After topping last weekend’s group, Bríd Óg made the trip to the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena for the North Antrim league finals day. The Ógs were in the first match of the day against Eoghan Rua 2 from Coleraine.
Bríd Óg lined out with Roisha in goals, Ciara in defence, James and Ronan in midfield and Conor in attack.
The kids were told, as there was only one match today, to go at it right from the start and win the throw-in and so push their opponents back from the off. They did just that and were two goals ahead after about 30 seconds. First Conor and then James, straight from the poc out, scored. After that the Coleraine boys found their feet and replied with a goal of their own. But James again and Ronan both hit the back of the net and Bríd Óg went in with a comfortable 4-1 half time lead.
Patrick came on for Conor at the break and the players were told to just keep doing what they had been doing, keep things simple and stay focused. Eoghan Rua however came back at Bríd Óg. They reduced the margin to 2 goals with a powerful strike. Coaches on the sidelines were getting a little nervous as the Co Derry side kept up their attacks. Roisha pulled off a good save, tipping a strong shot around the post. James then sealed victory with another goal and completed his hat-trick. The last couple of minutes were played out without Bríd Óg being in any real danger of being pegged back. At the final whistle, the players celebrated a well deserved victory.
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The victorious squad had to wait until all the other finals were over for the presentation to commence. It was worth the wait as joint-captains Ronan and James were presented with the shield and the players received their trophies.
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It was great to be involved in finals day again and was fantastic to take a shield home again. For most of the players this was their first final and the first competition they have won. Hopefully, it will be the first of many. The exception to this was James, who was winning his third North Antrim title after playing in both the U8 and U10 finals last year.
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Thanks to our travelling support today. They can be very proud of the kids, not just today, but over the three weekends of hurling. Also, thanks to Frank for helping with the team today. And to Martin for helping last weekend. Finally, thanks to Owen Elliot and the rest of the organisers of North Antrim, for another well run competition.
Bríd Óg squad: Ciara, Conor, James, Patrick, Ronan, Roisha – plus Dara, Georgia and Nicholas who played in the group games.
Many thanks to Ciaran for the report and to Ciaran, Jennifer and North Antrim GAA Board for photos.