Saturday the 22nd saw the annual Patrick Higgins Memorable Tournament take place and like many years before it served up another highly entertaining day of football.
The teams in attendance included last years A and B shield winners Slaughtneil and Lissan respectively along with Newbridge, Moneymore, Magherafelt, Greenlough and of course ourselves. Unfortunately on the days leading up to this years event a team have to drop out and with limited time to find a replacement we had to proceed with just the 7 teams.
The opening stage of the day saw Magherafelt, Slaughtneil and Moneymore grouped together with Greenlough, Newbridge and Lissan joining ourselves in the other group.
Following some very entertaining group games the A shield semi final pairings saw Magherafelt face Newbridge and Greenlough take on Slaughtneil. Meanwhile in the B semi final, Moneymore faced Lissan with Desertmartin making it straight to the final based on the final group positions.
With highly entertaining semi finals, Lissan progressed to the B final where they would face the hosts with the chance to win the B shield for a third year in succession. Meanwhile Newbridge dispatched Magherafelt while Greenlough saw off last years champions Slaughtneil to set up an A final which would see a new name make it onto the shield.
The B final was played in great spirit between two teams that know each other very well with many meeting over the past few seasons. Desertmartin opened up an early lead but this Lissan team were not planning on giving up their title without a fight and clawed their way back into the game in the second half. With he clock ticking down Desertmartin broke through and following a last ditch tackle were awarded a free which ended up in the back of the net for a lead they would hold on to and see the club win the B shield for only the third time in it’s history.
In the A final, both teams were aiming to get their name on the shield for the first time, and with some outstanding skill and ability on show the teams served up a highly entertaining final. Greenlough started the brighter and opened up a 3 point lead only for Newbridge to chip away at it with both teams scoring some delightful points in the second half. However, assisted by a couple of outstanding performances by some of their big players Greenlough held out and became the 8th team to get their name on the shield.
With some outstanding performances on the day from players across all teams, it was Greenloughs Tiernan Kearney who took the award of the player of the tournament.