After an absence of ten years the Division 1 Championship Cup made a very welcome return to Castleblayney last Saturday evening. It is a significant milestone for the Club in its efforts to return to developing some of the finest talent in County Monaghan, as well as been some reward for the large contingent of people who are working tirelessly to improve the playing fortunes of the Club at a juvenile level. The game didn’t start according to plan with Carrick netting straight from the throw in but this Blayney team is made of tough stuff and were quick to bounce back, with points from the impressive Joshua Mone and the hardworking Robbie Hanratty, before Mone found the net for the Faughs after thirteen minutes. Playing against a stiff breeze in the first half seemed to suit the running game of the Faughs and further scores by Niall Carville and Robbie Hanratty stretched their lead before Josh Mone found the net for the second time after twenty five minutes. Further points from Ciaran Duffy and the quick thinking, quick moving Conall McHugh saw the Faughs go in at half time leading by 2-9 to 1-2. The second half saw Carrick apply some good pressure but they were constantly repelled by a great Faughs defence and when Niall Carville found the net mid-way through the half it as good as sealed the win for the impressive Faughs. Final Score Faughs 3-11 Carrick 2-6. On the day James McAdam gave a very solid performance in goals, David Irwin at Full back had an excellent game keeping the Carrick forwards at bay, with the speedy Rory McGlynn and tough tackling Gearoid Coyle not giving an inch. The half back line Conor Mulligan, Colm Bishop and Michael Hughes were tough in the tackle with their supply of ball to the half forward line was of excellent quality. The big win for the team this year has been the finding of our midfield pairing of Max Rodgers and Eoghan Casey, these two lads worked unbelievable hard at getting enough possession to supply a dangerous half forward line of Conall McHugh, the intelligent Joseph Hughes and Joshua Mone, all who played excellently, the inside forwards of Ciaran Duffy, Niall Carville, Robbie Hanratty and second half substitute Conor Rice were very effective with a return of 1 -6, which is not a bad days work in any man’s book. This is a team in development and we had another ten young players who have been pushing the starting fifteen all the time. Behind every good team there is also a good back room team and this team is no different with Mark O’Connor as head coach surrounding himself with a team of shrewd men like, Dessie McAuley, Raymond McHugh, Martin Carville, David Irwin and Martin McElroy. Their reward now is a trip to the All Ireland Feile which takes place in the sunny South East on the 26th of June. Speaking after the game, head coach Mark O’Connor was clearly delighted “ We have put a lot of work in over the last couple of years with this group of lads; they have shown great maturity in their play today, they never got rattled even though we concede a goal in the first minute, they played like all the great Faughs teams of the past , comfortable on the ball, tough in the tackle mixed in with some exciting attacking football, but what is most pleasing is that they are a great bunch of young men who love playing for their Club”. Brian Sherry, who is the Youth Chairperson, was equally as pleased “We have come another step along the journey, our aim five years ago was to start the rebuilding process of the Juvenile Club in the Faughs. One of the key milestones we laid out was a return to Feile in year five and we have achieved that now; we will continue to work extremely hard with all our Juvenile teams for a long time to come so supply the Senior Team with quality players who can ultimately compete for the County Senior Championship. We have now a weekend in the South East to look forward to, which will be a further test for this group of players but it’s something we are really excited about”. Plans are already under way for the trip and the Club hope to be in a position over the next few weeks to outline the programme of events leading up to what will be a great weekend. Well Done!