The weather on Monday, April 2nd 2018 was atrocious - as the old saying goes - 'you
would'nt put a dog out in it', but the Emyvale GAA HQ at Tully Complex was a hive
of activity from 9.30am until 4.00pm as the Eamon McElroy / Benny Connolly Memorial
football blitz was being held. It was originally fixed for an earlier date but had
to be cancelled due to snow and frost but the biting cold wind blowing on Easter
Monday was colder than the coldest day during the snow. That did not mean anything
to the youth and the U15 teams in particular from Tempo, Eglish, Ballymahon (Co.
Longford), Scotstown, Truagh, Monaghan Harps, Roslea and the home team of Emyvale.
Four teams in each section played each other with the top two in both sections entering
the final stages for the Eamon McElroy Cup while the other teams entered the Benny
Connolly Cup play-off. There were some excellent displays of football throughout
the day despite the demanding conditions and when the interval came all were glad
of the chance to warm up with food and shelter. The play-off for the Benny Connolly
cup came first with Scotstown and Truagh contesting the final. It was low scoring
but not for the want of trying and in the end Scotstown scraped through to victory.
The final of the Eamon McElroy Cup had Monaghan Harps facing the home team, Emyvale.
Both teams deserved the place in the final place as they had consistently good results
in their league games and were the dominant teams of the day. This was a tough action
filled game with little between the sides. Play alternated from side to side and
towards the end some of the legs were beginning to show the strain and were slowing
but the effort was maintained. The Harps used their physical superiority and had
a bit of luck on their side to edge in front and we saw a nail-biting finish as Emyvale
made every effort to level the score but the Harps held out and were awarded the
Eamon McElroy Cup. Marion Donnelly, daughter of the late Benny Connolly presented
the trophies to runners-up Truagh, and the Cup and trophies to Scotstown. Leona and
Aoife McElroy made the presentations to the members of the Emyvale and Harps teams
and Chairman of the Juvenile Club, Martin O'Brien, thanked everyone for the support
and all who had helped in any way to make the day a great success. Well done to Martin
and his loyal band of helpers for organising the event and for the excellent manner
in which they delivered the plan successfully. I must also say a special thank you
to the people in the kitchen who went through hundreds of tea bags and jars of coffee
as well as the sustaining food they served all day for all who entered.