The Football Section’s Tournament to mark the Club’s 50th Anniversary took place in brilliant sunshine on Saturday the 2nd of February last. Sixty four players from the Senior, Intermediate, Junior and Minor ranks were merged into two Groups of four teams. Group A contained Leitrim, Westmeath, London and Cavan. With Group B comprising of New York, Tipperary, Sligo and Carlow. Despite some unbecoming behaviour from certain Cavan men and in particular one unscrupulous Leitrim Man (you know who you are!), Brian O’Regan, Tony Duffy and Donal Griffin did a great job in ensuring that the teams were made up of equal talent and ability. What followed were eight well contested group games, which were held in Cherryfield Park and Pairc Uí Mhurchú. It was fantastic to see the players from the different club teams gelling and competing well together. It was also good to see our Senior Manager, Anthony Rainbow contributing his skills at one stage. It was the essence of our club sprit and a large part of what the tournament was intended for, to see Minor players who cheered on from the stands as 14 and 15 year olds on St. Patricks Day in 2016, playing alongside their heroes such as Darragh Nelson, Bob Dwan, Sean Gibbons, Aran Waters, Darren O’Reilly, Donogh Mc Cabe and Shane Clayton etc..

Although in the spirit of true competitiveness, one of the Minor players was heard mentioning: “that Ciaran Doyle fella is still a class footballer, but I wish that he would pass more”!! The Westmeath team of Aran Waters, Tom Hannifin, Eoghan Monahan, Ruairi Kirwan, James Mc Teirnan, Mick Ryan, Patrick Dunleavy and Kevin Kirwan topped Group A. With the Carlow Rising team of Bob Dwan, Darragh Nelson, Mikey Ryan, Fionn Maguire, Ross Mc Cormack, Malachy Codd, Brendan Kavanagh and Conor Cullen topping Group B. The final was keenly contested in Pairc Uí Mhurchú at 3.20pm, with Carlow securing the Trophy with the narrowest of score lines of 0 – 9 to Westmeath’s 1 – 5.

It was to the showers and into the hall then for Liam Deane’s very own Lovely Leitrim Recipe of Beef (yes beef!) Curry, which was cooked to perfection by Paddy Brady.  We would like to thank Karl Woods, Richie Connell, Des Donoghue and Liam Deane for sponsoring the food. The Trophy, which was in memory of our former Football Secretary, Padraig Cullinane, was presented to Bob Dwan and the victorious Carlow Team by Padraig’s wife Mary, who thanked the Football Committee and in particular the Players for making it such a special day.

The committee would like to reiterate our appreciation to all of the players, the mentors, volunteers and the catering and bar staff and in particular Tony Duffy, Liam Deane and Brian O’Regan for making the day such a great success. From the great feedback that we have received, it is hoped that we can make this an annual event in the club calendar.

Read a players perspective here

Thanks to Cliona Mellet, Miriam Christie and Shay Devlin for the great photos.

More here