Latest news from Magherafelt Sky Blues

FIRST Team – There was a great performance to secure a 4-1 win at home to Dungiven to make it four straight wins in a row.

Goals from Thomas Beattie, Cameron Hawthorn, Ciaran Monaghan and McGuckin secured a fine win. Reserves – Mark Diamond went goal crazy and bagged four in the 6-1 win against Red Star. Congratulations to the reserve team management duo of Declan O’Neill and Stephen Trainor on securing this fine result.

U16 – The Under 16 team knocked St. Mary’s out of the league cup with a 2-0 home win. Goals from Dessie McColgan and Johnny Douglas set the Under 16’s up for the big game next Saturday against Lisdrum. A victory in that game secures the Under 16 team the league title. So we wish them well.

U14 – A Conor McCluskey goal gave the Blues a lead but they were pegged back and the eventual 1-1 result was a fair reflection on a thoroughly entertaining game. The Blues travel to National League Division One team Oxford next Saturday in the League Cup.

U13 – The young Blues had a weakened team on Saturday and returned home from the away trip to Institute having lost 5-0. They travel next Saturday to play Glendowan.

U12 – The Under 12 team had no game last Saturday but turn their focus to a league game next Saturday in Mallusk against Warrenpoint.

U11 – Despite players missing the young Blues secured a fine 5-2 home win over Ballymoney at Spires Park. Thomas Shay Maynes bagged a hat-trick with other goals coming from Pat Shivers and Eoghan Hawe. The Blues remain in second place and have a home match next Saturday against league leaders Maiden City.

U10 – The U10 team travel to Portadown next Saturday to play in the quarter-final of the George Best Youth Cup. We wish the youngest Blues well and hope they get a positive result to take them into the semi-finals.

The successful 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 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 - Saturday 3rd March

First Team – League – Magherafelt Sky Blues no match

Reserves – Canada Cup Round Three – 2pm - Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves v Killymoon Rangers

Under 16 – League - 10.30am –Lisdrum Youths v Magherafelt Sky Blues

Under 14 –League Cup –11am – Oxford United Stars v Magherafelt Sky Blues

Under 13 – League Cup- 12am – Glendowan v Magherafelt Sky Blues

Under 12 –League Cup -11 am –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Warrenpoint Town

Under 11 – League -11am –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Maiden City Academy

Under 10 – George Best Cup - 11.15am – Portadown v Magherafelt Sky Blues @ Brownstown Park

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

The Magherafelt Sky Blues Ground Development Lotto will continue next weekend with the Jackpot currently sitting at £275.

No one matched the correct numbers last week. The £25 lucky dip winner for last week was P Downey. Tickets are on sale for next Saturday’s draw from all committee members. The jackpot is now £275

Sky Blues make Cookstown sizzle in tough away derby

This was a no-nonsense game played against noisy away support in a compact and bumpy Cookstown pitch.

Sky Blues were the better side overall, doing well to bounce back from a harsh defeat against the league champions last week.

MSB were quick to settle, building well from a superb back three of McCann, McFetridge and Devlin, playing in front of debut goalkeeper Ben McKinless. Playing a straight five across midfield, Bradley found McCluskey after 8 minutes. With plenty to do from inside the Cookstown half, McCluskey had the pace and composure to drive on and finish sublimely. CK 0 MSB 1.

After 19 minutes, a well-struck free kick by Devlin saw Monaghan denied a poacher’s goal by a good save. That second goal just wouldn’t come as McCluskey, Kelly and Monaghan combined well to cause all sorts of problems.

Then after 30 minutes, a courageous one-on-one save by young McKinless against the run of play denied Cookstown an equaliser. The second half was an end-to-end affair with the referee having plenty to do to contain a passionate derby.

Sky Blues were off the blocks first, Monaghan denied just a minute in after good work from Bradley on the right. McCluskey, playing with great confidence and touch, was unlucky with two fine strikes saved in quick succession.

McKinless saved well after 10 minutes as Cookstown countere. Martin replaced the hard-working Kerr and was central to add bite in the tackle. Kelly found McCluskey after 19 minutes to produce a stunning overhead kick from range.

An equaliser came after 24 minutes from a dubious indirect free kick, finished from the left at close range. CK 1 MSB 1. Suddenly the momentum was with Cookstown, and they hit the post just 3 minutes later.

But Sky Blues showed their character once again and should probably have won the game with 5 minutes to go in a great move down the right, Bradley finding Monaghan in the 6 yard box who hit first time but over.

The tireless Hunter came to rescue with a fine goal line clearance and the game ended with the honours shared. MOM: to debutant Ben McKinless who was fearless under pressure and fast off his line when it mattered.

The 1st XI welcomed Dungiven to Spires Park and put in another impressive performance to come away with another 3 points.

The match started with both teams showing their attacking intent and Dungiven threatened first but to no avail. The Blues then began to get into their stride with Bradley and D McGuckin beginning to control the midfield area.

The Blues first real chance came when McGuckin played a lovely ball to Stewart, who advanced into the area, beat two players and rattled a shot against the bar and Monaghan was unable to adjust quickly enough to turn the rebound in.

Shortly after the Blues opened the scoring when Beattie took the ball off the centre half and coolly slotted the ball to the net to move to the top of the Blues scoring charts.

The Blues continued to dominate and after a few missed chances extended their lead when Hawthorne scored. Any time Dungiven threatened the Blues rearguard dealt comfortably with the danger and the half ended with the Blues 2 up.

The start of the second half was a disaster for the Blues when following a free into the box Hawe was adjudged to have fouled O’Kane and the ref awarded a penalty from which Dungiven scored. For 10 mins the Blues had to defend but stood up to the task and gradually began to take control again and halfway through the half earned themselves a penalty following a handball in the box.

With regular penalty taker Beattie off the pitch McGuckin stepped up and emphatically dispatched the ball to the net. This seemed to deflate Dungiven and the Blues went on to increase their lead when ‘Rossi’ Monaghan beat the full back and finished to make the score 4-1. The game then petered out for the last 5 mins.

Another good performance against a good team with everyone playing well and Monaghan just edging the man of the match award.

TEAM; Farniok, D. O’Neil Scullion, Martin, Bradley, Hawe, Stewart, D McGuckin, Hawthorne, Beattie, Monaghan. SUBS; S McGuckin, Spinu, M O’Neill, Quinn

U16s Maintain Impressive Form

The Sky Blues u16 were in league cup action against St Mary’s from Lurgan at Meadowbank on Saturday and finished comfortable 2 - 0 winners. The visitors never looked like troubling the solid Blues defence of Connor McErlaine, Luke McAllister, Odhran Mullen and the man of the match Dillan Fitzpatrick.

The Blues squandered early opportunities from a series of free kicks and corners but the breakthrough came when the St Mary’s keeper spilled a shot and Desmond McColgan was in the right place to slot the ball home for his 11th goal of the season.

Aidan Doyle was as always impressive and he and McColgan battled for every ball. Shea Murphy was called into action at the end of the first half and the Sky Blues keeper stood up to the task saving brilliantly and launching a massive kick that McAleese just couldn’t convert.

After the half Kieran Lynch, Daniel Wright, Johnny Douglas and Michael Lynch were introduced and their impact was immediate. Johnny Douglas broke through and smashed the ball past the keeper after a fine ball from Nevin and hard work from Wright to leave the final score 2-0.

The Blues play Lisdrum Youth in their last league game of the season next Saturday and a win would secure the Mid Ulster Youth League title for them