Belgium GAA Take Double Honours in First Home Tournament

Monday 10th May

Belgium GAA took a clean sweep of cups in their first home tournament on 8th May.

Former President of the GAA Sean Kelly MEP presented the cups to captains Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabháin and Eoin Ó Seanáin on an historic day for Belgium GAA.

Belgium Ladies won Round 2 of the 2011 Euro-Ladies Championship, comprehensively beating Paris in the final by 3-7 to 0-2

Belgium B Ladies beat by 1-6 to 2-1 Holland to take third place.

Belgium A footballers beat their arch-rivals The Hague in the final of the Benelux Regional Round 3, on a scoreline of 0-11 to 0-5.

In the Ladies’ decider, Belgium established an early lead with goals by Maria Brosnan and Ciara Farrell. In an exhibition of football never before seen on the Continent of Europe, Cavan star Ciara Farrell adorned the final with some exceptional forward play.

The general teamwork was a sight to behold with Emer Kelly, Grainne Ni Fhlatharta, Sylvia McCarthy and Aisling Fenton keeping things watertight at the back. Midfielders Caragh O’Connor and captain fantastic Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabháin linked play in the middle and the forward line were clinical in front of goal.

Excellent link-work by full forward Maria ‘the Bomber’ Brosnan opened up acres of space on numerous occasions and corner-forward Barbara Wynne chipped in for a point from the right in the second half.

In the men’s final, the intense rivalry between Belgium A and Den Haag was renewed, with the two sides meeting in the final for the third time in succession.
Belgium had been motoring well all day, meanwhile an injury-depleted The Hague had to work hard to reach the final, leaving the home side favourites to take the honours.
However it is never so simple in matters between these rivals and an early flurry of points by Eoin Sheanon from play and James O’Dowd from frees was matched by Danny Craven from dead balls, leaving Belgium only a point to the good at half time 0-5 to 04.

An inspiring speech by Jim McGrath at the break saw a riled-up Belgium side immediately get on the scoreboard, the Tipp man putting his money where his mouth was by immediately pointing from 15 yards.

From there on in it was Belgium all the way as a series of excellent points put daylight between the sides. The deadly boot James O’Dowd once more put The Hague men to the sword.

Meanwhile at the back, David Collins was putting in a vintage performance on The Hague talisman Craven and debutant Diarmuid Laffan was fielding some great ball, also chipping in with a well-taken score.

The now traditional Belgium-Hague shamozzle saw Olof Gill get a clout to the snout and The Hague’s Declan Bonner walk to the line.

In the end, Belgium were well on top and delighted the large home crowd by finishing off victors by 0-11 to 0-5.

The evening’s festivities were crowned by Belgium taking a clean sweep of all trophies, Belgium captain Eoin Ó Seanáin taking the Player of the Tournament award for his “honesty and integrity” if not for his footballing ability. Meanwhile there was no doubting the merits of Ciara Farrell taking the award for the ladies.
All in all another great day for Belgium GAA!

 

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