St. Patrick's Gaelic4mothers&others team play in croke park.

November 7, 2018

Back Left to right:    Trish Strappe, Ailish O’Brien, Cathrine Ryan, Katie Kearney, Emma Horan, Katie O’Brien, Tess Burke, Louise Gleeson, Annmarie Ryan, Sally Duggan, Helen Hogan.

Front Left to right:    Breda Dunne, Sheila Butler, Caitriona Boland, Mairead Foley, Tracey Carroll, Sharon Hanly, Margaret Hogan.

 The long wait to play in Croke Park finally came to an end for the G4O ladies of Drangan and Cloneen on Sunday last as they did the parish proud in front of 25,000 spectators. Gaelic4Mothers & others is a national development initiative of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association which has taken Ireland by storm in the last few years. The central aim of the initiative is to provide all Irish women with a pathway to play Ladies football regardless of their age or ability. Gaelic4Mothers is a recreational and non-competitive form of Ladies Football where the score is not kept and it’s all about having fun. Any lady over 18 who is not currently playing Adult competitive football with a club is eligible to play.

St. Patrick’s (Drangan and Cloneen) Gaelic for Mother’s and Other’s (G4O) was founded in 2012. There are 22 registered members who train twice a week. They train for an hour and a half each night and play matches as often as the opportunity arises. Many new life long friendships have been formed.

As part of celebrating it’s 40th all-Ireland finals weekend the ladies football association decided to host exhibition games for Gaelic4 mothers&others during it’s all-Ireland finals this year. Applications were invited from clubs throughout the country and our ladies decided to apply. Huge credit must go to Mairead Foley who put so much work into preparing and presentation of this application. The St. Patrick’s submission was one of only six chosen from all over the country and the only team from munster. The other teams were from, Galway, Antrim, Leitrim and two from Dublin.

For the girls it was a dream come through to finally get the opportunity to play on the hallowed turf of Croke park on the biggest day in the ladies football calendar. It’s no surprise that some couldn’t sleep the night before but spirits were high as the team gathered to head for Dublin on Sunday morning. A large number of family and friends also travelled to support our girls. With Tipperary playing in the intermediate final a great day out was assured.

On arrival in Croke park the team were instructed where to sit until the nod was given to assemble in the tunnel under the Cusack stand. Finally at 2.30 pm their moment of glory came as they were led out onto the field by the Artane boys band to the cheers of 25,000 spectators. St. Patrick’s opponents were the mighty Kilmacud Crokes of Dublin. As the ball was thrown in any nerves or butterflies were quickly shaken off as both teams went hell for leather. Kilmacuds opened the scoring with a point but that was to be their lot as the ladies from Drangan and Cloneen took control of the game . A point from Tracey Carroll had the teams level before she buried her first of three goals for the St. Pat‘s ladies. Trish Strappe in goal was well guarded by the full back line of Tess Burke, Annmarie Ryan and Catriona Boland. Emma horan scored a fine point as herself, Margaret Hogan and Katie O’Brien were dominating the centre field area. Up front Breda Dunne was winning a lot of ball and set up Mairead Foley for a well taken point. Tracey Carroll looked like scoring every time she got the ball and can be very proud of her tally of 3 goals and a point. So as the final whistle sounded it was St. Patrick’s 3-3 to Kilmacud Crokes 0-1. For all those from the parish who had travelled to Croke park it was with great pride to see how our club was represented and I have no doubt that it was an experience that our G4Os will never forget. Great credit to  the teams bainisteoir Helen Hogan who has been training these ladies all year and I’m sure she was very proud of her teams performance. 

With the G4Os game now over it was back to the second half of the intermediate final where Tipperary were putting it up to the favourites Cavan. Tipp had started the game much better than Cavan but were missing a lot of scoring chances. They led for much of the game but Cavan eventually broke them down and took the lead . Tipp had their chances but missed frees and points taken when goal opportunities were presented were to prove very costly for Tipperary. They were still in with a chance until Cavan were awarded a penalty after the Tipp goalie pulled down a Cavan forward who was heading for a certain goal. Cavan goaled the penalty and it was game over. It was a good performance from Tipp and hopefully they will be back next year to go one step further.

The senior Final between Cork and Monaghan started with Cork looking the much stronger and at halftime it looked as if cork were going to win with comfort. But Monaghan fought back bravely in the second half and the game went down to the wire. A free to level the game for Monaghan in the dying seconds went wide and it was cork again to be crowned all-Ireland champions.

After a long day our ladies got back on the bus and headed for the poitin still for a pre-arranged lunch. Then it was back to Anglim’s in Cloneen where they celebrated their days achievements.

And well they might as I sure they will now go down on record as the first team from the club to play in Croke park on an all-Ireland final day.

And are they the first team from the club to play in front of a crowd of over 25,000 people? Probably!

Well done Ladies!