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Derry teams in National League double header this weekend

After the joys of All-Ireland titles last Autumn, the 2008 season will see Derry field camogie teams at Intermediate and Junior levels, with the hard work having resumed after Christmas to prepare for the start of the National League. 

Derry need to build on the successes at Junior and Under 16 level and mobilise the wealth of talent currently existing in the county.   There were large numbers of players involved in winning back to back All-Ireland Under 16 titles who would need some outlet for their skills. 

Following much discussion, clubs agreed that an Under 18/Junior development panel would be established to bring these players on and provide the basis for the current and future senior squads.   This team, taking part in the Division 3 league and Division 4 championship (Nancy Murray Cup), will be made up mostly of minors from the successful 2006 and 2007 All Ireland winning under 16 teams, supported with a number of nineteen and twenty year old players.  The County Minors are also playing in the A competition against teams like Kilkenny and Tipperary.

The main objective of the Junior management team of Donna and Emmet McCloskey, Shauna McCallion and Brendan Quigley is to help develop and bring through as many young players as possible over the next few years to help bolster our senior team as they aim for further glory and senior status.  “”It is hoped that if extra attention and support is given to our girls at this stage in their county careers then it will only benefit Derry Camogie for years to come”” says Donna McCloskey.

Kevin Kelly, Ulster Camogie Development Officer supports this approach and commends Derry Camogie for their foresight.  “”This is a great opportunity for Derry Camogie to raise the level of camogie development in the County.  The girls have proved that they are more than capable of competing with the major camogie powers at underage level and this junior panel will only help to develop them for Senior Inter-County Camogie.  A lot of players step away from county camogie after minor level and there is no doubt that this approach will go far in keeping more of them involved.””

With husband and wife team, Padraig O’Mhianßin and Susan UÝ Mhianßin remaining at the helm, Derry Seniors are preparing for their first match in this year’s National League Division II campaign, as they take on Wexford.  Following on from last year’s success in the All-Ireland Junior Championship, Derry would have been fancied to make an impression from the beginning, but the squad has been depleted by retirements and injuries, and Derry are going into Saturday’s game with less than half of last year’s winning team available.

“”Preparations have not gone as well as would have been expected””, says co-manager Susan UÝ Mhianßin. “”A lot of the things that enabled the team to prepare properly in the last two seasons are just not available to us for various reasons, and training has been badly disrupted by difficulties in getting pitches. We have also been hit with a number of withdrawals from last year’s team, and other key players have suffered serious injuries that will keep them out of action for another month or so.””

“”However, this gives other players a chance to show us what they can do, alongside the more established players, and we’ve had a number of additions to the panel who will be keen to get a regular position on the team. We faced a similar situation this time last year, with central players missing, and it proved to be the making of the team. We’re hopeful that the league will enable us to try out a few options, and we’re confident that the new players will step up to the mark.””  With the injuries, it is likely that Derry will be missing at least seven of the team that lined out in Croke Park in September.

The Derry Junior team line out against Offaly in the Division 3 league on Saturday.  This Offaly side will have noted Derry’s achievements in 2007 and will be all out to

The Derry games will be played as a double-header (Derry Seniors v Wexford and Derry Juniors v Offaly – venue and times to be confirmed.  Please check website and Irish News for details.

St Pius X triumph in Ulster Final

St Pius X College Magherafelt 2-10 Loreto College Coleraine 1-0

Congratulations to St Pius X, Magherafelt who lifted this year’s Ulster Junior B Colleges title, defeating another talented Derry team, Loreto College Coleraine.  Last year’s beaten finalists, St Pius were in superb form in the final, on the back of an unbeaten run in the league.  However, the first half was a tight affair, with Loreto Goalkeeper Samantha Rodgers and full back Maria Mooney denying St Pius scores on a number of occasions.  St Pius’ went in 0-4 to 0-0 ahead at half-time.

The Magherafelt girls put the pressure on in the second half with Rebekah Forbes and Caoimhe McCoy dominating midfield while forwards Nicola Crilly, Dervla McGuckin, Seanin Caldwell and Geraldine McIvor driving through the Coleraine defence.  Catherine Kealey grabbed a late consolation goal for Loreto.

This is a fine St Pius team who have really clicked this year and will take some beating.  After the disappointment of recent years, the girls should not content themselves with a run out in the All-Ireland semi-final.   With such skill and depth in squad, they have a good chance to go further.

Loreto had a good run in the competition, with a great win over Dungannon in the semi-final.  They are a young side with plenty of potential.

St Pius head to County Tipperary this Saturday (1st March) to take on St Mary’s Nenagh. Throw in 2pm at Nenagh GAA Grounds.  Good luck to the players and management from all in Derry.

St Pius X: N Bradley, L Gribbin, R McLean, T Mulholland, S Devlin, D Donnelly, K McNabb, C McCoy (capt), R Forbes (0-7), S Caldwell (0-1), N Crilly, D McGuckin, C Donnelly, G McIvor (2-2), E Gilligan
Subs: C McAleese for L Gribbin, N McGuckin for C McNabb, M Hagon for E Gilligan, O McGovern for Dania Donnelly,

Loreto: S Rodgers, R Rafferty, M Mooney, L Mullan, C McAtamney, U Dallat, A O’Kane, N Boylan, C Brogan, A McAleese, B O’Neill, A Brennan, E O’Kane, C Kealey (1-0), T Rafferty.
Subs. O McNicholl for C McAtamney, C O’Kane for R Rafferty, C Connolly for E O’Kane.


Information for Clubs

A very useful meeting on the issue of referees and refereeing was held on Thursday evening (21st) which highlighted the need for a concerted effort to recruit and train referees.  A Referees Committee will draw up a programme for developing refereeing in the county.  Clubs will be required to supply at least one senior referee. Details to be provided at Thursday’s County Board meeting.

Derry County Board Meeting on Thursday 28th February at 7.30pm in Slaughtneil Club Rooms.  Clubs are asked to bring their Registration forms (hard copy and electronically), Players Insurance details and Registration fees.  Clubs to provide name and contact details (home and mobile numbers) for their nominated senior referee.

Camogie Foundation Level Coaching Course for Derry clubs on Friday 29th February (7-10pm), covering Child Protection for coaches, Friday 7th (7-9:30pm) and Saturday 8th March (9.30am-3pm) (3 day course).  Fee ú25 per coach.  Venue: Owenbeg. Clubs to notify Breige McGilligan of attendees by Tuesday 26th February at the latest. 
Derry Coaching Conference on Saturday 1st March at St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt. See for further information.
For more information on camogie in Derry, log on to

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