THE Clann Éireann club were the courteous hosts of this year’s Town and Country cup charity game which raised £600 for the St. Vincent de Paul society last Sunday.
The series, which is in its fourth year, has now collected £4600 for SVDP and with some families struggling in the run-up to Christmas, the money will go towards the most needy members of the community.
Spokesman Sam Park said: “We are delighted at the amount raised at last Sunday’s game. I would like to thank the organisers once again and to thank all the players and officials who put so much effort into staging the event.”
Although other games took place on the day at other venues, a sizable crown still turned out to support the event which saw the sides locked in a draw at the end of the game on a scoreline of Town 1-11, Country 3-05.
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, Eugene Creaney from the Lurgan Mail said: “All the players who turned out on the day showed great commitment during the game. The series couldn’t survive without their commitment year after year,
“The Clann Éireann club were very professional throughout the day and supplied both umpires and linesmen. I would also like to thank the referees, Mickey Leonard and Keith Smith, who contributed to the overall free-flowing nature of the game as well as the managers, Paul Henderson, Gary Mallon, Patsy Magee and Jim Robinson as well as local fitness coach Tommy Stevenson who looked after the warm ups etc.
“The Mail’s editor Clint Aiken has been supportive of this concept from its inception and, of course, special thanks should be given to all the people who donated money on the day.”
On the field of play, the wind dominated the pattern of the game but could do little to curb the brilliance of Tones man Finnian Moriarty who was the outstanding player on the day.
Moriarty hit a stunning goal seven minutes after the break having been put though by Sarsfields’ Paul McGaughey who was his supporter-in-chief on the day.
With more physicality to their play, the Country team, with the wind, dominated the opening half and led 2-2 to 0-3 at the break, the goals coming from Clonmore’s Ruairi Cunningham and Paul McGaughey.
Brian Mallon, Eamon McGeown, Paul Carville and Stephan Campbell tried in vain to break through a stubborn Country defence in the first period, but it was after the break when Town midfielder Mark Beattie began to win crucial possession over Maghery’s towering James Lavery.
Although the sticky conditions took their toll on the players’ fitness levels, the tempo never dropped over the seventy minutes.
Finnian Moriarty hit the opening score of the second half, but the Town men hit the next seven scores without reply which included a Paul Carville goal. The Tír na nÓg man netted following a great save from the Country keeper on Stephan Campbell who was denied several times during the game.
Two Carville points, a Robbie Gearey effort and scores from Campbell, Danny McNally and Beattie followed, but almost twenty minutes after their last score, sandwiching a Ryan Henderson point, two Maghery men, namely Conor Mackle and James Lavery set up a grandstand finish to give both sides a share of the trophy.
Although Paul Carville’s claims for a first-half penalty were waved away by Mickey Leonard, a brilliantly executed shoulder to shoulder tackle from Robbie Geary and several good performances were the highlights along with Finnian Moriarty’s showing.