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Football Development Squad Round-Up

October 25th, 2016

Football Development Squad Round-Up

Monaghan Win U16 Ulster Buncrana Cup for 3rd Year in a Row

On Sunday the 23rd of October, Monaghan completed a historic treble when winning the U16 Ulster Buncrana Cup for the 3rd year in a row after a replay against a very strong Derry team. Monaghan had qualified for the final after coming through a semi-final over Donegal before playing Derry in the drawn final in a high scoring game back at the beginning of August. However, due to club and school fixtures, last Sunday was the first available date the replay could take place.


Monaghan, playing with a strong breeze at their backs in the first half, got off to a terrific start by registering the first three scores of the day, 2 points and a goal from the penalty spot. This lead could have been more after Monaghan had created several other very good goal scoring opportunities but due to a fine save from the Derry goal keeper and the cross bar coming to Derry’s rescue, this kept them in touch of Monaghan as the half wore on. Both teams traded scores until Derry hit a purple patch just before half time, capitalising on a Monaghan error to maximum effect with a goal of their own. Monaghan held on to the lead by the minimum of margins at half time but they knew their backs were going to be against the walls in the second half as Derry had the advantage of the strong breeze. Derry continued where they left off at the end of the first half with a dominant display for the first 20 minutes of the second half. They opened a 3-point lead but this could have been much more only for a high number of wayward shots going wide. Monaghan to their credit bounced back in the final 10 minutes and started to come back into the game. After bring the game back to 2 points, Monaghan got the score of the day through a beautifully worked team goal which was dispatched to the net by Aughnamullen’s Darren Geoghegan to send Monaghan into a 1 point lead. Derry bounced back with a point of their own and as the game entered added time, both teams were still level. This was when Monaghan showed their greatest character and perseverance to continue to create a few scoring opportunities. They managed to find two points and run out winners on a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-12.


Monaghan Coaching & Games would just like to thank the Aughnamullen Club for hosting the celebrations in their club house on Sunday evening. It was greatly appreciated and the players and management enjoyed it.


Please see below for a selection of photos from the day.


U14 Development Squad take part in South Down & Ulster Blitzes

The Monaghan u14 football development squad travelled to Hilltown county Down on Saturday the 15th October to take part in an u14 Tournament organised by the Down County Board. Five different teams took part in the tournament (South Down, East Down, Armagh, Antrim and Monaghan). Each team took two teams to the blitz with one team from each county forming a group of five. The top 2 teams in each group would then meet in the final of their particular section. In one of the sections the Monaghan team faired very well winning all their games and taking home the medals for their section. In their first game they met East Down. In what can only be described as terrible conditions for football where the wind and very heavy rain made it very difficult for both teams to express themselves, Monaghan ran out winners by 2 points. In their second game they took on Antrim. After a very good first half performance they opened up a good lead but Antrim came back in the second half to close the gap but Monaghan held on to win by 3 points in the end. In their third game they had a comfortable victory against Armagh. This meant they qualified for the final with one game to spare. South Down had already qualified for the final as well before the last game and with both teams due to play each other it was decided to play the final group game as the final. The Monaghan boys left their best performance to last and played a terrific brand of football and scored some excellent points from long distance to run of winners by 8 points.


The other Monaghan team didn’t fair as well in the outcome of their games but competed very well throughout. In their first game against East Down, they created some excellent chances throughout but just couldn’t put the scores on the scoreboard. On the other hand East Down took their chances and ran out winners by 2 points. In their 2nd game against Antrim, Monaghan produced a similar performance to their first game but this time put the scores on the board and in the end ran out comfortable winners. In their third game against a very strong and athletic Armagh team, Monaghan found it hard throughout but competed well like all good Monaghan teams to the very end but came up short in the end. In their final game against South Down the team once again competed very well against an evenly matched Down team but came up just short in the end.


Last Saturday the 22nd of October, the U14 squad were out again this time in an Ulster Blitz which took place in the Monaghan Training Grounds in Cloghan. There was 4 counties (Monaghan, South Down, Cavan & Fermanagh) here in total with each county taking 2 teams each. Each team on the day played three games each which gave every player an opportunity to play at least one and a half full games of football. Both Monaghan teams faired very well winning all their games. This group of players has shown a great capacity to learn and develop over the past season and hopefully they will continue this with their schools and clubs over the coming years. This squad will now take a break for a number of weeks before they start their winter strength and conditioning programme. Management will be in touch about this in the next few weeks.



Monaghan Captain Aaron McGee receives the trophy from Ciaran McLaughlin


Aaron raises the trophy


After the match speeches


The winning Monaghan Buncrana Cup Team 2016 – players and mentors


U14 Development Squad 2016


U14 Development Squad 2016

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