For a second time Holycross Ballycahill travelled to London and took back to Tipperary not only the Getjar Senior Cup but again Siobhan Ryan collected the Senior Player of the Tournament, mirroring their achievements of 2006.
This was Tara's second 7-a-side tournament in as many years and Tom Mohan and his team at Tir Chonaill Park are to be commended for their efforts in preparing the pitches following some heavy rain the previous week.
Holycross Ballycahill, Tipperary x 2 teams
St Johns Belfast
St Marys, Antrim
Craughwell, Galway x 2 teams
Clanna Gael Fontenoy, Dublin
The senior draw put hosts Tara alongside 4 Irish teams; Holycross A, St Johns (Belfast), St Marys (Antrim) and Craughwell (Galway); whilst the other group had a primarily London feel in Fr Murphys, Croydon and Bros Pearse with Holycross B and Clanna Gael Fontenoy of Dublin completing the group.
Tara v Craughwell in Group 2 was a great clash and it was a pleasure to watch Tara’s Bid Grennan, who was fantastic throughout the day, taking scores from all angles and linking up play. Ann Glesson in defence also played a vital role for Tara and despite Craughwell’s Denise Gilligan’s knack of finding the back of the net, neither team could do enough to qualify for the finals.
Favourites Holycross A didn’t have it all their own way with a tight game against St Johns. Rhona Thorney, Kathleen Ward and Danielle Clarke faired well for the Belfast crew but Noreen Flanagan & the A team finished top of their group and into the Cup Final. St Johns progressed to the Plate Final.
The Holycross' B squad faired well in Group 1 considering they had a couple of 14 years olds in Sarah Gleeson and Margerite Kennedy playing, beating Pearses and were then only defeated by eventual group winners Fr Murphys by the one point.
Some sterling work from Sue Keatley and Rosita Harvey ensure Croydon marched to the Plate Final v St Johns. By this stage the weather had changed and in tough conditions St Johns proved difficult opponents for Croydon. Jase Simpson lifted the Cara Personnel Senior Plate and acknowledged the efforts of her team mates and Manager ‘disco’ Dave Robinson.
The Getjar Cup Final between defending Champions Holycross and current London senior champions was a tit for tat affair. Siobhan Ryan showed why she won Senior Player of the Tournament award yet award, making bursting runs with goals to show for her efforts. Eimear O Higgins challenged hard and even with Emma Taylor's & Laureena Murphy’s scores, Holycross lifted the Cup, remaining unbeaten on London soil.
The Junior competition welcomed more first time visitors to London.
Tara’s opened the junior competition and penned their first victory against newly formed team Oxford. Oxford are made up of players of many nationalities but had Meabh Brennan at the heart of the team driving them all on. Tara took the points v Erin go Bragh but the young Birmingham girls and in particular Katie Lambe worked hard to earn themselves victory over Oxford.
The other group included defending champions Green Isles, shinty/camogie team Forth Camanachd of Edinburgh and an Eoraip. An Eoraip, formed in summer 2007, made up of players drawn from GAA clubs in Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris, and Zurich includes players from Germany, Switzerland, America, England, Scotland as well as Ireland. A selection of 8 girls traveled and despite being in a tough group the Europeans earned themselves top spot and a place in the Cup Final v hosts Tara.
Oxford were able to overcome favourites Green Isles by a single point in the plate qualifiers to go through to the Junior Plate Finals v Forth.
Forth had the more experienced players with Offaly duo Michelle Maher & Katy Smith taking scores whilst Una Henry in the back line cleared every ball that came near her, earning Forth the Tir Chonaill Park Plate.
As group winners Tara and An Eoraip contested the Junior Cup Final. An Eoraip’s Aine O’Regan was in fine form throughout the day and Tara knew that they had to keep her quiet in order to maintain their unbeaten run. Tara lead through Niamh Pentony’s early goal and with the help of Mairead Carroll piled on the pressure on goalie Margaret Francois and were able to add to the goal tally. Aine O’Regan did manage to make 2 bursting runs, resulting in 2 goals but a couple of points by Sheila Fernandes ensured a narrow Tara victory of 2-2 to 2-0. Sheila Fernandes won the Junior Player of the Tournament sponsored by Getjar.
Overall the tournament was deemed another great success and theres already talk of next year's event.
Thanks to sponsors Getjar and Cara Personnel and of course Referees Beano Collins, Sean Corrigan and Brian Corry who did a sterling job all day. Well done lads.