Silverware went the length and breadth of the country following the New Zealand Sevens on Saturday 25 November, with clubs from Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown among the victors.
Teams from across the north and south islands flocked to Hamilton, New Zealand for the first national games of the 2023/24 NZ Gaelic games calendar. Naomh Críostóir, who were only established in 2015, assumed hosting duties for the competition, having recently hosted their first national tournament in the NZ Championships earlier in the year. An outstanding feat for an up-and-coming club.
It was a frantic day of games, with six trophies up for grabs. In the men’s senior football, hosts Naomh Críostóir, who in recent years have been competing in the junior grade, duly justified their place in the top tier by making it to the final. There they faced regular contenders in Marist Rangers of Auckland. It was a thrilling final, and in this ‘Battle of the Bombays’, it was the Auckland side who got over the line with a four-point win.
The women’s senior football saw Wellington/Hutt Valley continue their imperious form in New Zealand –and Australasia – with a resounding victory over St Pat’s Emerald City in the final. This is their fourth competition win on the trot, and few will be betting against them come the NZ Championships in March.
It was Wellington/Hutt Valley and a combined Auckland side contesting the hurling final. With Wellington eyeing up a third consecutive title, Auckland, who have been making great strides with the small ball in recent years, had different ideas. In a tight and tense game the Auckland side claimed a memorable three-point win, and in doing so, put an end to the recent Wellington-Canterbury supremacy over NZ hurling. The camogie final was also a Wellington/Hutt Valley-Auckland affair, with the camógs from the capital also aiming for three sevens titles in a row – and they didn’t disappoint, running out convincing winners, and continuing their year-on-year progress.
The men’s junior football final was a battle between the north and south islands as Wellington/Hutt Valley, another team from the capital looking to make it three sevens titles in a row, faced Queenstown Gaels. It wasn’t to be for Wellington as Queenstown, who were one of the most impressive teams in Hamilton, dominated the final and ran out convincing winners. The women’s shield final, meanwhile, was played between Celtic GFC of Auckland and Wellington/Hutt Valley’s second team. This was a high-scoring game, with goals aplenty, but the Aucklanders’ superiority up front got them over the line with a six-point victory.
Congratulations to all tournament winners, and a worthy bualadh bos to hosts Naomh Críostóir for their outstanding contribution to Gaelic games in NZ in 2023. Next up in the NZ calendar are the national championships in Queenstown on St Patrick’s weekend, and it’s sure to be a cracker.
Melbourne, Victoria will be a hive of Gaelic games activity this weekend as two tournaments usher in the Australian summer. The Seamus Moloughney Invitational Tournament on Saturday, and the Melbourne Super 11s on Sunday continue apace Gaelic Games Victoria’s recent busy calendar.
On Saturday 2 December Young Melbourne will host the inaugural Seamus Moloughney Invitational Tournament at Albert Park, Melbourne. With a focus on participation and fostering a community spirit, the seven-a-side tournament will see women’s and men’s football teams from Victoria and beyond play in a safe, social and positive environment. To promote participation and enjoyment, only players not having played in any senior league or championship games in the 2022/23 season are eligible. Keep up to date with the tournament through the link below.
The following day, Sunday 3 December, Gaelic Park in Keysborough will host the second annual Melbourne Super 11s competition. Organised by Sinn Féin and Wolfe Tones, this is the second edition of the 11-a-side tournament, and it will feature the four codes of men’s and women’s Gaelic football, hurling and camogie. With 34 teams participating, it is certain to be a competitive and high-quality day of games. Keep up to date with the tournament through the link below.
It was Regional Games glory for the Gaels of Geelong and Gold Coast, while three clubs made their competition debuts at a sun-soaked Harold Hurst Reserve in Geelong on Saturday 11 November.
The fifth edition of the competition, it was the biggest yet with 14 women’s and men’s teams across seven clubs lining out. It was also a competition of firsts, featuring several first-time players, clubs and winners.
In the women’s competition, five teams competed in the group stage: Ballarat Clovers, Geelong Gaels Blue, Geelong Gaels Red, Gold Coast Gaels, and Young Melbourne. After a competitive group stage and semi-finals, it was the two Geelong sides who met in the final. In this local derby, the more experienced Blue side – who boasted 2023 Australasia World Games reps such as Tahlia Tatlock, Tess DeGrandi and Tamara Knox – claimed a solid win over a gallant, youthful Red side, who have several young players who will no doubt make their mark for Geelong, and indeed Victoria, in future competitions.
Congratulations to Ballarat Clovers and Young Melbourne – Victoria’s two newest clubs – on making their Regional Games debut. It was Young Melbourne’s first time fielding a women’s team since their foundation in 2016, and to make the semi-final was an impressive feat.
The men’s football featured nine teams across two groups, and it was the Gaels of Geelong and Gaels of the Gold Coast who progressed through the group stage and semi-finals to set up a mouth-watering final. With both clubs celebrating their 10-year anniversaries in 2023, it was fitting that they would play the decider. While Geelong were hoping to top off their anniversary year with a repeat of the 2018 women’s and men’s double, Gold Coast were looking to mark theirs with a maiden trophy for the club.
The final was a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams. However, the Gaels from Queensland, who were potent in front of goal all day, built up an early lead and managed to keep an organised and hard-working Geelong Maroon side at bay until the final whistle. Jubilant scenes followed amongst the Gold Coast players, management and supporters. Following on from their memorable win in the Queensland championship earlier this year, this victory will leave the club with plenty to celebrate at their anniversary celebrations at the end of the month.
A special mention to the newly formed Cairns Chieftains who played at their first Regional Games, and recorded two draws before succumbing to their fellow Queenslanders in the semi-final. Also, Victorian clubs Ballarat Clovers and Young Melbourne, who fielded two teams of primarily Australian-born players, featured at their first Regional Games.
“It was a fantastic day of Gaelic football in Geelong”, said Geelong Gaels President and player, John Reaney. “Congratulations to the Gold Coast Gaels on winning their first men’s trophy, and also to our very own women’s team who went back to back.”
“We’d like thank Manifold Heights Cricket Club for their support in hosting the games. Also, thanks Cr Trent Sullivan, Mayor of Greater Geelong for presenting the women’s trophy, and Ambassador of Ireland to Australia, H.E. Tim Mawe for travelling from Canberra to be in attendance for the day’s events and presenting the men’s winning trophy”, said John.
John continued, “we appreciate all our volunteers who put in a mountain of work on the day and over the past few months, including the Gaelic Football & Hurling Association of Australasia for their huge effort and support in providing a fantastic set of games.”
“Finally, to all the clubs who travelled to make these the best games to date, thank you so much and we hope you enjoyed the weekend.”
No doubt we’re already looking forward to Tasmania in 2024.
Congratulations to the tournament All-Stars for their fine performances on the day, and a special bualadh bos to the players of the tournament: Tahlia Tatlock of Geelong Gaels women’s team, and Patrick Meehan of Gold Coast Gaels men’s team.
Get ready for the fifth edition of the Australasia Regional Games, which throws in at Hurst Reserve, Geelong, Victoria on Saturday 11 November 2023.
Men’s and women’s teams from across Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Queensland will converge on Geelong to battle it out for national silverware in this seven-a-side Gaelic football competition.
Held annually, the competition caters to Australasia teams in regional areas, as well as teams with predominantly non-Irish-born players. Having hosted their first Regional Games in 2018, Geelong Gaels are excited to welcome teams from across the country back to the Pivot City, with promises that this will be the best edition yet.
So mark it in your diaries now. It’s going to be a brilliant day of Gaelic football, and another great opportunity to witness the quality of Australasia’s homegrown talent.
Stay up to date with tournament fixtures and information on the Australasia Regional Games 2023 page.
Victoria’s season drew to a close with the championship finals on Sunday 2 July. Well done to all in Victoria for another successful season, and congratulations to the state’s champions for 2023. Read the round-up from each of the finals below.
St Kevin’s 4-9 – 4-6 Sinn Féin
Sunday 2 July
St Kevin’s and Sinn Féin met in the women’s senior football final, the third meeting of this pairing in finals in 2023. With Sinn Féin taking the Pearses Sevens title, and St. Kevin’s victorious in the league final, the championship final was aptly the decider for the year. It was all Kevin’s in the first half with an eight-point difference at half time, but Cormac O’Neill’s Sinn Fein came out firing in the second half, clawing back to make it a draw game. It seemed like the momentum was all with Sinn Féin, however St Kevin’s dug deep and found that extra gear that was evident all season to kick the final three points of the game. At full time it was St Kevin’s 4-9 to Sinn Fein 4-6. Captain Mona Sheridan was amongst St Kevin’s best and accepted the cup, with Anna Jones named player of the match. Australasia World Games player Tricia Melanaphy was a star for Sinn Féin, and will be one to watch in Derry at the end of the month.
Garryowen 3-15 – 2-9 Wolfe Tones
Sunday 2 July
This final was eagerly awaited between two great rivals in Garryowen and Wolfe Tones. Wolfe Tones started very strongly getting three points in the first five minutes but this was nullified by an opportunist goal on the break from Garryowen. Wolfe Tones’ tactics worked well in the first half causing several critical turnovers, which helped them build a small lead at half time. The second half was a different story, however. Garryowen’s running game clicked into action and their superior ball handling, speed and fitness was telling. Wolfe Tones did score a fine goal on the break to keep them in the game but Garryowen’s on-field leaders, namely Conor Dorman, Stephen Cahill and Shane Buckley came to the fore, particularly in the final quarter to finish their opponents off in some style. Matthew O’Sullivan at full-forward had a fine game for Garryowen scoring three wonderful points from play when it really mattered. Some observers said he was reminiscent of his fellow county man, the legendary Eoin ‘Bomber’ Liston.
Melbourne Shamrocks 6-10 – 0-2 Garryowen
Sunday 2 July
Melbourne Shamrocks avenged their league final defeat with huge win over Garryowen. Shamrocks built up a healthy lead in the first half with some well-taken goals by their inside forwards, and went in at the break leading by 4-4 to 0-2. They continued their dominance in the second half, but credit to Garryowen who never gave up and battled hard until the final whistle. Shamrocks captain Lisa McCarthy was presented with the championship cup for 2023, while Orla Beagan deservedly received the player of the match award.
Melbourne Shamrocks 1-24 – 2-18 Garryowen
Sunday 2 July
In a repeat of the league final, Melbourne Shamrocks and Garryowen battled it out for the 2023 championship title. In a titanic tussle that ebbed and flowed, both teams produced a fantastic hour of hurling. Shamrocks went in at the short whistle leading by a goal, 1-9 to 0-9. The second half produced some delightful scores by both teams in an action-packed 30 minutes of hurling. After a great effort by Garryowen, Shamrocks finished the stronger and held out for a three-point win on a scoreline of 1-24 to 2-18. Paul Morris accepted the cup on behalf of his team, while Kieran Bennett received the player of the match award following his outstanding display.
Garryowen 3-9 – 0-13 Pádraig Pearses
Sunday 2 July
Whilst Garryowen started out as favourites, Pádraig Pearses took the game to them from the start with their combative and direct style of play in an entertaining encounter. Pearses delivered the ball quickly into Brian Lowry to great effect throughout the game, and he finished with 0-8 points from play and frees, a tremendous individual contribution. However, Garryowen’s powerful running game proved to be more incisive and their three goals were ultimately decisive. Jonathan Quinlan (man of the match) at midfield was imperious for Garryowen, and he won a huge share of possession under considerable pressure at vital stages in the game. And Eddie Goggin, the veteran corner forward, was a constant and deadly threat to the Pearses defence. The game moved at a great pace in both halves and was played in a very sporting fashion. Garryowen were full value for their win against a brave Pearses outfit.
Sinn Féin 3-9 – 4-4 Pádraig Pearses
Sunday 25 June
The women’s intermediate football was the first of Victoria’s championship finals to be played. In a game that saw seven green flags raised, Sinn Féin eked out a two-point win to take home the title.
The Victoria league finals concluded on Sunday 28 May at La Trobe University, Bundoora. Congratulations to all league winners, including the fledgling Young Melbourne club, who claimed their first-ever league silverware, as well as Garryowen, who won three of their four finals. Read the round-up from each of the finals below.
St Kevin’s 2-06 – 1-05 Sinn Féin
Sunday 28 May
In the women’s senior football final, Sinn Féin took on St Kevin’s. The standard in ladies football has risen greatly this year with hotly contested games throughout the league. It was victory for St Kevin’s on a final scoreline of 2-06 to 1-05. Mona Sheridan in her first year at St. Kevin’s accepted the trophy as captain, with player of the match going to Jayne Moore.
Garryowen 0-18 – 1-11 Wolfe Tones
Sunday 28 May
The men’s senior football final saw Garryowen take on rivals Wolfe Tones again. This was an exceptional match with both teams fighting eagerly for the victory. Garryowen came out on top with the score at the final whistle being 0-18 to 1-11. Garryowen captain Stephen Cahill lifted the cup, with the player of the match being awarded to Fearghal McMahon.
Garryowen 1-9 – 1-3 Melbourne Shamrocks
Sunday 28 May
In the camogie final, we had reigning winners Melbourne Shamrocks take on Garryowen. In a first for the Garryowen team, they came away as victors with the final score of 1-9 to 1-3. Garryowen captain Paula Collins raised the cup, and the player of the tournament was awarded to Sinéad Touhy. President Conor Hennessy commented that the standard of camogie has risen in Victoria, and it is promising to see how it progresses in the coming year.
Melbourne Shamrocks 1-25 – 0-16 Garryowen
Sunday 28 May
The hurling final saw an incredible tussle between Melbourne Shamrocks and Garryowen. Shamrocks were victorious at full time with an outstanding result of 1-25 to 0-16. Melbourne Shamrocks captain Paul Morris picked up the silverware with the player of the match being awarded to Jason Stanley.
Pádraig Pearses 2-6 – 0-4 Sinn Féin
Sunday 21 May
Pádraig Pearses claimed the intermediate league with a convincing eight-point win over Sinn Féin, with a final score of 2-6 to 0-4.
Garryowen 2-7 – 1-8 Wolfe Tones
Saturday 20 May
The men’s intermediate league final pitted old rivals Garryowen against Wolfe Tones. There’s never a dull moment when these two clubs play, with their usual high standard on display throughout the competition. The men in red and black got over the line this time round on a scoreline of 2-7 Garryowen to Wolfe Tones’ 1-8. Garryowen’s captain Mark O’Driscoll accepted the trophy, and the player of the match was awarded to Eddie Goggin. The men’s intermediate league had seven teams participating for the first time. This is a great sign of the significant growth in participation in Victoria in 2023.
Young Melbourne 3-12 – 3-10 Pádraig Pearses
Saturday 20 May
The shield final was contested by Young Melbourne and Pádraig Pearses, with Young Melbourne snatching victory by a couple of points after extra time. It was a memorable win for the fledgling club, and a testament to the great strides they’ve made since they formation. The final score was Young Melbourne 3-12 to Pearses 3-10. Young Melbourne’s captain Ollie McKeon lifted the shield, with the player of the match going to Graham Glynn.
An action-packed New Zealand Championships were hosted by Naomh Críostóir on 25 and 26 March at Hamilton Marist RFC. With the cancellation of the 2020 and 2022 competitions due to COVID, the competition was welcomed back by all players and supporters with open arms. Teams from Canterbury, Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland joined Naomh Críostóir, the hosts, in Hamilton for the two-day tournament. The competitive spirit was high and there was some fine hurling, camogie and football played out over the weekend. Congratulations to all winners and to all players, management teams and supporters in attendance. Huge credit to Naomh Críostóir on hosting their first New Zealand Championships. It was a well-organised and enjoyable occasion, and all teams already can’t wait for their next trip back to ‘The Tron’.
The inaugural Australasia Féile tournament was held on 11 and 12 March at a sunny St. Marys Park in Adelaide, the home of Gaelic games in South Australia. Having been derailed for two years due to COVID, more than 300 children participated, with teams from Perth, Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide lining out in the following grades: under 10 Mixed; under 12 girls; under 12 boys; under 14 girls; under 14 Boys; and under 17 boys. As well as the hundreds of players, the weekend saw a large attendance of mentors, officials, parents and supporters of all teams. Kudos to those who travelled huge distances across Australia to see their children play, from Perth to Adelaide (2,600km) and Melbourne to Adelaide (700km). For Victoria’s newest club, Young Melbourne, it was a tournament to savour. Participating as Victoria Metro and donning the traditional navy shirt and big white V of their state, the club brought over 80 girls and boys, and 100 coaches and parents to the Festival State. Plans have already commenced for Féile 2025, which at this stage may be held in Perth.