On Saturday the 13th May, 28 teams from 21 Counties attended the All Ireland U14 blitz in Portlaoise GAA grounds, Laois.
It was an early start for the teams with registration from 8.30am to 9.15am and our first games throwing in at 10am.
We were blessed with the weather in Portlaoise, as all around the county we were getting reports of torrential rain and I am delighted to say we had sunshine most of the day bar a some small showers when the Finals were on.
Tipperary, last year’s division 2 champions were now in the 2017 division 1 Final after winning all their games and they were to face a strong Galway side who also won all three games in their group.
Galway had a tough group to come out of with the likes of Kerry A, Kildare and Meath.
The Final was played in great spirits with a great amount of support from parent and friend for both Galway and Tipperary.
Galway came out on top and were crowned the 2017 All Ireland U14 Division 1 champions. Referee for the Final was Angela Gallagher, Dublin.
Division 2 say some really touch competitive games, in both grounds in this division it was really close we had a few draws and even a shootout between Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow For first place in the B ground, who each won two games and lost one. Waterford kept their nerve and scored all 5 point to go through to the final against Offaly A. the final saw both teams score point for point and goal for gaol, it was a great game which finished level on 2-06 each. This meant a Point shootout. Both Counties lined up on the 45 and nominated their first five kickers, who made their way forward to the referee Lorrain O’Sullivan, Dublin. After five kick the teams were still level, meaning sudden death kicks. Offaly stepped up first and under pressure scored to the joy of her team mates, Next was Waterford and once again it sailed over the bar, the pressure was mounting and Offaly stepped forward to take kick number seven which sailed left and wide. Waterford’s managed by Sean Foley the winning manager of the Post Primary School Junior B team, St Angela’s, earlier this year, Sean calmly spoke to his players and kicker number 7 stepped forward to a silent crowd, nervous crowd. She steadied herself up and with a kick of her right foot struck she struck the ball and the Waterford players, parent and mentors jumped with joy as the ball sailed through the posts, Waterford are the new Division 2 All Ireland u14 champions for 2017.
In Division 3, we say eight counties battle to get into the finals, each group consisting of four counties 3 games each at 26 mins per game. The division 3A group went down to the wire the final game Westmeath B and Roscommon would see the winner progressing to the final, it was a great game which came down to a one score win for Westmeath, 3-04, 2-04. In the B group it also came down to the final game between Kilkenny and Louth, however in this game Louth our 2016 division 3 finalist were just too strong for Kilkenny. The final was watched by Marie Hickey, LGFA President who was entertained with a great game of football which way Louth overcome Westmeath 2-08, 2-02.
The Ladies Association would like to thank all the mentors who put in so much work with their counties, we would like to thank all our volunteers, referees, Sarah Stanley, Meath, Angela Gallagher, Dublin, Marie Brady, Monaghan, catherine Murphy, Limerick, Lorraine O’Sullivan, Dublin, Maura Conneally, Galway, Kelley Cunningham, Offaly, Mags Doherty, Wexford, Louise Kerley, Monaghan, Stephen McNulty, Wicklow, Conor Dourneen, Cavan and our Coordinators, Peter Rice, Wexford, Jim Shannon, Monaghan, Michael Murphy, Limerick, Mai Cunningham, Offaly, Mary Shinnick, Tipperary, Dominic Leech, Wicklow, Donal Fitzgerald, Kildare, Wayne Duggan, Wexford, Tommy Kieran’s, Monaghan, Liam Shinnick, Tipperary, Dave McCabe, Dublin, Michael Fitzpatrick, Clare.