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U14 Champions

Many were critical of the GAA games we may have seen in Croke Park last weekend and questions being asked as to what the 'Super 8' will bring us next year but I can tell you that two fantastic games were played in Gavan Duffy Park last weekend and they did not get much publicity. These were two U14 finals - one in Division 1 and the other in Division 2 of the U14 Championship. The first one, Division 1, was played on Friday between Cremartin and the eventual winners, Carrickmacross. This was a ding-dong battle with great skills on display and total commitment from both sides. Then on Monday evening the Division 2 final between Emyvale and Clones was another classic. Forget about Croke Park and Sky and all that - this is the real GAA in action. This is what the GAA is all about and this is where the emphasis should be - neglect the juveniles and there will be no 'seniors' to represent the county. Monaghan is doing trojan work for Juveniles and this will pay dividends in the long run but I think the authorities at Croke Park should be giving greater attention and support to the counties who are putting in the effort at Juvenile level. Get them interested and let them feel important at this age and you will have a greater pool of talent at adult level. This is also the place to see real volunteers in action and the committed GAA people working quietly and tirelessly for the good of the youth and the association.

Re. Monday's game: Clones team began strongly and looked as if they might walk away with the game. They had a strong centre to their team with fast and skilful wings putting plenty of pressure on Emyvale throughout the first half. Emyvale struggled to get to grips with the game and went in to the interval with a single point of an advantage. The began the second half in a lively fashion and with greater purpose. They were now playing as a team and whatever the mentors said at the break certainly boosted their confidence. It would be difficult to single out any one or two players who led the pack but the captain, Michael Hamill, played a captain's role. he got great support from his team and soon there were 13 stars on the field with equally strong subs brought on. In that second half they piled on the pressure and won comfortably but the Clones lads, to their credit, never gave up the effort and played their hearts out to the final whistle. Referee Aaron Gallagher, and I can be very critical of them at times, was excellent in his handling of a fast moving and feverish game. The Emyvale team was - Darcy Colleran, Luke Cawley, Pauric McQuaid, Ben Sherry, Darragh Sherry, Caolan McKenna, Luke Aughey, Ruio Corrigan, Luke Kelly, Michael Hamill, Declan McKenna, Aiden McKenna Caolan Treanor, Matthew Curly, Dylan Sherry, Mark Donaghue, Daithi McKenna, Gary Treanor and Jake Hughes. Mentors - Brendan Stewart, Gareth McQuaid, John Hamill, Paudie Donaghue, Barry Sherry. First Aid: Enda Sherry. Speaking afterwards Barry Sherry was delighted with the win and with the commitment of the entire squad in preparation for this. He also thanked the parents for their support and attendance as this is a vital ingredient in helping the players show their best ability. Sean McKenna, representing the Monaghan County Board presented the PJ Marray Memorial Cup to captain, Michael Hamill.