Southern Gaels Club Notes
Fantastic Féile Finalists
Southern Gaels U14s made club history last weekend by reaching the final of their division of Féile na nGael on Sunday. The first All-Ireland final ever for the Gaels and while they fell at this last hurdle to reach the final – undefeated up to the end – this achievement is testament to how great this team is and how far this club has grown over the past ten years.
This is the third year in a row that the club has participated in the competition and each year has brought more and more successes but few could have predicted that this year’s team would be within reach of a Feile cup final – no shield would have satisfied this bunch of hungry hurlers.
A detailed report of the matches will follow when energy levels return to normality and will be available next week but in the meantime it suffices to say that the team performed like never before with outstanding performances from the likes of Luke O’Connell, who captained the team, Johnny Martin, Luke Whelan and Zac Meegan, who drove this team on.
Friday saw them draw with Cork team, St. Dominics in the first game and seize a solid victory in the second against Omagh team St. Enda’s. Saturday morning’s victory over host club Mayfield saw them top of their group and into a quarter final against Mayfield neighbours Brian Dillon’s GAA which they won in some style setting up the dream of the weekend – Sunday hurling!
South Kerry, an amalgamation of three clubs from that region, were the opposition to be faced in Killavulan in North Cork and tension was high as the reputation of the club were that they were tough hurlers with a football mentality. That proved to be correct, but Gaels dug deep and put in the kind of performance that coaches dream of and Martin, Danny, Ger and Seán could not have been happier when the ref blew the final whistle with Gaels five points ahead.
The promised land of a final berth was reached but unfortunately so much was put into the semi-final there was little in the tank to beat our opponents Mícheál Breathnachs who were deserving winners on the day.
But despite the defeat, the weekend was a resounding success for the club who earned praise from all that encountered them, not just for their hurling but for their friendliness and sportsmanship. Host club Mayfield are now firm friends and future encounters are assured.
Great thanks must go to the players, mentors and, in particular, the parents who travelled the distance, both physically and mentally, with the squad putting time, money and nerves into a great experience for all. While this is the end of the Féile dream, it is the beginning of a great future for this team who, already, have secured a berth in their league division final coming up shortly.
Normal club notes will resume next week! Gaels Abú!Tweet