Another League Title for Under 14's

Desertmartin under 14's continued the success of last years under 14's
with another South Derry Under 14 B League Title

, once again remaining
unbeaten throughout the campaign. After losing 16 of last years panel
it was more in hope than expectation that the team set out on this
years campaign. But the players have once again responded magnificently
to the coaching of their managers Seamus Fullen and Danny McStravock.

The team began the campaign with an away game at Greenlough on a wet
and windy Thursday evening. The team settled early in the game and with
the defence on top for most of the half they led at Half Time 3-3 to
1-0. The team started the second half well increasing the lead with
some well taken points. It looked at this stage that Desertmartin would
romp to an emphatic victory, however Greenlough hit back with a
succession of scores aided by some poor defending to cut the deficit to
5 points. Desertmartin regrouped with Enda moving to midfield and they
finished strongly adding a goal and a point to run out 9 point winners.
Enda O'Hagan was the star man on the night hitting 4-7 out of 4-9 but
there were also good performances from Paddy O'Neill in defence, Paul
Kidd at Midfield and Ferghal Higgins, Brendan Higgins and Thomas Toner
in the forwards.

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 4-7, Ferghal Higgins 0-1,Brendan Higgins 0-1

The first home game of the season saw Ballymaguigan as the visitors.
Despite finishing 10 point victors this was a strange sort of game with
Ballymaguigan on top for long periods but a combination of great
defending and poor shooting enabled our lads to chalk up their second
victory of the campaign. Once again the foundation for victory was
built in the first half. Paul McGovern after a poor game the previous
week bounced back in great style top scoring with 2-3 and causing
problems for the Ballymaguigan defence all night. Enda O'Hagan after
his heroics the previous week had quiet game by his standards. All six
defenders excelled with the full back line of Barry O'Hagan, Paddy
O'Neill and Sean McStravock magnificent.

Scorers: Paul McGovern 2-3, Enda O'Hagan 1-2, Mark Murchan 0-1, Thomas Toner 0-1, Ferghal Higgins 0-1, Padraig McDaid 0-1

Desertmartin travelled to Glen for their third game of the season
with Glen having won 3 of the 4 games they had played a tough game was
expected. The first half of this game is one to forget for most of the
team, a succession of mistakes throughout the field allowed Glen to
build up a half time lead of 1-7 to 1-2. Paul McGovern was
Desertmartin's only plus in this half showing well for the ball and
setting up opportunities for his team mates. The second half saw a
different Desertmartin team emerge much more decisive and determined.
Enda O'Hagan give an exhibition of score taking in this half hitting
3-7. he was ably supported by Paul McGovern, Ferghal and Brendan
Higgins and Padraig McDaid Paul Kidd and Ciaran Burns controlled
midfield for most of the second half with Paul McFlynn having his best
game of the season at centre Half Back.  

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 3-9, Padraig McDaid 1-0

For the fourth game of the campaign we hosted Castledawson. After a
disappointing first half we led by 3-4 to 1-2 at half time. In the
second half the team did improve somewhat but over indulgence to try
for goals took away from what in the end was a fairly comfortable
victory. The defence was sound throughout and the forwards although
creating lots of chances over elaborated when simple scores where there
to be taken.

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 6-1, Ferghal Higgins 1-1, Paul McGovern 1-1, Paul Kidd 1-0

In a rearranged game we
played host to Newbridge on a beautiful Saturday evening perfect for
football. This turned out to be the best game of the league with two
very committed teams and skilful teams striving for the two points on
offer. Newbridge started brightly and hitting two points in the early
minutes. Enda replied for us with two points before hitting home the
first of his 3 goals. At this stage we started to get on top at
midfield and our ability to strike for goals looked to have Newbridge
in trouble. Just before half time a Newbridge forward who was standing
on the goal line, punched a long ball into our square to the net
amazingly the goal was allowed to stand and another goal just before
half time left only 5 points between the teams. 4-5 to 2-6. Newbridge
struck first in the second half with a point but a goal from Paul
McGovern settled the desertmartrtin nerves. Enda now operating at
centre half forward started to control the game setting up
opportunities for Paul and Ferghal, which they took and despite
Newbridge best efforts they could make no progress against a resolute
Desertmartin defence well marshalled by Paul McFlynn and Paddy
O.'Neill. The best score of the day came late in the game. We were
awarded a free in the middle of the field Enda grabbed the ball and
before Newbridge had time to regroup he played a wonderful 50 yard pass
over their defence to Paul McGovern who had made a perfect run. Paul
grabbed the ball and shot low to the corner of the net to round off the
team's best performance of the season.

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 3-6, Paul McGovern 2-2, Ferghal Higgins 2-0, Mark Murchan 0-1

With 5 wins under their belt it was a confident team, which
travelled to Bellaghy for the 6 th game of the campaign. In a fairly
even first half an opportunist goal by Paul McGovern just before the
half ended give our lads a one point lead at the break. The second half
was more one sided with the forwards picking of some great scores.
Paddy O'Neill at full back was an absolute colossus despite some fairly
rough tackling from the opposition. With about 5 minutes left we led by
3-11 to 0-5 but a loss of concentration over the closing stages allowed
Bellaghy to score 3-1 to finish within 5 points at the finish. Despite
the late scoring burst this was a game desertmartin controlled
throughout. Their were fine performances from Barry O'Hagan,and Paddy
O'neill in defence Paul Kidd despite having spent most of the week in
bed sick had a great game ably supported by Ciaran Burns. Whilst up
front Enda and Paul caused Bellaghy numerous problems throughout
supported well by Thomas Toner and Brendan Higgins  

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 2-5, Paul McGovern 1-1,Mark Murchan 0-2, Brendan Higgins 0-2, Thomas Toner 0-1

Having won their previous 6 games the team the tem entertained
Slaughtneill know a victory would secure the South Derry league title.
Having previously lost to Slaughtneill in the Feille competition at the
beginning of the season, it gave the team the opportunity to
demonstrate their improvement since the beginning of the season. From
the throw in our lads took the game to Slaughtneill not allowing them
any time on the ball. Paudie McDaid gave the team the perfect start
scoring the first goal in the opening minutes. Paudie continued to have
a major say in the game showing well for the ball and setting up
opportunities for his teammates. Desertmartin continued to dominate
throughout the half and although Slaughtneill did reply with 1-4 it was
our lads who led at the break by 2-8 to 1-4. the team build on the
foundations laid in the first half by totally dominating the game in
the second half. Slaughtneills only reply in this half was 1 point
whilst our lads tagged on a further 2-7 to run out convincing winners
in the end. Paul Kidd scored the goal of the season in this half (his
words, we think it was a fluke). There were many good performances
throughout the field on the night but Declan Murray (until injured) and
his replacement Brendan Higgins were outstanding. After the Game Tom
O'Kane representing the South Derry Board presented the cup to Captain
for the night Ferghal Higgins.

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 1-7, Paul McGovern 1-4, Padraig McDaid 1-0, Paul Kidd 1-0, Mark Murchan 0-1, Paul McFlynn 0-1

The team travelled to Moneymore for their final league game of the
season in a very relaxed mode. Having already secured the league title
the managers experimented with the team formation giving players an
opportunity to press for starting positions for the forthcoming
championship. It turned out to be a something of a mismatch with our
loads totally over running Ogra in the first half hitting scores at
will and not allowing ogra any time on the ball at the back. At Half
time with a scoreline of 7-9 to no score the management withdrew half
the team and gave all the substitutes a run. Despite again dominating
the second half the scores did not come as readily mainly due to the
congested nature of the game with Ogra pulling lots of players behind
the ball and some poor shooting from our lads. The two Paul's dominated
the middle of the field for most of the half the defence was solid with
the new look forward line working hard. Orla, Mairead and Melissa got
their chance in the forwards and all three fared well.

Scorers: Enda O'Hagan 4-7, James Toner 1-1, Padraig McDaid 1-0, Declan Connery 1-0, Paul McGovern 0-2, Ciaran Burns 0-1

Total Scores:
For 41-74 Against 12-44


Enda O'Hagan 24-44

Paul McGovern 7-13

Ferghal Higgins 3-3

Padraig McDaid 3-1

Paul Kidd 2-0

Mark Murchan 0-5

James Toner 1-1

Declan Connery 1-0

Brendan Higgins 0-3

Thomas Toner 0-2

Ciaran Burns 0-1

Paul McFlynn 0-1

The team will now embark on their championship campaign towards the
end of July. Hopefully with the same effort and skill as has been shown
so far the team can go on and emulate the achievements of last years
Under 14's.

With the addition of Paul Donnelly to the management
team it's hoped that his knowledge and experience will help these young
players to achieve their goal