Dromore win PJ Roper tournament
Dromore gave a disciplined and effective display of football to win the PJ Roper under 16 tournament run by Aodh Ruadh. Ballyshannon was blessed with a dry day for the tournament, although the atmosphere was humid and made the going difficult for players.
Dromore impressed as they came through section 'A' undefeated, with victories over Shamrock Gaels from south Sligo, hosts Aodh Ruadh and Naomh Bríd from Ballintra. Saint Mary's from Sligo city were also undefeated, topping section 'B' with wins over Fermanagh sides Derrygonnelly Harps and Erne Gaels.
The final pitted Saint Mary's against Dromore in Father Tierney Park. The Tyrone side were first out of the traps with Niall Slevin driving over a neat point after a penetrating attack. Shortly after Dromore struck wide from a placed ball before Saint Mary's took the initiative with Ben McGarry doing a lot of good work around the middle.
However the Sligo men couldn't make their dominance count and it was broken when Mattie McCaffrey made an outstanding fetch from a kick out. He quickly set up an attack and although the shot went wide it put Dromore back on the front foot. And there were quick results as Ruairi McCusker did some fine work to feed Colm McRory who finished low and hard into the net to leave Dromore 1-1 up half way through the first half. A minute later Niall Slevin added to Dromore's tally with a free.
The remainder of the half was marked by fractured play. It was Saint Mary's who had the last say though, with Colm Egan striking over from a free to make the half time score 1-2 to 0-1.
Saint Mary's came out all guns blazing in the second half and it wasn't long before Seamie Cawley had the ball in the Dromore net after a strong individual burst through the defence. Colm McRory notched on a point for the Tyrone lads a minute later, but it was Saint Mary's who were dominant in this period of the game. They saw one effort for a point come back off the Dromore cross bar before forcing a penalty.
This proved to be the turning point of the match. Ben McGarry, who was excellent throughout, stepped up and shot well, but Declan McKenna in nets was equal to the effort and produced an even better save to deny Saint Mary's a goal from the rebound. Dromore kicked on from that point, driven in particular by the efforts of Cathal Teague at half back. With only a minute left in the game Ruairi Sludden kicked the insurance point for Dromore from 30 metres out off the left boot. Referee Shane Toolan whistled up shortly after to make Dromore 2009 PJ Roper winners on a scoreline of 1-4 to 1-1.
Aodh Ruadh Bord na nÓg Chairman, Paddy Kelly, was master of ceremonies for the presentation ceremony after the final, thanking all the teams for attending, the match officials and everyone who helped out with the food, before calling upon Mary Roper, PJ's wife, to present runners up medals to the Saint Mary's team. Paddy then called upon county star, Brian Roper, PJ's son to present the PJ Roper trophy to the Dromore captain Mattie McCaffrey.
Aodh Ruadh would like to extend their sincere thanks to the participating teams, to those who officiated the matches, those who provided the refreshments, the stewards and to all those who gave of their time and effort to make the event such a success.
Round Robin - Section A table
Round Robin - Section B table
Pictured is the Saint Mary's team from Sligo city which attended the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: S. Keenan, J O'Hehir, C. Kent, E. Gavin, C. Lyons, C. Mulligan, N. McManus, Ben McGarry, K. Coen, Colm Egan, C. Fox, Seamus Cawley, C. Mahon, O. Foley.
Pictured is the Naomh Bríd team from Ballintra / Laghey which attended the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: Jamie Dorrian, Michael Travers, Liam Duffy, Conor McNulty, Richard Walsh, Gary McGrath, David Robinson, Sean Burgess, Ross Gallagher, Colum Gallgher, Daragh Brogan, Eoin McFadden, John McGrory, Christy Price, Ryan Kerrigan, Eoin McGarrigle, Shane Kelly, Calum McGrath, Conor Cassidy, Patrick Moss, Paul Robinson.
Pictured is the Erne Gaels team from Belleek which attended the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: P. Ward, K. Kiernan, D. McGrath, S. Mimnagh, M. Kelm, R. Gillen, M. Bracken, R. Cox, R. Lyons, N. Ward, T. McCaffrey, J. McCann, M. Burns, S. Gormley, C. Keown, L. Ryder, D. McLoughlin, C. McGloin.
Pictured is the Dromore team from Tyrone which attended the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: Declan McKenna, Philip O'Neill, Colm O'Neill, Sean McLaughlin, Ryan Slevin, Cathal Teague, Jack Poyntz, Matthew McCaffrey, Sean Muldoon, Ruairi Sludden, Niall Slevin, Fergal O'Neill, Ruairi McCusker, Turlough McDermott, Colm McRory, Shane McManus, Ciaran Slevin, Cain McGoldrick, Aidan McGrath, Marcus McCarney.
Pictured is the Derrygonnelly Harps team from Fermanagh which attended the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: Ryan Farrell, Barry McHugh, Martin Treacy, Sean Anthony Keaney, Denis Green, Peter Cassidy, Gavin Dolan, Christopher Ferguson, Michael Hoy, Christopher Gallagher, Declan Duffy, Leigh Jones, Ruairi Jones, Jack Elliot, Gary McKenna, Steven McGullion, Garvan Jones, Sean Duffy.
Pictured is the Aodh Ruadh team from Ballyshannon which hosted the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: Martin Gallagher, Padraig Storey, Kieran Keown, Eoin O'Malley-Daly, Stephen Clarke, Conor Patton, Tommy Patton, Ruairi Drummond, Marcus Harley, Alan Finan, Ronan McGurrin, Martin Larkin, Niall Murray, James Barron, Charlie Patton, Sylvester Maguire, Fergal Meehan.
Pictured is the Shamrock Gaels team from Coola, county Sligo which attended the 2009 PJ Roper tournament. The panel was: Rickie Johnston, Shane Barry, Declan Willis, Gavin McMorrow, Calvin Flynn, Adrian McCann, Paul O'Grady, Keith Candon, Eoin O'Connell, Ronan McTernan, Jack Geithins, Ciarán O'Connor, Kieran Cawley, David Quinn, Johnny Quinn, Kevin Broderick, Donal Kilfeather, Aidan Kilpatrick, Conor McKeon.
Action from the Derrygonnelly Harps v Saint Mary's game.
Action from the Aodh Ruadh v Shamrock Gaels game.
Action from the Dromore v Saint Mary's final.
Bord na nOg Chairman Paddy Kelly gives a speech at the presentation of the PJ Roper trophy.
Brian Roper, Mary Roper and Paddy Kelly at the presentation ceremony.
Pictured after the PJ Roper final presentation ceremony are, from left to right, Saint Mary's, Sligo captain, Niall McManus, Donegal star, Brian Roper, Dromore captain, Mattie McCaffrey, and PJ Roper's wife, Mary Roper.
Dromore captain Mattie McCaffrey in reflective mood with the PJ Roper trophy.
The victorious Dromore team after the presentation ceremony.