Touchline Talk from Rathfriland Football Club

THEY THINK IT`S ALL OVER – FOR THIS SEASON IT IS NOW! - Well folks, there it is – another season over before you know it although it has to be said that things have wrapped up a bit earlier this season than previously due to a drier and milder winter.

Rathfriland FC, in it’s 50 Anniversary year, has had a very satisfying and exciting season again on and off the pitch.

Rangers finished third in the Northern Amateur Football League Division 1B, Brian Adair and his team agonisingly missing out on promotion by just a single point despite scoring more goals and conceding less than runners up Orangefield OB while also being the only team in the league to take points off the eventual winners Crumlin Star.

In all competitions Rangers` top four goalscorers scored 102 goals between then with Ally Wilson finishing with a record breaking 51, Ally Beck on 27, Ryan Evans 14 and Stevie Coulter on 10 – an achievement that seen the former two claim places in the Northern Ireland international Amateur League Britton Rosebowl squad.

Meanwhile the Swifts had their first season in the new 10 team Reserve Championship league competing with the likes of Loughgall, Newry City, Coagh Utd, Armagh City and Warrenpoint Town finishing a very creditable mid table position.

The Swifts Reserves, competing in Mid Ulster Reserve Division 4 had an excellent season eventually finishing fourth in the league while also getting to the semi finals of the Mid Ulster Cup.

The Colts, with a number of young players, were out in the tough Newcastle League Division 2 and while maybe not getting the results, they certainly achieved in other ways especially giving vital experience to some of the young players.

The Rathfriland FC Youth section of the club, with up on 150 in number, had a very encouraging season with potentially three teams – the Under 11s, 12s and 16s reaching respective cup finals - testimony to the guidance and hard work of Mark Bickerstaff, the Davenport and Bronte families and all the coaches and helpers.

Off the pitch a number of fundraising events have continued to take place throughout the season culminating in the big end of season annual John Ingram Memorial Fun Day at Iveagh Park on Saturday June 2.

Our main sponsor and local business, The Milestone Service Station, has been a tremendous support to the local club over the last 12 months and they look forward to continued partnership again. A massive thank-you also to David Niblock of DN Tyres for his continued sponsorship of the Swifts as well as all the other board sponsors and any other sponsors and helpers.

The club will be marking the milestone of the 50th Anniversary year with a black tie formal and dance at the Slieve Donard Hotel on Saturday 23rd June.

Thee 2011/12 season has been a memorable one for many different reasons and we can hardly wait for the new one to begin!

“They think it`s all over – for this season it is now!”

TROPHIES RECALL! - Could everyone who has trophies from last season please return them to the home of Dessie Davenport or Treasurer John Annett by tomorrow (Wednesday) at the latest.

JOHN INGRAM MEMORIAL FUNDAY - The biggest off the pitch event of the year is the John Ingram Memorial Funday which will take place at Iveagh Park on Saturday June 2 at 1pm. This cross community event in some way gives something back to the community with something for all the family - outside of the football tournaments, there will be bouncy castles, face painting, sports games, etc with an all day barbeque during the day.

Since its introduction, this event has been extremely well supported during the past three years with any donations on entry going to the Ronald McDonald House Fund, Oxford which the Gilmore family have benefited from in recent times. Come along and enjoy a free day out for all the family!

RATHFRILAND FC AWARDS NIGHT - With the 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance on Saturday June 23, Rathfriland FC’s annual awards will take place at the club this Saturday 26th May at 7.30pm. There will also be a steak barbecue on the evening with music afterwards.

FUN DAY COMMITTEE MEETING - There will be a meeting for all the committee in preparation for the John Ingram Memorial Fun Day on Monday 28th May at 7.30pm.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS - Rathfriland FC will hold their 50th Anniversary celebrations on Saturday 23rd June at the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle. This will be a black tie event with comedian Gene Fitzpatrick and live music by Track of the Foot part of the bill. Tickets are priced at £40 – all players, officials, sponsors and supporters past and present will be very welcome. Black tie suits can be accessed at S.D. Kells, Banbridge. More details to follow.

AGM + COMMITTEE MEETING: The Rathfriland FC AGM and June committee meeting will take place at the clubrooms on Tuesday May 19 at 7.30pm. SPONSORS: The club would like to thank all their sponsors who have been such great support to Rathfriland FC.

Main club sponsor – Milestone Service Station; Rangers kit sponsor – Milestone Service Station; Swifts kit sponsor – DN Tyres; Numerous board sponsors at Iveagh Park.

SENTRY DUTY THIS SATURDAY - N/A.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Saturday May 26 – Annual Awards Night; Wednesday May 30 – Rathfriland FC Youth Awards; Saturday June 23 – 50th anniversary, Slieve Donard Hotel.