The club victory celebration dinner was held on Saturday 9th February in the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan and there was an excellent crowd in attendance and it was an amazing and very enjoyable night. We promised you a party and wow it was a fantastic occasion especially as the Vincent McAviney Cup was present alongside the under 12 & under 14 trophies. It was a great night and the party continued into the wee hours, dancing to music provided by the fabulous Hit the Floor, as family and friends gathered to socialise, recognise and acknowledge that magical moment back on Sunday 28th October 2012 when the intermediate team secured promotion to senior ranks.
Special guest Sean McKenna, representing Monaghan County Board, presented medals to the victorious intermediate panel and it was truly a surreal moment to witness the lads collect their medals. Speaking to Damien Matthews after he collected his medal he said “I feel great, it’s wonderful, it’s terrific to finally get my hands on a medal after many years of trying…it’s one of the highlights of my life.” A special presentation was also made by Mark Daly & Keith Daly to the team management Jim Clifford and Cormac McFadden where they each received a framed photograph of the historic intermediate team.
Special achievements were also acknowledged with presentations to players of the year. Stephen Lynch was named the senior player of the year and by all accounts was a very popular choice. Stephen, who overcame many difficulties with injuries, had an outstanding year in defence and was certainly one of the key cogs in our historic campaign where the defence consistently marshalled their opponents and was a rock on which our success was built. Wearing the number seven jersey he had the uncanny ability to pop up all over the field all the time and in the league final against Doohamlet his crucial goal was brilliantly taken. A player with a first class attitude he is certainly a role model for our younger players and is one of our most committed players, tenacious in the tackle and when the occasion required he stood tall, “thou shall not pass”. He delivered consistently strong performances throughout the season and contributed a lot of hard graft to our cause and fully deserves the award.
Given our defence was ‘Solid as a Rock’ all year it was no surprise that the reserve player of the year was given to Conor McGeough. It may have been a tough year for the reserve team and sadly due to small numbers we had to withdraw from the competition but one man who could be relied on was Conor. Wearing the number two jersey, on our senior team, he honed his skills and took to it like a duck to water and quickly earned the reputation as a no-nonsense defender where he hardly put a foot wrong all season as he snuffed out numerous attacks efficiently, quietly and effectively. Equally adept at making surging runs he has an abundance of pace and his displays during the year were eye catching and at only twenty years old his best days are certainly ahead of him wearing the green & white jersey.
Fergal McGeough and Lorcan Smyth collected the minor player of the year award after a very impressive year. Both players were members of the Monaghan minor team in 2012 and having come through the underage grades they have grown and developed into fine footballers with a ‘good head’ for the game. Both lads are supremely athletic and proved a valuable addition to the team causing plenty of trouble in opposing defences and bagged some vital scores from play and some beauties from placed balls during our historic journey to senior football.
On behalf of the club I would like to congratulate all the award winners. It is a fitting tribute for all the hard work and dedication you devoted during the year. Special thanks must go to the Hillgrove Hotel who provided an excellent meal and thanks must go to the organising committee who put in trojan work over the last number of weeks to make the night a great success. Many thanks also to the people of the parish who attended and supported this celebration event.