Creggan Under 10 Football Tournament 24th May 2015.

12 June 2015

The current unpredictable weather stayed kind for us as we hosted the first of two juvenile football tournaments scheduled for Creggan this year.

First up were the U10s with the participating teams from Antrim being Creggan, Glenravel, St Endas and Tir na nOg. Derry was represented by Kilrea, Glenullin and Lissan and the final team were our guests from Dublin, Thomas Davis.

All preparations had been done. Alison McNally and Agnes McEldowney had got things cooking in the kitchen. Paul McNally was using his dulcet tones to keep everyone relaxed and informed over the PA System and was ready with his calculator for the scores coming in. Michael McLarnon had assembled an eager group of referees who were determined not to tolerate any foul play and more importantly get through the day unscathed. Paul got his hooter tooting and the group stages got going.

Perhaps overawed by the pressure of playing in front of their home crowd our boys started slowly losing to St Endas and Glenullin in their opening two games. Keen to avoid a whitewash John, Tony, Conor and Damian made a few switches for the final group game with Glenravel. Something clicked and the boys played great football to run out convincing winners leaving us third in our group and into the Shield semi- final against Kilrea. The top two teams in the group were Glenullin and St Endas.

In the other group Thomas Davis were looking strong although they lost out to a small and pacey Randalstown team who at this early stage were showing a lot of potential.

After a frenetic hours football lunch beckoned and all roads led to the pavilion where players and mentors were treated to the best of Creggan hospitality by our hard working team. Buns and biscuits became more important than goals and points as the hungry hoards devoured all fare on offer.

Refreshed, it was time for the semi-finals. Our boys fell to an agonising narrow defeat to Kilrea who would go on to meet a rejuvenated Glenravel in the Shield final after they defeated Lissan in their semi. The pairing for the Cup final was to be a repeat of the earlier group encounter between Tir na nOg and Thomas Davis. The former had disposed of St Endas in their semi. Thomas Davis semi-final against Glenullin was a more controversial affair (isn’t that right Michael?!) but eventually the Dublin side triumphed cheered on by their vociferous support.

All was now set for the finals. In the Shield final Glenravel showed that if you keep going to the end you will get your reward. Bottom of their group they took home the Shield after coming good in their semi and continuing this form to defeat Kilrea in the final. The Cup final was a rip roaring contest with honours even at the end of normal time. A quick referral to the rules indicated that the game would be decided by the first score in extra time. Tir na nOg held their nerve to get the decisive point and the score was greeted with relief and jubilation by their nail-bitten supporters.

Colm McLarnon presented Glenravel with the Shield and Tony McCollum was “delighted” to present the Cup to our parish rivals.

A great day’s football was enjoyed and thanks to all who helped in any way.

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