The 90's

1990 and 1991

Opening of Pairc Mhic an Fhailí

 The Club's new grounds, named after Club founder Father Patrick McNally  were officially opened by Bishop Francis Lagan on Sunday 3rd June 1990.  The opening of the excellent new playing field and pavilion was the culmination of more than four years work by the club having raised over £200,000 in order to complete the project.  The Club Committee and Development Committee who oversaw the opening were, Dan McGrellis, Sean McCloskey, Lawrence O’Kane, Peter McCloskey, Mickey Coll, Francie O’Kane, Dermot McCloskey, Raymond O’Kane, Jim Brolly,  Pat McCullagh, Peter Coll, David Hassan, James McHenry and Martin O’Neill.  It was a great day for the club with Derry playing Leitrim in senior football to mark the occasion.  Derry won the game 1-10 to 0-12 with Banagher men Patrick O’Donnell and Eamonn Lynch representing Derry.



Championship Quarter Finalists


On the playing side of things that year the senior footballers started off well in the championship with a first round victory over Limavady.  However in the quarter-final Banagher came up against eventual finalists Ballinascreen who were too strong for Banagher on the day.  The Banagher team that lined out that evening in Slaughtneil was,


David Hassan, Pat McCullagh, Damien McLaughlin, Damien O’Neill, Gerard McGillion, Gregory Simpson, Paddy Cartin, Eamon Feeney, Dermot McCloskey, Eamon Lynch, Mickey Lynch, Martin McGrellis, Eugene Lynch, Charlie O’Kane, Gregory Biggs.



Intermediate Hurling Champions

The senior hurlers bounced back from the championship defeat by Na Magha the previous year and put together an impressive string of league victories over Swatragh, Na Magha, Faughanvale, Glenullin and Kevin Lynch's to challenge for a top four spot and a place in the Senior Championship.  However defeats to Drum, Lavey, Ballinascreen and Slaughtneil meant that Banagher could only finish 5th in the league and went into the Intermediate Championship instead.  Banagher progressed comfortably to the final in Glenullin where they faced near rivals Drum. 


Banagher had won the title in 1989 while Drum were Senior Championship runners up in 1990 so a great game was in store.  The game was evenly poised throughout but with fifteen minutes remaining Drum led by five points and the game looked to be going away from Banagher.  The point scoring of Gregory Biggs and Paddy McGrellis put Banagher back in contention and a wonder goal from player manager Paddy Murphy ensured that Banagher captured their second Intermediate Hurling title defeating Drum by 1-12 to 1-10.


Banagher Team & Scorers : Gerard McCloskey, Brian McCloskey, Mickey Cartin, Barney McGrellis, Brendan Murphy, Martin McGrellis, Damien McLaughlin, Gregory Simpson, Paddy Cartin, Gerard McGillion, Paddy McGrellis (0-3), Gregory Biggs (0-9), Sean McWilliams, Donal Murphy, David Hassan.  Subs. Paddy Murphy (1-0) and Sean Brolly.


Banagher were also represented in the senior hurling final between Lavey and Kevin Lynches, with Banagher man Sean McCloskey refereeing his first senior final.


 U-16 Hurling Final

Banagher and Drum also contested the U-16 county hurling final and most observers agreed that it was the best game played at that level for many a year.  Drum eventually winning by a single point 3-8 to 4-4.  Both Mark McDermott and Adrian Feeney were outstanding for Banagher that day.


Banagher Team : Kieran Stevenson, Ronan McCullagh, Mark McDermott, Marius Coll, Gareth Feeney, Danny McGrellis, Declan Mullan, Sean Martin Lockhart, Richard O’Kane, Kieran Kealey, Declan McWilliams, Declan Mullan, Colm Hasson, Adrian Feeney, Gary Biggs.



Hurlers Beaten

The senior hurlers had high hopes going into the season after their victory in the Intermediate Championship the previous year.  However after an inconsistent league campaign Banagher failed to make the top four in order to qualify for the Senior Championship.  In the quarter-final of the Intermediate Championship Banagher came up against city side Na Magha and looked set to relinquish their title at the first hurdle only for a late goal from substitute David Hassan to rescue Banagher and tie the match, setting up a replay.  In the replay Banagher failed to perform allowing Na Magha to progress to the semi-finals on a scoreline of Na Magha 3-11 Banagher 1-7. 


Banagher : Gerard McCloskey, Martin McGrellis, Raymond O’Kane, Barney McGrellis, Gerard McGillion, Gregory Simpson, Paddy Cartin, Mickey Cartin, Sean McWilliams, Gregory Biggs, Ryan O’Doherty, Damien McLaughlin, David Hassan, Mickey Heaney, Eamonn McGrellis.



Derry Minor Success

Some Banagher players did taste success on the pitch for Derry.  Gregory Simpson, Paddy Cartin and Gregory Biggs were all members of the Derry minor hurling team who beat Antrim to win the Ulster Championship before being narrowly beaten by Cork in the All Ireland semi-final.  Derry did an Ulster double that year capturing the minor football crown as well.  David Hassan and Gregory Simpson were on the team that defeated Down in the Ulster Final before losing out to Meath in the All Ireland semi-final.  Gregory Simpson also added a Hogan Cup medal won with St Patricks College, Maghera and an Ulster Colleges Football Allstar award to his two Ulster minor medals.


Senior Football


The senior footballers made a poor start to the season losing their first four league games before picking up a win over Claudy.  Going into the first round of the championship against Glenullin Banagher were underdogs, but after a great first half performance went in leading by seven points at half time.  Unfortunately Banagher ran out of steam in the second half and Glenullin eventually won by a point.  Banagher 2-5 Glenullin 1-9.


Banagher : David Hassan, Damien O’Neill, Pat McCullagh, Gerard Lynch, Gerard McGillion, Patrick O’Donnell, Paddy Cartin, Mickey Cartin (0-4), Thomas Conway, Ryan O’Doherty, Eamonn Feeney, Sean McWilliams, Gregory Biggs (1-1), Mickey Lynch (1-0), Martin McGrellis.


After this Banagher’s season improved picking up enough victories to finish mid table in the league.  Patrick O’Donnell made his Ulster Senior Football Championship debut at full back for Derry in their first round victory over Tyrone in Omagh.



Derry Minor Hurling Success


Derry minor hurlers retained their Ulster title with a fine 3-10 to 2-11 win over Antrim in the Ulster Final before losing to Kilkenny in the All Ireland semi-final.  Banagher were represented by Gregory Biggs, Sean McWilliams, Brian McCloskey and team mentor Donal Murphy.