Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC 2014 – A Year of 5 County Titles
Swinford Killasser Ladies Win Five County Titles in 2014
For many, even getting to play in one county final during a sporting career is a great achievement. For the girls from Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC, it has come to be expected that the Clubs teams will reach this stage of competitions on a regular basis. This belief and pride in the Club has being built up over years of success at all ages. The Club have enjoyed many highs over these years, but for this remarkable Club, 2014 really has surpassed all expectations. The girls who played for the Club this year will be remembered as the Swinford Killasser girls who won a record breaking five County Titles.
For now this talented group of footballers may take it all in their stride, without making much fuss of all that they are winning; but it is in years to come that the reality of what they have achieved will strike home. Being part of any of these five County Champions teams has written each of them into history. And, working together to achieve these fetes has formed a common bond of friendship that will link them together for life.
Tara Leads Swinford Killasser to Intermediate Championship Glory
Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC Senior team, captained by Tara Henry, took on the challenge of the step up to Division 1 football this year. Tara’s experience of having played on and captained many successful teams in the Club over the years was critical to this young team. Goals set for the year were clear; retain Division 1 status and then have a shot at the Intermediate Championship. With the first part of the girls target achieved, Swinford Killasser took on and defeated Westport in the Intermediate Championship Semi Final at Swinford Amenity Park in August. The final against St Brigids in September was a very close game and indeed the north Mayo team were up by three points with only ten minutes to go. Swinford Killasser put in a whirlwind last ten minutes scoring five goals and three points to become 2014 County Intermediate Champions.
This is the Clubs second time to win the County Intermediate Championship, having last captured the title in 2007. Our talented young Senior team can now look forward with confidence to competing in next year’s Senior Championship.
County Intermediate Champions Team: Amy McNicholas, Ciara Durkin, Niamh Ansboro, Maeve Peyton, Vanessa McHugh, Michaela Walsh, Anna Tierney, Tara Henry (Captain), Hayley Moore, Maria Groarke, Roisin Cafferty, Orna O’Brien, Rebecca Lenehan, Aisling Henry, Roisin Durkin, Regina Mullaney, Sinead Fadden, Andrea Jordan, Geraldine Walsh, Rebecca McHugh, Bronagh Molloy, Melissa Devaney, Caoimhe Hennigan, Aoife Groarke & Alanagh Durkin.
Rebecca Rallies Minors to Win County League Title
Rebecca Lenehan captained the Swinford Killasser Minor team in 2014. Our Minors played some of the most entertaining and heart stopping games of the year, as Rebecca led her team to become County Minor League Champions. A comfortable win away to Kilmoremoy kicked off the Championship. This was followed up by a truly brilliant win over Castlebar in the semi-final. Swinford Killasser had to play the final within twenty four hours, where the exertion and elation of that semi-final win undoubtedly took its toll on the team’s first half performance. And, having come from six points down at half time the girls looked destined to overcome the odds but for some dubious refereeing decisions in the latter stages of the game.
Overcoming this disappointment, Rebecca and her troops took on Carnacon in the League semi-final. A late equaliser at home sent the game to a replay in Carnacon. This time Swinford Killasser made no mistake, as the west Mayo side were comprehensively beaten to set up another County Final with Knockmore. Like the Intermediate Final, Swinford Killasser trailed midway through the second half of this final also. And like the Intermediate Final, Swinford Killasser finished with a storm of scores; to capture a much deserved County Title for this group of friends who made up our 2014 Minor Champions team.
County Minor League Winning Team: Amy McNicholas, Ciara Durkin, Niamh Ansboro, Maeve Peyton, Vanessa McHugh, Michaela Walsh, Rebecca McHugh, Anna Tierney, Hayley Moore, Geraldine Walsh, Aishling Forkan, Rebecca Lenehan (Captain), Orna O’Brien, Melissa Devaney, Roisin Durkin, Bronagh Molloy, Grace Mullaney, Aoife Groarke, Caoimhe Hennigan, Aoife O’Neill, Ciara Henry, Alanagh Durkin, Gemma Kelly, Grainne O’Neill & Andrea Jordan.
Roisin Inspires Swinford Killasser U16s to the Double
Due to players overlapping between different teams, the U16 girls definitely played the most football of any group in the Club this year. These were the first team out training in February, and were the last team to play on the final weekend of November. Captained by Mayos illustrious corner forward Roisin Durkin, the U16s were also the most successful team in the Club for 2014. Whereas targets for other teams were set high; fielding a team that would be competitive at this ultra-tough grade was the Clubs goal for the year. This is the age group with the most players and the most teams of any Ladies team sport in the county. Playing so much competitive football and the pure raw talent among this group of players were telling factors in our U16 teams march to success. These, together with great leadership and the bond of friendship this inspired among her team mates were certainly this team’s greatest asset.
Having secured a semi-final spot in the Division 1 League, Swinford Killasser took on and trounced Hollymount and Westport to reach the U16 A Championship Final. Under the bright lights at the Connacht Centre of Excellence, Roisin’s team clinically dispatched Burrishoole to become County U16 A Champions. Westport were again the victims of a drubbing in the League semi-final, as the girls set up another County Final with Burrishoole. This Final played in Ballina was the third meeting of these teams this year. The gauntlet was laid as this Division 1 League Final was billed as the game to decide who the best U16 team in Mayo for 2014 really were. Swinford Killasser answered this question emphatically as the girls romped home on a scoreline of 2-09 to 1-02; thus completing a threesome of wins over Burrishoole to become Double County Champions for 2014.
Double County U16 Champions Team: Aishling Forkan, Alanagh Durkin, Anna Tierney, Aoife Groarke, Aoife O’Neill, Bronagh Molloy, Caoimhe Hennigan, Chloe Higgins, Chloe Moore, Ciara Henry, Claire Walsh, Edel Nestor, Emilee Attewell, Gemma Kelly, Geraldine Walsh, Grace Mullaney, Grainne O’Neill, Kelly Walsh, Leanne McShea, Maeve Peyton, Meghan Philbin, Melissa Devaney, Michaela Walsh, Nicole Spain, Orlaigh Lynskey, Orna O’Brien, Rebecca McHugh, Roisin Durkin (Captain), Roisin Prendergast, Ronya Benson, Sarah Loftus, Sarah McGann, Shauna Fallon & Vanessa McHugh.
Swinford Killasser U13s Capture County A Championship
Swinford Killasser Ladies GFCs under 14 and under 13 teams did not let the year of glory pass them by either. Playing in a very competitive Division 1, our U14s qualified for an away semi-final against Kilmoremoy. In this semi-final, the girls put on an exhibition of fine fast football ousting the much fancied home side to reach the County Final away to Knockmore. While Swinford Killasser did not capture the silverware on the day, the experience gained stood the girls in good stead as they went on to play vital roles in many of the other title winning teams in the Club.
And, many of these U14 girls made up our U13 team. This team, captained by Alanagh Durkin, steamrolled its way through the East Mayo section of the U13 Championship undefeated. Davitt’s were overcome in the quarter final and Ballyhaunis were no match for the girls when they visited Swinford Amenity Park for the semi-final. Westport were the opposition for the final. They were definitely going to be a tougher assignment and without having had a real test, one would be concerned for how our girls might react. It was a tougher test alright, but we needn’t have been concerned, as our girls showed a calmness that belied their young age to become County U13 A Champions for 2014.
A new venture for the Club this year was the introduction of a second team at U14 level. This was done to provide games for the large numbers of girls registered. It not only achieved this goal, but also improved these girls’ ability and confidence; to a point where many of them went on to play pivotal roles on both the under 14 and under 13 A teams. Between reaching and winning County Finals, our U14s/U13s also played the visiting New York County U14 team at Swinford Amenity Park in June. This exhibition game drew a large interest locally.
The game was followed by a reception in our Club house and the whole occasion was enjoyed by both sets of players & mentors. New transatlantic friendships were formed; friendships that will be reinforced when our girls make the return journey to the USA in 2017.
County U13A Champions & County U14A Finalists Teams: Meghan Philbin, Aoibheann Flatley, Alanagh Durkin, Chloe Moore, Orla Mullaney, Siobhan Hennigan, Briana Fallon, Kelly Walsh, Aoife O’Neill, Ella Grace, Maeve Gallagher, Ciara Henry, Grainne O’Neill, Ronya Benson, Niamh McCann, Ailbhe O’Brien, Laura T McLoughlin, Breege Gleeson, Claire McShea, Aoibhinn Gallagher, Sarah Rowley, Yvonne Skefffington, Andrea Walsh, Niamh McHugh, Niamh Henry, Sarah Grady, Sarah Barrett, Eimear O’Neill, Rachel Mullaney, Ella Pidgeon, Chloe Gallagher, Sarah Sheridan, Saoirse Breen, Emma Mulroy, Kayleigh McManus, Ellie Commins, Gemma Kelly, Aoife Groarke, Sarah Loftus, Leah Irwin, Melissa Devaney, Nicole Spain, Amy Brett, Laura M McLoughlin, Laura Cairns, Rebecca Grady, Saoirse Oliver, Vicky Higgins, Claire Walsh & Eimear Kirrane.
Swinford Killasser Ladies GFCs Future Champions
While Club teams from U13 to Senior enjoyed phenomenal success in the competitive grades this year, our younger teams also had a very successful and enjoyable season. Football at these ages is non-competitive and designed to maximise the enjoyable participation in sport. Over one hundred girls proudly wore the Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC jersey at these younger ages in 2014. Along with enjoying the participation, the improvement in the girl’s skill levels as the year progressed bodes very well for the future. While these games may officially be “non-competitive”, players at these ages are very competitive. Our U12s won all games in East Mayo to play in the Division 1 section of the County League. Our U10s won the Aoife Regan Tournament and our U8s always drew with Kilmovee.
Special thanks must go to all the parents who helped out at training times for these young Stars of the Future. Also, Thank You to the Stars of the Present, players from our older teams who gave up so much of their own time, to help their younger club mates enjoy their footballing experience. And, to finish off the season they also assisted with the Presentation of Certificates, Party and the youngsters visit to the circus.
Swinford Killasser Girls Represent Mayo & Ireland
With so many Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC teams reaching and winning County A Titles, it is no surprise that we were proudly represented by a number of our girls on Mayo Ladies teams during 2014. Amy McNicholas, Niamh Ansboro, Hayley Moore and Rebecca Lenehan played for the Mayo Minor team that reached the Connacht Final against Galway. Roisin Durkin and Vanessa McHugh were part of the Mayo U16 team that reached the All-Ireland semi-final. Orna O’Brien and Rebecca McHugh played for the Mayo U17 team; while Grainne O’Neill and Alanagh Durkin helped the Mayo U14 girls reach the All-Ireland Final. Our Club also had quite a few girls playing for the Mayo U12 and U13 Development Squads. Congratulations to all these girls who represented our Club with distinction at inter county level this year.
Congratulations also to our own Michaela Walsh who represented Ireland at the Youth Olympics in China. Michaela smashed the Irish record to finish a magnificent sixth in the World in the Shot Putt; and on her return played a major role in breaking Club records with her friends at Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC.
Swinford Killasser Champions Behind The Scenes
A successful year on the field always leads to a busy year in the background. Off the field we also enjoyed a very successful year with many new faces getting involved in the Club. One of the less attractive but critical aspects to running any successful Clubs is fundraising. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated team involved in running Swinford Community Lotto. Through the great work of our Clubs Community Lotto Committee, we were able to fund the continued development of Swinford Amenity Park, for use by so many groups in our community. This money financed Building Loan Repayments, Office Refurbishments, Developing new Training Areas, Improving Access, Painting, Pitch Maintenance and Ground Works on a new Athletics Sprint Track. We thank everyone who supports the Lotto and congratulate all the many local winners during the year.
This support also funded our Clubs essential running costs; money which was spent on Transport, Training Equipment, Referees and Subsidising Players Registration. The balance of Club costs were paid for through local sponsorship and the one Euro training levy which was diligently collected by the team of parents at training each week. We thank our sponsors Cards & Gifts, Tony & Tinos, O’Connell’s Pharmacy and all our local businesses who support us; particularly those who promote the Swinford Community Lotto.
We thank everyone who helped out with training teams this year. We thank Physiotherapist Brian Galvin for his help in keeping the girls in top shape to play through a very busy fixtures schedule. We also thank the many parents who helped as chaperones on buses, acted as liaisons at training and carried out various other non-footballing chores. We thank the parents who helped with catering at the many after match receptions and those involved in organizing social events, including our Annual Presentation Dinner Dance. We thank Tony Lynskey for the usual first-rate team transport service. We thank everyone involved with Swinford Amenity Park for providing us with a top class home venue for matches and training. We also thank the other Clubs in our community for their assistance, support and cooperation; notably Swinford AC and Swinford Scouts for their flexibility when sharing facilities, Swinford FC for working with us to avoid fixture clashes and Swinford GAA Club for the use of their pitch for a training match before our last County Final.
We thank all of our local schools for continuing to promote Ladies Gaelic Football. We compliment The Gateway Hotel, Julians, Tony & Tinos and The Market Kitchen for the excellent quality of the post-final meals during the year. We thank The Western People, The Connacht Telegraph, The Mayo News, Midwest Radio, Swinford & Killasser Church Newsletters and Swinford.ie for publicising our Clubs achievements and events.
Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC AGM & Dinner Dance
The AGM of Swinford Killasser Ladies Gaelic Football Club will take place on Friday January 2nd at 8pm at Swinford Amenity Park. We invite all players, parents, trainers and everyone from our community to attend; both to learn of how our Club operates and to voice their opinions on the future of our Club. The Annual Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC Dinner Dance and Presentation Night will take place on Saturday January 31st. This promises to be a spectacular night as we celebrate the fantastic achievements of our players in 2014. Medals will be presented to all our County Finalists and County Champions. We will also be presenting our Club All Star and Player of the Year recipients as selected by the players themselves. Nominations for these awards will appear in next week’s Club notes. Tickets will go on sale in the next fortnight and we’d advise early booking, as the event is likely to be a sell-out.
Swinford Killasser Ladies GFC Family & Friends
To say the year of 2014 was one of the high points in the Clubs history would be a colossal understatement. This was a year of record proportions both on and off the field. This was a year when our players broke all Club records by winning five County Titles. And, above all, this was a year when our players lived by our Club motto; “Clann ‘s Cairdeas”; Family and Friends enjoying playing and winning together for Swinford Killasser Ladies Gaelic Football Club. Our Club extends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all your family and friends, and the entire community of Swinford and Killasser.