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.
Portlaoise was an exception to the rest of the country when it came to the weather as the Sun was welcome additions to the day, something that was not the case in many other countries.
Tipperary, last year’s division 2 champions, continued their stunning progress by developing to 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, who were to be the opposition side for Tipperary in the final, had already proven their class by coming through a tough group 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 saw some really tough competitive games, in both grounds in this division it was really close with a few draws and even a shootout between Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow to decide who would emerge from the group after the teams had all finished level on points. Waterford kept their nerve and scored all 5 points to go through to the final against Offaly A. The final saw both teams gopoint for point and goal for goal, it was a great game which finished level on 2-06 each. This meant a Point shootout to decide who would be declared the victor. Both Counties lined up on the 45 and nominated their first five kickers, who made their way forward to the referee Lorraine O’Sullivan. After five kicks 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. It was to be Waterford that held their nerve as they were victorious in sudden death.
In Division 3, we saw eight counties battle to get into the finals, each group consisting of four counties playing 3 games each at 26 mins per game. The division 3A group went down to the wire the final game between Westmeath B and Roscommon deciding who would progress to the final. It was a great game which came down to a one score win for Westmeath, 3-04 to 2-04. In Group B it also came down to the final game between Kilkenny and Louth, however in this game Louth, our 2016 division 3 finalists, 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 sawway Louth overcome Westmeath 2-08 to 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.