were all after winning underage Division 1 titles the whole way up, and a Division 2 U21 title.

Michael Brennan

Cian Byrne

“There was a lot of success with that age group and they had come on at a very young age. But Ballinagh, since 2006, have stayed senior and they wouldn’t have had the underage success that we had and in the eyes of the Drumalee players, wouldn’t have had as strong a panel. It’s very disappointing to see teams that have come up and kicked on and we haven’t, we have rested on our laurels.” The good news is, Drumalee have taken steps to ensure that the next crop of underage talent will be a bumper one. Donohoe, 31, has been involved in coaching teams since he was a schoolboy and can’t hide his enthusiasm at the work going on with the youngest age groups in the club at present. “We’re blessed at the minute that we have a new juvenile chairman, Cathal Buggy, and Benny Young is in as his vice-chairman and the work that they have done in the first year has been

Michael Higgins

Gary Malone Drumalee before the throw in against Ballinagh in the SFC


drumalee designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:34 Page 5

The squad that faced up to Gowna in junior 1A championship final, front l/r: Kevin Downey, Martin Fay, Shaun Lynch, Gary Ferncombe, Cian Byrne, Brendan Smith, Timmy Looney, Sean O'Kane, Emmanuel Lynch, Peter McGinnity. Back: Mickey Goldrick, Philip McArdle, Sean O'Flathery, Tommy Walsh, Kieran Lynch, Ryan Loftus, Martin Sheridan, David Goldrick, Liam Scully, Fionnan Lee, Micheal Higgins, David O'Keeffe, Tomas O'Keeffe, Dylan McCaffery, Damien Donohoe.

Tomas O'Keeffe

Drumalee manager Paddy Bates looks on

Gary Malone

Philip McArdle

more than I’ve ever seen a juvenile committee in Drumalee do. It has just been phenomenal,” he says. And the stats don’t lie, either. “In 2012, Drumalee in total registered 43 players and in 2013, we registered almost 120 players. The vast majority of them are U10s, I think there are almost 50 kids at U10 and U8s level. “We weren’t coming from a great base. Our U12s, U14s and U16s this year were all playing in the bottom divisions. Our underage was probably neglected a wee bit for the last number of years and we haven’t had much success and the work wasn’t being done.

Enda McCormick

“For years and years in Drumalee, it was the same five or six lads taking all the underage teams but this year I think 23 different coaches have been involved. There is a huge move towards the underage and getting it sorted out. “The underage is continuing the whole year round this year, there is no break. Through the winter when it gets really cold we’ve got the hall there in Abbey St which is a huge addition.


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Drumalee seniors, front l/r: David O'Keeffe, Sean O’Kane, Kevin Downey, Tomas O'Keeffe, Andrew Fallon, Kevin Gavigan, Enda McCormack, Leigh Dunne, Cian Byrne, Sean O' Flathery. Back: Michael Higgins, Peter McGinnity, Liam Scully, Michael Goldrick, Dylan McCaffery, Timmy Looney, Gary Malone, Daragh Gaffney, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Sheridan, Brendan Smith, Michael Brennan, Daire Donohoe

We can take the kids on a Saturday morning, they are only eight and ten so they don’t need a massive amount of space and the space that we have in the hall there is sufficient for the really cold days. “The plan is for all underage teams to continue training through the winter for the first time ever in the club.” The acquisition of the hall (formerly a furniture showroom and, for a time, a bowling alley) slap-bang in the centre of Cavan Town was a real statement of intent from the Drumalee club, which is now highly visible in its catchment area. And it is generating some funds, too. “The hall is being used for the Better-Fit, a fitness class run by Fiona Corby which is a massive fundraiser for us. It’s in its second year and it’s raising thousands of euro for the club, last year it was over €10,000. “It is consistently going and the hall is used for it as well as for the registration day back in February when Mark McHugh came down from Drumalee to launch it as well as Mickey Brady, the Cavan U21 captain. “Club Drumalee was launched in August as well, it is a fundraising initiative where people sign up for a direct debit and they get newsletters and entered into a draw once a month for different things to do with the club. So the club is doing the right things off the field.” A straight talker, Donohoe is not getting caught up in hyperbole when he says that Drumalee possess some of the most talented footballers in the county. The management structure at senior level for 2014 is still up in the air at the time of writing but there is no doubt that the resources are there to make an impact on the top table. “Paddy Bates was over us this year and in his first year he had a lot to do to try to learn the personalities and the mentality in the club and I’m sure it wasn’t easy trying to balance that and get results right. It’s hard to know what is going to happen. “Our reserve team made the championship final against Gowna, Div 1B reserve, so in that way we did make progress. There definitely is talent there. When it comes to the ability of the players, I would say we are probably only second to one club in the county. But ability only brings you so far. We have some players who are among the best in the county when they put in the right effort. “You’ve any number of young skilful footballers coming up. The likes of Cian Byrne, Leigh Dunne, Fionán Lee and Andy Fallon with the seniors... Sean O’Kane is a great talent and David O’Keeffe is another. Even at minor level, the likes of

Stephen O’Connor and Conor Carmichael are exceptionally good. “At U16, you have Eoin Donohoe, Brian Coombes, Alex Air, they are really good footballers. “But we need to get everyone’s attitude right, which is the most difficult thing in Drumalee. There are so many distractions for a town club. If it’s not soccer, it’s rugby or girls or video games or whatever. There is always something competing with football, whereas in country clubs it seems a little bit easier to keep them involved. “But we’re working as hard as can on it and we’re very hopeful.” Can’t say fairer than that.

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013 was a year which saw Munterconnacht maintain their Division Two status in the ACFL, but struggle to bring their best form into the junior championship. After his first year as club chairman, Declan Cooney is as positive as ever over ‘the Munchies’ future. Not many clubs bounce back from two county final defeats in-a-row, but over the past two seasons Munterconnacht have been demonstrating exactly what it takes to hold your own with some of the intermediate section’s regulars in Cavan club football. Defeats to in the junior championship finals of 2010 and 2011 to Swanlinbar and Shercock, respectively, derailed Munterconnacht’s prospects of ending the club’s long wait for intermediate status but last year saw ‘the Munchies’ gathering enough points to stay in Division Two and that was the mantra again for the club in 2013, according to chairman Declan Cooney. “We had two main objectives and they were to consolidate our position in Division Two, because it was only our second year in the division after a long time in Division Three, and then to make

an impact on the junior championship,” he explained. “I suppose you could say that we achieved the first but not the second. By the time we went out of the championship we had 15 points out of 15 games in the league, which was LTS U S enough to keep us safe but we E R 3 1 0 2 missed out on a semi-final place narrowly. We had mixed results JFC ught unterconna M throughout the year, but overall 0 -1 1 2 1-1 Templeport 0-9 2-13 Kill t h we’ve held our status and held it g u a n n o Munterc fairly comfortable in Division Two, 2 n io is iv D so that’s something we can build L ACF h Utd 0-10 Larag 1 -1 1 t on.” h g u a ls n Gae Munterconn -9 1-9 Cava 2 t h In 2013, Munterconnacht were g u a t n h n g onnau Munterco 0-5 Munterc 1 under the guidance of former -1 t 3 h g re u a ke Killin nterconn player Jim Gilsenan, who was 0-5 1-5 Mu n t a h fe g a u a rn n o C untercon M -7 0 h 1 g ably assisted by Austin O’Reilly -1 u 2 ilieboro Drung 0-7 0-18 Ba t h g t u h a g and Derek Howard as selectors, n u n a o n ntercon Munterc -10 1-7 Mu 3 t h ra and set out their stall for the start g d u n a a n n sh o Kille nterc 0-8 1-5 Mu gent u of the year with league safety tn n u o Laragh Utd M 1-9 aught 1-13 again the top priority before the afean rn o C 1 Munterconn -1 0 aught 1-9 aught championship rolled around at Munterconn Munterconn -4 2 4 -1 6 ls bar e a lin n G a the end of July. n w S va a 0 C 1-1 aught 1-10 aught n n The team would be without o rc te Munterconn n u 0-15 2-15 M rung the services of one of its best D -7 1 Swanlinbar -7 0 t augh ht Munterconn players in former county senior terconnaug n u M 1 -1 1 ht gh 1-11 John McCabe, who moved to terconnaug Bailieborou 3 1-10 Mun -1 2 2 t n -1 e 1 g u re ke in ill Mountn K 3 aught 0-1 eshandra Munterconn aught V Kill o rc Munte nn


John McCabe

Aberdeen for work, for some games in the ACFL Division Two, but nonetheless Gilsenan’s charges made a flying start to their league campaign by overcoming the challenges of junior champions Laragh United (1-11 to 010) and Cavan Gaels (2-9 to 1-9) in their first two games. While the winning trend would be hard kept throughout the campaign for Munterconnacht, two wins over Cornafean and a hard fought victory over Swanlinbar would see them into a decent position heading towards the championship, despite the loss of a few younger members of the squad to emigration for the summer. “We built up towards the championship surprisingly well,” said Cooney. “The last game we had before it started was a draw against Bailieborough, which was a good result considering we were shorthanded there as well. That was just five days before the championship started, so we were confident going into the first game (against Templeport).” Under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park,

munterconnacht designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:39 Page 2


Up against Kill in the championship, front l/r: Connor Cooney, Jack Gilsenan, Brendan O’Se, Brendan Plunkett, Peter Cullen, Mark Hetherton, Shane Reilly, Danny Nolan, Stephen Sheridan , Brian Cullen, Sean Hendrix, Stephen Keogan. Back: Paddy Shortt, Paddy Tuite, Mark Flynn, Terry McCabe, Jack Lawless, Pauric O’Dwyer, James Baugh, Mark Finnegan, Thomas Brady, John McCabe, James Hetherton, Niall McHugo

munterconnacht designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:39 Page 3



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On duty for the U16 final against Killygarry, front l/r: Jack Meehan, Stephen McCabe, Paddy Finnegan, Kenneth Fadoju, Dylan Donegan, James Cullen, Josh Reilly, Craig Daly, Ben Brunton, Cian O'Shea, Conor Meehan, Jack Brunton. Back: Keith Greene, Mattie Finnegan, Eoin O' Shea, Conor McCabe, Ciaran McCabe, Jordon Masterson, Paul Fagan, Adam Rehill, Rory Smith, Robert McCabe, Niall Yore, Conor Dunne, Aaron Brady, Emmett O' Connell, Philip Yore, Luke Lynch

Munterconnacht raced out of the traps for their JFC opener against Templeport to shoot themselves into a 1-2 to 0-2 lead after 14 minutes, with Mark Hetherton bagging the goal and Darragh Carroll and Stephen Sheridan sending over the early points. The Bawnboy men soon drew level,

John McCabe

but their opponents went on to own the closing stages of the half with more points from Sheridan, Carroll and Stephen Keogan to hold a 1-6 to 0-6 lead at half-time. John McCabe, who was introduced as an early substitute, was denied a second goal for Munterconnacht within

Thomas Brady

Danny Nolan

six minutes of the restart when his effort was cleared off the line by Templeport full-back Martin Ball, while midfielder Danny Nolan also could have raised a green flag but his effort was smashed into the side netting. The two missed chances let Templeport off the hook and they

John McCabe

The seniors that faced Templeport, front l/r: Brendan O Se , Nigel Sheridan, Peter Cullen, Stephen Sheridan, Mark Hetherton, Shane Reilly , Danny Nolan, James Baugh, Brendan Plunkett, Connor Finnegan , Mark Flynn. Back: Paddy Shortt, Jack Gilsenan, Darragh Carroll, Terry McCabe, Jack Lawless, Pauric O’Dwyer, Shane Roche, Connor Conney, Mark Finnegan, Stephen Keogan, James Hetherton, Niall McHugo , John McCabe


munterconnacht designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:39 Page 5

The squad that faced Laragh in the league, front l/r: James Baugh, Brendan Plunkett, Sean Nolan, Mark Hetherton, Peter Cullen, Danny Nolan, Jack Gilsenan, Sean Hendrix, Stephen Sheridan, Stephen Keogan. Back: John McCabe, Sean Meehan, Terry McCabe, Brendan O’Se, Paddy Shortt, Thomas Brady, Darragh Carroll, Connor Cooney, Niall McHugo, Pauric O’Dwyer, Connor Finnegan, Brian Cullen

Sean Hendrix

Aisling Matthews, Sean Nolan (Toureen Group) and Declan Cooney at the launch of the new fundraising initiative

gradually clawed their way back into contention with points from Liam Galligan before Ben Kiernan goaled six minutes from time to square the sides. The westerners continued their momentum until the very end, which saw them snatch a 1-12 to 1-10 victory and condemn Munterconnacht to an agonising defeat. Munterconnacht (JFC v Templeport): Shane Roache; James Baugh, Peter Cullen, Thomas Brady; Padraic O’Dwyer, Terry McCabe, Jack Lawless; Danny Nolan, Shane O’Reilly; Brendan Plunkett, Mark Hetherton (1-1), Brendan O’Shea; Stephen Keogan (0-1), Stephen Sheridan, Darragh Carroll (0-4, 3f). Subs: John McCabe (0-2) for B Cullen, Mark Finnegan for B Plunkett, James Baugh for T Brady (inj). The defeat left Gilsenan’s team needing a win from their remaining group game with Kill in order to be in with a chance of advancing to the knock-out stages but despite a strong first-half showing in Cootehill, Kill proved too strong for the Munchies as they advanced into the last four

Jackpot winner, l/r: Paddy Shortt, Aisling Matthews, Leo Tuite and Declan Cooney

against Shannon Gaels on a 2-13 to 0-9 score-line. “We were beaten by two points and in truth what made the difference for Templeport that day was that they just

Thomas Brady with Pauric O’Dwyer in support


finished the game stronger,” Cooney admitted. “We were well in it until that but they came strong in the last 10 minutes or so and that loss kind of knocked the stuffing out of us for the Kill game. We never performed to our ability against Kill, but as I said we would’ve been without five or six players whom would normally be first choice for both those games. We’d two in America and one lad in Australia along with those lads that were injured.” Injuries and emigration certainly didn’t help Munterconnacht’s cause throughout the championship but Cooney doesn’t use it as an excuse for the team’s shorting comings in the competition, with many other clubs experiencing the same problems. However, he does hope that next season will see Munterconnacht time their players’ absentees better, so as they can be at full strength when it matters most and perhaps even get back to a junior championship decider. “We’ll be hoping to build on our displays in the league from this year and we’ve John McCabe back now on

munterconnacht designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:39 Page 6

performances with a permanent basis the county team, it and Stephen would be judged on Sheridan as well, the basis of his which we’re performances with delighted to see,” his club. We’ve said the chairman. been publishing a “We also have a ‘Team of the Month’ few good young each month since players coming on March and it will be that got a bit of narrowed down to experience this 60 nominees and year with the senior there will be a Gala team and we’d be Dinner in the hoping that they Kilmore on can continue to November 2nd improve and where the 15 perform well for us At the launch of Breffni County Club All-Stars are l/r: Sean Nolan, Aisling Matthews, Declan Cooney, Tom Reilly, Noel McEnroe and David Hughes winners will be in years to come. announced and Stephen Keogan, Mick O’Dwyer is the James Hetherton, soon and the school have also just special guest at that.” Jack Lawless, Jack Gilsenan and opened a one wall facility with their Sean Hendrick are the ones that have In July, the club also partook in a gym which we were happy to support come through recently and they’re all number of different function to help them with. Hopefully in the future we’ll minor or Under 21s coming into the raise money for former player Jack have a few up and coming handballers senior team now.” Stanely, who suffers from a debilitating because there seems to be a very Munterconnacht’s future undoubtedly illness. good interest in it among both the looks bright and the club’s committee “We ran a number of functions at the adults and the youngsters. We took is out ensure that the facilities are end of July for a former player of ours, part in the Cumann na mBunscol there for all to use, even for the club’s Jack Stanely. He won junior and handball this year and last year, before handballers, whom have use of their intermediate championships with us the handball was even up and own allies since August last year. back in the ‘70s and ’80 and won a running.” “We’re constantly trying to improve senior championship with St Mary’s the facilities, the club house and the FUNDRAiSiNG STAYS STRONG (Castlerahan/Munterconnacht) in pitch,” said Cooney. “We were grant2013 saw the club undertake an 1976, but in recent years Jack has aided lotto money around the end of interesting fundraising initiative called been suffering from a debilitating last year and we’ve been working on the ‘The Breffni County All Stars’, illness and he needs 24-hour care. So the pitch with that. Our club room was which Cooney explained: we, in conjunction with some of the opened in August 2012 and it’s getting “It’s based on a player’s performance other local organisations, decided to great use. There are a number of in the league and championship so a run a number of fundraisers over a community activities going on there county player could be on it but it period of two weekends at the end of such as Irish dancing, aerobics and wouldn’t be on the basis of his July and we sold there’s handball and tickets, we had a racquetball facilities charity football now in the club as match, there was a well. tractor run, there “The handball has was a cycling event, taken off very well in a walking event, an the club. The auction and number handball allies there of other events that since August 2012 went very well.” and the whole thing He added: “At the got up and running end of it all, the Jack during the year. We Stanely support had a singles fund raised 15,000 tournament which euro which we were was won by one of delighted about our own players – because it was a Shane Roache. tremendous There will be a response from the Jim Gilsenan and Derek Howard doubles competition community.”


swanlinbar designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:42 Page 1




ortune evaded Swanlinbar in 2013, unravelling as a season which saw the club ravaged by injury. In their bid to make a mark on the intermediate championship, the St Mary’s men lost two county midfielders and a club stalwart that would hinder any team’s chances, according to PRO Padraig Gilheany. Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but for Swanlinbar 2013 was a year that certainly saw their luck desert them, with a depleted squad spoiling their chances of silverware. Swad had started their season in decent fashion, picking up a few early points in Division Two of the All County Football League, but by the time an intermediate championship quarterfinal with Ballyhaise rolled around Kevin and Sean Prior’s team would be minus the services of some salient talent which saw them facing an uphill battle to get past the last eight. Gearoid McKiernan, a name now known in GAA circles throughout the country, would be the first to fall. The powerhouse midfielder, who was set to be named Cavan senior captain for the upcoming All-Ireland SFC, did cruciate damage to his knee during a league game against Cornafean towards the end of April.


2013 RESU

IFC h Utd 6 0-9 Larag -1 1 r a uarter-final The extent of the injury would rule him Swanlinb llyhaise – q a B 5 -1 3 -9 0 out for the remainder of the season, Swanlinbar 2 leaving his club and county having to n io ACFL Divis ugent tn n u plan without him until 2014. o M -8 1-8 0 Swanlinbar inkere ill K While Cavan managed quite well, -9 2 8 -1 1 Swanlinbar illeshandra Swad’s league form would dip K -9 1 -4 1 r Swanlinba anlinbar without their talismanic midfielder 1-7 0-12 Sw ng Cornafean ru D -9 and the team would manage just one 0 -8 1 ar Swanlinbar 2 Swanlinb -1 win in the intermediate 1 3 -1 1 h g ar Bailieborou -8 Swanlinb championship, as club PRO Padraig 0 -9 0 ra d n Killesha Swanlinbar Gilheany explained. ls 3-7 0-14 Cavan Gae aragh Utd L 2 -1 “There was a lot of optimism 3 3 -1 1 ar Swanlinbar 1 Swanlinb -1 going in to this season,” he stated. 2 6 -1 2 linbar Killinkere 8 3-6 Swan “We had a good enough run the -1 3 t n r e a g b u Mountn 1-10 Swanlin t previous year and we started this aught 1-10 ugh Munterconn unterconna M 5 -1 year well enough but the biggest 2 5 -1 0 fean Swanlinbar 1-13 Corna 0 blow was losing Gearoid -1 0 r a b linbar Swanlin 9 0-7 Swan -1 McKiernan. We lost him in a 1 td U h g r Lara Swanlinba -6 3 2 league game against Cornafean -1 1 Drung aels V Cavan G Swanlinbar ro o b ugh 0-7 1-13 Bailie Swanlinbar


Padraig Leydon

and that was a huge blow to us. Since we lost him we won one match between the league and championship which says enough, I think.” Ironically, it would be a cousin of the Cavan star that joined him on the side lines just over a month later. “We lost Greg McGovern to a broken bone in his foot and he wasn’t just right for the Ulster minor championship game against Monaghan,” Gilheany explained. “He came on and did well, I thought, but he suffered because his fitness wasn’t great at that point and then he had another problem later on in the year with another broken bone in his foot which left him out for the championship for us. “So we lost two county midfielders for

swanlinbar designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:42 Page 2


The seniors on duty against Ballyhaise, front l/r: Liam Prior, Paul O’Brien, Paul Prior, Damian Leydon, Michael Cunningham, Robbie Prior, Rory McBarron, Joey O’Brien, Seamus Corrigan, Padraig McManus. Back: Mark Cunningham, John Joe McGovern, Paul McGovern, Michael Curran, Gerry Scollan, Stephen Prior, Padraig Leydon, Conor Walsh, Gavin Leydon, Paddy Reilly

swanlinbar designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:42 Page 3

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swanlinbar designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:42 Page 4

Representing the club against Bailieborough in the league, front l/r: Gavin Leydon, Paul Prior, John Joe McGovern, Joey O’Brien, Robbie Prior, Rory McBarron, Damian Leydon, Donal McGovern, Paddy Reilly, Michael Cunningham, Christopher Curran. Back: Gerry McAveety, Stephen Prior, Seamus Corrigan, Padraig Leydon, Greg McGovern, Paul McGovern, Gerry Scollan, Michael Curran, Conor Walsh, Paul O’Brien, Kevin Brennan, Gearoid McKiernan, Liam Prior

the championship and then we lost John Cunningham in the first round against Laragh to a cruciate knee ligament injury. So that really decimated our midfield altogether and in a small club like Swanlinbar you just can’t afford to be without those kind of players. A lot of young fellas had to be drafted in and it was great experience for them but they’d be only be out of minor and are still a bit young a light for that level.” McGovern, who turned 18 in June, had been a towering figure at centrefield for Swad and was in fine form in Cavan’s wins over Armagh and Fermanagh in the Ulster MFC. His loss was another bitter pill to swallow, but the team would be welcoming back both Michael Curran and former county minor Mark Cunningham from emigration to shore up the squad ahead of the intermediate

Robbie Prior

championship. Despite the competition’s start being delayed due to Cavan’s progression to the last eight of the All-Ireland series, Swad would see neither of their two long-term injuries back by mid-August and opened their championship campaign against junior champions Laragh United. “We played Laragh in the first round and went in with a bit of nerves because they had beaten us twice in the league, but there was a lot of work put in and turned in a great performance,” said the PRO. “That was the game we lost John Cunningham in about 20 minutes in, but Michael Curran played a stormer for us at midfield after he went off and we beat Laragh which was enough for us to retain our intermediate status and put us through to a quarter-final against Ballyhaise.”

Seamus Corrigan

Michael Curran


Swad’s five-star display on the day saw them overcome the Stradone men on a somewhat emphatic 1-16 to 0-9 score-line and advance into the last eight of the Cavan IFC. While the performance was an impressive one from the St Mary’s men, the full effects of their midfield duo’s absence had yet to be felt and the team knew that they’d have a battle on their hands when they met Division 1B side Ballyhaise in the quarter-finals at Kingspan Breffni Park. Swad would be going in as underdogs, minus John Cunningham from the win over Laragh, while an injury would only see speedy wing forward Chrissy Curran start on the bench. Ballyhaise’s comfortable half-time lead would have a lot to do with the fact that their opponents failed to show up for the first-half, with Michael

Rory McBarron

swanlinbar designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:42 Page 5

chance against any team. We’re Cunningham’s opening point after 42 not like Dublin. We have a small seconds not being added two until pick and losing your best players another 26 minutes. That would see has a significant impact which Swad trailing by 2-7 to 0-3 at halfshowed this year.” time and their management deciding The club’s junior league and to re-jig their team for the secondchampionship success of 2010 saw half. McKiernan and Cunningham Robbie Prior and substitute Chrissy playing crucial roles in what was a Curran added to their tally early on in historic ‘double ‘ for the club, while the restart before Michael McGovern’s recent arrival has only Cunningham lashed over two scores bolstered the senior team and you to try and take some tarnish off the can expect their returns to pay score-board for the westerners. It dividends for Swad next season. made little difference though as McKiernan, in particular, will be Ballyhaise plundered in a third goal one to watch for many in 2014. ahead of Michael and Mark Talented and determined, the 6ft 3 Cunningham adding to their personal midfielder is a leader for both club tallies, seeing Swad bow out of the and county, having helped Swad to championship on a 3-15 to 0-9 scorelong-awaited promotion three years line which surely wouldn’t have been ago before captaining Cavan to an as lop-sided had they had a full Ulster U21 championship title and squad available to them. All-Ireland final at Croke Park in Swanlinbar (IFC quarter-final v 2011. Since then, he has been a Ballyhaise): Gerry Scollan; Joey Greg McGovern permanent fixture on the Cavan O’Brien, Padraig Leydon, Paul senior team, while also O’Brien; Damien Leydon, Paul representing Ulster, whom he won McGovern, John Joe McGovern; an Inter-Provincial medal with at the Michael Curran, Michael Cunninghan end of 2012. (0-4, 1f); Paul Prior, Rory McBarron, Back in 2009, McKiernan suffered Conor Walsh (0-1); Padraig a similar injury to the one he McManus, Mark Cunningham (0-2, endured this past April in a junior 1f), Robbie Prior (0-1, 1f). Subs: championship clash with Cavan Seamus Corrigan for J O’Brien, Gaels. Many at the time felt that the Chrissy Curran (0-1) for P O’Brien, then 19-year-old Cavan senior Gavin Leydon for Paul McGovern, panellist would never be the same Stephen Prior for Paul Prior, Liam player again after the injury but four Prior for Padraig McManus. years on McKiernan has been “It was just a bad day at the office. proving the doubters wrong as a We were just outclassed really and leading light in a new generation of had no answer to Ballyhaise’s power Cavan footballers has come or pace. We just weren’t at the races through the ranks. and they played exceptionally well,” There’s no doubt that he’ll be Gilheany admitted. capable of doing the same again, The defeat was a disappointing end with a return to action projected to Swad’s season and one that next February which will be meant the only piece of silverware welcome news for every gael in that the club had to savour for 2013 Cavan, especially out west in was a Ladies Under 14 title won in Gerry Scollan Swanlinbar. June. The young St Mary’s women did the club proud when they overcame Belturbet’s challenge in the league final at Best Wishes To Swanlinbar GAA In 2014 From Kingspan Breffni Park 3G. Elsewhere, Swad were progressive at juvenile level in 2013, again joining with their neighbours for Dernacrieve Gaels, but missed out on trophies and Gilheaney is still confident that the club is moving in the right direction and knows that the accountancy services right ingredients are there for success to come in the future. PREPARATION OF ACCOUNTS “We’ll be hoping to have Gearoid, Greg and John back and SUBMISSION OF INCOME TAX, VAT & PAYE RETURNS fit for us next year because they are three players that you GRANT APPLICATIONS AND ALL SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES badly need if you want to win anything,” he stated. “I mean no club in Cavan could do without them and First Consultation Free especially a small club like us. If we can get them all back and Contact 049 9521044 or 087 2848665 fit it will be a huge boost for next season and maybe if we FOR AN APPOINTMENT could get a good start things will turn around. But you need Unit 1 Erne Business Park, Swanlinbar, Co. Cavan your best players and with those three fit you always have a

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t was a case of so close, yet so far for Maghera MacFinns in 2013 as they missed out narrowly in their first two junior championship outings before falling to an in-form Arva side. Former underage star Damien Sheridan took over the reins midway through their season to help show they “were capable of competing”. It came down to “two kicks of a ball”, according to Damien Sheridan, but for Maghera MacFinns 2013 will be viewed as another season where some strides were made but their objectives in the junior championship fell short in the end. Maghera started the year under the guidance of Gowna man Sean Pearson, but changed management midway through their ACFL Division Three campaign which saw Sheridan returning to the club he played with as a promising minor, winning junior and intermediate championship titles along with a Ulster minor championship with Cavan in 1974. To say that the Meath-based man knows how to win would be

somewhat of an understatement. Along with his honours with Maghera, Sheridan also collected a senior championship with Ramor United LTS (Virginia/Maghera) in 1974, a Leinster 2013 RESU MFC with Meath the following year JFC before helping Navan O’Mahonys to inns aghera MacF s M 0 five senior championships in the Royal -1 0 0 -1 n MacFin Kildallan 1 2 Maghera County. During a 10-year stint in -1 2 -7 5 s h n acFin Corloug England, he won three senior titles with Maghera M -5 0 1 -2 3 a Arv John Mitchells of Warwickshire and a ion 3 Great Britain Club Championship in s n ACFL Divis in MacF -3 Maghera 1988. 2 3 -1 2 e ck g o d rc Butlersbri 3-15 She -3 0 As a manager, Sheridan continued s n in acF inns Maghera M aghera MacF M the winning trend, guiding -7 1 6 -1 2 Kill Knockbride ns 1-4 2-13 Seneschalstown to Meath SFC titles in in cF a h M g u ra e Magh Ballymach 2 -1 1 2007 and 2009, while his sons Joe and -6 0 s acFinn MacFinns Maghera M ra e h g Damien have been past regulars for a M -4 pleport Arva 3-17 0 -5 1-11 Tem club and county. 1 s n in cF a s n Maghera M era MacFin When Maghera chairman Jim Brady 6 0-4 Magh ugh o rl o C Kildallan 2-1 -8 3 3 -1 came calling Sheridan simply could 1 s n in acF ride Maghera M 0-9 Knockb not resist, as he explained: -7 0 s n in e acF bridg Maghera M 2-13 Butlers “It was tugging on my heart-strings -4 0 s n in cF a acFinns Maghera M Maghera M d to come back after playing with inns – not playe Kill 0-14 0-2 cF a M Maghera in the 1970s and once Jim ra e h g a n aels v M 2-10 Kildalla Shannon G rang me I couldn’t say no. It was kind -7 3 s n in cF ls a non Gae n a h Maghera M S of spooky because when I met the -9 5 ns acFinns 2-9 era MacFin h g Maghera M a players I realised that I’d known all M -5 0 d gh 4-15 a – not playe Ballymachu their fathers from playing with them, rv A v s n in acF layed Maghera M inns - not p so there was some of them that I cF a M ra e d h g Ma s - not playe n in Corlough v cF a M d Maghera s - not playe Shercock V ra MacFinn e h g a M V Templeport


Seamus Cahill

didn’t even have to ask their names.” Having met with the sons of some of his past team mates, Sheridan set them a straightforward goal with the summer fast-approaching. With things having not gone to plan in the league, victory over Kildallan in the first round of the junior championship would be what Sheridan’s training sessions would be geared towards from May until the end of July. However, with Cavan having a welcome extended run in the AllIreland SFC, things would not run so smoothly for Maghera in the build-up to their meeting with the Ballyconnell outfit. “We were focused on the championship, but to be given four days’ notice over a game was disappointing,” Sheridan stated. “We had put in a lot of hard work in the months building up to the game and then to have it in the middle of lads’ holidays it was just something I couldn’t understand. We barely fielded a team, with 17 players, and it was frustrating because the first round of the championship is always crucial for a team like Maghera.”

maghera designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:52 Page 2

Lining out in the U16 final against Killygarry, front l/r: Jack Meehan, Stephen McCabe, Paddy Finnegan, Kenneth Fadajou, Dylan Donnegan, James Cullen, Josh Reilly, Craig Daly, Ben Brunton, Cian O’Shea, Conor Meehan, Jack Brunton. Back: Keith Greene (manager), Mattie Finnegan, Eoin O’Shea, Conor McCabe, Ciaran McCabe, Jordan Masterson, Paul Fagan, Adam Rehill, Rory Smith, Robert McCabe, Niall Yore, Conor Dunne, Aaron Brady, Emmett O’Connell, Philip Yore, Luke Lynch

In the end, only a goal separated Kildallan and a depleted Maghera outfit, as the First Ulsters came through 1-10 to 0-10 winners to move on to the next round, leaving Sheridan’s team needing a win over Corlough to keep their championship hopes alive. “A lot of it comes down to confidence and they were unfortunate not to beat Kildallan. In, fairness we lost the game by three points with only 17 players,”

Adam O’Reilly

Sheridan explained. “It was a strange time to play the game – the day before the CavanKerry game at Croke Park? The club tried to get it changed but they said it had to be played and in the end we only had 17 players for it with lads away and on holidays. “Against Corlough we were six points up, but then we gave a way a few goals and were only five points down. We

Joey Hanley

Brian Mc Hugh

came back at them and were unfortunate to lose out in the end.” The 5-7 to 2-12 score-line would say plenty about Maghera’s performance against Corlough, with their leakage of goals proving their undoing against the west Cavan men. Corlough were wind aided in the first half against Maghera but it was more than the elements which underpinned their dominancy in the opening moiety.

Jason Fitzsimons

On league duty against Templeport, front l/r: Seamus Cahill, Sam Dowds, Darragh Brady, Shane McHugh, Raymond Brady, James Brady, Stephen Smith. Back: Declan Brady, Jason Fitzsimons, Pauric Baugh, Adam O’Reilly, Brian McHugh, John Mc Connell, Paddy Tobin, Brian Duffy, Joey Hanley, Eddie Byrne


maghera designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:52 Page 3


Up against Corlough in the JFC, front l/r: James Brady, Seamus Cahill, Aaron Brady, Kevin Lynch, Stephen Smith, Joey Hanley, Pauric Baugh, Martin McGrath. Back: Sam Dowds, Sean O’Connell, Brian Duffy, Paddy Tobin, Andrew Brady, John McConnell, Jason Fitzsimons, Eddie Moore, Adam O’Reilly, Darragh Brady, Brian McHugh

maghera designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 19:53 Page 4




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Damien Sheridan

More to the point, Corlough's clinical nature in front of goal was a joy to behold and it was this facet of their play which was most responsible for fashioning a significant 4-4 to 1-8 interval lead. Despite out-scoring their opponents in the first half, Maghera were left shellshocked by the blitz on their goal. The MacFinns looked very much in their comfort zone in the opening quarter as they led Corlough a merry dance. Points from Brian McHugh (two), Jason Fitzsimons and Adam O'Reilly (two) helped forge a promising 0-6 to 0-0 lead for the Meath border side after just eight minutes. However, Maghera were to prove less than leak proof at the other end of the field and a Ryan Maher goal (16) for Corlough hinted as much. Moments later Darren McTaggart notched Corlough's opening point before Derek Kelleher finished a superb move to the net to propel the green and whites into a shock 2-1 to 0-6 lead. For all Corlough's sharpness at the business end of the pitch, Maghera still seemed to remain on course for victory when they followed up with points from Joe Hanley and Brian McHugh (free) after 19 minutes. Corlough had yet another goal in their locker though; this time Padraig McGovern firing home from the penalty spot after Ciaran Dolan was fouled. Just two minutes later, the would-be winners hit the jackpot again with another Maher goal (24) adding to the pressure on  Maghera. Maghera brought a frenetic first half to a conclusion. They  had the better of the third quarter exchanges and points from Adam O'Reilly and Paddy Tobin asked further questions of the Corlough lads. But with Darren McTaggart helping

Paddy Tobin

Seamus Cahill

himself to a hat-trick of points, Corlough succeeded in keeping their noses in front. The remainder of the match was a much more claustrophobic affair and it wasn't until three minutes from time that the critical score came about. Maghera looked on the cusp of notching a vital score but in moving up the field, they were dispossessed and when the ball landed in Martin Cassidy's hands, the Corlough number 11 made no mistake in cracking home his side's fifth goal. Maghera battled gamely to the last to drag the fat from the fire and even though Adam O'Reilly banged home a goal on the hour mark, it wasn't enough to de-rail Corlough's ambitions. Maghera (JFC v Corlough): John McConnell; Stephen Smith (0-1), Declan Brady, Brian Duffy; Kevin Lynch, Seamus Cahill, Padraig Baugh; Andy Brady, Jason Fitzsimons (0-1); Brian McHugh (1-3), Eddie Moore, Joseph Hanley (0-2); Paddy Tobin (02), Martin McGrath, Adam O'Reilly (13). Subs: James Brady for D Brady; Sean O'Connell for J Fitzsimons; Sam Dowds for M McGrath. Sheridan’s analysis of Maghera’s two defeats was straightforward: “Those two games were easily winnable. It would’ve given us confidence instead of going into the Arva game on the back of two defeats. Two kicks of a ball made a huge difference, because belief is a big thing and you need that of you want to get into a winning habit.” A heavy defeat to Arva spelled the end of Maghera’s involvement in the junior championship for 2013, but the campaign as a whole showed that the Meath border club weren’t punching above their weight. The word Sheridan chose to use was “capable” when it came to describing


Pauric Baugh

Maghera’s potential in the third tier. “We showed we were capable of competing in the two games against Kildallan and Corlough. We showed spirit and character and were just unfortunate to come out on the wrong side of results both times,” said Sheridan. “Had we beaten Kildallan we probably would’ve won against Corlough, but the first game really knocked the stuffing out of us. It’s like someone waved a wand and ruined three months of hard work and I’m not blaming the Cavan county board, it’s just that I feel it was the wrong time to have your first championship game.” Come next season, Maghera will not be dwelling on past shortcomings and Sheridan says that it will come down to belief if the club are to continue improving to the point where they’re able to challenge. Between promising young players and the constant endeavours of the club’s officers, Sheridan believes the future of Maghera is in safe hands. “The club have to believe that they are capable of competing and keep bringing in younger player to blend in with the senior team,” he stated. “They proved that they were capable when they put the shoulder to the wheel against Kildallan and that they can perform. “Adam Reilly is a very good minor at wing forward and John O’Connell is an excellent goalkeeper. Sam Dowds and Kevin O’Connell are promising young players as well and if they are to be the future of Maghera then Maghera are in safe hands.” He added: “Olga Brady is club secretary and she does Trojan work along with Jim Brady the chairman. She really is the heartbeat of the club.”

corlough designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 20:31 Page 1




first glance at results may suggest that Corlough endured a tough 2013 campaign, but when you talk to PRO Gerry Prior he leaves you with a different take on how things went for the west Cavan club this past season. A look back on Corlough’s record in the ACFL Division Three and Junior Football Championship over the last few months may not be too favourable, but in the latter competition the results showed that the St Patrick’s club more than held their own when coming up against two of the three teams in their group before exiting the competition on mere score difference. Having served as Corlough’s PRO for the best part of the decade now, devoted clubman Gerry Prior knows strides being made when he sees them and believes that a flow of underage talent coming through could see them improve their position in years to come and finally get themselves out of Cavan’s bottom division. The club approached 2013 with the idea of trying to gather some momentum ahead of the junior

championship, when they’d be playing an inform Arva side in the first round, but it wasn’t until the second day out that S Corlough would have any joy, as Prior T L 2013 RESU explained. “We had a few lads coming in from JFC minor and we were hoping to do h g u -4 Corlo ns in Arva 5-20 1 cF a reasonably well in the league and M ra e gh -7 2-12 Ma n progress in the championship. That was lla a Corlough 5 ild K -8 -8 3 Corlough 3 the main idea, but unfortunately it just didn’t happen the way we wanted it to,” ion 3 ACFL Divis he stated ill K 2 -1 2 -6 Corlough 1 rlough “In the championship, we were in the o C -6 1 6 -1 aels 3 h g u ch division with Arva, Kildallan and a Shannon G m -3 2-15 Bally h Maghera. Arva beat us very well. g Corlough 3 u o rl o C -1 Arva 4-11 1 They’re a very strong team. We beat leport p m Te -5 0 -12 Corlough 2 Maghera and got a draw with Kildallan, ough -12 0-3 Corl 4 n lla a e ild g d K ri b which wasn’t good enough because of rs tle u -8 0-16 B ugh Corlough 0 score difference so Kildallan went on o rl o C -6 1 -15 Shercock 1 to a play-off with Cornafean instead of ckbride o n K 3 -1 3 -8 ough rl o Corlough 0 C us. All we needed was one point in the -8 3 3 acFinns 1-1 ough rl last five minutes, but that didn’t come o C Maghera M -5 0 3 gh 4-1 Ballymachu gh and the score difference put us out of u o rl o C 2 -1 Kill 1-16 0 a rv it.” A 4 -15 2-1 Corlough 0 gh u o Under the guidance of locals rl o C 1 -1 1-7 0 Templeport ot played Brendan Dolan, Patrick Martin and n – h g u o rl v Co ock Ciaran Cafferky, Corlough Knockbride -7 2-8 Sherc ugh Corlough 1 o rl o approached the junior C -6 2 e 2-13 Butlersbridg allan championship in hopes of making it ild K 5 -1 1 5 -1 Corlough 0 n Gaels into a crusade, despite going in as -15 Shanno 1 -8 1 h g u o ot played n Corl s n in cF a Maghera M Corlough V


Shane McGovern

complete underdogs against Ciaran Brady’s Arva. What would be a real hindrance to Corlough for the game was the fact that they’d be without one of their top players in Brendan McGovern. McGovern, whom Corlough relied on so often in the past for scores, had been deployed at centrehalf back by the new management team in 2013 and was again one of their top performers, influencing games in a more central role for them. However, midway through their season, McGovern would suffer a knee injury that robbed the club of one of its best players for the rest of the season, leaving the players to put their shoulder to the wheel in his absence. When they met Arva in early August they’d be overwhelmed in Killeshandra, where the concession of five goals proved their undoing, but the next day out the team would put a five-star display (literally) to offer their supporters some encouragement going into the last group game. Against Maghera, Corlough registered four first-half goals to build the platform for their first junior championship victory in two seasons, but it was by no means

corlough designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 20:31 Page 2


In championship action, front l/r: Derek Kelleher, Darren Dolan, Michael Dolan, Ronan Kelleher (vice-captain), Darren McTaggart, Paul Cassidy, Kyle Doonan, Joseph Prior, Peter Prior. Back: Raymond McGovern, Brian Cassidy, Alan Wright, Cian Feehan, Martin Cassidy, Kieran Dolan, Damian McGovern, Shane McGovern, Pauric McGovern, Eoghan McGovern, Barry Wright, Ryan Maher, Noel Maguire

corlough designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 20:31 Page 3

a breeze for the west Cavan men. The MacFinns looked very much in their comfort zone in the opening quarter points from Brian McHugh, Jason Fitzsimons and Adam O'Reilly helped them forge a promising 0-6 to 0-0 lead after just eight minutes. However, when youngster Ryan Maher netted the game’s first goal soon afterwards Maghera’s floodgates began to open. Darren McTaggart notched Corlough's opening point soon after and when Derek Kelleher finished a superb move to the net, the green and whites were propelled into a shock 2-1 to 06 lead. Joe Hanley and Brian McHugh (free) hit back with points for Maghera but their opponents soon had the ball in the net again after Ciaran Dolan had been dragged down and Padraig McGovern slotted n the resultant penalty. Just two minutes later, the would-be winners hit the jackpot again with another Maher goal in the 24th minute to leave the score-line reading 44 to 1-8 in their favour at the interval. Maghera resumed well in the secondhalf but with Darren McTaggart helping himself to a hat-trick of points, Corlough succeeded in keeping their noses in front. The Meath border men look did come close to grabbing a vital score but in moving up the field, they were dispossessed and when the ball landed in Martin Cassidy's hands, the  Corlough  number 11 made no mistake in cracking home his side's fifth goal. Maghera battled hard in the closing stages and even though Adam O'Reilly banged home a goal on the hour mark, it wasn't enough to derail Corlough from their first JFC win since 2011 on a 5-7 to 2-12 score-line. Corlough (JFC v Maghera): Shane McGovern; Barry Wright, Alan Wright, Eoghan McGovern; Damien McGovern

On duty for the ACFL Division 3 league were, front l/r: Paul Cassidy, Martin Cassidy, Michael Dolan, Joseph Prior, Brendan McGovern (captain), Kyle Doonan, Joseph Dolan, Raymond McGovern. Back: Brian Cassidy, Ronan Kelleher, Ryan Maher, Damian McGovern, Shane McGovern, Pauric McGovern, Mark McGovern, Donal McTaggart, Alan Wright

(0-1), Michael Dolan, Paul Cassidy (0-1); Joseph Dolan, Padraig McGovern (1-0); Derek Kelleher (1-0), Martin Cassidy (10), Darren McTaggart (0-4); Ryan Maher (2-1), Ronan Kelleher, Ciaran Dolan. Subs: Peter Prior for C Dolan (inj); Raymond McGovern for D McGovern (inj); Cian Feehan for B Wright (inj). The win left Corlough needing a similar result from their remaining group game against Kildallan in order to advance into a play-off with Cornafean for a place in the semi-finals. Played in Blacklion, Corlough recovered from a poor start which saw them trail by 2-4 to 0-4 at half-time to claw their way back into contention with a dramatic start to the second-half which saw them netting two goals in as many minutes. Padraig McGovern and Ryan Maher provided the assists to centreforward Martin Cassidy, who smashed home both goals to level the sides. Through Darragh McGovern, Kildallan regained their lead and pushed it up to

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four points in the final quarter but, in typical fashion, Corlough dug deep in the closing stages and refused to let their neighbours run away with the game as a well-struck free from Darren McTaggart was backed up by a late goal from Cassidy to complete his hat-trick and earn a draw (3-8 apiece) for Corlough at the end of a fine contest. Despite the spirited display, the point would not be enough to see Corlough through to a meeting with Cornafean, whom comfortably defeated Kildallan to march into the last four against Arva. “When the championship comes around you have to be ready and if we’d have been better tuned in that day against Kildallan we could have beaten them,” Prior assed. “Darren Dolan and Derek Kellegher deserve a special mention because they were coming over from Scotland to play games. They were coming over on the boat on Friday night and home for games in the early hours of Saturday

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corlough designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 20:36 Page 4

Damian McGovern

morning and they’d go back on the Sunday night. We also have lads coming home from Kildare and Killarney to play games, so the commitment is definitely there it’s just that the team needs a breakthrough of players coming through and hopefully in the next few years we’ll have that. “Darren McTaggart, Brian Cassidy, Noel Maguire, Brian McVeety and Ryan Maher have all come into the senior team recently and hopefully there’s plenty more like them to come. The problem is though is that you just don’t know where they’re going to be when they’re finished college, keeping them in the country is the problem nowadays.”

taste championship success in 2012, while this past September saw Dernacrieve Gaels defeated by Mullahoran a minor championship final. 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS In October, Corlough GAA celebrated their 50th year anniversary in style with a hugely successful dinner dance in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell. The original Corlough club started back in 1904 and stopped and started along the way before eventually coming to a complete halt in 1952. It reformed again in 1963 when an AGM in February was held in Tonaglee Hall, where P

Eoghan Murphy and Pat Martin

Martin Cassidy

Ronan Kelleher

Brendan McGovern

Joseph Prior

Ronan Kelleher

Barry Wright

A first championship win in two seasons wasn’t the worst way to mark Corlough’s 50th anniversary since the club’s reformation, but Prior is hoping that in years to come the team will be playing at Kingspan Breffni Park in the business end of the season with silverware on the line. “Looking at next year, we’re just going to try and better ourselves on the year before and try and get a bit of a run together in the championship. It would be great for this club to get to win a championship or get to a championship final, and look at…all you can do is do your best,” he stated. At underage level, Prior believes the club is in good health with their Under 12s having joined Swanlinbar to

McGovern (Chairman), Gene McGovern and Hugh McGovern (Treasurer) were all elected. Celebrations for the weekend kicked off with a table quiz on Friday night and on Saturday an Under 10 exhibition game took place at the club’s excellent facilities between Dernacrieve and Templeport for the Pat McHugh Cup. The game was followed by the Padraig McHugh Cup final Dernacrieve and Kildallan after which a plaque was unveiled in honour of all the deceased members of the club. Former players of the club came from all over Ireland and some from England to attend the dinner that night.


Derek Kelleher

Paul Cassidy

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rom punching with the heavy weights to competing in the third tier, the last decade or so has saw Knockbride fall from top to bottom divisions in the league and championship and 2013 was another test of their resolve. It may seem like an eternity now for many of the club’s supporters, but when Knockbride ended their 2010 season on an emphatic high by capturing the ACFL Division Two title it looked as though things were taking a turn for the better for the Canningstown men. Larry Reilly and John Tierney had played huge roles in upsetting the odds to defeat beaten intermediate championship finalists Drumlane in Redhills that day, but with some tasty talent coming through as well, the future of the club looked it decent shape. Having reached the IFC semifinal, where they’d lose out to eventual winners Drumalee, promotion looked like more of an objective for Knockbride as they entered the 2011 campaign Division Two champions. However, since then things have managed to take a

Brendan Carolan

turn for the worst, with retirements and emigration hitting the club hard these last few years. Relegation to ACFL Division Three and the junior championship have been part of the S T L 2013 RESU consequences and John Clarke, for one, believes that things are likely to JFC n a stay the same for a while before fe a rn 2-8 2-18 Co ls e a G Knockbride can make a legitimate n Knockbride o n n ha 0-12 2-11 S push to get out of the county’s Knockbride basement division. 3 n io is ns ACFL Div in cF a M “Things will probably stay as bad as ra aghe 2-16 1-7 M a they are before they get better,” rv A Knockbride -8 3 1-10 Knockbride e d Knockbride’s PRO admitted. ri b ck o n K 1 Kill 3-20 1-1 ckbride “There’s good enough underage o n K -3 0 3 1-1 Templeport allan teams coming through and we’ve to 4-6 3-4 Kild Knockbride ride b ck look at that too, but the truth is that o n K 3 -8 3-1 Corlough 0 ckbride o we’re a small rural parish and I n K 0 -1 0 -7 Shercock 1 tlersbridge suppose we would have been u B -6 1 3 -1 0 bride ck o n Knockbride K -9 punching above our weight for a lot 0 acFinns 0-7 rcock e h Maghera M S of those years that we were up 3 -1 2 0-7 Knockbride Knockbride senior and in Division One.” -6 1 5 -1 1 gh Ballymachu 2-18 Kill Knockbride starting 2013 in -6 1 e d ri b Knock ckbride o n K 0 -1 Division Three would be hard for 0 aels 4-9 yed Shannon G ls – not pla e a any Breffni supporter living G n o n n v Sha h Knockbride allymachug B abroad/out of the loop to grasp, -9 1 -5 0 Knockbride Knockbride but if you take stock of some of -8 2 5 -1 2 a Arv bride the talents that the club has lost 4 2-9 Knock Kildallan 1-1 ough - not played recently, you wouldn’t be all that rl o C V played Knockbride leport - not p m Te V d e ye Knockbrid ride - not pla e V Knockb Butlersbridg


surprised. Peter Reilly and Larry Reilly – two rare talents and outstanding servants to both club and county -have called it a day, while John Tierney, one of Cavan’s most promising underage players and a midfield star for Knockbride for over a decade, emigrated along with club stalwart David Traynor. It saw the nucleus of the Division Two winning side from 2010 shattered, leaving them with an uphill battle which eventually sloped to relegation. Needless to say, when the club set out their stall for 2013 there was only one thing on their minds, however they were also realistic in their expectations following the recent loss of Tierney and Traynor to Australia. “We wanted to finish high in Division Three but as it turned out the teams that finished top were way ahead of us,” said Clarke. “We’ve had a few players to emigrate, like David Traynor and John Tierney, who are both in Australia, but we were no worse hit by emigration than any other club, it’s just that there haven’t been the same

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Representing the club at senior level, front l/r: Rory Traynor, Ryan Rogers, Ciaran McCabe, Raymond O’Brien, Adrian Carroll, Mark Magee, Sean Rogers, Raphael Rogers, Brendan Carolan, Larry Maguire, Eamon Carolan, Patrick Smith. Back: Niall O’Reilly, Finbar Carolan, Ciaran Lynch, Kevin Traynor, Damien Carroll, Kevin McCabe, Michael Clarke, Adam Traynor, Stephen Tormey, Patrick Carolan, Niall McCabe, Peter O’Reilly

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The Jubilant U16 Division 2 Championship winning team with mascots and team managers Michael Donohoe and Larry Reilly

amount of players coming through.” Under the managership of Peter Smith and Eamon McEnroe (Kill), Knockbride headed into a gruelling ACFL Division Three battle which featured home and away fixtures, meaning they’d have to make the most of 20 games to try and clinch promotion. Heavy defeats to Kill and Templeport in the early rounds would set the tone for a tough league campaign, but wins against Corlough (3-13 to 0-8) and Butlersbridge (0-13 to 1-6) helped provide a much needed boost as the first round of the junior

championship edged closer. The Canningstown men sat mid-table in Division Three, with as many wins as defeats, before heading into their championship opener with Cornafean in early August. The Reds had been competing at a higher grade in Division Two of the ACFL all season long and it was anticipated that they’d come through their Group C opener with ease. In the end, however, they were pushed all the way by the underdogs as two goals kept Knockbride in contention until the final quarter when

Cornafean pulled away for a 2-18 to 28 victory which flattered them the time full-time whistle sounded at Our Lady of Lourdes Park in Mullahoran. The defeat left Knockbride needing a win over Shannon Gaels in order to have any chance of qualifying for the latter stages of the competition. The Blacklion men had recently welcomed back some of their star players from injury and emigration and we moving well in their bid for the Sean Leddy Cup. When the two teams met at First Ulsters Park in Ballyconnell,

The U16 championship winners, front l/r: Matthew Traynor, Niall McCabe, Callum Clarke, Ciaran Smith, Roy Donohoe, Declan Nulty, Conor Smith, Sean Cosgrove, JJ Traynor. Back: Stephen Maguire, Conor Smith, Dylan Clarke, Patrick Rogers, Aaron Cundelan, Jordan McCabe, James Lynch, David Rogers, Ben Lynch, Philip Rogers, Cian Carolan


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Roy Donohoe lifts the U16 cup for Knockbride 

Man of the Match in the U16 championship final Jordan McCabe

Declan Nulty

Knockbride made all the right strides early on in the game to take an early lead but the west Cavan men soon took command with a goal which knocked the stuffing out of their opponents. In the second-half, the Gaels goaled again and it left Knockbride with a mountain to climb and, to their credit, they fought until the bitter end which saw the game finish 211 to 0-12 in the westerners’ favour. “We played Cornafean first in Mullahoran and we were well enough beaten in the end, even though we were only down by a point at half-time,” Clarke explained. “A lot of the lads playing at the moment are fairly young and they wouldn’t have the physical presence when coming up against teams like Cornafean.” “Against Shannon Gaels we simply weren’t at the races. They had a lot of key players that had just come back for them and they were just too strong for us all over the pitch. Hopefully next year we can make an improvement on how we performed in the championship, but this year we just weren’t good enough.” The pair of defeats ended Knockbride’s aspirations for the 2013 Cavan JFC, while their league safety was secured and a top four finish out of reach. Looking back at the campaign, Clarke knows that there’s plenty of work to be done in the club in order for it to get back competing at the top level and he is hopeful of further progress in both league and championship. “Next year will be a whole new season and it’ll give us the chance to improve on our performances,” he

Eamon Carolan

Adam Traynor


said. “Knockbride, like a lot of clubs across the country, are struggling at the moment but you have to look at it in a positive way and say that things can only improve. Hopefully, it will be soon rather than later for us.”

U16S TAKE DiV 2 hONOURS In September, Knockbride’s Under 16 footballers did the club proud when the finished with a flourish to defeat Blackwater Gaels in the Division Two Championship final at Kingspan Breffni Park. Up against stiff opposition in the form of the Maghera/Munterconnacht amalgamation, Knockbride kept with their opponents in the opening stage which saw the game level at 0-4 each after 21 minutes, with Stephen Maguire and Aaron Cundelan notching points for the young Canningstown men. Blackwater got their noses in front at half-time (0-7 to 0-6), but could have been behind had goalkeeper Niall Yore not intercepted a ball to prevent Cundelan from hitting the net in the 17th minute. Instead it was the Gaels that would extend their lead to two points by the 36th minute before another fine save from Yore denied Cundelan the net for the second time. With just over 10 minutes to go, the signs looked ominous for Knockbride with things falling their opponents’ way until Cundelan was presented with a chance which he tucked away superbly. After that, the would-be winners were ignited and points from Maguire Cundelan and Jordan McCabe saw them move their tally up to 1-14 for the night.

Eamon McEnroe

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Eamon Carolan

Raymond O Brien (on the ground) with support from Stephen Tormey

Raphael Rogers

women showed some good early form Subs: Calum Clarke, Patrick Rogers. With Sean Cosgrove, Declan Nulty but would eventually fall to a narrow 2and David Rogers airtight in defence, and Jordan McCabe sublime at centre10 to 1-10 defeat at the hands of Lavey LADiES STiLL gOiNg STRONg field, there was no far of Knockbride at the quarter-final stage. With only the After capturing the intermediate conceding a goal late on in the game league left to play for by October, championship in 2012, Knockbride and they held out for coveted six-point Knockbride had the opportunity of a ladies continued their rich form in the victory which saw team captain Roy Division One semi-final place quashed early part of 2013 when they won the Donohoe collecting the cup on the by senior champions Lurgan which Division One 9-a-side league title with club’s behalf, while midfielder McCabe saw them finish just outside the top victory over Lurgan. Played in early deservedly collected the ‘Man of the four. April at the New Inns in Lavey, Match’ award. At underage level, Lurgan again Knockbride outgunned one of the Elsewhere in the juvenile scene for proved to be a thorn in Knockbride’s county’s top teams to clinch a 1-9 to 1side as their members on the Eastern the club, Knockbride’s minor stars 6 victory and claim some early Gaels minor team suffered heart-break joined Eastern Gaels to compete in the silverware for their season. It was the to them in the Division One final replay. Farnaham Arms Minor A perfect start to the team’s campaign The club’s Under 16 ladies team would Championship this past season and and under the management of also miss out on silverware narrowly in suffered defeat to Oliver Plunketts in Stephen Tormey, Jason O’Connor and the Division Four final. Nonetheless, it the second round after overcoming Dermot O’Brien they were keen to still proved a successful year for the Killygarry in the first round at make a strong impact in the senior club’s underage section, which leaves Canningstown. championship. The Canningstown them with plenty of promise for 2014. The club’s Under 14 footballers also reached the semifinals of the Division One Championship, which was a fantastic Best Wishes to achievement for the Knockbride GAA young Knockbride men. Unfortunately, they’d suffer defeat in the last four at the hands of eventual winners Laragh United. Knockbride (U16 Div 2 final v Blackwater Gaels): James Lynch; Sean Cosgrove, Declan Nulty; Philip Rogers, David Rogers, Conor Smith; Jordan McCabe(0-2), Cian Carolan (0-2); Roy Donohoe, Stephen Maguire (0-6), Niall Mountain Lodge, Cootehill, Co. Cavan McCabe; Aaron Tel: 042-9660914/9660915 Fax: 042-9660968 Cundelan (1-3), Dylan Clarke (0-1).

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hese past few years have saw Killinkere’s league and championship ambitions slip, but 2013 was an improvement in both sectors, according to PRO Mark Farrelly. It’s been 31 years since Killinkere last held the title as intermediate champions in Cavan, after capturing the junior crown 10 years previous, and Mark Farrelly knows that recent years have saw the club come too close to surrendering the status they’ve held through four decades now as regulars in the intermediate ranks. Bar 2013, the last few years have seen Killinkere narrowly escaping demotion to a junior status club and, as many clubs have found out down the years, the basement section of Cavan club football is a tough place to get out of once you’re down there. This past season was a major improvement for Killinkere, under the guidance of Michael Reilly, who had the team’s safety in Division Two sealed before going into a stiff championship opener against Ballyhaise in mid-August. Farrelly, who has been the club’s PRO for four years now,


2013 RESU

IFC aise 1-12 Ballyh -9 1 Killinkere Killinkere ls 1-8 0-15 re Cavan Gae -11 Killinke Drung 2-8 0

ion 2 ACFL Divis illinkere K -5 1 -5 0 ht Cornafean terconnaug n u M -5 0 1 -1 3 re re ke inke Killin 1-18 2-9 Kill Swanlinbar inkere ill K 7 -1 2 -9 ls 2 inkere Cavan Gae ill K 1 0-15 1-1 h g u ro o b e Baili shandra -8 2-13 Kille Killinkere 1 illinkere 3-13 0-11 K Laragh Utd illinkere K nt 1-12 2-11 Mountnuge n Gaels va a C -16 2-10 0 re ke in ill K anlinbar -16 2-11 Sw Killinkere 2 afean rn -8 3-7 Co Killinkere 4 ng ru D -7 -15 3 Killinkere 0 re ke in ill K 3 -1 Drung 1-9 0 ugh ro o b -4 1-9 Bailie re ke Killinkere 0 in ill K -7 4-17 0 ra d n a sh e g ill u K untn ent -16 1-11 Mo Killinkere 2 inkere aught V Kill Munterconn gh Utd ra a L -13 1-11 Killinkere 1

explained that a club’s objectives can change depending on league positions and altering championship formats. “The club’s aims for the year changed with the championship format changing, because originally we wanted to get out of the group and get to a quarter-final, at least. But with the changes we got a tough enough draw in the first round against Ballyhaise,” explained Farrelly. “We had been struggling in the league for the past few years, just about avoiding relegation, but last year had been a good year for us so we wanted to try and build on that. We kind of did that, but we lost some important games that could have seen us in contention for promotion. If we could right those wrongs next year it would be great.” Under Reilly, who had Terry Brady, Donal Traynor and Nicholas Comey as his selectors, Killinkere’s mantra was to take every game in 2013 as it came to them, as the campaign gradually built towards a showdown with a Ballyhaise side ranked as second favourites for the IFC in the summer.


Liam McCabe

Killinkere’s trail in Division Two up until the Ballyhaise game marked a prime example of a team lacking consistency, with seven wins and seven defeats keeping them safe for 2014, but out of contention for promotion or even a league semi-final place. “We were a bit inconsistent in that we had some great wins and some bad losses all throughout the league,” said Farrelly “For whatever reason, we always seem to be a team that’s more suitable to good weather, dryer ground and a big pitch because we’ve such a big pitch here in Killinkere. At home we played well a good bit. “We also missed Peter McCabe, who did his cruciate last year in the quarterfinal of the championship. He’s a young lad who came into the team last year and would have been one of our best players up front. He didn’t come back until the championship this year and he only came on at half-time against Ballyhaise and scored a goal two or three minutes into the second-half, so he had an immediate impact when he came back. He was a big loss in the

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On duty in the intermediate championship, front l/r: Ollie Sharkey, John B Smith, Anthony Brady, Eugene Clarke, Breen Smith, Martin Reilly, Dillon McAleer, Myles O’Reilly, Wayne Delaney, Brian Clarke, Declan Sharkey. Back: Niall Patterson, Noel McGovern, Emmet Fitzsimons, Darren Smith, Liam McCabe, James Tackney, Declan Smith, Jamie Smith, James Clarke, Michael Smith, Terence Roe, Peter McCabe

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The U16 girls from the league final, front l/r: Nicola O’Connell, Rebecca Moylan, Ciara Clarke, Ellen Smith, Megan O’Reilly, Dearbhla Duignan, Rachael Denning. Back: Fiona Lynch, Leanne McMahon, Tara Denning, Kelsey Doyle, Ellie Marriner, Ashleigh McCabe, Letitia Sheridan, Ciara Dent, Harriet Pitts, Ciara Sexton, Roxanne Reece, Jim Matthews

league, but he was a bonus when he came back for us in the championship.” Killinkere would be left to rue a poor start in their championship opener against the Annalee Park outfit, which left them under pressure in their next game against Cavan Gaels. Defeat to the Gaels would mean slipping into the relegation play-offs once more. However, Farrelly explained that the team were confident going in against the Cavan town side given their strong record against them in recent years. “We always seem do well against them in the league,” he said. “Even when we were struggling in the league a few years ago we could go down to Terry Coyle Park and get a result against them, so we would have fancied our chances going in against them. “We were struck with injury in that game because Kevin McCabe got injured in the warm up and Liam McCabe, whose his brother, injured himself fairly early on in the match. So the two of them were taking off and we had our backs against the wall at that stage, so we did well to turn it around and in the second-half. “Emmet Fitzsimmons actually scored three points in the space of two minutes, two with his left and one with his right, and that kind of turned the game in our favour because there was only a point or two in it at that stage. We got into a seven or eight-point lead and with the last kick of the game Cavan Gaels got a goal that was mere consolation, so it was a really resounding victory for us.” The win set-up a clash between Killinkere and Drung for a place in the last eight and for most of the contest Reilly’s charges were the better side but still came away from Kingspan

Breffni Park empty-handed. Killinkere looked to be headed for the dream start in the contest when they won a penalty inside two minutes which Emmet Fitzsimmons crashed off the legs of Drung 'keeper James Reilly. Instead it was the Bunnoe men that drew first blood when Finbar Reilly was slipped through to sail between the posts before a ninth minute free from Emmet Fitzsimmons eventually had Killinkere off the mark. Ciaran Sexton and Mickey McEntee traded points to keep things even heading into the second quarter, where both sides would squander chances - Drung being the more guilty party. Through speedy wing-back Dan Fay, Drung regained the lead in the 19th minute but their counterparts finished out the half in decent fashion.  First a Darren Smith free, earned inside by Fitzsimmons, squared things before the latter sent over his first from play following some patient build-up play which allowed him to dummy past his man and split the posts. He'd tag on a free on the eve of half-time to leave Killinkere two to the good (0-5 to 0-3) at the start of the second-half.  Best Wishes Christy Moore narrowed the difference to one in the opening seconds of the restart and Drung soon introduced former Cavan senior Barry Watters to the fray to shore up things for them. It worked a treat, as Mickey McEntee levelled before a brilliantly

taken goal by Martin Reilly truly ignited Drung in this contest, which certainly had been drab up until this stage. Fitzsimmons pulled back a sorely needed score via a free, but on 40 minutes Drung would land another hammer blow when Moore was threaded through and found the corner of Eugene Clarke's net. Frees were traded by Fitzsimmons and Mickey McEntee thereafter and a gem of a point from Darren Smith gave Killinkere more than a fighting chance going into the final 10 minutes.  Drung were nervy in their lead and it showed, as Fitzsimmons (free) and Sexton made it a two-point game heading into the closing stages but when substitute Killian Monahan drove through for a goal chance and wisely tapped over, it wasn't long before Martin Reilly provided the insurance with a free to seal their place in the quarter-finals. Killinkere (IFC v Drung): Eugene Clarke; Martin Reilly, James Tackney, Myles O'Reilly; Breen Smith, Niall Patterson, Michael Duff; Noel McGovern, Declan Smith; Emmet Fitzsimons, John B Smith, Anthony Brady; Darren Smith, James Clarke, Ciaran Sexton. Subs: Michael Smith for M O'Reilly (9mins, inj), Peter McCabe for M Smith (38), Ollie Sharkey for Patterson (42). “Against Drung we were pretty much the better team for 55 minutes of the game,” said Farrelly. “They scored 1-3 in the first five minutes of the secondhalf and that left us stunned a bit and even though we built our way back into it well. They got another goal on the counter attack after and it was just too much for us to come back from. “It’s a case of what might have been but at least there’s a lot of young

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Ashleigh McCabe

FUNDRAISING GOING STRONG In March, the club held a hugely successful ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ contest in the Killinkere community centre which raised in excess of €10,000, as Farrelly explained: “We ran a Strictly Come Dancing in March that was a massive success for the club. We put an awful lot of work into it and Pat Clarke organised it and put in a huge amount of effort. We couldn’t believe how well it done. Everyone had a great night and obviously we were trying to raise money for the club, but the main thing was that people came and had a good night because it’s not just about footballers within the club. You want to try and

players that came in, so we’ve blooded some for the next few years and that’s important for any club moving forward. We want to try and gather a bit of form and get a run together for intermediate championship next year. Two years ago we lost narrowly by a point to Swanlinbar and almost beat Killeshandra and then all of a sudden we’re in a relegation battle when, at the same time, we could have been going for it. “If we can keep our form in the league going well next year and try and win the majority of matches, rather than losing half of them, there’s no reason why we couldn’t go into the championship in good form

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entertain people as well. “Dancers came from all different clubs and lots of different counties as well like Meath and Monaghan and different places. They all gave up their time to train for almost two months before hand to put on a great show for everyone and it was a great success. It was probably the highlight of the year in the whole club and I know it didn’t happen ‘on the pitch’, but to see something like that pulled off and for everyone to give up their time for it was great to see. It mightn’t make the sports pages but things like that are every bit as important to people living around Killinkere.”

and try and get a semi-final, at least, out of it. “We’ve a lot of young lads now that are only getting experience at this level and they have a habit of winning from good underage teams, so we’d want to keep that up and keep gradually moving forward. It’s tough when there’s not as many players around, we used to have three teams a few years ago and there used to be 35 or 36 people at training four years ago and now there’s maybe only 16. It’s hard with numbers’ dwindling to keep pushing forward but I suppose every club faces the same problem as well.”


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illygarry might have retained their SFC status but Ross Sheridan says the club can aim higher in the coming year. For as long as most gaels in Cavan can recall, Killygarry's elite footballers have been regarded, in the vernacular, as a 'coming' team. It seems like there's been an atmosphere of revivalist zeal down Crubany way for a long time and their performances in the top flight this year certainly exhibited a steely selfassurance that was oh so redolent of their famous SFC victory over neighbours Cavan Gaels in 2012. 2013 showcased Killygarry's ongoing work-in-progress. The past year demonstrated that the club's seniors are still heading in the right direction even if it looks like the circuitous route is being taken at times. "It was a bit of a rollercoaster year for us," says key player Ross Sheridan. "It ended up a disappointingly but we still managed to maintain our senior championship status. "There were high expectations at the start of the season but


2013 RESU

SFC nn -14 0-12 De 0 y Killygarr rlough e ss ro C 0 -6 0-1 Killygarry 0 Lacken y 1-10 0-13 rr a yg Kill cken 0 -15 3-1 La Killygarry 0

ion 1B ACFL Divis Killygarry -8 0 -4 2 Drumlane arry K 0 0-7 illyg Gowna 1-1 rbet -11 0-6 Beltu arry Killygarry 2 yg ill K 5 eltic 0-7 2-1 s ill h Cootehill C d e R -8 1-9 Killygarry 2 arry yg ill K 0 -1 1 gh 2-5 e is a Crosserlou h lly -6 1-7 Ba y Killygarry 1 rr a yg ill K 0 -7 0-1 rr Drumalee 1 a illyg y 2-10 2-11 K Drumgoon arry -4 2-12 Killyg Drumlane 2 na w o G -10 1-7 Killygarry 1 Celtic ill h te o o C -9 0-9 rry a Killygarry 0 yg -8 0-10 Kill y Belturbet 0 rr a yg ill 1 0-7 K ugh Redhills 0-1 o rl e ss ro C -6 0-12 y rr a Killygarry 1 yg 1-13 0-3 Kill n o Ballyhaise o g m ru -6 1-10 D e le Killygarry 0 a m ru D 0 -9 4-1 Killygarry 2

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unfortunately things didn't exactly go to plan and, overall, I'd say most of the people in the club would have been slightly disappointed with the way things ended up." If the club's senior safari didn't exactly have anyone in Killygarry on Cloud Nine, Ross Sheridan himself was made to keep his feet cemented to terra firma by dint of injury. In truth, Sheridan is happy to get shot at 2013. "It was a bit like the year from hell for me, to be honest. Everything had been going so well for me at the start of the year but then I dislocated my shoulder in June in a game in Belturbet and that meant a six week break and rehab. "I was back in time for the championship game against Denn but I wasn't anywhere near match fit. It was frustrating because I had reached a good state of fitness before the shoulder popped out." Indeed, it was arguably Sheridan's super fitness which catapulted him into the Cavan public's consciousness last year. Sheridan's engine was one of


Killygarry's most compelling constituent parts in a year that saw them catch national headlines with their blue riband victory in the championship over red-hot favourites Cavan Gaels. Apart from his engine, there was, of course, the not insignificant matter of him picking up a Sigerson Cup medal in the colours of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Alongside clubmate and Cavan star Martin Reilly plus other football luminaries such as Aidan O'Shea (Mayo) and Colin Walshe, the aspiring Sheridan - his clubmates would attest - improved by degrees as a footballer in the college arena. "I suppose it wasn't a bit 'oul achievement," he says modestly. "It was probably the best, overall squad of players that I've played with yet and being with them definitely did improve my game." The 5th year Environmental Management student who is back at DIT doing his masters admits his college's victories over a star-spangled DCU side in the semi-finals and UCC in the decider raised his profile in

killygarry designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:22 Page 2

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The Killygarry senior squad, front l/r: Darryl Dunne, Niall Smith, Michael Flood, Fintan Galligan, Andy McGovern, Ross Sheridan, Daryll McKenna (captain), Padraig Cahill, Andy O’Brien, Michael McGovern, John Conroy, Conor McInerney, Stephen McGovern, Martin Reilly. Back: Fergal Clarke, Frank Crowe, Cathal Keaney, Shane Kelly, Daniel Talbot, Enda Gallen, Tomas Kelly, Patrick Galligan, Paddy Lynch, Brendan Murray, John Lyng, Darren McCahill, Jason Smith, Conor Bates, Conor Connolly, Breen Reilly

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senior county teams either. "I think any player who goes to college and is surrounded by quality players is likely to improve a lot. It's a very professional approach in college and everyone raises their own personal game to keep their place." If the truth be told though, the 22 year old Killygarry dynamo's performances in 2012 consolidated the fine impression he made the previous year when he helped Cavan capture the Leinster JFC title. The U16 Division 2 league winners, front l/r: Mark McCabe, Jack Murphy, Caolan Galligan, Anslem Lovett, Even that provincial glory wasn't Jack Cosgrove, Darragh Gannon, Finnian McCarthy, Conor Smith, Pauric Brady, Daniel Walshe, without its frustration though for our Pauric Keady. Back: Aaron Cosgrove, Conor O’Shea, Conor Mulvaney, Darren Walls, Caolan Kelly, Daragh Kennedy, Shane Smith, Philip Monaghan, Daniel Brady, John Nulty, man Sheridan. His shoulder injury Conor Agnew, Eoin Brady, Oisin Ennis, Micheal Morgan left him sidelined for the campaign after he did his bit at midfield for why I wouldn't be one of the better Cavan no-end. Cavan's in their first round victory over known club players in the county. "I suppose more people in Cavan Louth. "It was just great to get on such a very would have become aware of me Ross hopes his time being sidelined good DIT team. I was the only non'cause of the publicity we got from are at an end - at least in the short term county player on it although there were doing so well in Athlone (where the - and he is looking forward to propelling fellas in the squad like Alan Nestor Sigerson Cup was fought out) and that Killygarry back into the limelight. (Meath) and six or seven of the Allwas nice. He remarks that a lot of the club's Ireland winning Dublin under 21s who "I didn't play minor or under 21 with 2013 season had a lot to recommend are haven't quite made it onto their Cavan so maybe that is one reason Representing the club in 2013, front l/r: Frank Crowe, Michael Flood, Cathal Keaney, Niall Smith, Fintan Galligan, Andy Mc Govern, Padraig Cahill, Daryll Mc Kenna (captain), Andy O’Brien, Michael Mc Govern, Stephen McHugh, Conor Mc Inerney, Daryll Dunne, Martin Reilly. Back: Tomas Kelly, Shane Kelly, Ross Sheridan, Daniel Talbot, Cian Duffy, Brendan Murray, Patrick Galligan, Paddy Lynch, Conor Connolly, Fergal Clarke, John Lyng, Darren McCahill, Jason Smith, Conor Bates, Stephen Mc Govern

Darragh Gannon receiving the U16 league trophy from Mark O’Rourke

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Daniel Talbot

Daryll McKenna

Padraig Cahill

Conor Connolly

it. A decent league campaign produced a respectable mid-table finish in Division 1B. And the black and red brigade took part in four SFC games, something which was one of the stories of the past championship season. Victory at Kingspan/Breffni Park over Denn, first time out, promised much. Ominously, the deed was done after extra-time. In perfect playing conditions, Killygarry trailed after a woeful first half by 0-3 to 0-5 but thanks, in the main, to the dynamic play of the galloping Sheridan and the free taking expertise of Martin Reilly plus a levelling point by Shane Kelly (62) forced extra-time. Killygarry were the fresher team on the restart and with the aforementioned Reilly going on to score his sixth point, a deserved 0-14 to 0-12 victory was carved out. Sadly, Crosserlough proved best next time out for Killygarry, winning by 0-10 to 0-6, at Kingspan/Breffni Park. In testing conditions, Killygarry never looked like consolidating their opening round win as they slumped to a 0-2 to 0-6 interval deficit. Crosserlough later opened up a 0-9 to 0-3 lead before county star Martin Reilly inspired a comeback of sorts from Killygarry but it was a comeback which proved inadequate. By dint of the defeat to the Kilnaleck-based side, Killygarry were catapulted into the losers section where they were pitted against Lacken Celtic. Thereafter, Killygarry scored the final three points in the second half of extra-time to retain their interest in this year's SFC with a gritty 110 to 0-13 draw. In truth, the tie was a dour affair saw Killygarry engage in a game of squandermania, recording 18 wides all told, including 12 in ordinary time. Killygarry substitute Stephen McGovern goaled in the 28th minute to bring his side on level terms, 0-5 to 1-2, at the interval. Lacken looked like limping home as they led by 0-10 to 1-5 but in the five minutes of added-on time points by Martin Reilly and fullback Padraig Cahill pushed the game into extra-time. Killygarry were forced to come from behind again to gain parity at the death with points from Sheridan (76) and the aforementioned Reilly (78) necessitating a replay. "I know it wasn't a great match to match but I think we deserved to get something from the match," Ross opines, "because we kept coming back at them and showed a lot of character to hang in there when they looked like pulling away at times." Sadly for Ross and co. the replay didn't go Killygarry's way, losing out by 0-15 to 3-10 in their replayed encounter. Killygarry - clearly the better of their strength and conditioning work provided by Damien Keaney - were the better team in the first half


but three Finbar Reilly converted frees pegged the would-be losers onto level terms, 0-5 to 0-5, at the half-time mark. As things panned out, former countyman Reilly was the game's most influential player and his goal just 48 seconds into the second half gave his side a lead, 1-5 to 0-5 lead that they held 'till the 58th minute but then Martin Reilly pointed to make it 0-11 to 1-8. Ultimately, it was goals that counted for Lacken with Raymond Galligan's major two minutes into extra-time that counted in a major way. Killygarry had points thereafter from halfback Sheridan and livewire attacker Stephen McGovern to leave them still in touch, 0-13 to 2-10, at half-time in extra-time but a 74th minute goal from Niall McKiernan - after a Stephen Brady shot caused panic in the Killygarry rearguard - was the straw that broke the camel's back. "I suppose the fact that we were without Donal Thomas and Eoin Smith kind of caught up on us for the Crosserlough championship game," Ross tells us, "it would be hard for any team to be at their best without their full-back and full-forward. "I think that game just showed how important those players are to us and hopefully both of them will be back in place for 2014. "I suppose in the second game against Lacken, they proved to be the better team. We missed chances, they took most of theirs and that was the difference." And the outlook for the coming year? "Like a good few clubs now, we have good reason to believe that we can at least get to the play off stages in the championship next year. "Ballinagh's win over the Gaels (in the 2013 SFC final) has given all of us a lot more confidence and hope that we can be in the mix in 2014. "I'd be very disappointed if we couldn't at least make next year's quarter-finals. "I think two or three of our players will be going for operations this winter which should be a big help to the club. They were playing through their injuries this year so they should be far better placed to find their best form next year." Fulsome in his praise of the young talent coming through from under 16 and minor levels, Ross is optimism personified ahead of a new season. He is convinced that there's a "winning mentality" in existence at every level, from nursery upwards, in the Killygarry club. "We worked very hard under Benny Reddy and we'll work just as hard next year and even though we're still in a bit of a transition period, I'd be surprised if we're not there or thereabouts." Watch this space!

redhills designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:25 Page 1





013 marked a number of significant anniversaries for Redhills, a small club with big

Like most small clubs, Redhills can count on one hand the years in which their premier side has taken on the best in the county and been successful. For the border club, 1973 marked the zenith, when 11 Redhills men started the county SFC final as part of the winning Annagh amalgamation and, a week later, Redhills went it alone to win the IFC title. Those were heady days, when men like All-Star Ollie ‘Texas’ Brady, Hugh McInerney, Danny Fay and Brendan Smith were in their pomp, but it’s reasonable to say that the current batch of players is the best to have merged in the interim. Oisin Minagh, Packie Leddy and Turloc Mooney have all won Ulster U21 medals in recent seasons, with Rory Dunne, the current county senior full-back, captaining Cavan to the 2010 Ulster final where they went down to a Michael Murphy-inspired Donegal. When Redhills won the


2013 RESU

SFC dhills -18 1-14 Re 4 n a hills Castlerah d 0-11 0-8 Re Mullahoran rel. playoff – e Drumale 0 -1 1 4 -1 0 Redhills ion 1B ACFL Divis rumalee D -7 0 5 Redhills 0-1 1 Redhills -1 2 -6 0 e Drumlan Gowna -9 1 Redhills 1-8 ills -8 1-9 Redh Killygarry 2 edhills R 2 -1 c 0-11 1 lti e C ill h te o Co erlough 1 0-8 Cross Redhills 0-1 dhills 0-11 1-8 Re Ballyhaise hills d e R -8 1-8 Drumalee 2 hills d e R 3 -5 1-1 Belturbet 2 lane 3 0-8 Drum Redhills 1-1 ills h d e 1 0-14 R Gowna 1-1 rry a yg ill K 1 0-7 Redhills 0-1 hill Celtic 2 1-6 Coote goon Redhills 0-1 ru 4 2-11 D m Redhills 1-1 dhills e R 0 -1 gh 4-4 3 Crosserlou d e hills 3-13 1-13 R Drumgoon rbet ltu e 6 1-13 B Redhills 2-1 ise a h lly a B 1 0-7 Redhills 2-1

Cormac Brides

Intermediate title in 2008, they were ahead of the curve in terms of their development but they’ve found the going tougher at senior level in the interim. This year, with everyone fit and available, they drew the short straw when they were pitted against Castlerahan (losing in extra time) and then holders Mullahoran. When compared to the draws which fell the way of other clubs who enjoyed extended runs in the senior race, it was a tough hand to be dealt but, says another hero of ’73, current chairman Mickey Reilly, they just have to get on with it. “It was very disappointing in the championship to draw two really tough teams in Mullahoran and Castlerahan,” Reilly told Breffni Blue. “We had Castlerahan on the ropes and really, if we had finished them off… In extra time they really walked all over us to be fair to them, but, psychologically, maybe we were down at that stage because we had a few misses at the end of normal when we were a point up. That crucified us on the day.


“Then we played Mullahoran in Ballinagh and they beat us by three points in the end. They were two of the toughest teams in any section of the draw, so it was unfortunate to run into them so early, but what can you do?” 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of that annus mirabilis, and it also signified 30 years this past July since Redhills opened Max McGrath Park, so there is a neat symmetry to the fact that club are ready to start Phase Two of their redevelopment at present. Ambitious plans were put in place a couple of years back and they are finally coming to fruition. “We have made a lot of progress,” said Reilly. “We’re at a bit of a standstill in that the pitch is done but we haven’t got around to doing the walking and running track. “Because of the atrocious weather last year, the contractor got no pitches done so there was a bit of a backlog but we’re hoping to have the track in use for the winter. We’re putting floodlights around it. “The new pitch is seeded and has

redhills designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:25 Page 2


The senior squad, front l/r: Paddy Gumley, Francie Fitzsimons, Conor Bannon, Luke McEntee, Colin Reilly, Packie Leddy, Andy Dunne, Fergal McDermott, Turloc Mooney, Barry Murphy. Back: Alan Brady, Rory Dunne, Ryan Smith, Cilian McSherry, Derek Fay, Cormac Brides, Fintan Reilly, Pearse West, Padraig Rudden, Ciaran Smith, Kieran West, Garry Kelly

redhills designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:25 Page 3

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The Redhills senior squad, front l/r: Mark Kelly, Luke McEntee, Paddy Gumley, Francie Fitzpatrick, Dessie Gumley, Barry Murphy, Alan Brady, Fergal McDermott, Colin Reilly, Garry Kelly, Daryl Tierney. Back: Andy Dunne, Ryan Smith, Derek Fay, James Brady, Joe Callan, Alan Dunne, Fintan Reilly, Cormac Brides, Cilian McSherry, Padraig Rudden, Pearse West

been mowed four or five times so it’s well on. It’s not lined out but it’s an expansive Prunty-type pitch. There have been no boundaries put on it yet, that’s the next thing we have to do, decide what way we’re going to lay out a pitch.”

Phase Two will involve a widening of the existing pitch – long regarded warily by visiting teams as one of the ‘tightest’ in the county’ – among other important improvements. “That is part of the plan. The first phase was to do the training pitch and

the track and then to do some work on the main pitch and the clubrooms. They are part of a five-year plan subject to finance and fundraising. But we would be in a position that we would have the first phase paid for when we’re finished it. Going forward

The U13 Division 4 Championship winners, front l/r: Michael Smith, Padraig Smith, Niall Martin, Sean Martin, Jordan Pickering, Mark Sexton, Cormac Kelly. Middle: River Clancy, Cian Kelly, Daniel Mooney, Conor Smith, Jack Dunne, Tommy Reilly, Brien Smith, Colm McMahon. Back: Kevin Sexton and Tommy Martin

Cormac Brides

Andy Dunne

Sean Martin accepts the U13 Division 4 championship cup from Orla Reilly and juvenile chairman Brian Seagrave

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Colin Reilly

Packie Leddy

Rory Dunne

Packie Leddy

we will have to do some fundraising and look at loans and grants.” In order to offset the cost, the club launched an ambitious supporters’ club called Club Redhills last year, which proved to be an outstanding success. “We have about 100 members of Club Redhills, 104, I think, was the final figure. We offered a package for €240 a year where you got free admission to all home league matches, which was nine or ten as it turned out this year, and you get your numbers in the club lotto every week, and there is also a draw at the end of the year for €1,500 for paid up members,” explained Mickey. Every little bit helps, as the advertising slogan goes, when it comes to keeping a club on the road. Paying the bills, and hoping that their playing personnel are available, is what keeps club officials across the island awake at night, after all… “Emigration hasn’t hit us too badly yet but it’s probably going to get worse, it’s not going to get any better. Oisin Minagh is gone now to Singapore to teach for 12 months, so he is a huge loss, and we have a couple away already like Michael Young, Kevin Fay and James Smith, who played full-back on the intermediate-winning team in 2008, he’s in Canada the past couple of years. “We don’t know what the future will be for fellas coming out of college, if they can get jobs or will they have to go away too. All these fellas are losses to the club.” While Castlerahan have famously lost half a team and more themselves, it’s reasonable to presume that had Redhills another one or two bodies to call on, they could have won that championship opener. And as Ballinagh and Crosserlough proved, anything can happen when a team builds momentum in championship football. The harsh reality, however, is that they did lose, rendering all the other points moot, despite the best efforts of the players and manager Paul McCorry from Butlersbridge. “Paul would have been well known from underage, and he would have known our players. I wouldn’t have been that close to the training myself, Sean McInerney and Mark Smith would have carried a huge burden there all year. Sean would have a huge workload in the club in general actually. “We are in the top three or four in Division 1B and we may get promoted to 1A yet. But if we possibly had’ve got a result against Castlerahan, then you never know…” Pragmatically speaking, the current panel is a once-in-a-generation crop and Reilly is realistic to know that the harvest won’t always be as rich. “Numbers are very, very tight at underage level, especially at U16 and minor, we would have been with Redbridge and then with Erne Gaels, which was Belturbet thrown in as well.


Numbers are going down all the time at underage level. It’s a cyclic thing, it goes in phases. “It’s not so bad in Redhills but there is a move towards bigger towns among people and it’s a worrying trend, I suppose. There are a lot of people working hard at juvenile level, the likes of Pat Smith and Francis Smith, who is vice chairman of the overall club and chairman of the underage for the last couple of years, and they put in a huge amount of work. Thomas Martin is another who is working hard, but we need all their help. “Our older players who would have been on county panels, the likes of Rory Dunne, Oisin Minagh, Turloc Mooney come down and do training sessions as well, which is great for the youngsters on a Saturday morning.” Away from football, the club is booming on a number of other fronts. “The camogie is going well and the ladies are catered for by Belturbet, and they had a great year, a number of Redills girls are playing for them and there are a few senior girls playing camogie for Castletara as well.” Reilly will be best-known to some readers as an ever-present on the sideline with Cavan senior teams for around a decade from the mid-90s on. He first served as a selector with Martin McHugh and was part of the management team when Cavan ended a 28year famine to win The Anglo-Celt Cup in 1997. Encouragingly, he sees parallels between then and now at county level. “Football is probably pretty strong at the minute, the county team definitely lifted things this year. They have a young age profile and were probably the most improved senior inter-county team all year. They came up from a very lowly position, maybe 15th or even 20th in the country, or below it, and now they’re probably in the top eight to ten teams in the country. “They have a couple of Ulster U21 titles and they’re like the Clare hurling team, they have youth on their side if they can build on it. “The one thing that we had from the ‘96 U21 team was that seven or eight of them graduated immediately to senior level, the likes of Jason O’Reilly, Dermot McCabe, Anthony Forde and Peter and Larry Reilly. They back-boned the senior team within a year or two of winning at U21 level and were winning and Ulster senior championships. “They were outstanding and had good leadership qualities but I think some of the young fellas now that are coming on are in that bracket as well, so it augurs well for Cavan football I think over the next couple of years. They can follow in those footsteps if they work hard enough.” Just like the Redhills footballers, then, 40 years on from the greatest side of them all…

templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:28 Page 1




empleport had high hopes for 2013, according to senior team selector Michael Smith, but in the end it just wasn’t to be for a club boasting some of the most promising young talent in the county. Templeport GAA has been on something of an upward curve recently thanks in no small part to the club’s investment in youth over the past few years. 2012 saw the St Aidan’s Park outfit reach the last four of the junior football championship, where they were narrowly pipped by eventual winners Laragh United, and this past season saw Patsy Maguire’s men come close to another semi-final, however, it wasn’t to be in the end. Instead the Bawnboy club would have to look elsewhere for silverware and it finally came their way in the form of an Under 16 championship title, after the heartbreak of losing out on two minor crowns to Ramor United in the Division One league and championship finals. When the club were setting out their stall back in January, they knew that the absence of their county

Michael Devine receives the Division 3 championship trophy from Brian Segrave

minors would take its toll on the senior team for the ACFL Division Three. Therefore the emphasis was put on the S T L U S E R Cavan JFC, along with both minor 3 201 competitions, according to Michael Smith, who served as a selector under JFC t h g rconnau Maguire in 2013. 1-10 Munte 2 -1 1 rt o p Temple -11 Kill 1 -9 1 rt “The aims were to win two minor titles o p playoff Temple ornafean – C 2 -1 and a junior title,” explained Smith. “We 1 3 -1 0 Templeport had two or three players with injury that ion 3 came back, but the biggest thing was ACFL Divis h allymachug B -7 1 -7 that we had county minors and we lost 1 rt ort Templepo -3 Templep 0 3 them all year in the league games. -1 1 a rv A allan 1-5 1-10 Kild ort rt Benjamin Kelly, Ben Kiernan, Liam o p le p m Te plep -12 0-5 Tem Galligan and Niall Farrell were all Corlough 2 ill K 0-4 3-13 rt o p le involved for Cavan and didn’t see p m Te leport -6 0-9 Temp 2 ck much league action for us.” o rc e e d h ri S ockb 1-13 0-3 Kn rt o Templeport’s indifferent league form p le p m Templeport 1-11 Te acFinns 1-5 would come down to a depleted team e M g d ra ri e b h rs g a tle M 1-10 Bu 3 -1 0 rt rt o and by the completion of the first o p p le le Temp Temp els 1-12 0-8 a G rt n couple of rounds promotion from o o p n le n p a Sh Tem gh 1-7 0-10 Division Three would simply be out rt o p le Ballymachu p 1-7 Tem of the question. h g Kildallan 2-4 u o rl o C 1 1-7 0-1 Form would only truly start to pick Templeport ercock -11 5-18 Sh 3 rt o p ls e a G up for the team after Cavan’s exit n Temple o n n ha 1-12 0-13 S ort p from the Ulster MFC at the hands of le p m Templeport Te e 4-15 1-5 yed Monaghan in late June. That game la p Butlersbridg t o n – a v Arv would see both Benjamin Kelly and Templeport port 1-7 Temple 9 -1 1 ill yed K la p t Ben Kiernan starting, while Liam o n rt V Templepo not played s n Knockbride in cF a M V Maghera Templeport


Galligan came off the bench to fire in a goal for the Breffni men, but it was Monaghan that advanced to the final on a narrow 2-11 to 1-12 score-line. Maguire’s team were bolstered by their young returnees in July and the team’s performances were improving as the championship approached. Come midAugust, one win and one narrow defeat would be enough to see the Bawnboy men through to a play-off for a championship semi-final place. “We drew the first game in the league against Ballymachugh and then we were beaten well enough by Arva in the second game. The minor league started up then and our minors missed a few league games and we got beaten in a few Division Three games as a result of that,” said Smith “Our form was improving for the championship because we got the lads back and we played Munterconnacht and beat them by two points in a tight game. Kill beat us in the Redhills in the next game. It was a very close game. There was two points in it in the end, but it was one point with time up and we missed a chance to equalise. We were

templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:28 Page 2


The Templeport squad that took on Cornafean in the championship, front l/r: Liam McAweeney, Liam Galligan, Paddy McGoldrick, Oran Duffy, Benjamin Kelly, Ben Kiernan, Stephen Doonan (captain), Martin Ball, Eoin Doonan, Sean Corrigan, Cillian Leonard, Hayden Kellegher. Back: Eamonn Baxter, Jim Kiernan, Declan Farrell, Michael Galligan, Eoghan Martin, Dylan Maguire, Martin Dolan, Daniel Shannon, Sean Dolan, Martin Baxter, Sean Murphy, Niall Farrell, Gareth Bannon, Kieran McManus, Donal Maguire, Darren Donohoe

templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:28 Page 3



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templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:28 Page 4

The Bawnboy men would own the next few minutes to create a three-point lead, via Galligan's second free, a Dylan Maguire point and a placed ball from Ben Kiernan that sailed over from all of 40 metres. Barry Doyle grabbed a quick brace of points to trim the difference to one before setting up Adrian McCaffrey in the square to blast past Daniel Shannon and hand Cornafean their first lead. The cornerforward was afforded all the time On duty for the minor league final, front l/r: Shane Galligan, Ryan Kelly, Brendan McGoldrick, Liam McAweeney, Oran Duffy (captain), Michael Devine, Hayden Kellegher, Darafh O’Shea, Cillian Leonard, Conor Mimna. Back: and space he needed to pick his TF O’Rourke (management), Paddy McGoldrick, Patrick Maguire (management), Aaron Donohoe, Ben spot after Doyle had cut in from Kiernan, Dylan Maguire, Eoin Doonan, Niall Farrell, Benjamin Kelly, Dillon Raythorne, Conor McAweeny, Seamus Martin (management), Liam Galligan, Michael Smith (management). Missing from photo: the right flank. Darren Donohoe, Brian Farrell and Declan Beatty (trainer) Templeport responded quickly with a Galligan free, which was good enough to have won that game.” favourites when the two teams met in cancelled-out by Niall Sheridan after Victory over Kill would have meant a late August at Kingspan Breffni Park, gathering the rebound of another direct route into the semi-finals for where the winners would be just 60 McCaffrey goal chance which Shannon Templeport, but the defeat would instead minutes away from a county final berth. had done brilliantly to keep out. It see Cornafean standing into their way of Templeport got off the mark inside the provided somewhat of a wake-up call to a place in the last four. The Reds had opening minute through a Liam Galligan the St Aidan's Park outfit, as they got been struggling in Division Two of the free, with a quick response coming from their sixth point in superb fashion when ACFL but would still be fancied as Gerard Sheridan down the other end. The U16 girls in the league final on the 3G pitch at Kingspan Breffni Park, front l/r: Siobhan Mc Govern, Aideen O’Reilly, Sinead O’Reilly, Clare McGovern, Niamh Smith, Megan McIntyre, Michelle Bannon. Back: Eoghan Doonan (management), Roisin McManus, Shauna Maguire, Dervella McGovern, Sinead Mc Govern, Patrice Maguire, Grainne McCaffrey, Roisin Plunkett, Sinead Edwards, Keely Doonan, Joe O’Reilly (management)

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templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:29 Page 6

Grainne McCaffrey

Martin Dolan prepares to gather the ball

Eoin McCaffrey blocks

Roy Heynaman with the ball

Liam Galligan The U12 squad, front l/r: Niall O’Shea, Sean McGovern, Conor Galligan, Luke Donohoe, Naoise McKenna, Jack Kelly (captain), Eoin McCaffrey, Ciaran Mc Manus, Paul Fee, Colin McBrien, Ryan McGoldrick, Liam Bannon. Back: Dallan Mc Kenna, Cormac Mimna. Joe Kiernan, James Murphy, Nikodim McKiernan, Owen Barnes, Gavin Donohoe, Peter Devine, James King, Roy Heynaman, Colin Edwards

full-forward Ciaran McManus gathered at the 45-metre line, turned and split the posts with plenty to spare. Galligan landed his fourth free from similar distance to close the half level at 0-7 to 1-4. Templeport took back the lead just 30 seconds into the restart after Dylan Maguire shook off his marker to raise a white flag, but it didn't take long for the Reds to hit back through Padraig Tully. Galligan (free) and Barry Doyle kept things even approaching the final quarter, as Maguire introduced Sean Murphy, Michael Galligan and Liam McAweeney to the fray. The switches looked to have paid dividends after scores from Galligan (free), Kiernan (free) and Murphy outweighed a Gerard Sheridan point to leave Templeport with the initiative heading into the final quarter. However, it was there that the Reds caught fire, with their midfield talisman Doyle to the forefront, outscoring their opponents by 0-5 to 0-1 through Doyle (2), James Cullen (2) and McCaffrey to secure a 1-12 to 0-13 victory, which set-

up a meeting with rivals Arva in the semis. Templeport (JFC v Cornafean): Daniel Shannon; Stephen Doonan, Martin Ball, Paddy McGoldrick; Benjamin Kelly, Oran Duffy, Martin Dolan; Sean Dolan, Eoghan Martin; Niall Farrell, Ben Kiernan (0-2, 2f), Dylan Maguire (0-2); Liam Galligan (0-6, 6f), Ciaran McManus (0-1), Eoin Doonan. Subs: Sean Murphy (0-2) for E Doonan (37mins), Liam McAweeney for M Dolan (39), Michael Galligan for S Doonan (45), Donal Maguire for M Ball (54). “The Cornafean game was something similar to Kill,” said Smith. “There was two points in it and we were winning by three points with five minutes to go. We had a very young team out. I mean we were playing seven or eight minors and maybe Cornafean’s experience told in the end.” Given that some of their young stars will be freed up from county minor duty, next year should see Templeport continuing their upwards curve and Smith feels that their junior championship objective will be there again in 2014, having been narrowly


been pipped by the eventual winners this past season. “We’d be hoping that we have a very bright future. The minors might have failed in the final, but it was a big thing for a small club to get to a Division One final on their own,” he said. “We’re hoping to win the junior championship next year. When you look at what Kill went on to do this year, you’d just have to believe that you’re capable of winning it. We have a lot of those minors that are overage next year and we’re hoping that that will free them up for us and they’ll be able to concentrate more on club football.”

MINORS DO THE CLUB PROUD Templeport’s minor footballers did their best to steal the show again this year, but fell just short at the final hurdle against a superb Ramor United outfit. Under the management of Patsy Maguire, Michael Smith, Seamus Martin and Declan Beattie (trainer), the young Bawnboy men caught fire early on in the season when they scored victories over St Felim’s (1-13 to 1-7), Crosserlough (1-12 to 1-9) and Laragh United to

templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:29 Page 7

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Up against Munterconnaught in the championship, front l/r: Jim Kiernan, Liam Galligan, Liam McAweeny, Ben Kiernan, Benjamin Kelly, Stephen Doonan (captain), Oran Duffy, Eoin Doonan, Martin Ball, Cillian Leonard, Hayden Kellegher, Declan Farrell. Back: Kieran Mc Manus, Dylan Maguire, Donal Maguire, Martin Baxter, Eoghan Martin, Sean Dolan, Daniel Shannon, Martin Dolan, Sean Murphy, Gareth Bannon, Paddy McGoldrick, Sean Corrigan, Eamon Baxter, Niall Farrell

The senior squad without the county minors, front l/r: Sean Corrigan, Eamon Baxter, Paddy Mc Goldrick, Eoghan Martin, Liam McAweeney, Stephen Doonan (captain), James Rudden, Gareth Bannon, Jim Kiernan, Ronan Maguire. Back: Killian Farrell, Oran Duffy, Dylan Maguire, Declan Farrell, Sean Dolan, Michael Galligan, Donal Maguire, Daniel Shannon, Martin Baxter, Martin Dolan, Norman Howden, Sean Murphy

The U14 girls, championship winners included are, front l/r: Ciara McGoldrick, Megan Doonan, Cara McCaffrey, Dervella McGovern, Sinead McGovern, Megan Leonard, Kate McNulty, Roisin Plunkett, Sinead Edwards. Back: Ciara Kellegher, Rebecca Plunkett, Clodagh O’Shea, Sinead Edwards, Patrice Maguire, Shauna O’Reilly, Kate Kellegher, Tomas Kellegher, Aideen O’Reilly, Sinead Farrell, Mary Rose Murphy, Mick McNulty and supporters, Keely Doonan and Joe O’Reilly (management)


templeport designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:30 Page 9

The victorious U16 team and management, front l/r: Jason Doonan, Jack Kelly, Paul Mc Brien, Peter Devine, Michael Devine, Paul Fee, Ciaran McManus, Darren Kellegher, Ryan Bannon, Shane Galligan. Back: Declan Donohoe (management), Brendan McGoldrick, Ciaran King, Brian Farrell, Dillon Raythorne, Conor McAweeny, Aaron Donohoe, Conor Mimna, Fergal McCaul, Ryan Kelly, Gavin Donohoe, Eoin O’Reilly, Brian Donohoe (management)

Patsy Maguire acted as senior and minor manager in 2013

advance into the Division One league semi-final against Oliver Plunkett’s. Templeport edged a thrilling game in Drumlane which finished 2-11 to 2-10 in their favour to set-up a final date with an in-form Ramor side. Played at PJ Duke Park in Stradone, Ramor demonstrated their strength in depth by securing a 1-10 to 0-7 victory to take the title back to Virginia. Templeport would get their shot at revenge a little over three months later when the two sides met against in the Minor A Championship final at Kingspan Breffni Park. The westerners had come through stiff tests against Oliver Plunkett’s (1-13 to 2-5) and Southern Gaels (3-15 to 1-13) to reach the decider on October 6th, which would act as the curtain-raiser to the junior championship final between Arva and Kill. With nerves no doubt playing a part in front of the big attendance, the concession of two first-half goals saw Templeport fall 2-5 to 0-5 behind at halftime. In the second-half, the trailers would endure a tough restart which saw them conceded two more green flags before netting twice in the space of a few minutes through Benjamin Kelly and

Dylan Maguire. It narrowed the deficit down to three points with 10 minutes to go, as Templeport looked to make a thrilling comeback. In the end, however, it was Ramor that would have the final say with the game’s seventh goal coming from ‘Man of the Match’ Jack Doyle which rounded off a 5-11 to 2-10 win for the young Virginia men. Templeport (MFC final v Ramor): Darren Donohoe; Brendan McGoldrick, Oran Duffy, Patrick McGoldrick; Michael Devine, Benjamin Kelly (1-0), Dylan Raythorne (0-1); Dylan Maguire (1-0), Niall Farrell (0-3, 3f); Liam Galligan (02, 1f), Ben Kiernan (0-4, 2f), Liam McAweeney; Killian Leonard, Eoin Doonan, Haydn Kellegher. Subs: Conor McAweeney for K Leonard (39mins).

U16s BRING HOME SILVERWARE After the minors brave bid for championship success fell just short, there would be some reprieve for the club in October when the Under 16 footballers delivered the Division Three championship title with victory over Lavey. Played under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, Templeport trailed in the early stages before discovering a bit of rhythm to draw the game level by the 20th minute on 0-4 apiece, with ‘Man of the Match’ Dylan Raythorne, Conor Minma and Gavin Donohoe finding their range, but the concession of a 27th minute goal would still send Lavey in with a 1-5 to 04 lead. Templeport made a scorching start to the second-half, as a Ryan Kelly goal was quickly backed up by a brace of Raythorne points to leave it at 1-6 each by the 41st minute and the westerners kept their momentum flowing to move


into the lead via Donohoe and Minma. Lavey, however, weren’t prepared to throw in the towel and kept things on a knife edge entering the closing stages. A brave save from Feargal McCall would deny Lavey the net late on and allow their opponents to catch them on the break which eventually saw Kelly cutting in for his second goal as the game approached injury-time. From there, substitute Peter Devine helped put a seal on the 2-11 to 1-9 victory with a splendid point, which had Templeport captain Michael Devine heading for the podium to collect the cup on his club’s behalf. Templeport (U16 Div 3 final v Lavey): Feargal McCall; Jason Doonan, Brendan McGoldrick; Ciaran King, Michael Devine, Conor McAweeney (01); Dylan Raythorne (0-3), Paul McBrien; Ryan Kelly (2-0), Conor Minma (0-3), Brian Farrell; Shane Galligan, Gavin Donohoe (0-3). Sub: Peter Devine (0-1).

Dylan Raythorne receives the player of the match award from Brian Seagrave

kingscourt designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:34 Page 1



ingscourt Stars may have saw their senior championship prospects cut short at the quarter-final stage this past season, but there’s still plenty to be excited about if you’re a supporter of the club, according to chairman Philip Smith. Since their splendid Oliver Plunkett Cup success in 2010, Kingscourt Stars have been up there with the heavy weights of Cavan club football. League and Junior B titles, along with another county final slot in 2012, have followed for the club since their historic triumph over Cavan Gaels three years ago to continue the upward curve. However, 2013 didn’t exactly go according to plan for the Stars, with no silverware having been achieved, but it doesn’t call for panic in the club – far from it, according to their chairman, who is confident that Kingscourt will be kings again in Cavan sooner rather than later. “From a playing point of view, we wanted to compete at all levels from juvenile levels right through to senior level,” explained Philip Smith. “Our aim was to qualify for the latter stages of the league competition and be there or thereabouts in the senior


2013 RESU

SFC urt 1-9 Kingsco 3 -1 0 a n w Go rt u o sc g -18 Kin Denn 2-6 1 scourt g in K 1 -1 1 ls 1-14 Cavan Gae

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championship. After competing in the last two county finals – winning one and losing one – we were hoping to get there again, but that didn’t happen.” Indeed it was newly found rivals Cavan Gaels that would end Kingscourt’s involvement in the senior championship to advance into the quarter-finals to help gain some revenge for their final defeat of 2010. Smith, a former chairman of the Cavan county board, admits that a depleted Kingscourt outfit were beaten by a better team on the day but knows that right now is about the bigger picture for a club that’s firmly focused on its future. “We had a number of key injuries. Apart from losing Joe Dillon and Barry Tully to emigration, Padraig Faulkner, Sean Gargan and Colm Smith were big losses to us with


Philip Tinnelly

injuries,” he stated. “That’s on the playing front though, as chairman of the club it goes beyond what happens on the playing field. We’re an extremely vibrant club with a five-year strategic plan which we’re working to. I mean there’s plenty of development going on, having recent spent €35,000 on upgrading the terracing in the park. We’ve a very active ladies section, along with the juvenile, so the club is growing. “We’re in a bit of a transition in that we have a couple of players that are coming to the end of the road and we’ve a number of younger players coming in. So it’s a matter of brooding the younger players through and trying to hold on to ‘the not so young’ players. “Niall Lynch came in at the beginning of the year with a new management team and we set out goals on where

kingscourt designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:34 Page 2



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The Kingscourt senior championship squad, front l/r: Aaron Brown, Aidan Smith, Cian McArdle, Shane Grey, Philip Tinnelly, Barry Reilly, Keith McCabe, Paddy Farrelly, Rory Sheridan, Sean Farrelly,  Mark Cunningham, Ciarain Smith. Back: Tomas Malone, Gavin Sheenan, Terry Reilly, Colm Smith, Kieran Gorman, Alan Clarke, James Farrelly, Daryl Martin, JP Reilly, Philip Smith, Anthony Corcoran, Ryan Carey, Ryan McCormack, Tomas Wakely 

kingscourt designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:35 Page 4

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kingscourt designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:35 Page 5

Ryan McCormack

we wanted to get to and we competed very well in the league. The iCavan Gaels come a game or two too early for us.” Lynch, who guided Mullahoran to the Cavan SFC in 2012 and Virginia to AllIreland College titles, was coming into Kingscourt on the back of some rave reviews and brought former Cavan Ulster SFC winner and club stalwart Raymond Cunningham and Gabriel Paterson in as his selectors. Undoubtedly, Lynch and co were gearing their team towards timing their best performances in the championship months of August and September, but the players would be well primed by the time the league rolled around at the end of February. “We started the league quite well,” said the chairman. “We did lose a couple of games but we came into a bit of form then and beat Lavey and Ballinagh to get on a bit of a run. We beat Ramor well after that, but there seemed to be a lack of consistency within our team but, as I said, there’s a transition at the moment with bringing young players through.” By August, Kingscourt had left themselves in the hunt for a top four finish in the ACFL Division 1A and entered their first round championship game against Gowna as favourites to advance into the winners’ section of the competition. Played in Ramor Park, Virginia, Gowna’s sizzling start saw them build up a 0-6 to 0-1 lead against the town

side and despite a spirited fight back from Lynch’s men, which saw Barry Reilly’s penalty bring them within a point, they’d end up suffering a shock 0-13 to 1-9 defeat. The loss would leave Kingscourt in a last chance saloon against Denn, whom fell to Killygarry after extra-time in their first round clash, at Kingspan Breffni Park. With their championship hopes on the line, Kingscourt raced out of the traps to open a three-point lead in as many minutes , with Alan Clarke, Philip Smith and Colm Smith all finding their range early on before Martin Cahill opened Denn's account in the fourth minute with a trademark forward drive from centre-back. The Stars bagged another hat-trick of unanswered points to assert their authority on the game, as two from veteran forward Ryan McCormack and a Barry Reilly free put them five to the good before Noel Crowe stemmed the tide at the other end. Colm Smith and Philip Tinnelly pushed the lead to six by the 13th minute and there was no sign of the town side letting up until the Crosskeys men struck a badly needed goal through McGovern.  After some grafting around the centre from Tomas Corr, Denn worked the ball up to Colin Kiernan in the corner and he found McGovern in space for the centre-forward to net low past James Farrelly to halve his team's deficit with 10 minutes remaining in the half.  Keith McCabe struck an immediate response to raise Kingscourt's ninth white flag, which would be soon erased by Martin Cahill's second, before Philip Smith moved the leaders into double figures, 0-10 to 1-3, at the halfway stage.  Kingscourt resumed the second-half in the best possible fashion by netting early to all but kill off the game as a contest. Smith's well-taken goal came off the back of some good work by Philip Tinnelly and it saw the Stars come into another purple patch, as points from McCormack (2), Smith and Reilly (free) saw them coast 10 clear. McGovern fired in his second goal in the 42nd minute after ripping through Kingscourt's rearguard and finding the top corner in a rare flash of brilliance for Denn on the evening. The strike took some tarnish off the score-line, rather than bring Raymond Galligan's men back into contention as their opponents never looked in danger of losing this game.


After another Reilly free and a splendid run and point from Colm Smith, Kingscourt emptied their bench in the closing stages and despite Denn's best efforts down the other end, the likes of Shane Grey and Alan Clarke were simply too sound at the back for something drastic to happen as the Stars ran out comfortable ninepoint winners.

Colm Smith

Philip Smith

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013 may have saw Drumlane finish empty handed when it comes to silverware, but there’s a bright future to look forward to if you’re a supporter of the club, according to youth coach Tom O’Brien. Transition is never an easy period for any club, but with Drumlane they can be comforted by the fact that there are some genuine talents on the way through to their senior ranks to help replace the soldiers of the past that have admirably given everything to the cause. 2013 saw some new faces blend in with the regulars for the Sons of O’Connell as they embarked on a stint in Division 1B of the All County Football League with Darren Boyle at the helm. The Fermanagh man wouldn’t be afraid to test out some of the younger players in his first few games in charge and it showed in mid-February when Drumlane won their league opener against Killygarry 2-4 to 0-8 in Milltown, where a late goal from minor ace Philip King sealed an early pair of points for the hosts. As the season unravelled, however, the first round win over the Crubany men was just about the peak of a forgetful league campaign for Drumlane, with a string of defeats sealing


2013 RESU


IFC ugent 1-10 Mountn ugh 3 -1 2 e n la ch a Drum m lly a -17 0-12 B arter-final u q Drumlane 2 – e n la m ru D -8 2 ercock 4-11

ion 1B ACFL Divis arry -4 0-8 Killyg Drumlane 2 hills -6 2-11 Red Drumlane 0 mlane ru D gh 1-14 2-3 aise Crosserlou h lly a B -5 1-7 Drumlane 0 mlane -15 0-8 Dru Drumalee 0 ill Celtic h -6 2-9 Coote wna Drumlane 0 o G 4 -8 1-1 Drumlane 0 lane m ru D -4 -6 0 Belturbet 0 goon m -7 1-17 Dru Drumlane 4 arry yg ill K -4 2-12 Drumlane 2 ne la m ru D -8 30 Redhills 1-1 lee a m -9 1-7 Dru Drumlane 0 ough rl e ss ro -7 1-14 C 1 e n e la m m ru D -8 Dru lan eltic 3-13 0 e n la Cootehill C 3 0-9 Drum Gowna 1-1 rbet -7 1-8 Beltu 1 Drumlane lane m ru D 3 -1 1-14 0 Ballyhaise e n v Drumla Drumgoon

relegation before a ball was thrown in for the summer’s championship. “We had a new manager in and we were hoping to retain our status in Division 1B,” explained Tom O’Brien, who has been a youth officer, coach and active member of the club since moving into the parish in recent years. “We wanted to do that and give the intermediate championship a good lash. We wouldn’t have expected to have been in a relegation fight all year in the league, but at the same time we knew it would be tough because we had a few young players coming through and unfortunately it just proved a bit much for us. “Darren Boyle came in and he was on his own for a few weeks before Sean O’Dowd and Joey McGuire came in as selectors. He lost a couple of games by a couple of points and it really spiralled downwards on us after that. When you get a bad start like that it’s hard to recover from it and unfortunately we couldn’t recover from it as the league went on.” Points were hard to come by as Boyle’s team were being pipped by senior championship contenders in their league trail and would be mathematically relegated before the intermediate championship


Ryan Connolly

rolled around in August. There was, however, some much needed light at the end of the tunnel. With Cavan out of the Ulster minor football championship, Ryan Connolly, Donal Monahan and Kian Monahan – all of whom started for the young Breffni men in their voyage to the Ulster semifinal – would be freed up to play for Drumlane in the Cavan IFC. Unfortunately, the latter would see no more action for the remainder of the year as the result of a shoulder injury. “Young lads coming in always give a bit of impetus to the club,” Tom stated. “Ryan came off the back of a good enough Ulster minor championship campaign with Cavan. He’s a fantastic talent and probably took a little bit of the onus of some of the more senior players to play a bit of football. He certainly improved things when he did come in and it’s a pity that the likes of Kian Monahan and that were injured, because you had a few more young lads that could have come through and just haven’t come yet. But there’s a gang of young lads to come through there and the future is bright if you can just hold them altogether.” A narrow one-point defeat to rivals Belturbet in Milltown, where the home side tallied 10 second-half wides and hit the upright twice, acted as an incentive

drumlane designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:38 Page 2


Drumlane’s seniors made it to the quarter-finals of the IFC, front l/r: Cormac Fitzpatrick, Ciaran Keaney, Ciaran Seagrave, Fergal Brady, Darragh Brady, John O’Dowd (captain) Garry Tubman, Donal Reilly, Declan Lunney, Francis Lunney, Philip King, Conor Lunney. Back: Ryan Connolly, Neil McCann, Geoffrey Bourke, James Dolan, Pauric Leddy, Brendan McKiernan, Darren Murphy, Ciaran Crowe, Brendan Reilly, Barry Cunningham, Glen Fitzpatrick, Daryl McNulty, Stephen McCann, J.P. Kelly

drumlane designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:38 Page 3


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Best Wishes to Drumlane GFC In The Future for the players when they met Mountnugent at Kingspan Breffni Park in the preliminary round of the intermediate championship. A nervy start wouldn’t disrupt Drumlane, taking them all of four minutes to recover from the concession of an early goal, as Daryl McNulty found Barry Cunningham inside and the veteran forward lashed the ball to the roof of Jonathan Givney's net. Cunningham and Connolly followed up with quick scores to stretch their side's

Conor Connolly

lead to three, but some decent work from David Givney set-up Ronan Caffrey to keep the Meath border men in touch.

Ciaran Caffrey landed a fine score moments later, which was immediately cancelled out by Connolly at the other end as Mountnugent were struggling to pin down the speedy Cavan minor star. A slick gather and turn saw Liam Hennessy tap over his first to make it a one-point game again, but Drumlane

Donal Monahan

finished the half in decent fashion raising three white flags via Daragh Brady, Cunningham and Connolly (free) to outweigh a single from Adam Patterson, leaving the score at 1-7 to 14 in their favour. Dane O'Dowd, who curtailed Givney’s influence for most of the hour, set the tone from the second-half throw-in when his blistering run was sent through by Cunningham and the former county senior slotted over. The west Cavan men started to find their rhythm

Brandon Kaye

Michael Owens

Daryl McGurren The U16 Division 4 League finalists, front l/r: Ciaran Kaye, Sean Smith (Captain), Shane Maguire, Domnic Kearney, Darragh Dolan, Conor Reilly, Aaron Gilroy. Back: Brandon Kaye, Conor Connolly, Donal Monahan, Daniel Galligan, Luke Longair, Killan Tubman, Shane Dolan, Seamus King


drumlane designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:38 Page 4

The U12 League finalists, front l/r: Jake Rodgers, Ciaran Gunne, Killian Frehill, Jordan Galligan, Eoghan Maguire (captain), Oisin McAnenna, Mark Maguire, Daniel Reilly, Sean Maguire, Caolan McGovern. Back: Martin McAnenna, Peadar Maguire, Daryl McGurren, Danny McManus, Daniel Dermody, Michael Owens, Declan Galligan, Joshua Marsden, Colm Maguire, Andy Owens

Mark Maguire

Jordan Galligan

after that with Stephen McCann floating over off his trusty left boot and Padraig Leddy backing it up with an over from his full-forward station. Stephen Smith launched a long-range point to try and stem the tide for last year's beaten junior finalists, but through Connolly Drumlane kept them at a distance as he slotted over two (one free) before Leddy put Cunningham through for his second goal to all but end the game as a contest.  To their credit, Mountnugent never gave up the battle and rattled off the next three scores through Ciaran Caffrey (free), Stephen Smith and Givney - now operating at full-forward before Caffrey notched two more to leave a nervy finish.  An outstanding point from JP Kelly down the other end assured Drumlane of their place in the first round proper, however, consigning Mountnugent to the backdoor system.  Drumlane (IFC v Mountnugent): Darren Murphy; Francis Lunney, John O'Dowd, Donal O'Reilly; JP Kelly (0-1), Glenn Fitzpatrick, Daragh Brady (0-1); Dane O'Dowd (0-1), Ciaran Crowe; Daryl McNulty, Paul Kelly, Stephen McCann (0-1); Ryan Connolly (0-6, 2f), Padraig Leddy (0-1), Barry

Siofra Fitzpatrick

Aine Owens, Gillian Brady and Leigha Kinsella-Hyland

Cunningham (2-2). Subs: Gary Tubman for McNulty (29mins), Brendan O'Reilly for P Kelly (43), Philip King for McCann (53). “It was a good win. We were solid enough and again, as I said, a new player in kind of gave everyone a pep in their step,” Tom explained. “We kicked on in that game and looked good. We had a few decent performances leading up to that game, including one against Belturbet that we lost by a point and should have won, so there was some encouragement going into that game.” The Mountnugent game saw Connolly, Francis Lunney, Philip King and Donal O’Reilly all making flying starts in their intermediate championship debuts for the club and they’d impress again in the next round against Ballymachugh. Played at St Aidan’s Park in Bawnboy, Drumlane would dominate large portions of the game to score a resounding 2-17 to 0-12 win, with Connolly tallying 2-4 of their total. The only downside to the victory would be the straight red card issued to Dane O’Dowd which would rule him out of the following month’s quarter-final, despite a strong appeal from the club.


Nonetheless, the players and management were confident that they could book their place in the semi-finals minus the services of the former Cavan defender and when the draw threw up Shercock the team went into the Kingspan Breffni Park clash confident of another championship win. As the game unravelled though, it was Shercock that commenced the game strong and eventually had their opponents out of sight by the 15th minute as they ran up a 2-5 to 0-1 lead, with county representatives Killian Clarke and Brian Sankey pulling the strings around the centre. Drumlane needed two goals from centre-back JP Kelly to bring themselves back into contention, but in the end Shercock ran out comfortable winners and went on to advance to the final after dumping out the competition’s favourites Cootehill the next day. “With Dane sent off against Ballymachugh we knew we were going to be up against it, but at the same time we’d felt that things had changed around for us after the league and confidence was high,” said Tom. “There was a good buzz, training seemed to be going well and felt that if we could beat Shercock that we’d be a

drumlane designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:38 Page 5

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dark horse for the going by his review, championship. The things seem to be ethos was to win going as well as one game at a time ever for Drumlane’s though but, renowned juvenile unfortunately, on the fraternity. night it just didn’t “I’d be very happen. Again, confident with what Dane was a huge we have underage. loss and on the day We have a nobody played well. smashing Under We got off to a bad 8/Under 10 boys start and as the that are very game went on the competitive in all the wheels fell off the blitzes they play in. cart.” The Under 12s got Tom admitted that On duty in the U16 Division 4 championship final, front l/r: Daniel Galligan, Darragh Dolan, Conor to a league final and Reilly, Ciaran Kaye, Brandon Kaye (captain), Declan Burns, Aaron Gilroy, Shane Maguire. Back: the defeat to Vincent Connolly (manager), Shane Dolan, Conor Connolly, Luke Longair, Anthony Galligan, lost it by a point and Sean Smyth, Donal Monahan, Seamus King, Hugh Monahan (selector) Shercock, whom the U13s did quickly became the extremely well to intermediate get to a semi-final and we’re going to be championship’s surprise package, ALL-IRELAND DREAM COMES very strong from Under 10 to Under 14 ended a forgetful year for the club at TRUE FOR BRONAGH for the next few years.” senior level. “As for the Under 16s, we were “It crowned a disappointing year,” he In September, club stalwart Bronagh beaten in the league final and the said. “On reflection, everybody will be Sheridan hit national headlines when championship final, so what more can disappointed with the way the year she helped the Cavan ladies to a you say about that? We will need to went because we lost a few games that historic All-Ireland Intermediate amalgamate at minor level next year we should have won and got a couple Championship success at Croke Park. because there are some very good of ‘tankings’ as well. Then just when we Sheridan dispatched the winning goal players there, but we just don’t have the looked to be getting a bit of against Tipperary via a late penalty bodies on the ground.” encouragement and seemed to be which sealed a 1-14 to 1-12 win for the getting on well in the championship, our Breffni women over their Premier UNDER 16 LADIES CLINCH bubble was burst. Unfortunately, the counterparts and helped banish the CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE year just came to a demoralising end.” ghosts from the final defeat of 2011 at However, the Dublin native is backing the hands of Westmeath (after a the club to bounce back in 2014, when This past October saw Drumlane they will be playing their league football replay). Still only 26, the ace attacker ladies do the club proud by capturing at a more suitable level in Division Two has been a pinnacle part of the county the Division Two championship title with of the ACFL ahead of another bid to team for the best part of a decade now victory over Crosserlough at Kingspan capture the elusive Tommy Gilroy Cup and has also represented her country in Breffni Park 3G. In a closely contested which has yet to find its way to Milltown International Rules as well as soccer. final, Drumlane edged the proceedings yet. 2014 will see her become the first at half-time (1-3 to 0-3) thanks to a goal “There is a championship in that Drumlane woman to line out for Cavan from the outstanding Michaela team,” Tom assured. “There are a few in the All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Fitzpatrick. The young Kilnaleck women senior players that may be hanging up Championship tested their Milltown counterparts’ their boots soon, but there’s some good resolve in the second-half, adding nine young lads coming through and we UNDERAGE STAYING STRONG points to their tally but two more goals need to trust them. We really do, from Fitzpatrick proved salient in a 3-9 because we can’t keep asking the older As well as being an avid follower of to 0-12 victory which had Drumlane lads to keep coming back and bail us the seniors’ progress, Tom is steeped in team captain Siofra Fitzpatrick proudly out. We need to give these young lads the underage section of the club and, collecting the cup on her club’s a chance and tell them ‘you’re behalf. Great credit must go to going to be 1-15’ and then the players, as well as team they’ll play. Sure we’re going to mentors Colm Maguire and Best Wishes To Drumlane GAA From make mistakes, but we need to Mickey Leddy, after backing up give them confidence and put their championship success of our trust in them because they 2012 which saw them defeat are going to be our future. Mullahoran in the final. “Maybe, in hindsight, we Drumlane (U16 Div 2 final v would have been better off Crosserlough): Ciara Maguire, losing our status from the year Ciara Leddy, Ciara Brady, before because you were Bronach Reilly, Maria Brady, playing against teams that Ciara Fitzpatrick, Siofra were gearing up for senior Fitzpatrick, Irene Monahan, Tara O’Neill-Chambers, Aine championship and were just Reilly, Michaela Fitzpatrick. that bit stronger than us. There Subs: Niamh Gunn, Shauna are talented footballers in our Killeshandra Rd., McManus, Olivia Keaney, Ellen club though and hopefully we Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan. Brady. can kick on for next year.”


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hile Gowna’s senior championship voyage may have ended early this past season, 2013 wasn’t a year that saw the club end up empty handed as new PRO Derek McGahern explained. A slice of luck is often important in any team’s run to championship success, but for Gowna there was no such thing as fortune would evade the club even months before the ball was thrown in for the 2013 Cavan SFC to commence. After a solid league campaign, which saw them guaranteed a semi-final place by the summer, Gowna approached their first round championship draw against Kingscourt with plenty of confidence, despite being ranked as 4/1 outsiders against the previous year’s beaten finalists and winners from 2010. In Virginia, Mickey Harkin’s men were hands down full value for their win over the Stars, however, between injuries and absentees, the next two games saw Gowna convincingly defeated and denied a place in the last eight of the championship, which had been the plan from the outset. “We wanted to get promotion in the league and then try and get


2013 RESU

SFC ourt 3 1-9 Kingsc -1 Gowna 0 nited U r o m a 3-15 R ran Gowna 1-7 o 4-13 Mullah Gowna 0-7 ion 1B ACFL Divis na 2 1-7 -7 Gow Drumgoon rry a yg 0 0-7 Kill Gowna 1-1 a n w o G 1-9 Redhills 1-8 na w o G -3 1 3 1-1 Ballyhaise na w o -8 1-14 G Drumlane 0 eltic C ill h te o 0-10 Co -8 1 a n w o e G rb t 1 0-5 Beltu Gowna 1-1 rlough e 1-10 Cross Gowna 2-9 wna o G -10 1-7 Killygarry 1 haise lly a B 4 6 0-1 Gowna 0-1 hills d 1 0-14 Re Gowna 1-1 goon m ru 0 2-15 D Gowna 1-1 wna o G 1 -1 -6 1 Drumalee 1 lane 3 0-9 Drum Gowna 1-1 owna -8 c 2-14 5 G lti e C ill h te o Co ot played rumalee – n t played Gowna v D – no gh v Gowna Crosserlou t played Gowna - no Belturbet V

Accepting the Junior 1B championship trophy are joint Gowna captains Gavin Hartin and Jim Sorahan

into the quarter-finals of the championship if we got a decent draw, but as it turned out the draw wasn’t too favourable on us this year,” said club PRO, Derek MacGahern. Gowna began training for their season in January and were well primed by Harkin and Eamon O’Reilly by the time the ACFL Division 1B rolled around in late February. An opening round defeat to Drumgoon would prove only minor blip in their league campaign, as Gowna gathered form and with ace forwards Conor Madden, Shane Briody and David Hyland on form they secured a semi-final slot before the senior championship’s start in early August. “In the league end of things, our last game before the championship was against Cootehill and even though we didn’t play that well we still won the game. That was kind of the story with the league in that we weren’t performing to our best but still winning regardless and we used a lot of players for the league – something like 29 players,” McGahern explained. “At the start of the year we played Drumgoon and a lot of people in the club thought that we were very low in numbers, but the way things turned out is that we ended up with


a big squad and it showed in the junior final when we had 30 lads togged out for it. From last year’s team we lost Ciaran Fitzpatrick to emigration and then Emmet Madden was coming over from England for most of the games. But we only lost three games in the league against Ballyhaise, Killygarry and Drumgoon.” In June, the club would lose the services of Mickey Harkin for two months through an illness, which saw Tony Gormley and Mark McKeever brought in as selectors to help Joe McCormack from Killoe train the team in the eight weeks leading up to the championship. When it came time to travel to Ramor Park, the players were ready to more than match a fancied Kingscourt side and hit the ground running in Virginia with points from Conor Madden, Niall Madden, Shane Briody and David Hyland ushering them into the drivingseat, before Mark McKeever opened a 0-6 to 0-1 lead on the quarter hour mark. Barry Reilly and Daryl Martin pulled back sorely needed scores for the town side, but points from Cian Bannon and McKeever sent Gowna in at half-time with a comfortable 0-8 to 0-3 lead. Conor Madden and Briody sent over

gowna designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:41 Page 2


On duty in the senior championship, front l/r: Fergal Hartin, Andrew Dewart, Karl Kiernan, Ciaran Donohoe, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Shane Briody, Niall Madden (captain), Conor Madden, Brendan Madden, Shane Harton, Ryan McGahern, Cathaldus Hartin. Back: Dermot McCabe, Ronan Shiels, Derek McGahern, David Phillips, Pauric Bannon, James Madden, Damien Fitzpatrick, Ronan Bannon, Raymond Keogh, Cian Bannon, Stephen Leddy, Gerald Pearson, Justin Perrin, Gavin Hartin. Missing from the photo are: Mark McKeever, Emmet Madden, Christy Madden, David Hyland and William Stephens

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the first two scores of the resumption to push the leaders’ advantage to seven with 20 minutes remaining, but they’d miss the influence of Niall Madden around the centre after he’d picked up a hand injury which forced him to switch to full-back. Kingscourt introduced both Ryan McCormack and Colm Smith to the fray to try and get themselves back into contention and it worked a treat as they narrowed the gap to five before Smith earned a penalty in the 54th minute which Barry Reilly converted. All of Gowna’s good work could well have been undone had they panicked in the closing stages, but they kept cool and grabbed an excellent point through Conor Madden in the 60th minute which was enough to see out a deserved 0-13 to 1-9 win. Gowna (SFC v Kingscourt): Ronan Bannon; Brendan Madden, Emmet Madden, Ryan McGahern; Andrew Dewart, Willie Stephens, Shane Harten; Raymond Keogh, David Hyland (0-1); Mark McKeever (0-3), Niall Madden (01), Ciaran Brady (0-1); Conor Madden (0-3), Shane Briody (0-2), Cian Bannon

Cian Hartin

(0-1). “We won, but we felt we should have won by more,” said McGahern. “We went 0-6 to 0-1 up after 20 minutes and were four or five points up at half-time and it was only in the last 10 minutes that the game got tight. We were cruising for most of it and when Niall Madden broke his finger he went in at full-forward and we lost his work rate out around the middle of the field. “They (Kingscourt) started to come back into it and got it down to five points and the ref gave them a penalty, which they scored, and I think Conor Madden could have got a point right after that and Philip Smith got a free in injury-time and we won by a point. Conor’s performances have helped us an awful lot this year. A lot of games he’s got eight points for us, whether it 1-5 or eight points altogether, but his scoring has helped us a lot and he’s been our main player this year.” Gowna’s win caught the attention of supporters all across the county and many felt that they could pull off a similar result when they took on new favourites Ramor United, who defeated

Cormac Brady

Mullahoran in their round one fixture, at Kingspan Breffni Park. However, when the two sides met in Cavan town at the end of August, Gowna would be down two of their most influential players before the throw-in and end up suffering a heavy 3-15 to 17 defeat at the hands of the Virginia men. “We lost David Hyland the night before the match with a bad bug and he was in hospital the Saturday and Sunday night and then we lost Emmet Madden in the warm-up,” explained McGahern, “so we lost our full-forward and our full-back before the game even started. So we had to restructure and bring Niall Madden back to full-back and although he did a fairly good job on Kevin Mulvanny, his work rate was missed out the field. “We were down by six at half-time and got a goal early in the second-half to bring us back into it but they got a deflected goal and that kind of finished us.” The next day out against neighbours Mullahoran would see things go from bad to worse, with the concession of

Fionnan Brady

Paul Langtry

Oisin Pearson The U16 league winners, front l/r: Cian O’Reilly, Oisin Pearson, Conor Halton, John James McGahern, Eoin O’Reilly, Paul Langtry, Paul Brady. Back: Aaron Brady, Ruadhan McDonnell, Ryan Madden, Cian Madden, Conor Brady, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Donal Hand. Missing from the picture is Eli Mellor


gowna designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:41 Page 5

The U12 squad that took on Crosserlough in the league final, front l/r: Cormac Brady, Cian Murray, Cillian O’Reilly, Diarmuid Boylan, Cian Hartin, Fionnan Brady, Jack Madden, Ciaran Boylan, Ryan Brady. Back: Shane Donohoe (mascot), Gary Donohoe (joint manager), Cormac Boylan, Ryan Donohoe, Kevin Brennan, Tiernan Madden, John O’Reilly, Oisin McConnon, Fergal Hartin (joint manager)

three soft goals leading up to the dismissals of Conor Madden and Shane Briody before a late penalty from Enda O’Reilly condemned the Lakersiders to a 4-13 to 0-7 defeat. “We conceded two goals in the firsthalf and they were both bad goals to give away and then we got it back to three points at half-time with Conor Madden’s frees, and again he was keeping us in it,” said the PRO. “They got a goal five minutes into the secondhalf and then Mark (McKeever) went off injured for us and Conor Madden and Shane Briody got send off on second yellow cards, which left us seven or eight points down with 13 men. The lads seemed to cave in after that.”

At that, Gowna’s championship quest was at an end, despite their promising start, and the hopes for next year now, according to McGahern, is that the Longford border men will find themselves with an easier draw to get themselves into an advanced stage of the Cavan SFC. “Hopefully we’ll be playing a higher standard,” he stated. “If you look at the likes of Crosserlough, whom we beat this year in the league, they’ve seemed to up it for the championship and hopefully we can do that.

Joint captains Aaron Brady and Robbie Fitzpatrick accept the U16 league trophy

Championship winners – the Junior 1B title winners in 2013, front l/r: Ryan McGahern, Damien Fitzpatrick, Damien Bannon, Pauric Bannon, Gavin Hartin, Christy Madden, T.J. Fitzpatrick, Ronan Shiels, Jim Sorohan, Jason Langtry, Karl Kiernan. Back: Fergal Hartin, Stephen Leddy, Ciaran Donohoe, Padraic Briody, Paul Madden, Justin Perrin, Cian Bannon, Derek McGahern, Aaron Langtry, Shane Harton, Padraig Brady, Paul McGahern, James Madden, Conor Reynolds, Gearoid Reilly, Ciaran Brady.


gowna designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:41 Page 6

Padraig Brady

“This year we got three of the top five teams in the county in the championship this year, and beat one, which isn’t too bad for a team that’s considered 11th or 12th going by the league. For next year we’d be hoping for a more favourable draw and get into the quarter-final or semi-final and from there you never know how your luck will go.” JUNiORS CLiNCH DiviSiON 1B TiTLE

In August, Gowna’s second-string captured the Division 1B championship when they overcame Drumalee’s challenge in Ballinagh. The Gowna team was a largely a mix of veterans and upcoming young talents and they were inspired to victory by the second-half introduction ex-Cavan star Dermot McCabe, with the former All Star kicking 0-3 (0-2f) to help his side to victory. The winners made a superb start to the final, running up 0-5 to Drumalee’s 0-1 after 10 minutes via Shane Hartin, TJ Fitzpatrick, Damien Fitzpatrick, who finished with 1-4 (3f) from full-forward,

Ruadhan McDonnell

Damien Fitzpatrick

Ciaran Donohoe

Christy Madden and James Madden. Drumalee hit back with two points, but through Hartin, Fitzpatrick (free) and youngster Cian Bannon, Gowna extended their lead to five and did the real damage on the eve of half-time with a well-orchestrated goal from Fitzpatrick to leave it at 1-8 to 0-6 for the interval. Drumalee resumed well in the secondhalf to cut their deficit to four, but with Ryan McGahern, Christy Madden and Stephen Leddy all solid at the back, along with seasoned campaigner and former Cavan star Ciaran Brady snr, Gowna were never going to give too much away to the Cavan town side and the introduction of McCabe in the 40th minute would be a timely one. His first involvement would see him sending over a free off his left boot to put Gowna’s lead at 1-9 to 0-7. However, there was a purple patch left in Drumalee, as they reduced their arrears to two points before Gowna came with a big finish in the final quarter, with McCabe swinging over two points (one a free) and Fitzpatrick adding to his tally. In injury-time, only a goal separated the sides but the

Dermot McCabe

Gerald Pearson


Justin Perrin

Lakesiders secured the win with another well-worked goal which saw Padraig Brady, Fitzpatrick and Shane Hartin combining to pick out substitute Carl Kiernan, who rifled to the net to seal a 2-13 to 0-13 triumph which was jointcaptains Gavin Hartin and Jim Sorohan collecting the Cup on the club’’s behalf. The title was the third piece of silverware to come to the club, after Gowna’s Under 16 footballers defeated Cornafean for silverware in July and just five days later Southern Gaels (an amalgamation of Gowna and Lacken) would defeat O’Raghallaigh Gaels by 213 to 0-9 in the Division Two Minor League final in Virginia. Gowna (DIV 1B final v Drumalee): Derek McGahern; Ciaran Donohoe, Ryan McGahern, Ronan Sheils, Ciaran Brady snr, Christy Madden (0-1), Stephen Leddy; Jim Sorohan, Shane Hartin (0-2); Cian Bannon (0-1), TJ Fitzpatrick (0-1), James Madden (0-1); Justin Perrin, Damien Fitzpatrick (1-4, 3f), Padraig Brady. Subs: Fergal Hartin, Dermot McCabe (0-3, 2f), Pauric Bannon, Carl Kiernan (1-0), Padraic Briody.

Mark McKeever

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ack-to-back promotion is a rare feat for any club, but the fact that Bailieborough Shamrocks have done it in such style recently suggests that there are heady times ahead. Oliver Tierney acted as the club’s PRO and senior team selector in 2013 and filled us in on another year where huge strides were made. The last few years may have saw Bailieborough Shamrocks hovering between Divisions Two and Three in the All County Football League, whilst the intermediate championship has often been a case of ‘so close, yet so far’ since the club’s demotion from the senior grade. However, on league form at least, Bailieborough are one of the most promising up and coming teams in the county after backing up their Division Three success of 2012 with promotion from the second tier 12 months later. Oliver Tierney was a part of Barry McArdle’s backroom team as a selector for the 2013 campaign and outlined exactly what the players and management had set out to do when they met back in January for their season.

“Our aims were to consolidate our position in Division Two,” explained Tierney, who also serves as the club’s PRO. “We’d got promotion the previous year and had been up and down between Division Two and Three the last few years, so our aims were kind of modest going in at the start of the year. We are up in Division 1B for next year and LTS U hopefully we’ll be able to maintain out S E R 3 1 0 2 status up there and improve our form in the championship.” IFC Having made such strides the previous 1 Cootehill -1 0 -7 0 h g bridge rs Bailieborou tle u season, McArdle would be glad to learn B 0 -1 gh 0-16 1 eborough Bailieborou ili that he would be starting 2013 with a B 3 -1 1 0-8 erLaragh Utd ugh – quart much the same panel, bar county ro o b e ili a B 0-11 goalkeeper Alan O’Mara switching to Cootehill 3-7 final Oliver Plunkett’s in Dublin, as he was well aware the battle his team faced in 2 n io is iv D L ACF h g u ro Division Two. o b e ili -8 Ba Drung 0-6 0 afean rn Tierney explained that it was a o C 2 -1 0 gh 1-9 Bailieborou bumpy start for the Shamrocks in Killeshandra 4 -1 1 -9 0 gh A ACFL, with only three points coming Bailieborou illinkere GA 0-15 1-11 K h gh g u u ro ro o o b b e e ili from as many opening games, before a B Baili 8 -1 0 aught 0-7 the team came into some rich form wanlinbar S Munterconn 2 -1 1 3 -1 gh 1 g n ru from April onwards. D Bailieborou -3 0 gh 0-14 rough Bailieborou “We had a hard battle with Drung in o b e ili a B 1 0-8 0-1 h g u ro o our first game and got a two-point b Cornafean e ili Ba nt 0-9 2-17 ugh ro o win,” said Tierney. “We probably b e Mountnuge ili a B 1-10 2-11 rough deserved the win, but made hard o b e Killeshandra ili a B 2 2-9 1-1 ls work of it and were glad to come Laragh Utd Cavan Gae h 1-14 1-8 g u ro h o g u away with the two points in the end. ro o Bailieb b e ili -4 1-9 Ba ugent We drew with Cornafean the next tn Killinkere 0 n u o M 1 -1 gh 1-11 0 u h g ro u o b day, so there we were with three ro e o b ili e a B Baili ls 1-7 0-15 aught n points after two tough games and n o rc te Cavan Gae n u 1M gh 1-11 1-1 td U h g ra Bailieborou a L gh V Bailieborou borough 3 0-7 Bailie -1 1 r a b Swanlin


Niall Kelly

then we met Killeshandra and they have us a good auld beating down in Killeshandra. So with three points after three games our aim of staying in the middle of the table seemed like a wise one. “From then on we got a good run of results. We learned a lot of lessons after the Killeshandra game. We reshaped our team and sorted things out. We saw a few things that weren’t working for us and when we changed them the team started playing better as a whole and picking up results.” Tierney claims that the players buying into McArdle was a major factor in the team’s successful run in the league and the peak of their season would come in the summer months when they clinched promotion before the intermediate championship got underway in midAugust. “We were going well for promotion and with a few games to go before the championship we had to play a few games without our county players,” he said. “We weren’t hugely impressive in our games coming up to the championship, but we’d put that down to the fact that we had maybe four absentees. We drew with Munterconnacht, which is a hard place to go to try and get a result. We needed to beat Mountnugent to clinch promotion and we did that, so we were coming into the championship knowing

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