Ballymacnab’s Michael Beagan picks up his second Club All-Star award in a row while he is joined in the half back line by two Crossmaglen stars. Callum Cumiskey made the number six jersey his own this year for The Rangers and fills the centre half back position while Paul Hughes also collects his second All-Star award in as many years.
While Cumiskey and Hughes collected county medals at the end of the season, Beagan’s Ballymacnab were on the losing side of the Championship Final and, although pleased to be recognised for his role in getting his side to the showpiece, The Nab’s Captain feels the All-Star award can’t replace the hurt of losing out on a county medal.
“It’s very pleasing after the last two years that the club has been successful and on the back of it that I’ve got two All-Stars. If you asked me would I swap it for a county medal of course I would I’d swap both of them, but I suppose whenever you’ve put a lot of time and effort and sacrifice into it it’s nice to get some form of recognition”.
“Every child growing up, they see themselves winning an All-Ireland and being part of a team that does that and obviously when you get old enough and realise it’s not going to happen at county level then it’s the club. I’ve been very lucky and blessed that I’ve been part of a special bunch of players in our club over the last number of years and it would mean everything to me and for the club to get over the line and win a county medal. It’s nice to get the All-Star and it’s maybe something that you’ll look back on in years to come and say it’s nice to do it but I would definitely swap it for a county medal”.
Ballymacnab have enjoyed huge success under Bernie Murray over the past two seasons, winning Division 1A in 2018 while also reaching the Senior Championship Final two years running, and Beagan suggests the Round Towers are going nowhere, and that we haven’t seen the last of the men in maroon and white.
“No definitely not, if anything the last two years have proven that we can compete at the top level and again we would feel, looking at both finals, this year and last, that we maybe were in a good position coming into the final quarter and just didn’t control the game like we should have in that last part and there’s things we can learn”.
“I definitely think we’ll be there or there abouts for the next number of years and we have a number of younger players coming to the squad and have played the last couple of years and that the last two years experience will only benefit them”.
“I started off playing when the club was in the third division and it took us a while were as these younger boys are being exposed to a higher standard of football and it can only benefit them. I would expect that we’ll hopefully be pushing again next year and it’s just about the learning that we can take away from this year and hopefully push on again that wee bit next year”.