Desertmartin’s recent good form in the league continued last Sunday when they overcame Faughanvale at Longfield. Both teams started the game level on points and a victory was paramount to each in their quest to avoid a place in the bottom six of the league at the end of the season. From the throw-in both sides fought hard for dominance and nothing separated them as they were locked at 0-4 each after twenty minutes. But Desermartin finished the half stronger to lead 0-8 to 0-5 at the break. St Martin’s started the second period in determined fashion hitting three quick points to go six up after five minutes from the restart. But the mood of the game changed. Desertmartin relaxed too much, Faughanvale snatched their chance and fired over four points to cut the Saffrons lead to two on the 44th minute. From then until the final whistle it was a battle. Possession was hard won, difficult to retain and scoring chances were rare. The odds for a draw were prominent entering the last five minutes as Faughanvale closed to within one point of the lead. Somehow the Saffrons found a late surge of energy and forcing the play through midfield and working their way into the Vale’s 20m line they slammed over three points to go four up into injury time. Faughanvale finished the game with a pointed free but Desertmartin emerged three point winners 0-14 to 0-11.
Desertmartin scorers: G McGreevy (0-5 2f); A Trainor (0-2); Donal Murray (0-2); P McGovern (0-1); G McGovern (0-1); Declan Murray (0-1); O Kelly (0-1) and M Madden (0-1)
The seniors continued the good form they showed against Ballerin with a comprehensive victory over Drum in the league last Friday evening. Played at the North Derry venue Desetmartin were in complete control for the first thirty minutes. They were 1-4 to 0-2 ahead after fifteen minutes and kept accumulating scores to lead at the break 3-8 to 0-4 with the goals coming from Ryan McGuckin; E McGuckin (pen) and Declan Murray. The Saffrons went further ahead shortly after the restart when E McGuckin goaled again from a penalty after G McGovern was fouled in the Drum square. Further points followed from Ronan McGuckin and Declan Murray but Desertmartin took the foot off the pedal and Drum took over for the remainder of the game. With Nos. 6; 8; 11 and 12 showing great commitment and no less skill St Colm’s shot an impressive 1-7 in the second half. The Saffrons came to life in the remaining few minutes with a point from Declan Murray and a very well taken goal from G McGovern to run out easy winners 5-11 to 1-11.
Desertmartin scorers: E McGuckin (2pen-3). Declan Murray (1-2); G McGreevy (0-2); Ryan McGuckin (1-0); G McGovern (1-0); Donal Murray (0-1); E O’Kane (0-1); Ronan McGuckin (0-1) and A Trainor (0-1)
The Senior ladies played Ballerin in the first round of the championship at Longfield last Monday evening. Although Balllerin stared as hot favourites they were just ahead by two points with five minutes to go and had to call upon all their resources in the last few minutes to guarantee their passage to the next round. Desertmartin gave a whole hearted performance and each girl gave their very best on the night.
The sides were level at two points-a- piece after ten minutes with Thomasina Cassidy scoring for the Saffrons. Play was then halted for quite some time as a Ballerin player picked an injury to her shoulder and had to leave the field. The Sarsfields girls added two further points before Desertmartin had a goaling opportunity that resulted in a fisted point from Patricia McFlynn. The following ten minutes saw Ballerin at their very best as they cut through the home defence scoring 1-4 approaching halftime. Desertmartin stemmed the onslaught when T Cassidy pointed from a free leaving Ballerin ahead 1-7 to 0-4 at the break. Desertmartin suffered a blow seconds after the throw-in to the second period when Aideen Fullen who was playing really well at midfield damaged an ankle when she landed heavily and couldn’t continue. But Desertmartin brought the game to the visitors and won a penalty on the thirty-sixth minute when T Cassidy was fouled as she bore down on goal. Thomasina struck the penalty firmly but the Ballerin keeper saved and the danger was cleared. Desertmartin at this stage were very measured in their play with Edel McGuckin pulling off good saves in goals, Noleen McGuckin very assured at full-back, Paula McElwee intercepting repeatly at wing back and Louise O’Connell now playing at centre-half they looked very solid in defence. This along with Suzanne McGuckin working hard at mid-field and Shannon McCrystal making surging runs through the middle they forced Ballerin on to the backfoot. Although the Sarsfields scored two further points the highlight of the game arrived in the 55th and 56th minutes when Desertmartin’s Cara Donnelly making her senior debut scored two marvellous goals to leave only two points between the teams. Sensing danger Ballerin went up a gear with Nos. 10, 11 and 14 who were a threat all evening rose to the challenge. As time was running out, St Martin’s with tiredness creeping in couldn’t contain a determined Sarfields late rush as they powered forward scoring 1-4 to maintain their quest for championship honours. Although beaten 2-13 to 2-4 the Desertmartin girls played their part in a thoroughly enjoyable game.
Desertmartin: Edel McGuckin; Niambh Fullen, Noleen McGuckin, Emma Donnelly; Paula McElwee, Suzanne McGuckin, Erin McKernan; Aideen Fullen, Shannon McCrystal; Cara Donnelly (2-0), Louise O’Connell, Ciara Scullion; Sinead McGuckin, Patricia McFlynn (0-1), Thomasina Cassidy (0-3).
Subs used: Roisin McElhennon, Megan Grant, Eileen McIvor and Megan Murray.
The tackling bullying talk due to take place tonight in the Gaelic Centre has been cancelled until further notice.
The Ulster GAA Council will conduct a workshop on Tackling Bullying in the Gaelic Centre on Tuesday 20th February @ 7:00pm. This is an invitation to everyone who is interested in this issue. It is important that all team coaches attend.
The following were elected at the AGM held on Monday 15th January to serve on the committee for 2018.
Chairman – Pat Kidd
Vice Chairman – Patrick Kidd
Secretary – Ann Matterson
Assistant Secretary – Gerard McGuigan
Treasurer – Brona Connery
Assistant Treasurer – Shane Martin
PRO – Colm Breen
Culture/Language Officers – Shay Shiels and Sinead McGuckin
Membership Officer – Peter Donnelly
Youth/Coaching Officer – Pamela O’Kane
Committee member – Michael McGovern
The election of officers was conducted by Harry McCann
There will be a meeting of the Executive Committee on Monday 8th @ 8:30pm.
The Christmas Bazaar will be held in the Gaelic Centre on Saturday night 9th December @ 8:00pm. Collectors will be calling at homes within the parish during the coming week
The club held its annual dinner in the clubrooms last Saturday night. Our special guests were County Chairman Brian Smith along with Karl McKaigue and Brendan Rodgers from the all conquering Slaughtneil club who are back to back County and Ulster champions in football, hurling and camogie. While Brian paid tribute to the club’s underage success this year Karl and Brendan gave an insight into what it is like to compete in Gaelic games at the highest level. Club chairman Pat Kidd after making everyone welcome conducted the presentation of awards which went to the following:
Ladies senior player of the year – Noleen McGuckin
Reserve Men player of the year – Ryan McGuckin
Senior Men player of the year – Dermot Breen
Club team of the year – Callan Gaels Minors
Winners of the Anthony McSwiggan Inter-Parish Memioral Tournament – Tirgan ( Captained by Cormac McGuckin while Player of the Tournament went to Enda McGuckin)
A special award is always given to a person or persons who made an outstanding contribution to the welfare of the club throughout the year. On this occasion the Patrick Higgins Memorial Cup went to a very hard working group who were responsible for the maintenance of the interior of the Gaelic Centre which they did with continued commitment and diligence.
The presentation of trophies was shared between Brian, Karl, Brendan and Patricia McSwiggan.
We are deeply grateful to Pat Kidd and Pamela O’Kane who organised the event, P J and Brona Connery who served drinks and to many others who prepared the hall and worked on the night. We offer our thanks to everyone who attended and made our senior presentation a wonderful occasion. Our gratitude goes to Apparro Restaurant of Draperstown who prepared the food to the highest standard and to Terence McIlvar (Apollo) who provided the music.
On Sunday past the club held its annual Youth Presentation in the Gaelic Centre.
Special guests for the evening were twin brothers Lorcan and Oisin McWilliams who played with the Derry Minor team which went to the All Ireland final this year.
All age brackets from U6 to U16 (Boys and Girls) and management were acknowledged for their contribution throughout the year.
Congratulations to U14 Boys who were presented with their medals as winners of the County Feile; U13 Boys winners of the Kevin Corry Memorial Shield (Pomeroy); U12 Girls winners of the Desertmartin U12 Girls Tournament; U10s winners of the Castledawson U10 Tournament and U8s winners of the LCC Lissan U8 Tournament.
The Callan Gaels Minor team were honoured as club team of the year the previous evening at the club annual dinner. They completed the season unbeaten and were crowned B2 County champions in league and championship. Well done to our Youth Officer Pamela O’Kane who organised the occasion and to Club Chairman Pat Kidd who conducted the presentations. Thanks to everyone who attended in such good numbers to show your appreciation to all our underage players and management.