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Creeslough U13s Winning Donegal Cup Is The GAA Story Of The Year

Creeslough U13s Winning Donegal Cup Is The GAA Story Of The Year
By Nathan Molloy Updated
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Just weeks after the devastating explosion that ripped the community apart, Creeslough U13s won the county's division two football final.

The young Naomh Michéal side of Creeslough/Dunfanaghy beat Naomh Conail in the final 3-7 to 2-7 last weekend. It was an expansive game with plenty of kick passes throughout.

The sides were meant to meet in a group stage game earlier but that weekend's events had the game called off. On the day of the final, the entire team and management held a minute's silence at the barrier before the disaster.

A Great Lift

There has been some brilliant sportswriting from Creeslough this past month. Malachy Clerkin travelled to Donegal for the Irish Times, the weekend of the semifinal. Writing for Donegal Live, Chris McNulty packed some fascinating and moving detail into the story of the final itself.

Speaking to DonegalLive, St Michael's chairperson Liam McElhinney said that it is a great lift to the parish.

This will bring a great lift to the parish. The way they played was just unreal and it's a testament to the good work that's being put in by Paul Sweeney and his backroom team of Jim McGuinness, Neil Toye, Denis Sheridan and Bernie McGinley

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Beyond the massive human interest story of how this team is helping the community in Creeslough cope with the unspeakable events of last month, there is a compelling GAA angle to the match.

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Jim McGuinness was on the sidelines helping to manage the young team, which featured two of his young sons. The former Donegal manager lives in the village as his wife Yvonne is from there. McGuinness was involved in helping the community after the tragedy. Due to this, he missed Naomh Conail's homecoming after their senior county title win. Victorious manager Martin Regan praised McGuinness for his role in their team's victory.

McGuinness told McNulty of the strange feeling of managing against his own home club.

It must be said, Naomh Conail should also be praised for the contributions to a memorable day.

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Speaking after the game, the All Ireland winner said that the team has given everyone a break.

These wee fellas have given people a bit of a break. It was just lovely to get over the line with them. For the community, it's a huge positive and we've got to be happy about that.

Back To Normality

Last weekend's victory was the club's first underage victory since the U16 Division Two Title in 2016. The recent victory and the club holding an information night with HSE counsellors is bringing normality back to the village according to McElhinney.

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We're getting back into normality. It's great to be going back home to Creeslough into the town beset by tragedy, to bring a smile back to the people again.

After going through a lot in the past month, the young footballers' recent victory will live long in their memory.

SEE ALSO: The Blow Ins: 5 Players That Won A County Final Outside Their Home County

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