The Claregalway U14 Ladies began their journey to Féile Peil na nÓg in Corcaigh on Thursday 30th June for the 3rd time in 3 years and to defend their 2010 Div 1 All Ireland Féile title. The day began in Hughes Supervalu of Claregalway, who were one of our main sponsors, with photographs and a beautiful prayer from Fr Ian to send the team and their mentors on a safe and successful journey to Cork. We received a wonderful welcome from our host club, Liscarroll in North Cork and we played their team in our first group game winning this comfortably. Later that afternoon, we travelled to Cork City to participate in the Féile parade and the Claregalway Ladies had the honour of leading out the parade as reigning Féile champions. This was a wonderful experience and one to be relished by everyone involved. On our return to Liscarroll, the girls were met and introduced to their host families for the first time who were all extremely welcoming.
The following morning we travelled to the state of the art facilities in Mallow GAA Club where we played Mallow in our 2nd group game. Again, Claregalway notched up a lot of points winning out comfortably but knowing that the toughest game of the group was yet to come in Kilmacud Crokes. This game began with the expected intensity and the Claregalway backs had to battle hard to deny Crokes many scoring opportunities. It took a huge effort from every part of the field to get the ball down to the Claregalway forwards to score our 1st goal, however, it was a penalty just before ½ time that the put the Claregalway girls ahead by 5 points with a scoreline of 2-2 to 0-3. The second half was more of the same with Crokes fighting back. Much credit must go to Claregalway’s Goalkeeper Natasha Hynes who made a magnificent save, putting the ball over the bar denying Kilmacud their 1st goal. Everything changed when Kilmacud Crokes were awarded a penalty which brought them back to within 1 pt. This incidentally was the only goal that was conceded throughout the entire competition. They then went on to score 2 more pts which put them 1 pt ahead. It took a supreme effort from the Claregalway girls to keep battling in the final minutes managing a point in the final seconds to bring the sides level for the 2nd time. There was a great sigh of relief at the final whistle with the Claregalway side progressing to the semi final on points difference. The final score was Kilmacud Crokes 1-5, Claregalway 2-2.
Claregalway had a couple of hours to recover before travelling to Cork Institute of Technology for the semi finals against winners of Group B, The Banner Ladies. Both sides were equally matched but we managed to deny the Clare sides many scoring opportunities with Claregalway converting at every opportunity. This game finished 4-3 to 0-2.
It was a very tired but exhilarated Claregalway side that returned to Liscarrol later that evening and the girls were instructed to rest up for the Final against St Vals of Cork in Pairc Uí Chaoimh the following day. This was a great occasion and the girls arrived early to soak up the atmosphere and familiarise themselves with the conditions. Both sides were very evenly matched from the throw in but it was Claregalway who created and converted almost every scoring opportunity with the back line defending brilliantly and superb saves from the Claregalway Keeper to deny St Vals. The 1st half finished 1-3 to 0-2. Claregalway dominated in the 2nd ½ with every player at the top of their game. Conceding just 1pt, the final score was Claregalway 3-3, St Vals 0-3. Claregalway Captain, Orla Murphy was presented with the Cup for the 2nd year running by Pat Quill, President LGFA.
The Feile panel was Natasha Hynes, Lauren Coen, Karen Dowd, Samantha Burke, Karen Healy, Megan Glynn, Ellie Glynn, Shauna King, Michelle Coyle, Stephanie O Connell, Orla Murphy, Roisín Holland, Ciara Campbell, Rebecca Hansberry, Ciara Burke, Emma Connolly, Keeva Gallagher, Laurie Moran, Laura Field, Roisín Conlan, Morgen Conroy Broderick, Eva Gilmore, Aisling Murphy, Ellen Connolly, Deirdre Keane, Catriona Moran, Moya Dunleavy, Catherine Walsh, Leah Fleming, Chloe Donnellan, Sky Nash.
There were great celebrations and the team arrived back in the Club Grounds on Saturday Night with bonfires lining the roads and a large group of people to welcome them back. It really was a wonderful achievement and one that will go down in Club History.
A massive thank you to our main sponsors, Hughes Supervalu and Hi Tech Interiors Ltd and all of the sponsors who are too many to mention for their ongoing support. Congratulations also to the Management and Mentors, Jimmy Gavin, Joan Gavin, Darragh Leonard, Joe Glynn, Mike O Connell, Asumpta Gallagher, Tim Hynes, Elaine Goldrick (first aid) Rita Healy (Physio), Eileen Conroy Broderick and the many parents who worked behind the scenes to make Feile such a wonderful event. A special thank you to Ladies Chairman Gerry Moran who was supporting and motivating the team all the way and Hardworking Ladies committee members Mary Conlon, Secretary and Paraic Keane, Treasurer.
Front Row: L-R Moya Dunleavy, Keeva Gallagher, Ellie Glynn, Aisling Murphy, Natasha Hynes (Vice Capt), Orla Murphy (Capt), Laura Field, Roisín Conlan, Stephanie O Connell, Lauren Coen, Sky Nash, Chloe Donnellan,
2nd Row: Joan Gavin,
3rd Row: Deirdre Keane, Catriona Moran, Morgen Conroy Broderick, Karen Healy, Samantha Burke, Roisín Holland, Ciara Burke, Karen Dowd, Michelle Coyle, Megan Glynn, Emma Connolly, Ciara Campbell, Ellen Connolly, Shauna King, Rebecca Hansberry, Laurie Moran, Catherine Walsh, Leah Fleming, Eva Gilmore, Elaine Goldrick.
Back row: Tim Hynes, Asumpta Gallagher, Mike O Connell, Jimmy Gavin, Gerry Moran, Joe Glynn, Darragh Leonard,