St. Mary’s Ahoghill ‘Best 15’ footballers

Today we feature Colum Graham’s selection of ‘Best 15’ footballers of St. Mary’s Ahoghill. Yesterday we feature a first when St. Mary’s Rasharkin ‘Best 15’ included a father and son and today Colum has bit the bullet by selecting himself, something which is perfectly OK. I had the privilege of seeing Colum playing and he would have made my ‘Best15’. Colum has added a few tongue in cheek comments which should get a few laughs.

Remember it’s only a bit of fun and no team will get universal approval but over the first three days the interest has been immense.

1 .Francis Neeson. Great shot stopper, likes to play the odd 1-2 with his defence and go for a run forward.

 2 .Gareth Hardy. Real natural footballer, deliveries of Coca Cola stopped him reaching his full potential.

 3 .Stephen O’Connell. One of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen play in the red & black. Sometimes would give you heart failure as he side steps players and then comes back and does it again to the same player.

 4. Paddy Graham. Tough corner back, ended some matches with blood on him, not always his own.

5 .Bernard (Budgie) O’Neill. .Flying half back, his heroics in our junior championship win over Portglenone in 1992 will never be forgotten.

6. Martin Graham. I just had to have him in here. Great passer of the ball, not always to his own team, great at dispossessing opposition, likes to play on the edge. Has calmed down since Sadie his first daughter was born.

7. Bernard Scullion. (Blondie) great hands, great speed. Remember well his ’50’ from out on the wing up in Randalstown against the breeze to win us a div 4 league match one Wednesday night in 1982, never seen the likes of him since.

8. Dermot Graham. (Big D), Hands like shovels could catch balls all day long, could he shoot, I’ll let others decide.

 9. Neill (Boris) O’Connell. Great hands also for midfield. Natural 2 footed player, believes he’s the best of the O’Connell’s.

10. .Dominic (Pencil) Neeson, always sharp, great engine, could run all day. His memorable fisted point against St.Gall’s to keep us in div 1 was just one of his highlights, can’t remember who got relegated?

11. Paddy Logan. What a natural footballer, came onto our seniors when he was about 15.Equally good with left or right, his juvenile career was success after success. God he was good.

12. Joe Downey (big Joe) great player to have around when protection was needed. Some managers have a player who is always first on the team sheet, when Jarlath O’Donnell was referring rumour had it he had Joe’s name pencilled into his wee black book before the match started.

13. Colum Graham (Alfie) just had to. When I scored a goal in the junior championship against Ardoyne in 1992, Geordie wrote, Graham’s goal was worth the admission fee alone. (Alfie, never received club footballer of the year, but we’ll never talk about it.) My kids don’t believe that was ever written in the paper.

14. Donal Graham. Great left foot, could always be guaranteed to get scores, must get that from his mother.

15. PJ O’Connell.Fast, sharp, great leap when going up for a ball. His quick thinking when he rattled the quick free into the Portglenone net in the O’Cahan Cup final was one I’ll never forget.

16. Harry Graham. Solely for his performances at full forward in the 9 aside competition that used to be hosted by All Saints up in Hugomount, he was unreal.

Keep you nominations coming! Over the coming days and weeks we hope to publish a ‘Best 15’ for every club in Antrim, football and hurling, but we can’t do it without the cooperation of clubs.

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