Dromore GFC News
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Final of Paul McGirr Tournament
Sat, 05 Dec 2015
The scene is set in Gardrum Park Dromore this Sunday for what promises to be a sparkling tie as Armagh champions Clann Eireann and Antrim’s O’Donovan Rossa battle it out for the title of the 2015 Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions. Despite some poor weather conditions the tournament this year has been memorable in particular for some wonderful attacking displays and on Sunday we will have probably two of the best young attacking talents in the province on show in Clann Eireann’s Aodhan McConville and Rossa goal scoring sensation Dominic McEnhill. With plenty of other top talents on show there is no doubt the expected large crowd will be treated to a top class contest with both teams having represented their club and counties with immense pride so far.

Clann Eireann would appear to have come through the tougher side of the draw having impressively disposed of a highly rated Bredagh in the quarter final and then coming out on top by the minimum margin after a massive battle last Saturday against a very strong Magherafelt team. The hero of the semi final was corner back Thomas French who popped up with a beautiful winning point from 35 yards in the final minute, however there is no doubt that French and his defensive colleagues will have their hands full at the opposite end of the field on Sunday. Jack Haddock at centre half back had been a rock for his side and has managed to get forward to devastating effect on several occasions in both matches so far, Conor Turbitt has shown reserves of boundless energy in midfield and the workrate, skill and free taking ability of wing forward Rioghan Meehan are something that Rossa will be determined to counter. Manager Mairtin McConville is well aware of the task facing his side “'The boys have really enjoyed the competition so far and are looking forward to Sunday's final. We are under no illusions about the task ahead and have been very impressed with O'Donovan Rossa in their run up to the final. In that regard the boys know that nothing short of their best will be good enough on the day and hopefully the game will be fitting to the occasion in what is undoubtably one of the leading youth football tournaments in the GAA calendar".

Rossa overcame Cavan’s Southern Gaels in the quarter final and were in devastating goal scoring form last Sunday when they surmounted the threat posed by the hosts, Tyrone champions Dromore. Although forwards McEnhill and Daire Matthews have been grabbing the headlines having amassed 7-03 between them in the two games so far, it is their defensive strength which has been most impressive having only conceded ten scores in two games. Central to this has been captain Michael McGreevey and Michael McIvor, both strong and tenacious players and both very disciplined in the tackle. Rossa also boost the most impressive midfielder in the tournament so far in Eoghan McMenamin and his performance will be key to their chances of annexing the Ulster title, a title that they won in 2011. Under the management of Dominic McEnhill, Hugh McGettigan, Déaglán Ó Murchú and Niall Crossan, the West Belfast boys will be travelling down with great hopes of rounding off what has been a terrific season in both football and hurling for this bunch of players and according to McEnhill their opponents are no strangers to them “The boys will go into this week’s Paul McGirr final quietly confident they can cause an upset against Clann Eireann. After Sundays semi-final win against host club Dromore the Rossa lads trained hard this week in preparation for the biggest day in their young football careers. We have played Clann Eireann over the years since U12 in challenge games but never in competitive competition. Those challenge games were closely contested games and we expect Sundays contest to be equally competitive. We watched Clann Eireann in the semi-final and were very impressed with their style of play and physical strength. They have some quality defenders and their forwards were very impressive. They are a well drilled outfit and compliments must be paid to their mentors in producing such a strong cohesive team. Our boys are up for the task ahead and believe that with a good team performance and a bit of luck can bring the Paul McGirr trophy back to west Belfast again. Hopefully the weather will be kind to both teams and allow the game to be a fitting finale to this prestigious tournament"

The winner would be very hard to call with both teams having put in excellent performances so far, the key to the contest will be whether Clann Eireann can quell the prolific goal threat which Rossa possess and the battle between McIvor and McConville at the other end will also be key to the outcome. Clann Eireann had a great start last week against Magherafelt and if they begin in similar fashion this week then the Rossa boys will have to re-think their defensive strategy, so the initial fifteen minutes could go a long way to dictating the final outcome. There is huge anticipation for the game which throws in at 2:00 on Sunday and the large crowd expected could really be in for a thrill as both sides battle it out. All proceeds from the game and the entire tournament go the ‘The Spirit Of Paul McGirr Trust’ for its work with the poor and needy in Lusaka, Zambia.