Madden GFC Weekly Notes

Date; Tuesday 21st August 2018

In a week that brought plenty of joy and celebrations in many ways, there was also much sadness as Madden GFC lost a true friend of the club.

A very large Madden fanbase in red and black travelled to Silverbridge on Thursday evening to cheer on the Madden U16 team who played against a very formidable oppenent from Killeavy in the Division 1 Championship Semi Final. Almost in unknown territory for a club of Madden’s size to compete against the so called big boys at this level, our boys started nervously, and were under the cosh right from the beginning as Killeavy took a 4-0 lead. However, Madden fought back with Jack Murphy, Ryan Mone and Darragh McMullan all doing their bit to keep their team in the game. The defense of Caolan Adair, Gary McGuinness, Joe and Finn Hughes were tenacious in the tackle. By half time, Madden’s wides tallied to 8, but yet they were still only 4 points down, with Killeavy leading 0-07, to Madden’s 0-03.

As like any well drilled team, Madden moved up in the gears after the break. Their key personnel all upped their games, with Eoin Grimley, Shea Vallely and Josh King leading the way for the comeback. Solid Goalkeeping from Shane Grimley kept Killeavy at bay and maintained a clean sheet, whilst out the field, the efforts of Eoin Donnelly, Oisin O’Hara, Oisin Tohill and Tiarnan McGoldrick were to be admired. Late substitutes Lee Doran and Ryan McParland also did their bit for the team when it was most needed. With 56 minute gone, Madden were down by two, before they rattled the net. A nail biting final few moments followed, as Killeavy scored two points in a row to lead again, though the never-say-die attitude of this developing Madden side came to the fore once more as a fisted ball into the box equated to another goal, which was scored 4 minutes into injury time. This sent the Madden followers into jubilant celebrations but the job wasn’t done just yet. The referee gave Killeavy enough time to have another chance, but the Madden defence held firm, and the team held on to win the game, and seal their passage to the Championship Final. Final score Madden 2-07, Killeavy 0-12. A very deserved, hard earned victory for the team and management who will now look forward to Thursday 6th September, where they’ll play Clann Eireann in the County Final. 

Played in wet conditions, last Tuesday our U14’s welcomed neighbours Middletown to Raparee Park for the Division 3 Shield Quarter Final. Playing only 12-a-side, the first half was very tight. Three goals from Madden, but conceding two left it all square at the break on a 3-05 to 2-08 scoreline. The excellent Conor McMahon, Caolan McGoldrick and Evan Hughes all performing starring roles. The restart though is where Madden upped their game massively. Numberous saves from Goalie Pearse Grimley, strong defence from Caolan Quinn and Pauric Morgan, and efficient scoring from Dylan Crilly, Tiarnan Tohill and Cathal Maguire all helped to push Madden well ahead. Jamie Smith, Cahal Donnelly and Dara Hughes each giving a great account of themselves allowed their team to ease their way to victory and into the Semi-Final which will be played this Sunday. Final Score, Madden 5-12, Middletown 2-12. Coaches Ricky Greene, Matthew Grimley and Tom Morgan will be working hard this week in training to make sure our boys are well prepared to try to overcome a strong Loughgilly Gaels team. 

Under the stewardship of master tacticians Danny Donnelly and Matthew Grimley, on Sunday morning, a small gathering of Madden U12’s ventured to compete in the Granemore Cup. Playing with vigour and showing an impressive appetite to win, our boys defeated Ballyhegan, Ballymacnab and Co. Tyrone team Brockagh in the Group stages. Caolan Quinn, Cahal Donnelly, Niall Stevenson and Paidi Comiskey all putting in great performances to help Madden earn the victories. Dromintee came next in the semi final, but with players like Kevin Tighe, Aaron Grimley and Dara Hughes, Madden were not to be undone. As if scripted, Madden got the team they wanted in the final, their neighbours and rivals Keady. The unbelievable efforts of Shaan Bayrajee, Dylan Crilly and Caolan McGoldrick all contributed massively to the win against Keady, which made the way for Captain and leader on the day Tony Moore who lifted the Granemore Cup with huge pride. Massive congratulations to the young lads for their achievements on a day that they’ll never forget.

This weekend sees the start of the newly formatted Armagh Senior Club Championship. Four Groups of four teams will compete in a round-robin series, with each group winner going straight through to the quarter final, and the 2nd & 3rd places teams having to play-off to determine who also makes the quarter finals. Madden have three games, three Saturdays in a row. They begin their campaign against Clann Eireann at home this Saturday, before welcoming the mighty Crossmaglen Rangers to Raparee Park, before traveling to Silverbridge the following week. Good luck to the players and management in what is sure to be a tough, yet enjoyable experience playing against some of the top teams in the County.

In June this year, we had a celebratory night for the victorious Junior and Intermediate teams of 1993 & 1994 that were managed by Clontibret’s Sean Woods. Sadly just 2 months later those players, management and indeed many throughout our club are mourning Sean’s unexpected death after a short illness. Sean was in great form that night and spoke as well as he had done on many occasions 25 years earlier. As one of our members said on hearing the news on Sunday “ Sean loved Madden, and Madden loved Sean”. He gave us many happy days both on and off the field and those of us that were lucky enough to know him during his time with us will have very fond memories of him, and the odd yarn to tell as well. Sean was a mentor. A motivator. A father figure to his players. He instilled in them an inner belief that they could be as good as any team they faced and every single person bought into the theory. To his wife Bridie, children Geraldine, Brenda and Sean, we offer our deepest sympathy on the loss of a true Gael whom we in Madden will never forget. 

Rest In Peace Sean. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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