Clann Eireann win tournament

CLANN Eireann hosted the annual Bobby Murray Memorial Tournament which attracted 14 teams drawn from all over the country.

The competition was played in atrocious conditions but produced a level of football that was a credit to all the participants.

The tournament began with group matches with the top two teams going to the cup and the bottom two going to the Shield competition and culminating in knockout stages of quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.

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Clann Eireann had previously won the tournament in 2006 and 2009 so there was a fair bit of pressure on the team from the start.

From the outset Clann ireann faced a tough task. Drawn in a group along with prominent clubs St Brigid’s, Belfast and Armagh Harps, the players started brightly and despite the tough opposition, they eventually pulled away and won the opening game well.

Next up were the Harps and as usual they fought tenaciously for every ball and it was not until the second half that Clann Eireann put some daylight between the teams.

A quarter-final tie with Coalisland Fianna awaited and as expected the Tyrone team fought hard and gave little away but the Clann Eireann midfield of Tiernan Kelly and Brendan O’Shea began to dominate. Callum Magee, Caelan Kearney and Ruairi McDonald thrived on the service and took great scores to secure the victory.

Monaghan kingpins Truagh were next up but with the back line of Conor McKeegan, Sean McKeown, Oscar McKeagney, John McMorrow, Jack Conlon and Ronan Leathem defended well.

The forward line was able to work the ball into scoreable positions with some great link up play. Mark Cooper, Daire Fitzpatrick, Jordan McKeown, Tiernan Harbinson, Michael O’Shea and Conor Casey were in full flow now, and their determination helped rack up an unassailable lead in the best performance of the day.

This put them into the final where previous opponents, Armagh Harps had negotiated their way through the other side of the draw.

The final started with both teams going for the prize and some great football was on show. Owen Campbell, Ethan Kearney, Eoghan McCrory and the impressive Sean Magee, worked hard to win ball for Clann Eireann and with Tiernan Kelly spreading the passes around, Clann Eireann boys soon built up a healthy lead at the halfway point.

As expected Harps came out with all guns blazing in the second half but again Clann Eireann got quick ball into the forwards who were now thriving on the quality ball. Clann Eireann finally broke the resistance with some great scores to get over the line.

A special word of praise for the goalkeeper Chris McAlinden who looked very assured when called upon. Tiernan Kelly was rewarded for his high octane displays by being awarded the Player of the Tournament trophy.