Madden GFC Weekly Notes

Date; Wednesday 5th September 2018

Last Saturday evening, Madden Seniors welcomed the mighty Crossmaglen Rangers to Raparee Park for the 2nd of their Group games in the Armagh Senior Championship. Played in excellent conditions, the start was not what Madden had hoped for. Cross’ were 4-0 up after 6 minutes with star turns Rian O’Neill and Aaron Kernan leading the way. A point from Captain Liam Grimley settled Madden’s nerves ahead of forwards Kyle Morgan and the returning Aron McKenna both grabbing a point each to leave the scoreline 5-3 in favour of the South Armagh men after 10 minutes played. However, two goals and three points in the next 10 minutes for the away side left it an even greater mountain to climb. Points from Liam and Niall Grimley, and the impressive Niall Smith were little consolation as the first half finished up, with three further Cross’ points leaving the half time score Madden 0-06, Crossmaglen 2-11. The efficiency of the 6 time All-Ireland Club Champions was quite remarkable as they only managed one first half wide.

Madden knew they needed to restore some pride and throw everything at their opponents in the 2nd half, and that they did. Ryan Grimley went to full forward at the restart and caused chaos for the ‘Rangers defence. The first knocked down high ball fell to the clinical Conor Grimley who smashed the ball to the net, right after a Kyle Morgan point. Substitutes Kieran Grimley and Paddy Woods entered the fray at the 35th minute, and from then on it seemed to be all Madden. Ciaran Rafferty and Conor Grimley nicked a couple of points to give some hope, however Cross did get a couple of their own. The next 9 minutes though seen Madden score 5 in a row. Aaron McKenna, Conor Grimley, Paddy Woods and two from Niall Grimley left Madden only two behind and dreaming of the unimaginable with only 8 points left. Cross’ though scored three of the next four points, and led by 4 as normal time elapsed. It wasn’t over yet though as another high ball went into Ryan Grimley who palmed the ball to the net on the 61st minute which gave the loud Madden support hope. A few half chances followed, however they never managed to get the desired equalising point, and so fell to a one point loss. An inspiring, memorable and downright gutsy Madden performance left everyone bittersweet, but a performance that proves that on any day, our lads can mix it with the best, considering they out scored their opponents by ten points in the 2nd half. 

Final Score, Madden 2-15, Crossmaglen 2-16. There were strong Madden showings all over the park, but particular mention needs to go to Donal Rafferty and Cillian Mallon for their 2nd half defensive efforts. The four Grimley brothers, Liam, Ryan, Kieran and Niall were sizable opponents for Crossmaglen. Aron McKenna, Niall Smith, Conor Grimley and Paddy Woods all contributed greatly to the cause.

Last Monday night, the Madden Minors travelled to St Paul’s in Lurgan to take on the home side in a Division Two Championship Quarter Final. St Paul’s boosting some players from the victorious McRory and Hogan Cup winning team St Ronan’s Lurgan were strong looking on paper. Madden didn’t seem to fire on all cylinders in the first half with some dropped balls, and near misses leaving them 1-07 to 1-04 behind at half time.

The 2nd half though told a completely different story as they moved up in the gears. Forwards Ronan Grimley and the imperious Joe Sheridan kept the scoreboard moving, as well as the excellent Ryan Carmichael and energetic Daire Tohill adding composure when it was most needed. Ruairi Hughes  lorded midfield, and the full line of defence were very solid. Madden outscored their Lurgan counterparts by ten points in the 2nd half, with the final scoreboard reading St Paul’s 1-09, Madden 3-10.

Buoyed by their impressive Quarter Final win against Middletown, the Madden U14’s travelled to Whitecross last Tuesday night to take on Loughgilly Gaels in the Shield Semi-Final. Unfortunately though, nothing seemed to go our way on the evening. Their strong opponents commanded most of the game and ran out deserving winners. Hard luck to the Madden lads but most of all, thanks for giving us a great season, and we look forward to seeing you back in the Red and Black next year.

There is a massive five days ahead for Madden GFC. We have the highflying U16’s playing in the All-County Division One Final on Thursday evening. This will be a massive occasion and if you can, you should go to show your support. This team are a credit to themselves and their coaches, and are fully deserving of their place in the final. On Saturday, our Seniors travel to Silverbridge for the final Senior Championship Group game. Madden need to beat Silverbridge and hope another results goes there way to gain a spot in the play-offs. Finally, our Minors face Mullaghbawn in the Championship Semi-Final on Monday night.

Madden Raparees are delighted to announce an upcoming fundraiser for our Club which we hope anyone involved with the club in any capacity, whether it be Manager, Player, Parent, Spectator or you just like to see them doing well will show their support for. On Saturday 22nd September, the Club are running a “Night at the races” in the Social Club and would love to see you there. You can purchase a runner for £10 now, or for any business owners, sponsor a race for £100. Just see any Committee member. One very special prize presented on the night will be a signed and framed Ireland International Rules Jersey from their Australian exploits down under last November. To find out how to win it, just turn up on the night.

Upcoming Fixtures