U14 Girls A Championship Shield Final

Desertmartin 7 – 9 : 1 – 3 Steelstown

The U14 Girls rounded off a marvellous season by winning the A Championship Shield today at Owenbeg with a resounding victory over Steelstown. Played in glorious sunshine the St Martin’s girls were worthy winners as they overpowered the city girls from start to finish.

In the vast open spaces of Owenbeg Desertmartin were in firm control in all areas of the pitch. With Kate McCann and Cara Donnelly having a monopoly of possession between the two 45s it was a case of feed the forwards and they’ll do the rest. This they did with Maria McGovern and Ashlinn McElhennon accounting for all their first half scores to lead at halftime 7 – 3 to 0 – 2. The game as a contest was over by half time. In the second period the Desertmartin management used all their subs but the pattern of the game continued with St Martin’s in the driving seat. The Saffrons added a further 0 – 6 to their halftime score while Steelstown replied with 1 – 1.

Despite being outclassed Steelstown remained competitive with their No. 9 being their standout player. She got her just rewards with a well-taken goal in the later stages of the game. Although it was the forwards who caught the eye Desertmartin were secure in defence with really good performances from Tori Donnelly, Leigh McGovern and Ava Bradley. As captain Cara Donnnelly received the trophy it concluded a wonderful season which saw Desertmartin’s U14 Girls compete on the national stage with a sterling journey in the U14 Feile which ended in an All Ireland semi-final placing last weekend.

The club are very grateful to the girls and the management team of Paul Scullion, Paul Donnelly and James Frain for giving the GAA community of our parish a marvellous season of football.

Desertmartin: E Barker; C O’Kane; T Donnelly; H Scullion; L McGovern; A Bradley; C Donnelly; K McCann; A Henry; A McElhennon; K Devlin; M McGovern and L Murray

Ladies v Magherafelt Match Report

The Senior Ladies played host to league leaders Magherafelt yesterday evening, 20th May 2019. It was always going to be a challenge to topple the league pace-setters but the Desertmartin girls made them sit up and take notice, particularly in the second half. As expected the Rossas started at blistering speed building up a comfortable lead half way through the first period. But with Aideen Fullen beginning to win useful possession at mid-field, Carmel Shaw advancing constantly from half back and Louise O’Connell providing support the Saffrons began to work their way into the game. Following a couple of wides St Martin’s opened their account with a well taken goal from full-forward Patricia McFlynn. Magherafelt realising the Desertmartin threat replied with 1 – 2 approaching half-time. Desertmartin finished the half strongly pushing Magherafelt onto the back-foot and were unlucky not to score from two good shooting opportunities. The second period saw a very different game and a rejuvenated St Martin’s team. Suzanne McFlynn who was playing well in the first half gave a dazzling performance at half-back in the second. The introduction of Noleen McGuckin into the defence along with the assured play of Paula McElwee gave Desertmartin greater security. But the jewel in Desertmartin’s rousing second performance was Ciara Scullion who repeatedly picked up possession around her own 45m line and set the home side attacking time and time again. During the first twenty minutes of the second half Desertmartin outscored the visitors 3 – 2 to 1 – 5 with goals coming from P McFlynn, Erin McKernan and Emer Kelly along with two well taken points from C Scullion and S McGuckin. But the huge effort put in by the St Martin’s girls left them visibly tired entering the remaining few minutes of play. Sensing their opportunity the Rossas cashed with three late goals to re-establish their comfortable lead. But Desertmartin should take heart from their performance and build on it for the remainder of the league. Final score Desertmartin 4 – 2 – 6 – 13 Magherafelt.

Desertmartin: Noleen McGuckin; Sinead McGuckin; Suzanne McGuckin (0 -1); Edel McGuckin; Carmel Shaw; Paula McElwee; Louise O’Connell; Aideen Fullen; Ciara Scullion (0 -1); Erin McKernan (1 – 0); Niamh Mullan; Patricia McFlynn (2 – 0); Shannon Campbell; Emer Kelly (1 – 0); Catherine Walls and Orla Kelly

Seniors v Craigbane

The seniors traveled to Craigbane last Sunday for their penultimate league game of the season. In the picturesque surrounds of the Gerry Crossan Park on a fine summers day Desertmartin gave a fine display of open attacking football. Committed to going forward, minimizing short play in defence they created chance after chance and eventually ran out worthy winners. The home side started the sharper and were 0-2 ahead on ten minutes. A minute later Declan Murray got the Saffrons off the mark with a pointed free. But Craigbane were the more industrious side the in opening quarter with Lee Moore at the core of all attacking play. The pattern of the game changed on the sixteenth minute when Greg McGovern delivered a long diagonal pass to his brother Paul on the right wing who pointed to level the game. Desertmartin winning most possession between the 45s took the lead through a Declan Murray point on the eighteenth minute. Craigbane replied immediately with a point from L Moore to bring things level. Shortly afterwards Greg McGovern again opened the home defence with another long searching pass to Aidy Trainor who extended Desertmartin’s lead when he fired over with confidence on the twentieth minute. From then onto half time Desertmartin were in full control and added further points from Joey Quinn; Fergal Higgins and pointed frees apiece from Declan Murray and Aidy Trainor. Craigbane frustrated at Desertmartin’s dominance conceded a yellow and a black card. Lee Moore once again came to the home side’s rescue when he pointed to leave the half time score Desertmartin 0-8; Craigbane 0-4. From the throw in to the second period the home side were immediately on the attack when Aidy Devine pointed on the thirty-first minute and were disappointed to see a goaling opportunity go wide a minute later. Dermot Breen restored the visitors fortunes with a point and then went close when he rattled another effort off the crossbar. Desertmartin were disappointed at not getting a penalty when Feragal Higgins was bowled over close to the Craigbane goals on the forty-first minute only for the referee to wave play on. But L Moore kept Craigbane’s hopes alive with three further points to trim St Martin’s lead to one point on the forty-forth minute. Desertmartin then raised their game and went four ahead with two points from Declan Murray and one from Enda McGuckin with ten minutes to go. Craigbane were beginning to falter as Desertmartin ran constantly at the home defence. Declan Murray pointed on the fifty-forth minute followed by another from his brother Donal immediately afterwards. By this stage Desertmartin were encamped in the Craigbane half and further scores were inevitable. L Moore scored his eighth point and Craigbane’s last with four minutes to go. Desertmartin maintained the pressure on the home defence with Paul McGovern getting his second point of the evening, Declan Murray his seventh while Stephen Trainor sent to the net on the sixty-first minute to give Desertmartin a 1-16 to 0-9 victory.

Senior ladies v Coleraine

The senior ladies played host to Coleraine in the league last Monday evening. On a pleasant summer evening both sides gave a exhibition of open attacking football with emphasis upon quick movement from defence to forwards. The game was neatly balanced at 0-3 each after eleven minutes with the Desertmartin scores coming from Noleen McGuckin (0-1) and Ciara Shaw (0-2, 2f). Coleraine exerting pressure on the home defence scored 1-1 to go four points up by the fifteenth minute. With Noleen Murphy and Emer Breen working hard at midfield Desertmartin began to create opportunities and Ciara Shaw reduced the deficit with a pointed free on twenty minutes. But the threat of Coleraine’s potent half-forward line began to show itself as they carried the ball deep into the home defence scoring two further points to stretch their lead to five. Desertmartin finished the first half the stronger as they created numerous chances with Ciara Shaw scoring her fourth point to trail at the break 0-5 to 1-6. The second half saw the very best of Coleraine with their number nine and half-forward line dominating for most of the second period. Desertmartin will be disappointed about the scores they conceded but can’t be faulted for effort as each of them gave their very best. Like the first thirty minutes Desertmartin finished the half strongly when Ciara Shaw scored two more pointed frees but Coleraine were worthy winners on a scoreline of 5-15 to 0-7.Desertmartin team: L McGuckin; Carmel Shaw; E Donnelly; S McGuckin; T Scott; E Gribben; P McElwee; E Breen; N McGuckin; M Murray; L Breen; Ciara Shaw; Aoife Fullen; E O’Loane and C Walls. Sub used S Campbell.

Seniors Result Craigbane

Well done to the senior team, with a good win up at Craigbane on Sunday 23rd July.

With the sun shining and not a breeze, the ball was moved with pace in an energy sapping affair. There were a few players in new positions due to injury and some not available who put there hands up with great displays.

The final score was 1-16 to 0-9.

The seniors and reserves are down to play Castledawson on Sunday 30th at Longfield going for three in a row.

U16s v Loup

The U16 Boys played host to Loup last Sunday in their eighth league game of the season. The first half was low scoring with Loup leading 0-4 to 0-2 at half-time. The second period was totally different as both sides gave a grand display of open attacking football. Desertmartin were more determined and purposeful in their play hitting 2-6 in the second twenty five minutes. But Loup matched them all the way scoring 1-5. In the end Desertmartin just edged it 2-8 to 1-9.

Seniors v Drum

The senior men played Drum at Longfield last Thusday evening in their eleventh league game of the season. Realising the importance of the game each player gave a whole hearted performance and outplayed a gritty and very determined Drum team. Played on a very calm mild evening with a little dampness on the grass Desertmartin were only a point ahead 0-4 to 0-3 by the seventeenth minute. But they raised their game considerably approaching halftime and when Enda McGuckin goaled from the penalty-spot on twenty seven minutes the Saffrons led by seven points. Drum finished the first half strongly by hitting two points and could have reduced the deficit even more when they hit a penalty shot off the Desertmartin upright. The second period largely belonged to Desertmartin as they outplayed the visitors to go ten points ahead with time almost up. Drum had a late rally and scored three points in injury time but it wasn’t enough as Desertmartin ran out winners 1-16 to 1-9.Desertmartin scorers: Declan Murray (0-6); `P McGovern (0-4); E McGuckin (1-2, 1pen); D Breen (0-1); R Murray (0-1); E O’Kane (0-1) and G McGovern (0-1)

Ladies v Magherafelt

The senior ladies played Magherafelt in a league game Rossa Park last Monday evening. Desertmartin started brightly leading 1-2 to 0-1 after five minutes of play with scores coming from Ciara Shaw (0-1); Emer O’Loan (1-0) and Shannon McCrystal (0-1). But the following fifteen minutes belonged to the Rosses who added four points to no reply. Desertmartin recovered their composure and pressurized the home defence with points from Niamh Fullen and Ciara Shaw. But the home side came roaring back with 3-2 to lead at the break 3-7 to 1-4. Magherafelt’s greater strength and athletic ability showed itself throughout the second half as they continually pressed forward. But Desertmartin’s defence was resolute as they harried and blocked the Magherafelt attacks. Desertmartin added a further 1-2 to their scoreline but Magherafelt ran out worthy winners 5-12 to 2-6.Desertmartin team: L McGuckin; Carmel Shaw; N McGuckin; N McCrory; E Breen; E Gribben; S McGuckin; L Breen; L McCrystal; N Fullen; S McCrystal; Ciara Shaw; E McGuckin; E O’Loan and R McElhennon. Subs used P McElwee; A Fullen and T Scott

Seniors v Slaughtmanus

The seniors traveled to Slaughtmanus last Sunday for their tenth league game of the season. The home side started sharply and went 0-2 up after two minutes. Desertmartin replied immediately with a goal from Adrian Trainor but this was cancelled out when Slaughtmanus goaled from a penalty on the eighth minute. Desertmartin then had their best period of the game when they hit 1-3 to lead by a point on the eighteenth minute. But Slaughtmanus with a strong midfield kept pushing forward and added 1-3 before the break to lead 2-5 to 1-4 at halftime. Aided by the breeze in the second period Slaughtmanus kept pressurizing the Saffrons defence but failed to convert their dominance into scores. Desertmartin trimmed the deficit to a goal by the 42nd minute but Slaughtmanus reasserted their authority and finished strongly, winning 2-12 to 1-7Desertmartin scorers: A Trainor (1-2); E McGuckin (0-3, 3f); J Quinn (0-1) and D Breen (0-1)

Under 14s v Newbridge

U16 Boys traveled to Newbridge last Thursday evening for their seventh league game of the season.. Played during driving rain and strong winds the Desertmartin lads gave a good account of themselves. At 13-a-side on the wide open spaces of O’Leary Park goals were inevitable and in this Newbridge came out on tops, scoring nine to Desertmartin’s three. The home side were blessed with some elegant forwards who made little of the difficult playing conditions and were always dangerous in front of goal. Desertmartin for their part matched the O’Leary men for effort, share of possession and points scored. Playing with the wind in the first period Desertmartin wasted scoring opportunities which came to haunt them in the second period. Despite having fourteen attempts on goal to Newbridge’s eight in the first 25 minutes, Desertmartin trailed 2-6 to 4-3 at the break. Playing against the wind in the second half it was always going to be difficult. Desertmartin started brightly exchanging two points apiece with the ‘Bridge following seven minutes of play. As Desertmartin pushed forward carrying the ball into the wind their passing occasionally broke down inside the ‘Bridge 45m line who in turn maximized the vast space in front of them as they broke downfield. In a ten minute period they put the outcome beyond doubt when they struck the Saffrons with 3-3 to no reply. Full credit to Desertmartin who showed great spirit in the closing stages answering with 1-2 before the final whistle. Full-time score: Newbridge 9-10; Desertmartin 3-10.Desertmartin scorers: Eunan McElhennon (0-3); Callum Ormsby (1-2); Ryan McElhennon (0-3, 2f); Lachlan Murray (1-1); Gerard Fullen (1-0) and Martin Mackle (0-1)