The Monaghan county minor hurling team got off to the best possible start to their Ulster Minor hurling league division 2 campaign with a nine points victory over Fermanagh in Clones on Saturday last. The weather had caused the cancellation of their opening game against Tyrone so the lads were delighted with the run out last Saturday and made the most of the occasion. Team manager Brendan Murphy was very happy with not only the outcome but with the performance against what he described as “a strong, physical Fermanagh team. Our lads were a little nervous at the start as this was their first game but once we settled to the task the boys put in a great performance. Fergal Rafter got through a lot of work in midfield but our halfbacks and half forwards too worked very hard. What pleased me most was the work rate that the boys put in and the tackling was very, very good”. This Sunday Monaghan are back in Clones for a 12 noon start against Donegal which Brendan Murphy would rate as “probably a couple of steps up but it is another good test and matches like that will bring the lads on. Training is going very well, we have 25 to 30 lads there every night and we needed that game last Saturday because the boys were very keen and they were getting a bit restless to get into action”. The final score against Fermanagh was Monaghan 2-11, Fermanagh 0-8 although Fermanagh’s cause probably wasn’t helped when they had one of their better players sent off in the early stages of the second-half. The Monaghan team on duty: Lorcan Murphy, Colm Meegan, Michael Murtagh, Seamie Hayes, Cormac McNally, Gareth Bannon, Rory McCann, Conor Cahill, Fergal Rafter, Jamie Guinan, Kevin Crawley, Niall Gartland, Brendan McQuaid, Edwin Haran, Gareth Keenan. Subs used: Niall Butler, Aodh Curran, Conal Meegan, Nathan Adair, Noel Flood.
ULSTER MINOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
This Saturday March 26th the Monaghan minor football team have their first outing in the Ulster Minor Football league when they travel to Newry to take on Down with that one due to get under way at 12 noon. Team manager Colin McAree has been building up to this game for some time and believes that a good start on Saturday would set Monaghan up for a good run in this competition which he sees as “the best possible preparation for the forthcoming Ulster Minor championship joust with Tyrone at the end of May”. Preparations were ratcheted up this week in the build up to Saturday’s opener with Monaghan playing two challenge matches. On Tuesday night they were out against Fermanagh in Enniskillen a game they won by 2-12 to 1-10 but more importantly than the win was the performance with Monaghan playing some very incisive football. A strong second quarter saw them build up a good lead with two goals in quick succession helping them to a half time lead of 2-6 to 0-4. In the second half they continued to work hard and even though Fermanagh got in for a goal Monaghan never looked like conceding major ground. The team on duty on Tuesday night was: Padraig Garland, Ryan Wylie, Jonathan McGuigan, Fergal Malone, Padraig Keenan, Paudie McKenna, James McAllister, Conor Boyle, Brian Greenan, Christopher McKenna, Cillian Cromwell, Jason Hand, Adam Treanor, Mel Boyce, Thomas Kerr. Subs: Killian Rudden, Barry Hanratty, Liam Savage.
Last night, Wednesday, they were out against Louth in Darver a game the team management used to run the rule over the remaining members of the panel. . Monaghan’s second game in the Ulster Minor football league is at home to Armagh on Saturday, April 2nd in Clones and then away to Cavan on the evening of Wednesday, April 6th in Kingspan Breffni Park. .
THE LATE PETER MC GURK.
It was with profound regret and a deep sense of shock that the news of the sudden and untimely death of the late Peter McGurk was learned with the news broke on Friday February 18th last. A member of a highly esteemed family in Killeevan parish Peter McGurk passed to his eternal reward while he was at work on that fateful Friday and his passing not only robbed his family of a husband, a father and a brother but it robbed the community of a very popular and highly esteemed figure. A great community man Peter McGurk was involved in a number of organisations and throughout his life he contributed very generously in many ways to so many organisations who were involved in voluntary work in the wider community. Chief among his interests though was the GAA. He was a lifelong member of the Killeevan club whom he represented as a player and with whom he served in various capacities on the adminstrative side. A nephew of the late James McGurk who was one of the all-time greats with the club Peter was immersed in everything to do with the association but not just at club level as he was an avid follower and supporter of the Monaghan county team and he liked nothing better than recalling the halcyon days when Monaghan were playing in Croke Park particularly back in the mid to late 80s. Officers, members and players from the Killeevan club provided a guard of honour at his funeral.
Throughout his life too he had a keen interest in motor bikes and was a regular attender at the Isle of Man TT Races as well as the North West 200 and it was a very fitting tribute when a group of Bikers acted as outriders to escort his remains from his home to St. Livinius’ Church, Killeevan. An outdoors man he also took a keen interest in shooting but it was the social side of these type of activities that he enjoyed the most. The esteem in which he was held was reflected in the huge crowd that turned out at the removal of his remains and his funeral Mass during which Killeevan parish priest Father Peter Corrigan paid tribute to him for the qualities that he eschewed in life. Following his Requiem Mass a former chairman of Killeevan Sarsfields and a lifelong friend, Gerry Fitzpatrick read an oration in which he paid tribute to Peter and recalled many occasions when he was the life and soul of any party.
A builder by trade he brought a very high standard of workmanship to any job that he undertook and was always dedicated to ensuring that any job he undertook be it big or small was finished to the highest possible standard. A dedicated family man Peter is survived by his wife Maura, (nee Soroghan), sons Jonathan and Gary, daughters Karen (McCaffrey) and Jennifer, son in law Francis and grandson Daithi and to them we extend our sincere condolences on their sad loss. Go ndeanaigh Di Trocaire ar a anam. (JPG).