By Michael McHugh
The 2013 Edward Guilfoyle Memorial Handball Tournament was held at the Mall ball alley in Ballyshannon on Saturday afternoon last with weather the organisers could only have dreamed of, in early January.
Over 100 patrons turned out in glorious sunshine to witness a riveting and gripping encounter in the final between James Gormley/Barry Mulhern and Kevin Byrne/Sean Culliton.
Aided by gallons of water to quench the thirst and litres of sun screen to protect the ‘pale skins’ the final was preceded by an exhibition match between Denis McGuinness/Joel Smith and Michael Gallagher/Robert Lawn.
Those on court belied their age with some wonderful rallies, greatly appreciated by the partisan crowd with Gerry ‘Singer’ Gallagher entertaining the spectators with age statistics that would impress sports fans everywhere.
In the final itself, disaster nearly struck for former multiple All Army handball champion Kevin Byrne who was injured midway through the first game.
The University of Ulster Magee campus was a hive of Derry GAA nostalgia last night as personalities from the last eighty years congregated to celebrate the rich and colourful history of Gaelic games in the county.
Two hundred people packed into the university’s Great Hall before the event to view an exhibition of historical artifacts relating to the GAA in Derry. Proceedings began in earnest with a parade of many successful Derry captains from over the decades, including the likes of Jim McKeever of 1958, Henry Downey of 1993 and Mark Lynch of the present day.
While most of the personalities present were chiefly associated with football, the first half of the historical discussion focused on the rich hurling tapestry of Derry City and county. Newly discovered material detailing the playing of hurling in Derry City from the earliest days of the GAA, even before the first county board was formed in 1888, confounded many presumptions.
Following reports of an alleged incident at today’s Ulster GAA Club Football Final where it is alleged that a Crossmaglen Rangers player was the victim of racial abuse by at least one member of the kilcoo Co Down team Ulster GAA say they will investigate the matter and will deal with the alleged incident in line with the rules of the Official Guide of the Association.
In a statement issued last night they said that the GAA is an anti racist organisation by rule and will not tolerate in the strongest and most emphatic terms racist abuse of any type.
The claim was made by a member of the Cross team after the game, which they won 3-9 to 1-9 – their third on the trot.
Ulster will take on Munster on Sunday at the Morgan Athletic Grounds in Armagh for the M Donnelly Inter Provincial Football Championship Final. Throw-in is at 2pm.
Speaking ahead of the epic match Ulster GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail stated, “We are delighted to host the Inter Provincial Championship Final in Ulster. Read more
While the GAA inter provincial series – the old GAA Railway Cup as it was better known for many decades – gets a new lease of life in Sligo’s Markievicz Park this Sunday (throw-in 2pm) with Ulster playing Connacht, it appears that the long time Connacht GAA supremo is not at all pleased that the competition is continuing after a two-year break.
John Prenty, the Connacht GAA Secretary has maintained his opposition to the interprovincial series for some time – part of which must be the fact that its provincial footballers have not won the competition since 1969. Read more
Former Donegal GAA boss Brian McEniff has become a Louth selector
Former Donegal football manager Brian McEniff will become a Louth selector for 2012 or so we thought. He had a number of spells as Donegal manager the last of which saw him bringing them to the All Ireland semi final of 2003.
However, after the news was bandied all over the papers earlier this week, he told his local Donegal Democrat that this was not the case and that he was simply continuing on, as an advisor. So how did everyone get it so wrong?
He was the manager of the Donegal team that won the 1992 All Ireland senior final against Dublin.
He previously was involved in an advisory capacity to Louth Manager Peter Fitzpatrick over the past two years. McEniff was also the manager of the Ulster team for many Railway Cup victories.
The Ulster Council of the GAA have copnfirmed that the Dr McKenna Cup fixture this Sunday, between Donegal and UUJ originally scheduled for MacCumhaill Park at Ballybofey, has now been transferred to O’Donnell Park in letterkenny.
Throw in time remains at 2pm. See elsewhere on website for full fixture list this weekend.
Donegal v UUJ at Letterkenny Ref: M McErlane (Derry)
The Ulster GAA say they will be focusing on a family friendly ticket pricing structure for the 2011 Ulster Senior and Minor Football Finals. With significant reductions from the 2010 prices, the new pricing structures includes a group rate focused at GAA Clubs taking juveniles for the ‘50 4 50’ offer.
This allows a group of 50 people (Up to 45 children U16 and 5 Adults) to attend the Ulster Final for €50.
For families travelling to the games, tickets are available in all open seating sections of the stadium at a price of €25/£21 for adults and £5/€5 for Under 16’s. Read more
The Ulster Council GAA has welcomed a commitment by the NI Executive for a capital envelope for strategic and regional sports stadia development including a £60m re development of Casement Park, where Ulster Finals are set to take oplace once completed.
This confirms the existing commitment made to meet the strategic needs of the three largest governing bodies of sport in Northern Ireland, namely Ulster GAA, IFA and Ulster Rugby and we are grateful for their continued support.
In particular, Ulster GAA welcomes the commitment of Capital Funding for the re-development of Casement Park, Belfast in order to meet the GAA’s Strategic Stadium needs. We also look forward to exploring the potential of other future funding programmes to meet other GAA infrastructure needs, they said in a statement today. Read more