St Joseph’s School Ballytivnan Sligo were part of the Connacht teams (boys & girls) who played in Croke Park in the Martin Donnelly GAA ‘Football for All’ Interprovincial Finals on Tuesday, September 26. The Connacht teams consisted of players from St Anthony’s School Castlebar, St Dympna’s Ballina, St Bernadette’s Letterkenny, and St Joseph’s.
The Connacht boys team played Dublin in their first game and put in a tremendous performance before losing to their superior forward play. Next game for Connacht boys was against South Leinster where they competed bravely and were narrowly beaten. They qualified for the Shield final where they came up against Ulster. This was a nail-biting game where both teams scored marvellous long range points, and the teams were level on a number of occasions. But an exquisite point from Scott Dunbar (Sligo) secured a narrow win for Connacht and all the players celebrated on the hallowed turf of Croke Park. The Connacht girls team played Dublin in a Titanic struggle before having to yield to the overall strength and skill of the opposition forwards and lost narrowly. Next up for the Connacht girls was a game against North Leinster and they tried their best with great defensive work, marvellous team work and some superb scores but came up a little short on the scoreboard at the final whistle.
The GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail took time out of his very busy schedule to meet and greet all the players, mentors and supporters, and complimented all who helped out, for their time, enthusiasm and passion.
The chairman of the Sligo Games For All Committee, Tim Hynes, thanked the National GAA Games for All organisers Brian Armitage, Tony Watene and Richie Doran from ISSSC (Irish Special Schools Sports Council); the school principals and teachers who have taken this great game on board as part of their sporting calendar, and have supported and encouraged the pupils to play – Roisin O’Flaherty (St Anthony’s), Declan Brady (St Dympna’s), Terry Shiels (St Bernadette’s), and Carmel Wynne (St Joseph’s); the coaches who helped out on the two coaching preparation days and also in Croke Park – Liam Og Gormley, Padraig Clancy, Gerry Tuohy and Brian Maguire from Sligo, and Eoin Sweeney, Martin Costello and Billy McNicholas from Mayo; the parents and siblings who encouraged and cheered on the players in Croke Park; the Connacht GAA Games for All chairperson Denis O Boyle; the Connacht Council for supporting these games and Mick Rock (president) and John Prenty (secretary).
List of Connacht players: St Joseph’s Ballytivnan Sligo:- Scott Dunbar, Bradley Farrell, Ryan Kilgannon, Stephen Ward, Adam Keaney, Michael Feeney, Abbie Manion, Orlene Hughes, Annaleigh Middleton, Gabrielle McGinley, Breena McMorrow; St Bernadette’s Letterkenny:- Ronan Robinson, Kylan Deane, Nathan Fee, Dean Coyle, Anna Mikolakek, Chantelle Quigley; St Anthony’s Castlebar:- Kevin Woods, Keith Solan, Dylan Tighe, Dyllon Quigley, Lee O’Rourke, Ian Burke, Henry Mannion, Tina Browne, Rachel Davitt; St Dympna’s Ballina:- Peter Healy, Aidan Larkin, Cormac Hughes, Orlaith Gallagher, Melanie Murray.