Monthly Archives: November 2011

Crossmaglen Vs Burren

After the celebrations and jubilations in the Derrytresk changing rooms, I decided to stay for the Ulster Senior Championship final between Armagh’s Crossmaglen and Down’s Burren.

From the start of the game, Crossmaglen dominated in every area of the field with the usual suspects of the Kernan brothers, Oisin Mc Conville, Aaron Cunningham and Jamie Clarke putting in star performances…… it was the kind of performance that made me a little sick in the stomach as they were just so good and as everyone knows there are few (if any) clubs in Ulster that can take them on and beat them.

Burren did contain them a little better in the second half but could never overcome them which was the major difference.  Final score; Crossmaglen 2-11 Burren 0-10.

Tyrone will be meeting some of these lads again in May 2012 when they take on Armagh in the first round of the Ulster Championship but I may bump into Clarke, Mc Conville and the likes sooner than that if Derrytresk and Crossmaglen make it all the way to the All-Ireland club finals on St Paddy’s Day!

Below are a few snaps from the game.


Cross line out in front of a large crowd.



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Derrytresk Vs Cremartin

Derrytresk topped their recent Tyrone Junior Championship success just over a month ago by becoming the 2011 Ulster Junior football champions at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh on Sunday. Derrytresk followed the footsteps of Rock GFC and Greencastle GFC to become the third Tyrone team in recent years to lift the Paul Kerr Cup. This is an incredible achievement for “Tyrone’s smallest gaelic football club” and now they are only two games away from becoming the All-Ireland junior football champions!

Conditions in Athletic Grounds were almost perfect and although there was a slight chill in the air, it was a sunny and pleasant afternoon for an afternoon of football.

The first half was generally a poor game of football with both team’s passing leaving a lot to be desired. Derrytresk found it difficult to get into a flow and were guilty of some poor kicking in front of the posts. Cremartin took advantage of this and after 25 minutes went 0-04 to 0-02 ahead. However, the tide turned for Derrytresk at the end of the half when Caolan Corr slotted the ball into the corner of the net to leave it level. At the end of the 30 minutes, referee Gregory Walsh sent off Cremartin’s Neil Flanagan following a double booking.

The second half was similar to the first…. Derrytresk went through a lengthy 10 minute spell when they kicked numerous scoreable frees wide while Cremartin converted the chances they had to go ahead by 2 points after 50 minutes. But just like the first half, a sensational solo effort from Mickey Rea resulted in him curling the ball around the Cremartin goalkeeper to put Derrytresk 1 point ahead. Niall Galvin added another point and the boys from ‘the Hill’ managed to hold their nerves in injury time for a slender 2-05 to 0-10 win.

Most will agree that it wasn’t Derrytresk’s finest 60 minutes of football of the year but that doesn’t matter as they are now the Ulster Junior champions of 2011!


Derrytresk line out on a sunny afternoon in Morgan Athletic Grounds, Armagh.


Kevin Quinn challenges for the ball early in the game.


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High Chieftain of Aghaloo Final

There’s a new high chieftain in town …. and he goes by the name of Cuthbert Donnelly!!

Friday night saw the culmination of 10 months hard work from a lot of parishioners of Aghaloo as the ‘Battle of the Clans’ themed fundraiser concluded with Clan Cuthbert coming out on top of the fundraising efforts with an amazing £48,000!! Since January, Cuthbert Donnelly (a.k.a. the most recognisable man in Ulster GAA circles and Sam Maguire’s keeper) and his clan held a turf and stick sale, auctions, a ‘Come Dine with Me’ night followed by a hugely successful barn dance in a farm on the very road I live on.

In close second place was Clan Mickey Muldoon with an equally amazing total of £42,000. Mickey and his clan held a lot of Mrs Brown themed concerts throughout the year, a funeral, BURIAL and wake of Mickey in July…. yes Mickey was buried in a box underground for over 24 hours in Aughnacloy!!!! Locals came to pay their respects to Mickey in ‘the wake’ through a 6 foot pipe (which was really an all night drinking session!) As well as this, Clan Mickey organised more raffles, a flower arranging night and a successful boxing night in Monaghan’s Hillgrove Hotel.

The three smaller clans (Clan Ursula, Clan Josie and Clan Caolan) raised a combined effort of £18,000 which was a terrific sum of money too in current times.

Raising all this money of course was for an important reason… to build a new community centre in the Aghaloo and Blackwater area. For the last 15 yrs approx, there has been no parish hall in Aughnacloy and have had to use the smaller hall in neighbouring Caledon. The clans totally surpassed their original target of £55,000 and altogether there has been a total of £108,000 raised so far!!!

This amount of money will definitely kick-start plans into getting a new community centre pretty soon. A massive maith thú to everyone involved in this wonderful achievement for Aghaloo.

Cuthbert Donnelly is crowned High Chieftain of Aghaloo after his clan raised the most money.


A delighted Cuthbert salutes the audience at Armagh City Hotel.


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Dromore Vs Ballinderry

A mere 7 days after Dromore came over Clonoe in the Tyrone Senior Championship final, they met the challenge of Derry senior champions Ballinderry in Healy Park, Omagh on Sunday…. a very interesting tie too for Dromore manager Paul Mc Ivor as he is a Ballinderry native and his brother Michael is in the starting 15 for the opposing team. It was a cloudy but dry day on Sunday for the Ulster Senior Championship quarter final game and the pitch was in very good condition considering the rain.

Dromore got off to the worst start possible though when a high lobbing ball into their goalmouth was spilled by keeper Peter Ward leaving none other than Michael Mc Ivor to boot it into the net. Dromore didn’t let this knock their game plan as Eoin Mc Cusker and Paddy Montague struck points for them throughout the first half whilst Derry players Conleth Gilligan and Enda Muldoon scored for Ballinderry leaving it 1-06 to 0-07 at half time.

The second half was similar to the first …. no matter how well Dromore moved the ball forward and scored, Ballinderry equalled it ensuring they always kept at least 2 points ahead. Dromore made numerous changes on the bench but it wasn’t meant to be as the entertaining game of football ended, Ballinderry 1-11 Dromore 0-12.

Dromore were always chasing the goal they conceded in the first minute and unfortunately for them they could never close the gap. Ballinderry will now meet All-Ireland club champions Crossmaglen in the Ulster semi-final while Derrytresk are the only Tyrone side remaining in the Ulster series following their quarter final victory in Celtic Park, Derry.

Dromore St Dympnas line out in front of a decent crowd at Healy Park.


College pal Michael 'Smiley' Mc Ivor takes off at speed for Ballinderry.


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Kildress Vs Carrickmacross

Two weeks after Kildress’s success in the Tyrone Intermediate Championship against Galbally, they were back in action in Healy Park to take on Monaghan champions Carrickmacross in the Ulster Championship quarter finals. Due to the clash of jerseys, Kildress were in their ‘away’ red kit while Carrickmacross wore the Farney’s army’s county top.

Kildress used the advantage of the wind to their benefit in the first half as Frank Mc Gurk, Des Tracey and Damian Kelly got on the scoresheet as the Carrickmacross defence struggled to deal with the Wolfe Tones and they deservedly went in 0-06 to 0-03 up at half time.

It was Carrickmacross’s turn to use the breeze to their advantage in the second half but it was Frank Mc Gurk and Matthew Heagney that scored first to leave 5 points between the teams. Things were looking comfortable for Kildress. However, mainly due to some poor refereeing from Antrim’s Gregory Walsh, Kildress conceded scores to Stephen Gollogly and Andrew Callan and then they were dealt with the blow of a straight red card to their half back Peter Hagan for something no one could explain!

As the minutes counted down, Carrickmacross levelled 0-08 t0 0-08 and as the game went into stoppage time, Kildress could not overcome the Carrickmacross momentum and they bowed out of the Ulster Championship 0-11 to 0-08. It was a disappointing end to the year for Kildress, especially to have been 3 points up at half time, but they are still the champions of Tyrone. Many felt Kildress could have progressed on further in Ulster this year and they probably felt robbed following the below-par performance from referee Gregory Walsh in the second half which was vented by the players and supporters as he left the field.


The Kildress team warm up before the game in Healy Park.


Kildress's Michael Crawley keeps the ball close to his chest as Neil Mc Enaney follows.


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