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Blackhill Emeralds Club Notes: 31.10.2023

November 9th, 2023

Eurotech Junior Football League Final: Dr. Ward Cup:

Blackhill 1-11 Tyholland 1-08 Friday October 28th St. Oliver Plunkett’s Park, Emyvale.

Team: 1 Michael Shevlin, 2 Tomás Courtney, 3 Dónal Courtney, 4 Killian Carragher, 5 James Daly (0-1), 6 Ryan Courtney © 7 Senan O’Brien(0-1), 8 Ciarán Courtney © 9 Aaron Kenny, 10 Tommy Geehan (0-2), 11 Darren McElroy (0-3), 12 Jason Finnegan (1-0), 13 Anthony Courtney, 14 Phillip Donnelly (0-2), 15 Conor Martin(0-1). Subs used: Gerard McArdle (0-1) & Hugh Byrne. Panel: Brandon McCague, Niall Donnelly, Matthew McArdle, Dan Cannon, Shane Farrell, Kevin Flanagan, Peter Daly, Darren Friary, Dean Martin, Eimhín Farrell & Martin Maguire.

Our senior team brought home the mythical Dr. Ward Cup for only the second time in our history bridging an 80 year gap going back to 1943 at St.Oliver Plunkett’s Park Emyvale on Friday night securing a first ever junior football double and our second adult club double following in the footsteps of the Intermediate double winning team of 1953. Well done to the entire team on a great performance in the final. Congratulations and thank you to our manager Paudie Finnegan and team mentors Matthew Callan, Anthony McCann, Aiden Little & Peter Daly, backroom team Tom Griffin, Pauric McBride and Emmet Carragher.

The game itself was played with a little less tension than the previous week, there were fantastic contests all over the field with Tomás Courtney v Dermot Coyle always on a knife edge and the legendary Karl O’ Connell v Tommy Geehan worth the admission fee alone. Tyholland opened brightly 0-3 0-1 up in the first quarter. A point from Darren McElroy and two from Tommy Geehan, all from play, reeled it in to 0-3 apiece by the 15th minute, Tyholland pressed on again to go 0-5 0-3 up by the 20th minute before a Phillip Donnelly free on 23 minutes closed the gap to a single point.  The game lost one of its great contests at this time when Dermot Coyle unfortunately had to go off injured. The game defining score came in first half injury time. Dónal Courtney burst out of defence he played the ball to Tommy Geehan who found Ciarán Courtney in space, Ciarán was fouled but cleverly took the free immediately into Jason Finnegan who stuck the ball low to the net to put us in front for the first time on the stroke of half time 1-4 0-6

In the second half Blackhill enjoyed a spell of dominance which lasted 25 minutes, adding a further 6 points without reply to lead 1-10 0-6 by the 55th minute. The defence was again very strong as a unit with Ryan Courtney outstanding at centre half. Braces from Darren McElroy and Tommy Geehan, were added to by James Daly and Phillip Donnelly points though we also left a lot behind us in this spell. Phillip showed his worth, winning loads of dirty ball and carrying the fight up front while Darren McElroy became more and more influential as the game went on. The match took one final twist when Dónal who had been at his inspirational best earned a black card for a tackle that the “bomb squad” would have been proud of, which inspired a fierce Tyholland rally late on which included the conversion of a penalty in the third minute of injury time. Hugh Byrne came off the bench to help stem the tide. Gerard McArdle, a player of vast experience who had replaced the injured Conor Martin ten minutes into the second half, calmly slotted the final score of the game in the 35th minute to seal the win. To Tyholland, an exemplary progressive club on and off the field there are few words, our team was built from the pain of losing four finals in three years, we know only too well, and we wish you more success in the seasons ahead. Our joint captains Ciarán and Ryan Courtney raised the Dr Ward Cup on a truly special occasion for our club. Our thanks to Emyvale GAA, Peadar McMahon and to CCM especially PRO Majella Boyd for her presentation and to match referee Brendan McNally and all his match officials.


Football Fixture:

Best of luck to our team and management on Sunday next at 2pm in Clones when we take on Antrim champions St.Mary’s Rasharkin in the Ulster JFC quarter final.

Ulster Junior Football Championship:

Blackhill Emeralds v St. Mary’s Rasharkin Sunday November 5th 2pm in St.Tiarnach’s Park Clones.

This game is all ticket. Tickets are available from the following link.

Seamus McEneaney’s 80th Birthday Party:

Seamus McEneaney celebrated his 80th birthday in Blackhill last Saturday night with family and friends in a great club social occasion. Seamus was born in Cavanaguillagh on the hollow road on the 28th of October 1943, three days later on the 31st Blackhill won the Doctor Ward Cup for the first time in Oriel Park Monaghan v’s Monaghan. The original final played on the 5th of September 1943 v’s Aghabog was abandoned late on after Aghabog Ultras invaded the pitch in response to Blackhill being awarded a late penalty with the game in the balance. The referee, some of the umpires and the county board secretary who was mistaken for a Blackhill player stealing the cup were all clipped in the shemozzle that followed with Aghabog taking possession of the cup. Unfortunately there were no mobile phones at the time so we didn’t all get to go viral!

Seamus held almost every role in the club over a lifetime, as a player in the 1960’s he was in the 1969 team which reached the JFC final losing to the Sean’s, serving as chairman, team manager, on numerous development committees, House committee in 1983 which purchased our field, he was instrumental in securing Annaglave school for the club, the sale of which in 2007 backboned the development of our dressing room complex, hotel grade kitchen and Annaglave meeting room in the social centre, but possibly his greatest single legacy was on the quiet field as our founding juvenile coach from the 1980’s, the entire team being transported around the county to games in his Nissan Vanette is now club folklore, no penalty points to worry about in those days, he was the main coach behind the revival of the modern Blackhill era in the 1990’s which began when we won our first  juvenile title the Magill Cup at U-12 in 1995, there followed a further eight county titles between U-12 and U-16 grades in the subsequent years and these players backboned our championship final team of 2004 and many of them were senior players in 2016 when we finally achieved success at adult level after a 63 year wait.

The highlight of the night was provided by Seamus’s children who had penned an epic poem about his life which Mary and Mairéad delivered like a winning Scór Sinsir recitation. Paddy McBride on behalf of the club’s players, juveniles  and committee presented Seamus with a personalised  club jersey number 80. Thank you to county board chairperson Declan Flanagan for your attendance.

Seamus’ birthday wish (Orders!) was for donations to the Blackhill juveniles fund in lieu of gifts and by the time he’d opened the final card €3225 was donated to the club and we are extremely thankful for this wonderful gesture. Seamus has been a single-minded Blackhill fanatic his entire life, the kind every club need and he struggled through the toughest of decades persisting defiantly against the odds with a small group of other great club men who never lost the faith when it would have been very easy to. Now in his ninth decade he never misses a match or a young at heart and we wish yourself and Helen every blessing in the future. That the stars aligned and Dr Ward returned the night before your 80th birthday was just incredible. Saturday night was a wonderful celebration and well deserved Seamus. “Hon the ‘Hill!”

Social Centre:

Music Saturday November 4th with Seamus & Bernard.

Our social centre is open from 8pm nightly.

For social centre members bookings contact Hugh Cullen on 086254120

Wedding Joy:

Congratulations and best wishes to Tara Duffy and John McManus who were wed on Saturday last.


Bingo every Thursday night 8pm

The jackpot is €4350 this week on 49 calls.

Emeralds Lotto:

1st Teresa, Ciaran & Billy McCaughey

2nd Seamus McMahon

3rd Ronnie Maguire


Blackhill Emeralds GAA Club extend our sympathy to the Cannon family Castleblayney following the recent passing of Maura Cannon (née Marron) R.I.P. Beannacht Dé lena hanam dílis.

We also extend our sympathy to the family of the late Luke Cunningham and to Killanny Geraldines GAA club. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


Congratulations to Stephen Courtney & Darren Woods who completed the Dublin Marathon last weekend.

Jivin’ Gym:

The ever popular Jivin Gym is running a four week course on Tuesdays in the social centre.

7pm-8pm beginners

8.15pm-9.15pm Jivercise

See our social media for full details, all welcome.

Le meas,

Pól Ó Siarán,

Oifigeach Caidreamh Poiblí,

C.L.G. An Mhullach Dubh.

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