On Wednesday last, September 28th, the girls’ football team won the South Mayo Mini-7 final for the first time as a stand-alone team. The competition was held in the dome at the Connacht Centre of Excellence and the teams taking part included Ballyhaunis, Gortskehy, Irishtown/Meelickmore (Group A); Bekan, Balla, Aghamore (Group B); Ballindine, Knock, Mayo Abbey, Gaelscoil Uileog de Búrca (Group C); Barnacarroll, Taugheen, Tooreen, Claremorris boys/girls (Group D).
Gortskehy overcame Ballyhaunis and Irishtown/Meelickmore to meet Balla, as the winners of Group B, in the semi-final. Barnacarroll and Knock faced off in the other semi-final with Gortskehy and Knock progressing to the final stage.
Grace played fantastic in goal, making a number of key saves at crucial times in the game. Aoife and Sorsha commanded the back line while Faye & Alaois were excellent in mid-field. Alaois fielded some superb high balls matched with fine scores while Faye’s relentless marking of Knock’s key player was instrumental in Gortskehy gaining the upper hand.
The movement of Holly H on the forward line left her marker struggling to keep up and unable to prevent Holly taking a number of excellent scores. Holly M gathered a number of key balls, laying them off to our runners, and taking some fine scores herself, rasping the crossbar on one occasion. Gortskehy ran out winners on a scoreline of 7-7 to 4-4. Niamh, Aoibhinn and Alisha completed the panel but, because of age limits in this competition, they couldn’t join the field of play on the day.
The girls will now represent South Mayo in the County Quarter Finals in November. The last time the school enjoyed such success at this level was in March 2012 when an amalgated team of Gortskehy/Meelickmore won the South Mayo Final. The Gortskehy panel at that time included, Nicola Hession, Diane Tierney, Orla Beddows, Marie Mulhern, Amy Frizzell, Rachel Hession and Rebecca Flanagan. A video of that presentation can be viewed here.
We cannot forget the boys who were also group winners, defeating Ballyhaunis and Irishtown/Meelickmore before meeting Balla and being beaten by the narrowest of margins in the semi-final (5-6 to 5-7). Following their win, Balla went on to overcome the Gaelscoil in the boys’ final. Our boys didn’t let their disappointment impact the joy and celebrations led by the girls. We are so proud of them all. It was a fantastic achievement and we look forward to the county finals in a few weeks’ time.