Magheracloone Ladies – The Beginning
In the summer of 1990, a number of girls including Susan Maxwell asked Philip Kelly and Maurice Kindlon to train them. This training continued for the next 3 months with nearly 30 girls ranging in age from 9 years upwards taking part. Challenge matches proved difficult to get until Aghabog got together a number of girls who had previously played school football and with the juvenile boys teams and they agreed to play us. This historic game took place on October 14th 1990. We were beaten on a score line of 4.6 to 2.4 but the seed of ladies football were sown as the game got good coverage in the northern standard. As a result, Pat Quill, the development officer of Cumann Peile Gael na mBan contacted Philip Kelly with a view of organising the game in county Monaghan. So the Magheracloone Club became the first to be formed and affiliated on the 13th January 1991. 17 people attended the meeting with Philip Kelly elected as chairman, Catherine Finnegan as Secretary and Marie Gargan as Treasurer. Other officers elected were Vice Chairperson Cora Jones, Assistant secretary Ceceila Marron, PRO Rosemary McCabe and Youth Officer Anne Maxwell. Committee: PJ Finnegan, Marie Doogan, Maurice Kindlon, Pauline Duffy, Karen Kelly, Fiona Kindlon, Sabrina McEneaney, Elizabeth Martin, Eugenia and Helen McCabe.
The Monaghan Harps and Aghabog Clubs soon followed and at a meeting in the Riverdale Hotel on the 12th March the county board was formed. The first chairman was Philip Kelly who later became Ulster President. It was decided to enter a County Junior team in the National League and the first county trials took place in Ballybay on the 31st March. 19 girls from Magheracloone attended. Magheracloone was well represented on this first team and panel by, Ceceila Marron, Karen Kelly, Marie Gargan, Rosemary McCabe, Susan Maxwell, Cora Jones, Catherine Finnegan, Elizabeth Martin and Linda Farrelly as captain.
1991 club scene:
Some challenge matches were played and then our opening league game v Corduff took place on July 3rd. Final Score Magheracloone 6-5, Corduff 1-5. The team was Anna Lee, Sabrina McEneaney, Bernie Jones, Cecelia Marron, Karen Kelly, Catherine Finnegan, Anne Maxwell, Susan Maxwell, Fiona Kindlone, RoseMary McCabe, Elizabeth Martin, Louise Kieran, Cora Jones, Marie Gargan, Eugenia McCabe, SUBS: Marie Doogan, Pauline Duffy and Marcella Babbington. We also competed in the 11 a side u14 and 13 a side u16 competitions beaten in the latter by Aghabog who won all 4 county finals that year. 7 clubs from Monaghan took part in the All Ireland 7’s in Kilmacud. We won one game and lost the next one. The panel was Bridget Ann McCahey, Sabrina McEneaney, Catherine Finnegan, Karen Kelly, RoseMary McCabe, Susan Maxwell, Fiona Kindlon, Cora Jones, Marie Gargan and Eugenia McCabe.
Juniors failed to qualify for the league semi Finals but made the final of the Reserve Championship being beaten narrowly by Inniskeen 2-3 to 0-8. However we won the Brendan McCabe shield and trophies by beating Tyholland, Aghabog and Carrickmacross, thus earninh the right to represent Monaghan in the All Ireland Sevens. We bet Brickly Rangers (Waterford) in the opeining round by 3-8 to nil but were then unlucky to be drawn against holders Beaufort (Kerry) who won and went on to retain the cup. Our panel in Dublin that day was Patricia McCartney, Sabrina McEneaney, Susan Maxwell, Fiona Kindlon, Marie Gargan, Karen Kelly, Eugenia McCabe, Marie Doogan, RoseMary McCabe and Cecilia Marron.
U14’s: We bet Aghabog in the semi final by 3-7 to 1-10 in a fantastic match but lost in the final to Kilmore (Seans) by 4-8 to 2-10.
U16’s: After losing the two opening matches against Donaghmoyne and Aughnamullen, we seemed to have thrown away any chance of qualifying. However, Corduff forced a play off, thus taking us back into the reckoning. We made no more slip ups and went on to win the final against Donaghmoyne by 1-8 to 1-4. Since May of 1992 we have lost only one game at this level, winning a record of 5 finals in a row. Team: Denise Sullivan, Joanne Cunningham, Catherine Finnegan, Pauline Duffy, Lorraine Babbginton, Sandra Carroll, Joanne Hanratty, Fiona Kindlon, Tracy Murray, Marie Clarke, Eugenia McCabe, Marie Doogan, Sharon Doogan, Clare Doogan, Niamh Kindlon. Subs: Edel Byrne, Joanne Murray, Cathriona Babbington, Diane Babbington, Sharon McEneaney, Philomeana Brady, Genevieve Colhoun.
Minors: We lost in the final to a strong Monaghan Harps side on June 5th 1993 by 1-10 to 0-6.
In the championship, we bet Emyvale 2-6 to 0-1. We bet Doohamley 3-6 to 2-5 and were hammered by Inniskeen in the semi final 4-10 to 0-5. We failed to make league semi finals but did enough to stay in division one.
Minors: Beaten in semi final by Donamoyne 3-3 to 1-3.
U16’s: Went through league unbeaten. Semi Final Vs Tyholland 2-6 to 0-2. We bet Donamoyne in the final 3-9 to 0-8.
U14’s: A brilliant display in the semi final beating Aghabog by 5-9 to 2-4 and scoring 13-14 in the final against Kilmore (Seans) who scored 6-2. So we won our first u14 final. Panel: Laura Kerley, Donna Kerley, Joanne Hanratty, Marie Clarke, Orla McMahon, Cathriona Babbington, Imelda Hanratty, Eileen Shannon, Niamh Kindlon, Elenor Martin, Joanne Murray, Genevieve Colhoun, Eimear Marron, Sinead McEneaney, Lorrain Freeman, Philomena Brady, Tracey Murray, Sharon Doogan, Edel Byrne, Noeleen Maxwell, Michelle Reilly and Ciara Brady.
In 1993, we won the club of the year award for our achievements on the field of play in juvenile ranks and our committees support under Chairman Patrick Marron for all CountyBoard activities.
After extra time we were beaten by Donaghmoyne in Championship 3-5 to 2-7 and lost league semi final by 4-9 to 0-2.
Donaghmoyne knocked us again by 3-4 to 2-3.
We won semi final against kilmore in semi darkness on the score of 4-6 to 5-1 and later made in three titles in a row overcoming Scotstown by 3-13 to 3-4. Edel Byrne scoring a total of 3-10. Team: Joanne Murray, Brenda McMahon, Joanne Hanratty, Ciara Brady, Sharon Doogan, Marie Clarke, Cathriona Babbington, Sandra Carroll, Michelle Reilly, Orla McMahon, Niamh Kindlon, Lorraine Freeman, Sinead McEneaney, Edel Byrne, Sharon McEneaney. SUBS: Maria O’Reilly, Laura Kerley, Donna Kerley, Elenor Martin.
We bet Emyvale in the semi final by 11-17 to0-1 and won the second title in this grade by beating Donamoyne by 2-11 to 2-5 in a nail biting finish. The starting line out was missing some regulars and read as follows, Joanne Murray, Donna Kerley, Joanne Hnaratty, Laura Kerley, Aisling McMahon, Sharon Doogan, Cathriona Babbington, Marie Clarke, Edel Byrne, Ciara Brady, Niamh Kindlon, Fiona Murray, Sinead McEneaney, Eleanor Martin, Lorraine Freeman and Philomena Brady who came on as a sub in the second half playing a big part in this victory.
Donaghmoyne beat us at home in Championship 2-7 to 2-5. In the league after some narrow escapes we reached the semi final and Aghabog knocked us out on a core of 1-10 to 0-5. However we won the John West Cup beating Aughnamullen by 1-9 to 3-1.
Minors: The minors were beaten by Scotstown in the semi final by 2-11 to 3-6 being forced to field a much under strength team and having a goal disallowed.
U16’s: We got revenge by the minor defeat by beating Scotstown 5-9 to 2-6 and won the final again by beating Donaghmoyne 6-7 to 3-3 on one of the few wet days that summer in Carrick. Team: Joanne Murray, Cathriona Babbington, Joanne hanratty, Donna Kerley, Ciara Brady, Marie Clarke, Laura Kerley, Sharon Doogan, Niamh Kindlon, Lorraine Freeman, Orla McMahon, Christina Reilly, Sinead McEneaney, Edel Byrne, Eleanor Martin. Subs: Cathriona Hamill, Orla McEneaney, Sinead Hamill, Louise Martin, Bride O’Connor. Michelle Reilly missed the final but played a major part in getting us there,
U14’s: Beat Aughnamullen and appeared in fourth final in a row but lost to Donamoyne 5-12 to 4-6.
We were beaten by Monaghan Harps in the first round 7-6 to 2-6 but still managed to give the eventual champions their toughest game of the year. In the league, we seemed to be heading for division 2 having only 1 point from our first 6 games but the improvement began and we remained unbeaten then to qualify for the semi final v Monaghan Harps in Aghabog. The first half we allowed the Harps to dominate and only for Ann Kierans in goals we would have been swamped. After the break, we improved and although missing a penalty, got enough scores to win 3-7 to 1-12. We were now in our first senior final facing neighbours Carrickmacross in Killanny. We were crowned 1996 League Champions just 10 days before Christmas. Team: Ann Kierans, Ciara McMahon, Joanne Hanratty, Ceceila Marron, Sabrina McEneaney, Sandra Carroll, Aoife McMahon, Niamh Kindlon, Karen Kelly, Louise Kierans, Edel Byrne, Sharon Doogan, Orla McMahon, Fiona Kindlon, Marie Doogan. SUBS: Christina Reilly, CiaraMcGuinness, Lorraine Freeman, Cathriona Hamill.
Sevens: Early in September the team gained confidence from competing in the All Ireland Sevens. We won all 4 games in our group and beat St.Eunans Donegal in the quarter finals by 2-6 to 2-3. Ballymacarbery Waterford bet us and won the final. Panel: Anne Kierans, Louise Kierans, Marie Doogan, Cecilia Marron, Karen Kelly, Fiona Kindlon, Sharon Doogan and Orla McMahon, Niamh Kindlon and Edel Byrne.
Minors: 1996 alse saw us win our first title at this level beating Aghabogon a wind swept Sunday by 2-7 to 2-5. Team: Cathriona Babbington, Christina Reilly, Joanne Hanratty, Cathriona Hamill, Majella McEneaney, Sharon Doogan, Aoife McMahon, Sandra Carroll, Niamh Kindlon, Ciara McGuinness, Edel Byrne, Sinead Hamill, Lorraine Freeman, Orla McMahon, Louise Martin. SUBS: Karen Byrne and Bridie O’Connor.
U16’s: Earlier in the year we won our 5th in a row beating Donamoyne in a good game by 2-12 to 2-6. Team: Joanne Murray, Cathriona Babbington, Joanne Hanratty, Cathriona Hamill, Ciara Brady, Sharon Doogan, Aoife McMahon, Niamh Kindlon, Edel Byrne, Lorraine Freeman, Orla McMahon, Eleanor Martin, Christina Reilly, Ciara McGuinness, Sinead Hamill, SUBS: Majella McEneaney, Louise Martin, Orla McEneaney, Karen Byrne, Laura Kerley, Bridie O’Connor.
U14’s: Having failed to entice enough young players, we were forced to field in the 11 a side competition. This team was coached by Cecila Marron, Sabrina McEneaney and Karen Kelly, they reached the semi finals, going out after extra time to a stronger Aghabog side in Cremartin.
To crown 1996, we won the Club of the Year Award for the second time.
We competed in an u14 competition in 1991 without any luck. In 1992 we were beaten in the county final by Kilmore. But the following year we qualified for Butlins by winning Ulster Final against Down and Cavan Teams. The two games in Mosney were tough and physical. The panel of 20 was Cathriona Babbington, Philomena Brady, Joanne Hanratty, Barbara McEneaney, Sharon Doogan, Joanne Murray, Genenieve Calhoun, Marie Clarke, Niamh Kindlon, Ciara Brady, Imelda Hanratty, Orla McMahon, Michelle Reilly, Edel Byrne, Eleanor Marron, Lorraine Freeman, Eileen Shannon, Donna Kerley, Eimear Marron and Sinead McEneaney. Since then the age limit has lowered and we have been unable to get sufficient numbers to enter teams.
Drumgossatt won the Division 1 Primary Schools cup with Marie Clarke as captain. In 1994 Scoile Bride not only won the same cup but also a Seven a side blitz. As a result of this, Ciara McGuinness played in CrokePark on semi final day and Niamh Kindlon on All Ireland day. This seven a side victory was achieved with 8 players on the panel namely, Melissa Kellett, Ciara mcGuinness, Aoife McMahon, Niamh Kindlin, Aine Kindlon, Kathryn Hoey, Joanne Doogan and Majella McEneaney. IN the 9 a side final, Olivia McEneaney joined them.
First Senior Trophy
The year 1996 started in a disappointing manner and after six matches we had only one league point and seemed to be heading for Division 2. In the Championship we lost to Monaghan Harps by 7-6 to 2-6 but our performance against the eventual CountyChampions seemed to give us renewed hope that all was not lost. We went unbeaten in the remaining league matches and qualified for the semi-final against Monaghan Harps in Aghabog. A great second half performance saw us reach our first senior final on a score of 3-7 to 1-12.
The opposition in the final was our near neighbours Carrickmacross and after a cracking match including extra time we were crowned 1996 League Champions.
Team: Ann Kierans, Ciara Mc Mahon, Joanne Hanratty, Celia Marron, Sabrina Mc Eneaney, Sandra Carroll, Aoife Mc Mahon, Niamh Kindlon, Karen Kelly, Louisa Kierans, Edel Byrne, Sharon Doogan, Orla Mc Mahon, Fiona Kindlon, Marie Doogan. SUBS: Christina Reilly, Ciara Mc Guinness, Lorraine Freeman, Caitriona Hamill.
Twenty Five Years of Ladies Football in Magheracloone Mitchells
Way back in 1990 a rumour went around
that girls were playing football down in the football ground.
When I heard about it I said they must be daft,
But we’ll go down and have a look, sure it’ll be a bit of a laugh.
So we went down and watched and we got such a land
at the girls kicking points, scoring goals
and even going toe to hand.
I watched for mistakes and soon one I found,
They were picking every ball straight off the fecking ground.
The joke was on me and I felt very small
when they told me that was the rule in ladies football.
Well things went on from there and girls trained with a will,
under the watchful eyes of Maurice and Phil.
With the players we had it was easy to tell
that at under-age level we would do very well.
Our Under-16s won six on the trot
while Under-14s and minors should not be forgot.
However, our seniors couldn’t get into gear,
and ’96 looked like being another lean year.
With one point from 6 games things didn’t look good.
But the girls knuckled down as we knew that they would.
No matches were lost for the rest of the year,
and we ended up in the final when Christmas was near.
The match against Carrick was exciting and tough.
While the captains of both teams came from Corduff.
The game swung back and forth but the real bottom line
was we won by a point after some extra time.
We were now on a high and the next year ’97.
We won the Championship and we were in seventh heaven.
The Monaghan team were successful as well
with All-Ireland medals for Niamh and Edel.
We went on from there with the club staying strong,
We were winning no cups but still not doing much wrong.
A Championship final was lost to the Harps
But in 2001 we got our own back.
Driven by things that had happened before
The girls worked very hard to settle a score.
The league final in Killanny provided great fare,
and we walloped the Harps with twelve points to spare.
The very next year the truth to be told
We lost the Championship to Harps with a very late goal.
As if that wasn’t bad enough in the league later on
We lost to Aghabog and that year was gone.
For the next number of years the girls struggled on
with the great work that many at under age had done.
Things kept improving but no one could foresee
That 2012 would be the year it would be.
We followed them through the year in the wind and the rain,
as the girls beat all before them time and again.
in Corduff and Latton and Scotstown and in Aughnamullen too,
they played and brought a double home to Magheracloone.
But if that was very good there was more to be won
we went on an Ulster tour as the team went on and on.
We reached the Ulster final and the girls gave it their all
but a win was not to be, I suppose that is football.
Well as things stand now, the future is looking bright
There’s no doubt the talent’s there if everything else is right.
I suppose there’s every chance we won’t all be still alive
But here’s the very best of luck with the next twenty-five.
Jim Mc Mahon