The St. Paul’s Ulster Minor (U17) Fona/Cab football tournament, which kicked off last week following a two year absence due to Covid, continues this weekend with games scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday
Saturday 17th December
Colaiste Feirste 3G
Clan na Gael (Armagh) v Four Masters (Donegal)
Armagh champions, Clan na Gael get the weekend action under way when they take on Donegal’s Four Masters at Colaiste Feirste at 1-30 and the Tir Conaill men will have the advantage of playing on the artificial surface, having played in a preliminary round game against Naomh Molaise of Fermanagh last Saturday.
Four Masters emerged 5-4 to 2-10 winners over the Fermanagh champions in what most people regarded as the best game of the weekend and they will face another stiff test this weekend with Armagh always producing strong champions.
Four Masters certainly didn’t get it all their own way against Naomh Molaise and the game wasn’t decided until late in the contest. Half-time substitute Oisin Doherty fisted the ball to the Fermanagh net after 14 minutes of the second half but the Fermanagh champions struck the last three points to close the gap to three but that was as close as they got.
Seanan Carr led the way for Four Masters with Kevin Muldoon and Conor Meehan all on target for the Donegal side and they will hope to build on last weekend’s success but Clan na Gael have a strong record at Minor level and are sure to provide a stiff challenge.
Saturday 17th December
Colaiste Feirste 3G
Donaghmore (Tyrone) v Scotstown (Monaghan)
The action continues at Colaiste Feirste at 5pm when Donaghmore of Tyrone and Monaghan champions, Scotstown make their bow in the tournament with both sides fighting for a semi-final place against the winners of Four Masters v Clan na Gael.
The Mohan family from Scotstown have fond memories of the St. Paul’s tournament as Damian Mohan featured for Scotstown in the first ever decider at the Shaws Road in 1982.
Hosts St Pauls prevailed on that occasion and over 26-years later his son Cian had two experiences of the tournament himself.
“I played in the very first competition in 1982 and Cian played in a Final and semi-final in 2008 and 2009 and now is actually managing the team in 2022- 40 years after I’ve played in it.
Damian Mohan with his son Cian – manager of this year’s Scotstown Minor team
In 2008 Ballinderry edged out the Monaghan outfit 2-08-2-07 and a year later, Kilcoo put Scotstown to the sword on their way to the decider.
Scotstown are back again on Saturday with Cian now managing the current Scotstown Minor team and he will be hoping to take the present side through to next weekend’s semi-final.
Sunday 18th December
Burren (Down) v Dungiven (Derry)
It’s back to Shaw’s Road for the first semi-final of the tournament on Sunday where Burren of Down take on Derry champions, Dungiven and this one has all the ingredients of a cracker. Both teams have a quarter-final win under their belts last weekend with Burren recording a 3-10 to 0-8 win over Antrim champions, St. Brigid’s while Dungiven had too much in their locker for Ramor United of Cavan, running out 3-12 to 0-11 winners.
Derry sides have a good record in this tournament and St. Canice’s will hope to continue that tradition but Burren will provide them with a stiff test and both sides certainly have goal scorers in their side.
Odhran Murphy got the game’s first goal against Ramor in the 50th minute of the quarter-final to swing the momentum very much in favour of the Derry champions and when corner forward Conor Gaile got Dungiven’s second goal there was no way back for the Cavan champions and Ryan McCloskey struck their third deep into injury.
Burren were much quicker off the mark against St. Brigid’s the previous day as Joe McLoughlin found the net within the first minute and a quick-fire double for Oisin McStay- one from the penalty spot and the other a close-range finish had the Down Champions 3-03-0-02 in front and well on their way to victory.
The Antrim champions fared better in the second half but the damage had been already done with Burren running out 3-12 to 0-9 winners and look to have the personnel to trouble Dungiven but the Derry champions may just edge this one.