U14 Ladies Feile Finals Report
Longford Slashers under 14 girls represented Longford in the recent National Feile finals which were held in the sunny south east (Wexford, Wicklow and Carlow). We were hosted by the Wexford club, Ballygarret which is located just south of Courtown on the coast. To say they were the perfect hosts is an understatement as they had everything organised to the last from a full sit down meal on arrival to their clubhouse on Friday afternoon to lifts our accommodation after the social events. The greatest compliment of all came from the girls who all had a fantastic time with their host families. Football On the football front we kicked off we a game against Wicklow club, Carnew on Friday evening. The first half was a close affair and we were guilty of missing several chances. On the resumption we had more of the ball and in the end won well without ever been comfortable. Our second game on Friday evening was against Sligo champions, Tourlestrane. The first half was an even contest but the opposition went up the gears in the second half to beat us convincingly. On Saturday morning we played our hosted, Ballygarret. Again the first half was very even but it was our girls that raised their games in the second half and won well in the end. This qualified us for the cup quarter finals having finished runners up in our group. We were drawn to play St. Paul’s from Belfast who had won their group. It was easy to see why they had won their group as they had some excellent footballers and were very physically strong. They dominated the first half but some heroic defending and Shauna Smith in inspired form in goals we were only 1-2 down at half time. We lifted our game in the second half and bought the game back to 2 points. Unfortunately we lost Sian Reilly to injury at this stage and St. Paul’s took over for the last 5 minutes and ran our deserved winners in the end. St. Pauls then went on to win the division. It would be impossible to pick out individual players as all the girls were brilliant and gave it 100%. All 23 players that travelled got lots of game time and the experience will stand to the large number of under 12’s we had with us. Social The social side of Feile is the most important element of Feile. Part of this is the opportunity the girls get to stay in the home of one of the Ballygarrett team and to experience how they live – even if it’s only for a weekend. These experiences will live with the girls for many years – like the rather foul mouthed parrot in one home. We also made time for a trip to the beach on Saturday afternoon and all the party really enjoyed the outing. Ballygarret also organised a disco for the girls on Saturday night and there was entertain for the adults in the bar area and the girls had a great night. The team management and many travelling parent also had a good night and did not let Longford down when the singing started. Carrick Sarsfields under 14 boys team were also hosted by Ballygarret and they must be congratulated for their excellent tournament. They were very unlucky when they were narrowly beaten in the semi-final. We packed our bags on Sunday morning and were seen off by our hosts after an epic weekend. There were lots of tired bodies and all were delighted to get back to Slashers to be collected by their parents. Thanks Thanks goes to our management team of Niall Caslin, Gerry Shannon, Denise Kelly and especially Caroline Bergin who did all the organising and planning. Thanks to all the parents who travelled down for the weekend to support the girls. Thanks to our many sponsors (Shannon Bros, Supermacs, Garland Furniture, Milo’s Bar, Moments Café, Charles Madden Dentist, Diamante, Telecho, Providers and Elegant Interiors) who financed the trip with their kind donations. And finally thanks to Ballygarret GAA club for making it such a memorable weekend.