Táimid ag an Seaimpíní! [We are the champions!] Glasgow claim British Gaelic Football crown

Published

Gregory Naughton

Glasgow University G.F.C. delivered a masterclass in Birmingham, to win back to back British championships after an emphatic triumph over John Moores Liverpool.
The road to victory started with a tough quarter-final against 2011 division 2 champions Bangor University. The snowy Birmingham conditions under foot made the match a messy affair with the breaking ball in the middle of the park being vital for victory. Lead by the talismanic Rory McKeever, Glasgow dominated the first half until Bangor scored a late penalty just before half time bringing them right back into the game. The second half started similarly to the first with early points from Daniel Nolan giving Glasgow a commanding lead. Bangor made a number of substitutions and changed tactics ten minutes into the second half which worked well in their favour pulling themselves back into the game. Bangor pushed forward and got within two points of Glasgow. With minutes left to spare a quick counter attack from the Glasgow back line, sent through midfielder Chris Curran who scored his first goal of the season putting the game to bed.

The semi-final draw was made late on Friday night with Glasgow University facing local rivals Glasgow Caledonian University. Caledonian went in strong favourites after an undefeated league campaign, including numerous victories against the University of Glasgow. Conditions on the Saturday had improved yet the ground was still hard but the snow had melted allowing for a fast paced game. The first half was equal with the scores level at the interval. The second half started with a change in tactics by manager Séan Ó Moráin, sweeper Ronan Morris going to left half back and Rory McKeever pushing forward to the half forward line. The game remained tight and tempered with yellow cards being shown to both teams. In the dying minutes of the match Glasgow again produced a sharp counter attack with Charles Gallagher putting a low through ball to Half Back Gregory Naughton, who was fouled in the box after a late tackle by the Caledonian full back. Daniel Nolan stepped up to take the penalty; his shot rattled off the crossbar and went in, effectively winning the match.Heroic performances by defenders Colman Doyle and Eamonn Harkin aided man of the match, Goalkeeper Seamus Daly in keeping a clean sheet.

The final between Univeristy of Glasgow and John Moores Liverpool took place in Coventry at the same venue where Glasgow won their first British Championships in 2011. With a new fresh young side including thirteen freshers in the panel it was time for this new squad to make their own history. After a powerful pre-match team talk from manager Séan Ó Moráin and strong words from experienced players Aidan Kerlin and Eóin O’Kane the players knew the challenge ahead of them. The talented John Moores side dominated the first fifteen minutes of the game with their county players taking control of the game. Early substitute Alan Mahon brought invaluable pace to the full forward line. After a long spell of Glasgow being on the back foot, a great solo effort by Charles Gallagher just before the half hour mark was rewarded with a stunning goal to give Glasgow the lead going into the break. John Moores came out the stronger team at the restart scoring an early goal to retake the lead. But with two quick goals in succession by Glasgow just moments later turned the flow of the game in Glasgow’s favour. John Moores pressed hard and used their number 15 to great effect, scoring numerous points without return. But a fantastic performance in the middle of the park, by player of the tournament Niall Nolan allowed Glasgow to take control of the game in the final ten minutes. With two late points by Aidan Kerlin and Rory McKeever, Glasgow were able to extend their lead. The final whistle was blown and Glasgow were crowned British Champions.