ONE of the smallest clubs in Donegal, Termon GAA u14’s boys made history by representing the county for the first time ever in a Feile Division 1 final.
The biggest youth event in Europe with over 6,000 competitors representing 250 teams in a festival of Gaelic football and this year it took part in counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick last weekend.
Despite being one of the smallest clubs in Donegal, and facing the First Division County Champions of all the major counties and cities in Ireland, teams from Philadelphia, New York, The Middle East, UK and Northern Ireland the Termon Under 14 boys started and finished with an amazing run in the competition.
In the group stages they defeated Kildare champions Celbridge, Cork Champions Glanmire and their host team Caragaline from Cork. They then faced Derry champions, O’Donovan Rossa in the quarter finals and prevailed by 3 points before pipping a highly fancied Douglas side by a point in a thrilling semi final.
The final was played before a large crowd in Austin Stack Park, Tralee, and despite a gallant effort by the Termon lads they lost out to a fabulous side from Castleknock in Dublin.
Despite the heartbreak of losing an All Ireland final, this Termon team has won a host of admirers for their displays over the Feile weekend. Their matches were watched by a large travelling support, which grew as the hosts at Carragaline GAA got behind a lovely team who played an attractive brand of football. This was augmented by hundreds of supporters cheering the boys on from Donegal, as Gerard Grant of Pramerica had arranged live streaming of the games for supporters who couldn’t make the trip.
This admiration was bourne out by the massive crowd who gathered at the Lagoon Termon after 1am to welcome home the team, and the warmth of the reception will live long in the memories of these young men. To go so far in such a huge competition is a huge testament to the skill, courage and commitment of these players, and managers Paddy Gallagher and James Cassidy both say, they deserve every bit of credit they get and that they are quite simply an amazing bunch of young men.
It wasn’t always football, they were treated to enjoy some surprises over the weekend, they visited Croke Park for a stadium tour, a roof top sky walk, and enjoyed interactive hurling & football games and had lunch on way to Cork sponsored by Catherine and James Cassidy, Healthwise Pharmacies, before travelling to Carragline to be paired up with their host families after dinner at Carragaline GAA Club House.
Friday morning was spend relaxing with a hurling lesson from coaches in the host club, a tour of Charles Fort in Kinsale before returning to Caragaline for a team meal and preparation for the real job at hand.
Sincere thanks goes out to their coaches James Cassidy and Paddy Gallagher for their dedication and unique style of positive coaching. In keeping with the ethos of both these coaches, the full panel was used throughout the weekend and this was in keeping with the ethos of Feile and GAA underage football. The u14 Boys will always be extremely grateful to their coaches for this experience.
A presentation night will be held in the near future to mark their achievement, and we have no doubt that anyone who was along for the ride will have fond memories of this Feile weekend for a long time to come.