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BAILIEBOROUGH - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

Up against Butlersbridge in the championship, front l/r: S Kelly, A Reilly, D Reilly, B Argue, P Clerkin, D Lynch, D O’Reilly, S Dillon, P Fay, S Reilly, L Duffy, E O’Sullivan. Back: P Clarke, N Comey, P O'Reilly, P Sharkey, C Cranston, C Tierney, B McMahon, C Gilsenan, M Argue, L Moynagh, B Scanlon, N Kelly, C Daly, D Carolan


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that we’d be playing our football in Division 1B the following year.” With promotion in the bag, Bailieborough headed into their opening championship clash with Cootehill, who were ranked as favourites for the competition after losing last year’s final, fully confident of pulling off an upset against their neighbours. In the end, however, it was Cootehill’s experience that shone through in Kingscourt, where they scored a 0-11 to 0-7 win to advance straight into the quarter-finals, leaving McArdle’s charges needing two wins in order to get into the last eight. “We were losing 0-5 to 0-3 at half-time and we had set the team up in order to make sure that Cootehill wouldn’t fins scores easy to come by,” Tierney explained on the defeat. “We were playing very defensive and we were actually happy enough going in at half-time, but at the start of the second-half Cootehill opened up and got four points on us in the opening minutes. We fought our way back and had a good purple patch but Cootehill saw it out in the end. We wanted to keep it tight and try and catch them in the second-half,

Rory Farrell

but in fairness they’re a good young team and they deserved the win.” The loss left Bailieborough needing a win over Butlersbridge in order to avoid the chance of a relegation battle and when the two sides met at Kingspan Breffni Park it was far from a routine victory for the town side, whom many neutrals thought would stroll on the night. The Shamrocks raced away from their opponents in the opening stages, with scores from county senior Michael Argue (2), Niall Kelly (2) and Sean Cooney to hold a five-point lead that went out the window once Martin Fitzpatrick hit the net for 'The Bridge' four minutes before the interval. McArdle’s side would surrender their lead by the 32nd minute and for long stages of the second-half it looked as though Butlersbridge were going to pull off a memorable win, with Bailieborough wasting an array of chances, but for a late Argue free which sent the game into extra-time. The underdogs were hands down the better team in the first-half of extra-time, but could only manage a one-point lead by the interval and ran out of steam in

Paul O’Reilly

the second-half as Argue (2), Niall Comey and substitute Paul Sharkey raised enough white flags for a hard fought 0-16 to 1-10 win. Bailieborough: Conor Gilsenan; Damian Lynch, Calvin Daly, Luke Moynagh; Shane Dillion, Niall Comey (01), Conor Tierney; Niall Kelly (0-4), Declan O'Reilly (0-1); Senan O'Reilly, Paul O'Reilly (0-1), Eoin O'Sullivan; Sean Cooney (0-2), Michael Argue (0-6, 4f), James Fulton. Subs: Gerard Clarke for D Lynch (27mins), Damien O'Reilly for J Fulton (39), David Carolan for S Dillon (39), Aidan Reilly for S Cooney (46), Paul Sharkey (0-1) for N Kelly (47), Sean Cooney for D Carolan (ET), Niall Kelly for E O'Sullivan (ET). Junior champions Laragh United would provide Bailieborough with their next test at the Cavan town venue, where a quarter-final place would be at stake. On the day, McArdle’s men produced their best form in the competition, with Argue, who had been so inspirational in his role for Cavan seniors in the summer, outstanding at centre-field and goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan contributing 0-5 from frees. Eoin Sullivan’s superbly taken goal midway through the second-

Damien Reilly

Conor Tierney

Shane Dillon The Bailieborough crew for the U14 final against Ballinagh, front l/r: Paul Cooney (mentor), Dylan Murray, Andrew Brady, Seamus O’Neill, Oisin Clarke, Rory Farrell, Karl O’Neill, Kyle McGuinness, Ryan Gargan, Peter Murray, Mikey Farrelly. Back: Patrick McEntee (mentor), Cillian Traynor, Frank Clarke, Colin Hynes, Jack Barry, Cian McEntee, Jack Clerkin, Stephen O’Reilly, Adam Farrell, Ollie Clerkin (mentor) 

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On league duty against Swanlinbar, front l/r: Senan O’Reilly, Calvin Daly, Declan O'Reilly (captain), Eoin O’Sullivan, Peter Clerkin, Shane Dillon, Damien Reilly, Gerry Clarke. Back: Thomas Cooney, James Cooney, Damien Lynch, Luke Moynagh, Conor Gilsenan, Paul O’Reilly, Conor Tierney, Michael Argue, Niall Comey, Niall Kelly, Kevin Brady

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half all but sealed the win for the men in red and white and set-up another showdown with Cootehill in the last eight. This time the old rivals would meet under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, where the concession of three first-half goals would be Bailieborough’s downfall. The trailers would turn their performance around in the second-half, with Damien O’Reilly and James Fulton coming off the bench to kick points that helped

Luke Moynagh

Kevin O’Sullivan

bring their side back into contention. However, with their damage done in the first 30 minutes, Cootehill had enough left in the tank to see out a 3-7 to 0-11 win and end their opponents’ championship aspirations for another season. “We leaked goals in the first-half and at half-time we were down 3-4 to 0-4,” said Tierney. “After that…well, where do you go from there? But in fairness our lads rallied in the second-half and they put it

Jack Barry

up to Cootehill and got it back to four points. We missed the chance of a goal and a couple of points, but again Cootehill were strong in the end and saw out the win. We were disappointed and we felt we didn’t do ourselves justice that night, but we could’ve no complaints in the end. “We’ll be looking to hold our position in the league next year and we’re looking forward to the chance to play some of the stronger teams because that stands

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Fleming and Helen Collins and ran out deserving winners on a score-line of 19 to 2-4. Credit must go to the Bailieborough defence who stood strong in the second-half and held Killygarry to a single point.

Representing the club at U13 level, front l/r: Killian Traynor, Conrad Cooney, Lee Brady, Oisin Clarke, Jack Barry, Colin Gargan, Jack Sheridan, Jamie McCullagh, Dean McCullagh. Back: Peter Murray, Darragh Donnellan, Cian McEntee, Seamus O’Neill, Barry Scanlon, Colin Hynes, Mikey Farrelly, Andrew Farrelly, Gregory Luggable, Daire Clarke

to you in the championship. You could see t with Cootehill this year and hopefully we’ll be able to make those same strides as well,” he added.

CAMOGS GOING STRONG In August, Bailieborough’s Under 14 camogie side did their club proud when they defeated Kill to capture the county title. In the first half they accumulated a score-line of 1-2 to 0-2 and when the final whistle blew they had retained the lead at 2-6 to 0-5 to become champions. The girls battled hard and were thrilled their victory. Major credit must go out to all involved in the team and training sessions, especially Paul Corcoran, Clare Dolan, Deirdre Dolan, Geraldine O’Reilly and Paul McEvoy. September then saw the club’s senior camogs bring home silverware as well by winning the 7-a-side league. They defeated a strong Drumgoon side in the final at PJ Duke Park in Stradone. At half-time with only a point up (2-1 to 20) a determined Bailieborough went out and fought for every ball ending with a score of 4-5 to 2-5. The win rounded off a progressive year for the team, under the management of Francis Clarke and Deirdre Dolan, while the silverware gave

the girls something to mark their dedication for the season with.

UNDER 14 LADIES qUALIFy FOR FEILE In April, pride of place went to Bailieborough’s Under 14 ladies team who qualified for the National Feile Finals in Derry. Competing against Ballymachugh, Cornafean and Lurgan on Bank Holiday Monday, the girls reached the final where they defeated Lurgan. They settled in with a good win as expected over the host club and then repeated this performance the next morning to win their first game in Lifford. That set up a winner takes all contest with Moyle Rovers from Tipperary and despite trailing at halftime the girls turned things around and won a very exciting game by a single point to qualify for the semi -final. They traveled to Letterkenny to take on the Kilkenny team but unfortunately their opponents proved to be too strong and they lost out on the chance to play in the final on Sunday. Nevertheless it was great achievement by this group of girls who represented the club at this level for the first time.

LADIES TAKE LEAGUE TITLE This past season saw the club’s junior ladies team defeat Killygarry in the Division 4 League final. Played in wet and windy conditions in Ramor Park, Virginia, both teams put on a great display of football which was close until the final whistle. The Shamrocks went into an early lead with good scores through Helen Collins and Nicole Fleming. However, Killygarry pulled back with two goals and were leading on a Continued Success to Bailieboro GAA score-line of 2-3 to from 0-4 at the break. Bailieborough pushed on in the second half and after some prolonged pressure Tessa Hanley broke through the Killygarry rear guard Institute Road, Bailieboro, Co. Cavan. and finished to the net. Bailieborough added further points through Claire Tiernan, Nicole

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BALLINAGH

2

HISTORY MAKERS

013 was a year that saw a special group of Ballinagh players create their own piece of history for the club by securing its first ever senior championship success. Shane Corrigan spoke to chairman Michael Gaynor to get the get the full review on a remarkable season for ‘The Nagh’. As far as upsets go, Ballinagh’s stunning victory over Cavan Gaels this past October will go down as one of the biggest when it comes to the Cavan senior football championship and its long history. Ranked as 7/1 outsiders before the throw-in, Ciaran Brady’s team outmatched the favourites in practically all sectors of the field that day, with the key ingredient to their success being “determination”, according to chairman Michael Gaynor. Gaynor has been a staunch club man for decades now, acting as chair for the last four years along with having two sons, Anthony and Daryl, on the senior team. He explained that 2013 was a special year from the start for

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC alee 1 0-7 Drum -1 0 h g a n Balli nagh lli a B s 0-8 0-12 arter-final Cúchulainn u q – n e 1-9 Lack 6 -1 0 h semi-final g a n Balli sserlough – ro C 0 -1 1 -9 ls – final Ballinagh 2 Cavan Gae Ballinagh V ion 1A ACFL Divis h -16 Ballinag 2 -7 0 s n Cúchulainn n e D -4 -11 0 Ballinagh 0 gh 0-10 Ballina -4 1 n a h urt o Castlera sc g -12 1-12 Kin gh a Ballinagh 1 n lli a B 0-8 1-12 nited Mullahoran U r o m a R -12 1-15 Ballinagh 1 chulainns 2-8 2-12 Cú agh h g a Ballin a 0-11 B llin Lacken 2-8 Ballinagh ls 1-16 0-10 h Cavan Gae -15 Ballinag Denn 0-6 2 han ra le st -19 2-7 Ca gh a Ballinagh 3 n lli a B 2-6 0-7 y Kingscourt ve -12 1-11 La Ballinagh 1 ran o h lla -7 1-12 Mu h Ballinagh 0 g a n lli a B 0-12 Lavey 1-14 Gaels n va a C -5 -12 2 Ballinagh 0 Lacken Ballinagh V - not played V Ballinagh d ite n U r o Ram

Ballinagh, as it saw the club already celebrating 125 years in existence before the champagne bottles were popped again on October 13th. “We were celebrating our 125th anniversary and a 100 years since we won our first cup,” explained Gaynor, “so we wanted to mark that the best way we could and the senior championship was always something we felt we were capable of winning. It has been a while coming and for the last few years that team have been trying to reach a final after winning the Ulster intermediate, so it was great to finally do it.” Ballinagh’s county and provincial intermediate championship triumphs in 2007 saw them quickly climb up the pecking order in Cavan club football and while they claimed some notable scalps over the ensuing years, a county final berth would remain out of their reach for the next five seasons. Cavan Gaels, Kingscourt and Mullahoran shared the spoils at Ballinagh’s expense and while many outsiders felt that the club’s chance of SFC success had come

230

The delight of it all... Ballinagh team captain Killian McBride proudly holds aloft the Oliver Plunkett Cup

and gone, the inner belief stayed with the players and the result was a historic triumph this past autumn. Under Arva native Ciaran O’Reilly, who was ably assisted by selectors Adrian Maguire and Willie Reilly, Ballinagh’s stall was set out for one game at a time once their 2013 season commenced and they’d claim some impressive wins in the early stages of Division 1A of the All County Football League with wins over Denn (0-11 to 0-4), Castlerahan (0-10 to 1-4) and champions Mullahoran (1-12 to 0-8). “The early signs were there,” said Gaynor. “Obviously, we weren’t talking about winning the senior championship in the middle of the league but the team showed good form at that stage and they came into the championship in good form. “We’d won a couple of local derbies, which are often the hardest games to win, and by the time we had to play Drumalee the team was moving well and we were confident that we could put a run together. It was a tough game and wouldn’t have been a great spectacle or anything, but the result


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BALLINAGH - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

Ballinagh – Cavan SFC winners 2013, front l/r: Niall McDermott, Shane Wharton, Aaron Reilly, Craig Wright, Rhys Beard, David Finnegan, Enda Brady, Killian McBride, Niall O'Reilly, Andrew Ward, Colin Gumley, Philip Bogue, Blake Carthy, Damien McInerney, Kevin Smith, Damien O'Reilly. Back: Ciaran Wharton, Michael Higgins, Martin O'Reilly, Darryl Gaynor, Patrick Carroll, Padraig Maguire, Anthony Gaynor, Enda Culligan, Padraic O'Reilly, Conor Smith, Declan Beard, Thomas Moore, Terry Smith, Eamon McEvoy, Paul Galligan, Cathal Bogue, Ronan Reilly, Michael Ward, Ruairi Brennan, Willie Reilly, Fergus Bogue, Alan Durkin


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was all that mattered at the end of the day.” With ace attacker Niall McDermott back in their ranks following Cavan’s run to the last eight of the All-Ireland SFC series, Ballinagh saw off Drumalee’s challenge in the first round of the Cavan SFC under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, where McDermott’s tree-taking was salient in a 0-11 to 0-7 victory. A hard fought win over Cuchullains (0-12 to 0-8) in the next round would see the momentum begin to gather for O’Reilly’s team with a showdown against old rivals Lacken standing in between them and a place in the last four. Intermediate champions in 2012, Lacken had come through two gruelling contests against Killygarry to earn their place in the quarter-finals and were cited as a potential banana skin for Ballinagh when the two teams met for their derby clash at Kingspan Breffni Park. As the game unravelled, Ballinagh

demonstrated a gulf in class between the teams by building up a nine-point lead at half-time that all but ended the game as a contest. Lacken would strike a quick 1-3 in the early stages of the second-half but Ballinagh shot the required scores over the next 20 minutes through McDermott, Colin Gumley and Kevin Smith to book their place in the last four, where another derby against Crosserlough awaited them. The only down side would be the loss of veteran goalkeeper Daragh McCarthy, who was issued a red card in the quarter-final victory and the suspension harshly ruled him out for the remainder of the championship. Crosserlough, who saw off Lavey in their respective quarter-final, were the surprise package in the senior championship and under the guidance of former Ballinagh manager Bernard Morris they would bid to turn around 3/1 odds which were stacked against them. Ballinagh, looking to reach their first

SFC final since 1960 (a game which was never played), settled in well into the semi-final with an early brace of points from McDermott and singles from Kevin Smith and Gumley before McDermott hit the jackpot with a goal in the 19th minute which sent them towards a 1-7 to 0-5 interval lead. An early second-half goal saw Crosserlough reduce their arrears and keep the pressure on, but in the last 10 minutes their opponents demonstrated bottle to hold on for the coveted county final slot with McDermott’s fifth free and a well-finished goal from Niall O’Reilly which rounded off a 2-10 to 19 victory. In the final, Cavan Gaels, 2-14 to 0-7 winners over Castlerahan in their respective semi-final, stood in the way of Ballinagh and history. Gaynor explained that the hype surrounding the Cavan town side suited the underdogs going in to the biggest game in the club’s history. “We were quietly confident in ourselves,” he said. “We could see the

The victorious Ballinagh team who defeated Bailieborough in the U14 Division 3 final at Laragh

David Finnegan

Padraic O'Reilly

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Goalscorer Thomas Smith in action for Ballinagh in the U14 final versus Bailieborough


ballinagh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 21:47 Page 5

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Killian McBride

Declan Beard

Niall O'Reilly

Manager Ciaran O'Reilly

Daragh McCarthy No holding them back....as Ballinagh invade the pitch after defeating Cavan Gaels in the SFC final

team was getting better with each game and we knew that the Gaels weren’t going to do to us what they did to Castlerahan. We knew that wasn’t going to happen. “Our back line was extremely strong, but we were strong all over, to be honest. They are a close knit bunch of players. Even the likes of Conor Smith and Fergus Bogue that have come in their recently are really making their mark. Then you have the older lads there like Colin Gumley, Anthony Gaynor and Damien McInerney that are in their late 20s that have experience in playing senior championship and it’s a good blend to have. They’ve won every medal now that they could’ve possibly won. From Under 14 up and there’s even two Under 21 titles there. There a good crowd of lads and the supporters have been behind them the whole way.” It took three minutes for Ballinagh to make their mark on the game through their talisman McDermott with a free won by midfielder Padraic O'Reilly. Two wides from the Gaels followed before Sean Johnston split the posts from an acute angle on six minutes to get them off the mark. At that early stage, team captain Killian McBride and Conor Smith were edging the battle inside against the Gaels' danger men and it wouldn't be long before the town side lost full-forward Paul O'Connor to a shoulder injury, with Conor McClarey receiving an early introduction. McDermott and Dunne traded frees to keep things even until the quarter mark when the Gaels moved into their first lead through a fine long range point from wing forward Declan Meehan. A third McDermott free soon had the underdogs level once more ahead of the first evidence of this decider

heading in their favour when Padraic O'Reilly lashed over a superb point in the 17th minute. His brother Niall doubled the advantage a minute later and when centre-back Damien McInerney found his range from 40 metres the momentum was firmly flowing in Ciaran O'Reilly's side's favour. McDermott extended the lead to four with a looping free from all of 45 metres, but the Cavan star could've done much more damage had he hit the net with a goal chance he fluffed wide in the next attack. It was a let off for the Gaels, who had gone 10 minutes without a score by that stage, and could have cost their opponents dear in the end.

Cronin’s Pub Congratulations Ballinagh On Winning The County Title & Wishing Continued Success In 2014, From andy & Staff at

Ballinagh, Co.Cavan | Tel: 049 4337338 235


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The trailers reduced their arrears towards the eve of half-time when Barry Fortune's slick pass into Johnston inside saw the former Kildare panellist turn and point in trademark style before a Dunne free made it a two-point game. Ballinagh would have the final say of the half though, with McDermott again the Gaels' tormentor, winning a free from a suitable position to raise his fourth white flag and send his side in at the interval 0-8 to 0-5 to the good. With his team out of sorts at centrefield for large portions of the first-half, Gaels boss Joe O'Connor introduced livewire Kevin Meehan for Dominic Reilly to give them more bite for the second-half and they very nearly drew level within three minutes of the resumption when Dunne cut through and fired over Declan Beard's crossbar in effort of a goal. Declan Meehan made it a one-point game with his second long range score of the evening as the Gaels looked to be on the verge of moving up a gear but McDermott's reliable free-taking nudged them further in front once more

Ballinagh goalkeeper and team captain Cian Dunne receives the U14 Division 3 Cup from John Keating

At Ballinagh's 125 anniversary celebrations, front l/r: Aogan O Farghail, Michael Gaynor, Liam O'Neill, Tom Reilly, Linda Lyons. Middle: Tommie Maguire, Fidelma Seymour, Robbie Harrison, Thomas Daly, Edel Reilly. Back: Tommy Dunne, Paddy Gaffney, Michael Dunne, Brian Gumley, Enda Brady, John McDermott

ahead of Terry Smith's point and Anthony Gaynor's introduction which ignited a huge roar from the Ballinagh crowd.

Gaynor would be stationed at fullforward but saw his marker Marc Leddy forget his defensive duties for a moment and strike a sweet score and

David Finnegan, Niall O'Reilly awaits

Nathan Carthy

Cathal Bogue

Killian McBride with Michael Ward in the background The jubilant Balliangh team who defeated Bailieborough in the U14 Division 3 final at Laragh

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On SFC duty, front, l/r: Enda Brady, Michael Higgins ,Enda Culligan, Conor Smith, Craig Wright, Niall McDermott, Philip Bogue, Killian McBride (captain), Declan Beard, Terry Smith, Michael Ward, Blake Carthy, Ciaran Wharton. Back: Pauric Maguire, Paul Galligan, Darryl Gaynor, Shane Wharton, Thomas Moore, Padraic O'Reilly, David Finnegan, Cathal Bogue, Patrick Carroll, Andrew Ward, Aaron Reilly, Colin Gumley, Ruairi Brennan

when Dunne (free) and Lyng added singles the game would be all square to make for a pulsating final 10 minutes. Crucially, Ballinagh landed the next blow when Enda Brady nabbed possession inside and after the cornerforward looked to have been impeded referee Kieran McCarville awarded a throw up which saw Thomas Moore quickest to the breaking ball and thumping over to hand the victors back the advantage. The Gaels hunted for an equaliser but couldn't match the sheer guts and determination that Ballinagh demonstrated till the very end. On countless occasions Padraic O'Reilly, who was simply outstanding along with McDermott and full-back Patrick Carroll, steamed forward from midfield and he again found McDermott's jinking run just to the left of Martin Cassidy's posts and the fullforward was axed down to convert his seventh free, leaving his opponents in need of a goal in the dying moments.  Ballinagh worked like Trojans to make sure they wouldn't concede what would have been a heartbreaking goal, losing Gaynor to a second yellow when he halted Lyng's bid to run through their centre. Lyng would see red too for the afters and the foul itself left Johnston with a chance to be the hero for the Gaels but his free was tipped over by a defender's block which left them one short and Ballinagh with a first Oliver Plunkett Cup success in their 125-year history. Ballinagh (SFC final v Cavan Gaels): Declan Beard; Killian McBride, Patrick Carroll, Conor Smith; David Finnegan, Damien

McInerney (0-1), Philip Bogue; Padraic O’Reilly (0-1), Niall O’Reilly (0-1); Kevin Smith, Thomas Moore (0-1), Terry Smith (0-1); Colin Gumley, Niall McDermott (0-7, 7f), Enda Brady. Subs: Anthony Gaynor for E Brady (39mins), Eamon McEvoy for T Smith (57), Michael Ward for K Smith (60), Paul Galligan for Gumley (60). What made the difference for Ballinagh in the end? “Determination,” said Gaynor. “The management had a good talk with them before the game and they used the right subs at the right time. There was no man hiding and every man was out showing for us and from 1 to 19 they all played their part for us. I wouldn’t name any one player because it was just a full team effort. Lads came off the bench that were as good as what was on the field at the start.”

Ballinagh`s Padraic O`Reilly receives the county final player-of-the-match award from Paul Henry (Hotel Kilmore-sponsor)

237

Needless to say the celebrations that followed for Ballinagh in Cavan and back home were euphoric and worthy of first senior championship success. “The celebrations were just unreal,” said the chairman. “I don’t know what way to describe it. The town was just jammed and there were people there from all parishes. Lacken, Mullahoran, Gowna, Cornafean, Crosserlough and Denn. I never seen anything like it before; I’ll tell you that. The support we had at the game was something else and it’s a big help when you’re going into such a big game.” “Next year we have to try and do it again,” he added. “There’s no sign of anyone emigrating, so you just have to hope that next year’s a good year. We’ll take it one year at a time though.” FRANK BRADy TOURNAMENT

In June, Ballinagh hosted a tournament in honour of Frank Brady. Brady was a former stalwart of the club who passed away suddenly in June 2012 and the tournament saw the Roger Casements club in Coventry crossing the Channel to participate, along with Ballyhaunis, Na Fianna and Ballinagh. The host club reached the final and eventually came away victorious to land the first of three cups to mark their 125th anniversary, with the Under 14 footballers doing the club proud in the summer when they defeated Bailieborough in Stradone to capture the league title. Padraig Delaney, Paddy Smith and Ted Connolly were the team’s mentors and deserve great credit, along with the players, for their achievement.


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IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN KILLESHANDRA

2

013 saw Killeshandra make a complete return to the senior ranks following a double promotion in both league and championship. Secretary John Sweeney was proud to be a part of a historic year for the Leaguers and hopes that it’s one the club can build on to eventually hold their own with the big guns in the top tier. Knocking on the door was something Killeshandra had been doing since their promotion from the junior ranks in 2007, but this year there was something special about the Leaguers and the early signs were there for plenty to see. Stephen King’s team had come into some riveting form in the early stages of the ACFL Division Two and once the intermediate championship rolled around their campaign grew by the game before eventually producing a sterling second-half performance against Shercock to turn the final in their favour in mid-October. Back in January, when the

LTS

2013 RESU

IFC Gaels 2-5 Cavan -7 2 ra d n a bridge rs Killesh tle u -12 0-7 B 0 ra d final n a sh Kille g – quarter-9 1-6 Drun 0 final rra e d rt n a a u q sh Kille andra – sh e ill K 5 -1 Drung 1-8 0 replay mi-final shandra – se e ill K 0 -1 1 0-10 – final Ballyhaise V Shercock Killeshandra

ion 2 ACFL Divis ng -6 1 0-8 Dru Killeshandra -14 Killeshandra gh 0-9 1 rnafean Bailieborou 0-10 0-4 Co ra d n a sh e ill K shandra 1-4 1-9 Kille Swanlinbar Killeshandra nt 2-4 3-12 Mountnuge van Gaels C 3-14 1-4 a ra d n a sh e Kill shandra -8 2-13 Kille onnaught Killinkere 1 unterc 3-10 1-7 M anlinbar Killeshandra 0-9 0-8 Sw ra d n a sh e ill K andra 3-15 Killesh Drung 0-11 sh e andra 0-5 1-12 Kill borough Laragh Utd ilie a 1-10 2-11 B Killeshandra -13 0-4 Mountnugent 5 shandra Killeshandra 2-8 2-8 Kille ls e a G gh Utd Cavan ra a 1-13 1-9 L re GAA Killeshandra ke in ill K 4-17 0-7 ra d n a sh ra e d Kill V Killeshan Cornafean eshandra ill K 0-13 1-12 t h g u a n n o Munterc

club were setting out their stall for what would unravel as a stellar season, all involved knew that they’d be setting their targets for promotion without two top players, although the return of one from ‘Down Under’ would help to soften the blow. “Due to the restructuring of the league, the main objective was to get promotion from Division Two, which was effectively the third division this year, into 1B. We also wanted to win an intermediate championship, which we felt we were more than capable of doing,” explained John Sweeney, who has held the secretary post in the club for the past two years. “At the start of the year we had one guy that emigrated to Australia and that was Daniel Luby, but we also had a guy who came back from Australia, Damien Higgins. He was coming back to do a Masters, so that sort of cancelled that end of things out. We were lucky enough that way in that we lost one and gained one. Paddy King had an injury at the end of last year and actually didn’t play any football at

238

Sheer joy for Killeshandra as team captain Colm Duffy proudly displays the intermediate Tommy Gilroy Cup

all this year. He had an operation and got some sort of an infection and lost even more time on that, so he ended up playing no football at all.” It saw the Leaguers start their season up one ad minus two regulars but the form after their first few games in Division Two did not suggest that they were a team feeling the effects of depletion. Wins over Drung (1-6 to 09), Cornafean (0-11 to 0-4) and Swanlinbar (1-9 to 1-4) had them up and running early and from there things took off for King’s men as successive wins followed which left the team on the brink of promotion with the championship fast approaching. It all meant that Killeshandra would be in red-hot form heading into an intermediate championship opener with Cavan Gaels in mid-August, with promotion to Division 1B practically clinched for next year they took on the Gaels at Kingspan Breffni Park, where the winners would have one foot in the quarter-finals. “We were in good enough form all year throughout the league. We only lost one game to Bailieborough and


killeshandra designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:21 Page 2

KILLESHANDRA - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

Champions‌ the best intermediate team in Cavan in 2013, front l/r: Eamon O'Reilly, Darragh Tighe, Kyle Duffy, Sean McKiernan, Aaron Brady, Colm Duffy, Shane Murphy, Ciaran Owens, Cyril O'Reilly, Rory Braiden, Cein Sweeney, Conor Calder, Conor Smith, James Dinneny. Back: Cillian O'Reilly, Mark Shannon, Damien McCaul, Tomas O'Reilly, Declan McKiernan, Joe Masterson, Damien Higgins, Conor O'Reilly, Austin Fitzpatrick, Shane O'Reilly, Adrian Martin, John Baxter, Conor McGearty, Glenn Stanley


killeshandra designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:21 Page 3

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For all your • HEAT • TRACTOR • COMMERCIAL • TANK REQUIREMENTS drew a game with Cavan Gaels and we were top of the table heading into the first round of the championship,” explained Sweeney. “We got Cavan Gaels in the first round of the championship. It was scrappy stuff, but we played a decent enough first-half and then in the second-half it was very disjointed and we actually had to bring on Dara Tighe, who was injured at the time, and he got a goal for us. That was what got us across the line, but it certainly wasn’t a very convincing performance from us.” Butlersbridge would stand in the way of Killeshandra and a place in the last eight and the Leaguers old junior rivals would ensure that they weren’t about the get an easy passage to the knockout stages. In the end, the town side ended up relying on a couple of coolly converted Declan McKiernan frees late on to come away with a 0-12 to 0-7 win. “We played Butersbridge in Ballinagh and again it wasn’t a very convincing performance from us and we just did enough to get across the line again.

PROMPT DELIVERY & SERVICE Butlersbridge were actually missing a couple of key players and they just threw everything at us and we really had a tough time getting past them,” said Sweeney. “There were serious question marks after those two games, but, at the same time, we were winning games and not playing well, so when we looked at it that way we were confident that we could up our performances when we really needed to.” Killeshandra’s quarter-final berth had been sealed without having to hit fourth gear yet and many expected to see the best of the Division Two leaders when they met Drung at Annalee Park in Ballyhaise. However, a lethargic first-half performance would see the favourites trailing throughout the game, while also losing key defender Cillian O’Reilly to a shoulder injury. Things were looking gloomy, but in the final quarter King’s team demonstrated the sign of champions, digging their deepest to force a late draw and a second chance to keep their

championship dreams alive. In the replay, Killeshandra made sure they wouldn’t get off to the same slow start against the Bunnoe men, shooting 0-5 in the opening seven minutes into the town end goals at Kingspan Breffni Park. Drung battled back to only trail by one at the break and took the lead in the early stages of the second-half before the would-be winners upped it a gear and got the necessary scores from McKiernan, Tomas O’Reilly, Ciaran Owens and Austin Fitzpatrick to secure a 0-15 to 1-8 victory. “The turning point came in the quarter-final against Drung when we were a couple of points down late on and staring defeat in the face,” Sweeney outlined. “Declan McKiernan stepped up for us and kicked a couple of massive frees and we ended up getting a draw. We just said to ourselves after that if right was right we should be out, but we were still there and fighting and from there things really turned around for us. Performances started to improve for

On duty in the IFC, front l/r: Darragh Tighe, Seán McKiernan, Shane O’Reilly, Shane Murphy, Colm Duffy (captain), Cyril O’Reilly, Rory Braiden, Kyle Duffy, Ciarán Owens, Conor Calder, John Cosgrove. Back: Cillian O’Reilly, Aaron Brady, Mark Shannon, Damien Higgins, Declan McKiernan, Joe Masterson, Tomás O’Reilly, Conor O’Reilly, John Baxter, Adrian Martin, David Doherty, Conor Smith, Éamon O’Reilly, Cein Sweeney, Damien McCaul

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killeshandra designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:21 Page 6

Seán McKiernan

Cillian O`Reilly

Austin Fitzpatrick

Killeshandra celebrate their intermediate championship win at Breffni Park

the replay and for the rest of the championship.” With Shercock having stunned Cootehill in their respective semi-final, Ballyhaise were cited as the new favourites for the intermediate championship and headed into the last four against Killeshandra the fancied team to book their final slot. King and team trainer Sean Finnegan had the players well primed come the last four clash at the end of September at Kingspan Breffni Park, where a decent start from the Leaguers saw them lead by the odd point in 13 by the halfway stage. A fine long range score from full-back Sean McCormack saw Ballyhaise level the game within a minute of the restart, but their opponents landed a crucial blow in the 38th minute when Tomas O’Reilly was sent through on a scorching run and buried to the net. From there, Shane Murphy, Declan McKiernan and Austin Fitzpatrick kicked the required scores for a 1-10 to 0-10 victory that would see them into the final against Shercock. The decider would be postponed by a week, giving the team more time to prepare for what was set to be a gruelling contest. “We played well against Ballyhaise,” said the secretary. “It was an open game of football and we won it by a goal in the end, but it was actually a game that we didn’t look like losing, to be honest. We were going well from start to finish and it was one of our best performances in the whole campaign. “There was good morale in the camp and when we got that draw against Drung it sort of pushed the whole fixtures back because you’re entitled to two weeks for a final. It gave us the time to prepare for it and unfortunately the Friday before the final there was a couple of bereavements in Shercock and it was postponed for another week. It was unfortunate, but it gave us an extra week and it allowed Cillian O’Reilly more

Manager Stephen King

Tomás O’Reilly

time to get over a shoulder injury he picked up earlier in the championship. When the final did come around we felt we were well prepared for it and had all the boxes ticked and left no stone unturned.” Sweeney admitted that the team’s knowledge of Shercock going into the final wasn’t major, bar what they had seen in their semi-final win over Cootehill. “We knew very little about them,” he said. “We knew that they managed to beat Cootehill in the semi-final with only 14 men for most of the second-half and obviously Cootehill were the favourites to win the championship, so that was a fair achievement. Their form was patchy in Division Three, which was a division below us, but they had a few key players back for the championship and we knew the likes of Killian Clarke, Sankey and Clerkin were going to be main players for them. They were there on merit and we certainly weren’t going to underestimate them, that was for sure.” Shercock’s strong start saw them off the mark inside two minutes of the final through Brian Sankey and doubled the advantage a minute later. When Aidan Lennon slipped past his marker to raise a third white flag the Leaguers looked in danger of being overrun. Niall Clerkin cut in for their fourth before Killeshandra eventually got themselves on the scoreboard in the 20th minute through corner-forward Shane O’Reilly. A Stephen Donnery free restored the four-point cushion for Shercock but the majority of their good work in the early stages would be wiped out in an instant when Shane Murphy buried in the rebound of Shane O’Reilly’s shot, which had been brilliantly saved by Colin Courtney. Courtney looked to have got his team off the hook, but Murphy showed superb

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Shane O’Reilly

forward instincts to pounce quickly and raise the green flag. The goal looked set to ignite the Leaguers, but a well-worked moved created by Killian Clarke around the centre saw Sankey’s released on goal and he fired past Joe Masterson off the inside of the post to send Shercock in with a 1-5 to 1-1 lead. A pair of frees from Declan McKiernan was the perfect tonic for Killeshandra to start the second-half with and a fine long range score from his brother Sean brought them within one. The momentum was entirely with Killeshandra by the time Damien Higgins sailed over an equaliser, but Barry O’Reilly’s team responded handsomely with a Niall Clerkin point and a well-executed ‘45’ from Killian Clarke. The Division Three side could well have went further in front when the aforementioned Clerkin was slipped through on goal but his shot was turned around the post brilliantly by Masterson. Killeshandra went on to own large portions of the remaining 10 minutes with their talisman Declan McKiernan salient. A quickly taken ‘45’ from the midfielder released Higgins for a second score and from there the wheels began to come off for Shercock. McKiernan’s deadly accuracy cancelled out Shercock’s last score of the evening from substitute John McEnroe and a major turning point went the way of the winners with four minutes to go when Paddy McPhilips saw his goal bound effort heroically cleared off the line by Tighe. On cue, Tomas O’Reilly yielded a free which saw McKiernan spilt the posts and square the sides approaching the added minutes and from the resultant kick out Killeshandra won possession and presented McKiernan with the chance to put his side into their first lead. He did so in style, converting a

Declan McKiernan

Kyle Duffy

35-metre free along the right flank to bring his personal tally to 0-5. Shercock were out on their feet, while their counterparts were thriving, and couldn’t halt Shane Murphy’s injurytime point, which put a seal on Killeshandra’s first Tommy Gilroy Cup success in 22 years. Killeshandra (IFC final v Shercock): Joe Masterson; Conor Smith, Colm Duffy, Cillian O’Reilly; Rory Braiden, Damien Higgins (0-2), Dara Tighe; Declan McKiernan (0-5, 5f), Aaron Brady; Eamon O’Reilly, Sean McKiernan (0-1), Tomas O’Reilly; Shane O’Reilly (0-1), Austin Fitzpatrick, Shane Murphy (1-1). Subs: Ciaran Owens for E O’Reilly (42mins), Kyle Duffy for A Fitzpatrick (60). “Shercock were certainly more hungry in the first-half,” Sweeney admitted. “They closed us down and didn’t give us many chances to get on the ball, but we were just lucky enough that Shane Murphy got a goal that kept us in it. After playing no football at all, we went in at half-time only four points down. That was something we tried to draw encouragement from at half-time, but the first-half was certainly something to forget about from

The player of the match award was presented to team captain Colm Duffy by Paul Henry (Hotel Kilmore-sponsor)

244

Manager Stephen King

Killeshandra’s point of view. “In the second-half, Declan stood up and we moved Tomas into the middle of the field which gave us a lift because he went on a couple of surging runs for us. Damien Higgins chipped in with two great points and Declan put away the frees as well. He scored a great one from the side-line with the outside of his boot which gave us a great lift. We just upped the effort completely and every man stood up and actually decided that we’d do something about it after the poor first-half performance. Lucky enough we got the scores and it was a great second 30 minutes from us.” Needless to say the celebrations were worthy of a first intermediate championship success for the club since 1991, as Sweeney explained. “It was our first appearance in an intermediate final in 22 years and we certainly knew how to celebrate the win,” he said. “It was a big deal for us because we’d recently lost a few staunch club men and supporters, so you were thinking of them on the day as well. I’m sure they were looking down on us and it meant a lot. It was great for the town as well because it had been hit hard by the downturn and after the final it was buzzing. The team had got a great reception in the community hall and everybody was very supportive.” Soon thoughts will be turning towards 2014 and the club holding their own in the top ranks. “We’d like to compete in the senior championship and try and find our form there. We certainly think we’re more than capable of competing for a top four spot in Division 1B and hopefully build from that. We want to keep that panel of players together and maybe introduce a few new lads from the underage ranks as well,” concluded the secretary.


butlersbridge designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:23 Page 1

BUTLERSBRIDGE

B

‘MAKING STRIDES’

utlersbridge are a club on a sound footing, financially and every other way, explains chairman Ronan Flanagan.

Butlersbridge secured their Intermediate Championship status at the beginning of October, courtesy of victory over Ballymachugh, in a relegation playoff and there is a strong vibrancy currently surrounding the club’s future. The club have been given the green light to undergo a transformation of their existing club grounds which, when completed, will make Butlersbridge’s pitch one of the finest in the county. A new training pitch and walking track will be also be built as part of the club’s redevelopments. The village club are no strangers on the field to producing excellent players, either, with Feargal Flanagan captaining the county to a third successive Ulster U21 title earlier on in the year, while also nailing down a regular berth in the county senior side. Gráinne Smith, who hails from Butlersbridge but plays her club football with Killygarry, picked up an All

LTS

2013 RESU

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Martin Fitzpatrick

Ireland Intermediate Championship medal this season, lining out at cornerforward while across the pond, former county and club player Lorcan Mulvey was honoured for his outstanding season with London by receiving an All Star nomination. Clearly, the mood around Butlersbridge in 2013 has been one of a sense of accomplishment and pride in the success of the players mentioned, and in the sterling work being carried out, across all grades of the club. Chairman Ronan Flanagan outlined the club’s initiative as regards to their redevelopment of Emmet Park. “The project is Phase 2 of the facility development and playing area and is costing €180,000 in total to complete and €80,000 of that has come from the Sports Capital Grant. We have an ongoing draw in the community, whereby over the next three years, we intend to raise €100,000. We have over 200 people in the club involved in supporting this venture. “The work on the field is being carried out by Michael Hyland and we hope to have it opened by 2015. When finished, we will have a new playing surface on our main field as

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well as a training pitch, and a walking track around the pitch which will be open to all of the community to make use of.” Butlersbridge are on a sound financial footing at present, as Ronan explains. “We’d be very happy with our finances. We haven’t over-stretched ourselves by any means. We had a new dressing rooms built in 2009 and it’s completely paid for, again thanks to the help of the local and broader community. They are state-of-the-art facilities with a gym, four dressing rooms, a kitchen and an eating area and we’re extremely pleased with the way it turned out. Similarly, we hope that in three years’ time we’ll have the debt of the pitch cleared, again with ongoing support of the community.” The club are clearly operating a highly sensible operation in terms of their finances. “The cost of running a club is expensive and if you’re running a club on a solid and serious basis, money is always required, but we’re fairly frugal with our money, we don’t waste it. “We have had an internal manager for the last three years and this has ensured that we haven’t outsourced beyond our means. The fact that we haven’t been paying managers for the last couple of years has also been of benefit,” stated


butlersbridge designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:23 Page 2

The U12 final winners against Drumlane, front l/r: Caolan Smith, Cathal Leddy, Kevin McPhillips, Jack Graham, Patrick McPhillips, Eoin O’Reilly, Fintan O’Reilly, Jody English, Liam Mc Entee. Back: Paddy Greenan, Joe English, David Emo, Connor Mc Guire, Matthew Mahood, Alex Piscannan, Matheau Piscassan, Sam Malone, Jack English, Adam Dunne, Mickey Graham

Ronan. Switching to on-field matters, Butlersbridge have continued to cement their Intermediate Status, which they earned courtesy of their 2009 Junior Championship triumph. The club’s senior team were taken over as manager by local clubman and ex-player Mickey Fitzpatrick at the beginning of the 2012 season, and Flanagan is delighted with the performance of both him and his

management think tank. “Mickey played for the club for 20-plus years and he’s been a great servant to the club over a long period of time, both as a player and now as manager. “His selectors Darragh Keogh and David McEntee are two lads that have also played a huge role in the fine work done with the team in the last two years. The three of them are still young and it’s great to see them having such a fine

impact on the team as they have done. These lads have all won championship medals and the experience they have brought to the table with them has been invaluable. We’re delighted with their contribution and the level of effort they have put into the team has been first class,” said Flanagan. Emigration has hit Butlersbridge like every other club across the country, with the result being that they could only field one side this season. “This was the first year in a long time where we have only being able to field one senior team. From the 2009 panel that won the Junior Championship title, I think we only have eight or nine players still available to us. Between emigration and retirements, we have lost players but we’re in the same boat as a lot of other clubs. “Our senior team this year, would have contained 11 players that were U21, and we’d also have a few fellas who are around the 23 mark, so we have a good number of players coming through. “We’ve also been boosted by the return of players such as Pauric McGerty who

Up against Bailieborough in the championship, front l/r: V. Callaghan, M. Fitzpatrick, J. Shannon, G. Henry, F. Flanagan, A. McConnell, S. O’Rourke, P. Flynn, S. Murphy. Back: C. Conlon, P. Murphy, C. O’Reilly, C. O’Reilly, M. Fitzpatrick, M. McDermott, P. Conaty, D. Mulvey, P. Flynn, P. McGerty

Cathal Leddy

Team manager Mickey Fitzpatrick

Patrick Flynn and Ciaran Greenan

John Shannon

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Brian Seagrave presents the U12 trophy to Patrick McPhillips and Eoin Reilly


butlersbridge designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:23 Page 3

BUTLERSBRIDGE - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The senior squad that took on Killeshandra in the championship, front l/r: C O’Reilly, Paul Flynn, Liam Canning, John Shannon, Martin Fitzpatrick, Gareth Henry, Ciaran Grennan, Cathal Reilly, Andrew McConnell, F. Fitzpatrick. Back: Stephen Murphy, Michael Mc Dermott, Padraic McGearty, Noel Mc Phillips, Darren Fitzpatrick, Paul Murphy, S. O’Reilly, Patrick Flynn, Peter Conaty, Gary McEntee, Shane O’Rourke


butlersbridge designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:24 Page 4

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butlersbridge designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:24 Page 5

Colin Dugdale

Matthew Mahood

Shane O’Rourke

Up against Templeport in the U13 final, front l/r: Kevin McPhillips, Shane Leddy, Sean T Murphy, Connor Dugdale, Ciaran O’Reilly, Cathal Leddy, Jack Graham, Fintan O’Reilly, Patrick McPhillips, Fergal O’Reilly. Back: Shane Leddy, Colm Murphy, Adam Dunne, Matthew Mahood, Connor Flood, Daire Connolly, Leo Doyle, Joe Flynn, Eoin O’Reilly, Michael Leddy, Eoin Lavin, Connor McGuire

was in Australia for a number of years and Noel McPhillips. The two lads would have huge experience, and be invaluable to us, and it’s great to have them back in the fold. We have a very young age demographic in the team, which hopefully will bode well, looking ahead to the future,” claimed Ronan. The club are also putting a lot of work into developing their young players. “At juvenile level we are making huge strides. We’d have maybe 30 U6s and the same amount for U8s as well so numbers are high in our juvenile section. A lot of the parents have done coaching courses and are great in terms of helping out at underage level. “We have had success at underage level, most notably winning the U12 Summer League with victory over Drumlane in July, so that all bodes well for the future. We have some very promising young players in the club and we’re delighted with the way our juvenile section of the club is progressing.” Butlersbridge is a very tight-knit community who have in the past produced outstanding players and continue to do so. Flanagan says the achievements of the county players is something which the club is very proud of. “Feargal was captain of the successful county U21s and Patrick Flynn was also on the U21 panel this year. Caoímhín Reilly was on the minor panel for the Ulster Championship so we have been well represented. Obviously we are very proud of those lads and it brings a bit of spotlight onto the club which can only be positive. “We were also delighted for Gráinne Smith, who was on the Cavan Ladies panel this year and who played for the club at underage level, and has been a fantastic servant to Cavan ladies football, and made a huge contribution to the county team. This

Captain Andy McConnell

Mickey Fitzpatrick

was illustrated by the huge attendance of people, who gathered to greet her upon her victorious return to the village, as an All Ireland winner. “We’re also very proud of Lorcan Mulvey being nominated for an All Star and overall it’s been a very good year for the club’s county representatives.” With 2014 fast approaching, what does Ronan hope the club’s senior side can achieve next year? “Our main objective would be to get promotion out of Division 3 of the league. We struggled earlier on in the year with injuries, and a few players were unavailable and there were times when we only had 16 or 17 players togged out, so they were contributory factors to us not being higher up the league table. “The Intermediate championship will be wide open again next year, and there’s no-one in it that we would fear, so we would like to get a good run in it next year. We ran the eventual winners Killeshandra, close in our first championship match only losing by five points, and that was despite missing some key personnel, so if we have a full panel at our disposal, I’d be hopeful of us performing well. Overall we’d like to do ourselves justice next year more so than we done this year and promotion is a target we’d like to achieve.” Butlersbridge exemplifies the GAA ethos of a strong community spirit, with the community unifying to help fund the club’s project which will see their current playing facilities turned into a state of the art pitch, complemented by a training pitch and walking track. The future of the club looks to be in safe hands, both on and off the field, with the current club committee and indeed surrounding community helping to build a legacy, which the next generations of Butlersbridge players and officials will enjoy.

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mcdon peat designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 23:56 Page 1

SPECIAL FEATURE

M

THE TIES THAT BIND

ushroom producers in County Cavan would be all too familiar with the highquality product supplied by McDon Mushroom Casing in Dungannon, County Tyrone. What they might not know is that McDon boasts very strong GAA ties. ‘Breffni Blue’ caught up with managing director Martin McCourt to get an insight into this successful family-run operation and to examine its GAA links. McDon Mushroom Casing is a familyrun business which was established by James and Mary McCourt in 1977. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength supplying horticultural peat and mushroom casing soil into the Irish and UK markets. This, of course, includes the Breffni County, where mushroom production is one of the most important local industries. McDon Mushroom Casing has become the leading specialist in the mushroom casing sector in Ireland and further afield. McDon works closely with its customers to ensure that the correct grade of mushroom casing soil is made to the highest quality standards in order to guarantee the grower the highest yields and best quality possible. The production of all mushroom casing soils is backed up by years of experience and McDon Mushroom Casing offers a versatile service, providing the perfect blend whether growing on bags, trays, blocks or shelves. In keeping with its area of expertise, McDon Mushroom Casing is headquartered in a small rural area where the GAA plays a huge role in everybody’s lives. The local club, Derrylaughan Kevin Barrys (DKB), and McDon have enjoyed a close, personal relationship throughout the years, with one of the founder members of ‘The Barrys’ in 1945 being a member of the McCourt family. Since then, numerous members of the McCourt family have served on various club committees. Since McDon was established 36 years ago, it has been synonymous with the local GAA.

McDon Mushroom Casing making a delivery to Cappagh Mushrooms in Cavan, l/r: Declan Goldrick, Jason Goldrick, Johnny Goldrick, Aidan Goldrick, Aidan Goldrick (junior), all from Cappagh Mushrooms

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In more recent times, the McCourt name has found its way onto youth management team sheets and McDon would also be known as a loyal sponsor of different Derrylaughan Kevin Barys teams, both in football and camogie. McDon has sponsored a team to travel to Canada to play in the ‘Toronto 7s’ (known as the gold watch tournament) in which they got to the final – but, unfortunately, there were no gold watches making the trip back to the Lough shore! There have also been numerous camogie teams that have gone out to play with the McDon name emblazoned across their jerseys. The GAA is very much at the heart of McDon Mushroom Casing and this is best

Derrylaughan Kevin Barrys taking part in the Toronto 7s

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Covering the action every step of the way 252


mcdon peat designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 23:57 Page 4

demonstrated by the strong overlap of employees and members of the local GAA club. Over 50% of the McDon workforce are members of DKB. From

The firm has the highest quality standards

McDon Mushroom Casing was founded in 1977

treasurer to merchandise officer to playing members of the club, all are represented on the McDon payroll. McDon is very proud to work with the local club and the GAA, and is looking forward to continuing to do so for many more years to come. Today, McDon Mushroom Casing is fronted by Martin McCourt. He is delighted to report that the business is thriving and says County Cavan is an important market area: “Cavan has a strong mushroomgrowing tradition and we have a good few customers from around the county,” he notes. “It’s a very healthy market. There’s a large community of mushroom growers in the county and we’ve been supplying many of them for a number of years. They’re good people to deal with. “One of our main customers we supply to in the Cavan area is Cappagh Mushrooms. Over the years we have built up a strong working relationship with them and have found Cappagh Mushrooms to be a reliable customer. With the ever

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increasing pressures to strive for excellence we hope to continue to grow together with Cappagh Mushrooms for the foreseeable future. “We’re very confident in our product, but this is a competitive marketplace and you have to keep your eye on the ball all the time. From the very beginning, we’ve maintained the very highest standards and that is how we will continue going forward.” One thing that McDon will have in common with all readers of this publication – and, indeed, pretty much everyone in the Breffni County – is their deep love of the GAA. It’s something that runs deep at the very heart of every community and which forms a strong bond and sense of identity between all Irish people. McDon Mushroom Casing, 142 Trew Mount Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone. Tel: 048 8778 4096 Fax: 048 8778 4896


cappagh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:36 Page 1

SPECIAL FEATURE

A GROWING CONCERN

M

ushrooms are a very nutritious, versatile, healthy and tasty food, and a key ingredient in many dishes. There are a range of mushroom types from flat to buttons, but did you ever wonder what it takes to get a mushroom to your frying pan or casserole dish?

A first flush of mushrooms ready to be harvested

shops. It also provides a reservoir of water essential for crop growth. Since 1988, the Goldrick family have been producing their own mushrooms and supplying the renowned Monaghan Mushrooms with a wide

Well in this year’s edition of the Breffni Blue Yearbook, we profile Cappagh Mushroom Ltd and speak to managing director Declan Goldrick about the business and also about his lifelong involvement with the Ballymachugh GAA club. Mushrooms are a perishable product with a relatively short shelf life. The 'best before' date is five – seven days after harvesting. They are produced 52 weeks a year and are grown on specially manufactured substrate/compost. A layer of peat is added to the top of the compost that acts as an interface between the compost and the air. The peat provides the conditions necessary for mushroom pin heads to form and grow into the mushrooms we see in the

range of mushrooms over the years. From humble beginnings, Cappagh Mushrooms Ltd now produces 2.6m pounds weight per annum. Operating from a purpose built facility in Kilnaleck, Co Cavan; Declan revealed

Harvesters at work

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to us that he had a good understanding of the industry before establishing the business. “I used to work for a mushroom grower called John Kiernan and it was him that suggested we started up our own business. It took us £50,000 pounds to get up and running, which was a lot of money at the time,” stressed Declan. “There were five family members involved in the business and when we first started we just worked in the evenings and at the weekends, while maintaining our day jobs. Most of the family drifted off into other professions, while ten years ago I went full time at it, while my brother Johnny had been at it full time for a few years before that. “We supply solely to Monaghan Mushrooms who export the majority of the stock to the U.K market. We would ring Monaghan and see what spec they need and it all depends on the shops demands. It takes 17 days for mushrooms to grow and then we have pickers that sort them into the various shapes and sizes.” Cappagh Mushrooms Ltd employs 26 and operate ten tunnels on a twoacre site. Only a couple of years ago,

Aiden Goldrick Snr, Declan Goldrick, Gabriel Goldrick and Kiistaps Popovs with a load ready for delivery

they added three more tunnels to meet the growing demand. Despite this, the mushroom growing industry has suffered greatly in recent years and there are now only 80 growers in the country compared to hundreds a few years back. “People think its easy money, but

it’s not, there is hard work involved. A lot of producers were doing it part time and they didn’t want to invest big money when the markets got tight.” Declan is in his second term as a director of the Commercial Mushroom Producers. The CMP was established

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Email dillondesigneng@gmail.com 255


cappagh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:37 Page 3

in 1999 as a horticultural producer’s organisation under European Union legislation. In the 1990s the Irish mushroom industry rapidly expanded and by 1996 the number of mushroom growers peaked at almost 600. CMP was established as a co-operative by mushroom growers for mushroom growers, and to deliver stability to the market by improving quality of mushrooms, maintaining the consistency of supply and getting a sustainable margin for producers. At the beginning CMP had 266 growers, and its' first programme ran from 2000 - 2004. At that time in Ireland, many other small groups of mushroom growers began to set up producer organisations. Many of these smaller groups found it very difficult to survive and overtime closed down, with their members joining CMP. During the last decade, there was significant rationalization of the Irish mushroom industry during which time grower numbers fell to current levels of approximately 60. Due to CMP's programme of consistent improvements since 1999 the farm gate value of mushroom output has remained constant despite very stiff competition from Europe and volatile exchange rates at €100m. Currently 85% of PO production is marketed to UK Multiples through our network of marketing agents. Declan’s other great passion is the GAA and more specifically Ballymachugh and Cavan football. Declan had a distinguished career in the green and gold of Ballymachugh. He was part of the side

that lifted the intermediate title in 1999 and has remained closely involved with the club as the current sponsor of the underage section as well as the ladies team. “We all would have played with the club at one time or the other. My brother Gary would have actually played for Cavan. The GAA club is the heartbeat of the community and although the intermediate win in ’99 was the only major success we had, there were plenty of good times.” Like all Cavan supporters, Declan

was delighted with the performances of the county senior footballers this year and he had special praise for manager Terry Hyland. “Youth is definitely the way forward for the county. They put in some great displays this year and hopefully they can build on that next year. Terry Hyland has done a great job since he came in. He knew a lot of the younger lads from his time over the under-21s and he wasn’t afraid to throw them in there this year. “I like the fact that he is willing to pick lads from all over the county and regardless of what grade you’re playing at, if you’re good enough you will be playing, which is a good work ethic to have. I do believe that this team could win an Ulster title in the not too distant future,” he concluded. Contact Details: Cappagh Mushrooms Ltd Ballyheelan, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan e-mail: declangoldrick@eircom.net

The yard at Cappagh Mushrooms in Kilnaleck

Best Wishes To Cappagh Mushrooms

19 Grange Blundell Rd., Loughgall, Co. Armagh BT61 8LT | Tel: +44 28 38891 969 | E: info@scullymush.ie | www.scullymush.ie

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PE Services designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:11 Page 1

ANOTHER LOCAL SUCCESS STORY SPECIAL FEATURE

A

s one of the largest pig and poultry producing counties in Ireland, it is entirely appropriate that Cavan is home to PE Services, which specialises in the supply of equipment and innovative solutions to both industries among other things.

Established in 1997, PE Services (which includes the Eurowash brand) operates a service nationwide and in the UK from Crubany Business Park outside Cavan town. The company offers a diverse range of products, including pig and poultry equipment, bulk meal silos and feed systems for milking parlours, car, truck and train wash systems, water recycling and pollution control, safety systems (tanker access, gantries, step units, Mezzanine floor safety barriers) and automated entry systems (gates and road barriers). PE Services’ mission is to provide its customers with bespoke solutions using the highest possible levels of quality materials and products, supported by a quality service that is driven by its knowledge and continuous pursuit of innovation. Customers are offered the benefit of PE’s industry experience, high quality products, expert installation and comprehensive backup service. The company has grown substantially over the past 16 years and now employs 18 staff directly and a further 15 on a sub-contract basis. This growth has been overseen by its Directors – Kilian Cawley and Paul Cooney and Tom Ruxton who has recently retired. Lavey man Paul has worked within this industry for over 25 years, he attributes the

The PE Services premises in Crubany Business Park

company's growth to listening to what our customers want and using our knowledge and expertise to provide them with quality equipment and an excellent backup service. PE Services supply a significant portion of its products and services into to the agricultural sector as Paul verifies: “It accounts for 80 per cent of our sales – 35 per cent pig, 35 per cent poultry and 10 per cent dairy. The remaining 20 per cent is within the wash / environmental division and the safety division.” PE was recently awarded an award for innovation within business from InterTrade Ireland. The company was

A truckwash for Flancare

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also among only 90 companies within Ireland who have successfully completed the Innovation for Competitive Enterprises programme, which is a prestigious programme run by The University of Ulster, Dundalk Institute of Technology and The University of Glasgow. This is an indication of the company's commitment to growth and employment within the local community. PE Services is an agent for Cumberland meal bin and feeding systems. Part of the world’s largest manufacturer of corrugated, galvanised steel storage tanks, Cumberland offers galvanised steel storage bulk feed tanks in a variety of specifications. The Cavan-based concern can cater for the requirements of all areas of the poultry and pig industries, right through from the small holder to the large-scale commercial operator. PE Services provide equipment to the broiler and free range layer farmer, offering a comprehensive same day/next day delivery service for parts, chemicals or other supplies. The company will advise, supply, install and provide service to your unit. Poultry products include nest boxes, slats, feeders, drinkers, ventilation, lighting and control, meal weighing systems, bulk feed bins and auger systems. Virginia man Padraig Mulvey is the Poultry Sales Manager for PE Services. PE Services has been involved in some of the largest piggery developments in Ireland. It can offer a complete package or part p a c k a g e s depending on your particular require-


PE Services designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:11 Page 2

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www.hoganstand.com/cavan 258


PE Services designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:11 Page 3

forecourts and industry. ments, and can assist in the design As an example of PE Services diverse stage right through to the installation range of services, they installed two and after sales service. brush wash systems for the Luas Tram As part of the company's continued System in Dublin and are involved in the research and development programme, ongoing maintenance of these systems. the company has developed a unique The company also designed and biomass boiler system for poultry manufactured a wash system for the farmers, this has been developed in Irish Army to wash their army tanks and conjunction with Queens University armoured vehicles. Belfast and with assistance from Safety systems and chemical loading Enterprise Ireland. The company is now arms are also a speciality. The company providing poultry farmers with a solution designs, supplies, installs and maintains which will eliminate the use of oil and step access systems, bridging gas for heating their poultry units and platforms, mobile vehicle access providing significant costs savings platforms and high level safety barriers. within the poultry industry. It is hoped In addition, it supplies SVT loading that this technology will lead to systems which are used by major increased exports and more jobs in the PE Services installed two brush wash systems for the Luas tram pharmaceutical companies as well as future. food and beverage manufacturers. Recently, PE Services has been lasting enclosures to compliment any Other leading agencies that PE involved in one of the largest home forecourt. Other related products Services represent are Wurth, Fischer milling developments in Ireland and include the frame mounted and multiFixings, Klargester Pollution Control and England. The company is proud to bay jet washes. PE Services’ jet wash Proteco Automated Gate Systems. represent the Skiold A/S brand in this systems are manufactured to the Like all Cavan GAA supporters, Paul country. The Danish manufacturer has highest standard using high quality, tried took enormous satisfaction from the a wide range of dry and liquid feeding and tested components. The company Breffni County’s achievements this year equipment for pig production, can also provide a design service for which included winning the Ulster developed and adapted in cooperation screens or enclosures to enhance and U21FC title for the third year in with pig producers in Denmark. maximize your car wash facility. The succession, reaching the All-Ireland Skiold A/S is the leading producer in company also provide wash systems for SFC quarter-final for the first time and Northern Europe of equipment for feed factories, odour control and dust control an historic All-Ireland ladies football production and also delivers all types of systems, PE are happy to look at any intermediate title success. ventilation for pig housings. As an problem to arrive at a solution. “It was our best year in a long time,” independent field of business, Skiold PE Services supply, install and service the former Lavey underage player A/S is also a sub-supplier of semienthuses. automatic vehicle washing systems. It is manufactured and finished articles for “It started off with the U21s retaining a main distributor for Ceccato Wash the machine industry. their Ulster title. Then you had the great Systems in Ireland. As well as being a “We can put our slant on the systems championship run by the senior team. I manufacturer of cabinet jet wash we import from Denmark,” Paul don’t recall Cavan ever playing seven explains. systems, portable washes and championship matches in the one year “By that, I mean we can modify them wheel/underbody wash systems, PE and to play two of those in Croke Park to suit Irish conditions and market. We Services is also a leading supplier of was a real bonus for the supporters. have an excellent reputation among water recycling systems which have a “And to cap it all off, the ladies put the Irish pig producers. It’s a small industry wide range of applications across disappointment of where everyone two years ago knows everyone behind them when and supports each they won the Allother. We are Ireland intermeddelighted to be a iate championship. part of that.” You could see how PE Services’ determined they products can also were in the way be found at many they came back in service station the final against forecourts up and Tipperary. down the country. “It was a great The best known of year overall for these is the Cavan GAA and, E u r o w a s h on behalf of forecourt cabinet everyone at PE jet wash system, Services, I would which is like to wish them manufactured from continued success stainless steel to PE Services has divisions for Safety, Environment/Wash and Agriculture in 2014.” ensure solid long

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ARVA

A

ON THE UP

rva may have narrowly missed out on the Sean Leddy Cup in 2013, but it didn’t stop the club from achieving their promotion goal to the ACFL Division Two. Veteran Sean Donnelly spoke about the experience of playing in his second county final 20 years on from when he first helped the club to junior championship glory. Despite some precious silverware evading them, Arva can still chalk down 2013 as a year that saw their top priority kept, having achieved promotion from Division Three of the All County Football League this past October. Defeat in the junior championship final earlier in the month was about the only low point of a stellar season for Ciaran Brady’s team and Sean Donnelly, for one, is fully confident that they can go one better next season, as well as maintain their newly gained league status. After all, Donnelly was there back in 1993 when the St Patrick’s club overcame Knockbride to capture their first junior championship in

Thomas Brady leads around his team before the start of the JFL final with Kill at Breffni Park

60 long years and knows that the club won’t be waiting to that extent again for the Sean Leddy Cup to make its return to Michael Cully Park. Then just 19 years old, Donnelly starred in the halfforward line alongside club stalwarts Mel S LT Bouchier and Jim Gaffney, kicking 0-3 in 2013 RESU Arva’s win over the Canningstown men JFC to seal their return to the intermediate -4 Corlough ranks. Arva 5-20 1 n -9 Kildalla 2 4 Twenty years on and he was -1 1 a rv s A acFinn Maghera M summoned by Brady to fill in for two -5 0 l 1 a -2 fin 3 iArva - sem injured goalkeepers and a strong run in 0 1-17 Arva -1 1 n a fe l a a rn Co -14 Kill – fin the league saw him clinging on to the Arva 1-13 1 number one jersey to line-out again in ion 3 the blue and white come county final ACFL Divis rt Templepo -3 0 season. Arva’s red-hot form would seem 3 -1 1 Arva 0-9 Arva them enter the decider against Kill as Kildallan 0-9 rlough o C -1 1 favourites, with a double promotion in 1 -1 Arva 4 0 3-8 Arva -1 1 both league and championship in the e d ri b Knock -6 Shercock space of a week on the cards. 1 6 -1 2 a s rv n A MacFin ra e h g a However, when Brady and his M -4 Arva 3-17 0 0 Arva -1 1 selectors, Philip Galligan and Enda 3 -1 1 ill K aels Boylan, met with the players at the Shannon G -5 0 3 -1 1 Arva Arva start of 2013, Donnelly explained that gh 1-12 5-4 Ballymachu n lla a ild K there was no talk of championship -5 3 4 -1 1 Arva 5 2-14 Arva finals, with much of the focus on -1 0 h g u o rl Co rsbridge tle u what was set to be a testing league B -7 0 Arva 1-7 0-17 Arva 1 campaign of home and away -1 1 e g d ri Butlersb Kill games. Arva 1-8 0-9 bride ck o n “When we met first and set out our K -8 2 d Arva 2-15 a – not playe rv stall our first objective was to get A v s n in acF d Maghera M promoted up to Division Two and a – not playe rv A v rt o p Temple 8 Arva get up to a higher grade of aels 0-1 4-1 Shannon G a rv A V ck o rc e Sh gh Ballymachu Arva 1-8 2-9

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football,” Donnelly stated. “We’d take the championship as it came. There was no real emphasis on the championship at the start of the year at all. It was about getting out of Division Three. “We’d lost a couple to emigration at the start of the year,” he added. “We lost David Bouchier to Scotland and we lost Brian McEntee as well. Dermot McGlade got injured early on and didn’t play for the rest of the year. We weren’t hit too bad other than that. I wasn’t there myself for the start of the league. I was kind of brought in by default because our two goalkeepers were injured and I stood in for them and kind of held on to my place.” Arva would hit the grounding running in February and saw their hot form sizzle into the summer months when a championship opener with Kildallan would be postponed into August as a result of Cavan’s progression in the AllIreland SFC series. “We started off well in the first few league games,” Donnelly explained. “We beat Templeport well the first day and won a few games after that and everyone just kind of realised that Arva had a good enough young team coming through. “Once we got that start the lads just dug into it and started training hard and that kind of stuff. The only team that beat


arva designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:42 Page 2

ARVA - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The Arva senior squad, front l/r: Alan Gray, Paul Bouchier, Brian Ellis, Shane McEntee, Alan Barry, James Morris, Thomas Brady, Kevin Bouchier, Peter Morris, Shane Finnegan, Stephen Ellis, Patrick Murtagh, Raymond Brady, Ciaran Cooney. Back: Cian Sheridan, Sean McNerney, Conal Sheridan, Brian Fitzpatrick, Sean McManus, Danny Conneely, Peter Conneely, Ciaran Brady, Sean Donnelly, Gavin Doyle, Fergal McGlade, Raymond Daly, Danny McEntee, Jonathan McCabe, Darren Gray, Paul Brady


arva designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:42 Page 3

Arva Crash Repair Continued Best Wishes To Arva GAA In The Coming Year

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Covering the action every step of the way 262


arva designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:42 Page 4

The Arva team and Mentors who defeated Laragh in the U-12 Group 4 final on the 3G pitch at Kingspan Breffni Park

us in the league before the championship started was Kill and we drew with Kildallan. We won a good few games coming up to the championship, so we were fairly confident going into it.” Arva would meet Kildallan in Killeshandra their junior championship opener and built up an early lead against the Ballyconnell men, with Kevin Bouchier in fine scoring form and his goal on the eve of half-time put them in the driving-seat, leading 1-7 to 0-4 at the break. The early stages of the second-half saw Arva extend their lead to 10 with points from Jonathan McCabe, Conal Sheridan, Bouchier and Brian Ellis, before Kildallan came into a purple patch which saw them strike an unanswered 1-4, leaving the momentum with them with the closing stages approaching. McCabe pointed again,

but another Kildallan goal would leave them just one behind before Bouchier raised his fifth white flag to help see out a 1-14 to 2-9 win. The next two games would be more straightforward for Brady’s charges as they dismantled both Maghera and Corlough, respectively, to book their place in the semi-finals, where Cornafean would await them after coming through a tough play-off clash with Templeport. Played at Kingspan Breffni Park, Arva made a splendid start against their neighbours with early points from Jonathan McCabe, Gavin Doyle and Kevin Bouchier that were wiped out in an instant once Padraig Tully goaled for Cornafean at the other end. Crucially, Brady’s men never panicked and would go on to own the remainder of the half with points from Bouchier, Brian Ellis

The squad on championship duty against Kildallan

The squad for the JFL final versus Kill

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and Fergal McGlade before Gavin Doyle crashed the ball to the Reds’ net to send his team in at the break with a six-point advantage. Cornafean demonstrated their resolved in the second-half to reduce their arrears to a point, but in the last 10 minutes Arva upped it again as points from Bouchier (2), Ellis (2), Doyle and Peter Morris ensured a 1-17 to 1-10 victory and a first championship final berth in two decades. “Cornafean hadn’t been going that well in the league but when it comes to a local derby form goes out the window. We knew they had a couple of good footballers like Adrian McCaffrey and Barry Doyle, so we knew we were going to be up against it,” said Donnelly. “We just got off to a great start with an early goal to build up a good lead and then we let them back into it in the second-half and they got within a point. We got it back then and finished well to beat them by seven points. I think the youth and fitness won the battle over Cornafean for us more than anything else.” While the club savoured the chance of a first championship success in 20 years, Donnelly explained that the management and players changed little in their approach to the final, bar a few experienced heads coming in to give a helping hand and some words of advice. “We didn’t actually change anything,” he said “We kept the same routine and training was probably a bit more intense because lads were battling for their places and things like that. We kept everything the way it had been going the whole year and nothing really changed much. There was big numbers at training and we got a couple of the younger lads to train with us just to make up for the numbers at 31 or 32. “We went up to Killeshandra and Gowna to train a couple of nights just to just to get used to a bigger field because Arva’s a fairly a small, tight field. We had Tony Scullion in one of the nights for a talk with us and Paul ‘The Pillar’ Caffrey in with us as well. It was good for us and the younger lads, especially, to hear a different voice.” Come the final the team would be ready, as far as all were concerned, with a plan to try and curb Kill’s midfield threat and surge past them with their young and energetic attack. Having recovered from a poor start, which saw them concede 1-4 in the first 10 minutes, Arva eventually settled into the game and were level by half-time. The early stages of the


arva designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:43 Page 5

Arva team captain Leah Brady receives the U-12 Group 4 cup from Brian Seagrave (Co. Youth Board Chairman)

second-half saw Brady’s side fall behind again and it took a Gavin Doyle goal to put them into their first lead in the 42nd minute. Kill drew level but a quick hat-trick of points from Ellis looked to have Arva with one hand on the cup until the Shamrocks struck 0-4 in the remaining minutes, including a 50-metre free from Sean Gaffney in injury-time which sealed the 1-14 to 1-13 win. Arva (JFC final v Kill): Sean Donnelly; Shane Finnegan, James Morris, Sean McManus; Stephen Ellis, Thomas Brady, Shane McEntee; Gavin Doyle (1-0), Fergal McGlade; Jonathan McCabe (0-1), Ciaran Brady, Peter Morris (0-

be. “At the end of the day, when you’re three points up with five minutes to go you should be there. Maybe if we had a few older players around that would hold up the ball and not be as eager to get forward, but Kill had experienced footballers there like Pearse McKenna and kicked some phenomenal scores at the end of the game to get back into it. The free kick at the end of the game was worthy of winning any game at any level.” While the defeat came as a devastating blow to Arva, there would be some consolation a week later when a comfortable league victory over Shannon

Leah Brady

Jamie Grey

Under pressure... Arva `keeper Sean Donnelly

Fergal McGlade

Kevin Bouchier

Manager Ciaran Brady

Kayla Brady

1); Alan Barry, Kevin Bouchier (0-5, 4f), Brian Ellis (0-6). Subs: Patrick Murtagh for S McEntee (42mins), Conal Sheridan for G Doyle (44), Brian Fitzpatrick for F McGlade (54). “We’d actually played them a few weeks before the final in a league game in Arva and beat them by three points that day,” said Donnelly. “We knew that if we could win the battle in the middle of the field that we’d have a good chance of beating them. When you have big players like (Pearse) McKenna and (Sean) Gaffney around the middle with that experience it’s hard to play against. But, in saying that, we thought our youth and fitness would be able to combat that but unfortunately it wasn’t to

Gaels saw them secure promotion to Division Two for 2014. “We got promoted the weekend after the final, which was a good boost to us,” said Donnelly. “Hopefully, we’ll have no retirements in 2014 and we’ll have a couple of young lads coming in. Our aim next year is going to be to give Division Two a rattle and obviously we want to win the junior championship now that we got to a final and lost it. We’d like to get back and win that after coming so close and hopefully we will.” 2014 should see Arva start as favourites for the JFC and given their impressive form this past season, who’d bet against them to end what will be a 21year wait for a championship title?

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Gavin Doyle

Brian Ellis


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SIXTEEN YEARS AND COUNTING SHANNON GAELS

S

hannon Gaels’ junior championship crusade may have been cut short by the semi-final stage this past season, but there’s plenty to be positive about out Blacklion way according to seasoned campaigner Paul McGovern. A long season can often be a struggle for a depleted squad, but for Shannon Gaels their 2013 campaign was one which saw them time their form almost to perfection in their bid to capture the Cavan junior football championship. League form wasn’t an accurate reflection of the team’s potential, according to Paul McGovern, who has been a part of Shannon Gaels’ senior team for 16 years since now, and the veteran forward knows better than most that the club are capable of ending their long famine for championship silverware. “We really focused on winning the junior championship this year,” he explained. “Earlier on in the year the numbers weren’t there, so it was really about keeping the show on the

road for when the championship came around. We had the numbers once we came into the summer to give it a good S T L U S lash, so that’s what we were aiming E R 2013 for.” With Tyrone native Eugene JFC afean 1 1-10 Corn McLoughlin at the helm for a second -1 2 ls e a ls G Shannon nnon Gae a h S 1 year, the players would see their -1 2 0-12 al Knockbride Kill - semi-fin 1 -1 0 season geared towards a -8 0 ls ae Shannon G championship opener with Cornafean ion 3 in early August. McLoughlin, who had ACFL Divis nnon Gaels a h S 4 Anthony Murray and Alan Maguire in -1 1 ugh Kildallan 1-9 6 1-6 Corlo -1 3 as his selectors, would rarely have a ls e a G ercock Shannon 2-6 2-11 Sh ls full squad of players to choose from e a G n o aels Shann Shannon G for the ACFL Division Three, with h g u ch a Kill 1-4 0-6 m -12 Bally 1 4 -1 0 injury and emigration taking its toll ls e a aels Shannon G Shannon G -5 0 on the panel. 3 -1 rt 1 o Arva Templep ls 1-12 0-8 e However, come August star a e G g d n ri o b n n Sha Butlers els 0-12 2-9 defender Jason McLoughlin would a n G n lla o a n n ild a K Sh -14 aels 2-13 2 be freed up from county duty, while els Shannon G hannon Ga S 1 -1 0 7 -1 1 d e the likes of Niall Walsh and Conor g ye d la ri p b t Butlers ls – no annon Gae h S McCaffrey, in particular, would e d v ri b ck o ck o rc She 0 Kn aels 4-9 0-1 - not step up to the mark when the first s n in cF a Shannon G aghera M M v ls e round of the Cavan JFC rolled a G Shannon played d ye la around. p t o n aels – Shannon G aels v G “We believed we had the e n d o ri n b n a ck h o Kn 5-9 S acFinns 2-9 players there to win the ill K 0 -1 3 Maghera M aels 2-5 championship, so once we got Shannon G on Gaels 0-13 Shann 2 -1 1 rt ls o e p a everyone out and the numbers le G p n m o Te nn -8 1-15 Sha t played o n – Corlough 1 ls e a on G gh v Shann a Ballymachu 0-1 4-18 Arv ls e a G n o Shann

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Paul McGovern and Ronan McCaffrey

together for training we knew that we had enough good young players to give it a rattle,” said McGovern. “Even though the results weren’t there in the league, we were still focused for the Cornafean game and we always believed that we’d at least be able to get out of the group because we had the hard work done and knew we were ready when it came around.” Shannon Gaels met Cornafean on a Friday evening at St Aidan’s Park in Bawnboy, where they made a flying start against the Reds, whom were tormented by Niall Walsh, scorer of 15 on the day, and eventually fell to a four-point defeat at the hands of the Blacklion men, whom had one foot in the semi-finals after the victory. “We hit the ground running that day,” said McGovern, who lined-out at right half-forward. “We came out and hit them hard in the first-half and scored 26 and were very happy with how we were set up. Things went to plan and in the second-half we came out and tacked on a few more points to go 10 points ahead at one stage. After that Cornafean came back to get within


shannon gaels designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:45 Page 2

Up against Cornafean in the championship were, front l/r: Jonathan Corrigan, Niall McGrath, Brian McLoughlin, Oliver Nolan, Aaron O’Hara, Niall Walsh, Jason McLoughlin, Ronan McCaffrey, Paul McCaffrey, Martin McGovern, Paul McGovern, Niall Corrigan. Back: Anthony Murray, Alan Maguire, Peadar Fitzpatrick, Kevin McGovern, Conor McCaffrey, Liam O’Reilly, Patrick O’Rourke, Sean McPartlin, Michael Griffin, Nevin O’Donnell, Gary Gallagher, Stephen McManus, Cathal Dolan, Eugene McLaughlin

three points and we were under pressure but we got a point or two late on that kind of sealed the win for us.” What came next for McLoughlin’s charges was a tough grind against Division Three strugglers Knockbride, whom many fancied the Gaels to cruise past after their convincing win over Cornafean in the opening round. It would take a late goal from Niall Walsh to settle the issue, however, as McLoughlin’s men came through on a 2-11 to 0-12 score-line to set-up a semi-final showdown with Kill Shamrocks on September 15th at Kingspan Breffni Park. “We didn’t start the game as well as the last day against Cornafean and maybe the attitude for it wasn’t right and Knockbride had us under pressure after the first 10-15 minutes. We started to come back at the end of the first-half and Jason McLoughlin came up and kicked a point for us which gave us a boost going in at half-time,” McGovern explained. “The second-half was a real battle, because Knockbride were fighting for their lives and making it tough for us to get scores but Nevin O’Donnell came off the bench for us and set up Niall Walsh for a goal that was really what killed the game off with five minutes to go. There was no stage that we were comfortable in that game and it proved a very tough win for us in the end.” Two wins in the space of as many weeks sent Shannon Gaels through to the last four as group winners, with a place in the final at stake when they’d come up against what they knew to be a formidable Kill outfit. The Shamrocks’

were strong around the centre of the park, with experienced campaigners Pearse McKenna and Sean Gaffney pulling the strings for them and it was the westerners’ intention to try and disrupt the duo’s influence. Kill were off the mark inside two minutes of the contest when Anthony Brady gathered at his full-forward station and split the posts before Niall Walsh drew Shannon Gaels level with a fifth minute free. Walsh had the chance to put the Blacklion men in front for the first time but saw his 20-metre free come off the upright and cleared to safety by Kill’s scrambling backs. The Gaels had to wait until the 10th minute for their first lead via full-forward Eamon O’Reilly but three wides followed before Walsh could double their lead on the quarter hour mark. Sean Gaffney darted over a 40-metre free for a sorely needed Kill score, but it was the west Cavan side that went on to dominate the remaining exchanges of the half, while their opponents looked to shore up things by introducing Niall McCaffrey and Donal Kissane as a double switch in the 20th minute. PP O’Hara landed a fine score to gain some profit from the Gaels’ momentum and an Eamon O’Reilly free close the half, when Kill would have been glad to be going in at the break only trailing by 0-5 to 0-3. Kill boss Barry McLoughlin made a fourth alteration to his starting team for the second-half, introducing Damien O’Brien to his full-forward line and it paid dividends as he had them within a point in the 38th minute after Gaffney (free) notched the Shamrocks’ first of

266

the half. Eamon O’Reilly would be gifted a glorious chance of a goal moments later when his marker let possession slipped by him but Gary Tiernan was quick off his line to smother the veteran attacker’s effort. It proved a major turning point, as points from Anthony Brady (free), O’Reilly (free) and Gaffney levelled the sides for the first time since the fifth minute. O’Reilly (free) and a sweet score from Conor McCaffrey kept it even heading into the final 10 minutes when Kill moved up a gear to pass out their opponents. A well-executed Sean Gaffney ‘45’ put Kill in front for the first time in 40 minutes and when Anthony Brady slotted over in front of the posts from a placed ball they were two to the good. McLoughlin’s men then worked the move of the match with Gaffney patiently holding possession along the left flank and finding Niall McCaffrey, who offloaded to Luke O’Brien before hitting the deck and the wing back did the rest with a composed finish over Pauric McGovern’s crossbar. A Gaffney free all but ensured a win with two minutes remaining, as a late effort from O’Reilly down the other end was all that the Gaels could muster before time ran out on them. Shannon Gaels (JFC semi-final v Kill): Pauric McGovern; Gary Gallagher, Stephen McManus, Michael Griffin; Aaron O’Hara, Jason McLoughlin, Peadar Fitzpatrick; Oliver Nolan, Shane Dolan; Paul McGovern, PP O’Hara (0-1), Conor McCaffrey; Niall Walsh (0-2, 1f), Eamon O’Reilly (0-5, 4f), Ronan McCaffrey. Subs: Nevin O’Donnell for Gallagher


shannon gaels designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:45 Page 3

SHANNON GAELS - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The seniors for 2013, front l/r: Niall Walsh, Stephen McManus, Martin McGovern, Aaron O’Hara, Conor McCaffrey, Patrick O’Hara, Oliver Nolan, Jason McLoughlin, Ronan McCaffrey, Paul McGovern, Brian McLoughlin, Kevin McLoughlin, Patrick O’Rourke, Niall McGrath. Back: Anthony Murray, Alan Maguire, Liam O’Reilly, Jonathan Corrigan, Peadar Fitzpatrick, Eamon O’Reilly, Cathal Dolan, Padraig McGovern, Nevin O’Donnell, Michael Griffin, Gary Gallagher, Cathal Dolan, Cian McGovern, Sean McPartlin, Paul McCaffrey


shannon gaels designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:45 Page 4

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shannon gaels designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:45 Page 5

Patrick O’Hara

admitted that that one stung as much as any. However, he’s adamant that the right ingredients are there for the team to go one further next year and bring back the Sean Leddy Cup to the parish for the first time since 1989. “I’ve lost a few championship semi-finals and finals and that was as bad as any of them,” the Dublin-based forward admitted. “I thought we had enough football played by half-time to have the game won and it was very disappointing to let them back into it. I think it was the way we lost, because we let them back into it to easy and

(43mins). “We had a couple of weeks to get ready for the semi-final and we had a full panel for the first time,” said McGovern. “We played Kill in two league games and the one away from we lost by a point with a weak enough team out that day. We knew going into the semi-final that they were big and strong around the middle, with Pearse McKenna and the two Gaffneys as well. So we were very focused on seeing what we could do in midfield to try and get out hands on the ball, because we’re not a big team. So we had different kind of tactics with regards to

Cathal Dolan

Conor McCaffrey

Shane Dolan

Eamon O’Reilly

Eugene McLoughlin

Stephen McManus

Eugene McLoughlin

kick-outs and that, so our main focus was on midfield. “We were pretty happy with the first-half. We edged it at midfield and had a man dropping back to cut out a lot of their attacks, but we only went in three points up. I think that’s where we lost it because I thought we should have went in maybe six or seven points up and that’s what done it for us in the end. Kill came back at us in the second-half and they were able to get the ball better around the middle and we couldn’t get the scores to push us over the line.” Of a handful of championship semi-final and final defeats he’s experienced in his extended playing career, McGovern

went down without a fight in the second-half.” “We believe we have the players there,” he added. “We’ve lost a lot of players in the last few years but there have been some excellent young players to come on to the team recently and there as good as we’ve ever had. We believe there is a junior championship there and we can’t fault the training because the management have done everything they can. We just have to make sure to take the chances when we have them when it comes to semi-finals and finals.” Going by McGovern’s tone, you can bet that Shannon Gaels will grab the opportunity with both hands next time.

269

Paul McCaffrey

Aaron O’Hara


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THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY CAVAN GAELS

F

or so long, 2013 looked like a year that had the Oliver Plunkett Cup written all over it for Cavan Gaels. Chairman Michael Mooney’s the first to admit that they were beaten by the better team on county final day and knows that there’s always next year to look forward to for the Cavan town club. This past season unravelled as somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for Cavan Gaels, with twists and turns along the way in the senior football championship which saw them reaching new heights in the latter stages before a big fall in the competition’s finale. Having dispatched of Kingscourt, champions Mullahoran and favourites Castlerahan, Joe O’Connor’s team fell short by a mere point to final newcomers Ballinagh on county final day at Kingspan Breffni Park, where, according to chairman, Michael Mooney the best

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC en 3-6 0-7 Lack n ls e a Cavan G ck La e ls 2-17 1-15 Cavan Gae van Gaels C 1-10 0-8 a A A G n a h ingscourt Castlera 1-14 1-11 K ls e a G n va Ca ullahoran – ls 2-8 1-8 M Cavan Gae l quarter-fina van Gaels – a C 4 -1 2 -7 0 n a h ra le Cast semi-final – final avan Gaels Ballinagh C ion 1A ACFL Divis an 1 Castlerah -1 0 ls 0-10 rt u o sc g Cavan Gae in ls 0-9 1-5 K Cavan Gae or United 0-8 1-6 Ram ls e a G n va a aels C -5 Cavan G Lavey 0-7 1 ulainns ch ú -8 0-5 C 4 ls e a G n aels Cava -9 Cavan G Denn 1-7 2 van Gaels a C 3 -1 3 n GAA 0-7 a h ra le llinagh a st B a C ls 1-16 0-10 Gaels Cavan Gae n va a 1-5 1-8 C n ra o h lla u M avan Gaels 0-12 1-14 C acken Kingscourt L ls 1-8 0-14 Cavan Gae avan Gaels C 3-13 0-11 d ite n U r o Ram Mullahoran ls 1-11 0-6 Cavan Gae Lavey ls 3-10 0-11 Cavan Gae Gaels n va -12 2-5 Ca 0 h g a n lli a B Denn ls 1-9 1-11 Cavan Gae avan Gaels s 1-8 5-13 C Cúchulainn G avan aels Lacken V C

Levi Murphy

team prevailed as champions. Looking back at it now, Mooney still knows that it was an opportunity lost for the Gaels but it has still been a progressive year for the club, nonetheless. “On the senior front, our aim was to win back the Oliver Plunkett Cup and with regards to other things going on in the club we wanted to start our new clubrooms at Terry Coyle Park and strengthen our underage structures as well. We had kids playing at Under 8 this

270

year and that’s just to try and make sure that the future is bright for the club,” said Mooney. “We’re a young team and this year we fell at the final hurdle, unfortunately. You have to hand it to Ballinagh though because they were the better team on the day and hopefully we’ll be back next year and go one further.” Under O’Connor, who had former player Paul O’Donnell and Mark McNamara in as selectors, the Gaels were bidding to make up for the disappointment of the 2012 campaign


cavan gaels designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:47 Page 2

CAVAN GAELS - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The men who lined out on county final day, front l/r: Richie Murphy, Sean Fitzsimons, Kevin Meehan, Darragh Sexton, Barry Fortune, Paul O’Connor, Fearghal Blessing, Eamonn Reilly (captain), Martin Dunne, Mickey Lyng, Conor McClarey, Andy Graham, Karol Crotty, Pauric Sexton, Paul Graham. Back: Robert Maloney-Derham, Niall Smith, Declan Meehan, Edward O’Hanlon, Dominic Reilly, Martin Cassidy, Dessie Scanlon, Marc Leddy, Niall Murray, Vinny Coyle, Gavin Duffy, Sean Reilly, Cathal Collins, Seanie Johnston, Levi Murphy


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which saw them exit the Cavan SFC at the quarter-final stage and when preparations started in the early part of the year all involved would share a common goal. As the season progressed, the return of key players would provide a boost to the Gaels, whom remain the only club in the county to line-out teams at both senior and intermediate level, which is always a test of durability to a large squad. “We lost a few, but I think every club in the country is going through the same thing with players leaving. This year we had Cathal Collins come back for us which was a huge boost because he’s such a leader for the team,” said Mooney “We had a few good wins at the start of the year but then there was a dip in form. When you’re trying to field two teams at senior and intermediate level it brings its own pressures but it’s a good pressure to have, I suppose.” O’Connor’s team had performed well

Conor McClarey

for the most part in Division One of the All County Football League and would be regaining the services of the likes of Niall Murray, Marc Leddy and Martin Dunne, who paid an outstanding contribution to Cavan over the summer with a 1-33 tally that saw him finish second to Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor in the All-Ireland SFC top-scorer charts, for their Cavan SFC preliminary round clash with Lacken in mid-August. When the Gaels met the intermediate champions at Kingpan Breffni Park it would be goals from Dunne, Eamonn Reilly and Barry Fortune that made the telling difference in a 3-6 to 0-7 victory. The draw for the next round would pair the same two teams against each other again, after Lacken’s win over Drumalee in the losers’ section, and this time the Gaels would need extratime to see off Jason O’Reilly’s side and book a meeting against Castlerahan, with the winners advancing to the quarter-finals. “We played Lacken the first day and

Martin Dunne

won fairly comfortably and we played them again in the next round and they brought us to extra-time. It was a hard fought game and one that we were fortunate enough to come out on top in to move into the next round,” Mooney admitted. “The performance against Castlerahan the next day was very flat. We really had to take a look at ourselves after it and we regrouped well from that defeat. The next three games against Kingscourt, Mullahoran and Castlerahan were good performances on our behalf.” The Gaels would suffer a 1-10 to 0-8 defeat at the hands of the Ballyjamesduff men, for whom Cian Mackey and Ronan Flanagan starred, and it left them in a last chance saloon against Kingscourt Stars, who themselves had impressed in the last round by demolishing Denn. Played under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, the Gaels took charge early with Dunne, Paul Graham,

Paul O’Connor

Eamonn Reilly

Mickey Lyng The squad that took on Castlerahan in the championship opener, front l/r: Dessie Scanlon, Darragh Sexton, Martin Dunne, Marc Leddy, Conor McClarey, Kevin Meehan, Mickey Lyng, Sean Hanley, Niall Gurhy, Andy Graham, Pauric Sexton, Kavin Donohoe. Back: Robert Maloney-Derham, Richie Murphy, Paul Graham, Vinny Coyle, Dominic Reilly, Cathal Collins, Martin Cassidy, Niall Murray, Edward O Hanlon, Karol Crotty, Barry Fortune, Sean Reilly, Fearghal Blessing

273


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In the semi-final, Castlerahan were ranked as favourites and it saw the Gaels go in quietly confident before starting the game at a higher tempo than their opponents as they very nearly goaled from the throw-in but for some heroics from Jamie Leahy. The Castlerahan goalkeeper did brilliantly to deny Dunne before diving low to block Johnston’s rebounded effort. It was an early let off for the Ballyjamesduffers but they’d still be down by two after five minutes, with a brace of points from O’Connor and a Robert Maloney-Derham single outweighing Fergal Flanagan’s first for Tony Brady’s chargers in the fourth minute. Maloney-Derham, who didn’t start in the quarter-final victory over Mullahoran, was assigned to guard Ronan Flanagan, while Cian Mackey’s influence would be tracked by Niall Murray and Sean Brady’s by Marc Leddy around the centre. Brady would see his night cut short, however, when he was stretchered off with a nasty injury in the 27th minute. Castlerahan had made up for their sluggish start by the ninth minute when Mackey backed up a superb 40-metre effort from namesake Cian McEnroe with a free. Declan Meehan, who was a late change to the Gaels team along with MaloneyDerham, nudged the Cavan town side back in front when he looped over from the right side and from there the better team began to show as Dunne and Johnston were repeatedly hit with the ball inside. A Dunne free was backed up by the

Murray and Michael Lyng sending over points that saw them towards a 0-8 to 0-5 half-time lead. Kingscourt trimmed the difference down to a point early in the second-half, but with Dunne on fire they were always going to struggle to win the game as the Cavan attacker added 1-2 in the last quarter to see out a 1-14 to 1-11 victory and seal the Gaels quarter-final berth. It was old rivals Mullahoran that stood in the way of the Terry Coyle Park outfit and a place in the last four in a fixture that had more spice added to it by the return of Sean Johnston to the Gaels’ camp from St Kevin’s in Kildare. Johnston’s first game back with his native club saw him score a penalty in a one-point defeat to Ballinagh in the ACFL Division One and he’d register his second in as many games when he goaled in the opening moments against the Dreadnoughts which saw his side in the driving-seat early on. The Gaels had built up a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after 10 minutes and it was enough to see them towards a four-point lead at half-time. Mullahoran hit back with an early second-half goal and took their first lead by the 42nd minute but the Gaels levelled by the final quarter and soon made the major breakthrough when Paul O’Connor’s blocked shot fell perfectly for Eamonn Reilly and the centre-back buried to the net. Declan Meehan’s long range point ensured the lead at four before Mullahoran grabbed a consolation score and the Gaels progressed to the last four on a 2-8 to 1-8 score-line.

275


cavan gaels designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:47 Page 7

On league duty, front l/r: Patrick Heslin, Alan O Riordan, Darragh Sexton, John Fortune, Paul Graham, Conor McClarey, Eamonn Reilly, Paul O Connor, Sean Fitzsimons, Andy Graham, Martin Dunne, Pauric Sexton. Back: Mícheál Sexton, John Gurhy, Kevin Meehan, Gavin Duffy, Marc Leddy, Declan Meehan, Dominic Reilly, Martin Cassidy, Richie Murphy, Niall Murray, Mickey Lyng, Sean Reilly, Levi Murphy

Cavan senior sending Johnston through for his first of the night before the Gaels landed their first hammer blow. After some slick approaching play, Michael Lyng found O’Connor inside and the ball popped up perfectly for Dunne to round Castlerahan’s struggling full-back line and flash the ball past Leahy to the net. It was the first part of a double dagger to the maroons, as Brady was stretchered off two minutes later, and only a McEnroe free could give them some reprieve before the interval, when the Gaels took in a merited 1-6 to 0-4 lead. Castlerahan needed a strong start to the second-half to ensure that the leaders’ momentum wouldn’t continue to push them further adrift, but early scores from Meehan and Johnston left them with a mountain to climb for the next half-hour. The trailers laboured for scores via Paul Smith and Mackey (free), but the Gaels were always able to keep them at bay. Some patient build up play saw Johnston grab his third score ahead of Castlerahan’s best goal chance of the night which saw Mackey find Oisin O’Connell on the edge of the square, from where the wing forward lashed over Martin Cassidy’s crossbar. The flood gates opened after that, with Maloney-Derham, Johnston and O’Connor (2) pushing the lead to nine before the latter set-up Paul Graham, on as a blood substitute for Cathal Collins, to round Leahy and smash home, ending the game as a contest on an emphatic 2-14 to 0-7 score-line. Cavan Gaels (SFC semi-final v Castlerahan): Martin Cassidy; Barry

Fortune, Marc Leddy, Cathal Collins; Niall Murray, Eamonn Reilly, Levi Murphy; Dominic Reilly, Declan Meehan (0-2); Karol Crotty, Michael Lyng, Robert Maloney-Derham (0-2); Sean Johnston (0-4), Paul O’Connor (0-4), Martin Dunne (1-1, 1f). Subs: Paul Graham (1-0) for C Collins (50mins, blood), Conor McClarey (0-1) for L Murphy (51), Niall Smith for M Dunne (55), Kevin Meehan for S Johnston (56), Vincent Coyle for D Meehan (59). “I thought the semi-final win over Castlerahan was the best that we’d played in a year or two in the championship,” Mooney assessed. The manner of their semi-final victory would see the Gaels go into the final as raging hot favourites against Ciaran O’Reilly’s Ballinagh side, but, in the end, it would turn into a bad day at the office for them as a lethargic first-half saw them trail by three points at halftime. The second-half saw Dunne and Declan Meehan reduce their team’s arrears to one and they’d eventually be level when points from Marc Leddy and Michael Lyng outweighed a Terry Smith to level the sides at 0-10 each with seven minutes remaining. In those closing stages Ballinagh dug their deepest and managed two late points which left the Gaels needing a goal in injury-time which never came their way as they fell to a heart-breaking 0-12 to 0-11 defeat. “We went into it confident, but I wouldn’t say we were over confident,” said Mooney. “We knew Ballinagh were going to be tough opposition and it showed on the day. It was a long

276

week after the final but there’s no denying that the better team won.” The club are already looking towards next season, having recently launched a five-year strategic plan, with the same objective as always. “Our aim is always the same,” said the chairman. “We will regroup and we want the Plunkett Cup back in Terry Coyle Park.”

LADiES CLAiM FiRST SiLVERwARE 2013 saw Cavan Gaels Under 13 ladies make a little bit of history when they defeated Castlerahan to capture a first title in the section for the club. “Ladies football started two years ago and things have been going well so far,” said Mooney. “We won our first title at Under 13 level in a league final against Castlerahan two months ago and it was a great achievement for the girls. We had the All-Ireland champions up as well two days after we lost the county final and it was great to have them.”

JUVENiLE “The underage structures are in place and it’s about getting players interested now in playing in the GAA. There are a lot of other sports out there in schools now so you have to keep kids interested,” he continued. “We’ve our ‘Friends of Cavan Gaels’ set up still going strong and we’ve recently launched a five-year strategic plan for the club. I think every club in the country will be doing it soon, so it’s great to get ahead of others because I think we’re only the third club in the county to have done it so far.”


laragh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:49 Page 1

FUTURE LOOKS ORANGE LARAGH

L

aragh United’s trail in 2013 saw them exceed expectations in the ACFL Division Two and hold their own in the championship upon their return to the intermediate ranks. To top it all off, the club captured a much coveted Under 14 league and championship double which ended their year on an ultimate high. To say that the future is bright in Laragh would be somewhat of an understatement. The Stradone-based club have been making all the right strides at juvenile level these past few years and last year the investment began to pay off, with a long-awaited junior championship title coming to the club. This year, retaining intermediate status became somewhat of a mission for Kevin McDonnell’s charges and the early signs that the team were more than capable of holding their own were there for all to see once Division Two of the All County Football League threw in. One point from their first two games was followed by a string of victories that saw Laragh pushing for promotion to Division 1B by midsummer.

LTS

2013 RESU

IFC h Utd 6 0-9 Larag -1 1 r a b lin ugent Swan tn n u o -14 1-9 M 1 td U h g ra La ilieborough 0-8 1-13 Ba Laragh Utd

ion 2 ACFL Divis Utd -10 Laragh ught 1-11 0 a n n o rc td te U n Mu 3-4 Laragh Drung 1-10 fean 2 1-7 Corna -1 3 ugent Laragh Utd tn n u o M 2-11 3-8 td U h g ra g a L Lara h Utd ls 2-14 0-8 Cavan Gae illinkere 3-13 0-11 K Laragh Utd onnaught rc te n 1-5 Mu -8 0 td U h g Lara aragh Utd 1-13 3-12 L Swanlinbar eshandra 0-5 1-12 Kill Laragh Utd Drung 0 -1 0-11 0 Laragh Utd eborough ili a B 2 2-9 1-1 Laragh Utd ragh Utd 0-16 1-8 La Cornafean aragh Utd L 6 2-10 1-1 t n e g u tn n u Mo ragh Utd 1-13 1-9 La Killeshandra anlinbar 1-19 0-7 Sw Gaels Laragh Utd n va a 2-9 0-11 C Utd Laragh Utd h g ra a L gh V Bailieborou g ra h Utd -13 1-11 La Killinkere 1

Sean Tierney

However, championship was where it was at for the then Sean Leddy Cup holders, according to PRO Ray Carroll. “We wanted to stay up in the intermediate championship and of course we wanted to win it, but the main aim this year was to stay up and compete in the championship,” said Carroll. “We lost a few key players at the start of the year and knew it would be tough. We lost Adrian Cooney to emigration and Colm McKenna done his cruciate in a first round league match against Cavan Gaels. Those two were massive losses to us. Colm was our starting centre-back and would be a major loss to any team and Adrian was one of our most experienced forwards.” Minus the services of two salient figures in their starting 15, Laragh faced an uphill battle from the opening game of their season but their form suggested otherwise after the first two rounds of Division Two. Wins over Cornafean (3-12 to 1-7), Mountnugent (2-11 to 3-8) and Killinkere (3-13 to 0-11) saw Laragh’s

277

campaign catch fire, leaving them in promotion contention come summer time, and by August they’d roll into the intermediate championship quietly confident of making their mark. “We did well in the league,” stated Carroll. “We lost the first game and drew with Drung but we went on a bit of a run after that and only lost a few games in the end. We lost to the teams that had been beating teams well all year, like Bailieborough and Killeshandra, but we won most of our other games. “Our form was very good and we were on a high coming into the championship because we were after winning a few league games. We were after hammering Swanlinbar in the league and then we were playing them in the first round of the championship, so it was a game that we were confident going in to.” McDonnell’s charges travelled to Ballyconnell as favourites given their league form and recent result over Swad, but it was the west Cavan side that dominated the large portions of the game to come away from First


laragh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:49 Page 2

On duty in the U12 league final against Arva, front l/r: Evan Kelly, Aoife Callaghan, Cian Fitzgerald, Shane McDonagh, Dillion McMahon, James Cahill, Finnan Brady, Niall Galligan, Shane Walsh, Aodhgan O Reilly, Ryan Svaboda, Kieran O’Rourke, Colm O’Rourke. Back: Declan Reilly, Brian Shiels, Darragh Tully, Meagan McKenna, Shane Tully, Sean Maguire, Sean O’Rourke, Peter Sexton, Killian Bird, Niamh Keenaghan, Matt Brady, Terry Reilly

Ulsters Park with a 1-16 to 0-9 victory. It meant that Laragh would be left in a last chance saloon against Mountnugent to advance to the knockout stages and, perhaps more importantly, avoid a relegation battle when the two teams met at Kingspan

Breffni Park towards the end of August. In a repeat of the 2012 JFC final, McDonnell's men dismantled their opponents, after having trailed at halftime, to achieve a similar result to the one they earned the previous October. Liam McKenna's 18th minute goal

looked to put Laragh in the driving-seat heading towards the interval, but Mountnugent came into their best form of the evening until the break to lead by one. However, they couldn't keep up similar pace in the second-half as

The U14 winners, front l/r: David Smith, Gavin Brady, Ryan Carroll, Oisin O Callaghan, Matthew Brady, Shane Tully, Sean Maguire, Jake McGovern, Pauric Reilly, Niall Brady, Niall Fitzpatrick, Seamus O Rourke, Adrian Lackey, Jamie Cooney. Back: Brian Maguire, Matt Brady, Noel Smith, Ciaran O’Grady, Barry Davies, Paul Smith, Eoin Walsh, Shane Smith, Lee O’Reilly, Dominic Gillick, Max O’Dea, Hayden Smith, Mark Brady, Morgan McGovern, Ray Smith, Alan Sexton

Gerry Murray

Evan Kelly

Ciaran Brady

Sean Tierney

278

Darragh Brady


laragh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:49 Page 3

LARAGH - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The senior squad that took on Mountnugent in the championship, front l/r: Darren Brady, Cian O’Rourke, Joesph Donoghue, Philip Fitzsimons, Seamus Cooney, Declan King, Ruairi Power, Sean Tierney, Kevin O’Rourke, Ciaran Cooney, Darragh Smith. Back: Noel Smith, Conal Donoghue, Dallon McKenna, Liam Brady, Patrick Rudden, Enda Cullivan, Martin Smith, Gerry Murray, Patrick King, Declan Brady, Eoin O’Donoghue, Raymond Lackey, Damon McKenna, Ray Maguire, Daragh Brady


laragh designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:50 Page 4

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Pauric Reilly accepts the U14 trophy

Patrick Rudden

Seamus Cooney

The squad that took on Munterconnacht in the league, front l/r: Gerry Murray, Ciaran Cooney, Philip Fitzsimons, Patrick Rudden, Kieran O’Donoghue, Seamus Cooney, Barry Cullivan, Cian O’Rourke, Ruairi Power, Darren Fitzpatrick, Nocolas Omnes. Back: Derek Hand, Daragh Brady, Jamie McMahon, Liam McKenna, Dallon McKenna, Eoin O’Donoghue, Colin Oates, Martin Smith, Shane O’Rourke, Declan Brady, Conal Donoghue, Liam Brady, Damon McKenna, Kevin McDonnell

Liam Brady  

Sean Maguire

Patrick Rudden, who finished with 0-8, punished them with frees which were enough to get Laragh comfortably over the line. With revenge undoubtedly an incentive used in the team huddle before throw-in, Mountnugent took the early lead in this game with a Ciaran Caffrey free and saw it doubled through Liam Hennessy in the 9th minute. Hennessy would be unlucky to see the evening's first goal chance turned around the post thanks to a fine save from Laragh net-minder Martin Smith and it provided the Stradone men with the wake-up call they needed as points from Sean Tierney and Patrick Rudden (free) saw their account opened,

but they still trailed after a well-worked '45' between Ciaran Caffrey and Eurick Reilly saw the former fire between the posts. At that point, things looked to be running smoothly for Mountnugent but they'd be rocked on 18 minutes after Sean Tierney did brilliantly to cut inside and speed past his marker to release an unmarked McKenna, who blasted to Jonathan Givney's net. Rudden's second free pushed the gap to three, but they' be back to square one in an instant after a superb bit of fielding from David Givney afforded him the time and space to release Hennessy and the corner-forward lashed past Smith for a timely three-pointer.

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The U14 Division 1 FC winners, front l/r: Lee Reilly, Eoin Walsh, Ryan Carroll, Sean Maguire, Shane Tully, Seamus O'Rourke, Paul Smith, Niall Fitzpatrick, Barry Davis, Oisin Callaghan, David Smith, Jake McGovern, Raymond Smith. Back: Matt Brady, Noel Smith, Gavin Brady, Kieran O'Grady, Niall Brady, Shane Smith, Max O'Dea, Pauric O'Reilly, Dominic Gillic, Mark Brady, Matthew Brady, Adrian Lackey, Hayden Smith, Morgan McGovern, Brian Maguire, Jamie Cooney, Alan Sexton.

The major saw the Meath border men into somewhat of a purple patch as Ciaran Caffrey and David Givney landed long range points and the game could well have gotten away from Laragh had Hennessy's ambitious effort on goal not flashed just wide of the post. Instead they finished out the half strong, earning frees for Rudden to point to leave the difference at 1-6 to 1-5 by the halfway stage. Mark Rehill's early score looked to be an indicator for Mountnugent, but it was their opponents that would come into some rich form in the third quarter as a Rudden free would be the first of four unanswered points to come. The centre-forward pointed from around his station soon after and when McKenna and Declan King done similar Laragh found themselves in a two-point lead heading towards the last 15 minutes. Midfield aces Caffrey and Givney grafted to reduce Mountnugent's arrears, with the latter grabbing two points in five minutes, but Laragh truly found their range in the closing stages, with four different scores in the last 10 minutes which was more than enough to see out a deserved victory. Laragh (IFC v Mountnugent): Martin Smith; Patrick King, Shane O'Rourke, Philip Fitzsimons; Declan King (0-1), Seamus Cooney, Liam Brady; Colin Oates, Enda Cullivan (0-1); Liam McKenna (1-1), Patrick Rudden (0-8, 5f), Cian O'Rourke; Gerry Murray,

Declan Brady, Sean Tierney (0-2). Subs: Eoin Donohoe (0-1) for L Brady (Temp sub, 4 mins), E Donohoe for P Fitzsimons (29), Conal O'Donhoe for D Brady (35). The 1-14 to 1-9 victory put Laragh comfortably through to the next round against league rivals Bailieborough and after a poor performance against the Shamrocks at Kingspan Breffni Park, McDonnell’s team’s aspirations for the IFC went up in smoke. The town side inflicted a 1-13 to 0-8 defeat to book their place in the quarter-finals, bringing the curtain down on Laragh’s championship campaign. “We were all over the place and Bailieborough were just a better team than us,” said Carroll “They dominated the game from the start but they didn’t beat us by that much in the end. We didn’t put it up to them and they were dominant at midfield. Michael Argue was very good for them and their goalkeeper put every free over the bar for them.” The defeat saw Laragh’s focus quickly turn towards the league and contesting a Division Two semi-final place, while the team’s second string did the club proud in October by reaching the Reserve Division Two championship final. In the way of the title stood Drung and after a draw in their first meeting at Kingspan Breffni Park, the two teams met again at the Cavan town venue, where Laragh

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would lose out narrowly on a 2-7 to 25 score-line. Huge credit must go to all involved, as the Stradone men battled strong but finished just short in the end to their Bunnoe counterparts. The club are now already looking forward to making up for lost silverware in 2014, according to Carroll. “With the strong teams like Killeshandra gone, we’d be hoping to try and get promotion from Division Two,” said the PRO. “Hopefully we can do the same in the

Laragh team captain Paul Smith receives the U14 Division 1 Cup from Brian Seagrave (Youth Board Chairman)


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past 12 months? championship. It’s Winning the league probably not a realistic earlier this year gave goal for us because we’ll them a dream of probably have to wait capturing the double another year or so for that they simply some good young players couldn't let go off. to come through, but that’s "We always felt that if what you have to be they could play to their aiming for anyway. We’re potential, they'd be trying to build the hard to beat," opines underage because things the aforementioned are paying off there for us. Sexton. There’s four or five lads "We were ahead for there that have come most of the league through there recently and final but then they they’ve been a huge help (Crosserlough) got to us and hopefully next ahead by a point or year we’ll have more two but the lads stuck coming through. Watching on from the sideline, l/r: PJ Cahill, Pauric Rudden and Kevin McDonnell with it and came good “We have a juvenile in the end with that coaching officer here now, come to fruition. winning point (Jamie Cooney) at the he’s Ray Maguire, and he’s making very end. sure that everyone is singing off the LARAGH STARLETS AIMING FOR "At Feile (in Derry) they won their first same hymn sheet. That there’s a game THE STARS game by 2-10 to no-score and then plan from underage and everyone is Want to hear someone wax lyrical their next game by 12 points. For the training towards getting good players about Laragh's all-conquering under third game, we had two lads injured on to the senior team in five or six 14 footballers? Then talk to any one of and lost out to Clonmel who went onto years. This year Eoin O’Donoghue a number of United gaels currently win it out." came in and had a brilliant year and positioned at the coalface of underage So what have they got going for there’s another young lad coming affairs. themselves in particular? along now called Ciaran Cooney. He "They want to win every time they go played very well for the juniors this out onto the field. They've only lost one year, but next year he’ll be a senior Fact is, there's scarcely a soul in the game in two years. Crosserlough beat footballer. Jason Walsh is another, so Stradone-based club who isn't us in Kilnaleck a few weeks before the we have a good few coming through forecasting great things from the league final." now and all the work being put in is squad that just recently clinched a With Noel Smith, Brian Maguire and starting to come through.” momentous double. Raymond Smith with him on the Given Laragh’s recent track record, "They're strong, fit and they've all sideline, team-manager Sexton you can expect plenty more and more very good ball skills," says outgoing succeeded in fine-tuning his charges talent to come through and, eventually, team manager Alan Sexton. "There'd to a tee after getting the panel together be 10 of them on the button of 14 for the first time last March. which, I suppose, makes a big

Cian O’Rourke

difference, strength-wise at that age. "No team ever won with just power and there's plenty of ballwinners and score-getters in the side too and that was shown up all year." Certainly, the notion that Laragh boasted the best set of under 14 footballers in 2013 carries an awful lot of credibility. Crosserlough's Class of 2013 were top notch too in the league and championship but, still, had to give way to United in both finals. Laragh's under 14s this year proved that they were a class act. They won the U14 Division Two title last year and made it through to Feile na nOg in 2012 and again this past year. Should we then have been surprised by their exploits over the

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Best Wishes To Laragh GAA In 2014


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It's a credit to the aforementioned think-tank that they got the very best out of their players; players who, it must be said, sported no winning pedigree before they were taken over by Sexton and co. After the league title was bagged, the Laragh management team decided to up the ante by going from just one training session per week to two weekly. "We thought there were a couple of the lads just a wee bit short of confidence and were laying the ball off a wee bit too quickly instead of taking responsibility themselves. "We worked on improving the drills. We tapped into our contacts. My sister is involved with Na Fianna in Dublin and we got some tips from there. "Eventually we played Knockbride in the semi-final who had beaten Gowna. Normally there'd be only a couple of points between us but we ended up beating Knockbride by 6-16 to 2-6. Our lads were full of confidence that day." Alan remarks that the league and championship campaigns were a real "learning process" for the management team as well as the Laragh players. So what of the future for the Class of 2013? "I'd be disappointed if a few of them didn't go on and line out with Cavan at senior level. There's six of them with the current county under 14 development squad and if they keep progressing they should have a good future in the game." Laragh club chairman Pauric Rudden is no less effusive in his praise of the current Laragh under 14s. He is also wont to talk up the crew that looked after the players. "I think the fact that the club put in place fellas who would drive the team on was an important part of the equation this year," says Rudden. "The right structures were put in place and we made sure good coaches were at the helm from under 8 upwards. "It helped too that some of our senior players helped out too, especially with the training on a Saturday. Five of our senior players have Level One qualifications and four others are in the process of applying for Level One courses. "The club is lucky to have all our coaches operating with at least a Level One accreditation and at least one of them is with every team. "Those players have the respect of the young lads. I think the club winning

the junior championship last year was a big help in getting the players known to the lads at national school. "I'd like to acknowledge the work done at cumann na mbunscol by Donal Donohoe and our own clubman at county level, Gary Robbins. The parents of the kids were very good too. "The coaches we had this year weren't with the teams because it suited them. They were there because they wanted to help out the players. "We have a great crop of underage players at the club at the present time but nobody's gonna rest on their laurels at this stage." Laragh's classy under 14s undoubtedly proved themselves the best of the bunch over the past year. Their league title triumph last June was consolidated in mid-October with a dramatic victory in the championship decider. Two cracking goals in the dying minutes of the game saw Laragh Utd clinch an incredible 5-10 to 3-14 victory over arch rivals Crosserlough in what was a memorable decider at the 3G. There have been many extraordinary underage finals played at Headquarters down the years but this was one which will surely last longer than most in the annals. The sides went at it hammer and tongs from the throw in with (Crosserlough) rifling over two quickfire early points. Laragh then went on the offensive with star attacker Pauric O’Reilly going on a run before rifling the ball into the back of the net. Moments later Crosserlough's kick out was broken down by Paul Smith and the breaking ball won by the hard working Lee Reilly who found Laraghs danger man Nial Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick laid off to Pauraic O Reilly who carried the ball forward and passed back to Niall Fitzpatrick who had got behind the full back line and buried it into the back of the net after just four minutes. Then in the sixth minute Crosserlough hit back with interest with a fantastic goal which was followed up with yet another major. However Laragh showed their spirit in the next couple of minutes with Pauric O'Reilly notching a wonder point on the run and then moments later, polishing off great work by Mark Brady and Barry Davis, to goal in great style. In the run-in to the break, Crosserlough pointed and Paul Smith replied with a two pointer to leave

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Liam McKenna

Laragh 3-6 to 2-7 in front at half-time. The second half started as the first ended. Crosserlough were on target again in the fourth and fifth and seventh minutes with a hat-trick of points as Laragh looked set to thread deep water. However Pauric O’Reilly and Lee Reilly hit two fantastic scores both of which came from balls being won and played out of Laragh's half back line. Crosserlough put the pressure on the Laragh side again though and another goal rocked Laragh and another point by the Kilnaleck-based side left them in front by 3-14 to 3-10. Then in the 59th minute, Laragh forward Niall Fitzpatrick won the ball behind the corner back and with one thing on his mind to hit the back of the net and that's just what he managed to do. Moments later Pauric Reilly - now at midfield - carried the ball forward and played it into Mark Brady who fed Lee Reilly who simply made no mistake in shooting low and to the left of the Crosserlough 'keeper. The black and ambers were stunned. Tragically for them - but deliriously for United - there was to be no time left for play to be re-started. An epic decider had been brought to a shattering halt. For the record, the Under 14 Division One Championship-winning Laragh team and subs was: Dominic Gillick; Gavin Brady, Hayden Smith, Ciaran O’Grady; Jamie Cooney, Jake Mc Govern, Adrian Lackey; Paul Smith, Lee Reilly; Eoghan Walsh, Mark Brady, Max O'Dea; Barry Davis, Pauraic O'Reilly, Niall Fitzpatrick. Subs used; Shane Smith; Morgan McGovern.


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BRAVERY IN ABUNDANCE SHERCOCK

I

n a year where league promotion was the priority, Shercock unravelled as the surprise package in the intermediate championship in 2013 in a run that brought them all the way to a second county final in three years. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Barry O’Reilly’s young team, but experienced defender Joe O’Reilly is confident of a quick return and bright future ahead for the club. There are fewer clubs in Cavan to have benefited from young talent recently than Shercock GAA and the mutual feeling amongst its volunteers is that it won’t be long before they start reaping the rewards after coming so close to capturing a second championship title in the space of three years. In 2011, the club ended a 32-year wait for the junior championship title and to the fore that day at Kingspan Breffni Park were teen stars Brian Sankey and Killian Clarke, with the former being named ‘Man of the Match’ for

his performance at full-forward. In the ensuing weeks, Shercock’s minor stars S helped O’Raghallaigh Gaels to a T L U S E 2013 R historic county championship triumph when they upset Cavan Gaels at the IFC g n same venue. ru D -8 1 -13 l Shercock 1 quarter-fina All the signs pointed to more heady – e n la m ru i-final -11 2-8 D m 4 se ck – o times ahead, with a wealth of rc ck e o h S Sherc eltic 0-8 2-6 – final ck o underage talent filtering through to the rc e h S Cootehill C 1-10 1-8 senior ranks which was evident this Killeshandra past October when the team met ion 3 ACFL Divis ns in cF a Killeshandra on intermediate final day. M ra Maghe hercock Shercock V S 5 -1 “From the team that won the junior 3 -3 0 acFinns Shercock Maghera M 1 championship, there are only four or -1 2 -6 2 aels h Shannon G allymachug five surviving members,” explained B 2 -1 2 0 -1 Shercock 0 corner-back Joe O’Reilly, who was a -6 Shercock Arva 2-16 1 leport p m Te part of the team that day. -9 0 -6 Shercock 2 hercock S “There’s been some good Under -6 1 1 -1 1 h Kildallan 21 talent that has come through 1-6 Corloug 5 -1 1 ck o Sherc Shercock recently. We are a relatively young e 1-10 0-11 Butlersbridg o n K ckbride 0 team. Aidan Lennon is our oldest -1 0 -7 1 Shercock Shercock player at 30. There were eight 3 -1 1 -5 1 Kill ock 2-13 Sherc Under 21s that started the -7 0 e d ri b ck Kno Kill -9 0 3 -1 1 intermediate final for us this year – ck layed Sherco aels – not p G n o Dean O’Reilly, Shane Clarke, Niall n n a h S ock Shercock v -9 0-9 Sherc 1 Clerkin, Ryan Clerkin, Killian h g u ch a Ballym rsbridge 3 4-7 Butle Clarke, Brian Sankey, Stephen -1 2 ck o rc e Sh Shercock -8 2 -7 1 Donnery and Damien McIntyre.” h g Corlou ock 5-18 Sherc 1 -1 3 When O’Reilly and his rt o p le Temp played allan – not ild K v ck o rc She Arva Shercock V

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Niall Clerkin heads for the Killeshandra goal during the IFC decider at Breffni Park

selectors, Darragh Roe and Francis Byrne, met with the players at the start of the year to discuss their objectives for the season, there was little talk about the intermediate championship. According to Joe, making the potent leap to Division Two was top of the agenda for all involved. “We wanted to get promotion in the league and we never really talked about the championship at the start of the year. It went without saying that that’s what we wanted to do,” said the defender. Shercock’s sluggish start would see them with a mountain to climb to make up for lost points which saw them fall behind high-flyers Arva and Kill. Impressive wins over Maghera (3-15 to 0-3), Shannon Gaels (2-11 to 2-6) and Kill (1-13 to 1-5) showed some early signs of what the team were capable of, but come the business end of the season any notion of them surging for a top two finish would be too far-fetched. “We had a pretty indifferent start to the league,” Joe stated. “There were low numbers at training between


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SHERCOCK - INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL FINALISTS 2013

Intermediate Football Championship finalists, front l/r: Francie Byrne, Mickey Ward, Paddy McPhillips, Kieran McDermott, Paddy Magee, Simon McIntyre, Lee Clarke, Paul Sloane, Stephen Donnery, Shane Clarke, Niall Clerkin, John McEnroe, Gary Lynch, Killian Clarke, James McMahon, Dean O'Reilly. Back: Joe O'Reilly, Michael McEneaney, Colin Clerkin, Paddy McMahon, Sean McGee, Daniel McElroy, Brian Sankey, Ollie Ward, Colin Courtney, David Harpur, Ryan Clerkin, Damien McIntyre, Aidan Lennon, Stephen Kierans, Declan McIntyre, Liam O'Reilly, Ciaran Lennon


shercock designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:52 Page 3

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The Shercock senior team that faced Drung in the championship, front l/r: Liam Og O'Reilly, Paddy McPhillips, Gary Lynch, Francie Byrne, Paddy McMahon, Paul Sloane, Daniel McIlroy, Killian Clarke, Sean Magee, Stephen Donnery, Niall Clerkin, Shane Clarke (Captain). Back: Ollie Ward, Declan McIntyre, John McEnroe, Paddy Magee, Damian McIntyre, Simon McIntyre, Colin Courtney, Micheal McEnaney, Steven Kearns, David Harpur, James McMahon, Ryan Clerkin, Aidan Lennon, Phillip Clerkin

lads returned home from America and things started picking up again for the quarter-finals.” The 1-13 to 1-8 victory would be a hard fought one over the Bunnoe men, with Declan McIntyre (1-2), Stephen Donnery (0-3) and Aidan Lennon (0-3) all salient to success in Cootehill, while Killian Clarke cut out the threat of Drung midfield powerhouse Ciaran Galligan to help get his team over the line. Over the next few weeks, the returnees arrived home from across the Atlantic and momentum began to gather in training ahead of a quarter-final showdown with Drumlane. Beaten finalists in 2010, Drumlane had been struggling in Division 1B of ACFL to the point of eventual relegation but came into the last eight of the competition in decent form after

county lads and college lads not being able to train and the games we lost in the early part of the year really came back to bite us. The likes of Killian Clarke and Brian Sankey were missing for us and those two lads in particular would have made a huge difference. “The first two games crept up on us quickly and the ones we lost to Butlersbridge and Kildallan were two that we really should have won and it cost us in the end.” Clarke and Sankey would prove big losses to the team in the summer too. Clarke’s commitments with Cavan in the AllIreland SFC ruled him out of club action until mid-August, as his performances for the Breffni men earned him a merited All Star nomination – the first in Shercock’s history. Sankey, who, along with Clarke, helped Cavan to a third successive Ulster U21 title in April, would jet off to the US at the start of the summer along with of his some team mates. Shercock would feel the full effects in June and July as their form dipped to leave them mid-table in Division Three, practically ending any chance of promotion, and with a championship opener against Drung fast-approaching things weren’t looking good, according to Joe. “The form was poor coming into the championship. A lot of the lads decided to take J1s this summer and it affected us in training and in our league games building up to the championship. They weren’t available for Drung, but Killian Clarke being there was a huge bonus for us,” he said. “We were worried coming into the championship because our form was poor in the league. Fair play to the lads though because they really came together for the Drung game and played out of their skins. Over the next few weeks all of the

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Manager Barry O'Reilly

Ryan Clerkin

Declan McIntyre

Winners over Cootehill in the semi final at Breffni Park

dispatching of Mountnugent and Ballymachugh in the preliminary and first rounds, respectively. It saw the west Cavan side cited as favourites, but when the teams met at Kingspan Breffni Park they’d be burned by Shercock’s scorching start which saw them race into a 1-5 to 0-1 lead after 15 minutes and eventually take home a resounding 4-11 to 2-8 victory from Cavan town. Sankey and Clarke were outstanding around the centre, while ace forwards Aidan Lennon, Niall Clerkin and Ryan Clerkin turned their team’s dominance into profit. “We really showed well that day and I think we beat them by eight points in the end,” said Joe. “They were missing Dane O’Dowd, which was a huge blow to them, and I don’t think we were given the respect we deserved after that win. It was all the better for us to go into the semi-final under the radar anyway.” Under the radar was exactly the way Shercock would go into the last four against red-hot favourites Cootehill, whom looked to be on course for another intermediate final after being

denied the title by Lacken after a replay 12 months’ previous. For many, it was a forgone conclusion that Cootehill would be getting back to another final and when the sides met at Cavan GAA HQ the signs were ominous for the underdogs when they had full-forward Declan McIntyre sent off towards the end of the first-half. It meant that Shercock would have to play the entire second-half with 14 men. O’Reilly’s chargers took to the task bravely as points from Niall Clerkin, Ryan Clerkin and Paddy McPhilips kept the game level. Niall Clerkin put them in front before turning point arrived two minutes later when the corner-forward chased down a ball and got himself fouled in the square. Referee Thomas Doonan awarded the penalty which Clarke coolly stroked home to hand Shercock a 2-6 to 0-8 victory and a deserved final berth. “We started slow. Declan McIntyre got sent off for an accidental collision and we appealed but it was unsuccessful,” explained Joe. “Things weren’t looking good, but we came out for the second-half and gave

290

John McEnroe (Shercock)

Liam O`Reilly

it everything. Cootehill decided to double mark Killian Clarke and I think it backfired on them because we were able to keep up with them. We got the penalty late on and just held on and it was a great win for us.” The parish was buzzing with anticipation ahead of an intriguing showdown with Killeshandra, whom upset Ballyhaise in their respective semi-final, and everything was in place for the final until two sad departures in the club saw the fixture postponed by a week. “We were confident going into the final, but we knew that Killeshandra were favourites and we weren’t underestimating them,” he said. “We felt ready but then of course the Friday night before it word started to come through that Frank McPhilips had died and there was no way the game would be played that Sunday. On the day of the funeral we got word that Sean Clarke had also passed. Sean was our chairman’s father, along with Jody Clarke’s and Killian Clarke’s grandfather. From a personal point of view, we had to take stoke.” The players regrouped for October


shercock designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:52 Page 6

20th, when they’d bid to make history for the club and made the better start in front of their devoted supporters at Kingspan Breffni Park with early points from Sankey, Michael McEneaney and Lennon saw them three up after 13 minutes. Niall Clerkin extended it to four, but his side could have been six in front beforehand had an effort from Clarke, who was at the heart of everything good about Shercock’s play in the opening half, not rebounded off the legs of a defender. Killeshandra’s first score wouldn’t arrive until the 20th minute, but they hauled themselves back into the game soon after when Shane Murphy netted a goal against the run of play. Up until that point, Shercock’s defence had been completely sound, with Liam Og O’Reilly and Shane Clarke solid in their central posts, and when Sankey cancelled out Murphy’s major with a sensational strike of his own, O’Reilly’s men would take in a deserved 1-5 to 1-1 lead at the break. The Leaguers would grab the first three scores of the second-half and eventually took the lead largely thanks to the frees of Declan McKiernan, while Shercock were left to rue missed goal chances, as they fell to a heart-breaking 1-10 to 1-8 defeat. Shercock (IFC final v Killeshandra): Colin Courtney; Dean O’Reilly, Liam O’Reilly, Joe O’Reilly; Damien McIntyre, Shane Clarke, Michael McEneaney (0-1); Brian Sankey (1-1), Sean Magee; Stephen Donnery (0-1), Killian Clarke (0-1, 1 ‘45’), Ryan Clerkin; Niall Clerkin (0-2), David Harpur, Aidan Lennon (0-1). Subs: Paddy McPhilips for A Lennon (35mins, blood), Lennon for McPhillips (39), John McEnroe (0-1) for S Donnery (46), McPhilips for Lennon (46). “We were on top in the first-half. We were well in front when Killeshandra got a sloppy goal that let them back into it and although we got a goal of our own, we could have been further in front at half-time,” said their number four. “We still went in four points up at half-time and were confident. They came back at us in the second-half but we kept them at bay well enough and had three decent goal chances and had any of them went in I think there would have been a different outcome. “Killeshandra came back into it with frees and Declan McKiernan’s accuracy just didn’t help our cause on the day. I think he scored 0-5 in the second-half and when they took the lead so late on it was difficult for us to come back. They’ve

Aidan Lennon

been playing at intermediate level for a bit longer than us and maybe their experience just told in the end.” While a county final defeat is never easy to recover from, Joe feels the team has time on its side to continue to improve and eventually go one further than they did in 2013, when the Tommy Gilroy Cup just slipped from their grasp. “They say you have to lose a final to win one. Hopefully, that will be the case with us and we’ll be back sooner than later. We proved this year that we belong in the intermediate championship and even though that element of surprise is now maybe gone with us we’ll be hoping to be back there next year,” he concluded.

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STAYING AMONG THE ELITES CUCHULAINNS

2

013 was a tough assignment for Cuchulainns, minus the services of a few regulars from the previous season, but the Mullagh men more than held their own in the top flight of the ACFL before maintaining their senior championship status in the summer. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is a phrase so often coined in sport, and when it comes to Cuchulainns’ status in the senior section of Cavan club football the Mullagh men have been proving for the best part of a decade now that they are exactly where they deserve to be. Since winning their third intermediate championship back in 2005, ‘the Cuckoos’ have been doing their best to soar in the top flight and even if some of those efforts have been in vain recently due to the loss of some key players, they still remain a senior club after nine years (they’ll be in the Cavan SFC again in 2014) which they can be content with for now. Paul Taite has been somewhat of an all-rounder as a player and officer with the club down the years, although he now serves as only the former in a time when he knows Cuchulainns are in transition at senior level. He has also been around for

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC lturbet 0-11 1-5 Be s n in la u Cúch llinagh a B s 0-8 0-12 n in la u ch ú C avey s 0-7 0-10 L Cúchulainn

ion 1A ACFL Divis allinagh s 0-7 2-16 B Cúchulainn inns 2-7 Cúchula Denn 1-11 cken a L s 1-4 0-6 Cúchulainn rahan le st a C s 1-9 2-8 Cúchulainn chulainns 1-13 0-7 Cú Kingscourt llahoran -11 1-10 Mu 0 s n in s la u Cúch Cúchulainn d 0-12 1-9 ite n s U n r in o la m Ra úchu ls 4-8 0-5 C Cavan Gae ulainns ch ú C 2 -1 1 Lavey 2-11 ulainns ch ú -8 2-12 C 2 h g a n lli a B Denn s 1-14 2-11 Cúchulainn ch ú ulainns n 1-11 0-9 C lainns Castleraha u ch ú 1 1-15 C Lacken 2-1 gscourt in K -9 1 s 1-12 Cúchulainn chulainns 1-16 1-7 Cú Mullahoran or United a -11 0-8 R m 0 s n in la u Lavey Cúch s 0-9 1-10 ls Cúchulainn Cavan Gae s 1-8 5-13 Cúchulainn

Seamus Clarke

the club’s transformation from intermediate to senior and admitted that 2013 saw more focus put on the championship than the league. “This season we were trying to focus on the championship,” Paul admitted. “The league wasn’t given as much priority as it had been given in the last two years. We wanted to stay in Division 1A, but we weren’t expecting anything more than that in the league, so we put a lot of focus on winning our first game against Belturbet and taking it from there.” Under the guidance of former Cavan star Peter Reilly, who had Martin Quinn and Ciaran O’Malley in as selectors, Cuchulainns started their season without star player Eugene Keating, who took the decision to transfer to Malahide club St Sylvesters at the start of the year. His loss would be a huge one to the club for their season, while

292

the departure of the brothers Christopher and Paul Tully to Australia would further deplete Reilly’s side ahead of the new season. Unsurprisingly, the club’s top minor talents were called upon by the Knockbride clubman man to help shore up his squad in the absence of Keating and the two Tullys. “Liam Gordon came in at corner-back and had a great year. He got his place and never looked back,” Paul explained. “Evan Doughty started a good few games in the half-forward. Good left foot on him. Brian Magee also came in for us this year as a corner-forward. He came on for us against Lacken in the league and got the winning score in the last minute and played a great game for us against Kingscourt in Mullagh, scoring 04 from play. “Those three lads have come in this year and gave the whole thing a bit of a lift, which was what the team needed.


cuchulainns designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 10:10 Page 2

CUCHULAINNS - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The senior squad on championship duty against Belturbet at Breffni Park


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cuchulainns designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 10:11 Page 4

The victorious Cuchulainns team and mentors who defeated Knockbride in the Minor Division 3 final replay at Bailieborough

Conor Flanagan

Shane Smith

Bryan Magee up against Belturbet’s John Cahill

Gary Daly

Hopefully, they’ll continue to improve next year and there’ll be a few more minors to come in and strengthen the squad.” Cuchulainns’ start to their ACFL Division 1A campaign would be a lethargic one, with a string of defeats being endured before the team started to gather some momentum in the summer months heading towards championship time. A 2-12 to 2-8 win away to Ballinagh in mid-May helped spark a string of positive results, which included victories over Lacken (1-15 to 2-11), Kingscourt (1-12 to 1-9) and Ramor United (0-11 to 0-8), that saw Cuchulainns sealing their place in the division for another season and head into their championship opener with Belturbet in hot form compared to their opponents, whom

Conor Smith

were struggling for points in Division 1B. “We had a slow start to the league, but the second set of games saw our form pick up fairly well. I think we picked up 9 or 10 points in six or seven games, so we were on a decent enough run of form building up to the championship,” Paul explained. “Belturbet actually got off to a great start, getting a goal in the first minute. It wasn’t a great start for us but we eventually got going and slowly but surely caught up and past them out in the second-half and I think we won by four points in the end. It wasn’t a fantastic game, but we were happy with the win.” Belturbet got off to a dream start at Kingpan Breffni Park,

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The Cuchulainns team who defeated Bailieborough in the U13 Division 3 final at Kingspan Breffni Park

status for 2014 no matter what was to happen for the rest of the championship. As the competition unravelled, defeats to Ballinagh and Lavey would be suffered to end their hopes of a place in the knock-out stages and while Paul concedes that they were probably outplayed by Ballinagh, he knows that the Lavey game, which finished 0-10 to 0-7 in favour of the New Inns men, was one that they probably could’ve won to set-up a quarterfinal meeting with Crosserlough. “It was a good enough game but it was the one day in that month that it just rained constantly,” said the midfielder. “The conditions were tough and again we played far better in the first-half than we did in the second. We were 0-4 to 0-2 up at half-time and then in the last 10 minutes Lavey just got into their stride. They got level and then past us out and we just couldn’t catch them. We had two great goal chances in each half but didn’t take them in the end. They took their chances and we didn’t and we couldn’t really have any complaints in the end.” Paul is as honest as ever in his assessment there and pulled no punches either when talking about the club’s objectives need to be for 2014. “I’d imagine there’ll be a few players to stand down but we know there’s players to come in next year too, so we’d be hoping again to try and improve,” he said. “We need to get our act together in the championship and see can we get winning a few more games. Hopefully we’ll be able to push on and get a little bit further in the next few years.”

where their talisman Jason O'Reilly blocked the ball to the net after his goal effort was saved by Mark Clarke and the veteran forward got a hand to the clearance which saw the ball end up across the line. With less than 30 seconds on the clock, Cuchulainns had plenty of time to recover from early blow and a Seamus Clarke free had them off the mark on three minutes. Eoin McGuigan and Ronan Cahill extended the Rories' lead to four before the Mullagh men began to discover a bit of rhythm with full-forward Conor Smith sending over a brace of points from his full-forward station and Clarke trimming the deficit to one with his second free on the quarter hour mark. A fine score from Aoghan Daly brought them level but Damian O'Reilly ended an 18-minute scoring drought through a wellstruck free which Ruairi O'Connell soon cancelled out via a powerful drive from his centre-back station. The teams looked to be heading in at the interval all square, but for some good vision from referee Martin Sexton, who saw O'Reilly impeded inside and the former Cavan star tapped over the resultant free which left it at 1-4 to 0-6 at the halfway stage. Cuchulainns dominated the opening stages of the second-half but kicked three wides before Clarke could bring them level after Smith recovered a poor pass and set up the corner-forward in front of the posts. A Jason O'Reilly free restored Belturbet's lead, but that was about as good as it got for John Joe Stewart's charges as Cuchulainns upped it in the final quarter to move into the lead and hold on to it until the final whistle. First, a Clarke free brought them level before a slick move saw Smith finishing over the bar and handing the winners their first lead of the match in the 48th minute. A poor miss from Jason O'Reilly followed down the other end and when Smith grabbed his fourth the signs were ominous for the town side. With Clarke pushing the difference to three, Belturbet hunted for a goal in the closing stages and were denied twice when Jason O'Reilly's effort was kept out by Mark Clarke before Damian O'Reilly's late free on the edge of the square saw Cuchulainns park the team bus in front of goal and they were successful in clearing the Cavan senior's attempt which was followed by the long whistle for a deserved 0-11 to 1-5 win. Cuchulainns (SFC v Belturbet): Mark Clarke; John Flanagan, Donnacha Dunne, Liam Gordon; Gavin Daly, Ruairi O'Connell (0-1), Aoghan Daly (0-1); Adrian Taite, Paul Taite; Kevin O'Connell, Shane Smith, Gary Daly; Seamus Clarke (0-5, 3f), Conor Smith (0-4), Brian Magee. Subs: Diarmuid Fox for G Daly (HT), Evan Doughty for S Smith (47), Stephen Lynch for K O'Connell (49). Crucially, the win saw Cuchulainns maintaining their senior

MinORS CAPTURE LEAGUE TiTLE In July, Cuchulainns’ underage fraternity added silverware to their cabinet when they defeated Knockbride in the Minor

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cuchulainns designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 10:11 Page 7

Knockbride`s Declan nulty gives chase to Cuchulainns Jamie Fitzgerald during the Minor Division 3 final replay at Bailieborough

Cuchulainns team captain Conor Power receives the Minor Division 3 Cup from Jodie Clarke

Jack McCabe

Cuchulainns team captain Shane McKenna receives the U16 League Division 4 Cup from Brian Seagrave (Youth Board Chairman)

Cuchulainns team captain Jack McCabe receives the U13 Division 3 Cup from James Rock

Football League Division Four final at St Anne’s Park in Bailieborough. After both sides had played out a 1-8 apiece draw the previous week at the same venue, Cuchulainns upped their performance the second day with a sizzling start which saw them race into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead via points from Brian Magee (2), Fionn Taite and Evan Doughty. Knockbride pulled level, but further points from the superb Doughty, Oisin Finnegan, Jamie Fitzgerald and Magee (2) pushed the young Mullagh’s men to five.

Cuchulainns U13's celebrate

In the second-half, Knockbride weighed in with points early on to get themselves back into contention but they’d suffer a major double when Fitzgerald showed a poacher’s instincts to dispatch a loose ball to the net. The trailers never recovered from that and Cuchulainns ensured the win with further points from Magee and Doughty before Fitzgerald bagged his second goal late on, and with the likes of Liam Gordon and Fionn Taite sound in defence there was no way back for Knockbride as the winning captain

The U16 Division 4 winners

298

Conor Power collected the cup on the club’s behalf. The victory backed up that of the one which the club’s Under 16 footballers experienced earlier in the season.

Cuchulainns (MFL 4 final replay v Knockbride): Patrick Gaffney; Shane McKenna, Liam Gordon, Liam Halpin; Aaron Tighe, Fionn Taite (0-2), Conor Power; Conor Flanagan, Shane Murphy; Oisin Finnegan (0-1), Brian Magee (0-7), Daniel Carolan; Ronan Farrelly, Evan Doughty (0-6), Jamie Fitzgerald (2-2).


kildallan designed_Layout 1 04/11/2013 23:58 Page 1

KILDALLAN

I

BETTER TIMES AHEAD

n a year which saw Kildallan with such high hopes, injuries and emigration cost them dear as club chairman Declan Timmins explained. Junior clubs in Cavan have been hit by a tidal wave of player departures as of late, and in the west of the county, in particular, many teams have been threading water to try and field their best 15 come championship time. In 2013, Kildallan experienced depletion as much as any squad in the county but still managed to keep themselves in the hunt for a semi-final place in the junior championship come August before hitting a wall in the form of an inform Cornafean outfit. In his first year as chairman of the First Ulsters, Declan Timmins had his sights set on an extended run in the championship for the club, summing it up by saying: “Looking back at last year we had a very young team and we were badly hit with emigration and retirements, so at the start of 2013 the main objective was to try and get a middling run in the league and take the championship as it

LTS

2013 RESU

JFC MacFinns 0 Maghera -1 0 0 -1 1 n lla a lla ild K -9 Kilda n Arva 1-14 2 llan -8 3-8 Kilda Corlough 3 – playoff n lla a ild K 0-14 1-7 n a fe a rn o C

ion 3 ACFL Divis on Gaels h 1-14 S ann Kildallan 1-9 1-16 3-4 Kildallan gh Ballymachu 0-9 Arva Kildallan 0-9 0 Kildallan 1-5 1-1 Templeport ugh 2 0-3 Corlo -1 4 n lla a Kild allan ild K e 1-9 4-6 Butlersbridg ock rc e h S 1 1-6 Kildallan 1-1 3-4 Kildallan 4-6 Knockbride acFinns Maghera M -4 0 6 -1 2 n Kildalla 1 Kildallan Kill 2-13 1-1 -5 Kildallan n Arva 1-14 3 -14 Kildalla aels 2-13 2 rt o p le Shannon G p m 1-7 Te Kildallan 2-4 3-7 2-10 Kildallan s n in cF a bride Maghera M 4 2-9 Knock -1 1 n lla a Kild allan ild K -15 1-15 Corlough 0 chugh a m lly a B 0-16 Kildallan 2-8 allan – not played Kild bridge Shercock v 3-16 Butlers -7 0 n lla a Kild ill K -9 3 Kildallan 1-6

came. “The league started off fairly good, we came up against some of the top teams and did reasonably well against them so we were hoping that if we got some decent form together that we could get far in the championship, but it just wasn’t to be.” Similar to last year’s set-up, Kildallan stuck with locals Padraig Neary, Keith Prior and Gabriel O’Neill in the management team and added Patsy McPartland, a past experienced campaigner with the club, to the fray for the new season. The services of Darragh McGovern and Killian Doonan weren’t there for large portions of 2013, while Shane McPartland would have no part to play come championship due to an illness. However, the return of Ronan O’Reilly would provide them with a needed boost midway through the league as things began to gather pace for the start of the Cavan JFC. A loss to Ballymachugh (1-16 to 3-4) began the league campaign for Kildallan, before some form was gathered in March when

299

Neasan Neary

they handed neighbours Templeport a 1-10 to 1-5 in Bawnboy. From there, wins over Corlough (4-12 to 0-3), Butlersbridge (4-6 to 1-9) and Shercock (1-11 to 1-6), saw Kildallan enter July positive in their hopes of stringing together a decent run in the championship. Kildallan’s opening game would see them take on minnows Maghera on August 2 at the New Inns, Lavey, where the underdogs would put in a sterling performance to test Padraid Neary’s team. In the end, the Ballyconnell men’s resolve shone through as they scored a 1-10 to 0-10 win over the Meath border side to move into the next round, where they’d be faced with a much stiffer test against Arva. Despite pushing them close in their league meeting earlier on in the year, Kildallan knew they’d have to up the ante against Ciaran Brady’s charges when they two sides meet the following Sunday in Killeshandra. On the day, the Ballyconnell men were made to pay the ultimate price for a sluggish and largely impotent firsthalf display. In simple terms, Kildallan


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kildallan designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:07 Page 3

KILDALLAN - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The junior championship squad, front l/r: wayne o’grady, Daithi Neary, owen McPartland, Ciaran Donohoe, Darragh Mcgovern, Stephen whynne, Peader Reilly, Nessan Neary, Conal Johnston, Ronan Reilly, Killian Duignan, Daryl Johnston. Back: Shane McPartland, Niall Crowe, Niall Martin, Niall Cassidy, Conor Crowe, Fergal Maguire, Dion Johnston, Ronan Fitzpatrick, Stephen Crowe, Fergal Donohoe, Cathal Sheridan, John o’Neill


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point but they just had that little bit extra than us and ended up winning by two points.” The result left Kildallan needing something from their next game against Corlough in order to be in with a chance of getting to a semifinal and once again they’d be pushed by their neighbours, whom came back from the dead to salvage a draw on 3-8 apiece, but it would be enough for Kildallan to enter into a play-off with Cornafean for a place in the last four. Off the back of a hard fought win The U12 side that were championship runners up, front l/r: James Quinn, Patrick Quinn, Dylan Bannon, over Templeport, Cornafean were the Ryan Duignan, Brandon Cooke, Killian hagan, Niall ward, Connor Donohoe, oisin hagan, Patrick fancied side and raced into a good Farrelly. Middle: Ryan Mcclelland, Abby Boyle, Caoimhe Brady, Dylan Duignan, Eoghan Brady, Luke Farrelly, Connor Lee, Bricin Coony, Eanna Moran, Cianan o'Neil, Jack Moran. Back: start. Kildallan, minus the services of Rachel McClelland, Aoife Brady, Paul o'Neill, Michael Donohoe a few regulars once more, netted a well-worked goal to keep themselves weren't at the races early on and, to their credit, Arva duly in contention, but it was the Reds that advanced into a semireaped the rewards, earning themselves what seemed to be final meeting with Arva after coming through on a 0-14 to 1-7 a solid 1-7 to 0-4 lead by the interval. score-line The sides swapped scores in the third quarter, keeping the “Against Corlough we had the game won, but ended up difference at six before Kildallan went on to dominate the last drawing it somehow,” explained Declan. 15 minutes of the game with a spirited fightback. Brian Ellis “The Cornafean was a game that just we never really got brought Arva's tally to 1-12 in the 46th minute but the leaders going in, to be honest. We only got two points in the first-half would only score two more points in the remaining minutes and we were kind of ragged around midfield. Niall Cassidy of the game. In contrast, the west Cavan side added 2-4 and Ronan O’Reilly, whom wouldn’t be traditional midfielders, before the final whistle with a Niall Cassidy goal (50) and started in midfield and they found it a little bit hard going. another one from John O'Neill (58) making for a nervous final “Cornafean had been playing in the intermediate league for few minutes for Arva. Points from Jonathan McCabe and a number of years and they’ve a great pedigree in junior Kevin Bouchier (free) sandwiched O'Neill's major and were enough to get their side safely over the line on a 1-14 to 2-9 score-line. Best Wishes To Kildallan GAA In 2014 From Kildallan (JFC v Arva): Ronan Fitzpatrick; Fergal Donohoe, Niall Crowe, Neasan Neary; Killian Duignan, Peadar Reilly, Stephen Crowe; Cathal Sheridan, Stephen Wynne; Ronan Reilly (0-4), Daithi Neary, Niall Cassidy (1-0); Darren McGovern (0-1), Conor Crowe, John O'Neill (1-4). Subs: Fergal Maguire for S Wynne; Eamon McPartland for S Crowe; Niall Martin for D Neary. “We’d struggled to beat Maghera and knew that Arva were going to be hard beat,” said Timmins. “Stephen Crowe and Stephen Wynn were both carrying injuries going into that game but they played anyway because we needed them. We conceded a bad goal that kind of knocked the stuffing out of us but John O’Neill was a great Killeshandra Rd., Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan. addition for us in that game and he kind of kick-started the comeback for us. From 10 points down, we came within a

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captured the amalgamation still continues to be a force in the top tiers of the minor and Under 16 grades. Neasan Neary and Conor Crowe were two of the club’s representatives, which also played for the Cavan minors in the early part of the year, while Ryan O’Neill, who missed most of the year through injury, is a promising up and comer in the club. At Under 12 level Kildallan have been confined to Go Games, where they reached the Division Three final and were unfortunate to be beaten by Drung by a point in the decider. Goalkeeper Jason Lee was outstanding for the First Ulsters youngsters in the decider and ensured that they stayed in the hunt until the final whistle.

championship in Cavan and indeed in senior championship in past years in the times of John Joe O’Reilly and such, as we all know. Cornafean would be one of the strongest traditional clubs in Cavan and they were just better than us on the day. They had a little bit extra all the time and they just outgunned us. We did make a bit of a fight back towards the end, but it was just too little, too late.” While Timmins admits that it was a disappointing way to go out in the championship, he says that all involved already have their sights set on improvement in 2014, with promotion to the second tier as the top priority. “We’ve the likes of Daithi Neary and Wayne O’Grady there are seasoned campaigners with plenty of experience and you’d be hoping to keep the nucleus of a young team around those lads,” said the chairman. “All you can really say is that it’s onwards and upwards for next year and you’d be hoping to get a favourable draw in the championship. In hindsight, your main objective would be to get out of the Division Three league and get up into a higher division and start playing better teams because you can only improve when you’re playing better teams. So, again, we’re hoping to get out of Division Three and try and get a good run in the championship.”

hANDBALL The club are in the final stages of finishing their revamp of the community centre in Ballyconnell, where a new handball alley will be opened for the area’s 40x20 players. Timmins explained that Kildallan have had a number of young stars emerge recently and hopes that they will continue to develop once the new alley is completed. “Handball is another big sport dominating around our area now and hopefully in the next few months we’ll have our handball alley in Ballyconnell Community Centre opened,” he said. “There’s a few good handballers in the area, with Cathal Sheridan being on of note. He’s a present member of the Kildallan senior team and was student in St Pat’s and has numerous All-Ireland and Ulster titles. So when you get it up and running it’s only going to entice more young lads to play.”

UNDERAgE The underage scene in Kildallan continues to be vibrant, with the club’s minor footballers having joined neighbouring clubs as West Cavan Gaels and while no silverware was

Ronan Reilly

Patsy McPartland

Daithi Neary and Peader Reilly

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Cathal Sheridan


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NO SILVERWARE SHORTAGE MULLAHORAN

M

ullahoran’s bid to retain the Oliver Plunkett Cup fell short at the quarter-final stage in 2013, but there’s still as much commitment and desire going around the club at all levels and codes to ensure that the silverware keeps coming, as chairman John Beglan explained. Regardless of being unable to hit the heights of their previous campaign, 2013 was another successful year for Mullahoran GAA with a very competitive year being put in at senior level and a host of silverware won in the hurling and juvenile grades. John Beglan took over as the Dreadnoughts’ club chairman at the end of May, a time when things evidently took a turn for the better for the senior team after a bumpy start to their ACFL Division One title defence. The changing of the guard would also see former ace attacker Danny Brady come in as manager with Eamon Brady and Tommy Maguire as his selectors and by the Cavan SFC’s start in August Mullahoran

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC llahoran -11 0-11 Mu 1 d ite n U r o m hills a d R 0-11 0-8 Re Mullahoran ran o h lla 4-13 Mu Gowna 0-7 – quartern ra o h lla -8 1-8 Mu 2 ls e a G n Cava final

ion 1A ACFL Divis cken 1 0-1 0-5 La Mullahoran oran h 0-12 Mulla Lavey 0-15 rahan le st a 2-4 0-5 C n ra o h lla u M or United 0-7 1-3 Ram Mullahoran Mullahoran s 0-11 1-10 Cúchulainn llinagh 0-8 1-12 Ba Mullahoran ran o h lla u -9 M Denn 0-7 1 llahoran 2-9 1-8 Mu Kingscourt ran lla 2-6 Mu ho Lacken 1-7 y ve a L -8 0 2-9 Mullahoran aels G n 1-5 1-8 Cava oran h Mullahoran lla u n 2-7 1-7 M Castleraha Mullahoran d 0-13 1-5 ite n U r o m a R chulainns 1-16 1-7 Cú horan Mullahoran -11 0-6 Mulla n 1 ls e a G n Cava llahora -7 1-12 Mu Ballinagh 0 Denn -5 2 0 -1 1 Mullahoran Kingscourt 0-13 1-10 Mullahoran

Edward Dalton, Hugh Briody, Philip Brady raise the Cavan SHC Cup at Breffni Park

would be in decent form for their first round clash against new challengers Ramor United. “The aim for us was simply to try and hold on to our championship and league titles because we hadn’t defended our championship title since the 1940s. Winning two-in-a-row would have been a big thing for the club and it definitely was our goal for 2013,” Beglan explained. “Emigration did play a part as we lost Eddie O’Reilly, who has been a commanding presence for us on the edge of the square down the years. He had come to the end of his playing career but nevertheless he was always a man that would be back for us in the championship but he went off to New York this year and it limited our scope a bit. We also lost Michael Brady for the whole championship through suspension which was a massive blow, along with Dermot Sheridan who was injured for most of the

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games.” Mullahoran’s form left them in contention for a league semi-final place before a meeting with Ramor at Kingspan Breffni Park on August 18th. The champions headed into the game confident of a win over the Virginia men, despite having somewhat of a depleted team, but in the end James McEnroe’s first-half goal separated the sides on a 1-11 to 0-11 score-line which sent the Dreadnoughts into the losers’ section of the competition. A defeat to Redhills in the next round would mean elimination and when the two teams met in Ballinagh there wouldn’t be much to separate them and it was a game in which Mullahoran were fortunate to come out on top in, according to Beglan. “Redhills are a good outfit and a good strong team right down the middle,” he stated. “We won by three points and our backs were to the wall right up until the final whistle, so we were lucky enough to come through it. It put us


mullahoran designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 11:34 Page 2

MULLAHORAN - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The senior squad before the championship clash with Redhills


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O’Reilly netted their fourth from a penalty his side’s place in the last eight was sealed with an emphatic 4-13 to 0-7 victory. In the quarter-final a Cavan Gaels side, rejuvenated by the red-hot form of Martin Dunne and the return of Sean Johnston, awaited Mullahoran after an impressive win over Kingscourt. Under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park, the Gaels made a scorching start with returnee Johnston firing in a goal for their first score as they raced 1-3 ahead before Philip Brady got Mullahoran ladies before the Intermediate championship final, front l/r: Kerrie Byrne, Laura Scholz, Aisling Mullahoran off the mark. Brady Sheridan, Breda Smith, Sheila Reilly, Ciara Brady, Louise Sheridan, Megan McKeogh, Julie Anne Sheridan, doubled his tally and earned a Aine O'Reilly. Back: Mona Sheridan, Marita Donohoe, Niamh Reilly, Geraldine Sheridan,Patricia Galligan, Monica Sheridan, Seana Brady, Eimear Reilly, Aoife Brennan, Kate Smith, Bernadine Brady free inside for Enda O’Reilly to convert to try and swing the stake, with first-half goals from through to the next round against momentum the way of the holders, but brothers Philip and Paul Brady leaving Gowna and, fortunately, that would be it was the Cavan town side that took in them in the driving-seat. Damien a game where everything just went a 1-5 to 0-4 lead at the break. Mullahoran started the second-half in McArdle netted the Killydoon men’s right for us.” the best possible fashion when their third goal early on in the resumption Mullahoran would dominate their world handball champion Brady buried after a lapse from Gowna goalkeeper neighbours at Kingspan Breffni Park, in a goal for them and by the 42nd Ronan Bannon and when Enda where a quarter-final place would be at The Under 12 squad and mentors before the final with Ballymachugh

Tom Reilly presents SHC Man of the Match Award to Hugh Briody

Breda Smith

Martin Reilly

Ryan O`Reilly

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Daithi Sheils


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The minor panel prior to the final with Lavey at Ballinagh

Geraldine Sheridan

Ryan O'Reilly

minute they’d be in the lead when veteran Tomas Nannery shot an excellent score and Philip Brady soon doubled the advantage with his third from play. Danny Brady’s team looked set to pull off a huge scalp against their old rivals, but the concession of 1-5 in the final quarter proved their undoing and it was the Gaels that advanced to a semi-final with Castlerahan having finished on the right side of a 2-8 to 18 result. Mullahoran (SFC quarter-final v Cavan Gaels): Dominic Crudden; Seanie Smith, Killian Brady, Darren O’Reilly; James Reilly, Paddy Brady, Daniel O’Reilly; Christy Shields, Peter Paul Galligan (0-1); Paul Brady (1-0), Enda O’Reilly (0-3, 3f), Tomas Nannery (0-1); Philip Brady (0-3), Raymond Lynch, Damien McArdle. Subs: Fergal Brady for D O’Reilly (HT), Shane Shields for D McArdle (53), Dermot Sheridan for J Reilly (56), Daniel Smith for Nannery (60). “The Gaels raced into a good lead that night, I think it was 1-3 to no score, and our lads came back into it well by half-time. We were four points down

Thomás Nannery

Kate Smith

for the second-half and after 10 minutes we were two points up, so we were looking to hang on but I would feel that there may have been a couple of 50-50 decisions that didn’t go our way,” said Beglan. “The Gaels went up and got a goal and that was the difference in the end. They have a very strong panel and from 1 to 30 the most of them would have county experience and that’s what stands to the Gaels a lot. When you can afford to bring players off the bench of that calibre that makes an awful difference and while we were disappointed with the defeat I wouldn’t say we were completely disheartened.” He continued: “This year has been a useful exercise for us in trying to blood new players. We have four or five young lads making their way through to the minor grade and they’ve shown good potential. They’ll been knocking on the door in a serious way next year and putting pressure on the existing team. “The stalwarts are still there too. Christy Shiels has been an

311

Philip Brady

outstanding servant to this club and he’s been our main man at the centre of the field for so long that I think we’re going to have to try and recycle him. He’s playing for Cavan over 40s now and every year we keep saying that we won’t ask him to come out again but he is so fit and keeps himself so well that I wouldn’t be surprised that he won’t be out again next year. He’s a strong player that never complains and just your ideal club man.” Mullahoran will continue to blend experience with youth next year to again be in the mix as contenders for the Cavan SFC title. When they captured the title in 2012, not many saw it coming and under the radar will no doubt be the mantra for them come summer time in 2014. HURLERS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE In July, Mullahoran St Joseph’s continued their dominance of the Cavan senior hurling championship when they defeated Cootehill on a 013 to 0-4 score-line at Kingspan Breffni Park to collect their 23rd title.


mullahoran designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 11:34 Page 7

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www.hoganstand.com/cavan 312


mullahoran designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 11:35 Page 8

Aishling Sheridan

Cormac O'Reilly

Connor Fitzsimons

Sean Cadden

Paul Brady On duty in the U14 league final, front l/r: Martin Reilly, Jason Harten, Mark Halton, Liam Wilson, Sean Cadden, Aaron Galligan, Leon Reilly, Liam Corr. Back: Christy Sheils (manager), Mathew McGahern, William Comaskey, Darren Sheils, Cormac O'Reilly, James Coyle, Gavin Brady, Jason Sheridan, Connor Fitzsimons, Ryan O'Reilly, Ciaran Briody (manager)

In a game which saw Cootehill playing in their first county hurling final since 1966, the favourites made a slow enough start to lead by just 0-4 to 0-2, 15 minutes in before kicking it up a gear. Anthony Sheridan was in fine shooting form from both frees and open play, while Edward Dalton and Philip Brady were the main men inside as their white flags ushered the champions towards a 0-8 to 0-3 half-time lead. In the second-half, the resolute defending of Hugh Briody, Sean Og Brady and Sheridan helped reduce Cootehill to just one point, while at the other end Derek Dalton, Brady and the centre-back Sheridan added the points that made sure another seal was put on their coveted title. The win was a welcome one for Mullahoran, with the minors, Under 14s and ladies teams having lost their respective finals the same week to Lavey and Belturbet, respectively. Mullahoran (SHC final v Cootehill): Darren Sheridan; Sean Briody, Hugh Briody (0-1), Michael Cullen; Sean

McGeogh, Anthony Sheridan (0-7, 5f), Sean Og Brady; Dominic Crudden, Barry McArdle; Ronan O’Hagan, Edward Dalton (0-2), Ryan Smith; Derek Dalton (0-1), Philip Brady (0-2),

Mullahoran team captain and Player-of-the-match award winner Cian O`Reilly receives the U-16 Division 4 Cup from Brian Seagrave (Youth Board Chairman)

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Barry Hartin. Subs: Alan Coyle for R Smith (half-time), Bart Nannery for B Hartin (51), Daniel O’Reilly for R Smith (60).

U16s TAKE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE September saw Mullahoran’s Under 16 footballers secure the Division Four championship title with an impressive win over Drumlane under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park. The young Killydoon men recovered from a shaky start, which saw them concede a third minute goal, to take the lead within three minutes through the points of Cian O’Reilly, David Reilly and Colm O’Reilly. Drumlane raised their first white flag in the 11th minute, but Mullahoran’s dominance was beginning to reveal itself as they took in a 0-9 to 1-4 half-time lead and when early second-half scores from Colm O’Reilly and David Reilly flew over the Drumlane crossbar they were four to the good. From there, the flood gates opened as ‘Man of the Match’ Cian O’Reilly


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Lining up for the U14 league final replay, front l/r: Jason Harten, Liam Corr, Leon Reilly, Liam Wilson, Sean Cadden, Aaron Galligan, Mark Halton, Ryan O'Reilly. Back: Gavin Brady, Connor Fitzsimons, Martin Reilly, James Coyle, Mathew McGahern, Darren Sheils, William Comaskey, Jason Sheridan, Cormac O'Reilly

blasted in the winners’ first goal in the 39th minute and when Paddy Brady played a one-two with David Reilly to finish off a 30-metre run to the back of the Drumlane net, Mullahoran were into an unassailable 2-14 to 1-6 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The west Cavan side pulled back a consolation goal through Conor Connolly two minutes later, but their opponents were by no means finished

yet as they rifled over three more points in the closing stages to ensure an impressive victory. Mullahoran (U16 Div 4 final v Drumlane): Shane Sheridan; Callum Mussi, Sean Halpin; Oisin O'Reilly, Jason Reilly; Colm O'Reilly (0-3), Glen Brady; Cian O'Reilly (1-4), Paddy Brady (1-2); David Reilly (0-7), Ronan Halton. Subs: Gavin Brady (0-1); Sean Cadden.

U14S CONTINUE WINNING WAYS In October Mullahoran’s Under 14s continued the club’s winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Castletara in the Division Two championship final at Kingspan Breffni Park 3G. Mullahoran got off to a scorching start with early points from full-forward Cormac O’Reilly, Ryan O’Reilly and

The Mullahoran team who defeated Drumlane in the U-16 Division 4 final at Kingspan Breffni Park

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Mullahoran U16 ladies before their league final against Mountnugent, front l/r: Lisa Reilly, Aoife Coyle, Chloe Donohoe, Sinéad Fegan, Orlagh Wilson and Cathy Sheils. Back: Bernadette Brennan (coach), Seamus Brennan (coach), Lauren Cadden, Ciara Brennan, Blaithín Harten, Deirdre Cullen, Megan McKeogh, Tara Brennan, Kate Cullen and Jerry Mc Keogh (coach). Missing from picture Meave Bulimore

Liam Wilson before their opponents pulled themselves right back into the contest with a goal from Cormac Wall. The Dreadnoughts still dominated the possession stakes and sailed over more points via their number 14 and Ryan O’Reilly to take on a 0-9 to 1-4 lead at the break. The second-half saw the victors begin to really exert their authority on the game and when Cormac O’Relly

set-up Gavin Brady for a well-taken goal they’d cushion their lead to five. There was no coming back for the trailers after that as William Comaskey, Sean Cadden and Darren Sheils stayed outstanding in the Mullahoran defence, reducing their opponents to just 0-2 over the second half-hour. Cormac O’Reilly would bring his tally to 0-8 for the night in a splendid performance, while Jason Sheridan,

Cavan Senior Hurling Championship winners

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Sheils and Cadden also got themselves on the score-sheet. Mullahoran were pulling up winning by the full-time whistle, with the score-line reading 1-19 to 1-6 in their favour, which had joint captains William Comaskey and Jason Sheridan collecting the cup on the club’s behalf. Mullahoran (U14 Div 2 final v Castletara): James Coyle; William Comaskey, Conor Fitzsimmons;


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The U14 Division 2 championship winners, front l/r: Matthew McGahern, Sean Cadden, Aaron Galligan, Conor Fitzsimons, William Comaskey, Jason Sheridan, Mark Halton, Liam Corr, Martin Reilly. Back: Ciaran Briody, Ryan O'Reilly, Gavin Brady, Cormac O'Reilly, James Coyle, Darren Shiels, Leon Reilly, Liam Wilson, Christy Shiels, Nicola Wilson

hands when Ballymahugh came roaring back into this contest with two quick goals which saw them into a 2-9 to 2-8 lead by the 42nd minute. Coyle struck the equaliser to make for an intriguing final 10 minutes, when both defences held on to send the game into extratime. Ballymachugh took the first lead in the opening seconds of extra-time, but a superbly struck ‘45’ from Ryan O’Reilly brought the teams level once more. In the second-half, Mullahoran would move up a gear though and eventually found the winner through halfforward Aaron Galligan, who ensured the 2-13 to 2-12 victory with a fine point to bring the cup back Killydoon way. Mullahoran (U12 final replay v Ballymachugh): Matthew McGahern; Caolan O'Reilly, Trevor O'Reilly; Tom Harten, Liam Corr (0-1); Cormac McKeogh, Ryan O'Reilly(1-5 4f, 1 45); Daithi Sheils, Aaron Galligan(0-1); James Coyle(13), Ciaran Sheridan. Subs: Mullahoran joint captains William Comiskey and Jason Sheridan Declan Reilly, Ciaran receive the U14 Division 2 Cup from Brian Seagrave (Youth Board Chairman) Galligan.

Darren Sheils (0-1), Sean Cadden (01), Leon Reilly; Gavin Brady (1-2), Jason Sheridan (0-1); Martin Reilly, Liam Wilson (0-3), Ryan O’Reilly (0-3); Cormac O’Reilly (0-8), Liam Corr. Subs: Mark Halton, Aaron Galligan, Matthew McGahern.

U12S CLINCH LEAGUE CROWN AET Mullahoran’s Under 12 footballers did the club proud in September when they edged out Ballymachugh after extra-time in a replay to claim the Summer League Group 6 crown. The young Dreadnoughts completely raced out of the traps for the decider and opened up a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after 12 minutes, with their goal coming from Ryan O’Reilly following a superb pass from Tom Harten at midfield. Ballymachugh grafted to bring the difference back within a goal, but when James Coyle broke through he showed excellent composure to round the ‘keeper and dispatch the ball to the net, sending Mullahoran towards a 2-5 to 0-4 half-time lead.

In the second-half, Ryan O’Reilly shot an early free to extend his team’s lead but they’d have a battle on their

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DRUNG

D

DRUNG’S AMBITION

rung aren't exactly where they want to be yet, but they're getting there. 2013 marked further progress for the Dalcassians. Strange as it may sound, the fact that the over-riding feeling for Drung stalwarts at the end of the 2013 season was disappointment can be viewed as a positive. Around Fay Park, you see, they have set their sights on more than just moral victories, and there was a genuine sense this term that the club’s premier outfit could go all the way and lift the Gilroy Cup for the first time. An intermediate title to add to the junior crowns won in 1947, 1980 and 2008 would be sweet indeed, especially when one considers how close the Dalcassians came in the mid-90s and 2000s to getting over that line. Drung were in or around the top three in the grade for half a dozen years but never quite sealed their place in the winner’s enclosure, despite a massive effort. They eventually slipped through the trap door to junior ranks in late 2007 but bounced back in style the following season and, with an injection of

LTS

2013 RESU

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ion 2 ACFL Divis ugh a B -8 ilieboro Drung 0-6 0 -6 0-8 Drung 1 Killeshandra Cavan Gaels 0 -1 1 0 Drung 1-1 Laragh Utd -4 3 0 -1 1 g Drun onnaught 0-7 Munterc ng Drung 2-11 D 1-8 0-9 ru Swanlinbar ng ru D 2 -1 0 2-5 Cornafean ng ru D nt 2-5 1-18 ng Mountnuge ru D -3 0 gh 0-14 dra Bailieborou n a sh e ill K 3-15 Drung 0-11 rung 0-11 0-10 D td U h g Lara ng ru D -15 3-7 Killinkere 0 re ke in ill K -13 Drung 1-9 0 Drung -7 1 -7 0 t h aug Munterconn linbar 2 3-6 Swan -1 1 g n ru D ot played n – g ls v Drun e a G n va a C untnugent Drung V Mo an 2-6 Cornafe Drung 0-10

Philip Monahan

energetic young talent, the feeling is they are well-placed for another assault on the prize that has thus far eluded them. Defeat in a quarter-final replay against Killeshandra was a sore blow for Jim Hamilton’s men. And what is most frustrating, according to chairman Gavin Smith, is that Drung had the Leaguers beaten first time out, only to walk into a classic saffron and white haymaker in the form of a couple of late, late Declan McKiernan frees. “We probably missed the boat the first day against Killeshandra, if we had beaten them we probably would have gone on and won it, to be honest with you, and we were disappointed that we didn’t beat them,” explained Smith. The former referee is not far wrong in his assessment, either. Drung led that match by 1-4 to 0-2

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at half-time and weathered a second half storm to lead again, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, thanks to a point from former Cavan senior utility man Barry Watters, only for McKiernan to snatch a replay with a last, desperate throw of the dice. The adage has it that the team which finishes strongest in a drawn game carries their momentum into the replay, and it rang true. The Leaguers marched on, ousted championship favourites Ballyhaise in the following round and, well, the rest is history. There were, however, significant positives for Drung. They played a neat brand of attacking football in seeing off Killinkere (2-8 to 0-11) and Ballymachugh (2-12 to 0-6) in the previous rounds and, most importantly of all, gained opportunities to blood young talent. “There were a lot of new young lads on


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the team so there was a good mixture, with the older lads there, the likes of Ciaran Galligan, James Reilly and Philip Monahan, they provided leadership for the newer faces,” agreed Smith. “Aaron Watson would be one, Gary Watters came on a bit as well, and so did Kevin McCaul, it was Kevin’s first year breaking on to the team, so it was good experience for them.” Experience is something Drung aren’t short of at this point, with two-time AllStar nominee James Reilly in goals and former Ulster SFC starters Ciaran Galligan and Barry Watters in the side. Allied to the likes of veterans Alan Curran, 2013 captain Ray Fay, Mickey McEntee and others, the spine of the squad is a strong one. “The players responded well to the new manager, Jim Hamilton from Shercock. It was his first year there and

Mickey McEntee

he had new ideas and got a bit of belief into them. It set us up well for next season, even though we were disappointed not to have gone further this year,” commented Smith. The underage conveyor belt may have stuttered at times in recent seasons but it is now back churning out talented players. The production line yielded a minor team – the well-established Drung-Kill amalgamation St Finbarr’s – which was only beaten in a replayed Division 1 Championship final in 2012 and the work continued this past year, with successes at various underage levels. Most notably, at a time when rural clubs across the country are struggling for bodies to fill U10 and U12 teams, the club fielded on their own at U12 level and managed to take some silverware. “We won an U12 league, which was a

Paul Hueston

fantastic boost, and we won an U14 competition along with Kill as St Finbar’s, and the U16 boys did well, too,” said Smith, a former club PRO and vice-chairman. “We amalgamated with Drumalee at minor because the numbers were so low, that was the first year of that amalgamation. We’re struggling for numbers but sure, so is everyone and we just have to work hard and make do with what we can. “There are lots of people putting in good work and trying their hardest at underage level. That’s one thing we are good at, we have focused on that.” Drawing from just two “very small” national schools (Lisboduff and Drung) means that the club has never been blessed with the sort of pick the larger town clubs can boast, but where there’s a will…

Killian Monahan

Barry Watters

Ronan Brady The St Finbarrs U14 league winners, front l/r: Seamus Reilly, Ronan Brady, Leon McGill, Conor Reilly, Reece Keogh Hall, Brian Brady, Lorcon Hammond. Back: Tiernan Reilly, Colm Brady, Jason Curran, Conor Smith, Ryan Mc Carville, Niall Fitzpatrick, Caolan Reilly, Ryan McCann

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DRUNG - RESERVE CHAMPIONS 2013

The Drung reserve championship team, front l/r: Mark Cassidy, Martin Reilly, Andrew Rossiter, Patrick McEntee, John Cassidy, Niall Cassidy, Kevin McCaul, Stephen Jackson, David Cassidy. Back: Noel Hueston, Dan Fay, Gary Watters, Kieran Fay, Shane O'Rourke, Conor O'Reilly, Christy Moore, Finbar O'Reilly, Fergal Hueston, Mickey McEntee, Philip Monahan, Sean Johnston


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On duty for the U12 summer league final, front l/r: Aaron Crowe, Emmet O’Reilly, Michael Curran, Abbey Fitzpatrick, Kavina Gaffney, Reece Keogh Hall. Back: Michael Hall, Aine Reilly, Killian Denning, Jason Mannering, Brian Brady, Cillian Nulty, Ronan Brady, Liam Denning, Ryan O'Reilly, Noel O’ Reilly

The same mantra applies off the field, too. Shrewd guidance from the club committee meant that they avoided the squander-mania which was all too prevalent during the Celtic Tiger years and almost saw some clubs – in various parts of the country – fold altogether. Running a small Gaelic football club is akin to being at the helm in a small business; the scourge of the latter, the gurus reckon, is expanding too quickly. Drung, however, have been prudent and now find themselves on a sound financial footing. “This year wasn’t too bad, we are running a big fuel raffle at the minute and there was a good response to it,” stated the chairman. “Every club is struggling but we have no overheads and few bills, which we’re happy about. We’re keeping our head above water, we have no debts and we’re able to keep operating well within our means.” Of course, churning out new players is one challenge but encouraging and cajoling new officials is another one

Stray The

entirely. Smith hopes to return to refereeing next year, when the plan is to have a new cathaoirleach in place at Fay Park. “This is my fourth and final year!” he joked. “There’s a fair bit in it, trying to get new

The St Finbarrs U14 league winners, front l/r: Seamus Reilly, Ronan Brady, Leon McGill, Conor Reilly, Reece Keogh Hall, Brian Brady, Lorcon Hammond. Back: Tiernan Reilly, Colm Brady, Jason Curran, Conor Smith, Ryan Mc Carville, Niall Fitzpatrick, Caolan Reilly, Ryan McCann

DENNING Best Wishes to Drung GFC from

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people in to do these jobs. “I’m going back to the refereeing next year hopefully, please God. Being chairman, I wouldn’t have time in the evening with meetings to go too and stuff like that, but it’s something I enjoyed and I’d like to do again. “There is a lot of work in running a GAA club but there are lots of people working hard and everyone does it because they love it.” There was a time when recently-won Ulster medals were a rare sight here among the drumlins but, with four teams crowned kings of the province in three years, the current situation brings to mind the old Pat Spillane quip about Celtic Crosses in Kerry – they are so plentiful, reckoned the Templenoe legend, they might even turn up in your change… Perhaps Cavan haven’t reached that level just yet but they are certainly getting there and the magic has touched every corner of the county, including Drung. Last season, his first out of minor, was a memorable one for defender Aaron Watson, who played his part in Cavan’s Ulster U21 success. The

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confidence and winning mentality The Bunnoe men tried to lay their gained in Ulster final wins, reckons foundations for victory early on in Smith, trickles down to all levels. the game by running up an early 1“I think the standard in the county has 2 to 0-0 lead via points from Philip improved, there are good young players Monahan and Paddy McEntee and around. Aaron was in there with the a well-taken goal from Gary U21s and the feedback is good there, Watters, but they’d still trail by one he feels that things are going in the right at the half-time interval. direction. It’s certainly not getting any In the second-half, Paddy easier to win these competitions, the McEntee registered the opening likes of the Intermediate Championship, score to draw the sides level and anyway…” from there Drung upped it a gear as To do so, Drung will need to hold on to Watters extended the advantage. their young talent but also, just as Goalkeeper Conor O’Reilly did importantly, retain the services of their brilliantly to deny Cian O’Rourke older guard. from hitting the Drung net with less “If you togged out without James than 10 minutes to go and it proved Reilly, Ciaran and Alan, as good as the a major turning point for the young boys are, it wouldn’t work. You Dalcassians as they raced down the need a mixture of youth and field two minutes later and stuck a experience,” said Smith. goal of their own when Rossiter “But the future is bright. We have a sped through the Laragh defence Conor Reilly and Niall Fitzpatrick with the U14 Cup 125th anniversary to celebrate this year. and fired a low shot beyond the dive We were disappointed not getting past of Joseph O’Donohoe. Points from Killeshandra, we felt that we were good enough and we probably Niall Cassidy and Dan Fay followed in the closing stages to didn’t do ourselves justice in the league, but we’ll be back ensure a 2-7 to 2-5 victory and some much coveted silverware strongly next year I hope.” for the club. The goal for next year? Simple. Drung (Div 2 final replay v Laragh): Conor O’Reilly; Dan Fay “The aim,” said Gavin, “is to win the Intermediate (0-1), John Cassidy, Kieran Fay; Niall Cassidy (0-1), Michael Championship, the same as every other club in it I’d say. We McEntee (0-1, 1f), Martin O’Reilly (0-1); Christy Moore, Finbarr feel that we’re good enough and strong enough to do it.” O’Reilly; Paddy McEntee (0-1), Kevin McCaul, Gary Watters (1Next season will tell a tale, but only a fool would bet against it. 1); Philip Monahan (0-1), Shane O’Rourke, Andrew Rossiter (10). Subs: Stephen Jackson for P Monahan; Noel Hueston for P McEntee, Mark Cassidy for M O’Reilly, David Reilly for A RESERvES ARE DIv 2 CHAMPIONS Rossiter, Fergal Hueston for D Fay. In October, Drung’s second-string collected the Division Two Reserve Championship title after defeating Laragh United at the third attempt at Kingspan Breffni Park. Both sides had played out a two enthralling draws, with the second game finishing 2-11 to 1-14 the previous weekend, and the second replay proved another close affair with a 54th minute goal from Andrew Rossiter eventually settling the issue for Drung.

Abbey Fitzpatrick

U14S CLAIM DIv 3 TITLE

October also saw St Finbarr’s storm to the Under 14 Division Three Football Championship title with a comprehensive win over Cuchulainns at Kingspan Breffni Park 3G. The Drung/Kill amalgamation made the perfect start to this final with a goal from their top marksman Colm Brady which helped them surge 1-2 to 0-0 clear after nine minutes. The Saints took a foothold at centre-field early on with Conor O’Reilly and Tiarnan Reilly dominant for large portions of the contest. They combined to set-up Brady for a second goal before points from Reilly and Ronan Brady moved them towards a commanding 27 to 1-3 half-time lead. In the second-half, Colm Brady continued to rise his personal tally from full-forward, as he went on to finish with 2-7, while at the back Caolan Reilly and Lorcan Hammond’s Trojan-like work ensured that Cuchulainns would be reduced to just 0-3 for the second half-hour. Goalkeeper Ryan McCarville produced some fine saves too to deny the Mullagh boys another goal which would have brought them back into things, as points from Tiarnan Reilly and Ronan Brady at the other end put a seal on the 2-14 to 1-6 win which saw Saints’ captain Jason Curran collecting the cup. St Finbarr’s (Div 3 final v Cuchulainns): Ryan McCarville; Caolan Reilly, Lorcan Hammond; Conor Smith, Niall Fitzpatrick, Leon McGill; Conor O’Reilly, Tiarnan Reilly (0-4); Ronan Brady (0-2), Ryan McCann (0-1), Ryan O’Reilly; Jason Curran, Colm Brady (2-7). Subs: Sean McMahon, Reece Keogh Hall, Seamus Reilly.

Aoibhinn O'Rourke and Saoirse Fay

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DENN

F

TRANSITIONAL TIMES

or Denn, 2013 was about weathering a tough storm to try and maintain their senior status. Team selector Donnacha Brady will tell you nothing different. Donnacha Brady might not have envisaged such a testing first season as senior team selector with his native Denn, but such are the times that are in it. The Crosskeys club have lost no less than 16 players over the past two years, according to Brady, who should know as a former player himself, so it’s little wonder why their top priority for 2013 was to hold on to the league status that they’d gained the year previous. “Our main aims were to maintain our status in Division 1A and take every game in the championship as we got it. We came up from Division Two from the year before and kind of knew that it was going to be tough enough up there for us,” said Brady. The likes of Cavan Gaels, Mullahoran and Kingscourt were what Raymond Galligan’s team faced into from late February onwards and it was no secret that the odds were firmly stacked against them given some recent player departures from the club.

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC nn -14 0-12 De Killygarry 0 urt o sc g -18 Kin Denn 2-6 1 l. playoff re – n o o g -10 Drum 1 -9 1 ed to Denn n rd n a e D layoff aw p l e -r t e rb Denn v Beltu ion 1A ACFL Divis 2 1-7 Denn -1 2 d Ramor Unite Cúchulainns 2-7 Denn 1-11 nn 0-11 0-4 De h g a Ballin han ra le st a C -9 Denn 1-5 1 nn 5-12 0-7 De Kingscourt n ra o h lla u -9 M Denn 0-7 1 aels G n va a C -9 Denn 1-7 2 United -11 Ramor 1 -5 0 n n e D Denn 1 -1 2 s 1-14 Cúchulainn 2 0-9 Denn Lacken 0-1 h -15 Ballinag Denn 0-6 2 nn e D -7 0 n 1-15 Castleraha n e ck a L 2 -1 Denn 1-5 1 d y – not playe ve a L v n n e D rt u o sc g -17 Kin Denn 0-8 3 1 1-9 Denn -1 1 y ve La n -10 2-5 Den 1 Mullahoran nn e D 1 -1 ls 1-9 1 Cavan Gae

Ferghal Farrelly

“We’ve pretty much lost 16 players in the last two years between retirement and emigration,” Brady outlined. “During the year Ronan Kiernan transferred and then we lost Hubert Smith and Jerome Kiernan to injury, so, along with players that left before that, we were kind of down eight or nine players from last year alone. “Darren Costello went to Australia, but he was back on holidays for the first round of the championship and togged out for us against Killygarry, but we were down a lot for the championship and at a transitional stage from the team that would have been there a couple of years ago.” A hard fought victory over Cuchullains in round three of the ACFL Division 1A would barely take the blemish off two opening defeats as Denn were left all but relegated,

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with a mere three points, by the time the senior championship rolled around in mid-August. “We lost our first two games and then we beat Cuchullains, but after that things went downwards,” Brady stated. “There were some games where you’d be in it for some of the games but the teams you were playing against were just that bit more powerful and able to finish you off. There were a lot of cases where we didn’t take our chances and they did because they were a stable Division 1A team and were that bit more clinical.” Nonetheless, two encouraging performances against champions Mullahoran and Cavan Gaels breathed some much needed life into the Denn camp by mid-summer and as their SFC opener with Killygarry approached some momentum was beginning to


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DENN - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The senior team for 2013, front l/r: Martin McGovern, John Smith, Darren Costello, Ben Conaty, Aidan McKiernan, Dean Hyland, Martin Cahill, Eoin McPhilips, Ferghal Farrelly, Ciaran McGovern, Colin Kiernan, Brandon Keogan, Cormac Cusack-Smith, Hubert Smith. Back: Kieran Smith, Stephen McPartland, Andrew Cusack-Smith, Adrian Cahill, Padraig McGovern, Tomas Corr, Brian Boylan, Mark Fegan, Noel Crowe, Ryan McCabe, Cillian Cahill, Cian McCann, Damien Callaghan, Alan Tierney, Martin McKiernan, Shane Rehill


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not for some poor shot selections. It took Killygarry six minutes to equalise when Fintan Galligan was set-up by full-back Padraig Cahill, but Denn soon began to find their range through two frees from outside their 40-metre line via Dean Hyland and Cian McCann. A trademark burst from centre-field saw Tomas Corr stretch the lead to three and when Feargal Farrelly pointed from his full-forward station moments later the Crosskeys men were threatening to run away with the game. However, through Ross Sheridan Castlerahan-Denn U13s, front l/r: Rachel Timmons, Rachel McEnroe, Roisin O’Reilly, Sarah Curran, Amy Kerrigan, Caoimhe Mackey, Lauran Deegan, Jordan Hadard, Lauren Matthews, Chloe O’Gorman. Back: Casey Killygarry grabbed a sorely Maher, Eimear Coyle, Nomonde Majola, Emer McEnroe, Emer Tierney, Shanise Fitzsimons, Sophie Slowley, needed score to help stem the Aoife Galligan, Aoife O’Reilly, Daria Kaledeck, Shauna Reilly, Martha Reilly tide and when Shane Kelly floated over on the eve of halfgather and self-belief was being felt their first round clash with Denn as time they were still within touching amongst the players. favourites on merit. distance going in at the interval, trailing Killygarry were in some indifferent Padraig McGovern opened Denn's 0-5 to 0-3.  form themselves, but having ousted account inside the first minute at Benny Reddy's men resumed in good Cavan Gaels from the 2012 Cavan SFC Kingspan Breffni Park and they could fashion, earning two close range frees to reach the last four they came into have doubled their advantage were it The Castlerahan-Denn U16 Division 2 league winners, front l/r: Eimear Tennyson, Sophie Slowey, Eimear McEnroe, Emer McGahern, Nicole McSherry, Roisin Galligan, Martha Reilly, Shanise Fitzsimons, Rachel Cooney, Amy Tobin, Karen O'Reilly. Back: Pat Condon, Martina Fitzsimons, Rebecca Fitzsimons, Eimear Denning, Grainne Reilly, Alison McGearty, Ailisa McEnroe, Amy McNeill, Rebecca Robinson, Roisin Cusack-Smith, Niamh Galligan, Hannah Egan, Jim Hayes

Roisin Galligan

Colin Kiernan

Tomas Corr

Shane Rehill

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Senior manager Raymond Galligan


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denn designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:17 Page 6

Colin Kiernan

Eoin McPhillips

Martin Cahill

Cian McCann

Ferghal Farrelly The first team, front l/r: Ryan McCabe, Dean Hyland, Ben Conaty, Padraig McGovern, Ciaran McGovern, Martin Cahill, Shane Rehill, Cian McCann, Eoin McPhilips, Colin Kiernan, Brandon Keogan. Back: Kevin McSherry, Kieran Smith, Martin McGovern, Stephen McPartland, Andrew Cusack-Smith, Adrian Cahill, Tomas Corr, Brian Boylan, Cillian Cahill, John Smith, Ferghal Farrellly, Damien Callaghan, Noel Crowe, Alan Tierney

for Martin Reilly to dart over from the ground and square the sides for the second time. Denn responded well with Corr and substitute Colin Kiernan (45) sending over before Hyland (free) made it a three-point game. Placed balls from Shane Kelly and Reilly reduced the deficit, but after a fine fetch at centre-field from Noel Crowe that led to Kiernan's second point Denn looked to be on their way. Killygarry were let off the hook moments later when Kiernan saw a goal chance flash just wide and when Patrick Galligan did brilliantly to tip over Farrelly's punched effort they were still within a score heading into the last five minutes. Reddy sent on Donal Thomas to the edge of Denn's square to try and cause problems and the former county senior provided an immediate impact by clipping over a point from the left side. A Reilly free had the Crubany side within a point soon after and when the Cavan ace was dragged down in front of the posts it allowed Kelly to equalise with the last kick of normal time. In extra-time, Killygarry made the most of their momentum in the early stages as Stephen McHugh found the time and space to calmly slot over before a sweetly struck Reilly '45' gave them the 0-12 to 0-10 half-time lead.  Denn had been flat during the opening 10 minutes of the extra periods but threw everything they had at their opponents in the second-half, with a Kiernan free and a superb score from Corr drawing them level.  However, Killygarry dug deeper and through another menacing run from Reilly they had a scoreable free which the centre-forward converted before substitute Stephen McGovern sealed the win with another 25-metre free a minute later.

Denn (SFC v Killygarry): Brian Boylan; Damien Callaghan, Ciaran McGovern, Eoin McPhilips; Adrian Cahill, Aidan McKiernan, Martin Cahill; Noel Crowe, Tomas Corr (0-3); Dean Hyland (0-2, 2f), Cian McCann (0-1, 1f), Padraig McGovern (01); Andrew Cusack-Smith, Feargal Farrelly (0-2), Ben Conaty. Subs: Colin Kiernan (0-3, 1f, 1 '45') for Conaty (HT), Shane Rehill for McCann (52), John Smith for P McGovern (52), Stephen McPartland for A McKiernan (ET), Darren Costello for Hyland (ET), Padraig McGovern for J Smith (ET), Cormack Cusack-Smith for Farrelly (ET).

“The form was actually okay going in against Killygarry and we were quite confident that we’d win the game,” said Brady. “In our last few league games before the championship started we played Cavan Gaels and Mullahoran and played well in both games, but the players just hadn’t got the win that they needed. “They played very well in Breffni that day, probably the best football that they’d played all year, but they just didn’t have the luck on the day. We were two points up with a few minutes to go and they got two scores to force extra-time. They went on and won it in extra-time, but I think everyone played really well that day for us and I think that day was maybe just more bad luck for us than anything.” What followed for Denn after their extra-time defeat would be a dismantling at the hands of 2010 winners Kingscourt Stars, sending them into a relegation play-off with Drumgoon, with the losers left in a last chance saloon with their senior status at stake. Played at the New Inns, Galligan’s men would go down to an

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agonising one-point defeat after turning around a poor first-half performance, leaving themselves and Belturbet in the race to avoid the intermediate ranks for 2014. “We played Drumgoon in Lavey and only lost by a point in the end,” the selector said. “There was nothing in it. They got off to a good start and we came back at them. They could have been further in front by half-time, but we came out a different team for the second-half and pushed on and got back level. It was point for point after that and they just came up and nicked a point after that. We had a chance to level then towards the end, but it just went wide.” What came next would be somewhat of a shock. As the players geared up for a survival battle at the end of October, the club would be notified on the eve of the final that Belturbet had decided to concede the game due to a lack of numbers. It was an extraordinary twist - one that the players didn’t really know how to take, as Brady explained. “We’d been training like mad for it and were told that we had to play Drumgoon so early because they wanted to get it played off,” he said. “We played two league games after against Mullahoran and Cavan Gaels and played fierce well in them. We actually beat the Gaels a week before we were supposed to play the relegation final, so we kind of found a lot of form at the end of the year and the team kind of settled down and were gelling better together. “We had no notion that the game was not going ahead. We got word the night before that the game wasn’t going ahead and the boys were kind of both relieved and annoyed because it was left until the last minute. I think they wanted to play Belturbet and beat them so that we stayed up and weren’t handed it.” With their championship status safely secured, Denn can now look to 2014 with reassurance that they’ll be competing against the county’s top teams again next summer. Brady, however, is hoping that the team will have a strong league campaign behind them this time before they embark on the big stage again. “When you come into the end of your season and the boys are still putting in a big effort, you can’t ask for much more than that,” said the former full-back. “We have one or two lads retiring. Ciaran McGovern was meant to play his last game against Belturbet, so he actually didn’t get to play it, but you still have eight or nine senior players there that

At the presentation of new jerseys to Denn GFC by new sponsor, Victor Fegan, Cavan Car Parts are, l/r: Geraldine Lynch (Secretary), Martin Cahill (senior team captain), David Fegan, Cathal Reilly (Chairman), Victor Fegan (Cavan Car Parts), Martin McGovern (reserve team captain)

will be there for another while and a few minors like Andrew Cusack-Smith and Ben Conaty that will hopefully continue to improve. “There’s high hopes for next year in Division 1B because they were well able to compete in 1A but they just weren’t able to score enough to win some of the games. If they can get that right and put in the same effort that they put in at the end of the year they should be up around the top. Hopefully then in a year or two they can get back up. “The main aim is going to be to get back there, or at least get to a semi-final where you can go on to win some silverware. You have a good enough team there that can do that but you need them all focused and pulling the one direction. A lot of the younger players coming through are hungry for success, so hopefully they’ll be a huge help and maybe inspire some of the senior players. We’d definitely consider ourselves on a par with Drumgoon and Drumalee and there’s no reason to think

Padraig McGovern

329

why we can’t get back up there straight away.”

NEW FACILITIES ON THEIR WAY In January, Denn broke ground on its new pitch development at St Matthew’s Park in Crosskeys. The club’s financial committee have been working rigorously to ensure that the project will be successfully funded and with the works having recently been completed it is anticipated that the field itself will be ready for use this time next year. “The new field started in January and we’re hoping to have it ready towards the end of next year,” explained Brady.” It’s done now and you’re looking at maybe eight or ten months until you can have a game on it. After that we’ll be working on the dressing rooms.” The club’s devoted finance committee, spearheaded by Brian Conaty (Chairman) and Carina McGinnell (Secretary), have worked rigorously to ensure that the project is fully funded having acquired €130,000 in grant funding for a fully lit walkway from Crosskeys village to and around the new St Matthew’s Park. The field itself is a brand new Prunty pitch and is set to be a great asset for the future of the club. Through their rigorous endeavours, the finance committee have raised €140,000 to help pay for the new facilities, leaving them with a €40,000 windfall which is expected to be added by a GAA loan for around the same amount. Then comes Phase 2 of the project, which will see the club begin to undertake constructing new dressing rooms next year in the hope of having them ready for an official unveiling in the early part of the 2015 season.


The Cavan senior footballers make their return to Croke Park after a 16 year wait

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The Gowna SFC winning squad of 1988 is honoured at this year’s county final


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CASTLERAHAN

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR

2

013 was a year which saw Castlerahan ranked as 2/1 favourites for the Cavan SFC by the competition’s quarter-final stage, but come September’s end the dream would go up in smoke for the Ballyjamesduff men. PRO Brian Clarke was on board to experience a rollercoaster season which wouldn’t see the club finish empty handed. Since their painful county final defeat in 2011, it’s safe to say that Castlerahan’s goals have been geared towards a return to the Cavan SFC decider ever since and the timing looked right, more than ever, this past season. After defeating Redhills, Cavan Gaels and Ramor United, many felt that the club were on the brink of something special heading towards the business end of the year but, in the end, it just wasn’t to be. In their fourth (Castlerahan had won the previous three) meeting of 2013, Cavan Gaels finally downed the Ballyjamesduff men when it mattered most to deny

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC Redhills 4 n -18 1-14 Castleraha van Gaels a C n 1-10 0-8 a h d– ra le st a C Ramor Unite n 1-10 0-9 Castleraha l quarter-fina ls Cavan Gae 4 -1 2 -7 0 n a h ra le st a C l – semi-fina

ion 1A ACFL Divis an 1 Castlerah -1 0 ls 0-10 rt u o sc g Cavan Gae in n 1-9 0-11 K rahan Castleraha astle C -5 0 -4 2 Mullahoran astlerahan s 1-9 2-8 C gh Cúchulainn 0-10 Ballina n GAA 1-4 n a h Castleraha ra le -9 Cast Denn 1-5 1 en 1-8 0-8 Lack n a h ra Castle an h 0-2 Castlera Lavey 1-16 Gaels n va a -7 3-13 C 0 n a h ra le Cast stlerahan 2-7 2-13 Ca Kingscourt úchulainns n 1-11 0-9 C ullahoran Castleraha 1-7 M n GAA 2-7 lerahan Castleraha -19 2-7 Cast nn Ballinagh 3 De n 1-15 0-7 Castleraha r United m 0-13 Ra o -7 2 n a h ra rahan Castle 1 1-9 Castle n Lacken 0-1 Castleraha d 2-6 0-13 y ve a L Ramor Unite n 3-16 0-6 Castleraha

them a coveted final slot, advancing to a showdown with Ballinagh in midOctober. A 2-14 to 0-7 defeat to the Gaels was a tough one to swallow for Brian Mulvey’s team, and one that didn’t accurately reflect another season in which the players and management made huge strides. A month prior to the semi-final defeat to the Gaels, Mulvey’s men scored an impressive victory over the Cavan town side – their first over the Terry Coyle Park outfit in the senior championship since gaining promotion in 2001 and becoming genuine contenders for the Oliver Plunkett Cup in the past few years. The club’s target at the start of the year would be to turn themselves from SFC contenders into champions and by mid-September many felt they were on their way when they dumped out second favourites Ramor United at the quarter-final stage of the competition. “We wanted to be contending strong in the senior championship

333

Paul Smith

and keep developing the underage section,” explained Brian Clarke, who has been the club’s PRO for the past two years. “We started the league quite well. We had victories over Cavan Gaels and Kingscourt at the start and that set us up well but towards the middle of it, around May, we were without our county players and had a seriously depleted panel because of injury. As a result of that, we had some fairly heavy defeats to Lavey and Cavan Gaels two or three weekends in a row which left us with a fairly negative score difference despite being so high up the table. We rallied after that though and won our next few games against Denn, Lavey and Mullahoran, leaving us second in the table going into the championship.” Mulvey, and team selector Tony Brady, would have to work without the likes Cian Mackey, Ronan Flanagan, Oisin O’Connell and Sean Brady for the build-up to their team’s opening round clash with Redhills. Both Mackey and Flanagan’s services would be required by Cavan senior


castlerahan designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:20 Page 3

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CASTLERAHAN - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The senior squad, front l/r: Fergal Flanagan, Stephen Foran, Padraig McGahern, Ronan Flanagan, Oisin O'Connell, David Wright, Cian Mackey, Enda Flanagan, Stephen Cooney, Fergal Reilly, Enda O'Connell, Jamie McGrath. Back: Patrick Bannon, Paul Cusack, Sean Brady, Brian Coleman, Damien Tierney, Cormac Daly, Paul Smith, Cian McEnroe, Jamie Leahy, Kieran Smith, Dara Greene, Shane Cusack, Kieran Daly, Killian McEnroe, Stephen Wright, Darren Reilly.


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castlerahan designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:21 Page 6

manager Terry Hyland for most of the summer as the Breffni men extended their championship run into August for a first ever SFC quarter-final appearance at Croke Park. Mackey, in particular, had his most outstanding championship to date for his county, earning rave reviews from onlookers across the country over his five-star performances in the playmaker role for Cavan. The good news for Castlerahan was that both of their county seniors would be back and unscathed for the Redhills clash, along with Brady and O’Connell, both of whom had picked up knocks during outings in the league. Back at full strength for the first time in months, Castlerahan were fancied to get past the border men comfortably but were made battle it out in an entertaining contest in Lavey, where extra-time was needed to separate the sides before Mulvey’s chargers came away with a comfortable win in the end. “We were very lucky to get over the line,” Clarke admitted. “The game went to extra-time and then we turned it up

Cormac Hannon

a crank and ended up running out 12points winners. We held Redhills scoreless in extra-time, but the game was real tit for tat in normal time and we were fortunate to get the draw. “After that there was a real improvement in extra-time. Oisin Minagh got sent off for Redhills in the first period of extra-time and that swung the game in our favour and I think our fitness showed in the end.” The hard fought win saw Castlerahan into Round 2A where they’d draw Cavan Gaels at Kingspan Breffni Park, with Oisin O'Connell's 42nd minute goal proving to be the hammer blow for the Gaels. The Cavan town side had kicked eight wides in the first-half after succumbing to a superb Castlerahan start, as their opponents' Trojan work at the back in the closing stages ensured that there'd be no way back for them. Having raced into a four-point lead after 11 minutes, Mulvey's charges managed to weather a second quarter storm from the Gaels to lead by two at half-time. The advantage was soon cut to one in the second-half, but in

Padraig McGahern

Flanagan and Mackey, Castlerahan had two outstanding ball carriers and the duo worked possession up to O'Connell, who landed the crucial score to see them through to the last eight. Clarke described the win as “a good performance against what was probably an understrength Cavan Gaels team” and outlined that the players were keeping their feet on the ground for what they knew would be a tough test against Ramor United in the quarter-finals. Ramor’s start to the game at Kingspan Breffni Park suggested that their opponents would be playing catch up for the evening, with James Bradley seeing them into their first lead via a left-footed free on two minutes. Two Jack Brady frees followed as the Virginia looked set to move up a gear, but they were rocked when some quick thinking from Ronan Flanagan saw him loop a free over two Ramor defenders into Fergal Flanagan’s path and the full-forward rounded Aaron Farrelly to smash to the empty net. Oisin O’Connell and Cian Mackey

Fergal Flanagan

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Damien Tierney The Division 1A Reserve Championship winning team, front l/r: Darren Reilly, Damien Tierney, Fergal Flanagan, Lee Halpin, Dean O'Reilly, Enda Flanagan, Padraig McGahern, Alan Cusack, Barry Boylan, Dara Greene, Jamie McGrath. Back: Kevin Coleman, Stephen Foran, Ryan Brady, Shane Cusack, Paul Cusack, Cormac Hannon, Colin Lafferty, Jamie Leahy, Killian McEnroe, Stephen Wright, Cormac Daly, Patrick Bannon

337


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. The U16 Division 1 championship winning team, front l/r: Oliver Brady, Daire McEnroe, Aaron McDonald, Isaac Nazario, Daniel Fox, Redmond Egan, Aaron Reilly, Paul Brady, Ryan Farrelly, Conor McDonald, Ronan Smith. Back: Shane O'Reilly, Conor Grealy, Jamie Reilly, Jordan O'Reilly, John Reilly, Keith Fitzsimons, Dylan Murdock, Garrett O'Reilly, Gavin Daly, Jack Crowshaw, Jake Doyle-Hayes

Stephen Foran

Jamie McGrath

Oisin O'Connell

Brian Mulvey and Niall Cusack

Castlerahan (SFC quarter-final v Ramor): Jamie Leahy; Fergal Reilly, David Wright, Stephen Cooney; Paul Smith, Caolan McBreen, Paul Cusack; Shane Cusack, Cian McEnroe (0-3, 1f); Brian Coleman, Cian Mackey (0-6, 4f), Oisin O’Connell (0-1); Sean Brady, Fergal Flanagan (1-0), Ronan Flanagan. Subs: Enda O’Connell for P Cusack (29mins), Enda Flanagan for Coleman (49), Paul Brady for S Cusack (52). “I can’t really put words into Brian Mulvey’s mouth as to what way he was looking at the game, but the fact that we had beaten them in the first round of the championship 2012 and the year before that as well made us fairly confident that we could beat them again,” the PRO stated. “We had drawn with them earlier in the year in the league, after going down by a few points, and we felt that we had the upper hand on them going into the game. “Cian Mackey was kept fairly quiet by Damien Barkey and I think that kind of freed up Ronan Flanagan to call the shots for us, but any time Cian got his hands on the ball he seemed to lay it off to the right man in the right place so he still had a big enough effect for us.” Despite a relatively comfortable quarter-final win, Mulvey and Brady knew the players would have to up the ante when they met Cavan Gaels for a second time in a month. The Gaels had ousted champions Mullahoran in their respective quarter-final and were coming into the last four in hot form with Martin Dunne, Paul O’Connor and returnee Sean Johnston firing on all cylinders.

(free) created a lead and extended it, respectively, for the maroons and they began to turn the screw, recycling possession superbly, as Mackey and McEnroe (free) pushed the lead to four with as many minutes remaining in the half. Ramor, evidently, were struggling to halt their opponents punching holes through, while at the other end they were finding no way past the Castlerahan’s central defensive figures David Wright and Caolan McBreen. Frees from Mackey and McEnroe further punished their opponents’ indiscipline at the back before half-time, when Mulvey’s charges took in a comfortable 1-6 to 0-3 lead with them. As for Gary Farrelly’s side, they’d need a different game plan for the restart and the early signs were promising Brady (free) and Shane Cole reduced their arrears to four after just three minutes. A placed ball from Mackey and a nice sweeping Ramor move finished by substitute Emmet Daly kept it that way until Brady’s fourth free of the night left a goal in it approaching the final quarter. Castlerahan’s ‘keep ball’ tactic wasn’t haven’t as much joy in the second-half, but, crucially, they never panicked and saw Mackey land the score of the night before the Cavan senior, who produced his best performance in a blue jersey this past summer, set-up McEnroe to restore a five-point advantage. Brady (free) and Kevin Mulvany brought the difference back to three, but Ramor were still left with the difficult task of trying to sneak a goal past their opponents’ packed defence and when Mackey tacked on another free with a minute to go the win was ensured for the Ballyjamesduff men.

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Paul Cusack

It was that deadly trio that would prove Castlerahan’s undoing when the teams met on September 29th, as they combined for 1-9 between them to help their side soar to a 13-point win. The Gaels’ solid defensive display on the night would also see the Ballyjamesduffers reduced to just 0-7 over the hour, with Mackey and Flanagan nullified by a series of different markers and Sean Brady’s

Sean Brady

Cian McEnroe

game cut short through injury. “The feeling was that we’d beaten them already and we knew that we were capable of beating them again,” Clarke said. “After the display that Mullahoran put up against them, we knew that it was going to be a tough physical test for us. Obviously, in the end, it didn’t work out for us and I’d say that the Gaels had their homework done on us. They had

Garrett O'Reilly with his Player of the Match award

Mackey curtailed to the point where he could barely touch the ball. He’d drawn three yellow cards for different Gaels players in the space of eight or 10 minutes towards the end of the firsthalf. “The main tactic they deployed was to keep Cian Mackey and Ronan Flanagan fairly quiet and they achieved that very well. Their level of fitness and speed going up the field

The U16 champions, front l/r: Oliver Brady, Aaron McDonald, Shane O'Reilly, Garrett O'Reilly, Jake Doyle-Hayes, Aaron Reilly, Conor McDonald, John Reilly, Padraig McGahern (trainer/selector), Ronan Smith, Enda Flanagan (trainer/selector) and Fergal Reilly (trainer/selector). Back, included are: Daire McEnroe, Jamie Reilly, Gavin Daly, Keith Fitzsimons, Paul Brady, Redmond Egan, Jordan O'Reilly, Isaac Nazario, Dylan Murdock, Ryan Farrelly, Jack Crowshaw, Daniel Fox, Seamus Reilly (manager)

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further next year,” said Clarke. “To try and compete with the Gaels and maybe contend for honours next year, that’s obviously the goal for us.”

Division 1A Reserve Championship winning captain Padraig McGahern

was phenomenal as well and then the likes of Mickey Lyng controlling the game for them at centre-forward, he was exceptional.” The defeat spelled an end to Castlerahan’s championship crusade, but the battle for league honours continued into October, when hopes were high of Mackey receiving an All Star for his contribution for Cavan in the All-Ireland SFC. Out Ballyjamesduff way, they’ll be hoping for more honours across all different levels in 2014. “The ambition for us is to go one

U16s CAPTURE CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN In September, Castlerahan clinched the Under 16 Division One Championship title when they defeated Ramor United in an intriguing final at Kingspan Breffni Park. The young Ballyjameduff men started the game in strong fashion with points from Jordan O’Reilly and Garrett O’Reilly before their Virginia counterparts hit a purple patch to hold a 0-4 to 0-3 lead after 15 minutes. Castlerahan had stand-in goalkeeper Keith Fitzsimmons to thank for not falling further behind in the 21st minute when he saved a penalty from Ramor’s Matthew Magee. Instead it was the maroon and whites that goaled on the half-hour mark when full-forward Garrett O’Reilly sent Jordan O’Reilly through to fore to the net and left them leading by one at half-time. The second-half saw Castlerahan fly out of the traps for the restart, with two goals in the opening four minutes coming from Garrett O’Reilly and Daire McEnroe. The latter strike came via a slick one-two play with Jake DoyleHayes before McEnroe chipped to the net to leave his side with a commanding lead. To their credit,

Ramor bounced back in good fashion and netted in the 38th minute to leave the score at 3-4 to 1-8. However, the last 20 minutes saw Castlerahan take a real foothold in the game, with Gavin Daly and Ryan Farrelly superb in the central of defence, while Fitzsimons and McEnroe dominated at midfield. ‘Man of the Match’ Garrett O’Reilly would eventual put the seal on victory with his second goal of the night to clinch a 46 to 1-10 victory which saw him and fellow joint captain Shane O’Reilly going up to the stand to collect the cup on the club’s behalf. Castlerahan (U16 Div 1 final v Ramor): John Reilly; Isaque Nazario, Gavin Daly, Paul Brady; Dylan Murdock (0-1), Ryan Farrelly, Jamie Reilly; Keith Fitzsimons, Daire McEnroe (1-0); Jack Crowshaw, Jordan O’Reilly (1-1), Redmond Egan; Shane O’Reilly(0-2), Garrett O’Reilly (2-2), Jake Doyle-Hayes. Subs: Aaron Reilly, Conor Greally.

Shane O'Reilly and Garrett O'Reilly receive the Div 1 Cup from Brian Seagrave

The Castlerahan-Denn combination that took U16 Division 2 league honours, front l/r: Eimear Tennyson, Sophie Slowey, Eimear McEnroe, Emer McGahern, Nicole McSherry, Roisin Galligan, Martha Reilly, Shanise Fitzsimons, Rachel Cooney, Amy Tobin, Karen O'Reilly. Back: Pat Condon, Martina Fitzsimons, Rebecca Fitzsimons, Eimear Denning, Grainne Reilly, Alison McGearty, Ailisa McEnroe, Amy McNeill, Rebecca Robinson, Roisin Cusack-Smith, Niamh Galligan, Hannah Egan, Jim Hayes.

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LADIES STEAL THE SHOW BELTURBET

I

t may have been a tough season for the men’s section, but 2013 was a year that saw Belturbet ladies prosper by delivering three different cups to the Rory O’Moore Park club. All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Caron Fay spoke to us about the treble success that can be chalked down as historic. While their senior footballers struggled through a combination of emigration and injuries, Belturbet’s ladies were the talk of the town this year when they delivered three different pieces of silverware to the club, including an elusive intermediate championship title which will see them operating at senior level next season. In more ways than one, 2013 unravelled as the perfect season for Belturbet woman, stalwart and goalkeeper Caron Fay, who saw unprecedented success with her club backed up by an All-Ireland dream coming true with Cavan in September. The 26-year-old stood firm between the posts at Croke Park as the Breffni women wrote their way into the history books, defeating Tipperary 1-14 to 112 to bring home the

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC elturbet s 0-11 1-5 B Cúchulainn rbet ltu e B 1-5 ff Lavey 1-13 – rel. playo e le a m ru D -7 5 0 -1 Belturbet 1 ion 1B ACFL Divis goon -5 -8 4 Drum et Belturbet 2 rb ltu -11 0-6 Be Killygarry 2 lturbet e B -3 gh 0-14 3 u o rl e ss ro C haise -5 0-9 Bally Belturbet 1 lturbet e -12 0-10 B Drumalee 3 lane m ru -6 0-4 D Belturbet 0 et rb ltu e B -5 10 Gowna 1-1 ills h d -5 1-13 Re Belturbet 2 rbet ltu e B 0-14 1-11 n o o g m ru D sserlough -13 0-10 Cro arry Belturbet 0 -8 0-10 Killyg Belturbet 0 rbet ltu e B 1-10 0-10 lee Ballyhaise a m ru D 9 -8 0-1 et Belturbet 0 e -13 B lturb eltic 3-15 2 t e rb Cootehill C ltu e -7 1-8 B Drumlane 1 ill Celtic -15 Cooteh 2 -6 3 t e rb ltu e rbet B 6 1-13 Beltu Redhills 2-1 layed p t o Gowna – n Belturbet v

Mary Quinn Cup and banishing the ghosts of 2011’s defeat to Westmeath. When Cavan’s date with destiny in the capital arrived on September 29th, Fay had already been well used to a winning routine, coming off the back of a league success which saw her lift the cup on the club’s behalf after the Rories overcame Ballyhaise’s challenge in the competition’s final. “We’d been training since early January and with the county going so well the whole league games were all over the place. I mean the final was the week before the All-Ireland final. We played Drumlane and beat them and then we had to play Drumgoon twice before beating Ballyhaise in the final,” explained Fay. Under the management of Redhills duo Brendan Smith and Pat Smith, and Belturbet’s Mark Lawlor as a selector, the players’, which were representatives from both clubs, season would be geared towards the summer’s intermediate championship. A triumph in the 9-a-side league saw the team delivering some silverware early on in the year and setting up a platform for success, but the best was certainly yet to come from a committed and talented bunch of players as the season progressed. “The success this year has come down to commitment, definitely,” said Fay, who acted as team captain during their league campaign. “At the start of the year we set out a goal that this was what we were going to and there was no looking back. I’d say from the very first training session we had great numbers out and because we didn’t have a great year last year we just set out a goal and just worked towards that. “Pat was fantastic with the training. He had a different drill for us every night so as the girls weren’t getting bored. I think we’ve become a lot closer as a

343

Belturbet ladies captain Maria McBarron raises the intermediate championship Cup

group. We have a group text so there’s constant chat between the girls and even the days that we don’t have training there’s constant chat between us. That’s important, I think, and everything just seemed to come together for us at the right time this year. We worked hard for it and the training sessions were just fantastic, as I said.” Stellar performances in the league saw Belturbet in a strong position before the first round of the championship rapidly approached and it would be none other than neighbours Drumlane that provided them with their opening test. In what was expected to be an intriguing contest at Max McGrath, Redhills, where the town side would be fancied, it was Drumlane that enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the firsthalf before running into a second-half haymaker – something that would become a common trend for the Rories as the competition progressed. “We played Drumlane in Redhills in July and it was touch and go for the first-half. We didn’t really get past midfield too much in the first 15-20


belturbet designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:25 Page 2

women rallied in the closing stages and, to their credit, struck 1-1 to leave a nervy finish, but with Aisling Fitzpatrick, Louise Lawlor and Maria McBarron all strong in defence Beturbet did enough at the back to see out a 4-7 to 3-8 victory. Belturbet (Ladies IFC final v Mullahoran): Caron Fay; Louise Lawlor, Aisling Fitzpatrick, Marsha Brady; Melissa West, Maria McBarron, Eadaoin Minagh; Amy Lawlor (0-1) Simone Klusch; Sarah Sheridan (3-2), Sarah Murray (0-2), Laura McKiernan; Sinead Brady (1-1), Julie Ann McBarron, Katie Fitzpatrick. Sub: Frida Dolan (0-1).

minutes and Drumlane were on top but they just weren’t finishing their chances,” said the Cavan senior. “In the second-half we completely turned it around. We went in at half-time, had a chat and Mark Lawlor had a few words for us and we just came out a completely different team for the second-half. We got two goals in the last 10 minutes from Laura Brown and that kind of sealed it for us. “In the next round we were meant to play Killeshandra but they pulled out and that put us in the semi-final where we played Inny Gaels and again we couldn’t get into it at all in the first-half. They got a few quick scores and we kind of dropped the heads, but again at half-time things just totally turned around. We just seemed to be a second-half team, to be honest, and we knew we’d have to improve for the final.” Kingspan Breffni Park would be the meeting point for Belturbet and Mullahoran on July 21st when the intermediate championship and senior status for 2014 would be at stake. What developed was an enthralling decider which saw the Rories fall 1-3 to 0-1 behind after 16 minutes before quick goals from Sarah Sheridan and Sinead Brady propelled the trailers into a three-point lead. The Dreadnoughts hit back with a second goal, which had the teams level at half-time on 2-5 apiece, and regained their lead early on in the restart but points from Sarah Murray and substitute Freda Dolan had the maroon and whites back in the driving-seat. Mullahoran levelled again but the crucial moments were about to arrive for their opponents when Sarah Sheridan struck for two quick goals with under five minutes remaining which saw Belturbet with one hand one the cup. The Killydoon

Sarah Murray

“It was so close and I didn’t think that we had it at all, but the girls were fantastic again in the second-half,” Fay stated. “Sarah Sheridan scored 3-2 and she was so reliable for us in the forwards, as she had been all year. Sarah, Maria Smith, Eodain Minagh and Laura Brown, whose two goals were so crucial against Drumlane, were all key players for us and in the backs Aishling Fitzpatrick, Marsha Murphy and Melissa West were all really strong for us too.” A league title would follow in September to cap off a remarkable treble success, while the club’s Under 14 footballers continued the winning trend when they won their respective championship at Kingspan Breffni Park. Despite such an upward curve, Fay is hoping that 2013 will not be the peak of Belturbet ladies’ achievements, as she is confident that they have the players to challenge for more silverware in the top tier next season. “We had such success this year that we’ll be hoping to give a really good run at the senior championship next year,” she

Julie Ann McBarron

Danny Anscombe

Donal McDonnell

Damien O’Reilly The successful ladies squad from the final against Mullahoran, front l/r: Laura Brown, Sophie Rudden, Sinead Brady, Melissa West, Maria McBarron, Joanne McKiernan, Sarah Murray, Aisling Fitzpatrick, Julie Ann McBarron. Back: Sarah Sheridan, Laura Shannon, Ciara McSherry, Aideen Moyinagh, Simone Klush, Caron Fay, Amy Lawlor, Marsha Murphy, Freda Dolan, Katie Fitzpatrick, Louise Lawlor

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BELTURBET - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

Belturbet’s senior squad, front l/r: Barry O’Reilly, Ben Murphy, Conor Crossan Brady, Donal McDonnell, Eoin McGuigan (captain), Niall Lawlor, Mark Lawlor Jnr, Ronan Cahill, Ronan Vesey. Back: Conal McGinley, Niall O’Reilly, Kevin McConnell, Damien O’Reilly, Danny Anscombe, Peter Shannon, Justin McDonnell, Jason O’Reilly, Daryl Dolan, Mark O’Reilly, Killian O’Reilly


belturbet designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:25 Page 4

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John Cahill

said. “We have the potential to match the likes of Lacken and those other teams up there, we really do. Some of our players should be in on the county panel, without a doubt, and I’d imagine that they will be next year. I’m the only one from Belturbet and I could name at least another four or five that should be in there. “I think we’ll give it a good run next year because the players are there. Lacken and Lurgan are the teams that you need to be matching and I was matching our players to theirs when they played in the final and we would be

So we had to work from there or just throw it away and we knew that we had the potential. “So we totally regrouped after the Down game and we had a challenge game against Tyrone, who would be a senior team, and we beat them well and it was the first time this year that we played as part of a team. That was where it started, I think, and we got into good form in the backdoor beating London, Waterford and the Down in the semifinal.” She added: “Even though we didn’t perform in the firsthalf against Tipperary, the

Fitzpatrick, who started at corner-forward for Breffni men in the 2012 All-Ireland SFC, was a huge loss to the Rories following his departure to Australia. Johnny Klushe, a former Cavan U21, and fellow versatile figure Mark Teevan would be other major losses and it took its toll when the team suffered narrow defeats to Cuchullains and Lavey in the championship which brought an early end to their season. PRESENTATION FOR JASON O’REILLy

In September, the club

Damien O’Reilly

Niall Lawlor

Eoin McGuigan

Jason O’Reilly

well able to match them all around the pitch. I’d be hoping to give senior a really good run at it next year.” As for Cavan, Fay admits that trying to top September’s historic success at Croke Park may be a stretch. However, it won’t stop such a talented crop of players from trying to conquer the country’s top guns. “It was such an unbelievable feeling,” recalled the goalkeeper, “but at the end of the day we set a target for ourselves and even though we got knocked out in the first round of Ulster by Down we still regrouped and said that we needed to go back to the drawing board completely.

Caron Fay

potential is there and you’d be hoping that some of the older key players will stay on. The likes of Rosie Crowe, Grainne Smith and Bronagh Sheridan, who we hope will be back from America at some stage. We’ve a load of younger players coming through too that we know can step up to the mark for us.” EMIGRATION TAKES ITS TOLL

2013 was a year which saw Belturbet’s seniors decimated by emigration and as a result the club suffered demotion in the All County Football League and struggled in the senior football championship. Former Cavan ace Brendan

347

Sarah Sheridan

paid tribute to Jason O'Reilly for his outstanding contribution to both Belturbet and Cavan as a player and was recognised when current county player Damien O'Reilly presented him with a trophy in recognition of his sterling service both to club and county. Mark Lawlor, club chairman, also spoke glowingly of one of the finest players the club has ever produced with current Cavan senior manager Terry Hyland also speaking highly of Jason’s achievements in the game both as a player and recently as manager of Lacken, whom he steered to intermediate championship success in 2012.


pat mcenaney designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:27 Page 1

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pat mcenaney designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:27 Page 2

HOME IS WHERE THE MART IS SPECIAL FEATURE

I

n early September, Pat McEnaney re-opened Cootehill Mart in conjunction with Jimmy O’Reilly. The following month, he celebrated his tenth anniversary as proprietor of The Bailie Hotel in Bailieborough. Originally from Corduff in County Monaghan, Pat is the epitome of the self-made businessman, demonstrating great vision and energy to generate almost one hundred jobs in the Breffni County. He’s also a keen GAA man, providing vital sponsorship to the local Bailieborough Shamrocks club.

When it comes to multi-tasking, Pat McEnaney takes a bit of beating. Proprietor of The Bailie Hotel and a partner in Cootehill Mart, he also operates the restaurant at Carnaross Mart in Meath and still runs the family farm in his native Corduff. How he finds time to follow the GAA in two counties is anybody’s guess! October 2013 marked the tenth anniversary of Pat’s ownership of The Pat McEnaney (left) and Jimmy O’Reilly of Cootehill Mart Bailie Hotel. He recounts how that chapter in his life commenced: “I was hoping to do very good business there Cootehill Mart, alongside Jimmy doing the farming at home and I was with both sheep and cattle. It has O’Reilly, I decided to go for that as well about to get married. I felt that I needed started off well. We had one thousand and we already employ 34 staff there.” to do something else so, when the sheep the first week and 450 cattle. This was another inspired move and auction came up for the hotel, the family We’ve hit the ground running and I’m the restored mart in Cootehill has been bought it along with one outsider in confident we can continue to provide an a resounding success since its return. 2003.” important service to farmers in counties “During the ‘70s and ‘80s it was one of During the intervening decade, the Monaghan and Cavan.” the biggest marts in the country but it hotel business on Bailieborough’s Main was closed for twelve years up until An optimist by nature, Pat is confident Street has been transformed: “When we 2013,” the new co-manager notes. “We that the worst of the recession is over came in, there were 13 staff and there have agreed a five-year deal and we’re and he sees encouraging signs that the are 64 people working here now, economy is starting to turn between full time and part the corner again. “Even time,” the proprietor notes. during the summer, I Once he had got the taste noticed in the hotel that for business, the Monaghan things have improved a bit man kept his eyes opened and people are more for any other opportunities positive. It’s actually been that might arise and this as busy a summer as eventually saw him getting we’ve had. It’s like involved in the local marts. “I everything, you just have kept doing the bit of farming, with 200 acres at home. to look at the positives. We Two-and-a-half years ago, I have up to one hundred took over the restaurant at people working for us the mart in Carnaross, between the three where we have six or seven businesses, so you have people working. to keep your eye on the “When the opportunity ball. Cootehill Mart has been a resounding success since reopening in 2013 came up to take over “We’d also have a lot of

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The Bailie Hotel serves some of the finest cuisine in County Cavan

farmers coming in here and using the hotel, so I felt that all the businesses would work off one another. We can use our expertise from the hotel to provide catering at the marts as well; we are lucky in that we can bring catering staff from the hotel into the marts. “Farmers going to the marts like to get the complete experience. It’s a day out for them and they like to get a good feed as well. So far, the two canteens are going exceptionally well and we pride ourselves on providing very high-quality food in both Carnaross and Cootehill.” The Bailie Hotel, meanwhile, has a number of strings to its bow. Accommodation-wise, there are18 spacious bedrooms, while the hotel disco offers €5 entry on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Sundays. Carvery lunches and bar food are served and weddings and parties are also catered for, with a number of special offers available. Whether you fancy a tasty feed in the Coill An Chollaigh

A landmark on Bailieborough’s Main Street - The Bailie Hotel

Restaurant or a relaxing time in The Tailor Lounge & Bar, The Bailie Hotel has something to offer everybody. This is why it is so popular with clients not just from Bailieborough and its hinterland but also attracts customers from as far away as Shercock, Kingscourt, Mullagh and even from Pat’s Corduff homeland. On the GAA front, Pat McEnaney provides invaluable sponsorship to the local Bailieborough Harps GAA club in his capacity as the proprietor of the Bailie Hotel. No relation to - but a fellow clubman of - the famous referee of the same name, he lined out for Corduff for twelve seasons between 1987 and ’98, winning junior and intermediate honours, as well as managing the double-winning minor team of 2009 alongside former Monaghan star Frank McEnaney. Though he’ll always be a proud Monaghan man, Pat has also developed a great affinity for the

The Bailie Hotel boasts 18 spacious rooms

neighbouring rivals and was delighted to see Terry Hyland’s charges take their place in the 2013 All-Ireland SFC series. A self-made businessman who has funded himself through all his endeavours, Pat firmly believes that determination and common sense are more valuable than any other qualities or skills when it comes to achieving success. “I left school at 15 and, fingers crossed, I’ve been doing okay so far. I started with twelve acres of land and have built that up. Between the farming, the two marts and the hotel, that’s four ventures in total, with Cootehill being the newest one. “It just proves that if you want something badly enough – and have a bit of drive in you – then you can do anything.” Already a key employer in the Breffni County, the 43-year-old continues to keep his eyes open for further opportunities.

Pat McEnaney has owned The Bailie Hotel for ten years

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CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR CAVAN GENERAL SPECIAL FEATURE

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ince opening its doors to the public in 1989, Cavan General Hospital has been providing essential healthcare services to the people of Cavan and surrounding areas. It is also one of the largest employers in the county and has become an integral part of the local community. Despite having seen its spending budget significantly reduced since the onset of the recession, Cavan General remains fully committed to providing the best possible acute general hospital services to patients and is looking forward to celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014. Cavan General Hospital is part of the Cavan & Monaghan Hospital Group which provides services to the population of both counties and its catchment area extends to counties Meath, Longford and Leitrim. With all acute inpatient services based in Cavan General Hospital, Monaghan Hospital’s

Cavan General Hospital provides acute general services

primary role includes the continuing care for medically discharged patients requiring inpatient step-down and

Cavan & Monaghan Hospital General Manager Bridget Clarke

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rehabilitation care. Both hospitals provide extensive outpatient, theatre and day services with a Minor Injuries Unit located on the Monaghan Hospital site. The services provided by Cavan General Hospital can be divided into three categories – inpatient services, day care services and diagnostic services. The inpatient services include: emergency medicine, general medicine, general surgery and theatre services, ICU (intensive care)/CCU (coronary care), maternity services including the Early Pregnancy Unit and the Special Care Baby Unit, acute psychiatry, Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) and gynaecology. The day care services are as follows: renal dialysis, Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit for the Elderly, outpatient clinics, including visiting Orthopaedic, Dermatology and cancer services clinics, Day Ward Service, Oncology Unit (supported by Dublin’s


brigid clarke designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:30 Page 2

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Mater Hospital), Medical Assessment Unit and Endoscopy Unit. Diagnostics Services include: Laboratory & Pathology Services, Radiology Services, including CT and MRI Scanners. In addition, Cavan General Hospital is a teaching hospital with links to the Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Physicians and Dundalk Institute of Technology. Both Cavan and Monaghan sites are actively engaged with HIQA (Health Information & Quality Authority) in meeting their standards to ensure they continually strive to offer a high quality service. Cavan General Hospital boasts in excess of 200 inpatient beds as well as a number of day care beds. Between the two hospitals, over 800 staff are employed. Despite the major impact the recession is having on the health service, Cavan General Hospital has increased its facilities in recent years. Following on from the opening of an ultra-modern MRI facility in 2009, the hospital developed a new dedicated Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) in 2011. This facility has resulted in improved waiting times for adult patients in the emergency department with approximately 70 per cent of child presentations now treated in the PAU. The PAU is a dedicated facility on the hospital’s first floor where all acutely ill children, up to 15 years, can be treated for illnesses such as high temperatures, chest conditions, infections, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Children in need of emergency treatment or trauma care continue to be treated in the Emergency Department. “The PAU has taken a significant amount of pressure off our Emergency Department,” Cavan & Monaghan Hospital General Manager Bridget Clarke enthuses. “The Unit has its own dedicated doctors and nurses specially trained to care for children , and is located beside the Children’s Ward. It has been a very welcome addition to our hospital.” Also in 2011, Cavan General Hospital’s award-winning Renal Dialysis Unit was expanded, while the Acute Psychiatry Unit also underwent a significant refurbishment. In September 2012, the Acute Medical Assessment Unit was also extended, further reducing the numbers attending the Emergency Department and reducing patient waiting times in both Units. A new Short Stay Unit (SSU) consisting of 16 beds was also opened last year. This year has seen the opening of a new Day Services Ward which includes eight beds and acts as a dedicated space for day services that were previously located on the Medical 3 ward. The Ward provides medical, surgical and Gynaecological day service care to patients attending the hospital. Bridget cannot emphasise enough the contribution Cavan General Hospital’s staff have made to its success.

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“It is a privilege to work with such incredibly dedicated and capable people, especially in such challenging times. It’s inspirational to work alongside the healthcare professionals we are fortunate to have in Cavan General and Monaghan Hospital. It’s a real team effort,” she says. “Our goal is to provide the best possible service with the resources we have. We have a huge commitment to the community to uphold our services and we endeavour at all times to do that. We strive to treat all patients with dignity and respect, and to get them back to full health as quickly as possible.” The GAA is a daily topic of conversion among the Cavan General Hospital staff, many of who are involved with their local clubs. Bridget herself hails from a GAA background and is married to Jody Clarke, who was a regular for the Cavan senior footballers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and was still lining out for his beloved Shercock up until a couple of years ago. Jody is an uncle of current county star Killian, who was one of three Cavan players nominated for an All Star award on the back of the Breffni County’s extended seven-match championship run this year. “I was born in Oxford, but my father is from Sligo and mother is from Kerry,” reveals Bridget, whose children Annette, Tara, Sean and Eilish play underage for Shercock (Tara was also a member of last year’s Cavan U14 girls football team). “I’ve always had an interest in the GAA and was even roped into playing a few games when Jody and I lived in England. We all got caught up in the excitement of Cavan’s great championship run this year, and it was fantastic for the family to have Killian on the team. We were very proud of him and his nomination for an All Star was richly deserved. “It was fantastic for the hospital as well. There was great banter around the time Cavan and Monaghan played in the Ulster semi-final. The success both counties enjoyed lifted the spirits of staff and patients no end.” Despite the best efforts of Killian Clarke and his Shercock team-mates, there was disappointment for the O’Hagan Park outfit in late October when they lost the Cavan IFC final to Stephen King’s Killeshandra on a 1-8 to 1-10 scoreline. However, Bridget is hopeful they can bounce back next year and give her double reason to celebrate with Cavan General Hospital’s 25th anniversary also on the horizon! The healthy lifestyle promoted by the GAA works hand-inhand with Cavan General’s emphasis on healthy living. Bridget also highlights the important role the hospital has to play in treating players who incur injuries. “It’s always a pleasure to provide our services to the GAA and to all the other sporting fraternities,” the affable General Manager concludes.

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RAMOR’S TWIN TRACK APPROACH REAPING DIVIDENDS RAMOR

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t both ends of the spectrum, Ramor Utd GAA is making ground. A double at minor level and distinct progress in the senior grade points to a rosy future all-round The talent which has winged its way off the Ramor Utd production line particularly over the last ten years has been high-end stuff. 2013 was a year of further vindication for what United has been doing at grass roots level and Cavan Football Inc. was all the better for it. A minor double was landed. What's more, the not-quite finished products served notice in the past year that they're now ready and able to make a real challenge for SFC honours. To the uninitiated, Ramor may have been the surprise packet of the 2013 SFC but not to their manager Gary Farrelly. Farrelly knew in his heart that he had a panel at his disposal full of teeming talent. The reason? He

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC United 4-9 Ramor -7 0 Drumgoon Mullahoran d 1-11 0-11 Ramor Unite -15 Ramor United 3 – Gowna 1-7 mor United 1-10 0-9 Ra n a h ra le st Ca l quarter-fina

ACFL Division 1A Denn -1 d 2 2 1-7 Ramor Unite Ramor United 3-14 Lacken 0-3 Lavey d 1-10 1-8 ite Ramor Un gscourt in K -9 1 d 1-3 Ramor Unite 1-3 Ramor United 0-7 Mullahoran or United -8 1-6 Ram 0 ls e a s G n Cava Cúchulainn d 0-12 1-9 ite n d U r ite o n m U a r R mo -12 1-15 Ra Ballinagh 1 r United o m a R 1 -1 Denn 0-5 1 3 Lacken -1 0 d 1-16 d Ramor Unite amor Unite 2-11 0-14 R d ite n U Kingscourt r o 0-15 Ram Lavey 0-11 ullahoran 0-13 1-5 M d ite n ls U r o m a R Cavan Gae d 3-13 0-11 Ramor Unite -7 0-13 Ramor United n2 Castleraha mor United 0-11 0-8 Ra s n n in la u ch Cú Castleraha d 2-6 0-13 Ramor Unite Ballinagh - not played dV Ramor Unite

had coached most of them at underage level. "In taking them over, I knew how good a crop of footballers they were 'cause I had worked with them before. I thought they had the ability to give the championship a good go." Ramor did give it a good go. They chiselled out three superb championship victories, beating Drumgoon (4-9 to 0-7), Mullahoran (111 to 0-11) and Gowna (3-15 to 1-7). "We impressed early on in the championship and people starting taking notice of us but we didn't learn an awful lot from those three games. "Unfortunately, you can't get fellas to win by just a point. The way the season panned out - we had a great year - but, in hindsight, it was a case of us in sprint mode and Cavan Gaels on a marathon run. " After seeing off Drumgoon, the Virginia-based troupe had the headline writers earning their corn after they engineered their three point defeat of defending

354

Ramor minor captain Sean Brady with player award winner Jack Doyle

champions Mullahoran at Kingspan/Breffni Park in early August. Senior county stars Jack Brady - with the first three points of the game - and James McEnroe played influential roles in fashioning Ramor's victory with the latter netting the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute. McEnroe's major, set up by Brady and Kevin Mulvanny, helped propel the underdogs into a 1-6 to 0-6 interval lead. Mullahoran were out-paced for a large part of the game and relied far too heavily on 2013 U21 county star Enda O'Reilly who accounted for eight points (seven frees) of his side's total. Farrelly's charges rubber stamped their 2013 championship credentials in emphatic fashion by booking their place in the last eight with a 3-15 to 17 win over Gowna. Kevin Mulvanny bagged the first of Ramor's goals in the 11th minute which helped his side compile a 1-6 to 0-3 interval lead. Gowna narrowed the gap to three


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RAMOR - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

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Lurgan ladies junior squad, front l/r: Chloe McEhlinney, Clara Lynch, Edith Lynch, Ciara Brady, Cara Brady, Catherine Dolan, Karen McGovern, Sloane Reeves, Ciara Gaffney. Back: Barry Smith (manager), Lorna Lawless, Therese O’Dwyer, Claire Doughty, Aoife Maguire, Amy Gaynor, Sarah Nulty, Miceala Doonan, Ellie Smith, Aisling Rock, Siobhan O’Reilly Smith, Kevin McEhlinney (selector)

points with a goal (39) but a second Mulvanny goal (44) extended Ramor's lead to a much more comfortable 2-9 to 1-4. Gowna included 1997 All-Star Dermot McCabe and erstwhile county star Gerard Pearson in their ranks from the off but they were never in the hunt, conceding a third goal to an in-form Jack Brady, six minutes from time. Ramor's quarter final saw them come up against a Castlerahan team with an earlier championship win (1-10 to 0-8) over Cavan Gaels under their belt. The sides had met earlier this year in

division one of the senior league and fought out a draw, albeit without any of their senior countymen on hand. Aido Cole, Ronan Keating and teamcaptain Barry Fitzsimons were back in the harness too but things just didn't work out. Castlerahan edged things by 1-10 to 0-9 having led by 1-6 to 0-3. Ramor were especially disappointing barren up front, apart from Jack Brady's five frees. Ramor actually failed to score between the 10th and 30th minutes after the aforementioned Brady had slotted over three frees.

"Castlerahan adopted an ultra defensive style of play and we just couldn't get to grips with it plus, in fairness, they were better at getting onto the breaks and they were the hungrier side on the day," Farrelly reflected. "We'll learn though, the players and me and I hope we're all better at our jobs next year. "The lads worked hard all year and I cannot say enough about their attitude and commitment and the sacrifices they made." Farrelly, a member of the last Ramor

The U13 championship final squad, front l/r: Killian Brady, Conor Nulty, Sean McEvoy, Lorcan Lynch, Aaron Mannion, Ben Smith, Tadgh hagan, Seanie Keogan, Daniel Lawless, Ronan Cullen, Colin Morgan. Back: Padhraig McEvoy, Mick Kavanagh, Stephen Kavanagh, Adam Farrelly, John Dolan, Gareth Mannion, Cameron Smart, Enda Maguire, Padraic Sheridan, Niall Preston, Sean Warren, Barry Smith (missing from picture Niall Lawless - Mentor)

357


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ramor designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 14:03 Page 6

Shane Quealy

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Peter Nulty

Lurgan Ladies senior squad, front l/r: Niamh Daly, Ciara Farrell, Edel Gaffney, Julie Cahill, Nicole Brady, Fiona Murphy, Emma McDermott, Jenny McWeeney, Naomi Smith, Ciara Brady, Karen McGovern,Sarah Nulty, Catherine Dolan. Back: Barry Smith (manager), Amy Gaynor, Shannon Smith, Claragh O’Reilly, Nicole O’Dwyer, Ashleigh O’Connell, Emer Gilsenan, Evelyn Baugh, Claire Doughty, Cara Brady, Ciara Brady, vanessa Brady, Siobhan O’Reilly Smith Edith Lynch, Brigid O’Dwyer (selector), Kevin McEhlinney. Mascots: Mathew Smith, Katlyn McEhlinney, Eimear Daly, Aoibheann Daly

Jack Doyle

Mark Magee

Victory over a Cavan Gaels/Killygarry amalgam was the ideal pipe opener for Ramor ahead of their October 6th championship final date and would fever their dream of a double. With an impressive victory over Southern Gaels in their penultimate round tie, it was obvious though that Templeport had the form to go with the credentials that saw them win nine underage cups in previous years, including a division one title at under 16 level. As things panned out, Ramor's teenage terrors showed strength, endurance, skill and ambition to complete the double with an emphatic 5-11 to 2-10 win over Templeport at Kingspan/Breffni Park. Ramor led from the 11th minute onwards and never really looked like relinquishing their place in pole position. In contrast, Templeport led just once after they opened the scoring with a point just two minutes into the game. In an entertaining decider, the Saints managed to match Ramor almost point-for-point but, crucially, in terms of threepointers, Ramor were a class apart. On a wet, damp afternoon, Ramor had more craft, pace and cunning than their opponents, especially closer to goal. Ramor's superior ability to find the net was absolutely vital to the outcome of the match with, unsurprisingly, their first two scores being goals. The goals were the scaffold upon which Ramor built their victory and were the ball and chain which shackled Templeport's attempt to pull the fat from the fire.

team to win the Cavan SFC (1992), has proven experience of getting teams to county finals having managing Denn to two senior finals in 2008 and 2009. The smart money is on the Virginia native to steer his home club to at least a county final appearance in the coming 12 months.

MAJOR yEAR FOR RAMOR MiNORS Conventional wisdom holds that 'form is temporary, class is permanent.' In the 2013 minor football arena, Ramor United's rich crop of under 18 players demonstrated that sometimes cliches morph into truisms. There were ups and downs along the way but Ramor showcased their undoubted class in capturing a fantastic league and championship double. The Virginia-based club has enjoyed a sumptuous, sustained period of joy at underage level in recent years and the club's feats at minor level in 2013 added handsomely to the mix. The past year saw the inexorable installation of Ramor into the pantheon of great minor football teams with their starlets' back-to-back victories over Templeport in the league final in July and in the championship decider in October lifting them high above the commonplace. Ramor's 1-10 to 0-7 victory over the Saints last July presented an inspiring vista. Three months later some more candyfloss football would deliver a blue riband championship title.

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The Lurgan Ladies team and management who defeated Eastern Gaels in the Minor final replay at Kingscourt, front l/r: Orlaith O`Reilly, Natasha Curran, Ellie Smith, Aisling Rock, Edith Lynch, Kara O`Rourke, Ashleigh O`Connell, Laura Keogan, Therese O`Dwyer, Chloe McElhinney, Rachel Smullen, Emer Kelly, with Matthew Smith and Gavin Kavanagh (at front) . Back: Barry Smith, Clara Lynch, Aoife Keogan, Gráine Gilsenan, Ciara Brady, Aoife Maguire, Katie Byrne, Lorna Lawless, Sarah yore, Claire Doughty, Lorna Skelly, Micaela Doonan, Amy Gaynor, Sarah Nulty, Catherine Dolan, Slaone Reeves, Caroline Gaynor, Aoife Brady, Kevin McElhinney.  Missing from picture: Ciara Gaffney and Lydia McCabe

On duty in the U16 League Final Division 1, front l/r: Peter Nulty, James Brady, Sean Ward, Shane Quealy, Connor Smart, Liam McDermott, Daniel Rourke, Lee Burdis, Liam Maguire, Neal McEnroe (mascots harry Glackin & Oisin Rourke). Back: Paul Glacken, Francie Conway, Gerry Magee, James Connell. Sam Kerins, Ronan Patterson, Dylan Farrelly, Matthew Magee, Stephen Gargan, Liam Brady, Killian Maguire, Daven Bent, Conor Farrelly, Daniel Reid, Killian Morgan, Pat Connell

On duty for the u16 championship final, front l/r: Matthew Magee, James Connell, Connor Smart, Daniel Rourke, Liam McDermott, Daven Bent, Liam Maguire, Shane Quealy, Peter Nulty, Daniel Reid, Sean Ward, Nathan McCabe, Gerry Magee. Back: Paul Glackin, Killian Morgan, Sam Kerins, Ronan Patterson, Conor Farrelly, Stephen Gargan, Dylan Farrelly, Liam Brady, Michael Smollen, Killian Maguire, Lee Burdis, James Brady, Neal McEnroe, Francie Conway, Jack Brady

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Ramor Minors for the league final, front l/r: Emmett Maguire, Dylan Morgan, Ben Nagle, James Brady, Laurence Caffrey, Ryan Mannion, Sean Brady, Micheal Smart, Stephen Gargan, Daven Bent, Eoin Somerville, Cathal Maguire, David O’Connell. Back: Neal McEnroe, Sean McDermott, Joseph O’Connell, Pauric O’Connell, Niall Farrelly, Patrick Burdis, Ciaran Daly, Patrick Gargan, Keelan O’Connell, Sean O’Reilly, Jack Doyle, Mark Magee, Conor Bradley, Liam Brady, Breen O’Connell, Killian Maguire

The Minor football championship winners

Lurgan ladies U16 Division 1 league winners, front l/r: Sarah Murtagh, Orlaith O’Reilly, Clara Lynch, Aisling Rock, Ciara Gaffney, Lorna Lawless, Laura Keogan, Therese O’Dwyer, Edith Lynch, Aoife Maguire, Sarah Nulty. Back: Kevin McEhlinney (selector), Caroline Gaynor (selector), Chloe McEhlinney, Ellie Smith, Cara O’Rourke, Sabrina Smith, Amy Gaynor, Catherine Dolan, Mathew Smith, Ciara Brady, Laura yore, Miceala Doonan, Lydia McCabe, Aoife Murtagh, Stephaine Noelle Lynch, Eirinn Lynch, Jessica Reilly, Barry Smith (manager)

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The minor league winners, front l/r: Daven Bent, Mark Magee, David O’Connell, Breen O’Connell, Patrick Burdis, Sean Brady, Conor Bradley, Eoin Somerville, Sean O’Reilly. Back: Dylan Morgan, Niall Farrelly, Joseph O’Connell, Laurence Caffrey, Stephen Gargan, Patrick Gargan, Cathal Maguire, Jack Doyle, Ryan Mannion, Ben Nagle, Keelan O’Connell, Pauric O’Connell, Ciaran Daly, Killian Maguire, Micheal Smart, Emmett Maguire, Liam Brady

Ashleigh O’Connell

Karen McGovern

Ramor number 11 Cathal Maguire rifled home the opening goal (4) from the penalty spot after top-scorer Conor Bradley was about to pull the trigger. Seven minutes later livewire Bradley latched onto a quick-free to give Darren Donohoe no chance in the Templeport goal. Ahead by 2-0 to 0-3, Ramor continued to launch raids up the field with menace, intent and penetration. As the first half gathered pace, it soon became noticeable how much more easily Ramor's attackers were able to get on the ball with their speed off the mark and the quality of their supply setting them apart from the west county team. Only a last-ditch interception (16) by Patrick McGoldrick prevented Sean Brady (Ramor) from burrowing his way in on goal. With high-fielding Sean McDermott rustling up a rich stream of primary possession, Ramor proceeded to enjoy the lion's share of possession and only a point-blank save by the

vanessa Brady

Daven Bent and Liam McDermott

Saints' 'keeper in the 26th minute prevented United's Sean O'Reilly from grabbing a third goal for his side. Ramor's lion share of possession in the first half wasn't reflected on the scoreboard and Templeport's deficit at the short-whistle, 0-5 to 2-5, was entirely manageable. Ramor were on the cusp of easy street at half-time as they sat pretty on the back of a 2-5 to 0-5 lead and two goals inside the opening 11 minutes of the second half by Ramor served to alter Templeport's challenge from manageable to mountainous. After Cathal Maguire's shot in the 32nd minute was half-blocked, Conor Bradley was alive to the break and a clever, improvised over the shoulder palmed effort sailed into the net. Then a few minutes later, Templeport's concession of a fourth goal (to Sean Brady) thereafter suddenly had Ramor in clear water, 45 to 0-7. In a helter skelter final quarter, Templeport rallied to notch two goals

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which meant that Ramor's lead was now down to three points (4-5 to 2-8). However, the concession of three rash frees by Templeport in the next five minutes proved just the leg-up that United needed to get back into the driver's seat. With three minutes left on the clock, the yellow and blacks applied the coup de gras with Jack Doyle's rasper sewing up the match once and for all. Reacting to his side's magnificent double, team-manager Leo McEnroe (assisted by Mick Kavanagh and Conor McCrystal) told the Breffni Blue: "The lads were a dream to work with and deserved what they got. "At the start of the year, we asked them what they wanted to achieve and it's a testimony to the goals they set for themselves that they lost just one game all year which was a challenge game against Watty Grahams from Derry. "They're all willing to learn and have great potential but we now have to make sure that that potential is


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harnessed and that they get proper tuition in the years to come. "They're not the finished products yet but they're great prospects."

On SFC duty against Drumgoon

For the record, the following players are those who featured in Ramor's

double-clinching MFC final win over Templeport: Kealan O'Connell; Joseph O'Connell, Mark Magee, Patrick Burdis; Micheal Smart, Patrick Gargan, Eoin Somerville; Brian O'Connell (0-1), Sean McDermott; Sean O'Reilly (0-1,

Lorna Lawless receiving the Division 1 league cup from Carol Kiernan, chairperson of Cavan ladies county board

Damien Barkey

Lurgan team captain Ashleigh O`Connell receives the Minor Division 1 Cup from Carl Kiernan, county ladies board

Anton O'Reilly

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free), Cathal Maguire (1-0), Laurence Caffrey; Jack Doyle (1-5, two frees), Sean Brady (1-0), Conor Bradley (2-4, two frees). Subs; Ryan Mannion for M Smart; James Brady for Joseph O'Connell.

Kevin Mulvany

Sean Brady


lacken designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:34 Page 1

THE THRIVING COMMUNITY THAT IS LACKEN LACKEN

L

acken are arguably the most progressive club in the county and if things fall their way, the senior breakthrough won’t be long in coming. Running a rural GAA club is a balancing act, on all fronts – finances, personnel, even down to use of the facilities. Nowhere is that more evident, however, than in the area of players. Country clubs are often the powerhouses in given counties and the reasons are simple – out of necessity, they cut their cloth to suit their needs. Precocious young players are promoted to the front line, old generals stay on and the overall battle – keeping the show on the road – is won. That’s the case in Lacken Celtic, too. The famous old club have made great strides on and off the pitch in the past couple of decades, to a point where they are arguably the most progressive in the county, with thriving

LTS 2013 RESU

B

SFC en 3-6 0-7 Lack ls e a G n n Cava o o g m 2 3-9 Dru en Lacken 4-1 ck a L 5 -1 ls 2-17 1 n e Cavan Gae -8 1-13 Lack Drumalee 1 en 0 0-13 Lack -1 Killygarry 1 en ck a L 0 -15 3-1 Killygarry 0 arter-final u q – n e ck 6 1-9 La allinagh 0-1 ion 1A ACFL Divis cken 0-11 0-5 La Mullahoran U r nited 3-14 Ramo Lacken 0-3 cken L s 1-4 0-6 a Cúchulainn y ve a L -7 32 Lacken 0-1 en ck a L -8 0 -8 n1 rt Castleraha u o sc g 1-11 Kin n Lacken 0-8 ra o h lla u 2-6 M Lacken 1-7 h g a 0-11 Ballin Lacken 2-8 acken 1-16 0-13 L d n Ramor Unite n e D -9 20 Lacken 0-1 inns la u ch ú C 5 1 1-1 en Lacken 2-1 ck a L ls 1-8 0-14 Cavan Gae n e ck a -8 L Lavey 1-9 0 2 Lacken -1 1 -5 1 n n De n Castleraha -9 1 1 n Lacken 0-1 e ck a L 1 -10 1-1 Ballinagh 1 cken 2-14 1-7 La rt u o Kingsc e avan Ga ls Lacken V C

Michael Shanaughy

football, hurling, ladies football and camogie sections. What drives veteran clubmen like Jimmy Galligan, however, is the tantalising thought that one of these years, the stars will align, the young stars will be ready to take centre stage before the grizzled old guard have shuffled off and something magical might just happen. Certainly, Lacken have produced players talented enough to mix it with the best. The problem, says Galligan, has been getting them all together at one time. “There are lads coming but we can’t ever seem to get one team to wait for the other team to come so we can be a force,” rued Galligan, a long-serving player, official and referee whose sons James and county minor Thomas have represented the club at all levels. “We were only a kick of a ball from beating Ballinagh to get to a semi-final against Crosserlough this year and we were missing six

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or seven players. If you take that out of the Gaels team, that has a mountain of players, you would struggle. And especially when they are central players.” In fact, Lacken began that SFC quarter-final minus eight of the team which started the 2012 Intermediate final, which they won in a replay against Cootehill. They weren’t helped by the draw either, which saw them face Cavan Gaels twice in three weeks, one of those games going to extra time. “It would have been considered a successful enough season, we had seven championship matches and we haven’t had that in a long time. We were just a bit unlucky with injuries and things. “It [having to play Cavan Gaels twice] was a bit of a disaster and sure that was from the draw, and we knew it when the draw was made. Ourselves and Cavan Gaels both pointed that out to them on the night the draw was made yet they insisted that they were going to stick to the format. It meant we


lacken designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:34 Page 2

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LACKEN - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

Representing the club at senior level in 2013 were, front row l to r: Daniel Brady, Daryl Buckley, Martin Brady, Finbar O'Reilly, James Galligan, Philip Moynagh, Raymond Galligan, James Moynagh, Martin Brady, Shane Finnegan, Brian McCusker, Killian Galligan, Gary Cronin. Back row l to r: Joe Crowe, Bryan Gaffney, Darragh Smith, Kevin Shanaghy, Conor Finnegan, Ollie Shanaghy, Niall McKiernan, Colin Comerford, Colm Sheridan, Damien McKiernan, Stephen Brady, Micheal Shanaghy, Niall Halton, Terry Hyland, Shane O'Reilly.


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were playing them twice, and we were after playing them in the league, it was the third time we had played them in two months. “A club like Lacken gets one chance at beating the Gaels, they don’t get three or four. Lacken should have beaten them the second time, I felt that we were very much wronged in the fact that Kevin Shanaghy got a straight red card the first day playing the Gaels. He was entitled to go that day but the fact that they changed the whole format of the championship, and carried over rules from the previous year… If you’re changing the whole format, you’ve got to change it all. “As bad as we were hampered by injuries, we ended up without him for seven matches as well. It doesn’t surprise me, because of the nature of the beast, they wouldn’t do anything to change the format when they messed up the draw. “But that’s the reality, it’s amazing, some guys can get sent off for a straight red card and they might miss

one game, another guy can get sent off for an identical offence and miss seven matches. It’s definitely something that will have to be looked at going forward.” The frustrating thing is that, with old stagers like the remarkable Joe Crowe not gone out to pasture yet, Lacken should have had their whole panel available again in 2013, augmented by some young guns. But injuries and suspension put paid to that, with even young Thomas Galligan suffering a leg break just when he looked on the verge of breaking into the team. “Joe Crowe is a great man to be able to keep going, he is coming up on 40 years of age and is a great servant for the Lacken football club,” says Jimmy, an uncle of former county man Raymond. “Finbar O’Reilly was outstanding against Ballinagh in the quarter-final as well, all the so-called older fellas were. But the rest of them are all in their 20s and we have a good lot of young gasuns coming but unfortunately we

seem to end up missing it by a year. “Trevor Crowe was a massive loss to us all year. He was out with a shoulder injury for the whole season. The annoying thing is, if we could keep it together for one or two years to get three or four minors, we’d have a strong team. “I know when my son James came from minor with a few others, it looked like we were going to have a great year but between emigration and one thing or another, I think we lost nearly the whole spine of our team that year. “All of a sudden you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel again and trying to put a team together with gasuns. This year we ended up with seven or eight injuries and again we were left playing gasuns who were still minor. It’s just too much, but that’s the way it is, a small club, you’re going to have that.” The depth of talent in the club was proven, however, by the excellent form of the club’s second string who, under the same management as the seniors (former Breffni goal king Jason

On duty in the senior ladies final, front l/r: Debbie Lee Gaffney, Shona King, Niamh Mc Inerney, Catriona Leddy, Niamh Hyland, Michelle Ellis, Roisin O Keeffe, Annemarie Moynagh. Back: Mary Moore, Eimear Brady, Nora Moore, Emma Brady, Eirinn Galligan, Denise Keogan, Rosie Crowe, Joanne Moore, Aoife Brady, Laura Leddy, Sinead Galligan

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James Moynagh


lacken designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:34 Page 6

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Joseph Crowe

Michael Shanaughy

Colm Sheridan

Martin Brady

The Junior camogie champions, front l/r: Lisa Magaurahan, Mary Moore, Michelle Ellis, Shona King, Joanne Moore, Fiona Brady, Ellen Murphy, Laura Leddy. Back: Fiona Crowe, Aoife Brady, Siobhan Donohoe, Eimear Brady, Aine Crowe, Helena Brady, Amy Sheridan, Bernie Briody, Michelle Beard, Nora Moore, Sinead Brady

O’Reilly), went all the way to the Division 1 Reserve final.

Joanne Moore

stepped up to the plate, it was a great competition for us because we got to blood some of our younger lads who hadn’t got the taste of senior football. They really enjoyed it and it was great for that.” Of course, it all goes back to the youth and all any club can do is keep working, working and working at grassroots level. Lacken have an abundant supply of teenagers, with the likes of Dylan Donohoe, county U16 player Shane Moynagh, David

“It was a great achievement,” says Jimmy.

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Niamh McInerney and Catriona Leddy

Helena Brady

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The team on duty in the JFC final, front l/r: Shane O’Reilly, Martin Brady, Eddie Sheridan, Joseph Sorohan, Stephen Brady, Martin Brady, Mark Hyland, Karl Reilly, Shane Finnegan, Daryl Buckley, Karl Clerkin, Pauric Brady, Colin Comerford. Back: Pauric Leddy, Danny Brady, Karl Reilly, Philip Smith, Darragh Smith, Michael Shanaughy, Colm Sheridan, Joseph Crowe, Bryan Gaffney, Damien Mc Kiernan, Niall Halton, Killian Galligan, Brian Mc Cusker, Gary Cronin

against Lurgan, and it would be no Wilson and Paul Leddy – who surprise if Lacken handballers are captained St Pat’s College to a making their mark in the not too Brock Cup final, losing only in extra distant future as well. time – all likely to make a big “The ladies football started in ’97 impact in the coming seasons. But, and went from strength to strength as with everything, there are no and we had five lassies involved in certainties… the All-Ireland ladies final in Croke “There are some good young Park. The hurling got off the ground a fellas coming, there is a good U16 couple of years after that and now we team coming and there will come a have decided to erect the 60x30 few players from that as well, but handball alley. It can only help the the drop-out rate is amazing. The club,” explains Galligan. present minor team, we were on “We’re doing it all voluntary. It’s our own in Division 1 at U14 and great to see the community spirit, we now we are joined with Gowna and were there for seven Saturdays and we have only two subs. You’d we built six and half thousand blocks, wonder where do all these children and we plastered it. A couple more go, they slip through the net days will finish it. There is a good because of one thing or another. community spirit and it’s about “They will be coming off next keeping it going and keeping it year’s minors, we are producing together.” three or four minors every year but Ellen Murphy Never a truer word spoken. unfortunately between emigration and one thing or another, we’re needing them too soon.” Lower down the ladder, though, the well has dried up a little but the club intend to take action by amalgamating; the priority, Fireplaces, Fires & Stoves for Solid Fuel, Oil, Gas & Electricity & Wood Pellets. Importers of Classic & says Galligan, is to provide football for children. Modern Continental Fireplaces & Fireplace Appliances. “At the minute, for the next three years it’s going to be fairly Fitting Service, Estimates Free - No Obligation bleak. For three consecutive years, I think ten girls and two boys started in the local national school. You can do the sums Efel Oil Stoves, Solid Fuel Stoves from Charnwood, Efel, on it any way you like but we’re going to be amalgamating for Vermont Castings, Saey, Villager, Barbas, Hunter, Evergreen, a couple of years because you have to keep getting the Mulberry, Palazzetti, Gas Fires & Stoves from Magiglo, children football regardless. We’re not afraid of amalgamating, Stovax, Carribean Glow, Gazco, Barbas & many more one of our best eras was when we amalgamated as Garrymore Gaels, and we’ll be looking at that again.” Dublin Rd., Cavan. Tel: 049-4361544 In the meantime, the club have expanded further, with the Fax: 049-4362203 HEATING construction of a new handball court. The ladies football team BEST WISHES TO LACKEN GAA CENTRE continues to thrive, winning the county senior final in a replay

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Ulster SFC and indicated that the 6ft 3 midfielder will have a big bearing if they are to progress in the province. At present, McKiernan’s projected return to action is set for next February, which should see him available for most of Cavan’s National Football League campaign and if the Blues are to finally get promotion from Division Three you can again bet that he will play some part at the business end of the campaign.

FIVE TO WATCH

Conor Moynagh (Drumgoon) Injury cost Moynagh dear this past season, missing out on the Cavan U21s’ third Ulster championship success as well as the seniors run to the last eight of the All-Ireland series. The versatile Drumgoon player has been outstanding for both club and county these past few years, helping Cavan to Ulster minor and U21 triumphs and Drumgoon to an intermediate championship title. The best is certainly yet to come though as the early part of 2014 should see him lining-out for Cavan’s promising U21 side which will be bidding to defend their Ulster crown for a third time. If more success is to come from that grade next year for Cavan than Moynagh will certainly play his part. As for the Cavan seniors, many feel that Moynagh’s high work rate and strong ball-carrying ability could see him claim a place in Terry Hyland’s half-forward line come the summer’s championship. Dara McVeety (Crosserlough) McVeety proved to be a real surprise package for many Cavan supporters when he was introduced in the second-half of their fantastic win over Derry in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers. The 19-year-old was outstanding at Celtic Park that day, contributing two points and carrying out Trojan work, along with his team mates, to help ensure that the home side would be out on their feet for extra-time. The Crosserlough lad was in Terry Hyland’s championship squad on merit

Gearoid McKiernan (Swanlinbar) After the pain of having to watch Cavan’s run to the AllIreland SFC quarter-finals from the sidelines, you can expect the big Swanlinbar man to again be a focal part of Terry Hyland’s plans next season and a key player if the Breffni men are to mount a similar run for the summer of 2014. RTE pundit and ex-Mayo star Kevin McStay cited McKiernan as “as powerhouse” at centre-field for Cavan shortly after they’d been drawn to play Armagh in the quarter-finals of next year’s

Conor Moyna

iernan

Gearoid McK

gh

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Michael Argu

Dara McVeety

following some impressive performances at left half-back for the U21s but wouldn’t make his All-Ireland SFC debut until his introduction against the Oak Leafers. Come the quarter-finals he would make his first start for Cavan on the biggest stage at Croke Park against none other than Kerry and hold his own against the game’s aristocrats, which speaks volumes about his potential for the future. 2014 will see him bidding to earn a second Ulster U21 medal (and perhaps even a first All-Ireland) along with trying to nail down a starting place on the senior side for their Ulster SFC opener against Armagh. Michael Argue (Bailieborough) Whether he’s playing for club or county, Argue’s towering presence sees him impact almost every game he plays in and many didn’t even know what the Bailieborough man was capable of before he ran out on to the pitch at Celtic Park to help Cavan to victory over Derry this past July. Standing at 6ft 5, Argue commanded at midfield for Cavan in their Ulster U21 triumph in 2013 but didn’t see much action for the county seniors up until after July when his brace of points

e

helped them to a memorable victory over Derry. He would miss out on the win over London in the next round, but got his first taste of action at Croke Park after 44 minutes when he replaced Tomas Corr to tangle with Kerry midfielders Anthony Maher and Johnny Buckley. You can expect to see plenty of him next year if Terry Hyland explores his midfield options, while he will also need to play a focal part if

Tom Hayes

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Bailieborough are to hold their own in Division 1B of the ACFL.

Tom Hayes (Cootehill) The speedy attacker is up there among the best minor forwards in the county and will be a welcome addition to Peter Reilly in 2014 as he looks to sharpen his front three for the Ulster U21 football championship. Hayes impressed for Cavan on route to the last four of the Ulster minor football championship this past season, while at club level he was Cootehill’s star forward up until their shock defeat to Shercock in the semi-final of the intermediate championship. If Reilly is to give Hayes the chance next year then you can expect a forward of his potency to grab it with both hands. As for Cootehill, they will no doubt have designs on trying to capture the intermediate championship again next season and could well start the competition as favourites. In the end though, a lot will come down to the form of their young full-forward, who starred for them in the previous two campaigns when they came close to getting their hands on the Tommy Gilroy Cup.


Killian Clarke designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 14:29 Page 1

All Star nominee defender Killian Clarke


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Cavan Ladies All Star nominees

Aisling Doonan

Caron Fay

Bronagh Sheridan


ballymachugh designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 11:29 Page 1

BUILT ON A STRONG SPIRIT BALLYMACHUGH

T

he Hughs didn't pick up any trophies at adult level in 2013 but, says long-serving Brian Donohoe, they are building... On the face of it, 2013 wasn't a vintage year for the Ballymachugh club but, scratch the surface, and one tale reveals all you need to know about the community spirit around Ballyheelan. Picture the scene. It's a dreary, soaking wet Sunday in late October as Ballymachugh GAA club prepare to hold their 'Monster Auction' fundraiser. All week, people have been donating whatever they can – vans have been pulling up at the clubrooms with pallets of meal, bags of cement, gravel, furniture, mattresses, DVDs and books and even (and this wasn't delivered by a Transit!) a day's work with a tractor. And the net result? The locals dodged the puddles and came out in their droves and the club raised a figure well into five figures. How's that for an esprit de corps? The Ballymachugh club is a closeknit one and while they

Liam Goldrick Buchannon

haven't landed a trophy at adult level since their intermediate breakthrough 14 years ago, they are inching evercloser. This year, their reserve team S T L came within a kick of a ball of winning U S E 2013 R their championship, while the seniors were unbeaten in 18 league matches IFC ugh ch a m lly out of 20 and won promotion. Still think a B -17 0-12 ugh ch Drumlane 2 a m it wasn't a vintage year? lly a B 1-6 l. Drung 2-12 rsbridge - re tle u Brian Donohoe, captain of that B 0 -1 1 gh 0-6 Ballymachu victorious team in 1999, is well-placed playoff ff playo ugent – rel. to gauge the club's current status and gh v Mountn u ch a m lly a B feel that there are genuinely ion 3 is encouraging signs. iv D L F C A ugh “I suppose they say the league table -7 Ballymach 1 -7 1 rt o p Temple Kildallan -4 3 6 never lies,” Brian told Breffni Blue. -1 1 h g Ballymachu llymachugh a B 5 “We won 16 league games and -1 2 -3 ugh Corlough 3 2 Ballymach -1 drew two out of 20, which was pretty 2 0 h -1 g 0 u allymach Shercock good and we'd be happy with our s 0-6 1-12 B ill n in cF a M K Maghera gh 0-10 0-8 league performance. The Ballymachu machugh lly a B 2 -1 1 4 -1 championship was probably a rude 0 ls e e a Shannon G Butlersbridg awakening alright, it was gh 3-11 1-7 Arva Ballymachu gh 1-12 5-4 disappointing. h g u Ballymachu o Corl gh 4-13 0-5 “We got three trimmings, which Ballymachu mpleport Te 0 -1 0 -7 1 h probably showed the difference g u ch e a d ockbri Ballym 1-15 1-6 Kn h g between where we were in Division u h ch g a u m ch Bally Ballyma e 0-6 1-15 3 and where we're going, Division g d ri b ck o rs rc tle e u B Sh gh 1-9 0-9 2. We got promotion in the league, Ballymachu machugh lly a B -9 1 -5 0 s n e which was pretty good, and that d in ri b cF a ck Kno aghera M 4-15 0-5 M h will be a good platform. g u h ch g a u m Bally 5 Ballymach “Going to Division 2 next year is h g u Kill 3-11 0-1 ch a m 0-16 Bally d -8 ye 2 la n p definitely going to help. Logisticst lla o a Kild aels – n Shannon G v h g u h ch g a u Ballym Ballymach Arva 1-8 2-9

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wise, there are going to be no long trips to west Cavan and on the field, I think there are a lot of teams there we can take a few points off. “Hopefully we can consolidate because the last thing we want to do now is yo-yo.” The reserve final defeat to a Kill Shamrocks team with significant momentum on their side was disappointing but getting that far, and playing well against a side stacked with players who had won JFC medals the previous Sunday, was not. “It was a boost,” said Brian, an Ulster SFC medallist with Cavan in 1997. “If they had've left the competition for reserve players only, we would have won it. The way it went, Kill played nine of their senior team, and then you're caught between two stools – do you go with what got you there, or do you have to strengthen up to avoid getting slaughtered? “If they were stricter on who could play, we would have won it. Anyway, they were on a high when the replay eventually came around and they just did enough on the day. But I suppose it shows the panel that we have was strong enough.” The performance of Mark Kiernan,


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BALLYMACHUGH - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

On duty in the Division 3 League, front l/r: Killian Goldrick, John Denneny, Adon McFarlane, Jamie Coyle, Mark Kiernan, Aodhain Kiernan, Brian Donohoe, Ollie Kiernan, Finbarr Sheridan, Pauric Sheridan. Back: Tony Tierney, John Denneny, Darragh Kiernan, Mannix Kiernan, David Kerrigan, Christopher Rooney, Philip Donohoe, Kieran Goldrick, Paddy Baxter, Brendan McLarney, James Kiernan, MichĂŠal Halton, Stephen Baxter, Richie Fitzsimons, Tommie Smith


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Lining out in the intermediate championship, front l/r: Mark Kiernan, Kieran Goldrick, Noel Denneny, Jamie Coyle, Stephen Harten, John Fox, Pauric Sheridan, Brian Donohoe, Adrian Daly, Ollie Kiernan, Killian Goldrick, John Denneny, Paddy Baxter, Stephen Baxter, Philip Donohoe. Back: Tony Tierney, Aodhain Kiernan, Alan Donohoe, Michéal Halton, Padraig Galligan, Mannix Kiernan, Liam Goldrick Buchannon, Richie Fitzsimons, Christopher Rooney, Darragh Goldrick, Michael Coyle, Finbarr Sheridan, Adon McFarlane, Seamus Coyle, Vincent Ellis, David Kerrigan, James Kiernan, Tommie Smith, Brendan McLarney, Darragh Kiernan

who along with the likes of Liam Goldrick-Buchanan is indicative of the new generation, caught the eye in that final, and he franked the form in a league clash with Arva a couple of weeks later which sealed promotion. “Mark was playing corner-forward and he kicked a couple of great points in the second half to put us four ahead with four or five minutes to go against. He is a talent and it will be great to see

Mark Kiernan

him develop. “Definitely, there is a lot of work going on at the underage. I was actually sitting down projecting this for five, six, seven, eight, nine years ahead last week. The numbers are not going to be big but I suppose we'll have to really put in the work now with what we have and if we can do that, hopefully we can bring through plenty of senior footballers, because that's what it's all

Kieran Goldrick

Aodhain Kiernan

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about.” Ballymachugh know all about the truth of the old Irish phrase 'Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí”. Their last major success came on the back of a sustained period of underage excellence, as Donohoe knows better than most. “Thirteen of the team in 1999 were under 22. We had a good U21 team then and we got to a final with

Darragh Kiernan


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ballymachugh designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 11:30 Page 6

Finbarr Sheridan

Brian Donohoe

Niall Briody

Shane Tynan

Eilish Reilly Representing the club in the U12 league final, front l/r: Evan Cribbin, Eugene Clarke, Peter Devine, Shane Tynan, Dara Sheridan, Ryan Smith, Conor Coyle, Dwayne Mulvey, Shane Fitzsimons, Tadhg Larkin, Aaron Briody. Back: Paddy Larkin, Patrick Goldrick, Jack Reilly, Sean Jenkins, Jamie Masterson, Conor Mulligan, Niall Briody, Caolán Kiernan, Conor Masterson, Antone Briody, Niamh Briody

Mullahoran which went to a replay, so I suppose that was the basis of that senior team. There are plenty of good lads coming now and I feel it's vital that we've got further in the league because in Division 3, you can get away with a lot of things in league games and then when you get to the championship, you really get your eyes opened. “The perfect example is probably Drumlane. They didn't win a game in the league and we were flying and winning all round us but they were in a higher division and when we met, they just absolutely trimmed us. It is a step up, so we'd be happy enough to have got promotion now, it gives us something to build on for championship.” At a time when many clubs are struggling for numbers and being forced to amalgamate, Ballymachugh are bucking the trend by paddling their own canoe in this year's U21 championship. “We decided to go on our own with the U21s this year, it's a brave call. We'll see how that one goes but there are good footballers there. “Liam Buchanan got called by Peter Reilly for the U21s for next year, so that should bring him on. He has a lot of talent and guys that are 6ft 3 or 4 and 13 or 14 stone, they don't grow on trees in Cavan and we need to work with them.” Speaking of which, Donohoe is delighted with the progress the county team has made in the past 12 months. They are 'working with' the young players they have, and in a bottom

line business, results have been promising. “I'm very, very happy, I think we're on the up,” he enthused. “I think Cavan are coming back and will soon restore some glory to the county. The U21s of course have given everyone a great lift and they have been very, very competitive. The senior team has got the defence sorted out and I think the next step will be maybe to throw more men into the attack. Playing 10, 11 players behind the ball will get you so far, but maybe that is modern football. It's not very pretty to look at. “There is plenty of work gone in and the coaches are good, it's great to have a bit of solidity. Dermot McCabe is there now in charge of the underage and Anthony Forde works well with Terry Hyland with the seniors.” Having played his first senior match for the Hughs back in 1994, Donohoe has witnessed a lot of changes in football in the Breffni county. His day job as a teacher in Ballynarry NS means he sees a lot of underage football and he is happy with the standard, albeit that there could be some tweaks to the format of the competitions. “The Cumann na mBunscol is going well but they don't get a lot of games, I'd like to see more games, particularly for the boys. It's played in September and October and it's hard to get pitches sometimes, and it's hard to get referees at 3.30 in the day too sometimes. Then again, on the contrary, if you left it until they play the ladies in the Spring, April, May, June, you could be clashing with U12 and U14 leagues, so it's

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Liam Goldrick Buchannon

Manager Stephen Baxter

Captain Aodhain Kiernan

Padraig Galligan

James Kiernan The U16 ladies, front l/r: Eilish Reilly, Shannon Smith, Shauna Coyle, Lucy McFarlane, Kelda Kiernan, Áine Tierney, Celine Kiernan, Éimear Kelly. Back: Peter Mulligan, Emma Muldoon, Claire Lynch, Caoimhe O'Reilly, Meghan Galligan, Teresa Clarke, Cora Galligan, Éinne Kiernan, Katie Mulligan, Anthony Goldrick

probably a no-win situation there. “But there is plenty of work going on in the schools, and it's not a bad idea that coaches do concentrate on fifth and sixth class.”

Kieran Goldrick

The sense from talking to Donohoe is that he is a dyed-in-the-wool clubman with an eye on the long-term goal. While the senior team under manager Stephen Baxter and selectors Tony Tierney and Tommy Smith may not have picked up any silverware in 2013, hope springs eternal. The spine of a solid senior outfit is there, with Mark Kiernan, county man BuchananGoldrick and young captain Aodhán Kiernan providing a solid backbone. The form of the latter particularly caught the eye this past 12 months. “Aodhán got himself fit after a few injuries and had a good season, he played very well and was consistent. He's a colossal size of a man and capt and wins a lot of first phase possession, so he's a very useful player to have and an important player for us,” said Donohoe. If Ballymachugh are to re-create the glory of 1999, they will need to harness whatever talent emerges. The personable Donohoe sums it up when asked by saying simply “we're building”.

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Building towards a better future, and dreaming of the prize at the end of the road. Ballymachugh could just be closer to that destination than it seems...

Finbarr Sheridan


crosserlough designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:48 Page 1

CROSSERLOUGH ARE COMING CROSSERLOUGH

T

hese are exciting times for Crosserlough GFC, as vicechairman Michael Galligan explains.

For a club which sets its standards as high as Crosserlough do, the harvest over the past decade or so has been lean. The famous seven-in-a-row is now a distant memory, consigned to faded black and white pictures, and while it could be argued that it once cast a shadow over the club, they are now building a new legacy. What other conclusion can be drawn from the current state of play around Dr Plunkett Park? The county is humming with talk that Crosserlough are on the verge of a golden era once again, and with good reason – their underage success over the past five years has been remarkable, and the senior team's run, against the head, to a championship semi-final suggests that the tipping point at adult level isn't far away. Vice-chairman Michael Galligan thinks so, in any case. The usual GAA habit is to play down

Dara McVeety

a club's potential but Galligan doesn't bother putting on 'the poor mouth' – 2 given the obvious potential, there would be little point. SFC vey “It was a great year, at the start of the a L 3 -1 0 -6 gh 3 h g u Crosserlou o championship nobody gave us a rl e ss -6 0-10 Cro er-final rt a u q chance,” he told Breffni Blue. Killygarry 0 – y Lave gh 0-10 0-7 semi-final – “The young players made a big h g u o Crosserlou rl e ss -9 1-10 Cro difference and also the fact that we Ballinagh 2 had our whole panel together with very ion 1B ACFL Divis ough rl e few injuries, which was the first time ss ro C 1-5 1-5 mlane Ballyhaise ru D we had that in a long time. It was nice -3 2 4 -1 gh 1 Crosserlou Belturbet to get to the semi-final and blood -3 3 4 -1 0 h g ough rl Crosserlou e ss young players, and the likes of Pierce ro C -11 2-9 ygarry Drumalee 1 ill K 0 Smith and Shane McManus made a -1 1 -5 gh 2 Crosserlou sserlough huge difference. ro C -8 0 1 ough Redhills 0-1 “Ballinagh winning the -5 Crosserl 0 0 -1 0 c lti e rlough e Cootehill C ss ro championship gives every other club C 0 1-1 malee Gowna 2-9 great hope, and belief that it can be -10 2-10 Dru 2 h g u o rl e Cross rosserlough C done. Everyone thought the winner 0 -1 0 3 -1 ugh Belturbet 0 4 Crosserlo would come from the other side of -1 1 -7 1 e n Drumla sserlough ro C -8 the draw but the fact that Ballinagh 0 0 1-1 n Ballyhaise 5 Drumgoo -1 0 1 beat Cavan Gaels in the final gives -1 0 h g gh Crosserlou Crosserlou 2 great hope to the likes of Killygarry, -1 0 -6 1 y erlough Killygarr 1-10 Cross Lacken and ourselves, great hope 0 -1 2 n o o s g Drum 0 Redhill -1 3 -4 4 for the future.” h g layed Crosserlou wna – not p o G Under manager Bernard Morris v d h g ye u not pla Crosserlo hill Celtic – te o o C v h g Crosserlou

TS 013 RESUL

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and selectors Sean Cusack and Padraig Donohoe, Crosserlough tore up the script in going all the way to the last four, where eventual senior champions Ballinagh were pushed to the pin of their collars. And had they not lost their inspirational full-back, who was tasked with marking county man Niall McDermott, to injury two minutes in, who knows what might have happened. “Losing Pauric McKiernan so early in the game was a huge blow,” admitted Galligan. “It was one of those things, up to that we had very few injuries, that was the situation until probably the second Lavey match. After that we picked up a few. “Pauric wasn't fully fit going into the Ballinagh match, and I suppose it was a question of 'would he break down'. It wasn't a big surprise that he did have to go off but it was a pity that it was so early in the game. “Colin Lynch did well on Niall


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CROSSERLOUGH - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

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crosserlough designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:48 Page 5

The Crosserlough team and mentors who defeated Gowna in the U12 Group 5 final on the 3G pitch at Kingspan Breffni Park

McDermott after, it took him a while to get to grips with him because he hadn't been expecting to mark him but he did well. I would say Colin was our best player all year, in league and championship, without a shadow of a doubt. He is still only about 25 or 26, he would have played minor for Cavan along with the likes of Raymond Galligan and Cian Mackey, the year they lost a replay to Down in Crossmaglen.” McKiernan, brother Barry, Lynch, Dara McVeety and a few more provide the spine of the side but the infusion of energy in the form of county minor panellists Smith and McManus – two

of many outstanding young players expected to come on stream at senior level in the coming seasons – almost completed the jigsaw. “Pierce is going to be a great footballer – he is a good handballer and an All-Ireland champion setdancer as well, so he's an all-rounder,” said Galligan. “He made a huge difference this year, he scored 1-3 in the league against Belturbet there recently and he only turned 17 a couple of weeks ago. And Shane McManus was a great asset to the senior team as well. They are two excellent players for the future. “Further down, it's unreal. We have a

lot of good young players there at U14 and U16 level, the likes of James Smith, Peter Smith, Shane McVeety, Eoin Smith, Conor Rehill, Paddy Reilly, Darren Galligan... Thomas Keaney as well.” Of course, thrown into the mix is ace in the pack McVeety, who made such an impact at wing-back with Cavan U21s this year that Donegal detailed a defender to man-mark him in the Ulster final. His meteoric rise was completed when he ended the year starting against Kerry in the All-Ireland quarterfinal in Croke Park, and he is indicative of the new breed. “Dara is playing senior football for us

The Crosserlough squad defeated by Laragh in the U14 Division 1 final

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crosserlough designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:48 Page 6

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crosserlough designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:48 Page 7

Barry McKiernan

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Eoin Cusack The U14 panel that took on Laragh in the Division 1 league final

since he was about 16 and he excelled this year. It was an honour for him to represent the club in Croke Park and we're all very proud of him. He has another year at U21 and it looks like he will be a regular with Terry Hyland at senior level,” enthused Galligan. Crosserlough benefitted from the change in format in the Cavan senior championship, which Galligan welcomed. “I would probably prefer it to the group system. Teams were

getting almost the same number of games anyway because they had the second chance and it was their own fault if they didn't make the most of it. Even if they ended up in the relegation play-off they played five games, so teams got lots of football. “With Cavan going so far in the championship, it left it tight to get fixtures played and it probably put a bit more pressure on clubs at the end of the season.

Gareth Boylan

Crosserlough team captain Lorraine Day receives the senior championship cup from Peter Brady (Co. Camogie Board)

393


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The club’s talented Under 13 squad on final day duty against Ramor Utd at Breffni Park

“The league was very competitive, there wasn't much between a lot of teams. We started well, with everybody fit, and won our first four or five games, but then we lost a couple and slipped down the table.” Another positive is the fact that emigration – which decimated Crosserlough for a number of years,

Emmett Boylan

with an inordinately high rate of players taking the plane – has slowed down. “It is a lifestyle choice sometimes, a lot of fellas from Crosserlough who left would have had work, it wasn't forced. Some of them go because one or two others they are pally with have gone and are working and making good money. Some will stay away and some

will come back,” said Galligan. Away from football, the club's camógs continued to excel, retaining their senior title, further evidence of the overall health of the club. The fact that they, along with the underage football wing, are going so well, and drawing support from the overall club membership, also creates its own

Evan Charters clears his lines during the U12 Group 5 final against Gowna

U13 star Aaron Cooke

395

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crosserlough designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:51 Page 11

the crosserlough team who defeated castletara in the senior championship final at Kingspan Breffni Park

anyway, and the level of emigration responsible for running The Cube, seems to have slowed down a bit too. which was a huge success. “We knew what was coming and at “We also run a Stars of the Lough the end of the day, the players worked every Christmas in Crover House, this hard. They knew what they had to do is the fourth year of it and it's on again and they believed in themselves. Now this year on December 28.” they have to back it up. As with many rural clubs across the “It looks promising for the club country, the same names are because we have plenty of talent beginning to pop up on team sheets at coming on at underage level, from all levels. Crosserlough are in safe minor, U16 and a great U14 team. hands. There are a lot of very talented “To name just a few, Conor Rehill's footballers coming on and you would father plays on our senior team, he's hope they will make it to senior level U16. James and Peter Smith are sons but I suppose the big challenge is of Shay's, Dara McVeety's father John keeping them all in the country. played with us for years, David “The future looks bright anyway.” Shalvey's father Pat played, Eoin In a few years' time, that just might Cusack is a son of Sean's, Colin Lynch look like the under-statement of the is a son of Paddy, who played for us. season... The same families are still involved.” The challenge now is to take things to the next level. “Hopefully, I'd like to think that in the next three to five years we will be capable of challenging. After Ballinagh's win, we all have great hope, especially given how far we went this year, with a bit of luck we could have been in a county final. “The senior team was very young, the average age of the team that played Lavey the first day was around 23, son that augurs well. We should have no crosserlough team captain cian Boylan receives the U12 ramor`s gareth mannion finds his kick blocked by retirements this year group 5 cup from Brian seagrave (co. Youth Board) crosserlough`s cian Boylan and Peter smith

problem, albeit a welcome one. “At the moment we're planning on building a second field. We have 23 teams in the club between football, ladies football and camogie and we have teams right from the U6 Bumblebees, who play on Saturday mornings on the astro turf, up. “It's great but it puts massive pressure on the pitch, and we are struggling to cope, so the plan is to develop the second field in the next 12 to 18 months. “It takes a huge effort [to run the club]. We are the only integrated club in the county so raising finances is hard work because we're all drawing out of the same pot. We have a development committee who were

397


mountnugent designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:37 Page 1

MOUNTNUGENT

A

IN THE BLACK

fter 26 years in the treasurer's hot seat, Mountnugent's Peter Boylan is looking forward, rather than back. A couple of years back, Dublin footballer Barry Cahill left the north side of the capital and turned his jeep for Mountnugent to present some medals. Nothing unusual about that – county footballers donate a lot of their time in the winter months attending such functions, and Barry's father Dessie, a SFC medallist with Castlerahan in 1976, has a house beside the chapel in Mountnugent. What was notable, however, was that the kids in attendance flocked not to have their photo taken with a recent All-Ireland senior medallist, but with a player from down the road, one David Givney, a local hero whose achievements have put the famous club back on the map in recent seasons. Long-serving official Peter Boylan smiles at the memory of it. “David Givney would be a great role model, he'd go to most games, any time he'd be available he'd referee an underage game or he'd be

an umpire, he'd be there in some capacity,” says Boylan. “When there are presentations of anything, David is the one they look for, they don't look for anyone else! Barry Cahill was down a couple of years ago after Dublin won the AllIreland and they were all going to David for a photo, moreso than Barry.” Givney is a genuine diamond and his S availability is often the deciding factor T L U S 2013 RE in whether the Mountnugent senior team win on any given Sunday. Losing IFC nt e g u him to county, college and provincial tn n u o -13 1-10 M ugent commitments, then, as well as injury, tn Drumlane 2 n u o M -9 1-14 1 yoff la p l. re curtailed the club's season in a big way – Laragh Utd t ugen gh v Mountn u ch a in 2013. m lly a B “David was playing with DIT and us, 2 n io is ACFL Div and Cavan and Ulster. At the start of ntnugent u o M -8 0 1-8 the year we didn't have him for seven shandra Swanlinbar -4 3-12 Kille gent 2 t n e g u tn n u games or so and he was out for a tn Mou n u o M 2-11 3-8 game or two with injury, so it was a rnafean Laragh Utd o C 0 -1 1 4 nt 0-1 ls e a G n huge loss,” says Peter, looking back Mountnuge va a C nt 0-13 0-7 ng ru on a disappointing season resultsD Mountnuge 8 -1 1 nt 2-5 Mountnuge inkere wise for the 2012 junior finalists. ill K 1 -1 2 2 nt 1-1 gent u tn n u The hangover from that narrow Mountnuge o M 1-9 aught 1-13 ugh ro o b defeat to Laragh didn't help e ili a Munterconn B nt 0-9 2-17 linbar n a matters, either, as did the loss of w Mountnuge S -6 3 nt 3-18 some key players due to the Mountnuge untnugent o M -4 0 3 5-1 scourge of emigration. Killeshandra -10 1-16 Laragh Utd 2 t n e g u tn n u ntnugent u “We got to the junior final last Mo o M 1 -1 0 ht gh 1-11 year but we were actually terconnaug Bailieborou n u M 0 -1 1 nt 2-13 struggling for numbers this year, ountnugent Mountnuge 1-12 2-7 M n a fe a rn ugent o C tn there were five or six players n u o M 1 -16 1-1 Killinkere 2 nt gone to Australia and Canada e g u tn n u o ent Drung V M g u tn n u o M ls 1-9 3-16 Cavan Gae

398

David Givney

and players in college in France and America, so it's a struggle at the minute. “It would be a young enough panel but of the panel from the last year, there are five or six players gone between the ages of 18 and 23 or 24.” Despite losing that final, by a solitary point (0-10 to 2-3) to the Stradone men, Mountnugent opted to step up to the intermediate grade in any case, a decision which, with the benefit of hindsight, has been a blessing and a curse, but more of the former. They started the year under the management of Michael Tynan and finished with Dermot Brady and Mark Smith, two clubmen. “It was bad,” explains Boylan, “in the way that losing the junior final got everyone down, it was very hard on the boys, they took it very bad. Then David Givney wasn't with them at the start of the year and there were a few lads missing... Possibly they could have beaten Drumlane in the first [championship] match but when you lose a game things start to go down hill. “They had a good chance against Laragh in the next round as well. There are a lot of young players and if they go back down [at the time of writing, the club are preparing for a championship relegation play-off


mountnugent designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:37 Page 2

MOUNTNUGENT - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The Mountnugent senior team, front l/r: B O’Reilly, F Conaty, E Smyth, E Reilly, C Caffrey, S Smith, M Rehill, R Finnegan, T Brady, S Reilly, Ben Brunton. Back: G Barkey, J Adams, R Kearney, D Harte, L Hennessy, D Givney, L Smith, R Caffrey, T McCabe, T Hennessy, M Salvetta


mountnugent designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:41 Page 3

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mountnugent designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:41 Page 4

against Ballymachugh], there's nothing lost. They have the experience of one year of intermediate football and possibly could be stronger going back down to play Junior Championship next year.” Boylan's own association with the famous club goes back a lifetime. His father Peter, who passed away in 1997, was treasurer for a quarter of a century before handing the reins over to his son, who has been the incumbent in the 'family business' of balancing the GAA books since the mid-1980s. He has seen a lot of changes in that time. “Fundraising is a big thing in clubs now, it takes a lot of money to run any club. This would be my 26th year as treasurer of the club and my father was 25 years before me, so between the two of us we have 51 years done with the club. “It can be hard by times but you enjoy it other times. “I suppose the big difference is that it takes more money to run the club. It's more like a business now than it was

when I started out in 1986. A few thousand would run the club then, now without any loans, just for basic running of the club, you're talking about anything up to €30-40,000. “We spent some money on the clubrooms this year as well, and put up new lights. We spent some money on the new field, putting up lights, and that cost a lot of money. “It's a lot of money, every year. From when you start out in January, you have to be thinking about how you're going to get that money. And then if you want to do any development, you have to go more than that.” It looks like a job for life, too... “I'll probably have to die to get out of it!” jokes Peter. “They brought in a rule three or four years ago that they were going to do four-year stints for chairman, treasurer and secretary and when the third year was up, the rule was changed!” On the subject of fund-raising, Mountnugent excelled in 2013. “We had three fundraisers, a walk and cycle in May. That involved an 80km cycle through Virginia, Cavan

U16 league and championship finalists Blackwater Gaels

and back to Ballinagh and a walk around a block of 7km and a 30k cycle around Finea and back into Mountnugent. That was done in conjunction with Drogheda Orthopaedic Hospital, we donated money to them from that. “We had a golf classic in September which was very successful, in Crover, and we had a greyhound race night in September as well, which was very successful too.” Like all rural clubs, Mountnugent are spinning the wheel in a numbers game, and at the moment, they are not hitting the jackpot, although there are positive signs at the youngest underage levels. “Mountnugent, for the last few years have been joined with Munterconnaught and Maghera at U16 and minor as Blackwater for the last couple of years,” explains Peter. “Up until then we would have been fit to field an U16 and minor team on our own but numbers have decreaed. Back down to U10 and U12s, numbers have started to pick up again, but between that and U16, the numbers

Lauren McCabe keeps the ball with Saoirse Reilly

Ronan Kearney

Ciaran Caffrey with Daniel Harte

Eurich Reilly

401

Carol Kiernan presents Aishling Duffy with the cup


mountnugent designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 00:41 Page 5

The Girls U16 League champions

“When one batch of youngsters goes, when they talk on Facebook and so on and are doing well, another crowd goes. All the lads that went from Mountnugent were working. We had four or five players went to Australia a few years ago and got on well and set up their own businesses and that brings another one or two out. “But we'll keep on going and you never know, whether we are in junior or intermediate, if we can get our strongest team out, we will be alright.” With men like Peter Boylan, with half a century of family history on the club committee, toiling away in the background, you get the sense that the men from the Meath border won't go too far wrong.

are low and there are a lot of girls in the school compared to boys. We fielded five girls full-time on the U12 team this year.” At the back of it all, though, is the practised art of perserverence. Mountnugent keep on keeping on, with the same family names – the Caffreys, Lees, Lynchs, Boylans to mention just a few – popping up year after year. Who knows what next season holds... “I'd say we could be struggling for numbers next year but we possibly could have two or three players back from foreign colleges, and we have a few lads gone to New Zealand for the winter, they could be back in April or May. It's the same for every club, after this winter every club could be struggling for numbers.

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cootehill designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:30 Page 1

CAUGHT COLD BUT ALREADY WARMING TO 2014 COOTEHILL

C

ootehill Celtic’s season was defined by defeat to a Killian Clarke-inspired Shercock, but the future is still bright around Hugh O’Reilly Park. Larry McCluskey is one of the most positive individuals on the Breffni club scene. With a background in amateur dramatics, McCluskey – the last Cavanman to score a goal in an AllIreland final in Croke Park (the 1959 minor final) before Conor McClarey’s late strike in the 2011 U21 final – is an engaging character who always looks on the bright side. When he speaks, then, of the “disappointment” of Cootehill’s shock Intermediate Championship semi-final loss to Shercock this year, you’re inclined to listen. Having won the Division 2 league and lost the IFC final in a replay in 2012, the Celtics came into this year’s championship in the top two in the betting but a shock quarter-final defeat to

Joshua Hayes

neighbours Shercock – a rising force, it must be noted – crushed their dream. We’d be very disappointed,” admitted McCluskey frankly. IFC “The seniors, having been in two Cootehill h g 0-7 0-11 gh – u finals last year, had aspirations. We Bailieborou ro o b e ili a -7 0-11 B were happy enough to be around the Cootehill 3 l a fin rquarte middle of the league table because it semi-final Shercock – -6 2 -8 0 ill h was extremely difficult for us to get a Coote full team out early on and matches B 1 n io is ACFL Div were changed, pitches unplayable hill Celtic te o o C -8 2 0-9 on o g m Ballyhaise ru and so on, it was a very unsatisfactory D -9 eltic 0-8 1 Celtic ill Cootehill C h start to the season. te o o C -10 0-2 illygarry Drumalee 3 K “But we had prepared very well for 5 -1 2 -7 0 eltic Cootehill C tehill Celtic the championship, we had a good o o C -9 2 -6 Drumlane 0 buy-in and we had 26, 28, 30-plus -12 Redhills eltic 0-11 1 Cootehill C ill Celtic h te players training, and towards the o o C 0 0-1 gh Gowna 1-8 Crosserlou end of the season we had all our -5 0 0 -1 0 c elti ise Cootehill C key players, there was no 2-9 Ballyha -9 2 c lti e C ill Celtic Cootehill h te o o emigration or no serious injury, C -9 -9 0 c Killygarry 0 otehill Celti o C although there was in the semi2 -1 1 2 0-1 ne Drumgoon 0-8 Drumla 3 final because Brian Sherlock was -1 3 c lti e eltic Cootehill C Cootehill C unable to start. That was a big -6 1 2 -1 0 t s e Redhill 3 Belturb -1 2 5 blow to us because he has a big -1 3 c elti a Cootehill C 4 5-8 Gown -1 2 engine in the centre of the field. c lti e C Celtic Cootehill 5 Cootehill “The guys prepared very -1 2 -6 3 t e e rumale Belturb professionally, [manager] Donal c 2-12 0-8 D lti d e ye C la ill p h t te o n Coo hill Celtic gh V Coote Crosserlou

LTS 2013 RESU

403

McArdle and his two selectors Kenny Connolly and Johnny Farrelly had prepared the team very well, on the fitness and skills and, we thought, psychologically for match readiness. We thought all the boxes were ticked – but there was one that wasn’t, and that was Shercock.” With a potent forward line including the likes of minor star Tom Hayes, Stevie O’Connor and Enda Hessin, and bolstered by county men John McCutcheon (midfield) and Josh Hayes, along with talented teenage defender John Carney, Cootehill looked to have, on paper, the strongest side in the division. A forensic analysis of the seasondefining loss to Shercock, however, reveals that complacency may have been a slight issue. “Well, certainly not on the club or management side, whether it was on the players’ side, there might have been a little of it and a failure to realise the threat that Shercock was,” admitted McCluskey.


cootehill designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:31 Page 2

Cootehill’s senior hurlers who made it to the county final, front l/r: Caoimhin Carney, Barry McMenamin, David Corrigan, Eddie Gaffney, Fiachra Hughes, John Carney (captain), Fintan Roche, Joshua Crowe, Joe Kelly, Gary Kiernan, James Fay-Kelly, Gary Tiernan. Back: Amhlaoibh Brady, Aaron Cosgrove, Shane Tiernan, James McKitterick, Brian Crowe, Alex Hamilton, Dermie Connolly, Killian Brady, Jason Taylor, Sean Smith, Aiden Fitzpatrick, Kenny Connolly, Gabriel Shalvey (chairman).

“When our lads were away playing in Belturbet one Sunday in the league, I had watched the Shercock-Drung match in Cootehill, it was a doubleheader, and I could see the quality on display that day, I could see a good

team there and I was impressed by Shercock on that occasion. “Nevertheless, a few of the supporters would have been making warning signals about Shercock. So perhaps there was a little complacency

On duty for the Under 13 decider against Redhills in Breffni Park

but definitely in terms of the preparation that was done on the training pitch, the team talks and the analyisis of our own performances, all that was gone through and understood and professionally handled.

Fiachra Hughes

John McCutcheon

Jessie Holland

Kian O’Connor

404

Jack Rutludge


cootehill designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:31 Page 3

COOTEHILL - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

The Cootehill seniors, front l/r: Kenny Connolly, Keelan McCarney, James Mc Kitterick, Caomhin Carney, Sean O’Connor, Stevie O’Connor, John Carney, Barry McGahan (captain), Enda Hessin, Tom Hayes, Dean Connolly, Mark Mullen, Dara Carney, Eoin Roche. Back: Donal McAdam (manager), Ciaran Fox, John McCutcheon, Shay Hawe, Colm Smith, Niall McMullen, Neil McCluskey, Damien Sherlock, Glen Nulty, Ryan Carroll, Joshua Hayes, Gerard Argue, Cathal McCabe, Ciaran Boyle, Dermie Connolly, Aidan McCabe, Brian Sherlock, John Farrelly, Larry McCluskey, Aaron Cosgrove


cootehill designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:31 Page 4

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cootehill designed_Layout 1 06/11/2013 12:31 Page 5

Tadgh Smith

Cootehiill's Shane Sexton with Caolan Reilly of St. Finbars

Barry McMenamin

Fintan Roche

Aiden Fitzpatrick

Under 14 Division 4 finalists

“On the day, at half-time, even though we weren’t playing well, we had five scores to their three, we had 15 men to their 14 and we had the wind in the second half. You’d say to yourself, we may have to grind it out but this should be a victory. But it wasn’t. “The Shercock boys really stepped up in the second half and at times it looked as if it was up who was a man down rather than them.” Defeat in a semi-final is a bitter pill to swallow always but, on the plus side, several underage sides went all the way to finals which, said the chairman, was a massive boost. The same old surnames which have back-boned the club for a generation and more are starting to pop up again, along with fresh faces. Who is to say that the next Charlie Gallagher isn’t wearing the famous hoops at U8 or U10 level? Certainly, tangible progress is being made. “I would have been very pleased with the underage section, we reached finals in U10, U13 and U14 and we’re in a semifinal of the U14 Championship,” stated McCluskey, who took over the reins from former chairman Sean Shields. “I would definitely compliment our underage coaches and players and parents for their support, that’s a big plus. At U16 and minor, we amalgamated with Drumgoon Eire Og and there was good co-operation between the clubs and that was another big plus, although they didn’t make it to a final. But there are positive signs.” Again, however, all is framed by the devastating IFC defeat. There is a real sense that the wreckage of that loss is still

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smouldering in Cootehill, and it could make or break what is a mostly young squad, laden with potential. McCluskey seems to think so. “To finish on the note we did at adult level with a defeat in the semi-final was regrettable, it’s not the end of season we would have wished for. We thought we would have driven on to a final, once there you either win it or you lose it but at least you’re in a final, and the fact that we weren’t was is a downer.” Off the field, the Cootehill club is in rude health, with the hurling section thriving and becoming the dominant force in the small ball code, with a senior team entered in that grade this season, too. Financially, and every other way, the club is on a sound footing. “We’re not in any kind of serious financial trouble the way you read about some clubs, membership is stable and holding and we’re not suffering from emigration of players so I would say we’re in a good position going forward for next year,” said Larry, who recently featured in RTE’s September Sundays book, a compilation of the best GAA-related features from the popular Sunday Miscellany show. “A little worry is that some of our senior players are coming towards the end of their careers but we have good young players coming up, and in fact we thought we had a nice balance this year, but it didn’t click in the semi-final. “Our forwards, who had been spectacular on occasion, failed to spark. Although they had prepared well and put an enormous amount into training for the last month before that semi-final.


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“But we are in a good position going forward. I would be hopeful of success at intermediate level and there is also some talk about a Drumgoon-Cootehill senior team next year. “That’s not advanced in any sense or agreed but there’s discussion and I suppose there might be an attraction for some players to be playing in the senior rather than in the intermediate ranks, but that’s all to play for over the next couple of months. Internally in the club, that will have to be debated and discussed.” Just as accountants scan straight to the bottom line of a balance sheet, so is a club’s relative strength judged by the success of its senior team, which is often unfair. While Cootehill, on the bare face of it, regressed slightly at adult level – and even that may be a harsh analysis – the highlight of their season, for the personable chairman

at least, was the continued growth at grassroots level. Mol an óige and all that… “The highlight of the year for the club would definitely be the success of the underage section,” he beamed. “We had two summer camps, one in football and one in hurling, both of them attracting between 70 and 100 players. The underage section would have been the stars this year, even though they didn’t lift silverware, at least they’re knocking on the door, which is a positive sign for the future.” The flagship intermediate team will be back, possibly without a couple of the older campaigners, but there is no reason to believe that the wheels have come off their quest for the Gilroy Cup. It’s six decades since Cootehill were in the middle of their three-in-a-row of senior titles under the stewardship of Hughie O’Reilly – after whom the current club grounds are named – and

there still remains a waft of ambition in the air. Cootehill want to be back firing among the big guns and McCluskey is optimistic that day will arrive sooner rather than later. “There will be a change of management at senior level, the lads have all completed a three-year term and we will be reviewing how we go forward in terms of senior management next year, whether or not we have an external manager or someone from within, all that has to be discussed,” he explained. “But overall I would be confident about next year. The outcome at senior level was disappointing but the success of the underage section in the club was fantastic. We’ll put our shoulder to the wheel again next year and see where it takes us.” Hasn’t that always been the Cootehill way?

The Cootehill Celtic minor team which claimed Monaghan league honours, front l/r: Enda Shalvey, Ronan Brady, Fiachra Hughes, Stephen Shalvey, Niall Duffy, Alex Hamilton (Captain), Caoimhin Carney, James McKay, Joshua Crowe, Conor Shalvey (in blue hoodie). Back: Odhran O’Reilly, Fintan Roche, Gareth O’Reilly, Gary Tiernan, Amhlaoibh Brady, Dermie Connolly, James McKitterick, Aaron Cosgrove, Adam Crowe, Stephen McCooey, Ryan Rogers, Seamus F Hughes (coach)

Tom Hayes

Colm Smith

Prior to the Under 12 decider against Cornafean

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BRINGING HOME THE BACON SPECIAL FEATURE

a

Pat runs pig farms in mulhuddart and rathangan

long with cork, cavan is the biggest pig producing county in ireland. the industry makes a massive contribution to the local economy, but producers are facing constant challenges as iFa (irish Farmers’ association) Pigs and Pig meat committee chairman Pat O’Flaherty explains. The IFA Pigs and Pig Meat Committee is the representative body for the country’s 200 pig producers, many of whom are based in Cavan. The Kiernan family in Kilnaleck, for example, produces 330,000 finished pigs every year which accounts for 16 per cent of the overall market. In all, there are 300 pig farms which, combined with the feed mills, give employment to 8,000 people. Approximately 60 per cent of Irish bacon and pork products are exported. “The industry is a fantastic success story for Ireland,” Kildare man Pat enthuses. “Irish bacon and pork has an excellent reputation

Pat with, l/r: nephew Padraic and sons Evan, Eoin and Emmett

around the world and we want to keep it that way. Compared to other farming sectors, the pig industry is relatively small. Everyone knows everyone in it. There is huge scope for growth. On a recent trip to Holland – which is a country roughly the same size as Munster – I discovered they have one million sows. That is a huge figure compared to our 150,000 sows.” Key policy areas and areas of activity for the IFA Pigs Committee include: pig prices and weekly market analysis;

Pat O’Flaherty with his nephew Padraic (left) and son Eoin

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meetings with processors to maintain pressure to return a fair price with both suppliers and committee members; promoting and organising the export of weaners to continent and slaughter pigs to Northern Ireland. The IFA has also commissioned a study to look at the cost elements in pig feed and identify ways of reducing costs. IFA pressure also succeeded in getting the Pig Industry Review study completed and since its publication it has organised a number of meetings to progress this issue with a development group established to identify the core issues and the best option for all producers going forward. In addition, the IFA has made significant progress on pig health, welfare and environmental issues. The Pigs and Pig Meat Committee Chairman also welcomes the recent announcement that SuperValu is to become the first retailer in Ireland to use the world’s first national DNA database for pigs, which will allow it to provide a guarantee to customers


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cavan putting pressure on kildare

that all of its bacon is Irish. Recognising potential flaws in paper-based traceability systems discovered after the pig meat dioxin crisis, the IFA partnered with IdentiGen in Ireland to build the DNA TraceBack system for boars. All Irish breeding boars are DNA tagged, which is then used to generate a DNA-ID, a unique code which identifies the animal, its offspring and subsequently all produce from these animals.

assurance programme, and both Bord Bia and the IFA collect and test samples from SuperValu products on a monthly basis to ensure compliance with country of origin labelling. “The idea behind this system is to increase the sales of Irish product in the domestic and export markets by providing the consumer with a cast-iron guarantee, backed by science, that the product is of Irish origin,” Pat continues. “There has been a lot of mislabelling by supermarkets over the years with regard to their pork and bacon products. With this system, we can determine whether the product is Irish or

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not. What we would say to the big retailers is ‘if it’s not Irish, put it on the packet’ and let the customers decide whether to buy it or not. “We would always encourage consumers to only buy produce with the Bord Bia logo on them. By buying Irish produce, you are supporting Irish jobs.” Since succeeding Tim Cullinan as Pigs and Pig Meat Committee Chairman at the start of the year, two of the biggest issues O’Flaherty has faced relate to the rising cost of pig feed and an outbreak of PRRSV (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus) at Hermitage Genetics in Kilkenny, which is Ireland’s largest producer of pig semen. “It affected about 50 farms, which is 25 per cent of the overall total,” he remembers of last April’s blue ear outbreak. “As you could imagine, it was a worrying time, but we managed to pull through it and things are running smoothly again. Another issue has been the dramatic increase in the cost of pig meal. It has doubled in price and this hasn’t been passed on by the pig producers. There are always new challenges to be faced and this is one of them.” The role of IFA Pigs and Pig Meat Committee Chairman is a voluntary one which Pat will serve for two years. His day job involves running separate pig farms in Mulhuddart and Rathangan, which are about the same distance from his home in Maynooth. He also has close ties with Cavan, having worked in the county for many years. “I started out in this business with McCabe’s in Crosserlough. I rented a farm from them about 20 years ago and then from Philip Farrelly in Kilnaleck. Subsequent to that, I spent 14 years working as a sales rep for Kavanagh’s Mill in Maynooth and about 80 per cent of their business was carried out in Cavan, so I have an affinity with the county,” he explains. “It’s a major pig producing county. There is a big concentration of pig farms in Cavan and Cork, and the rest of the farms are scattered throughout the country.” With Cavan and Kildare people sharing a great love for

cavan football is on an upwards rise

Gaelic football, Pat says he always feels at home whenever he visits the Breffni County. “There is a huge passion for football in the two counties. I would love to see both Cavan and Kildare being successful in 2014. Cavan had a great run in the championship this year and are definitely improving. Both counties have had a fair bit of success at underage level in recent years, but it’s hard to get across the line at senior level. They don’t seem to have the same belief or killer instinct as the likes of Dublin and Kerry have. But hopefully that will eventually come and they’ll have success at the highest level,” he concludes.

Pat O’Flaherty is iFa Pigs and Pig meat committee chairman

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BUDDY KIERNAN MILLING PROUD OF ITS CAVAN ROOTS SPECIAL FEATURE

T

Part of the management team at Kiernan Milling, l/r: Garrett Carroll, Ciaran Nally, Mark Kiernan and Sean McGlynn

here is hardly a person in Cavan who hasn’t heard of Kiernan Milling whose distinctive blue and gold-coloured articulated trucks have been a familiar sight on the county’s roads for over 30 years. Although based in Granard, Co. Longford, the company has strong links with the Breffni County as commercial and technical manager Sean McGlynn explains. Recently rebranded Buddy Kiernan Milling in memory of its long-time driving force who sadly passed away in 2010, the company has grown from a small operation in 1978 to the largest single-site feed mill in the Republic of Ireland with a turnover in excess of €100 million. Born in New York to Leitrim parents,

Patrick ‘Buddy’ Kiernan was 14 when the family moved back to Ballinamore. In the early 1950s, ‘Buddy’ purchased a public house and grocery shop in Kilnaleck, at the back of which he reared pigs. It was from these humbling beginnings that ‘Buddy’ became one of the biggest pig producers in Europe. ‘Buddy’ had 12 children (eight sons and four daughters), eight of who are now involved in pig production. The family as a whole has approximately 24,000 sows and produces in excess of 550,000 finished pigs every year and which also operates pig units in Cavan, Longford, Westmeath, Sligo and Tipperary. This business accounts for 16 per cent of the Irish pig production market Kiernan’s involvement in the pig business led to him establishing HKM

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Milling along with Benny Maguire and Peter & Pat Hanley in 1978. In 1988, Buddy became sole owner of the Granard-based company, which was later renamed Kiernan Milling. As well as contributing enormously to the economies of both Longford and Cavan, ‘Buddy’ was a generous sponsor to local sporting organisations. The GAA was particularly close to his heart which isn’t surprising considering he played football for Ballinamore, Mullahoran, Ballymachugh and the Leitrim juniors in his younger days. He rarely missed a game whether it was club or county and the Kiernan family continues to have a close affiliation with the Ballymachugh club to this day. Indeed, players from Ballymachugh, including seniors, underage and ladies, provided a guard of honour at


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Best Wishes To Buddy Kiernan Milling 418


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his funeral. As well as being a real pillar of the local community, ‘Buddy’ was a staunch Fine Gael supporter and was a former chairman of Cavan County Council. He is survived by his wife Teedie; sons Padraig, Brendan, Briney, Antone, John, Kevin, Donagh and Mark; and daughters Marion, Breda Cullivan, Noeleen Brady and Patricia Donohoe. ‘Buddy’ has left a lasting legacy in the shape of Buddy Kiernan Milling which has been ‘encouraging growth’ with animal feedstuffs for over 30 years. The state-of-the-art mill in Granard is

Kiernan Milling is based in Granard

one of the largest of its kind in Ireland, producing a wide range of products for the agricultural industry. During this time, Kiernan’s have built and maintained a reputation with its customers for producing quality animal feeds. Kiernan’s produce one-third of the compound pig feed in this country. In 2007, they expanded into the ruminant feed sector, which covers cattle and sheep, and produced 100,000 tonnes in the past 12 months. Kiernan Milling is also a major producer of Turkey, Broiler and Layer feed.

The mill currently employs 60 staff with 16 new positions set to be created in the near future with the opening of a new €10 million pellet mill which will bring overall feed capacity to over 500,000 tons. Kiernan Milling has grown significantly since it purchased Stewart’s Animal Feeds in Boyle, Co. Roscommon in June 2007. Like Kiernan Milling, Stewart’s have a long tradition in the animal feed market with a strong market share in Connacht, the Midlands and North-East. At the time of the takeover, Stewarts was producing approximately 55,000

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Best Wishes To Buddy Kiernan Milling 420


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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Teedie Kiernan at the announcement of a Eu6m investment in Kiernan Milling and the creation of 15 new jobs

tonnes, but had increased to 100,000 tonnes before it was closed down last April and brought into the Granard mill. Sean McGlynn recalls: “Stewart’s have a great name, particularly in the west of the country, so we felt it was

important to continue that. They had been trying to sell the mill for some time so it was a good deal for both us and them. However, the mill was old and becoming increasingly difficult to operate efficiently, so we decided the

The familiar blue and gold-coloured Kiernan Milling trucks

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best thing to do was take the operations into our own site.� Despite the problems facing the milling sector, Buddy Kiernan Milling has gone from strength to strength. Earlier this year, An Taoiseach Enda


kiernan milling designed_Layout 1 05/11/2013 13:32 Page 8

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Kenny announced the aforementioned pellet mill development which is expected to be fully operational in August 2014. The aim is to expand rapidly into the sector in time to compete in the market for the ending of milk quotas in 2015. Kiernan’s new coarse feed plant and bagging operation will be commissioned in the coming weeks. “While we appreciate that there is an opportunity there with the ending of milk quotas, and we hope to take full advantage of that, there are other reasons behind the expansion into the ruminant sector. It’s a growing sector and it also allows us to diversify our offerings,” Sean says. One of the benefits of having a family pig production business is that it affords Kiernan’s the opportunity to test new produce before it is launched on the market. “Having a pig feed business and a large pig farm enterprise under the one family is beneficial for both sides. We can test and trial new measurements and the pig farm side of it are guaranteed supplies quickly.” With Cavan being one of the two leading pig production counties in the country (Cork being the other), many of Kiernan Milling’s customers are on their doorstep. Kiernan’s aren’t slow about

giving back business to the farming community either with approximately 80 per cent of the wheat and barley used as ingredients in the meal being sourced within Ireland. Buddy Kiernan Milling is registered for HACCP and is also independently audited by UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme). All these quality standards are audited annually and help ensure that they maintain the high quality feed customers have trusted for many years.

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Along with a range of pig, poultry, ruminant and extruded products, Kiernan’s have also developed a new aspect of their business with the establishment of Kiernan Animal Health. This is an ‘in-house’ veterinary service and retail animal store which supplies remedies to existing customers in the pig and poultry sectors. Both services have been approved and are regularly audited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food.


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SERVING CAVAN WITH DISTINCTION FROM NEXT DOOR SPECIAL FEATURE

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s the driving force behind Newtowngore Engineering, which is located just a stone’s throw from the Cavan border, John McCartin provides an invaluable service to farmers – and others – in the Breffni County. We caught up with the man himself to discuss the family business and in particular his close association with all things Cavan… There aren’t too many pig farmers in Cavan who don’t know John McCartin. John’s company, Newtowngore Engineering designs, fabricates, supplies and erects high-quality farm and industrial buildings nationwide (as well as the UK) and their buildings are dotted all across the Breffni County landscape. Reflecting on the genesis of the business, John told us: “The company was started by my father Tommy and uncle Joe back in 1969, starting out as McCartin Brothers. At that time, they

Newtowngore Engineering designs, fabricates, supplies and errects farm and industrial buildings

would have got into the pig industry and they were building a lot of piggeries. They also had their own mill.” The McCartins’ reputation for erecting magnificent piggeries grew rapidly and in the early ‘70s they had the distinction of building the biggest piggery in the world. They began to work on other agricultural and industrial buildings and were soon busy all over the local area –

The stand at Sean O’Heslin’s

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Ballyjamesduff, Drumshanbo, Mohill and everywhere in between. As their popularity spread, work was secured at Dublin Airport and, eventually, nationwide. “Through the ‘80s we diversified into mainstream agricultural buildings, slatted sheds, hay sheds and also a lot of Euro-subsidised farm buildings. We were flat out doing those for a number of years,” John continues. “But we kept doing the piggeries and


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were erecting those as far away as Newcastle in England. We were doing a lot of work in Cavan, too. We’ve been working with Kiernans for over 30 years and Luke Bogue for over 25 years as well as King Pork in Ballinagh, Richard Allison and the Corrigans, Paul and Johnny. Fortunately, people I worked with in the

Another project completed

past continued to work with us – and hopefully they will continue to do so in the future.” As well as being at the very cutting edge of the market, Newtowngore Engineering is also an extremely innovative company. For example, they pioneered the fully-automated wet-feed system, which is now in widespread use on pig farms all Best Wishes To Newtowngore Engineering, From around the country. In addition to producing topquality industrial and agricultural steel-framed structures from CALL US FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTE their County Leitrim base, You Will Not Be Disappointed! We Deliver Nationwide! Newtowngore Engineering also provides a wide range of steel products and services as well as supplying and installing all types

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of roofing systems. They also provide gates, barriers, crushes, doors, railings and penning and can repair existing buildings. While agricultural work (both building and general engineering services) is maintained as the core product, some of the high-profile industrial projects completed by Newtowngore Engineering include Sligo Racecourse, An Post sorting units, various schools, the Government buildings in Carrickon-Shannon, Ballymote Fire Station in Sligo, a stand for Sean O’Heslins GAA club in Ballinamore and Poolboy Industrial Estate in Galway. The main catchment area would be Leitrim, Cavan, Sligo and Longford but John works on a regular basis for famers nationwide, including a project in Cork at the time of writing. At present, gainful employment is provided to a crew of 25, which is certainly something to be extremely proud of in the current economic climate. True to form, John’s main concern is to keep his staff in their jobs as opposed to trying to make ridiculous amounts of money:


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“Margins are tight and profits are not there anymore,” he notes. “But, as long as you have a turnover and no losses, there is tremendous satisfaction in having a team of people there who are motivated, who do their job well and help us maintain our good name by providing an excellent service. The good times come in waves so we’re happy just to keep things ticking over until the economy turns the corner again. It’s just a matter of sitting tight and holding in there. We had it good in the past and we are very well established so I’m confident that we can hold on indefinitely.” As for the vital importance of County Cavan to his operation, John adds: “Cavan is literally our back door and any work we get there is a real bonus because we don’t have far to travel. Cavan farmers have been very good to us over the years and we really appreciate that. Farmers in Cavan are careful but progressive. Any customers we have dealt with in Cavan have been great men to deal with and they have invariably been repeat customers. There’s a great work ethic in Cavan and you have to admire and respect that.” Outside of business, John – like his father and uncle before him – has also decided to serve his local community through politics. A member of Leitrim County Council, the Fine Gael councillor explains: “My father was a TD, a Senator, an MEP and also served as the shadow Minister for Agriculture. There has been a family tradition of civic duty there and I have been unable to ignore the call.” The family business still stands strong today despite the efforts of the

leader of a particular administration to crush it under his boot: “I can say without hesitation or fear of contradiction that our family business has suffered massively because of our involvement in politics. It cost our family its place in the business world … and I suppose I’m proof that people never learn from history! “The bottom line is that if you are born with a sense of civic duty and an interest in how the world works, then you will be drawn to public life.” John is a first-time county councillor, having been elected in 2009. “With the constituency and local electoral area expanding, I realise I can look forward with confidence to no more than the next year. After that, my future is at the whim of the electorate.” Any inclination

to run for a seat in the Dail? “Well, we’ll have to jump the next ditch first. If I get over that and the party comes calling, I would answer their call.” The MD of Newtowngore Engineering isn’t blind to the bad name that politics in Ireland has attracted in recent times. He’s a realist and accepts that a few bad apples have pretty much spoiled things for everyone: “Politics has a bad reputation and some of that is deserved. As a young councillor, it can be very difficult to deal with the levels of cynicism, suspicion and negativity out there in the electorate. We can all be tarred with the same brush and the reality is that it’s driving good people away from civic duty. “To be honest, my own family would question my sanity for getting involved, especially given our family history of being trampled on by a political administration with total disregard for the 300 people who were working here in 1981 when Charlie Haughey became Taoiseach and my father took his seat in the Dail.”

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YOUNG LADIES ARE ULSTER’S FINEST U16 LADIES

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ollowing their historic All-Ireland success of 2012, Cavan’s Under 16 Ladies had a lot to live up to in the past year when delivered more silverware to the Breffni County with victory over Monaghan in the Ulster championship final. To say that Cavan ladies football is in for a bright future would be somewhat of an understatement. The Breffni women backed up an All-Ireland Under 16 success in 2012 with Ulster triumphs at Under 16 and 14 level in 2013, all before the senior ladies team created history in September by capturing the All-Ireland intermediate championship crown with victory over Tipperary at Croke Park. These are indeed heady times for Cavan ladies and many Breffni supporters will be hoping that the best is yet to come for a county that had just made the long-awaited jump to the senior ranks of the TG4 AllIreland football championship. In 2013, Cavan ladies’ underage fraternity competed in three Ulster finals, delivering two titles back within the Breffni borders. In May, Cavan’s minor ladies, backed-boned by the All-Ireland winners of 2012, reached the Ulster championship final, where they’d meet a fancied Donegal side at First Ulsters Park in Ballyconnell. Both teams deserve great credit for a superb game, despite the horrible

The Ulster U16 champions

weather, and the large crowd where glued to proceedings throughout. Over the 60 minutes the game had everything including passion, tension, two penalties, a sin binning, posts and crossbars hit and some wonderful play by both defenders and forwards. It was Donegal that got off the mark first with a couple of points from Shannon Mc Groddy and Sadhbha Medlar but then in the seventh minute Cavan where awarded a penalty. Corner forward Emma Duffy expertly struck the spot kick and keeper Karen Ward had no chance as the ball whizzed by her. Beth Farrelly-Magee then extended the Breffni lead as she fired over from close range. Donegal stayed in the game courtesy of their

Neasa Byrd receives the Ulster U16 Cup

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midfielders. Roisin Curran and Emer Lafferty both fired over to level the match entering the second quarter. From then until the end of the firsthalf, the game belonged to Cavan. Emma Duffy sent over a free and Farrelly-Magee added her second point. With just eight minutes of the half left the Breffni girls were then awarded a second penalty. This time Ward did get a hand to Duffy’s strike and pushed it over the bar for another Cavan point. Centre-forward Aisling Sheridan then received her temporary marching orders but despite being down to 14 players for the next ten minutes the Cavan side dug deep and finished the half with another point, this time from lively midfielder Nicole Fleming, leaving the score at 1-5 to 04 in the Blues’ favour. Early in the second-half Duffy brought her tally to 1-3 with a sweet point but then disaster struck as Donegal hit three goals in the space of 12 minutes. Substitute Amber Barrett, an Irish soccer international, hit two of them while nippy cornerforward Kathy McLaughlin notched the other. Sarah McCabe responded with a Cavan point but Donegal were not getting all the breaks and a further two goals followed from Barrett. The Milford forward then brought her personal tally for twenty minutes play to 4-1 when she pointed from an awkward angle. Centre-forward Blaithnaid Mc


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The Cavan U14 Ladies team receive the provincial trophy from Ulster President Joe Lagan after winning the Ulster final against Monaghan at Templeport

Laughlin found the net however she was somewhat fortunate as her tame effort skidded on the wet ground past a stranded Holly Lynch. Cavan, to their credit, fought to the end and were rewarded with a goal and a point from Aoibheann Kiernan. The last say of the game, however, went to Donegal captain Emer Lafferty who pointed from 40 metres. The defeat was a heart-breaking one for the young women to take, but the county’s Under 16 players would be given the opportunity to make up for the disappointment after comprehensively winning their five group games to advance to the Ulster A final against neighbours Monaghan. Under the guidance of Mullahoran native Fergal Brady, who was ably assisted by Denise Buggy, Patricia Reilly and Dessie Cahill, the team hit the ground running against their Farney counterparts to produce an excellent performance which clinched the provincial title on a 3-8 to 1-9 score-line and sent them into an All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin. Played at the Donaghmore/Ashbourne club grounds in Co Meath, Cavan ran into a haymaker against the young capital women which saw them bow out to a heavy defeat, but their season would nonetheless still be considered a success having added another trophy to the cabinet. While disappointed, Brady himself said after the defeat that he is confident that the team will continue

to progress in the years to come. “The last three years I’ve been involved has been great,” he said. “We won an Ulster ‘B’ two, three years ago, and then last year to win the Ulster ‘B’ and then go on to win the All-Ireland ‘B’ (was great). Then this year to make the step up again to win the Ulster ‘A’. It has been a great rollercoaster for us. I’m happy the way things went. “Not happy with the way today worked out. That’s just the way life goes. We’ve still stuff to work on. We said it at the start of the year to try and

Emer Corcoran during the U14 final against Monaghan

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win Ulster. Next year they’ll hopefully push on to win an All-Ireland ‘A’. The experience of this year will help them out,” added the Mullahoran footballer. In the weeks after the defeat there would be some consolation for Cavan as Neasa Byrd would earn recognition as Ulster’s Under 16 ‘Player of the Year’ for efforts with her county which would be seen as a fitting honour for such a talented player. If Cavan are to achieve their AllIreland dream again at Under 16 level next year, Brady and his selectors can look to some talented Under 14 players coming through the ranks which also captured the Ulster title with victory over Monaghan in the summer. However, Cavan's dreams of an U14 All Ireland title were dashed in the first 30 minutes of their semi-final at Ashbourne/Donaghmore as Kildare settled the best and outscored the Breffni side by 3-8 to 1-0. The Cavan girls, to their credit, put in tremendous work in the second-half, never giving up and playing with guts and determination to the final whistle. However, a 14-point deficit just proved too big of a mountain to climb for this exceptionally talented bunch of girls. It was Cavan who opened the scoring in the first minute when a long ball into the forward line found Leanne Kieran who beat her marker and coolly finished to the corner of the net. This seemed to be the perfect start but perhaps it was just the wakeup call the hot favourites needed as they kept Cavan scoreless for the


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remainder of the half. Kildare had the scoreboard back level within six minute with three quick-fire points, two from Aine Nash and great team move finished by Nicola Dooley. Kildare then got their first goal of the half when a long ball in was not dealt with by the Cavan defence and was finished to the net by Kayleigh Humphries. The Lilywhites extended their lead further through the ever lively Nash with two more points before Roisin Forde found the net for her team’s second goal of the game on seventeen minutes. Cavan at this stage were struggling to get ball into

Kildare started the second half just as they finished the first with three points in quick succession from Nash, Humphries and Stapleton. Cavan got their first point on the scoreboard through a Leanne Kiernan free on seven minutes and goal straight after from Rebecca O’Reilly gave the girls in blue some hope. Cavan needed to push on from this goal but instead their opponents came straight down the field and when Stapleton caught her own shot which rebounded of the crossbar she was hauled to the ground and a penalty was awarded. She dusted herself off and calmly slotted

score of the game. Kildare have their goalkeeper to thank that the score-line was not closer at the end as she pulled off some magnificent saves in the second half. The Cavan girls and management, which consisted of Tony Reilly, David Daly, Mick Flynn, Vanessa Brady, Eileen Brown and Maureen Lynch, can be very proud of their achievements to date with some fine displays in the Ulster Championship, the highlight being bringing an Ulster A title back to the Breffni county, and if these girls keep up the good work and the underage success continues in Cavan

Sarah McCabe rounds Kaneshia McKinney of Donegal in the Ulster MFC final

their scoring forwards as Kildare had dropped a sweeper back in front of the full-forward line. Further points from Humphries and Kate Hannon extended the lead and when Hannon again received the ball and rounded her player before firing to the roof of the net it looked like it was not going to be Cavan’s day. Kildare introduced Aoife Stapleton with three minutes remaining in the half and she immediately got on the scoreboard to leave it 3-8 to 1-0 at the break.

the kick to top corner of the net. With 15 minutes left to play the Breffni girls came alive and played some outstanding football which began with a goal from Ciara Finnegan and was quickly followed by two Phillipa Watters points. Kate Hannon got Kildare's last score of the day in the 21st minute with an excellent long range point. The final 10 minutes belonged to the girls in blue and a goal from Sinead McGovern reduced the deficit further but this was to be the last

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hopefully they'll be bringing an AllIreland title down the M3 in the not too distant future. Cavan (U14 All-Ireland semi-final v Kildare): Gemma Lawlor; Maria Brady, Dearbhla McGovern, Raminta Ivankeuiciute; Emer Corcoran, Emily Daly, Emer Kelly; Ciara Finnegan (12), Courtney Renihan; Andrea O’Reilly, Phillipa Watters (0-2), Rebecca O’Reilly (1-0); Leanne Kiernan (1-2), Sinead McGovern (1-0), Michaela Fitzpatrick. Sub: Saoirse Maguire.


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Cian Mackey’s splendid season for Cavan saw him nominated for an All Star. Below are fellow nominees from left to right: Lorcan Mulvey (London), Killian Clarke and Martin Dunne


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SPECIAL FEATURE

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MEN OF STEEL

perating out of Draperstown in Derry, TirCon Engineering boasts four decades of excellence in the fabrication of steel-framed poultry, dairy and beef units. Many examples of the company’s exceptional products and stellar workmanship are located on farms throughout County Cavan. ‘Breffni Blue’ caught up with founder / proprietor Paul McGovern to get an insight into the company and the full range of services provided. Tir-Con Engineering is a design-andbuild company with an international reputation for constructing and delivering the best steel-framed poultry, dairy and beef units available in Ireland today. With almost 40 years’ experience in its highly-specialised field of expertise, Tir-Con’s reputation for quality and reliability precedes it, with an army of highly-satisfied customers located across the island of Ireland - including County Cavan, of course, which is synonymous with the poultry industry. In addition to the aforementioned units, Tir-Con Engineering also specialises in industrial buildings, which are also engineered to customer’s exact specification. Tir-Con has also expanded successfully into other construction areas including equestrian centres (having designed and built many equestrian units of varying sizes throughout Northern Ireland.) and roof building. Quality solutions are offered on-site, wherever they are required. Each and every project, irrespective of size, commands personal involvement from the experienced TirCon team from conception to completion, and every solution is delivered to exact customer requirements. Tir-Con’s customers know they can rely on the company’s depth of knowledge and decades of experience to achieve the best results through every stage of the project from producing plans and drawings, organising site meetings or liaising with sub-contractors right through to construction.

Tir-Con Engineering boast four decades of experience

As each farmer and producer has his own set of individual requirements, a set budget and a unique way of doing things, a flexible and versatile service is offered, with bespoke solutions commonplace. By working in close partnership with its clients and possessing a keen awareness of new changes and practices in the industry, Tir-Con Engineering is ideally placed to provide a building solution that will make a real difference to its clients’ bottom line. In the current economic

climate, this is of paramount importance. Tir-Con Engineering is based in the heart of Northern Ireland in the County Derry village of Draperstown, which nestles in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains. As the Irish market leader in steelframed poultry house construction, TirCon Engineering continues to develop new ideas to improve both production and bird welfare. Tir-Con solely produces poultry units of steel-framed

The company has an army of hugely-satisfied customers

Poultry Sheds

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construction, which hold numerous advantages over their timber-frame equivalent. These benefits include increased capacity, lower maintenance requirements and ease of cleaning, while the units are also environmentally-friendly. Working in conjunction with UK multiples, Tir-Con - along with the poultry processors - has pioneered a new bird-friendly house known as the Select House. This incorporates natural daylight which can be controlled automatically. Other recent developments include PVC roofing, which increases the lifespan of the house, while Tir-Con’s innovative design uses fewer joints, which minimises air leakage and heat loss. Over the years. Paul McGovern, the driving force behind Tir-Con Engineering, has forged strong relations with numerous poultry processors and farmers in the Breffni County – people he has the height of respect for. “We have a lot of repeat customers,” he confirms. “We build to the farmer’s exact specification and offer the full package – design, build and delivery.” Paul points out that the poultry industry is thriving at present, which means he’s busier than ever before: “It’s the largest-growing sector in the economy at the minute,” he notes. Consequently, there’s certainly plenty of demand for Tir-Con’s steel-framed houses, which are quite simply the best in Ireland. Tir-Con’s client list reads like a who’s who of the poultry sector. Their biggest customer would be Moy Park but they have a lengthy list of loyal customers from the length and breadth of the island, all of whom appreciate the quality, value and innovation of the products on offer – not to mention the excellent level of back-up service. At

Tir-Con can handle any project

confident that he is getting a very highthe time of writing, Paul had just quality unit.” completed a large laying unit for Gerry Solutions are provided nationwide McGuinness in Ardee, County Louth, and no project – be it poultry, beef, one of the finest of its kind in the North dairy, industrial or equestrian units – is East. ever considered too large or too small. Reflecting on the genesis of the business, the proprietor explains: “TirCon Engineering was actually only Tir-Con Engineering Ltd., established in 2000 but we have been 2 Sixtowns Road, involved in steel fabrication for many Draperstown, decades. We were formerly Taylors of BT45 7BA, Draperstown and a number of people Northern Ireland . Tel: 048 7962 7963 would be working here for the last 35 Fax: 048 7962 9768 years. Most of our work is subE-mail: info@tircon.co.uk contracted as we try to work from as small a base as possible to keep Best Wishes To Tir-Con Engineering, From overheads down and offer our customers the best possible value. “In the poultry end of it, we do steelframed broiler units and steel-framed laying units. Unlike years ago, steel 31 Drumflugh Rd., Benburb, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone BT71 7QG houses are now built using PVC and 25-year-guaranteed material, so customer can be

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SPECIAL FEATURE

CAVAN’S MR VERSATILE

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Cavan captain Keith Fannin accepts the 2012 Leinster JFC Cup from Leinster Board Chairman Martin Skelly

ormer county stalwart Keith Fannin is upbeat about the Breffni County's prospects as Terry Hyland's charges bid to build on the progress made this year. He is encouraged by the impact of the successful U-21s on the senior team's fortunes. The curtain came down on Keith Fannin's intercounty career in 2012 but not before he entered the history books as the first captain from the Breffni County to lift the Leinster JFC silverware. The Drumgoon man earned that distinction following Cavan's 1-13 to 09 final victory over Kildare in Newbridge back in late June 12 months ago. Revenge proved to be a dish best served cold as Fannin and his teammates made up for the disappointment of losing the 2011 decider at the hands of the Lilywhites. “It's not often a team from Ulster wins a Leinster championship, and it’s not often that Cavan wins a provincial championship,” remarked Keith who lined out at left half-forward in the decider. “We played Kildare in the final the

previous year and the better team won that day. It’s difficult in that we have to play all our games away from home in the Leinster championship. Anytime you come away from Newbridge with a win is always a good result. “It was good for the players and the county. We’re on a bit of a roll at the minute with the senior team, the minors, U-21s and ladies teams. These are exciting times to be supporting Cavan teams and long may it continue.” The junior success had a positive spin off on the senior set-up with Martin Dunne one of the successful graduates from the class of 2012. The Cavan Gaels clubman was the top scorer in the provincial final win over Kildare with five points and went on to clock up 2-5 against Kerry in the semi-final but was unable to prevent a 2-6 to 1-16 defeat. The experience obviously stood him in good stead and he made a seamless transition to senior football in 2013 when finishing as the second top scorer in this year's All-Ireland SFC behind Mayo's Cillian O'Connor. “Martin Reilly came back from injury to play and made his way back on to the senior panel,” Keith pointed out,

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'Rory Dunne was full-back and he also made the step up to the seniors this year. Junior football is a good stepping stone for young players. It’s a step up from club football and it gives them a taste of intercounty football, gives them the opportunity to wear the county jersey.” 30 year old Keith got his first taste of senior intercounty championship action under Eamon Coleman as a corner-back against Antrim in the 2005 Ulster SFC quarter-final. He was one of four championship debutants on duty that day – Drumgoon clubmate Michael Hannon, goalkeeper James Reilly and Mark Cahill were the other three - but it proved to something of a baptism of fire as Cavan were lucky to get away with an 0-11 apiece draw at Kingspan Breffni Park. His last game in the famed blue jersey at senior level was against the same opposition in the league in March, 2012 but, on that occasion, he was between the posts. An ever-present in the senior squad for seven years, his versatility on the field saw him filling different roles at different times. Goalkeeper, corner-


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back, half-back or halfforward – versatility was his middle name when it came to his football career and he could always be relied upon to do a job for the team. It (versatility) was a bonus at times but it was also a weakness. I didn't mind where I played once I was on the team but it was difficult too now holding down a regular spot in the one position. “I remember first starting off and Eamon Coleman telling me he saw me as a corner-back, then I was moved out half-back and then into the half-forward line. “James Reilly got injured and Val Andrews then threw me into goals. I was no stranger to the position having played in goals for the Cavan U-16s and I was a sub goalkeeper with the minors but my favourite position was half-back.” Work commitments meant Keith had to call time on his involvement with the county senior setup. An acting foreman with Cleantech Civil Engineering, he has been based work wise in Scotland, just outside Glasgow, since last year. He has been employed by the subsidiary of Stradone-based company - P+S Civil Works Ltd - for 10 years now. “I was asked commit to the seniors

Keith in action for Drumgoon against Redhills

but when I balanced it out, I decided to go to Scotland. There were lots of younger lads coming through so it seemed like the right thing to do for me personally. “I have been coming back home for club games and I am extremely grateful to Cleantech for letting me travel back at times when I should have been working and to the club for

Keith works as an acting foreman with Cleantech Civil Engineering and is based in Scotland

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flying me home.” On top of the Leinster JFC, Keith's medal collection includes two IFC, one JFC, 1 Ulster Club JFC, 1 All-Ireland Club JFC, two Division 2 league souvenirs and an Ulster Markey Cup with St Aidan’s Cootehill. 11 years ago he was honoured with the county's Intermediate Footballer of the Year accolade, an award he won again in 2011. Despite his exile in Scotland, Keith made regular trips home to tog out for Drumgoon this year but their participation in the Cavan SFC didn't go according to plan, but being promoted in the league to Division 1A was a real boost for the year. “Martin Clerkin, a past player, took over as our manager this year and he knows the club inside out. The championship was a bit of a disaster and best forgotten about. We lost to Ramor and Lacken before beating Denn to stay senior but had a great league.” Keith, who lined out against every county in Ireland during his time with Cavan, has been impressed with the progress made by the county seniors in the year just coming to an end and is predicting bigger and better things to come. Cavan football has been in the doldrums for far too long now and he can see signs of a renaissance. “Terry (Hyland) is in there now and he is doing a great job. It's good to see Cavan playing in All-Ireland quarterfinals at Croke Park, it’s a great achievement. it’s been a while since the players and supporters have had something to cheer about. “And, in the Ulster semi-final, they only lost to Monaghan by a point, there was only a kick of the ball in it. The talent is definitely there to go further and the return of Gearoid McKiernan from injury will be a big plus. “If a few more of the U-21s can make the step up it will be a boost. There’s a self-belief there that was absent before, the U-21s have that winning mentality after their success in recent years and that seems to be rubbing off on the older guys.” Time will tell!


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The driving force for Cavan in 2013, Cian Mackey


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Covering the action every step of the way 438


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CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME SPECIAL FEATURE

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veryone in County Cavan was delighted to witness the appearance of one of their own – Margaret Farrelly of Clonarn Clover – on RTE’s The Secret Millionaire television show in September, 2013. The programme touched the hearts of everyone who witnessed it and the Mullagh lady has been inundated with wellwishing messages ever since it aired. Episode One of the third series of RTE’s brilliant The Secret Millionaire TV show saw Margaret Farrelly of Clonarn Clover in Mullagh - Ireland's largest independent supplier of free-range eggs - travel to inner-city Dublin in search of people and groups that she might be able to help. During the course of the show, which was a real emotional rollercoaster, the Cavan entrepreneur spent time with a grass roots cancer charity that is doing its best to help others; Ireland’s only all-inclusive choir; a community centre in the Liberties; and a men's group helping fathers cope with children who are addicted to drugs. In the aftermath of her very impressive television debut, the Virginia native – who actually lived in the capital between 1970 and ’83 before moving home to Cavan after meeting her husband Leo – was blown away by the flood of wellwishing and congratulatory messages she received: “Once you know you are going to be on the programme, you psyche yourself up to be able to do it. You work your way through it as best you can … but nothing can prepare you for what happens after the show goes out. Obviously, we were nervous about what the reaction might be but the response from total strangers who go to the trouble of writing or contacting you was overwhelming. It was lovely to see the thoughtfulness of people and to learn how the programme had affected them.” How nerve-wracking an experience was it to appear in the TV show? “Well, to be honest I never thought I’d go on a programme like that. We had been asked to do The Secret Millionaire before, a year earlier, but we were in the process of launching a new product – liquid eggs – and were developing a

Margaret Farrelly and Clonarn Clover are proud sponsors of Cuchulainns

new factory in Cootehill. So, we couldn’t afford it at that time, but I told them to get in touch with us again after things had settled down on the business front.” Around the same time that the programme aired, Clonarn Clover – which celebrated 25 years in business this year – launched its new pasteurised liquid egg product. Called O’Egg, it is the latest innovation from a company which has enjoyed huge success since it started out back in 1988 with 150 hens. They now have 160,000 hens, most of which are in Counties Cavan, Monaghan, Longford and Meath, as well as a farm in Limerick. Clonarn Clover are also supplied by 14 farmers in County Cavan. Returning to The Secret Millionaire, Margaret continues: “It’s a programme I’d watch a bit so I was familiar with it. When we were first approached we asked them how much would we be expected to put up and they told us €40,000. When they came back to us the second time, we knew we could afford that. “It took us about four weeks to make up our minds, but we weren’t going to be comfortable saying no. At that stage, it was a matter of who’d go on. Leo didn’t want to go on and the younger

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ones are still too young, so it came down to me and I decided I was prepared to do it. “I hadn’t really considered how long the filming would take. The researchers came out and started to do their initial filming and it quickly became apparent to them that our faith and religion were very important to us. I had told them that I’d go on the show on one condition – that I could be me. I didn’t want to pretend to be somebody else. RTE were extremely interested in going with that, as they’d never had a person on before whose faith was so important to them, so they agreed to go along with that.” Not for a second did Margaret care about how she would come across on the programme. “It was all about the charities and what was best for them. If the company got a bit of positive exposure from it, then that would be a bonus,” she reflects. “They came here and filmed on site at Clonarn for two days and then on the morning of July 9th, which was our 30th wedding anniversary, they took me off and I had no idea where I was heading for. “We stopped at The Halfway House and they told me I was going to The Liberties. I remember feeling a bit of relief that I was going to be in Dublin.


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“I was on my own for the week, with no mobile and virtually no contact with home, and I lived on the dole. I didn’t know who I was going to meet or what was in store for me. Naturally, some of the characters I’d meet were strategically placed as they had to be 100% authentic, but I didn’t know Jimmy Norman of Aoibheann's Pink Tie or Derek, Grainne, Liz... I had never met any of them. “Every morning I got up I didn’t know what that day had in store for me. I learned as I went along and it was a really humbling experience.” It was extremely difficult to decide how best to divide out the money that Margaret and Leo were donating. So much so, that they decided to contribute some additional funds. The norm is for the secret millionaire in the programme’s title to help three charities but during the course of the week Margaret identified a fourth worthy cause and wanted to bring it in into the fold as well. “There was an awful lot of thought went into it, but no procrastinating,” she says. “The long-finger part of it was ‘How much?’ I knew I wanted to help these four charities and sacrifices would have to be made to squeeze four of them into 52 minutes. We had to sacrifice the company story to get the four of them fitted in but the programme

Cuchulainns finest in 2013

makers did a great job to get so much into those 52 minutes. “Ultimately, the decision wasn’t that hard because we had prayed about it. I was allowed to contact home to make another bit of money available and I explained to Leo how I was approaching the money so that the people with the greatest needs would get the most.” The four charities to benefit from the Farrellys’ generosity were Aoibheann’s Pink Tie; Music Matters Inclusive Community Choir (which allows disabled and able-bodies people the opportunity of performing together); The St Nicholas of Myra Centre (a drop-in centre where adults can get a threecourse meal for €2.50 and children from The Liberties can get two meals and assistance with their homework for just 80cent per child per day); and the Fathers of Addicts Support Group. “In my normal, everyday life I would have no idea that these needs exist. Yet the need is constant. Jimmy, Liz, Grainne [O’Grady, The Choir] and Derek [Fathers of Addicts] identified that need and just went for it. You have to admire them. The Liberties was always a disadvantaged area and many of its children and people might have no opportunities but for these charities. I got to meet ordinary people in extraordinary situations and to get a

The Cuchulainns team and mentors who defeated Knockbride in the Minor Division 3 final

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sense of the difficulties they face every day. “These are problems that most of us would never encounter in our normal lives, but they are real problems that come at you like hailstones, each one the size of a rock. Most of us go through our normal, everyday lives without knowing any of this exists. “For me, it was a real rollercoaster of emotions and it was very difficult to stay composed, especially when people were telling their stories.” Back to the everyday reality of running the family business that is Clonarn Clover, Margaret is pleased to report that things are going very well. At the time of writing, gainful employment was being provided to a team of 33. The genesis of the new liquid egg product, which had been in the planning for under a decade, led to the opening of a second outlet in Cootehill and, with three members of the second generation already involved, it looks like the future is bright for this impressive homegrown company. “We never had any aspiration to be big,” Margaret concludes. “We only wanted to be able to pay the bills but the culmination of many years of hard work is that we are a profitable business. It’s a good company and the prospects of sustaining it well into the future are encouraging. Hopefully, Clonarn Clover will continue to provide for this family and for other local families, providing them with an income and helping them to maintain their diginity in these very difficult times.” And Margaret is keen to remember the role that local suppliers have played in the business: “Much of our success is down to the continued support and excellence of our local farmers and suppliers.”


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All-Ireland final hero Bronagh Sheridan


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LAVEY

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PLENTY OF PROMISE

avey’s senior championship hopes may have went up in smoke at the quarter-final stage in 2013, but it wouldn’t see the club finish the season entirely empty handed, as chairman Paddy Reilly explained.

Starting the year as dark horses in the race for the Cavan senior football championship is never a bad place to be, and that’s exactly where Lavey found themselves when the ball was thrown in for 2013. With former Cavan senior Ray Cullivan joining their ranks, many felt that John Brady’s team could surprise a few in the summer’s championship and their form in the ACFL Division 1A didn’t suggest otherwise as the went about guaranteeing their league safety in the early summer months in the build up to a round one showdown with Crosserlough at Kingspan Breffni Park in mid-August. Coming off the back of some outstanding underage success, chairman Paddy Reilly explained that things were on a high between Lavey, Cavan U21 (the club had three representatives on the team) and Cavan senior triumphs. A

LTS

2013 RESU

SFC Lavey h 3-6 0-13 g Crosserlou rbet ltu e B 1-5 Lavey 1-13 avey L 0 -1 0 -7 s0 l Cúchulainn quarter-fina – y -7 Lave 0 0 -1 0 h g u Crosserlo ion 1A ACFL Divis 1-6 Lavey 0 -1 1 Kingscourt oran 0-12 Mullah Lavey 0-15 avey L -8 1 0 -1 d1 Ramor Unite ve 3 2-7 La y Lacken 0-1 aels -5 Cavan G Lavey 0-7 1 han ra le st a C 0-2 Lavey 1-16 inns la 1-12 Cúchu Lavey 2-11 urt o sc g 1-8 Kin Lavey 1-10 y ve a L -8 0 2-9 Mullahoran ited n U r 0-15 Ramo Lavey 0-11 n e ck -8 La Lavey 1-9 0 1-11 Lavey 2 -1 1 h g a Ballin d y – not playe Denn v Lave 0 0-11 Lavey ls 3-1 Cavan Gae nagh 4 0-12 Balli -1 1 Lavey nn e D -9 1 Lavey 1-11 avey s 0-9 1-10 L Cúchulainn avey L -6 0 n 3-16 Castleraha

narrow defeat to the Kilnaleck men would soon see them brought back down to earth, as another loss could spell possible relegation trouble. “We wanted to retain our league status in Division 1A and try and progress further in the championship than we did the year before. We did one but not the other, unfortunately, after losing to Crosserlough in the quarter-finals of the championship in a game that we could have won,” Paddy explained. The loss of Shane Tierney and Oliver Smith to Canada was certainly a blow to Lavey’s chances, while a bad injury to Finbar Jordan would see the former Cavan minor defender ruled out of action for 12 months. The latter loss, in particular, would be a cruel blow to the New Inns men, as Jordan has been a leader for them on the field since first breaking into the senior team as a teenager. “We were lucky with missing so many players that we managed to retain our league status for next year,” the chairman conceded. “We had three players involved with the Cavan U21s – Karl Duke, Chris Conroy and Gerard Smith – and they’d have been missing for a few games early on, but we did have Ray Cullivan. He came in at midfield was a big addition to us,

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Joey Jordan

along with Sean Maguire, who came back to us for the championship from London.” Cullivan’s transfer from Ballyhaise to Lavey would be cited as a major boost for Brady’s team, as the ex-Cavan star could be deployed at either centre-field or full-forward, and with the return of Maguire in the summer Lavey were set to be a formidable outfit come championship. The team’s league form would be hit and miss from March until August, but with safety guaranteed “We were up and down all year in the league and I suppose that’s no surprise with the injuries we had and then players coming back,” said Paddy. “Our form was decent coming towards the championship. We were winning games that we shouldn’t have been winning but when we met Crosserlough the goals they scored killed us. They came at bad times for us even though we still played well on the night.” The sides met on August 17th under lights at Kingspan Breffni Park in entertaining game, which saw Crosserlough race out of the traps, but it was a late goal from Pierce Smith that settled the issue for the winners, whom never relinquished their lead once talisman Barry McKiernan handed it to them in the fourth minute.


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LAVEY - SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2013

Lavey seniors 2013, front l/r: Ciaran McConnon, Diarmuid Conaty, James Cunningham, Ray Cullivan, Kevin Donohoe, Chris Conroy, Karl Duke, Mark Brady, David Tierney, Darren Donegan, Senan Gilchreest, Ciaran Tierney, Aoghan Sheridan. Back: Jake Buckley, Terence Smith, Darren Jordan, James Tierney, Paul Gilchreest Shane Conaty, Dean Rutherford, Conor Martin, Fergal Smith, Darren Monaghan, Gearald Smith, Joey Jordan, Darragh Conaty, Paul Murphy, Aaron Smith, Stephen Jordan


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M&E SERVICES C. DUNNE

Wishing Lavey GAA continued success in the coming year from

ALL AGRICULTURAL, COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE AND CONTROL PANELS WORK CARRIED OUT Lisnaglea, Stradone, Co. Cavan. Tel: 049-4330491 Fax: 049-4330479 Mobile: 086-2455121 Email: ciarandunne@live.co.uk

LEE AGRI CONSULTING Best Wishes to Lavey GAA in 2014 from

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Best Wishes To Lavey GAA In 2014, From

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The Lavey U14 squad, front l/r: Stephen Brady, Conor Daly, Alexander Cooney, Killian Ferguson, Jack Mc Cabe, Danny Cusack, Aaron Mc Cabe, Daire Tierney, Ryan O’Sullivan, David Smith, Daira Treanor, Dean Donlon. Back: Aidan Cunningham, Paul Smith, Luke Cunningham, Aaron Smith, Gavin Tierney, Patrick Smith, Ben Cunningham, Joey Tierney, Luke Smith, Aaron Lynch, Philip Smith, Pete Smith, Dave O’Sullivan

Despite being rattled by their opponents' spirited start, which included a goal after 10 minutes, Lavey forced their way back into this game in the second-half, with former county senior Joey Jordan leading from the back and the deadly free-taking of Chris Conroy, who finished with 0-8 to his name.

Dean Rutherford

However, the concession of two second-half goals proved to be a killer blow for the favourites, as they fell to a 3-6 to 0-13 defeat, consigning them to the backdoor to try and keep their championship dreams alive. The defeat pitted the New Inns men against Division 1B strugglers Belturbet at Ballyhaise, where both teams would

Luke Buckley

have their championship hopes on the line. Despite owning possession for most of the half, Lavey would trail by 05 to 0-4 at the break before putting in a splendid second-half display to see off the Rories that saw them maintain their senior status for another year, as well as be within one game of the quarterfinals. Karl Duke, Ray Cullivan and

Danny Cusack

Ben Cunningham

Aaron Mc Cabe The U14 Division 2 winners, front l/r: David Smith, Conor Daly, Daire Treanor, Luke Buckley, Aaron Lynch, Danny Cusack Aaron Mc Cabe, Ryan O’Sullivan, Jack Mc Cabe, Daire Tierney, Mark Gilsennan. Back: Aidan Cunningham, Alexander Cooney, Gavin Tierney, Luke Cunningham, Aaron Smith, Joey Tierney, Patrick Smith, Luke Smith, Ben Cunningham, Stephen Brady, Philip Smith, Paul Smith, Dave O’Sullivan

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ASSAN ENGINEERING LTD. Best Wishes to Lavey GAA from

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Contact Paul Gillick @ 087-2461241/049-8545040 Email: assanengineeringltd@eircom.net

SEAMUS TIERNEY

James Brady Best Wishes to Lavey GAA from

AGRICULTURAL CONTRACTOR

• DOMESTIC • INDUSTRIAL • COMMERCIAL

All Agricultural Work Carried Out Site Clearing • Rock Breaking • Land Drainage etc. Corraghoe, Stradone, Co. Cavan Tel: 049-4330837 Mobile: 086-8234289 Continued Success to Lavey GAA & Best Wishes to All Local Clubs In 2014

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Tel: 086-2503970

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The minor Division 3 league winners, front l/r: Jason Tierney, Ciaran Mc Connon, Emmet Brady, Aoghann Sheridan, David Conroy, Ciaran Tierney, Ryan McCabe, Owen Smith Brady, Killian Muldoon, Dillon Nelson. Back: Jamie Mc Enroe, Dean Lynch, Enda Mc Gonagle, Diarmuid Conaty, Jake Buckley, Seamus Tierney, Daire Conaty, Paul Gilcreest, Dean Rutherford, Martin Cunningham

Chris Conroy

Conor Martin

Chris Conroy were all outstanding in the 1-13 to 1-5 victory. The win set-up a showdown with Cuchullains in Virginia and the prospect of a place in the last eight for Brady’s men. Played in torrential rain, Lavey once again produced a sterling second-half performance, having trailed by 0-4 to 02 at the break, to see out the win. Sean Maguire took at foothold at centre-field, along with minor star Senan Gilchreest, allowing for Ray Cullivan to be stationed at full-forward. Lavey netminder Conor Martin denied Cuchullains a goal at the start of the second-half and it seemed to be the wake-up call the New Inns side needed as they restricted their opponents to just one point in the last 19 minutes of the game. Cullivan levelled the game on 0-6 apiece on the final quarter mark and then steered his team in front in the 52nd minute. It was Lavey’s first lead in the game since Chris Conroy put them in front in the 10th minute, and they weren’t about to relinquish it as Cavan U21 ace Gerard Smith doubled the advantage before Darren Monaghan

Darren Jordan

Aoghann Sheridan

came off the bench to seal the 0-10 to 0-7 victory and a quarter-final berth for the men in black. Lavey (SFC v Cuchullains): Conor Martin; Aaron Smith, Fergal Smith, Dean Huddleford; Gerard Smith, Joey Jordan, Stephen Jordan; Sean Maguire, Senan Gilchreest; Darren Jordan (0-2), Chris Conroy (0-2), Paul Gilchreest; Shane Conaty, Ray Cullivan (0-2), Karl Duke (0-2). Subs: Darragh Conaty, Darren Monaghan (01). The quarter-final draw would throw up another clash with Crosserlough, this time in Virginia, where the Kilnaleck men made a splendid start to lead by 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval. Once again, Lavey continued their trend of upping their game in the second-half and through the frees of Chris Conroy and Sean Maguire they got themselves back within two points of their opponents but finished three short (010 to 0-7) in the end, which drew the curtain on their championship trail. “We got a lot of frees and didn’t score enough of them,” Lavey’s chairman said on the defeat. “Crosserlough got off to a good start, I think they went up

447

Lavey U14 captain Danny Cusack with the Division 2 league cup

0-8 to 0-2 at half-time, but we came back in the second-half and got a great amount of chance but we just missed too many of them in the end. “It’s often said that ‘13’ is unlucky for some, but 2013 was definitely unlucky for us when it comes to injuries, there’s no doubt about that. We also lost FInbar Jordan, who had been one of our best players for a long time. But he got injured in an accident and is out for 12 months. We’ll be hoping that emigration doesn’t take any more players from us as well next year.” MiNORS DELivER LEAGUE TiTLE

In July, Lavey’s minor footballers delivered some much coveted silverware to the club when they saw off Mullahoran’s challenge in the Division Three League final replay in Ballinagh. In a thrilling game of football, Lavey recovered from a slow start which saw them trail by 1-5 to 0-1 after 12 minutes to draw level on 1-7 each by half-time, with wing forward Jake Buckley striking their goal and Darragh Conaty, Jason Tierney and Ciaran McConnon sending


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The U16 Division 3 league finalists, front l/r: Emmet Brady, Luke Buckley, Gavin Tierney, Martin Cunningham, Stephen Brady, Jason Tierney, Joey Tierney, Ryan Mc Cabe, Killian Muldoon, Jarren Conaghy, Owen Smith Brady. Back: Aidan Cunningham, Dillon Nelson, Danny Cusack, Luke Cunningham, Enda Mc Gonagle, Dean Lynch, Enda Cusack, Aaron Mc Cabe, Daire Smith, Ben Cunningham, Paul Smith

over the points that had the young New Inns men right back where they started for the beginning of the second-half. Ciaran Tierney belied his defensive duties a minute into the restart to put Lavey in front for the first time with a fine point but their opponents were determined to take back their advantage and they regained the lead by the 40th minute. Conaty (free) and Emmet Brady sailed over scores to even the sides once more and as the game approached its final quarter the would-be winners came into their own with Conaty (2), Jamie McEnroe and Paul Gilcreest turning their rich play into profit. The Lavey lead was a three going into injury-time, before they pulled off the move of the game to ensure the victory. Fullback Dean Rutherford started the break by intercepting a Mullahoran attack in his own defence with and finding Jason Tierney who offloaded to Emmet Brady. The latter found the unmarked Ryan McCabe who coolly slotted the ball to the Mullahoran net to rubberstamp a hard earned 2-16 to 1-13 victory. Lavey: Seamus Tierney; David Conroy, Dean Rutherford, Dean Lynch; Ciaran Tierney (0-1), Diarmuid Conaty, Aodhagan Sheridan; Paul Gilcreest (0-3 1f), Jake Buckley (1-0); Jason

Tierney (0-2), Darragh Conaty (0-7, 5f), Jamie McEnroe (0-1); Ciaran McConnon (0-1, 1f), Emmet Brady (01), Eoin Brady. Sub: Ryan McCabe (10). U14S CLiNCh LEAGUE CROwN Lavey came through another tough test from Mullhoran in Ballinagh to capture the Under 14 Division Two League title. The young New Inns men

Lavey minor Division 3 league winning joint captains Ciaran Tierney and Seamus Tierney receive the cup from Brian Seagrave

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made a decent start to move 0-4 to 0-2 in front before Mullahoran goaled on the eve of half-time to send the sides in level at the break. In the second-half, Lavey upped the ante though and through the points of Gavin Tierney they moved back in front before goalkeeper Patrick Smith did brilliantly to deny the Dreadnoughts a goal. It proved a major turning point for the would-be victors, as substitute Aaron Smith hit the net at the other end soon after to push his side four in front. Mullahoran battled gamely to get themselves back in contention, but Tierney would prove a real thorn in their side from placed balls and when Smith snuck in for his second goal the title was wrapped up for Lavey. The club very nearly made it a hat-trick of underage titles, when the Under 16s reached the Division Three championship final in September at Kingspan Breffni Park, where their brave effort was narrowly pipped by Templeport. Lavey: Patrick Smith; Daire Tierney, Stephen Brady; Luke Smith, Joey Tierney, Luke Buckley; Danny Cusack (0-1), Gavin Tierney (0-4 3f); Aaron Lynch (0-1), Luke Cunningham, Philip Smith; Ben Cunningham (0-1), Aaron McCabe (0-1). Sub: Aaron Smith (2-0).


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