St. Eunan’s GAA club sent the boys and girls U14 footballers off to Wicklow / Wexford & Carlow this weekend for the All-Ireland Football Féile (Peil na nÓg).
This followed on from last weeks’ Hurling & Camogie Féile where the club claimed the Camogie Div. 6 Shield title and the Hurlers claimed the Div. 4 Shield title. Both football teams were slated to compete in Div. 2 for football and were being hosted by Wicklow clubs – Baltinglass for the girls and Tinahealy for the boys.
The U14 Boy’s under Joe Higgins, John Ellison and Pauric Daly had to make their way to south Wexford on Friday and a meeting with Gusserane O’Rahilly’s. After the long trek the lads settled in well and won by 1-07 to 1-02.
Next up were Tyrone team Ardboe O’Donovan Rossa and the boy’s ran out convincing winners over their Ulster neighbours by 3-13 to 0-04 to send them up to Wicklow for a Saturday morning meeting with their hosts, Tinahealy. A close encounter saw them draw on a score of 2-09 to their hosts 3-06 but that was enough to see them top the group and set up a meeting with another Ulster team, Clann Eireann from Armagh. Once again the boy’s had a comfortable win, this time by 1-13 to 2-02.
That meant they were headed to the Wicklow Centre of Excellence on Sunday morning and a semi-final showdown with Ratoath from Meath. Aided by a strong breeze the boy’s turned around with a 2-06 to 0-01 lead and a strong second half saw them into the final on a score of 5-08 to 0-02. In the final they took on St. Paul’s from Laois and they started strongly once again to lead by 2-09 to 0-01. They controlled the second half and claimed the All-Ireland Féile Div. 2 football crown on a final score of 2-14 to 1-02.
Their win will send next year’s representatives from Donegal into Div. 1 to compete with the biggest names in the country from Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Limerick and even New York.
The girls began their campaign with a good victory over Carlow team Naomh Éoin on a score of 4-05 to 2-04. They followed this up with a thrilling victory over Dublin team St. Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Rua by 2-04 to 1-04.
On Saturday morning they took on their hosts Baltinglass and after a slow start emerged winners by 7-08 to 1-06 to seal top spot in the group. This set them up for a quarter-final meeting on Saturday evening with Currow from Kerry and the girls were excellent in their 2-08 to 1-01 victory that put them through to a semi-final meeting with Mungret St. Paul’s from Limerick. The girls couldn’t find the back of the net on this occasion and a very harsh sending off of county star Claire Doherty saw them put to the sword 2-03 to 0-05.
Team managers Marty McCarron and Eunan Walsh will be delighted with the spirit shown by the girls over the weekend and but for some bad luck they could have been in the final. New York defeated Mungret St. Paul’s to claim the girl’s div. 2 crown.