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Ladies Football News

December 20th, 2011

Looking back over the year there are many things that we can look back on with pride. The senior ladies started off the year in style winning  the Dowd cup in January  for the first time, beating Jordanstown in the final. This kicked off what was a memorable year for the girls. Under the management team of Gregory, John, Peter, Arlene, Jimmy and Fiona we were brought on a wonderful journey all year. Following the Dowd cup victory the girls got their National league campaign off to winning ways with a great win over Tyrone in Emyvale. Next up was a trip to Mayo and another win. Then the game that stands out in my mind was the game against Cork in Emyvale. To beat Cork that day was another wonderful result and the wins continued against Kildare Galway Laois and Donegal. 100% record and a semi final spot against Laois. Unfortunately the result didn’t go Monaghans way but that wonderful league run was great preparation for the championship.
First up in the championship was Armagh and an excellent performance saw the girls advance to the semi final where their opponents were Down. Once again they played excellent football to reach yet another Ulster final. Tyrone the 2010 All Ireland finalists were their opponents. In previous finals Tyrone pushed Monaghan all the way but 2011 saw the Monaghan girls put up an outstanding performance to retain their Ulster crown. Meath were their opponents in the All Ireland quarter finals and they too fell victim to the speed of Monaghan’s defence and forward line. Kerry a team improving all the time were their opponents in the semi final. And who will forget that game. A 15 minute magic spell in the second half saw Monaghan take victory. Monaghan were back in Croke Park and what better reward for their performances all year.
Being PRO this was probably the busiest spell I had all year, but I must say it was the most enjoyable one. There was a real buzz in the county as the girls prepared for the big day. The media night in Cloghan was another night that stands out in my mind when hundreds of people attended to see the girls train and young girls and boys waited patiently to get autographs. It brought memories back of when I was preparing for my first All Ireland appearance. It also gave me the opportunity to catch up with those girls I played along with when we first won the Senior All Ireland in 1996. I was fortunate to contact each of the players and management team from that year and it was great to share with them their thoughts on the game. Football is a wonderful sport, but the one thing that I will say about ladies football ,is that it is the friends you meet along the way that to me is the best thing about being involved. 2011 gave me that opportunity to catch up with many of those friends. It was also great to see one of my team mates Catriona Brady back in Croke Park wearing the New York jersey.
Sunday 25th September,  and to see Darren along with Rosemary Courtney lead the girls onto Croke Park is a memory that will stay with me. I know the result didn’t go our way but to be there and to see those group of girls gave it their all. is something that we all can be very proud of. It was also a memorable occassion for the Doohamlet U14 girls. This group of girls were great followers of the girls all year. They came down in their numbers to Emyvale to meet the girls in the Cork game, and their loyalty was rewarded when they won a competition and got playing at half time. A day certaintly not to be forgotten by them.
After their great win, there were many awards that came Monaghan’s way. Therese Mc Nally won Irish News Ladies Award and Ulster Writers Award. Grainne Mc Nally won the Daily Star ladies Award and after receiving 10 nominations for All Stars, Monaghan picked up 4 awards on the night, Grainne Mc Nally, Sharon Courtney, Therese Mc Nally and Ciara Mc Anespie with Ciara Mc Dermott winning Ulster Young Player of the year. Another great night for Monaghan people.
Fiona Callan, Ciara Mc Dermott and Barbara Ward also received Ulster Colleges All Stars.
I can’t but mention our U16 county team who also had a memorable year winning the Ulster championship. A lot of these young girls will hopefully soon make the breakthrough to senior level.
I can’t finish off without mentioning one very special footballer – Jenny Greenan. Jenny will go down as probably one of the finest ever to wear a Monaghan jersey. I had the honour to play along side her and her skills and committment on the field of play will be hard to match.Earlier this year she was named on the Team of The Decade. A well deserved honour.
I enjoyed my year as PRO and I only hope that 2012 will be just as enjoyable. My one wish though, is that there will be one special person with us come October 2012, and that is BRENDAN MARTIN
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year. I look forward to working with you all in the year ahead, and let’s hope that my job will be even busier.

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