Madden GFC Weekly Notes

Date; Monday 10th September 2018

The big night that so many Madden folk had looked forward to had finally arrived for the Madden U16’s last Thursday. For the first time in the history of our proud club, we had an underage team hoping to take home the honours with an All-County Division 1 Championship. Standing in our way was Clann Eireann. Going in quietly confident yet understandable underdogs, Madden knew they had to be prepared. The attention to detail shown from the Management team of Mickey Grimley, Tony McElvanna and Barry Mallon knew no bounds. From the ice baths, to the team bonding excursions, to the one-to-one self improvement coaching, to the shared videos of past players giving solid guidance, to the handpicked water boys who had been there, done it at the highest level, this was a well coached unit who knew that in order to bring home the cup, they had to leave everything out on the Athletic Grounds field. And that they did.

Clann Eireann scored first but Madden responded immediately. Eoin Grimley popped over two frees however the Lurgan opponents then scored two more of their own to lead 3-2. The Clann Eireann full forward can be forgiven for thinking he was about to hit the net with a ferocious blast until an excellent Shane Grimley pulled off a point blank save. This seemed to demoralise their opponents, but it buoyed on the Madden youngsters. Crisp clean tackling from defenders Joe Hughes and Caolan Adair kept Madden in it. The general reading ability and strong energetic efforts of the excellent Ryan Mone made sure the full back line was air tight. The solid Finn Hughes and Gary McGuinness made sure the ball was delivered well to powerhouses Shea Vallely, Josh King and Eoin Donnelly. The non-stop tracking back and counter-attacking of Jack Murphy, Oisin O’Hara and speedster Oisin Tohill made sure Clann Eireann almost never got a sniff of the ball. The finesse of Darragh McMullen, and constant chasing of the ball of Tiarnan McGoldrick didn’t disappoint. The sharp shooting super sub Lee Doran made a massive impression, and last but by no means least, the incredible point scoring exploits of unquestionable Man of the Match Eoin Grimley who finished the game with 0-10 deserves immense recognition. Both Danny McElvanna and Ryan McParland came on and played important roles as well as substitutes on the day but who all played a huge part in the overall teams success throughout the year were Ronan Greene, Niall O’Hare, Rory Lamb, Tony Coyle and Mike Haughey. The final scoreline read Madden 1-12, Clann Eireann 0-09. This team who were rank outsiders in this competition from the outset has brought about a serious feel good factor to Madden GFC and they deserve the utmost praise for their efforts. They will be representing our club in the famous Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Championship in the next month or so, so I’m sure as like most matches before, the Madden supporters faithful to the cause will be right beside the lads on the day urging them on. In conclusion, this was one of the proudest days in the history of Madden GFC and we can only hope this crop of youngsters can keep blossoming, developing and growing into solid young men who’ll go on to represent our club for many years to come. #Doubt us now

Madden entered the 3rd round of Senior Championship Matches last Saturday as they made the daunting trip to newly promoted Silverbridge to a field where Madden had suffered a disappointing League defeat just weeks before. Luckily, right from the throw-in, one could see that Madden were up for this do-or-die clash. They cruised to a 1-02 to 0-01 lead after 9 minutes after assured points from Conor Grimley and Aron McKenna right before Kyle Morgan hit the back of the net after the goalkeepers misplaced kickout allowed Ciaran Rafferty to penalise.

Rafferty himself then scored two clinical points either side of a Conor Grimley long range free. Niall Grimley scored a left footer on the 26th minute and it proved to be the last score of a very spirited first half performance from the Raparees as the scoreline read Silverbridge 0-03, Madden 1-06.

Marshalled by the calm yet commanding Goalkeeping exploits of Ronan Gallagher, the disciplined Madden defence held firm in the first half, particularly with the duo of Mark Quinn, Peter Lappin impressing.

Silverbridge then scored 4 of the next 5 scores as they embarked on their ambush attempt. Two Aron McKenna points kept Madden ahead, but it was the superb outfield work rate of the pragmatic Barry Mallon and Man of the Match Liam Grimley who made sure Madden weren’t going to be denied. Another Kyle Morgan point just before time elapsed put Madden 4 ahead, until the ‘Bridge put further pressure on with two points, however it was a case of too little too late as Madden won just their second game in over three months to keep their season alive. Final scoreline, Silverbridge 0-10, Madden 1-09. Madden now travel to Ballymacnab next Sunday to take on Dromintee who they now face in the Championship for the second season in succession. Here’s hoping we get the same result as last year, although reports suggest Dromintee will fancy their chances. It should be a cracker.

Under the expert tutelage of Brendan McGuinness and Johnny Woods, Madden Minors travelled to Newtownhamilton on Monday evening to take on Mullaghbawn in the Division 2 Championship Semi-Final. Encouraged by a tremendous second half performance last time out against St Paul’s, Madden opened the game brimming with confidence. However any of the large traveling support expecting a thriller weren’t satisfied as the damp weather played a significant part in the speed of the game. The scoring prowess of Ronan Grimley and Joe Sheridan gave Madden a deserved 5-3 lead at the break. However it was the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half that killed the game off with Madden scoring five points in a row. Grimley and Sheridan linking up again, as well as Daire Tohill and Ryan Carmichael getting in on the act. Some outstanding catches from Man of the Match Ruairi Hughes helped maintain possession for the Raparees as Madden cruised into the Championship Final on a scoreline of Madden 0-11, Mullaghbawn 0-06. A tremendous achievement for the Madden lads who deserve lavish praise as playing football in that type of conditions is very tough. They now meet big City rivals Pearse Ogs in the decider to be played in the coming weeks. 

Our U10’s had a busy week. On Wednesday, they visited Ballymacnab and played two matches. Then on Saturday, they went to Pearse Og Park to take part in the famous Donal Powell Cup with 31 other teams. Our kids performed very admirably and played some lovely football. They beat a number of teams including St Galls of Belfast and Cuala of Dublin as they reached the Quarter Final of the Cup competition, where they lost to eventual winners Ardboe.

Don’t forget the eagerly awaited Madden GFC Night at the Races is on in Madden Social Club on Saturday 22nd September. The runners with names attached will be known and broadcast soon. This’ll be a night you’ll not want to miss.

This weeks fixtures