REPORT: Bragging rights for 2021 TG4 All Stars in Texas Exhibition game

2021 TG4 All Star selection 6-16

2022 TG4 All Star selection 4-18

Eamonn Murray’s well-marshalled 2021 team won this closely contested, highly-entertaining Easter Sunday exhibition match, the centrepiece of the current LGFA All Stars Tour to Austin, Texas.In a high-scoring, fast moving display by both teams, all the skills associated with the sport; fast running, intricate passing movements, cool goal-scoring, long range point-taking and superb defences and acrobatic goal-keeping, were on offer from start to finish.The large attendance greatly enjoyed the spectacle as the sport’s top exponents availed of the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and commitment in a setting far removed from the tension and high-stakes of their forthcoming League and Championship contests.

Local hosts, the hospitable Celtic Cowboys, had spared no effort to lay out the Lewis Chen Family Field in the heart of the prestigious St Edwards University Campus to provide a fitting  venue for the Irish visitors and enthusiastic local spectators from the Gaelic Games family.

The winners’ top scorer was Lauren McConville (Armagh, 2-3), with Hannah Tyrell (1-3), Geraldine McLaughlin (0-5) and Vikki Wall (1-2) also a constant threat.  Hannah Looney (Cork) and Mary Kate Lynch (Meath) were prominent in many phases of play.

The 2022 All Stars, managed by Kerry joint-manager Darragh Long, also showed many deft touches, with the day’s top scorer, Armagh’s Aimee Mackin (1-7) a persistent thorn in the winner’s defence, ably supported by Dublin’s Carla Rowe (1-2), Meath’s Stacey Grimes (2-0) and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh of Kerry.The hot and humid conditions ensured that both squads were fully utilised with rolling substitutions and water breaks welcomed by all players.  Goalkeepers Monica McGuirk (Meath) and Ciara Butler (Kerry) contributed with a number of excellent saves that added greatly to the spectators’ appreciation of the sport.Referee Maggie Farrelly was content to let the game flow as the star players availed of this unique opportunity to display a wide array of skills in the company of team-mates who will soon be their inter-county rivals as the Summer progresses.   Her decisions were never questioned.LGFA Uachtarán, Micheál Naughton spoke for all at the end of this unique occasion in thanking the Celtic Cowboys’ President Pat Doab for their Céad Míle Fáilte to Texas, the players for their display of excellence and sponsors TG4 for their generous support in making it possible.

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