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MAGHERAFELT Sky Blues travelled to play Newbuildings and after a tremendous performance came away with a point which could so easily have been all three. Newbuildings had won 10 out of 10 league games and needed one more win to be crowned league champions and a good crowd turned out expecting that to happen but the Blues turned out to be party poopers.

The match started with Newbuildings trying to take control and they moved the ball about well but the Blues were more than a match for them and played some nice football themselves. The 1st half was very even with both teams only having a couple of half chances although the Blues had 1 great opportunity when from a corner Hawe stormed in at the back post but unfortunately steered his header wide. The defining moment of the half came in the 41st minute when after the Blues had coughed up possession in midfield Newbuildings opened the scoring when their centre forward curled a shot into the top corner. The half ended shortly after with the score 1-0 to Newbuildings.

The 2nd half began with a party atmosphere around the ground but the Blues came out all guns blazing and took control of the game and pinned Newbuildings back. The Blues were creating lots of promising situations without troubling the Newbuildings keeper too much but on the hour mark this was to change when Ciaran Monaghan received the ball on the right side of the area, cut inside his marker and fired to the net to silence the home crowd. The Blues continued to press forward and were unlucky not to win it when in the 43rd minute Vitali Spinu at the back post just couldn’t stretch high enough to turn his header into the net. The referee played 5 minutes of injury time and Newbuildings piled everyone forward but the Blues backline stood firm and saw out the game comfortably.

This was the Blues last league game and although they are joint top with Newbuildings, Newbuildings have five games left to get a point so realistically the Blues will finish 2nd as Oxford dropped 2 points today so they cannot catch the Blues.

This was a great team performance from the Blues against a very good Newbuildings side who have been the outstanding junior team in Northern Ireland this year and will no doubt win the league and deservedly so. Every Blues player can be proud of their performance with Martin Scullion winning the man of the match award after an outstanding defensive performance.

TEAM; Farniok, O’Neill, Scullion, Martin, Bradley, Hawe, Stewart, McGuckin, Hawthorne, Beattie, Monaghan. Subs; Walls, Mallon, Spinu

The Magherafelt Sky Blues IFA Approved Mini Soccer Centre, sponsored by Ronan Valley, is up and running.

The Mini Soccer Centre, which takes place at Spires Park, is suitable for players in Primary School and takes place every Saturday at 10-11am. The centre is now in its sixth season and attracts over 100 players each week. Registration forms are available at Sportique and in Meadowbank Sports Arena. Alternatively these can be downloaded from the club’s website at www.skybluesfc.net and going to the Club Info and Documents page. Registration forms must be completed and brought with the players on their first day. It costs £2 each week. We have a one off membership fee of £5 which can be paid at any time over the first 4 weeks. All players that pay the membership fee get a Free 2011 Magherafelt Sky Blues gift. The Mini Soccer centre is now at the core of Magherafelt Sky Blues youth football setup. As a result of the clubs commitment to developing young local players they have managed to establish a number of teams at different age levels including U10, U11, U12, U13, U14 and U16. Three of the sides currently play in NIBFA National League, the highest standard of youth football in Northern Ireland. A number of players that have come through the Mini-Soccer centre and youth teams have also been selected to attend the IFA County Excellence Centres which shows the level of opportunities that now exist for young players Fixtures

First Team – League - Sat 17th March 2pm –Magherafelt Sky Blues

Reserves – League– Sat 17th March 2pm –Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves

Under 16 – Knock Out Cup – Saturday 17th March 10.30am –Magherafelt Sky Blues

Under 13 – League Cup - Saturday 17th March 12am –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Warrenpoint Town

Under 12 –Knock Out Cup - Friday 16th March 7.30pm –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Sion Swifts

Under 11 – League - Saturday 17th March 11am –Magherafelt Sky Blues

All players are requested to check the Blues website for the latest training details.

To keep up to date with all team information please visit www.skybluesfc.net

First Team – League - Newbuildings United 1,Magherafelt Sky Blues 1

Reserves – League–Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves 5, Ballynure Old Boys 2

Under 16 – Knock Out Cup –Magherafelt Sky Blues 3, Dungannon Youths 0

Under 13 – League Cup – Glendowan 1, Magherafelt Sky Blues 3

Under 12 –Knock Out Cup - Magherafelt Sky Blues 3 Dungannon United Youth 6

The Magherafelt Sky Blues Ground Development Lotto will continue next weekend. No one matched the correct numbers last week. The £25 lucky dip winner for last week was Francie Devlin. Tickets are on sale for next Saturday’s draw from all committee members. The jackpot is now £175