The Bank Holiday just past saw a selected group of Gaels jet off to the Channel Islands where Guernsey Gaels ran a very successful 7’s tournament that saw the home nation taking the spoils. Some great matches took place throughout the day with plenty of free flowing football on view for the many local spectators.
Much to the delight of the Bristol contingent, our first game pitched us against cross county rivals St Jude’s Bournemouth, whom we all know at this stage are a fine footballing side with plenty of scoring power up top. Poor shooting and rustiness in general didn’t help the Gaels cause in the opening fixture, but deep down we all know the reason for defeat was the need to adjust to the climate in Guernsey, and had absolutely nothing to do with the previous night’s antics!
The adjustment to climate was at fault yet again when going down narrowly to both Guernsey and Jersey in the next two games, although much more enthusiasm and desire was shown and some better finishing could have easily led to two victories instead of defeat.
Come what was to be the Gaels last game of the day against a combined “All Stars” team, numbers were at a minimum due to injuries, some new and some old. However, all was not lost and in a cracking encounter Gaels were unfortunate to go down to a last minute goal from the combined selection.
The day ran like clockwork (with the exception of a few flights/fog issues for other teams) and the setup etc was a real credit to those involved with the organising of the weekend as a whole. The pitches were immaculate, the food was good and the craic was mighty.
Although suffering four defeats many positives were taken from the day with chiefs for the day Brian Mac and Ryan O’Hagan taking plenty of encouragement from many performances, including that of talisman Barry “Let it into the Butterbox” Burke whom lost count of how many goals he netted by the end of the day. As expected, and as always John Merron and Niall Mulligan had strong performance throughout the day. Tony Long proved for the second week running that he’s by no means a one trick pony with strong performances both in and out of the goal, his attire on Saturday night did raise many an eyebrow though!
Brothers in arms, Brian and Kevin put in two strong shifts all day while Tommy gave us a brief clip of his defensive side, he may have to be shipped out of the forwards and into a more defensive role in the future.
Conor and Mike “Lowry” O’Leary were unfortunate to pick up niggling injuries throughout the day although while playing the duo’s shooting left a lot to be desired, especially that Leary fella!
Performer of the weekend (off the pitch anyway), went to “Squirrel” Muldoon who kept the show on the road throughout the weekend. Top performances were put in throughout on Saturday, although he did take two miserable penalties where instead of putting the boot through, tried to be cute and place them in the corner. Lesson learnt Squirrel.
All in all a great weekend was had by all, many thanks to all at Guernsey for hosting a great weekend, and to all teams for participating and making a great weekend of it.