Ulster Minor Football Club Championship Quarter Final
Enniskillen Gaels v Crosserlough (Cavan)
Saturday December 3rd, Woodlands Belfast @ 4.00pm
Fermanagh Minor football Champions Enniskillen Gaels get their Ulster Minor Club Championship underway this coming Saturday in a tricky clash with Cavan side Crosserlough.
The two sides meet in the first of the Quarter finals of the 2016 St Paul’s Ulster Club Minor Football Tournament this Saturday afternoon at 4.00pm.
The Fermanagh champions will enter the game in optimistic mood of setting up an Ulster Semi-Final after winning the Fermanagh Championship quite easily. The Enniskillen club eased to a comprehensive victory over Irvinestown way back in June and in the process collected a second in a row Fermanagh minor title. Enniskillen also were to collect the Division 1 League title against Derrygonnelly Harps and so go into this game without tasting defeat all season.
Crosserlough come into this game as strong favourites and have became a known force of late especially in Cavan club football with this team going from Under-12 to Minor level undefeated in the County. A shift in Cavan football has seen newer clubs slowly rise to prominence with hungry and eager young footballers are being facilitated by eager committee members. The Cavan club possess some hugely quality footballers and will be full of running and a difficult side to breakdown.
A brief look through the Crosserlough team shows that they possess quality in every line of the field. Team captain James Smith is the real play maker in the side and hit a sensational 2-1 in the Cavan MFC Final against Knockbride before picking up the Man of the Match award in the game. Along with him Patrick O’Reilly, Brogan Koetze and Shane McVeety who is a younger brother of Cavan senior Dara are all formidable players for the Cavan club.
The Crosserlough side captured a first Cavan minor title for 21 years with a resounding 3-11 to 1-9 win over Knockbride at Kingspan Breffni Park. Jimmy Higgins’ team defeated St Josephs in the first round (5-22 to 0-6), before dispatching Southern Gaels in the 2nd round (4-16 to 0-9), while it was a Semi final draw with Southern Gaels (1-4 apiece) before Crosserlough won the replay, 2-7 to 0-11.
Enniskillen might well be the underdogs, but the Fermanagh champions won’t be a push over. They have already shown their capabilities by winning the Fermanagh double earlier this season. The Enniskillen youngsters have a wealth of talented players with Ronan Quinn impressing in the Fermanagh MFC Final with 1-2 and 1-3 in the Division 1 League Final. Other notable players include Aaron Nolan, Jonathan Cassidy, Conall Quinn and Callum Jones while Eoin Beacom has looked hugely impressive this season and is a player that has a huge amount of experience in big games.
The Fermanagh side had a much easier run than Crosserlough in securing a County title with a bye against St Patricks Donagh in the Quarter Final before a Semi final win over Lisnaskea, 5-12 to 1-9. The County Final against Irvinestown was also all one way traffic as they won 3-21 to 0-5 and only for the heroics of Irvinestown goalkeeper Harry Humes the goal scoring count could have been much greater.
The scene has been set for what should be a free flowing open and high scoring game of football between two exceptionally prepared teams. Both have strong defences, mobile midfielders and potent forwards which suggests we could be in for a treat this weekend. Crosserlough will start as favourites to advance to the Semi finals, but Enniskillen have shown their worth this season and can play with a real swagger when needed.
There is nothing better to build confidence than winning matches and, in that regard Enniskillen have a solid base to work from. Will it be enough to upset the form book? Time will tell, but if Enniskillen can play to their potential then the Cavan champions will have a serious challenge on their hands.
Preliminary Round –
Kilrea (Derry) v Crossmaglen (Armagh)
Quarter Finals –
Enniskillen (Fermanagh) v Crosserlough (Cavan)
Corduff (Monaghan) v Carrickmore (Tyrone)
Dunloy (Antrim) v Burren (Down)
Naomh Conaill (Donegal) v Preliminary Round winner