Clanns cruise to Ulster title win

The Clann Eireann coaches with captain Sean McCarthy.
The Clann Eireann coaches with captain Sean McCarthy.
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The impressive victory by Clann Eireann’s under 16 side in last Sunday’s Ulster decider has continued to emphasise the huge strides the Lurgan club has made in recent times.

Captained by midfielder Sean McCarthy the young Clanns side, thanks to goals from Tiernan Kelly and Ruairi McConville and galvanised by a sublime performance by man of the match Rioghan Meehan, cruised to victory over a plucky yet outplayed Rossa side from Belfast.

The Lurgan lads secured their win with true grit and determination according to their manager Martin McConville who said, “We were good up front and took our chances against Rossa, but I think our supporters who turned out in big numbers would have to agree that our tackling was superb particularly when our opponents began to look like they were getting back into the game.

“Winning the Armagh Championship with this side was great, but Sunday’s Ulster title success was without doubt the icing on the cake.”

Team captain Sean McCarthy stressed that the young players on the Clanns team who have progressed through the ranks know each others play very well.

“We have played at Primary School together and for our club all through the years,” said the skipper.

“We are a very close bunch, and hopefully the lads can all stay together and go on to success at senior level.”

Although it has been a number of decades since Clann Eireann won a Senior Championship one of the stalwarts from their glorious period of the sixties, Seamus McConville, took great pride in the success on Sunday. The team includes his two grandsons Ruairi and Aodhain McConville and he believes his club can sustain the recent success.

“It is amazing that we have so many good players coming through the youth structures at the same time,” said Seamus.

“Most clubs would be happy if four or five players progressed from under age teams, but the work that all our coaches have done is commendable.

“I don’t see any reason why the under 16s cannot go on to win an all County Minor title in the very near future.”

In their Ulster Championship win on Sunday, Tiernan Kelly finished top scorer with 1-03, Ruairi McConville also hit the net, Aodhan McConville and Jack Haddock scored a brace a piece and points were added by Ryan Lewsley and Ryan Meehan.