Photographs: Ciaran O’Brolchain
Gort na Móna took home the Antrim Féile Peile na nÓg A trophy on Saturday 6th May in a day of closely-fought contests at Naomh Éanna.
They began the group stage with the first game against St Paul’s, who were ahead 1-1 to 0-2 at the break. The Gort lads showed their grit and tenacity in the second half though, which would hold them in good stead for the rest of the day. A goal from Barry El Ouahta helped them to a 1-6 to 1-2 win in the end.
St Gall’s also defeated St Paul’s in their game, 2-4 to 2-1, meaning that the winner of the last group game would proceed to the final. It was another tight game, and St Gall’s went into half-time up 0-2 to 0-1. Once again the boys from Gort na Móna fought back in the second half and Ruairí Ó Scolláin’s goal was the difference in the end, the match ending 1-3 to 0-3.
Naomh Éanna came through the other side from another tight group to set up the final, which took place on their grounds in Hightown.
Gort na Móna opened the scoring with an early point from Keelan McCann, but Naomh Éanna responded quickly from a free to make it level. Aodhán O’Hanlon then scored two quick points from frees to put the Gorts up 0-3 to 0-1, but a Naomh Éanna score with the last kick of the first half left the smallest margin between the sides.
Aodhán O’Hanlon scored again at the start of the second period, followed quickly by Keelan McCann to put three between them. Naomh Éanna pulled one back but there was an immediate response from the Gorts and a Marcus Austin point kept the margin at three.
This led to a tense closing period as the clock wound down and Naomh Éanna threw everything at the Gorts in an effort to find a goal. The Gort na Móna back line did trojan work however and they also threatened more scores themselves. In the end Naomh Éanna had to make do with a stoppage time consolation point to finish the game at 0-6 to 0-4 and a Féile victory for the young men from Turf Lodge.
The Gort lads would like to thank their mentors – Michael Keenan, Rónán Ó Scolláin, Paul Cordner and Pádraig McHugh – for all of their work with the team. Also all of the match officials, the Gaelfast workers, the people at St Enda’s who hosted the final, everyone who helped to put on a great day of football. Finally to all of the clubs for a great tournament that we are sure was nail-biting for all the coaches, parents, friends and family who watched.
The day capped off a great achievement for the Gort na Móna lads – having won the B hurling Féile just three weeks ago they are double county Féile champions for 2023 and now look forward to playing against teams from all over the country in both codes in the next stages of the national Féile.