Swinford Youth Team
Meelick Youth Team
Swinford Senior Team
Midfield/Culmore Youth Team
Killasser/Carramore Youth Team
The first test matches in the inaugural Mary Mannion Parish National Schools league, sponsored by O’Connells pharmacy, were played in the Amenity Park, Swinford on Friday 15th of May.
There was a lot of fine football, and fine footballers, on display. But, what was really fantastic, was the fierce local pride of all the teams who participated.
It was a real treat to see the Yellow & Blue of Killasser&Carramore back on the football fields of Swinford. Those colours struck fear into many a Swinford underage team of the 80s! The youth team have been training each Sunday and are blessed with a group of dedicated and gifted coaches. They played two games and had outstanding performers in Thomas Tuffy, John Dunleavy, James Geraghty, Frankie Doherty and John Howley. This is a team with a bright future.
The revelation of the day were the Black&Amber of Meelick youth team. Again, you could really see the benefits of their weekly Tuesday training as they ran out winners against both Swinford and Midfield/Culmore. These boys have the talent to be the powerhouse of many a Swinford and Mayo team in the future. Picking any players out is unfair, but Sean O’Neil, Jack Murphy, Jonathan Sweeney and Ciaran Mulroy all put in excellent shifts. Meelick are now the team to catch for the Youth cup.
Swinford Youth team really grew as a unit as the day went on. They dominated their first half against Meelick, but just weren’t able to convert their possession into scores. They fared better in their second game. This team is full of dedicated and skilled players who are developing with each training session. Ciaran Owens and Brian Irwin only started training with the GAA this year but are already leading lights. Their midfielder Diarmuid Monaghan was the only non-Swinford club player playing in the tournament – but the club adminstrators are now looking for loopholes to get him in the Black & Red permanently!
The fourth team in the Youth Cup is Midfield/Culmore. Like Swinford, they won a game and lost a game. Midfield/Culmore have got to two county semi-finals this year, so they know how to play football and have some wily old foxes on the sideline. However, it is their gifted players on the other side of the white line that set them apart. Powered by u10s such as Nathan Griffin, Danny Forkan and Conor Devaney they also have more experienced u12s in Jack Ferguson and Dylan Brennan. These are the dark horses of the Youth cup.
Finally, the seniors of Swinford faced a ‘culchie’ challenge when the joined forces of Midfield, Meelick and anybody from outside the town boundaries played them in a challenge game. As with many a non sporting occasion, the country cousins were too sharp for the town boys. Good displays by Sean McDonagh, Daniel Molloy and Adoran Delpay were not enough to repel the maruding Luke McNicholas, David Sweeney and the Dylan twins, Toner & Kelly. This match will set both teams of players up for the Senior cup challenges to come.
It was a great first evening out for this competition and we will continue to run it on a monthly basis. A big thank you to all the dedicated coaches who are the real life blood of the thriving Swinford GAA club.
Thanks to Michael Murtagh for the comprehensive report.