Looking back at a remarkable year for Moneyslane

MONEYSLANE FC will be looking back on the year 2012 as a major success on and off the pitch.

In January the Club saw the biggest crowd at any Mid-Ulster league game against local rivals Banbridge Rangers where 800 plus watched a pulsating game and Slane narrowly lost by 2-1 in a game they should have won.

The under 16s created a little bit of club history, winning in Round Two of the Northern Ireland Boys Cup against Ballymoney Utd 5-2 and for the first time went into the hat for Round Three.

Slane under 8s also entered the affray of competitive football, playing Banbridge Rangers in a friendly and the new club calendars were selling like hot cakes. Slane Thirds also gave Strangford a hammering winning 6-1 in their league fixture.

February started off well for both Mid-Ulster teams with the Firsts beating Banbridge AFC 3-1 and the Reserves going top of the league, beating rivals Scarva 4-2. A ‘Nite at the Races’ went down well in Jinks.

March saw Slane first team narrowly beaten in the Alan Wilson Cup semi-final by Banbridge Rangers in front of a massive 700 strong crowd at Cheney Park.

Slane Reserves created club history by beating Reserve Two opponents Crewe Utd 4-3 to enter the semi-final of the O’Hara Cup against St Mary’s.

Young player Cutis Gibson hit his 100th goal for the club in six years and Slane held a quiz night in Turley’s Bar.

April - The club held its first ever golf outing at Kilkeel Golf Club which was a major success with 96 golfers turning out on the day. Four ball winners were David Niblock, Darren Trimble, Aaron Clydesdale and Andrew Smyth.

Slane under 17s were beaten by Lisnaskea in the final of the Mid-Ulster Shield by 3-1.

May - The end of season dinner dance was held in Banbridge Orange Hall.

The first team finished in the Mid-Ulster Intermediate ‘B’ Division mid-table, winning nine and drawing four of their 22 games played.

The Reserves finished their season fourth in Mid-Ulster Reserve Three, winning 11 and drawing three of their 20 games played.

The Thirds finished ninth in the Newcastle League Division Three, winning six and drawing four games out of their 20 played.

The Under 17s finished a creditable fourth in the Mid-Ulster Youth League and the under 16s finished seventh.

The Under 11s beat rivals Rathfriland in the League Cup 1-0 to clinch their first piece of silverwear, managed by Wayne Davis.

Slane also held their AGM where Brian Ervine was elected as the Chairman for the incoming season and revealed plans for the new grass pitch and 3G pitch at the new ground.

June - Slane held their Junior Awards Day for all Junior sections to round off their season. David Blakely and Ethan Scott completed their IFA Level Courses and were ready to help coach at junior level. Slane under 11s girls had a successful day in Cookstown winning all three games played.

July - the annual summer camp was held at Moneyslane Green and it was major success with over 90 kids each day turning out to participate.

The firsts were back in pre-season friendlies and their first trip took them to Shelbourn FC.

The Junior section of the club held their Annual sponsored walk around Castlewellan Lake.

August - A trip to Annagh Utd was on the cards for the First and Reserve teams and it was a day to remember on and off the pitch, especially for two of the club’s committee members, Geoff and Neil.

The season opened with the firsts playing Banbridge AFC, the Reserves playing Banbridge Rangers and the Thirds playing Carryduff Colts

Again the club opened the history books to record a massive fixture against Dungannon Swifts Reserves in the Preliminary Round of the Bob Radcliffe Cup where Swifts were stiff opposition, winning on the night.

The U11s girls were beaten in the final of the Armagh Tournament.

Slane Juniors were sponsored new kits by Supervalu Rathfriland, Anglers Rest Restaurant Katesbridge and Walcon Containers Katesbridge

September - the first team again got the Club to open the history books, this time Newtowne in Round 1 of the Irish Cup which their narrowly lost.

Slane had probably one of their most successful fund raisers in years with a BBQ and Treasure Hunt held at the new pitch where over 350 people dinned out and enjoyed the music on the night. Betty Anderson presented the Club with a cheque on behalf of the late Bobby Anderson.

The club’s Youth Development Centre was up and running with new under sevens and under eights teams proving a major success at the new 3g pitch.

DJ Fuels sponsored the club a new kit for the third team.

Ivan and Grace Jebb from Guildford, England presented the club with a cheque to go towards the new club ties.

October- The first team were narrowly beaten by Premier League opposition, Tandragee Rovers in Round One of the Mid-Ulster Cup 3-2. The club’s junior under 7s, 8s and 10s were all in action the IFA Games Development Centre football.

Slane first team beat their Mourne Rivals Valley Rangers in a competitive game since moving from the Newcastle League five years ago by 4-0.

The Reserves kept their good start to the season going and were sitting second in the league. The club’s under 12s had a fantastic draw with Newry City.

The Third team had a great win the derby game against local rivals Rathfriland to stay second in the league.

Slane’s first team had the bus out against as well as the history books when they travelled to play against Sirocco Works in Round One of the Coca Cola Intermediate Cup and were narrowly beaten 1-0.

November - DN Tyres and Trim Tech Graphics were the first businesses to erect a sponsor board at the new pitch. Slane under 13s girls were in a tournament in Bangor where they held their own, winning two and two defeats.

The thirds beat league leaders Dromara in the local derby and the under 17s went fourth in the league beating Ashgrove Rovers.

December - Club member Colin Jardine held his Movember shave-off in the new club rooms which were just recently opened and a great crowd turned out to support him on the night with all proceeds going to the Newry Hospice.

The club held the junior Christmas parties, Charismas Draw, a darts night and a curry night at the club rooms. The junior section held their annual bag park at Supervalu Rathfriland.

Club Stalwart Lenny Blakely was named as BBC Sport NI’s Unsung Hero of the Year 2012 and went to the Sports Personality of the Year Awards in London where he came runner up.

To round the year off Moneyslane F.C. will be celebrating New Years Eve in their new club rooms (Shavassi Shovogoes) this coming Monday and refreshments will be served from 1pm and everyone will be made welcome.

The club rooms will be open again on New Year’s Day

Overall it’s been a busy year on the pitch for the club who have teams playing at under 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, 12s, and 17s boys, an under 11s and under 13s girls all at Youth Level.

They also have three senior teams who are all playing competitive football in the Mid-Ulster and Newcastle leagues.

Off the pitch there has been major works completed at the new development with the opening of the new 40m x 20m multi-purpose games area 3G pitch which is in use every night of the week and the opening of the new club rooms which has seen three-four functions already in December. More have been planned for the year ahead and the club now look forward to 2013.

The club will grow from strength to strength with the opening of the new sand carpet grass pitch for the incoming 2013-14 season.

It will also be a year of celebration as it is the club’s 30th year since it was formed in 1983 and massive plans are in place for the celebrations.

There are also major plans in place for more development at the new pitch and 2013 will see a rural community club grow in size, numbers, and teams and it will be by far the biggest football club in the Banbridge District Council with one of the best facilities in the country.

The Club would like to extend a Happy New Year to all its members, supporters and sponsors who have been very supportive throughout 2012 and without their generosity and help none of all these great things would be possible.