GAELS IN HOBART, LEPRECHAUNS IN WOOLONGONG, 7-A-SIDE IN MELBOURNE
During 2007 a group of people decided that Gaelic Football for men and women was what Tasmania and Hobart was missing. The group in Hobart included Tom Bawle (ex Victoria), John Devine (ex Brisbane), Barbara Middleton (sister of Australasian Secretary Gerard Roe) as well as local people.
A committee was formed and from that the Tasmanian Gaelic Football & Hurling Association was born. They obtained a playing ground at University Rugby Grounds in Hobart and their vision came to fruition when after many training sessions they played St. Kevin’s Men’s and Women’s teams from Melbourne in challenge games.
In front of a wonderful crowd on a sunny November Sunday, the Irish and Australian Flags flew proudly as the newly formed Tasmanian Gaelic Football and Hurling Association’s (TGFHA) “Tassie Gaels” hosted friendly football games with St Kevin’s. The event marked the formal start to Gaelic Football’s first ever Tasmanian season.
The day kicked off with a closely fought women’s match played in great spirit. The Tassie Gaels played well with some generous coaching and advice along the way from the St Kevin’s girls. Although this was only the Tassie girls’ second get together they demonstrated speed and agility to be competitive.
St Kevin’s took off the trophy with a 2.4. (10) to 1.2. (5) win.
Best afield judged by referee Tomas Fahey was Tassie’s Angela Dickson.
The men’s match was another matter!!
Tassie scored two early points before slotting a brilliant goal to the surprise of all. They showed speed and skills beyond their experience! St Kevin’s hit back with a point as the game see-sawed and then they scored a great goal. Just prior to half time an unfortunate injury to St Kevin’s Pat Hickey saw him leave the field and go off to hospital with a dislocated shoulder. On the resumption of play Tassie were awarded a penalty for a foul in the square and as a result another goal was scored.
The second half was hard fought even though a “friendly” and Tassie Gaels John Devine scored another goal after good teamwork forced the ball forward. Again St Kevin’s fought back and scored points to reduce the margin including a penalty which was converted to a point.
Tassie Gaels won the match 4.5. 17 to 2.6. 12.
Captain Mark Beck accepted the Mairtin MacMathuna Memorial Trophy from Mairtin’s daughter Brighde Cherrie-MacMathuna and Joan Crossin (President of the Irish Association of Tasmania). The trophy will now become a perpetual trophy played for annually.
Best afield awarded by referee Tom Bawle was Tassie’s Mat Riseley.
The real winner for the day was Gaelic Football and a big part of that is due to the hard working team led by Tom Bawle and Barbara Middleton whose vision became a reality today. Many thanks to all those who helped out to make this day successful.
St Kevin’s are to be congratulated for travelling over from Melbourne and participating with such wonderful spirit.
Pat Gavin from St Kevin’s presented TGFHA President Tom Bawle with a plaque to commemorate the historic day.
The vocal crowd was thrilled to see the skills on offer with this new game to Tasmania and news crews from Win TV and Southern Cross were there to capture the action.
Thanks are due to The Irish Association of Tasmania who presented a $1,500 donation to assist with getting this traditional part of Irish culture off the ground and also to TGFHA sponsors The Prince of Wales Hotel (Tom Bawle) who supplied the jersey’s and a much needed watering hole for after the event (!) and naughteedesign.com who designed the logo.
For further information regarding playing, sponsoring or generally becoming involved in Hobart please contact Tom Bawle on 0409 216 766 or email email@example.com
The Fighting Leprechauns
In January 2007 Lee Murray, Programs Manager, University of Wollongong, Recreation & Aquatic Centre attended a Gaelic Football Level 1 Coaching Course where gained Level 1 Coaching accreditation. Lee was so impressed with the skills of Gaelic Football that he undertook to recruit a team to play in the 2007 New South Wales competition. Many doubted this would happen or that he would be able to field a team made up of Australian players, something that was unheard of in Sydney which is renowned as the mecca for players on holiday from Ireland.
True to his word, Lee recruited and coached a team that did participate in 2007. The New South Wales Clubs were enthusiastic and many of teams travelled to Wollongong to partake in coaching clinics and play friendly games.
Whilst success on the field eluded the Leprechauns they are looking forward to 2008 having gained great experience in 2007.
Lee also is looking coaching children in local primary schools as well as the possibility of entering a women’s team in the 2008 competition. Anyone either male or female who would like to be a part of the Club can contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone 0414 655 572.
2007 Australasian Championships Report
And the winners were…………….in Hurling New South Wales City, in Minor Football Victoria, in Senior Football New South Wales and in Women’s Football Western Australia. Most of all though the winners were the 470 players whose participation made the Championships the largest ever staged.
Many wondered if it would be possible to stage up to 11 games a day at Auburn but all involved including players, mentors, officials, State and Australasian committee members ensured just about every aspect of the Championships ran smoothly.
In hurling it appeared after Western Australia won their first game when they defeated New South Wales Country by one point that they had one foot in the final however a one point defeat by New South Wales City saw them having to face City again in a semi final. They lost by six points which set up a final between City and Country. Country were the favourites after they had beaten City 0-13 to 1-7 two days earlier. This was not to be the case as City won easily 2-12 to 1-7 meaning the Australasian trophy stayed in the harbour city, its home since 1992.
Minor football saw the teams from Victoria and South Australia stand out. Whilst New South Wales and Queensland were competitive the physique and speed of the Victorian and South Australians saw them deservedly play off in the final. The Vic’s who had scored a total of 14-37 in their four games leading into the final were expected to win and did so by recording a comprehensive 5-12 to 1-6 victory.
Seven teams took part in Senior football with the return of Auckland and Hutt Valley-Wellington warmly received. Western Australia was unrecognisable from the team that won the Championships in 2006 fielding one of their youngest ever squads. Queensland also had a very young team and like Western Australia found it difficult when they played against stronger and more experienced opponents in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Most preliminary games were competitive and threw up some surprise results. What was not surprising was that the four semi finalists were New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Auckland. Comprehensive wins to NSW and Victoria in the semi finals saw them face off again in the final. Earlier in the week Victoria had beaten the “Blues” by 2 points and they hoped to repeat their win in the match that mattered.
After an even first half New South Wales took control after half time and with 6 minutes left led comfortably by 10 points. It was then that Victoria sprung to life scoring 2-1 to cut the margin to 3 points. New South Wales after being the better team were hanging on grimly when the final whistle went.
In Women’s football the added incentive for players was that they had an opportunity to be selected to represent Australasia when they defended the “World Cup” in Dublin in 2008. The standard of football in 2007 was again at a very high level with stand out players in all teams. Auckland after an absence of a number of years took part along with Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Western Australia going for three in a row was installed as early favourite with Queensland and hosts New South Wales expected to be their main rivals. South Australia with Victoria and Auckland all had initial goals of making the semi finals. Interesting results in preliminary games with WA beating Queensland, NSW beating WA and Queensland beating NSW made for a very open competition. South Australia’s defeat of Victoria gave them the fourth semi final spot.
Their ‘reward’ was to play Queensland who won the game 3-9 to 0-3. The other eagerly anticipated semi final between Western Australia and New South Wales lived up to expectations with the result in doubt until the final whistle with the team from the West in front 4-3 to 2-6.
Sunday’s final had all the ingredients to be a crackerjack affair however Western Australia with a very dominant performance turned it into a damp squib winning 4-11 to 0-3.
500 people on the Sunday evening of the finals attended the Presentation Dinner at Dockside in Darling Harbour. Also present were Sheamus Howlin, Chairman of the Overseas Committee in Croke Park and Mairtin O’Fainin Ambassador of Ireland. Presentations were made to winning team mentors, best players in each code and Australasian teams in each code.
Best players were as follows:
Hurling: Mark Tobin - NSW City
Minor Football: Niall McDonagh - Victoria
Senior Football: David Carmody - Auckland
Women’s Football: Grainne Heduan - Queensland & Lydia Padgett - Western Australia
To view photographs from the Championships and Presentation Dinner click here
All photos are courtesy of Happy Medium Photo Co. and all photos from the 2007 Championships and Presentation Dinner can be viewed and purchased at www.happymediumphoto.com.au
The 2008 Australasian Championships are scheduled for Adelaide.
NEW GROUND & FACILITIES FOR GFHA PLAYERS & MEMBERS IN PERTH
After many many years of toil the GAA of Western Australia saw their search for a new ground and facilities came to fruition when Tom Bateman Sports Pavilion was officially opened on 11 October 2007.
The Pavilion is in the City of Gosnells in Perth and will be co-shared with Gosnells Hawks Baseball Club.
The Baseball Club will use the centre each year between October and March with Gaelic football and hurling taking over from April to September.
A recent history of events leading up to the opening of the complex……………………
Tom Bateman Reserve is situated on the corner of Nicholson Rd and Roe Highway in Canningvale.
A joint application for funding of the development was submitted to the Dept of Sport in late October 2005. The development had already been put to council, been approved by the councillors and received a number 1 ranking. The building plans made provision for 5 changerooms, bar and kitchen area, 15m x 15m function area and a storage room. Game standard floodlighting is permitted in the area and would be used at a later date when expanding competition. Substantial funds had already committed to the project by the City of Gosnells.
March 2006 saw funding from the Dept of Sport for the new facility approved
In spite of problems encountered with issues such as funding, tendering, over budget, cut backs etc. significant progress was made. The council approved extra funding for the project and the tendering process was finalised in mid December and a builder appointed. The contract was signed in January 2007 and catered for contributions made by the GAA both in cash and in kind.
A preliminary application for funding was lodged with the GAA in Croke Park. The cost of the building was estimated at $1m and the GAA of WA was responsible for 1/6th of this which was $166,666. The actual cost was $1.15M but the City of Gosnells agreed to absorb the extra $150,000 which came in over budget. (The actual cost later rose to $1.3M)
Excavation work commenced with the removal of the mound behind which will be the baseball batting cage. The positioning of both the Gaelic pitch and the Baseball pitch was decided and agreed upon.
Mid 2007 saw the GAA in Croke Park approve a substantial grant towards the project which was greatly appreciated by all involved with Gaelic games throughout Australasia.
An incorporated entity known as the Tom Bateman Sporting Association Inc. was formed which manages the complex and in whose name the lease and management licence will be granted. This Association will comprise 50% GAA and 50% Gosnells Baseball Club with three Board members each. Fred McCormack from the GAA of WA will be the initial chairman.
After long negotiations with Council they agreed to a 10x5x5 year lease which both sporting bodies had vigorously sought.
Many people in the West Australian GAA have been involved in the search for a new ground for many years but the person who has spent most time on the project is Fred McCormack. Fred has been with the association for as long as anyone can remember and when people doubted that a new facility would eventuate he remained positive. He and the members of the GAA in Perth and Sheamus Howlin, Chairman of the Overseas Committee from the GAA in Ireland were extremely proud and rightly so, when they attended the complex when it officially opened on 11 October.
The photos below show the progress of building through to completion and the official opening.
2007 AUSTRALASIAN GAELIC FOOTBALL & HURLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
RECORDS BROKEN EVEN BEFORE THE 2007 CHAMPIONSHIPS COMMENCE!
The 2007 Australasian Gaelic Football and Hurling Championships will be held in Sydney at Princes Park, Auburn from Monday 3 October through to the finals on Sunday 7 October.
This year there are a record number of teams competing with seven men’s, six women’s, four minor and three hurling. 500 players over seven consecutive days will vie for the honour of being crowned Australasian champions. Last year in Perth there were 27 games in minor, senior and women’s football and hurling. This year there has been an increase to 56 games and this has resulted in the Championships being extended by two days. Teams will represent all affiliates in at least one of the codes viz. Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Auckland. 2007 also sees the return to the fold of Hutt Valley-Wellington after an absence of almost ten years.
There will be a new name on the Minor trophy after the late withdrawal of Western Australia. The majority of players in the South Australian, Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland teams will be making their first appearance at Australasian level so there are no early favourites for the title. The work of the mentors for each squad has been exceptional and we look forward to the closest competition for many years. For the record, Victoria have been champions nine times, South Australia seven times, Queensland on three occasions whilst New South Wales will be vying for their first trophy.
New South Wales with home advantage are regarded as favourites to regain the trophy they lost to Western Australia in 2006. The West reportedly will be fielding a much younger team than last year which also will contain more locals than before. Victoria is always about the mark and desperate to be crowned champions for the first time since 2002. South Australia has been so close for a number of years and it will be interesting to see how they fare with a new management team in place. Queensland is an unknown quantity having continually had very young teams. The experience gained should lead to them having an opportunity to vie for a semi final place. Auckland and Hutt Valley-Wellington are the unknown factors making welcome returns to senior football. They have been training for six months for the games and their enthusiasm augurs well for them to be successful.
Western Australia’s Coach Fred McCormack will be going all out to see his girls become only the second State after New South Wales in ’98, ’99 and 2000 to win a hat trick of consecutive Championships. Queensland and New South Wales both loom as their hardest opponents. Queensland after looking like they had a long dynasty in front of them when they won in the title in 2004 have no doubt been disappointed at losing the last two finals to the West and will be hell bent on going one better in 2007. Tertia Dex again coaches the team.
New South Wales after being the dominant force in women’s football when they won four titles between 1998 -2004 have not reached a final since they last won an epic game against Queensland in Sydney in 2003. Home ground advantage sees them as one of joint favourites to be crowned champions.
The South Australian and Victorian teams have always been amongst the most enthusiastic of participants. Both have improved every year and in 2007 with new management and players it will be interesting to see how they fare.
Auckland like their men’s team are an unknown quantity but we can be assured that like any other Kiwi sporting team they will give 100 percent and along with Victoria and South Australia will be looking at getting through to the semi final stages.
The re-emergence of Western Australia as a hurling State in 2006 has led to them travelling to compete in the 2007 Championships. The effort of Tim Hickey and others as well as the players is greatly appreciated by all including the two teams from New South Wales who will provide their opposition. In 2006 they came so close to winning their first title and being the first team since 1991 to take the title away from New South Wales who this year will be represented by City and Country teams.
Expect to see high quality hurling games from Wednesday through to Sunday’s finals
Nicky Brennan the President of the GAA in Ireland was hoping to attend the Championships however he is unable to travel. We do however expect to see Sheamus Howlin who is Chairman of the Overseas Committee and the next Leinster Council Chairman make the trip out to Sydney. He and Ambassador Mairtin O’Fainin are strong supporters of Gaelic games in Australasia and both are looking forward to meeting with players, mentors and supporters.
The Championships will culminate with a Presentation Dinner for 750 people at “Dockside” on Darling Harbour on Sunday night 7 October.
To view the program and results click here
THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD IN ADELAIDE
Despite being only in the elite competition for three and two seasons respectively the Titans and Cougars emphatically walked away with the ultimate spoils from the 2006/2007 season.
In the Hannigan Cup match Western Ireland actually started the more confident with Kyle Reeves scoring two points early taking advantage of the Titans over-possessing the ball. The band soon drew level as the pleasing crowd settled in for an afternoon longer than the average SA Redback innings. While the talk before the match was about how much pressure would be on the Titans it was the Goats who made the first crucial error with miscommunication in the defensive box leaving to a Nick Tattoli goal. A poor kick on the subsequent kick out resulting in a bread and butter point for Gabe Phillips leaving the reigning champs Western Ireland against the ropes, down 1:4 to 0:3.
While Tatolli had another chance to score a goal cruelly denied by the padding on the goal posts Tom Javor had no such issues from directly in front to extend the lead. A consolation goal from a penalty to Kyle Reeves drew Western Ireland to within four points at the half as they trailed 2-9 to 1-8. Both camps were not happy with their efforts at the half with Western Ireland Captain Adam Read lamenting his team’s sloppy use of the ball and Gabe Phillips the Titans lack of patience. The huddle message was heeded first by the Farnan Cup and 9-a-side champs with Dan Della Verde drawing a penalty to increase the goal count to 3. DDV was dynamite twice more. Troy Clements delivered a cross just wide of Della who stuck the hand out, deflecting it into the back of the net. The hand of Verde will be talked about in Hannigan folklore for many years to come. With the score out to a 5:10 to 1:10 lead the final stages resembled the Mundine/Soloman fight from a couple of nights before, intriguing to the end but over long before, and making the Titans the first team to bag the Farnan, 9-a-side and Hannigan Trophies all in one year.
Final score: Titans 5:11 (26) def Western Ireland 1:14 (17).
Best Titans: Tattoli, Sodestrom, Phillips, Mezzina, Della Verde.
Western: Burgess, Reeves
The women’s game brought a massive upset with the Irish Australians who had not lost a game since the corresponding match last year were comfortably defeated by the IA Cougars 6:9 (27) to 1:14 (17).
Like the men’s final, both teams started poorly, struggling to capitalise on possession across half back and turning the ball over regularly. With Tiff Lee being well held the Irish risked pushing players forward to create scoreboard pressure. It backfired badly with a chip from Sam Grosvenor clearing not only the half back line of the blues but also keeper Chrissie McKenzie’s head to give the Cougars the first major of the game. As was the case for the bulk of the game a Cougars goal was followed by the Blues big guns winning some ball and controlling the field of play.
Points to the last two State League medallists in Anita Bone and Kate Watt drew the Mna Cup champs to within a point, but the momentum shifted again with two quick goals to Kristen Swaffa, who is fast gaining a reputation as the deadliest finisher in the competition. The Irish royalty stood up again with Caroline Gardener forcing her way through to score and Kate Woodlands picking up 6 possessions in as many minutes. Yet the Cougar pressure was superb eventually leading to another goal and a 4-7 to 1-7 lead. While the Blues were rattled the breeze picked up at the break giving them hope that they could chip away at the deficit. Whilst a few points were pinched, the defensive pressure and in particular the smothering efforts of Keylock, Davies and Tattersall along with keeper Steph Matchett playing the game of her life wore down the Irish Australians resilience. In the end it was all about timing. The Cougars were always going to click, it was just a matter of when, whilst Irish Australians couldn’t have timed their form slump worse.
Final Score: IA Cougars 6:14 (32) Irish 1-17 (20)
Best: Cougars Swaffa, Matchett, Grosvenor.
Irish: Woodlands, Ferris, Attenborough.
Another column down, another season gone. Thanks to everyone and we do it all again come October.
Director Public Relations
Gaelic Football & Hurling Association of South Australia
THE "A" TEAMS (ADELAIDE & AUCKLAND) ARE IN FULL SWING WITH THEIR SUMMER COMPETITIONS.
Mick Emmett the Adelaide P.R.O. and Kevin Harrington the Auckland President have compiled the following reports on activities within their respective associations.
GAELIC FOOTBALL MID SEASON REVIEW IN ADELAIDE
With the pre Christmas season prelims out of the way the GFHASA has had its Farnan and Mna cup matches with a report on both finals at the end of this news story.
As we have reached a Kevin Ruddesque fork in the Road we thought it would be a good opportunity to review the performance of the State League teams so far.
Western Ireland - Not a lot has changed for the dual Hannigan Cup champions as they are still dominating the competition. If anything they have got better, playing an irresistible style of running football. Only really the Titans appear to have the fitness needed to run with the goats although the Flinders O’Neills led them for a brief period in Round 3. Adam Gordon, Jon Floreani, Adam Burgess have been standouts.
Highlight: Season opening win against the Titans that quashed any thoughts of a Hannigan ‘Hann’ Over. Dave Floreani’s headband
The Titans - Seemingly the place where old SANFL legends go if they can’t find a Super Rules team or ABC cooking show. The likes of Wayne Weidermann, Mark Soderstrom and Robert Pyman have togged up for the Titans complimenting Nick Tattoli, Gabe Phillips and Arthur Konstad. The scoring has been relentless again with a 108 point difference between themselves and the opposition.
Highlight: Tough win against Na Fianna which proved they can not only win by ugly margins but also win ugly. The first team to hand out lolly snakes at half time. Kosta Mylonas’ boots.
Onkaparinga - The big improvers. Anto Keogh has taken this team on this year with the whites producing the type of football they only normally save for post Christmas. While occasionally still wasteful with the ball their calculated ball movement would warm the cockles of Gaelic traditionalists everywhere…with scores of 1-11, 3-11 and 2-12. Brad Gosling, Wade Saunders and Jai Middleton when fit continue to lead the way. The only question mark is whether this style of play can compete with the big two.
Highlight: The win over Na Fianna in Round 2. Asking Brendan Hanna to play less and less.
Na Fianna - Have struggled with player numbers and have fallen back to the pack slightly. If they can find some more fresh legs such as Gavin Bosch and Dylan Gomer to support the nous of Kenny Fay and Neil O’Reilly there is potential for them to challenge the top two. Highlight: Fay’s 7 off the ground frees in the Round 3 win against Irish Australians.
Irish Australians - Last three weeks of the season ultimately undid the ground work that was put down in the earlier rounds. Conceded more points than other team in the competition as they have trouble pushing back as a unit when the ball is turned over. New recruits David Green, Shamus Gracie and Jim Holland have supported Greenshields, Doecke and co.
Highlight: Gutsy wins over Onkaparinga and Flinders O Neills. Dominating 20 minutes against Na Fianna. Now for the next 40.
Flinders O Neils - Are perhaps the best equipped side to run with both the Titans and Western Ireland, actually leading both these sides in their game. Can score quickly and aggressively push into the box. If they can keep their players from week to week and play for the full sixty minutes they could be the darkest of Hannigan dark horses.
Highlight: The oldest club in the association still up, about and competitive. A draw with Na Fianna in Round 5.
St Brendan’s - Have experienced similar problems to Na Fianna in terms of player numbers. Winless until last start with the great Gino Pedegrago seemingly recovered from a rib injury playing for Plympton in the Amateur league. Coach Rob Barrachina, Toby Huebener and Todd Margatitch have maintained a high level of consistency. With new players finding their feet, the team experiencing a degree of success in the nine a side competition and former Uni SA goal keeper Hayden Ryan recovering from an ankle injury the Saints should march away from the bomb shelter post Christmas.
Highlight: Gino and his Gino jnr cutting the Irish to threads last start. Adam Cooney and Beau Waters kitting up for the 9 a side team. Don’t tell Rocket and Woosha!!
Irish Australians: Despite coach Eddie Howlett clocking up more frequent flyer miles than an elected officials the Blues have been unbeaten so far. While lower ranked teams Uni and Rovers have proven nuisance value the Blues have had comfortable wins over their expected challengers in Onkas and Na Fianna. Of concern would be the fact that they are mostly playing with the bare 13, the injury to Naomi Lowe and the potential loss of Kate Woodlands post Christmas.
Highlight: The reinvention of Alicia Borowski as a defender. Any week when only one defender heads to pick up Tiff Lee.
Na Fianna: While Mick Lawlor is experiencing difficulties with his men’s side he has continued to dramatically improve the warrior women. In Mel O’Donnell and Alison Kennelly he has at his disposal perhaps the best Centre Half combination going around. This combined with consistent efforts from the like of Kate Tollner, Zoe Tully and Chrissie Kavanagh has seen the Warrior girls content with more than not. The green and blacks also appear to have the most consistent player numbers of any side, with 22 qualified for tonight’s Grand Final. This which will prove handy come late January.
Highlight: Increased offensive potency but none as impressive as their 9-12 against Uni in Round 1. Association secretary Carly Brooks still limiting offensive ‘correspondence’ in defense.
Onkaparinga: Seemingly off the pace but literally third. New coach Derek Barnes has an experienced side at his disposal that is still capable of causing damage on their day. Des Packer and Michelle O’Brien have led from the front as per usual with the whites struggling with player numbers and holding half time leads, especially against the Cougars in round 4.
Highlight: The round 5 spanking of the Rovers. Still no sign of Gerry Roe.
IA Cougars: At 3-4 pre Christmas equal with points with Onkas but 37 points behind on goal difference. Move the ball better than anyone between half forward and half back but brake down quicker than James Hird in a crucial match. Steph Matchett’s aggression has worked when moved forward and mid fielders Libby Grovenor, Susi Davies and Bek Keylock are still getting plenty of ball. If they play in front they can challenge for the Tom Finn, otherwise they’ll be lucky to make the four.
Highlight: THAT half time comeback against Onkas. The new playing strip.
Uni SA: After being traditionally non competitive in round 1 the students under new coach Carolyn Pickering are playing the best football in their history. Amber Cooper has been the standout, combining well with Mitzy Galic and Sharon Westlake. In a result that will be great for the comp I’m tipping Uni to make the 4.
Highlight: Two wins in the final 3 rounds over Rovers and Cougars with a very competitive effort against the NaFianna the meat in the victory sandwich.
IA Rovers: A bit of a come down after finally nailing the Tom Finn last season, going winless pre Christmas. B and F winner Sarah Maserio continues to shine with support from Catherine Martin and Jacqui Caston.
Highlight: Club founders AJ O’Donnell and Marlene Dunne still mixing it with the best.
CUP FINALS TIME
LISTEN TO THE BAND !!!- One down, two to go
In a result that has forever changed the landscape of SA Gaelic the Titans scored their first major title beating Western Ireland 1-16 to 0-16 to win the Jim Farnan cup. The game didn’t exactly get off to the fastest of starts with early off the ball incidents leading referee Anto Keogh to call both captains into the centre of the pitch after consulting with celebrity goal umpires Gerard Roe and Sean Dunne. The Mountain Goats had the early of the early going scoring three early points before Gabe Phillips and Roc Harry steadied for ‘the band’. The fitness of both teams lead to a huge amount of numbers behind the ball forcing both teams to feed the ball back in search of extra space, instead of their normal tactic of forcing the ball forward at will.
Michael Artis and Adam ‘Chopper’ Read started to get plenty of the ball and Western started to penetrate the Titans defence. Two inspirational points to James Gallagher gave the ‘machine’ the lead with 5 minutes to go but a classical, but slightly non Gaelic shirt front, sent momentum swinging back the Titans way.Coach Tom Javor making a cameo appearance with two quick points to secure a 0-8 to 0-6 half time lead. While Dave Floreani’s mantra at the half time was simply to stop their run Javor launched into a Billy Graham style sermon about this being their destiny. Residents in the surrounding suburbs of Goodwood and Pasadena were inspired by ‘You will never know when you will get another chance..make the most of it’.. In the early minutes of the half it looked like the Goats were making more of their opportunities levelling the contest as Burgess and Reynolds starting feeding Floreani and Reeves to give the Goats the lead again. Gabe Phillips and Mark Beswick’s prac teacher Nick Tattoli wrested the lead back and with the score at 10 points a piece Tattoli took possession of the ball, kicked off one step and achieved what a 40 year old overpaid Brazilian couldn’t, scoring the first goal of the match. While the Titans began a premature celebration Artis and Adam Trezinski dragged the Goats off the canvas again. After five more frenzied minutes the final result stood at 0-15 to 1-12 , with extra time required, 5 minutes each way.
The Titans scored 3 points in 3 minutes with defensive efforts of Arthur Konstad and John Caruana finishing the job. While disappointed at the result only a disaster will prevent Western Ireland from competing against the Titans in the Hannigan Cup final come March. Titans captain Kosta Mylonas said after the game that they would love to play Western every week and with these two teams a long way above the rest a best of 9 Hannigan Cup series would be an outstanding promotion for the game in the state.
In the Women’s Final Irish Australians won their second consecutive Mna Cup with a 3-11 to 3-6 over Na Fianna. In a match played over four quarters to accommodate the heat the Blues skipped out to an early lead through two Kate Watt points but a steadying point to Zoe Tully seemingly calmed a nervous warrior outfit. It was an intriguing contest with two contrasting game styles.
Irish pumping the ball long and the Nafs trying to take advantage of having a bench by moving the ball around. As a result Al Kennelly worked further up the pitch than usual allowing the likes of Nicole Lane the benefits of extra time. It was Lane who seemingly shifted momentum with a inspirational point and goal within minutes of each other, giving the Warriors a 1-5 to 1-4 lead at the half. Kim Marrett was also outstanding down back as the Irish run was being slowed. The half time break was perfectly timed for the reigning champions however as both Tiff Lee and then Kate Woodlands barged through a wall that was previously impervious to barging. This took them out to 3-7 to 1-6 lead, eventually hanging on for a 3-11 to 3-6 success.