Close encounter as Portadown Ladies FC win EuroElectrix Ladies MU Cup

Congratulations to Portadown Ladies on winning the EuroElectrix Ladies MU Cup last Friday evening when, after a really close encounter, they overcame a brave and youthful Mid Ulster Ladies FC by the narrowest of margins.

MU Ladies were certainly not overwhelmed by the occasion, nor by being labelled as the underdogs and playing 2 divisions lower than their opponents.

Indeed there was a high level of mutual respect evident between both of sets of players all over the pitch, and certainly no lack of endeavour by all of the participants.

The game was a very tight contest from minute 1 to minute 90, and both sides played some really good football at times in trying to break the deadlock, but all to no avail before the half-time interval.

However, they both came out even more fired up for the second period and in the end it took a wonderful 30-yard strike  from PL captain Julie Henderson to finally settle to tie. 

Heartbreak then for the girls from Cookstown, but some small consolation perhaps as one of their centre backs Mykylea Stewart deservedly picked up the player of the match award from our sponsor Alan Donaldson of EuroElectrix.

The Mid Ulster Football Association would like to thank Alan for his support and attendance at this final, which was a real credit to the ladies game locally.

Thanks also to Annagh Utd FC for their kind generosity as hosts, and also to Mr Eamonn Shanks for all his good photographic work on the night.

Congratulations once more to Portadown Ladies FC on their 1-0 victory!

Ballyoran FC lift Gerald Kennedy Cup…

Congratulations to a victorious Ballyoran FC side on their recent 2-1 win over a hard-working Rossowen FC in this season’s final of the Gerald Kennedy Cup, which was held at Holm Park, home of Armagh City FC.

It was a finely balanced contest, which saw an early moment of controversy, when the ball almost crossed the Ballyoran goal line only to be scrambled away again by keeper Martin McGuigan.

The match then settled into a bit of a pattern, with both sides getting on top for short spells, but it was really more a case of neither side wanting to budge an inch, as the game remained deadlocked without a score at the half-time interval.

Then the Portadown men took the lead midway through the second period when Francis McCann scored, and it looked like they were quite content to sit tight and possibly even hold out for the final whistle.

However, Rossowen’s Gareth Clarke had other ideas and duly equalized with just 3 minutes left. However, as the old cliche goes, ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’, as with only seconds remaining it was the MUFA’s Man of the Match Conor Hagan who made the decisive move when scoring in the 93rd minute to seal the win.

A tough way to lose any game, never mind a cup final, but all credit must go to the lads from Carnbane League side Rossowen FC for a very spirited display, which was only just short of matching one of the top Junior teams in the Mid-Ulster League, namely Ballyoran.

The Mid-Ulster FA council would like to thank Armagh City FC for their hospitality, referee Neil Sinton and his assistants John Doherty and Neil McNickle, and of course Bobby Lutton and Andrew Dowds of the Mechanics Institute Lurgan for their continued support of the Gerald Kennedy Cup competition down through all these years.

Coalisland Ath FC win MU Shield 2018

Congratulations to Coalisland Athletic FC on winning the prestigious MU Shield on Easter Tuesday at Holm Park, Armagh, after a 2-1 victory over a very youthful Loughgall FC Res side.
The first half of the match was played in difficult conditions due to the heavy rain, and with the sides locking horns and neither team giving an inch it was all square but scoreless at the break.
Coalisland opened the scoring early in the 2nd half through their no.4 and then the Loughgall no.10 equalized before Coalisland’s man of the match no.5 C Devlin scored a peach with 10 minutes left to seal the win.
Commiserations to this gallant Loughgall U20 Development side, although there’s clearly plenty there for the future, but it’s a very well done to all the Coalisland Athletic lads on your success!

Glenavon lift the 2017 / 18 MU Cup!

Glenavon are the new Mid Ulster Cup champions, after defeating Newry City AFC by a 3 – 1 score line last night on a bitterly cold evening at the Showgrounds in Newry.
Despite the recent wet and then cold weather spell, the pitch was in immaculate condition, with all credit going to the Newry City AFC ground staff once again.
Indeed it was great to see so many local football fans at the match, all of who dug deep into their pockets too as the host club were also in attendance to carry out a bucket collection at the turnstiles for their official charity partners, Southern Area Hospice Services, Newry, with all donations very greatly appreciated.
Just for the record books, Glenavon started this match with player/manager Gary Hamilton joining fellow club stalwart Kris Lindsay as a centre back pairing – a first for the Lurgan blues no doubt!
The home side started well and took the advantage after only a couple of minutes play, when Keith Johnston nipped in to capitalize on a loose back header to fire Newry in front.
The match became somewhat frantic for a while, as both sides sized each other up in the early stages, but then once things settled down both teams showed that they were also capable of playing some good flowing football.
The visitors equalized a few minutes before the break, as Andy McGrory dispatched a penalty kick awarded when Maguire fouled Jenkins.
The sides went in for the interval all tied at 1-1, with the decent sized crowd having enjoyed a fairly entertaining first half.
The second half began in an equally competitive mode.
After 15 minutes play the game was suddenly illuminated by an absolute screamer from 25 yards by Stephen McCavitt, with his shot rifling into the top left corner of the net to give a very youthful Glenavon side the lead for the first time.
City were however far from finished and they created several good chances themselves in the period which followed, with Stephen Hughes, Keith Johnston, Thomas McCann, Mark McCabe and substitute Jimmy Walker all going close.
However with just under 15 minutes left on the clock Jack O’Mahony showed great determination and strength to burst through on goal and calmly slot home a 3rd for Glenavon.
This proved to be decisive, as despite the continued best efforts of the home team the Lurgan men held out for the final whistle to secure their first MU Cup victory since the 2010 / 11 season, their 25th in total since the inception of this competition way back in 1887.
Man of the match was presented by MUFA Treasurer Colin McCullough to Jack O’Mahony for a terrific all-round performance.
Commiserations were offered to the gallant runners-up Newry City AFC who received their medals from MUFA Honorary Secretary Brian Larkin.
Glenavon players were presented with their winners medals and then captain Andy McGrory received the MU Cup from MUFA Chairman Sean O’Neill.
Teams:-
Newry City Team: Maguire, McArdle, Mooney, King, Boyle, McCann, S Hughes, Carville, McCabe, Johnston, M Hughes. Subs: Walker, Cunningham, Mullen, Havern, McMahon.
Glenavon FC Team: Taylor, McCrory, Curran, Lindsay, Hamilton, Foley, O’Mahony, Norton, Jenkins, Griffin, McCavitt. Subs: McKeown, Byrne, Harland, Jamieson, Hunter.
Sincere thanks to all those who attended the game last night, your support as ever is very much appreciated!
(Photos to follow ASAP)

Ivan Marshall Merit Award 2017-18

The Mid Ulster Football Association recently held its annual Christmas Dinner in the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, with a variety of members in attendance representing all strands and sections of local football here in Mid Ulster.
After a lovely meal, the event highlight was the presentation of the Ivan Marshall Merit Award by MUFA Chairman Sean O’Neill to this year’s deserving winner, Alan (Grass) Gracey from Hanover FC.
‘Grass’ played Irish League football for Portadown, Glentoran, Glenavon, Lisburn Distillery and Ballymena United in a period spanning over 10 years, and quite remarkably has been an active player / member of Hanover now for almost 35 years.
Alan was recognised by his peers for his outstanding contribution to the game which has now spanned over 5 decades, and was delighted to receive the trophy, presented in memory of the late great Ivan Marshall.
A prize raffle was also arranged by MUFA Treasurer Colin McCullough and Secretary Brian Larkin, with a grand total of £350 being raised on the evening. Prize winners included MUFA Honorary Members Roy Marshall and John Brown, Ronnie Haughey from the press, Alan’s daughter Leah Gracey, Bobby Lutton from the Referee Assessors panel, local Referee Glen Buchanan, and June McCullough.
This money will be forwarded to the Chairman’s chosen charity, the Southern Area Hospice, Newry, which as many know is a very worthy cause indeed and who rely heavily on independent voluntary contributions such as this from the public.
The Chairman rounded off the evening by wishing everyone associated with Mid Ulster football a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Bob Radcliffe Cup Final 2017-18

It was heart-warming to see such a large crowd at the Bob Radcliffe final on Boxing Day, on a lovely bright morning at Stangmore Park, Dungannon.

It was the boys from Hanover FC who came out on top with an impressive 3-0 victory, with commiserations to the Valley Rangers FC boys, who fought tooth and nail for the whole 90 minutes to make a real contest of it.

The goals were scored by Regan Mcilveen, Adam White and Justin Bradley.

A note of thanks also to our hosts Dungannon Swifts FC and to our 4 officials, referee Glenn Buchanan, his assistants Jamie Patterson and Davy Mateer, and our 4th official Mark Irwin. Thanks also for some fantastic snaps of the game go to Eamonn Shanks, sterling work as ever!

Once again, the MUFA would like to thank all those who attended for your support of OUR local game!