February saw a lot of sports in motion and one of
those was Gaelic football.
The men’s and women’s competition continues this
month and hopes to continue on its recent form.
One of the biggest occasions for the sport was Valentines
Day. Week three of the season saw defending champions Western
Gaels shoot down the Gabriels in a re-run of last year’s final.
Before the game the Wolf Tones and the Cabra
Gaels fought out a high quality affair on the under-card. That match ended in a
thrilling last minute winning point for the Wolf Tones to ensure that the Gaels
departed the Rugby Club empty handed.
The Wolf Tones have been the season’s early
pacesetters with new captain Mike Oldfield seemingly intent on emulating the
past success of his mentor Declan Cassidy who was the last man to lead the
Tones to glory three years ago.
With a strong line-up including ex-Mayo starlet Paul
Broderick and a rejuvenated Gary Lynch they are a formidable team and always
had the edge over a Cabra team for whom Howard Byrne looked every day of his 40
years as he toiled against the nimble Mark Kearney.
Points came in bunches for both teams as Lynch and Kearney scored for the
Tones while Scottish duo Kane and McDonald replied for the Gaels. In the second
Trevor Murphy notched a couple of points for the Gaels but Lynch scored
beautifully with seconds remaining to seal the Tones’ victory.
In the men’s other game of the day James
McElvanna was the surprise package for the Western Gaels.
He scored four points for the Western boys to help his team to a comfortable
victory over a weakened Gabriels team. The Gabriels were badly missing the
leadership of Rich Marian as stand in captain Dec Daly was shackled by the impressive
Scott Rainsford. Opposite captain Shane Delaney also held Marian in check throughout.
With a strong first half breeze favouring the Gabriels
they started strongly as forceful running from Mick Kehoe, Dave Lyons and Niall
Boyle left the midfield duo of Colm Moynihan and Eamon Wilson panting in their
wake and the Westerners trailing by three points mid-way through the first
Moynihan though set the scene for the comeback with
a precise goal and further points from McElvanna saw the Westerns with a narrow
one point advantage at the half.
Some vintage flowing football from the Westerners
in the second half, utilizing the wind and the gaps in the Gabriels midfield
led the Westerners to a convincing eight point win. Much of that scoring came
from Jim McElvanna, who scored only three points in his last three seasons.
On the ladies side of things Na
Piarsaigh and Buffer’s Alley played a toughly fought contest. Na Piarsaigh
pulled ahead towards the end of the second half thanks to captain Sherri
Francis (who started the scoring). Rosaleen O’Connor (Vice- Captain of Buffer’s
Alley) responded with a point and at half time the score read 0-2 and 0-1 to Na
The defence was very strong on both sides lending to
a low scoring game. Na Piarsaigh’s midfield, consisting of Francis, Jackie Ridgway
and Caroline Moran, all played exceptionally well in feeding the ball to team-mate
Joan Murphy. Murphy scored four points in the second half while Edel Anderson
powered up from defence to score a point.
O’Connor of Buffer’s Alley replied from play and a
free with a further two points. The final score line read Na Piarsaigh 0-7
Buffer’s Alley 0-3.
The second women’s match was another battle, this
time between Sarsfield and Oliver Plunketts. Lisa Kehoe, Tammy Fu
and newcomer Annelle Rabi made great runs in the midfield for Oliver
Plunketts. Janice Agnew and Kehoe put some scores on the board early on
and with great defensive work Sarsfield were not able to dominate as they
have done before.
Sarsfield were rescued from a shut-out in the first
half by a brilliant point scored by newcomer Julia Fazakerly in her first
Gaelic game ever with a quick hand pass over the bar.
In the second half, in spite of some good interceptions
and storming runs by Bobeth, it was not enough to stop Oliver Plunkett’s. Agnew
scored a great goal by barrelling through Sarsfield’s defence to beat the
goalie at close range. Kehoe wracked up more points while Rabi nabbed her
Not wanting to go down without a fight Helena
McGrath scored a great goal for Sarsfield on the last kick of the game, but it
was too little too late.
The public is reminded that gaelic football matches
take place every second Sunday of the month at the South Sound Rugby Club at
Next Sunday sees the next week of play in the season
with eight matches on tap from 2pm through to 5:30pm.
From there comes St.
Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 20 before the final matches of the month
come on March 28.
For more information, e-mail [email protected]