The Co. Monaghan u-17’s finished off their campaign last weekend by participating in the Ulster Finals (Jim McGuigan Trophy). They were up against pre-tournament favourites Donegal who won the U-16 Buncrana Cup in 2012. As a warm-up to this tournament Monaghan u-17’s played London Minors in Clones. This proved to be a very entertaining game, with the skill level of the London players being a lot better than what a lot of the spectators had expected. The travelling party were very appreciative of the opportunity to play in the home of Monaghan football and the hospitality extended to them.
Monaghan had qualified for Jim McGuigan competition after beating Antrim and Derry. Monaghan travelled without 9 possible starters as they were involved with Frank Brady’s Co. Minors who were participating in the All-Ireland semi-final. In truth, Monaghan faced a team that had prepared really well for this tournament and they struggled against the Donegal opposition who played to the same formulae as their Co. Seniors. Time after time, Monaghan’s turnovers were punished by lightning quick Donegal attacks. But in fairness to this group of players they kept working hard for each other for the entire duration of the contest.
After defeat to Donegal, Monaghan faced Antrim in the 3rd/4th play-off. The Monaghan team managed to regroup and get some excellent scores ending their season on a positive note beating Antrim by 10 points. This competition has provided these players with a platform to get ready for 2014 Co. Minors. Squad in full; Caolan McGee (Truagh Gaels), Caolan McElwain (Scotstown), Aaron Treanor (Truagh Gaels). Mustafa Gamal (Monaghan Harps 0-1), Conor McKenna (Scotstown), Robert Berg (Killany, Capt), Dermot Gleeson (Eire Og 0-3), Stephen Cunningham (Donaghmoyne), Stephen McCabe (Latton), Niall Duffy (Aughnamullen 0-3), Michael Tierney (Eire Og 0-2), Eoin McQuaid (Clones), James Mealiff (Clones 1-3), Thomas Finnegan (Donaghmoyne 0-2), Aaron Jones (Carrickmacross 0-3), John McGuirk (Clones), James McElwain (Clones), James McKenna (Monaghan Harps), Ciaran McQuaid (Monaghan Harps) and Darragh McKenna (Aughnamullen). Management Team; Garrett Coyle, Colin Malone and Patrick McCarron.