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Eamon McElroy/Benny Connolly Blitz 2018

The weather on Monday, April 2nd 2018 was atrocious - as the old saying goes - 'you would'nt put a dog out in it', but the Emyvale GAA HQ at Tully Complex was a hive of activity from 9.30am until 4.00pm as the Eamon McElroy / Benny Connolly Memorial football blitz was being held. It was originally fixed for an earlier date but had to be cancelled due to snow and frost but the biting cold wind blowing on Easter Monday was colder than the coldest day during the snow. That did not mean anything to the youth and the U15 teams in particular from Tempo, Eglish, Ballymahon (Co. Longford), Scotstown, Truagh, Monaghan Harps, Roslea and the home team of Emyvale. Four teams in each section played each other with the top two in both sections entering the final stages for the Eamon McElroy Cup while the other teams entered the Benny Connolly Cup play-off. There were some excellent displays of football throughout the day despite the demanding conditions and when the interval came all were glad of the chance to warm up with food and shelter. The play-off for the Benny Connolly cup came first with Scotstown and Truagh contesting the final. It was low scoring but not for the want of trying and in the end Scotstown scraped through to victory. The final of the Eamon McElroy Cup had Monaghan Harps facing the home team, Emyvale. Both teams deserved the place in the final place as they had consistently good results in their league games and were the dominant teams of the day. This was a tough action filled game with little between the sides. Play alternated from side to side and towards the end some of the legs were beginning to show the strain and were slowing but the effort was maintained. The Harps used their physical superiority and had a bit of luck on their side to edge in front and we saw a nail-biting finish as Emyvale made every effort to level the score but the Harps held out and were awarded the Eamon McElroy Cup. Marion Donnelly, daughter of the late Benny Connolly presented the trophies to runners-up Truagh, and the Cup and trophies to Scotstown. Leona and Aoife McElroy made the presentations to the members of the Emyvale and Harps teams and Chairman of the Juvenile Club, Martin O'Brien, thanked everyone for the support and all who had helped in any way to make the day a great success. Well done to Martin and his loyal band of helpers for organising the event and for the excellent manner in which they delivered the plan successfully. I must also say a special thank you to the people in the kitchen who went through hundreds of tea bags and jars of coffee as well as the sustaining food they served all day for all who entered.