Latest news from Magherafelt Sky Blues

THE Sky Blues U12s were narrowly defeated by Glenavon last weekend in the National League Plate semi-final.

The ‘Wee’ Blues should be proud of their performance today and but for some marginal decisions could have easily won this game. The match was a great spectacle of end-to-end football and both teams deserve real credit for continually trying to get the ball down and play attacking football. The game exploded right from the first whistle and it was the Sky Blues who pushed Glenavon back in the opening exchanges. The Blues thought they had taken an early lead when Pearse McLarnon ghosted past the last defender with his deceptive pace and slipped the ball past a flailing Glenavon keeper only the ball was cleared away in a last ditch effort. The Sky Blues players all felt that the ball had crossed the line but the referee did not hesitate to wave play on, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

The Sky Blues continued to have the better of the early part of the game but against the run of play the home team took the lead. Again the Sky Blues felt aggrieved as the Glenavon player who scored was clearly in an offside position but play was waved on once more. The ‘Wee’ Blues, as they have shown all season, are nothing if not determined, and a minute later they drew level. Ciaran Shields who was exceptional in the first half, scored a goal that must be a contender for goal of the season. He lashed the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box with his left foot, to deservedly cancel out the Glenavon lead.

This crazy spell of the game was not over yet and Glenavon took the lead again when their striker was put through one-on-one with Jack Bresland, Jack pulled off a great save but the ball fell kindly to the Glenavon striker who made no mistake at the second time of asking. The Sky Blues started the second half in nervy fashion and fell two goals behind from yet another through ball. It was a good finish from the striker which gave Jack Bresland no chance. The Blues struggled to produce the slick football of the first half and the shrill sound of the whistle stopped the ‘Wee’ Blues in their tracks whenever they got a bit of momentum going. However, the Blues never gave up and when it looked as if Glenavon would see the game out, Pearse McLarnon stole in and forced the ball past the Glenavon keeper to give the Blues a glimmer of hope.

Hopes were dashed again when Glenavon cruelly scored once more, but with time running out Cormac Murphy showed his talent and bravery when he won a fifty-fifty challenge with the keeper to steer the ball in, getting a clatter on the shoulder for his efforts. Despite an unfailing never-say-die attitude there just wasn’t enough time to get the equalising goal that was most definitely deserved. It must be said that both teams today contributed to what must have been an exciting game for everyone else bar the coaches, and every one of the 14 Sky Blues players deserve real praise for the effort they put in today. We are a lucky club to have this group of players whose commitment and level of performance made Colm and I very proud.

Caolan Coyle is to make the move to Dungannon Swifts next season.

Caolan has been associated with the Sky Blues for a number of years now. He started out at the Sky Blues IFA approved Mini-Soccer centre, and went on to play at Under 11 and Under 12 levels over the last two seasons. Caolan is part of the prestigious Derry excellence centre which helps to develop the talents of the county’s best young players and he was part of the Sky Blues U12 team that swept all aside at this year’s Larne 7 aside tournament. Caolan was also the U11 player of the year last year. In a twist of fate Caolan will have the pleasure of facing his former team mates next season, as the Sky Blues U12s have been promoted to the top division of the National League alongside Dungannon Swifts. ‘Coyler’, as he is known to his team mates is a swash-buckling centre half who plays with equal measures of commitment and skill, and his consistency will leave a big hole for the Sky Blues to fill. Everyone at the Sky Blues would like to thank Caolan for his commitment to the Sky Blues and wish him every success in the future

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 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.

Please come along and enjoy a pre-match snack or half-time warm up. Fixtures

Under 13 – League Cup – Saturday May 5th 11am – Institute v Magherafelt Sky Blues

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

Results

U11 KO Cup Final - Dungiven Celtic 0, Magherafelt Sky Blues 3

Under 12 – NL Plate Semi Final– Glenavon 4, Magherafelt Sky Blues 3

Under 13 – League Cup - Institute p Magherafelt Sky Blues p

Under 13 – League Cup - Magherafelt Sky Blues 0, Ridgeway Rovers 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 P. Rocks.

Tickets are on sale for next Saturday’s draw from all committee members. The jackpot is now £350