North Antrim GAA awards dinner

The North Antrm Board awards dinner made a welcome return to the Marine Hotel on Ballycaslte on Friday night afte the lockdown break where the trophies won by clubs in the division were handed out.

The Saffron Gael went along to capture the action.

Dunloy representatives who picked up a series of awards at the North Antrim dinner in the Marine Hotel.
The Loughgiel representatives at the North Antrim dinner in the Marine Hotel

Naomh Mhuire Achadh Gallain Gala Ball, Celebrating 40 Years, 1982 – 2022.

St Marys Aghagallon celebrated a major landmark for their club at the Carrickdale Hotel Dundalk on Saturday night with a great night’s entertainment laid on for the many patrons in attendance.  With a host of special presentations, raffles and spot prizes and music throughout the evening the guests were indeed treated to a fun filled event.

St Marys were proud to have in attendance a special guest to help celebrate the 40 years of the Club with An Uachtaran CLG, Larry Mc Carthy, who enjoyed a wonderful evening of St Mary’s hospitality and friendship.

With such a packed itinerary for the evening it was hard to keep up with all the events such was the buzz and excitement amongst the guests. After a drinks reception guests were entertained with a special poignant video presentation highlighting the founding of the club and the significant strides the club has made. Amongst the founding fathers remembered and those who gave sterling support 40 years ago were, John Mc  Stravick, Arthur Loughran, Seamus Walsh and Ivan Lavery. The presentation went on to showcase the wonderful community spirit with in the club and how this can be developed.

Following a beautiful meal the light entertainment then was in the offing when the highly entertaining, Adrian Logan MC for the evening came into his own and had the patrons roaring with laughter as he took charge of some great raffles and spot prizes. We welcomed our four senior County players back to the Carrickdale after coming so close to beating Down in Newry. Amongst them were Adam Loughran and Ruarai Mc Cann who put in a tremendous performance in the game.

Current Chair Columb Walsh addressed the guests and gave a rousing speech which inspired everyone as he outlined the success of the club and where it is at present and where the club is heading for the future. The President, Larry Mc Carthy then presented the major awards of the night. Camogie presentations were made to Veronica Branagan and Méabh Lenehan. Annual Awards were presented and important work in the club as recognised as James Kelly and Sinead Walsh received awards. The Minor team, County Champions 2021 and management were awarded with another accolade from ABC Council. Broangh Lennon who puts a tremendous effort into Scor at County, Ulster and All Ireland level was presented with a special award for her dedication and this hot on the heels of a Presidents Award the previous night in Dublin. Maith thu, Bronagh.

Bronagh Lennon, who received the Presidents Award from GAA President Larry McCarthy at Croke Park the previous night, got a second go at it at her own club’s dinner on Saturday at the Carrickdale

The blue riband Senior Football award, the ‘Paddy Barnes’ trophy was richly deserved  by  Ciaran Magennis and  Senior Reserve player Gabhan Baine. The club recipients of the Devenish Antrim All Star Awards were marked for the past two years as five of our club players were awarded with a special mementos; Gareth Magee, Adam Loughran, Ruarai Mc Cann, Pat Branigan and Eunan Walsh.

The President then made an address to a hushed audience and he complimented St Marys on the work the club is doing in particular for the youth of the area. The President also commented on how close our Senior footballers have come in recent years to winning the County Championship and he wished the club every success in achieving our goals. The President was then presented with a special basket of locally made speciality food items and other mementos of Aghagallon. A standing ovation and warm applause for the special guest and Columb Walsh wrapped up the awards and he asked everyone to enjoy the great music and dancing to follow late into the night.

Our well known ‘photo man’, Bert Trowlen was on hand to take our fantastic pictures on a busy night for him and the camera.

South West Go Games under way

Sunday morning saw the South West Antrim Go Games schedule kick into life, with the P6 & P7 ages first into action.

All 16 South West Antrim clubs were represented this morning over two venues, Allen Park in Antrim and Crumlin Leisure Centre.
Making good use of the council owned 3G pitches, to get the children back out with a ball in their hand as early as possible in the year.

These games will continue over the coming weeks, with the younger ages also getting game time, before a full Go Games schedule coming into play after Easter.

Health & Wellbeing event at St. Mary’s GAC Ahoghill

Today St.Mary’s GA&CC Ahoghill held a health & wellbeing event aimed at their players, management, parents & local community. The day included a guest speaker line up including; Domhnall Nugent, Antrim Hurler and founder of “Let’s face it, you can you will”, who told his inspirational story of his own experiences, Neil McManus, Antrim hurler who spoke to the audience comprehensively about leadership using his own extensive experience and knowledge and Gareth Fox a performance psychologist who has recently worked with Watty Graham Glen footballers, who talked about focus on and off the pitch. The speakers were then followed by Mark McNally of Bremar Training who provided PITCH training, which aims to increase awareness of how positive mental health can be achieved.

Tracy Hardy the Club’s Health & Wellbeing Officer said, “I wanted the day to be varied and to cut across many aspects of wellbeing and increase awareness of how positive mental health can be achieved. I was delighted when all three guest speakers agreed to be part of the day, it wouldn’t have happened without them. They each brought with them a wealth of unique knowledge, experience and tips. If even one person is able to use today to help themselves or someone close to them, in my eyes the day was a success. As ours Club’s Health & Wellbeing Officer, it’s my aim to ensure that the agenda of health and wellbeing and promoting good mental health is always one of our top priorities. We as a Club are very lucky our Chairman, Gerald McGarry and entire committee are very supportive of this work and we want to ensure that the key messages filter right down to our young members so they know they always have support and that their Club is a safe place to talk. 

Noreen Graham Senior Camogie player spoke about the event and said, “The whole day was very enjoyable and will change how I think about aspects on and off the pitch. All speakers linked their topics to sport, work and everyday life. The way Domhnall shared his story and told us how asking for help saved his life was inspirational to everyone in the room and will hopefully help if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation. The whole day confirmed how lucky we are to be involved in an organisation like the GAA and a club like ours. “

Tracy along with all those at St.Marys GA&CC Ahoghill would like to sincerely thank Mark, Neil, Domhnall and Gareth for making the day happen and be the success it was.

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Prenter steers Antrim to opening win over Fermanagh

Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 4, Group A 

Antrim 1-13 Fermanagh 1-6

A virtuosi performance from Orlaith Prenter steered Antrim Ladies to their first win of the season when they beat familiar foes Fermanagh in Sunday’s LGFA Division 4A opener at Davitt Park.

The Moneyglass maestro displayed her wide range of skills, especially in the first half, to guide the Saffron clad girls to a convincing win, sending over points with left foot, right foot, hitting five of her team’s first six scores. That other score came from Aoife Taggart who was on hand to stab the ball home after a Prenter free landed a bit short and was palmed into her path by Fermanagh goalkeeper Gleeson.

Antrim were seven to the good at the break, which was not an insurmountable hurdle, given the strength of the breeze. But, just as they had done in the first half the Antrim defence were in control, and though Fermanagh spent a lot more time in the Antrim half than they had in the first, the home side were never really too badly challenged.

When they did journey upfield they were much better in front of goal than their opponents, and Lara Dahusi hit two great scores to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Prenter saw a lot less of the ball than she had in the first half, but a point she scored from play from the right corner was worth the admission alone, turning her marker in the right corner before cutting in a curling one over with the left.

A confident start for the All Ireland Junior Champions, whose sights this year are surely set on promotion. London are calling on their next outing as they travel to Ruislip to take on the exiles, who lost out to the other team in the group, Carlow, on Sunday. If they get through that challenge then they are back in Belfast on March 5th for a vital clash with the Carlow girls in what should be a cracking game.

ANTRIM: A McCann; D Coleman, E Ferran, N McIntosh; S Tennyson, C Brown, S O’Neill; A Mulholland, L Dahunsi (0-2); T Mellon, C Carey, A Tubridy; B Devlin (0-1), O Prenter (0-9, 3 frees), A Taggart (1-1)

Subs: O Corr for T Mellon (37), C Taggart for A Tubridy (44), A Kelly for S Tennyson (48), B Cahill for A Taggart (53)

Yellow cards: A Mulholland (48), C Taggart (53)

FERMANAGH: R Gleeson; E Keenan, M McGloin, E Murphy; C Bogue, C Murphy, S McCarville; SJ Flanagan, A O’Brien; R O’Reilly (0-1 free), D Maguire (0-5, all frees), S Britton; B Bannon, N McManus, L Grew (1-0)

Subs: E McMahon for S Britton (44), C Martin for L Grew (45), A Maguire for C Bogue (46), A McCabe for B Bannon (57), E Tierney for SJ Flanagan (60+1)

Yellow cards: C Bogue (18), A O’Brien (45)

REFEREE: Christopher Morgan (Down)