Aodh Ruadh reclaim the Mick Shannon

Donegal are through to the All-Ireland minor final for the first time in their history following a narrow defeat of Dublin in a very enjoyable semi-final clash at Croke Park on Sunday. Aodh Ruadh men played a big part in the win. Niall Harley, team captain, lined out at midfield, while Colm Kelly was in at corner back. Aodh Ruadh hurler Jamie Brennan was in the full forward line while Gary Walsh was on board as goal-keeping coach, Anthony McGrath as psychologist and Mick McGrath as co-ordinator.

For this year's Mick Shannon memorial tournament, We welcomed Glencar Manorhamilton, Saint Naul's, Saint Molaise Grange - the reigning champions, and Melvin Gaels. Along with ourselves, all clubs fielded senior and junior teams, and partook in an afternoon of committed and highly entertaining football.

Each team played each other on a league basis. In the senior tournament, Aodh Ruadh had narrow wins over Melvin Gaels, Saint Molaise and Saint Naul's, before pipping Glencar Manor by a point in the final league game. That set up what promised to be a thrilling final between the same opposition, Aodh Ruadh and Glencar Manor.

In the final, a tight battle ensued, but Aodh Ruadh's huge commitment, and flowing football saw them come out on top, and reclaim the Mick Shannon memorial cup. It would be wrong to mention any one player as standing out, as this display was a fine example of team work, desire and full-blooded commitment, mixed with flowing football and eye-catching score-taking.

The junior competition saw some brilliant games in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, but it was Aodh Ruadh and Saint Molaise who made it through to the final having both won three out of four. Indeed the game played between the two in the round robin stages was a real hum dinger, Aodh Ruadh overcoming Saint Molaise by two points, and another close encounter was on the cards between the two in the final. And so it proved. Again, the two teams played excellent football, with little to choose between them. But Saint Molaise seemed to have one last burst in them as the final whistle neared, and Aodh Ruadh tired in the closing stages, with Saint Molaise running out three point winners.

Tom Daly was on hand to present the trophy and cup to the respective winning captains, and spoke fondly about Mick Shannon, who had been a manager of underage teams for many years in the late 80s and early 90s.

Many thanks to Melvin Gaels, Saint Molaise, Glencar Manorhamilton and Saint Naul's for attending and contributing to an excellent day. Thanks also to referees on the day, Val Murray, Barry Ward, David Hoey, Niall McCready and Gerard Ferguson, to all the ladies in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh who kept over 150 people fed and watered, and to all parents who supplied the sandwiches and treats.

Thanks to Sean O'Mahoney who co-ordinated the running of both competitions, and Johnny Gallagher and Louis Boyle who prepared the pitches and dressing rooms.

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Last modified: Monday, 15 September 2014 at 11:53pm