AUGHLISNAFIN U12’s finished their East Down Division 3 on a high with a superb win over the league winners Drumaness at St Colmans Park. The ‘Fin had led from the front for most of the season after defeating Drumaness back in April also but came unstuck over the holiday period with several players unavailable and dropping the points that could have secured their first ever underage title. The Fin won 11 drew once and lost only twice in a superb season scoring 301 points and conceding 115 writes Geároid Ó Lionnacháin.
Last Wednesday evening in Drumaness conditions were perfect for football and what a game it was with both teams evenly matched in the opening quarter. Shea Croskery opened the scoring with the first point for the Fin and quickly added a goal and a point. Drumaness charged back with a goal and a point to leave the minimum between the sides after 10 minutes. Conall King was first to react after the Drumaness goalkeeper saved from another Croskery effort to side foot to the net. Drumaness replied with another two points from play either side of another Croskery point for the Fin.
The Fin grew stronger as the half wore on with Morgan Croskery, Adam Lenaghan, Rory Walsh and Conor Matthews defending resolutely. Lenaghan moving on to man mark the Drumaness danger man and nullifying the scoring threat as the hosts were held scoreless for the remainder of the half.
The midfield pairing of Ruari King and Cathal Murphy were full of running and sharp early balls into the forward line enabled Croskery to add another 1-2 before the short whistle. Ethan Lyttle, Conall King and Conor Donnelly all having exceptional games in the forward division creating the spaces and the lay offs for the scores.
Half time Drumaness 1-3 Aughlisnafin 3-5
A few positional changes by manager Francie Boden saw Morgan Croskery go into nets with Aaran Flanagan moving to full back. Michael Flanagan replaced Ethan Lyttle at half forward and Shea Croskery move to midfield. Straight from the throw in Croskery soloed forward and after taking a reverse pass from Cathal Murphy he fired to the net to give the Fin the ascendancy. Murphy added another point to send the Fin 12 points clear.
With the Fin defence in mean mood they were not giving away scores easily and Drumaness tallied three points in the second half. Croskery adding another 1-3 to give him a remarkable return of 4-7 at the end of the game and the man of the match award. That said it was not a one man team as it took all 16 players on the night with other subs Rhys Clarke, James McCabe, Conor Steen and Niamh King all sprung from the bench to play their part and maintain the high tempo throughout the game.
Final score Drumaness 1-6 Aughlisnafin 5-9
Aughlisnafin : A Flanagan, A Lenaghan, M Croskery, C Matthews, R Walsh, C Murphy (0-1), R King, E Lyttle, S Croskery (capt) (4-7, 1f), C King (1-0), C Donnelly Subs: M Flanagan, R Clarke, C Steen, J McCabe, N King
This group will now be joined by two Year 8 players to compete in the Year 8 Championship which will run over the month of September and October. Opening game will be Sunday 8th September.
The U-12’s also competed at the Gerry Burns Tournament on Saturday and won two of their three group games. In the first game they beat Dromara 2-5 to 1-4 but lost heavily to Kilcoo in the second game. In the final group game which decided who progressed to the Cup or Shield the Fin edged a thrilling game against the hosts St John’s to win 2-1 to 1-1. But it came at a cost as two key players picked up injuries and it made the path to the final much tougher.
The game against the eventual Cup winners Bredagh was scoreless at half time but the North Down side proved too strong in the second half to win comfortably in the end. It was a good outing for the Fin lads who won against Division 2 teams Dromara and St Johns but found the Division 1 teams Kilcoo and Bredagh beyond them. The u12’s will be at the Kilcoo Tournament on Saturday 7 September.
The U-14’s continue their preparations for the semi finals of the C Championship with a good run out against Bailieghlas in Glasdrumman last Monday evening. Thanks to them for hosting the game. Another challenge game will be organised. Training for this group on Thursday at 6.30 pm. A panel of 10 will attend the East Down Og Sport 7’s at RGU Downpatrick this Wednesday evening at 7.30 pm. Panel will be notified to players by text.
The Year 6 and Year 4 Go Games played against St John’s, the only visiting club out of three assigned to the Annsboro venue, was a great success. An hour of football was enjoyed by players from both clubs with excellent skills and commitment evident.
The Year 6 team will take part in the Neil Thompson Tournament hosted by Ballykinlar this Saturday. The squad will consist of 12 players who will be selected from those in attendance at training on Thursday evening at 6.30 pm.
The seniors poor run of league form continued with another defeat at the hands of a confident St Paul’s team in Holywood on Friday evening. The Fin were not at the races in the first half and were unable to register a single score while St Pauls took 1-7 off them with relative ease. After a few choice words at half time the Fin outscored their hosts 1-8 to 1-5 with a much improved display.
Sean Willoughby and Niall Lennon both saw their efforts smack off the crossbar but the Fin left it too late and will rue other missed scoring opportunities. Final score St Paul’s 2-12 Aughlisnafin 1-8.
With Mayo reaching the All Ireland Football final and either Dublin or Kerry to join them the hunt will be on countrywide for precious tickets. Aughlisnafin GAC are raffling off two tickets for the showpiece final. For a chance to win your name can be entered into the draw for just £5. Tickets now available from any member of the committee and senior men and ladies squad.
Well done to Down Ladies footballers on reaching the All Ireland semi final after a superb win over Sligo.
The 49 Club winner is Leah Mooney (1).
Lotto 3, 11, 25, 27. No numbers matched. B Scullion was £20 draw winner. Jackpot £5,650.