THE Magherafelt Sky Blues IFA Approved Mini Soccer Centre, sponsored by Ronan Valley, returns on Saturday 3rd March.
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 Fre 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 25th February 2pm –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Dungiven Celtic
Reserves – Canada Cup Round Two – Sat 25th February 2pm –Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves v Red Star
Under 16 – League – Saturday 25th February 11am –Magherafelt Sky Blues
Under 14 -League – Sunday 26th February 11am – Cookstown Youths v Magherafelt Sky Blues
Under 13 – League Cup- Sunday 26th February 11am – Institute v Magherafelt Sky Blues
Under 11 – League - Saturday 25th February 11am –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Ballymoney Youths
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 – Strabane & Sion Swifts 2, Magherafelt Sky Blues 6
Reserves – League – Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves 3, Ballyclare Comrades Reserves 3
Under 16 – League –Magherafelt Sky Blues 2, Valley Rangers Colts 1
Under 14 -League – Magherafelt Sky Blues 0, Foyle Harps 4
Under 13 – League Cup- Ridgeway Rovers 2, Magherafelt Sky Blues 2
Under 12 –League Cup – Dungannon Youths 4 v Magherafelt Sky Blues 0
Under 11 – League – Causeway Colts 0, Magherafelt Sky Blues 6
The latest Magherafelt Sky Blues Ground Development Lotto has been drawn and the jackpot of £775 has been finally won by Steven O’Neill.
Tickets are on sale for next Saturday’s draw from all committee members. The jackpot is now £250.
Blues First Hit 6
Magherafelt Sky Blues made the long journey to Strabane missing Walls, Bateson, Monaghan and Niblock yet produced another great performance to secure another 3 points.
Declan O Neill came in at right back, Dermot McGuckin started in midfield on his first appearance for the club alongside Bradley who was only making his 2nd appearance and all 3 slotted in very well.
The Blues the took control early on and 10mins in Nicman finished superbly after being put through by Beattie. The Blues remained on the front foot although Strabane still looked dangerous and after Beattie had been denied by a last ditch tackle and Stewart denied by the keeper Strabane equalised. A long punt up field which looked to be heading to keeper Farniok held up in the wind and the Strabane forward finished well.
On 25 mins Beattie was brought down in the box, got up dusted himself down and dispatched the resultant penalty expertly to the net. Unfortunately 5 mins later Nicman received a red card for an off the ball incident.
The second half began and it was the Blues who were looking the more threatening side even with a man short and 10 mins in Beattie scored his second with a very well taken goal. Stephen McGuckin replaced Bradley as fresh legs were needed in the midfield battle and Strabane could find no way through. Hawthorn was brought on for the tiring Beattie thus denying Beattie the chance of his hat trick.
Five mins after coming on Hawthorn made a great break down the right and crossed for Rossi Monaghan to make it 4-1. Strabane started to push men forward but the Blues were defending superbly.
Unfortunately the Blues conceded a second when a shot from outside the box took a wicked deflection off Martin to fly past Farniok. This setback didn’t deter the Blues who set about trying to restore their three goal advantage which they duly did when a great cross field pass from Rossi sent Stewart clear and although the keeper got a hand to the ball he couldn’t prevent it from finishing in the net. The Blues were now playing some lovely football and Rossi then intercepted a cross field pass and ran through to score number six.
Michael O’Neill then made his comeback from injury but as a centre forward not as keeper and before the end looked to be through 1 on 1 with the keeper but the referee blew for offside.
Another good performance from everyone with Dermot McGuckin ,on his debut, getting the man of the match award just ahead of Rossi Monaghan.
TEAM: Farniok, D O’Neill, Scullion, Martin, Bradley, Hawe, Stewart, D McGuckin, Nicman, Beattie, Monaghan. Subs: Hawthorn, S McGuckin, M O’Neill
Under 11s On Goal Trail
The young Blues started the game playing against a strong breeze in the very open pitches at the crescent in Coleraine. The first move of the game was early pressure from the Blues, with Eoghan Hawe collecting the ball in midfield and he sent Ethan Doherty through on goal only to see his effort saved by the Causeway keeper, this pressure was causing the Colts all sorts of problems and a free kick from Patrick Bateson found Eoghan Hawe and his lay-off to the unmarked Shivers who calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 to the Blues.
Finn Diamond and Aiden McCluskey worked tirelessly across midfield breaking down attacks and moving the young blues forward at every opportunity, and as a result the Blues got their second with Diamond finding McGuckian who used his pace down the right-hand side and his cross was deflected in by the unlucky Colts defender to make it 2-0.
Ewan Smyth then made an incredible point blank save to keep the Blues their lead. On 25 mins Eoghan Hawe saw his shot saved by the Colts keeper and the on rushing Caolan Tohill coolly slotted home for 3-0. The second half started brightly with Tohill, Doherty and McGuckian causing the Colts defence problems with their pace and never give up attitude, from this the blues had a couple of chances but were kept at bay by some good colts defending, the blues then found themselves on the back foot and colts had chances to claw their way back only to find Ewan Smyth in fine form in goals.
The young Blues got their momentum back and started controlling midfield again and Finn Diamond found Eoghan Hawe with a brilliant through pass he rounded the Colts keeper to slot home the fourth with his right foot to make it 4-0. Shane Bradley was then introduced and his pace caused the Colts more problems down the left handside, Eoghan Hawe then placed Ethan Doherty in on goal and his precision increased the Blues lead to 5-0. Rhys Totten, Patrick Bateson, Pat Shivers and Shea McSorley were solid against any Colts pressure and good work from midfield then seen Ethan Doherty score his second and make it 6-0.
Title Looms For U16s
The Sky Blues U16’s travelled to Lurgan on Saturday to play Valley Rangers Colts from Kilkeel and again left with all 3 points in a hard fought though deserved 2-1 victory. From the first whistle the Blues looked dangerous with Michael Lynch and Kieran Lynch on the left side and Dillan Fitzpatrick and Johnny Douglas on the right side attacking on the flanks on every opportunity.
The Blues central midfield duo of Jake Taylor and Johnny Connolly again controlled proceedings with a fine display from both players; they attacked at every opportunity and defended strongly when called into action. Connolly was all over the park with a series of marauding runs although the breakthrough came from central defender Odhran Mullen scoring his third goal in as many matches from a pinpoint corner that Taylor swung in from the left hand side. The big defender towered over everyone and headed the ball into the net.
A few minutes later it was 2-0 when Lynch’s clearance from his own half wasn’t dealt with properly by the Valley keeper and Desmond McColgan was there to prod the ball home for his tenth goal of the season. With the Blues two goals to the good going into the second half Valley always looked dangerous and scored from a set piece.
The Blues regrouped quickly and Shea Murphy in goals was as ever solid and his accurate kick outs caused a lot of problems. McColgan and Aidan Doyle who have been a handful all season chased every ball and at times were unlucky not to increase the lead. Connolly and Kieran Lynch made way for Conan McAleese and Dermot Nevin and the pair steadied the ship for the Blues. Valley nearly scored again but stout defending from Luke McAllister thwarted the attack.
The game ended 2-1 and this result left the Blues top of the table needing just one more victory to secure the league title.