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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

AGB take All-Ireland Sevens Title

AGB Take All-Ireland 7’s Title

AGB TAKE ALL IRELAND 7’S TITLE

Last Saturday in Dublin proved to be the icing on the cake for the Arklow Geraldine Ballymoney U14 Ladies football team when they captured the prestigious All Ireland 7-a-side title. This competition is run on an annual basis in Dublin and county champions from all counties in Ireland are invited to play in the 7’s on the eve of the Ladies All Ireland Football Final.

AGB had previously participated in the competition and had managed to reach the quarter final stage. This year playing very fast and skilful football they managed to completely overwhelm all their opponents and to take the coveted title.  A measure of the determination and stamina required for the event is that the team was required to play 7 games  – a total of 2 and ½ hours of competitive football. During that period AGB ran in 56 goals against their opponents.  In reality they were very comfortable throughout the competition with the win marking them as one of the best under 14 teams in Ireland

 

Arklow played Naomh Pol  from Antrim in the final.  The Arklow girls appeared to revel in the ceremony attached to the playing of a final in front of a sizeable crowd with the distraction of a pre-match parade not appearing in any way to faze or unnerve them.  They showed exceptional talent and confidence and will to win and completely overwhelmed their opponents.

Arklow settled quickly and within 20 seconds of the games commencement following superb inter team passing Kayleigh Crammond buried the ball in the Naomh Pol net.  Each of the Arklow players seemed faster and fitter than their opponents and by half time Arklow led by 6-10 to 2 goals.  Arklow continued to play dazzling football in the second half and finished the game on a score line of 6-19 to 3-3.

The presentation of the cup to captain Aife Kavanagh was a cherished moment for the players, family and supporters.  Kayleigh Crammond was awarded the well deserved ‘Player of the Tournament’ Trophy by the organisers and referees on the day. Kayleigh had tormented defences throughout the day and had notched up 28 goals and 14 points in the 7 games played.  Kayleigh was ably assisted by all the panel members who to a man put in brilliant sterling performances.

Naomi Roche played for the first time in goals and made numerous saves and interceptions.  A feature of her game was her long accurate kick outs.  Hannah Tew was outstanding and commanding in the backs repeatedly breaking down opposition attacks.  Emma Marshall and Calvin Swart profited from the open nature of the encounter and demonstrated their speed and athleticism  throughout the day.  Katie Kindlon and Shauna Fleming worked tirelessly and skilfully throughout the day, dominating their opponents and covering every blade of grass and working in excellent ball to the forwards. A real feature of the team’s performance was the sharp intelligent interplay in the forward line as they worked hard for each other and always chose to pass the ball to a better placed player.  This tactic garnered many scores.

Captain Aife Kavanagh was brilliant throughout –  tormenting defences with her individual runs and her accurate passing.  Kayleigh Crammond shone from the very start and exhibited a finisher’s panache for being in the right place at the right time to take her scores.  Also playing at the top of her game was the diminutive Erinne Murphy whose speed and skill caused endless problems for all her opponents.  Erinne’s score taking throughout the day was remarkable and she finished with 14 goals and 16 points. Aine O’Reilly
worked tirelessly for the team, contributing valuable scores and laying the ball off to her colleagues. She was instrumental in creating numerous scoring chances.

Arklow’s first match was against Cork champions Kinsale.  This was a close competitive match with the score at half time 3-1 to 1-1 in Arklow’s favour. After upping the pace Arklow finished on a score line of 6-3 to 2-4. Their next opponents were Tullamore from Offaly.  Arklow romped away with the match 11-7 to 1-1.  Arklow’s final group match was against Cill Iseal from Tyrone.  Arklow’s ran out winners again 11-7 to 2-3.  The ‘last 16’ round match saw Arklow drawn to play Clann na Gael from Roscommon.  This was won 9-5 to 3-0.

The quarter final saw Arklow facing again Cill Iseal from Tyrone. This was a completely different encounter with Cill Iseal having learnt from the earlier game and countered Arklow’s attacking game by packing the defence and hitting on the break.  At one stage Cill Iseal led by 4 goals to 1-1.  However Arklow steadied the ship and with 3 goals from Kayleigh Crammond went in at half time 1 point up.  This was the closest match and the cause of some worry to the mentors and supporters.  The switch of Shauna Fleming into the backs seemed to do the trick and Arklow held the opponents scoreless in the second half and added a further 3 goals and 5 points.

Next up in the semi-final were Salthill Knock na Carra  who had been dominating their section of the competition and running up big scores. Early exchanges were tight but the Arklow class prevailed throughout.  At half time the score was 5-3 to 1-2. Arklow consolidated their position in the second half and finished victors on a score line of 7-6 to 2-4. Arklow were now for the first time ever in an All Ireland 7s final and emerged victorious against Naomh Pol.

The Arklow players were delighted with the number of people, parents and supporters who attended the event. As always the triumphant team were welcomed back by Brian Brennan, their sponsor, to the Arklow Bay Hotel and were piped in by the Arklow Pipe Band. These Arklow players have left their mark on ladies football this year having won the All Ireland Feile Title, The Leinster Division 1 Feile Title and now the All Ireland 7’s competition. They are currently in the county final and await their opponents.

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