The Gaelic football season is about to start, and as a warm-up, a mixed 9s tournament at the Cayman International School field in Camana Bay was held on Saturday.
FTI Consulting took home the Pete O’Neill Memorial Trophy after beating Team Harmonic 15-12 in the final.
In perfect conditions and with a strong breeze throughout the day, FTI Consulting’s seasoned players powered through the group stages and defeated a valiant Team 99% in the semifinals. Team Harmonic beat Zolfo-Cooper, the reigning champions, in the other semifinal.
Great scores, courageous comebacks and silky skills from every team made for a great day of entertainment. Ten teams battled it out in two groups before the top two progressed to the knockout stages.
Other teams competing were Zolfo Cooper, EY, Maples, FFP, Krys Global, UBS and PWC.
Organizer David O’Driscoll said, “A big thank you to all for taking part in another successful day of promoting Gaelic football in the Cayman Islands. And a big thank you to the sponsors LIME LTE and Whiskey Mist.”
He added, “Everyone enjoyed taking part, from seasoned veterans of the sport, to people who had never touched a Gaelic football until Saturday.”
O’Driscoll said every team had a mix of both, with the newbies picking up the basic skills under the guidance of the experienced players, displaying great teamwork and cooperation.
The Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Association is expecting another record number of member submissions for the league, which starts on Feb. 1, as this fast-paced and entertaining sport continues to gain popularity on Island. The league is normally played every second Sunday until June.
Gaelic football in the Cayman Islands traces back to 1987, when an Ulster side took on a Rest of Ireland 15 in the first ever challenge match here.
The interest in Gaelic football has grown since then, as the local Irish population has increased. With an initial membership of around 30 players, the club has expanded to more than 200.
Those interested in playing should visit www.caymangaelic.com or email [email protected] for more information.