2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Toronto Season Reaches Exciting Conclusion

The last weekend in August saw the conclusion of the Toronto GAA season, which culminated in four exciting championship finals, two of which were ladies football. Under sunny skies the first of the two ladies finals, the shield competition, took place. This was a newly created competition which was introduced to encourage newer players and provide them with additional competition. Contesting the final for the first time in their history were the ladies from St. Patrick’s. This team was only formed three years ago, and has gone from strength to strength. Lead by sisters Rebecca (captain) and Sarah Sheehan (Co. Kildare) with a mix of Canadian and Irish players, they faced the ladies from the Durham Robert Emmets. Durham had beaten this team in the semi-final of this competition the year before by a single point, so this was looking to be a tight contest. For the first time in the Toronto GAA’s history the two ladies finals were officiated by a referee from the Ladies Association. Renowned referee Maggie Farrelly oversaw both games, providing both guidance and instruction on the rules, and enforcing them when needed. The St. Pats ladies started brightly winning the throw-in, which lead to an early score from full forward Orla Masterson (Co. Offaly).  This energized the Pats who would dominate the first half and go into the break with a 2-4 to 0-2 lead. The Durham ladies came out with renewed energy after the break lead by their mid-fielder and captain Lorraine White (Co. Louth). Lorraine displayed her experience passing a perfect ball into the forward line leading to a goal for the girls in blue.  On the other side of the pitch Masterson was having an epic battle with Durham full-back Carly McGrath (Co. Louth). Masterson would go on to score a hat-trick of goals, however if it weren’t for the brave defending of McGrath it could have been more. Final score: St. Patricks 3-11 Durham Robert Emmets 1-2.

In the second ladies final, the Durham Robert Emmets would once again take the field, this time with their senior panel, to face rivals St. Michaels. These two clubs have contested both the League and Championship finals the past 5 seasons, with results divided between them. Durham most recently took the upper hand with a comprehensive victory in the League final, and went into the game as 2-time Championship winners. St. Michaels, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, were anxious to have some silverware to display at their upcoming celebratory gala. The ladies in black and white started well with mid-fielder Sylvie DeBrabandere (Canada) showing the form that won her an All Star award at the recent GAA World Games where she played for Team Canada. She was paired against fellow Team Canada player Nicola Kirwan (Co. Carlow) and an exciting tussle between these two great players was bound to ensue. The Mikes Ladies starting the opening half with a fire in their bellies, the pain of losing the two previous championship finals evident as was their desire to ensure it would be their name on the cup this year. Many of their plays began with their captain, Heather Walshe (Co. Louth), who found Siobhan O’Muiri and Erin Loughnane (both Canadian) time and again, creating multiple scoring opportunities. This was in addition to the tireless running from Fiona Monaghan (Co. Dublin) and superb finishing from young Canadian Clodagh Keane. Clodagh’s only 16 years old but her calmness under pressure saw her score 3-4, an impressive return at any age! On the Durham side former Toronto Player of the Year and GAA World Games All Star, Sinead McHugh (Co. Kildare), never gave up, continuously supporting her players both with her play and her words. In the end the St. Michaels girls overcame their rivals with a comprehensive victory, and will have some hardware to showcase at their upcoming anniversary gala.

The Toronto GAA would like to extend its gratitude to Maggie Farrelly for travelling to Toronto and demonstrating a masterclass in Ladies officiating. We would also like to thank the Ladies Gaelic Players Association, especially  CEO Helen O’Rourke for supporting our games through the provision of such an accomplished referee.


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