The weather couldn’t dampen the spirit of a great days gaelic football in East Meath. 16 teams from 9 different clubs, across 5 different counties put on a phenomenal display of handling and score taking in tricky conditions. In a weekend of feats-in-a-row, St Colmcilles put all other achievements into perspective by having their 20th annual blitz.
Just before 11am, the teams paraded around the pitch to The Sunday Game theme tune and all stood to attention for Amhrán na bhFiann before the throw in for the start of the 32 matches. What followed gave a strong hint that many of these players will be standing to attention in county grounds in the years to come.
The Cilles had 51 players across 3 teams. Yes, Fifty-one players. A squad to be proud of. They have been training hard all year and today was the opportunity to show everything they have learned under the watchful eye of coaches Ian, Enda, Ann, Gary, Nigel, Brendan, Davey, Brendan and Tim.
The first match for each team was played in very greasy conditions and the handling from all teams was impressive with some slick interpassing. As the weather eased off for the second and third games, the ball dried up and the teams were able to express the full breadth of handling, passing and shooting skills. After the group stages each team played a final match in the wettest conditions of the day. From the safe hands of each goalkeeper, to the blocking and tenacious defenders, creative midfielders and the finishing forwards, it was an exhibition of football.
Special thanks to the visiting players, parents and coaches and our own junior whistlers, volunteers and all the sponsors without whom this day would not have been such a success.
And finally, thanks to Colm Hilliard who initiated this event 20 years ago, sponsoring a beautiful set of jerseys for the team today and presenting the medals to all players. Colm presented the medals with his son Cathal, and handed medals to his grand nephews Jack & Tomas.
The future is bright for football in Meath, Dublin, Kildare, Louth and Donegal!
Words by Mr. David Geraghty, Chief Lock-hard!
Photographs by Brian Mulligan, unfortunately rain meant the camera couldn’t get to everyone but such is life. At least we got clear skies for the team photos!
Our Photo Gallery is located here for anyone wanting to see further photographs taken on the day.
If you saw the pure joy and craic brought to the kids on Sunday and want to help our amazing club push forward into a positive future then please dont be afraid to purchase a ticket for a tenner in our car draw.