Club Year – 2019
2019 saw another year on an upward curve in the fortunes of CLG Ard an Ratha. The return of the Senior team to Division 1 after a 3 year absence, The Under-12 Boys winning the Club second Div 1 title in the grade and the first in any Division 1 grade since 2006, Our U-12, 13 and 14 girls competing at the top end in their competitions only a few of the highlights of what was a very busy and eventful year for the Club.
The seniors capturing the Division 2 League title, was always the target for 2019, and Adrian Brennan’s team proved to be the best team in the Division, putting together a string of good displays and a consistency that saw them deserve a place back in the top flight. Unfortunately, a string of injuries to key players, saw them fall short in the ‘Group of Death in the Championship eventually needing a brilliant comeback v Malin in the relegation play-off final in October to save our Senior Championship status for the year.
The club hosted two big charity events in 2019, the Owen McConnell Fund match which saw Ulster Champions Gaoth Dobhair play the Donegal u-20 team in January where a huge crowd turned out to support the fund for Owen – who has stage 4 cancer in the US. The second was the Pat Shovelin Memorial Match which saw some of the greats of the GAA come to Ardara on April 6th last to take on the Donegal 2012 team. It was a really memorable occasion with a hugely entertaining game between the two teams and was, in particular, a day to remember for Pat’s extended family. The younger people who attended were able to mix with the likes of Michael Murphy and Conor McManus to name a few of the stars there on the day. A total of €16,200 was raised for local charities on the day. Congratulations also to our county star, Paddy McGrath on reaching the milestone of 100 games for Donegal back in March of this year.
Our “One Day” tournaments at U-8, 10 and 12 level which sees clubs from all over the county compete at the highest level against each other in a festival of football which all clubs now look forward to each year. The U-12 Boys under the management of former County and Club star Damian Diver and his team of coaches, were always fancied to compete at the high end of the competition this year and as a result of their hard work and commitment, they came out as County Champions at the County finals day in Buncrana, defeating Four Masters on a score of 4-10 to 0-6 in the final to spark great scenes of celebration at the clubs first title in the grade since 1999. Not to be out-done by the boys, our young girls teams under Martin Shovlin and his coaches, finished undefeated in Division 1 in the County, and reached the U-13 and 14 Division 1 finals only to go down to Dungloe and Fanad Gaels respectively. No doubt the girls will do their utmost to take that extra step in years to come. Other notable achievements by our Under-Age teams included the U-8s winning our own Tomas Maguire U-8 cup against all the top teams in the county and the Patsy Furey Memorial cup in Glenties, the U-10 boys winning the Michael Doherty Cup in Kilcar, while the Minor Boys won the Southern Division 2 league.
With the club only over a year away from its centenary in 2021, We look forward to going from strength to strength as we move into our second century.
2019 Roll of Honours
Seniors – Division 2 League Champions
U-8s – Thomas Maguire Cup, Patsy Furey Memorial Cup
U-10s – Michael Doherty Cup
U-12s – County Champions
Minors – SRB Division 2