Under 16's push Kilrea to the finish

Desertmartin faced up to the biggest game of their football careers on Thursday night, when they hosted Kilrea for a league game. With both teams boasting unbeaten runs there was a lot at stake for the victor. The big question for Desertmartin was how would they cope with a seasoned grade one team as strong as Kilrea? On the night our lads showed they have every right to be competing at this level. There was a big crowd for the game and they were not disappointed as both teams served up a cracking contest.

Desertmartin 3-10 Kilrea 1-21

Kilrea were quickest to settle and they opened the scoring with a point in their first attack their second point quickly followed this. With our lads looking very nervous it looked as though they were in for a torrid time. Enda McGuckin then opened our account with a point. Kilrea continued to dominate the early exchanges and they stretched their lead to 6 points to 2 John Hughes hitting our second point. At this stage the lads started to settle into the game and 2 further points reduced the Kilrea lead to two points. Kilrea hit back with another point. In our next attack a long ball was gathered by the Kilrea goalkeeper he was brilliantly dispossessed by John Hughes Paddy Trainor following up saw his shot saved on the line. The ball broke to John but his shot beat the keeper only to rebound off the post, Kilrea broke up the field and the ball finished in the Desertmartin net. This was a turnaround of 6 points as instead of being level we now found ourselves 6 points down. However the lads didn?t throw in the towel and began to take the game to Kilrea, Paddy O?Neill played a long ball form Defence John Hughes fielded and fed Enda McGuckan who raced through and planted the ball in the net 2 further points from Enda O?Hagan then reduced the margin to just a point. Play was swinging from end to end at this stage Kilrea added 2 further points in this half with Desertmartin replying with 1 to leave the score at the break 1-9 to 1-7 in Kilrea?s favour.

The early exchanges in the second half saw both teams hitting 2 points before Kilrea hit a purple patch adding 5 points to increase their lead to seven points. Desertmartin were not finished however and within 5 minutes the lead had been reduced to just one. John Hughes fielded about the 21 and turned his marker brilliantly and fired to the net, 2 minutes later from another Desertmartin attack Paul McGovern fed Paddy Trainor who dispatched the ball to the net. A few minutes later John again fielded in the Kilrea area turned and fired for goal only to see his shot rebound off the crossbar. Buoyed by this let off Kilrea finished the stronger outscoring Desertmartin 5 to 2 over the closing stages.

On the night the lads effort just came up short but they can all hold their heads high as they gave every ounce of effort they had. What was always going to be a difficult assignment was made even more difficult with Connor on holidays and Greg in plaster. On the night it would be unfair to single any one player out so the man of the match award on this occasion goes to all the team for a gallant effort.


1. C Bradley
2. C Brown
3. P Kidd
4. M Connery
5. P McFlynn
6. P O?Neill
7. R Murray
8. E O?Hagan (0-3)
9. C Madden
10. P McGovern
11. E McGuckan (1-4)
12. J Leyden
13. S Fullen
14. J Hughes (1-3)
15. P Trainor (1-0)


F Higgins for P O?Neill
G McElwee for M Connery
S McStravock and D Hegarty

The Next assignment for the team is a quarter final game in the championship against Slaughtneil on Thursday 18th at 7.30