Players from across the country put on exciting contests
The Connacht Wheelchair hurling/camogie team competed in the Martin Donnelly GAA Wheelchair Hurling/Camogie All-Ireland Championships Finals on Sunday in the Ashbourne Community School in Co. Meath.
The four provinces competed for the coveted trophy and the day-long feast of hurling commenced at 12.30pm. The first teams on the court were Leinster and Connacht and they both served up competitive, quality hurling and with defences on top there was no score in the first half. Leinster upped the tempo in the second and won the game by 3gls.
Next up was Munster V Ulster and this was a feisty affair with both teams competing aggressively for the ball, and the final score Munster 4-1, Ulster 2-0.
The third game was Munster V Leinster, and this was a physically demanding encounter with every ball keenly contested and finished with Munster winning 4-2 to 3-0.
The fourth game saw Connacht take on Ulster and the intensity and commitment was evident once the ball was thrown in. Ulster went ahead after five minutes with a splendid goal and the Connacht players were hurling well and Stephen Melvin scored, and the game finished in a draw.
The fifth game between Munster and Connacht was played at a frantic pace and Connacht scoring a goal by Stephen Melvin, but Munster launched several attacks and scored 3 goals.
The final game in the round robin was between Ulster and Leinster and Ulster won on a score of 2-0.
The Shield final was contested between Connacht and Leinster, and this was a very exciting and nerve wrecking affair with some marvellous scores by both teams. At the end of a nail-biting encounter Leinster won by 3-0 to Connacht 2-1.
The final was contested between Munster and Ulster, and the large crowd were treated to a very exciting game of wheelchair hurling. The final score was Munster 6-0 to Ulster 3-0.
The Martin Donnelly All-Ireland Cup was presented by Brian Armitage (Chair of National GAA Games for All), to the Munster captain, Cian Horgan, among scenes of unbridled joy.
Brian congratulated Munster and all the teams and stated "it was a great honour for any sports person to wear the colours of their Province, and for each team and their families, this is a proud occasion. These games provide an opportunity to promote our unique and revered game of hurling- albeit wheelchair hurling- and I am delighted that Martin Donnelly continues to promote and support these games.’’
This was the final action in a thrilled packed festival of marvellous hurling where all players did their best for their Province. All players and supporters left the venue uplifted and with a smile in their face after a fantastic day of very competitive wheelchair hurling.
Finally genuine thanks to National GAA Games for All committee Brian Armitage and Tony Watene and Denis O’Boyle who ensured the finals ran smoothly. Also thanks to Connacht Council for their encouragement and support and particularly John Prenty Secretary and John Murphy, President.
Lastly, sincere thanks to the Connacht GAA Wheelchair Hurling /camogie team who competed admirably and played with great skill and determination: Pat Carty (Tourlestrane - Sligo), Aidan Hynes (Calry - Sligo), Stephen Melvin, Cpt- (Owenmore Gaels - Sligo), Shane Curran (Moycullen - Galway), Liam O’Boyle (Knockmore - Mayo), Peter Egan (Kilmovee - Mayo), Tom Fleming (Charlestown - Mayo), John Blake (Athenry, Galway), Padraig Keogh (Knock,Mayo) Coaches: Pat CartyTim Hynes. By Tim Hynes (Chairman Sligo GAA Games for All).