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Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship: Vienna Gaels collect important points as the race for the 2019 championship begins in Warsaw

The Vienna Gaels were in Warsaw last weekend as they had mixed results in round one of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship. Here’s club PRO, ladies team coach and men’s team benchwarmer Noel Fitzgerald with his report on the weekend’s action.

Men emerge from tough group to make semi-finals

It was an early start for our men’s team as they faced Cumann Warszawa B at 8:30 in the morning, in what could only be described as Arctic conditions. Early goals were key, as a hat-trick from John Baxter lead the Gaels to a 4-4 to 1-3 win over the young student side. It was Munich Colmcilles next, as our men struggled to eke past the Bavarian side by 1-5 to 0-3, John Baxter once again the deciding factor as his converted penalty was the key to victory. Finally, the men’s team management shuffled the pack somewhat for their final group game with Cumann Warszawa A with one eye on the semi-final tie later on in the day, slumping to a defeat which left them second in their group and still in the hunt for tournament honours.

New-look ladies side compete with vigour in their first outing of the year

Our ladies side fielded four debutants in what was yet another new look team at a regional tournament, and this naivety maybe showed itself a bit in their first game, while battling well, they fell to a defeat to defending regional champions Munich Colmcilles by 1-8 to 0-2. They upped the ante considerably for their second fixture however, going toe-to-toe with Cumann Warszawa B for the entire game in what was the game of the tournament for the club against the team who would eventually finish in third place overall. Warsaw struck early for a goal as they reaped the benefits of drawing on some experienced Cumann Warszawa A players, but the Gaelettes replied with a first goal for debutant Anneliese O’Malley. Level at half time, the Gaelettes went ahead for the first time with a point from Ciara Keenaghan, which Warsaw B replied to with a point of their own. Rachel Minogue then ticked over a point to put the Gaelettes ahead again, before tragedy looked to strike as Warsaw moved in on goal, only for goalkeeper Clara Meiners to put in a brave challenge, conceding a penalty in the process, which she then duly saved. The Gaelettes defence held stiff until the very last moment where Warsaw broke their hearts, their star player breaking forward to grab a second goal and take the game by 2-1 to 1-2. Finally, the Gaelettes lost their final group game to a well-stocked Prague Hibernians team by 0-5 to 0-4, putting them in the 7th/8th place playoff later on in the day.

Ladies finish seventh as they look with optimism to round two

Our ladies tend to save the best for last and this tournament was no different, as goals from Anneliese O’Malley and Ciara Keenaghan helped them to a 2-0 to 0-1 win over Berlin GAA B to seal seventh place and some valuable points in the 2019 Championship race, as they strive to better last year’s sixth place and Shield win. Rachel Minogue starred in midfield in her first appearances for the Gaels, while there were solid performances all over the field from usuals such as Zina Scimemi-O’Sullivan and Jenny Cockton. Hannah Riedler and Rachael Benéid were solid in their debuts, while Anneliese O’Malley secure the golden boot with her two goals. Ciara Keenaghan and Clara Meiners rotated being focal points for the team outfield with playing in goal, as this outing puts the ladies in good stead heading into round two of the championship in Prague.

Men’s side settle for third place as they’re caught off guard by Berlin once again in the semi-finals

Still sore from losing their grip on their regional title last year, the Gaels faced into their semi-final with Berlin GAA with much vigour. However, they were undone once again early on in the tie, as Berlin capitalised on Vienna’s kick-out difficulties to rack up a 1-6 to 0-1 lead by half time. This lead was compounded in the second half as our men’s side slumped to a fifth consecutive defeat to the reigning regional champions, who would then go on to take the final by the scruff of the neck against Cumann Warszawa A, eventually succumbing to a last second penalty against the side from the Polish capital.

This left our men’s side in a third/fourth place playoff with a Zurich Inneion/Lazio team, who had made the semi-finals courtesy of a win over Prague Hibernians. Shuffling the pack once again for this tie, the Gaels led early through a Noel Fitzgerald fisted goal, only to be cancelled out by a goal for the Swiss/Italian side. Bernie Motal then broke forward to put one in the bottom corner before debutant Cullen Holas and Zurich/Lazio traded points, to leave the Gaels ahead by 2-1 to 1-1 at the half-time break. The second half was a more terse affair, as Zurich scored a second goal to level the scores and both sides missed chances to go ahead from placed balls, before Ciarán Roe zipped down by the byline to cut the ball back for Noel Fitzgerald to score a point from close range. The Gaels held out for the remainder of the game thanks to some last-ditch defending and a large portion of luck as Zurich/Lazio missed a series of convertible frees, to take the win and third place by 2-2 to 2-1.

This result also leaves the Gaels in third place in the Championship race, within four points of rivals Berlin GAA in second, with first place Cumann Warszawa not expected to field sides for the rest of the championship. John Sullivan, John Baxter, Cormac Walsh and debutant Ciarán Roe led from the front for the Gaels in this tournament, while Stephen Walsh, Justin Walker, Jimmy Cunningham, Victor Deseille and Bernie Motal put in dependable performances at the back. Brian Eiffe and Cullen Holas made encouraging debuts, while Darren Gleeson was commendable in goal after being thrust into action following Alan McKenna’s injury in the group stages.

May looms large as a huge month of action for the Vienna Gaels

For now Vienna Gaels eyes turn towards the first ever hosting of a European Hurling and Camogie tournament in the Austrian capital on May 4th, as well as the second hosting of a children’s Cúl camp on the 25th and 26th of May, before round two of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship in Prague on the 1st of June. Stay in touch with the Gaels for news on all of the above by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and the Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group!

 

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Central/Eastern European Football Championship: Gaels head to Warsaw as 2019 campaign begins

All planes and trains are leading to Warsaw this weekend as the Vienna Gaels send full men’s and women’s teams to the Polish capital for round one of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship. Here’s Noel Fitzgerald with the latest from the Austrian GAA club.

A new season rises from the ashes of a poor 2018

The 2018 season began with a strong Vienna Gaels squad heading for Rome for round one of the Central/Eastern championship. Coming through the back door, the men’s team came second to an energetic Cumann Warszawa team, while our ladies claimed their first win of the year, beating the Slovak Shamrocks en route to a sixth place finish. Next up was the short hop to our neighbours in Bratislava, as our men slipped up to rivals Berlin GAA in the final despite a brave comeback, while our ladies had a disappointing day out. Augsburg was a similarly poor day out for the Gaels, as the men slipped to a third place finish while our ladies claimed fourth. Finally, the Gaels sent arguably their strongest squads all year to the final round of the championship in Berlin, where our men were undone by a cunning Berlin GAA side on home turf, while our ladies claimed their first silverware of the year, taking home the Central/Eastern Ladies Shield after a win over a combined Slovak/Prague side. The Pan-Euros in Maastricht offered more silverware for our ladies side, bringing home the ladies plate after another win over their neighbours from Slovakia, while three of our men were unlucky to come up short in the men’s Junior final.

2019 season on the horizon while the Gaels send strong teams to Warsaw

While 2018 brought the Gaels men’s team another spate of trophies, they were of the second and third variety. After reclaiming the Danube Winter Indoor League early in the year, in 2019 they will be looking to reverse that trend, starting in Warsaw this Saturday. Debuts will be handed to Ciaran Roe, Brian Eiffe and Cullen Holas, as they join a host of experienced faces in what is a considerably strong team. With reigning Central/Eastern champions Berlin GAA and the perenially youthful Cumann Warszawa to challenge however, they will have their work cut out.

Meanwhile, our ladies side continues their regeneration, with debuts handed to Rachael Beneid, Rachel Minogue, Johanna Probst, Anneliese O’Malley and Hannah Riedler. Clara Meiners skippers the side, as the only lady travelling to have featured for the team who made her debut for the team before 2018. With the newcomers injecting some youth into the side, hopes are high our ladies team will be causing some upsets over the highly fancied Munchen Colmcilles and Cumann Warszawa sides.

Follow our progress on the day!

With a raft of big games on the menu for the Vienna Gaels teams, stay in touch by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and the Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group, as your PRO strives to provide the best GAA coverage in all of Poland. A huge day of action awaits!

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Vienna Gaels gear up for 2019 as Gaelic football training returns and final Spring Handball league looms

It’s been a busy pre-season for the Vienna Gaels as they plan for European GAA domination across three codes. Here’s Noel Fitzgerald with a summary of the latest news from the club.

Handball continues apace in Vienna as the Gaels are represented in London

Our handball heroes are hitting the road again as Darren ‘The Destroyer’ Gleeson, Brendan “The Galway Grinder” Maguire and Simon “Deignomite” Deignan compete this weekend at the Euro1wall UK Open 2019 in London. Taking part in the Singles event on the Saturday and Doubles on the Sunday, the boys have been training hard at handball each Saturday at our specially made handball walls in Hietzing. With an official European ranking up for grabs, all will be to play for!

Meanwhile, in round one of our 2019 handball leagues, taking place each Saturday at our handball venue in Hietzing, Bernie “The Body” Motal claimed the spoils in League A, while Clara “The Axe” Meiners won the gold in League B. Round two has already begun, with new players always welcome to join in on the fun!

Gaelic Football training returns to Vienna for the 2019 season

With a huge season ahead for the Vienna Gaels football squads, training has resumed at the usual base of Meireiestrasse 33, each Monday at 8 pm. With the annual Danube Indoor League up first in March, the Gaels sights are set firmly on Warsaw, as round one of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship brings our men’s and ladies teams to the Polish capital. Both squads will be hard at work over the coming months, as our men’s team look to reclaim their Central/Eastern Regional title, while our ladies look to build on an encouraging 2018.

Gaels to take prominent part in Vienna St. Patrick’s Day 2019 festivities

The Vienna St. Patrick’s parade takes part this year on the 16th of March at 12 noon, meeting at the Schottenstift for 11.45 am. All members of the Gaels, especially our Cúl Camp participants from last year are encouraged to join in for the parade. The Gaels will then be demonstrating some of their Gaelic Football and Hurling skills on the green at Stiegl Ambulanz that afternoon, all members, current and prospective, welcome!

Fresh faces for 2019

After a successful 2018, Katie Riley and Anna Psintrou stepped down from their posts of Secretary and Vice Treasurer. The club owes a huge debt of gratitude to both for their fantastic work for the club. In their place, Cian Scollard was promoted to the post of Secretary, with Stephen Walsh filling the vacated position of Vice Secretary. Ciara Keenaghan was elected to the role of Vice Treasurer. Jimmy Cunningham remains Chairperson of the committee, Anita Deignan is staying on as Treasurer, Noel Fitzgerald continues as PRO, with finally Clara Meiners remaining as Health and Wellbeing Officer once again.

Vienna Gaels Committee 2019

  • Jimmy Cunningham – Chairperson
  • Anita Deignan – Treasurer
  • Ciara Keenaghan – Vice Treasurer
  • Cian Scollard – Secretary
  • Stephen Walsh – Vice Secretary
  • Noel Fitzgerald – Public Relations Officer
  • Clara Meiners – Health and Wellbeing Officer
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Cúltec European Camogie & Hurling Championship Finals 2018: Hurlers take to Amsterdam in search of shield glory

Our hurlers have been on one big, long adventure this season and it all comes to a head this Saturday as the final round of the Cúltec European Camogie & Hurling Championship Finals 2018 brings them to Amsterdam. Here’s Noel FitzGerald with a recap on their exploits to date along with a preview of this weekend’s excitement.

2018 kicks off with shock victory in Dresden

The season began on a high, with a Peter Mongey-inspired side recovering from a contentious defeat to Dresden in the group stage to beat Berlin GAA and the Earls of Leuven en route to winning the club’s first ever hurling tournament shield trophy, just seven months on from claiming the club’s first plate title, also in Dresden. Robert ‘Ice’ McMahon and Alan ‘Chili’ McKenna made their sole appearances to date this year, with the former overcoming many obstacles on the way to slipping the winning point over in the shield final, while Chili brought his dogged footballing attributes to a new stage.

Strong start continues with a good performance in Berlin

The Gaels kept up the momentum at the next round of the championship in Berlin, emerging out of their group on top before running into a tough Amsterdam outfit, giving in a strong show before coming out six point losers. They rounded off the day with a win however, taking a well deserved victory over perennial cup side, Den Haag GAA. Jack Rea made a sparkling debut, while Matthew Dane and Noel FitzGerald scored outrageous points, capping Matthew’s time with the Gaels off in fine fashion.

Gaels field a side with Setanta Berlin for round three in Hamburg

Seven Gaels along with a manager made the trip to Hamburg for round three of the championship for their debut in the cup bracket of the competition, where the gulf in class was evident. Finishing eighth overall, those points collected may prove crucial in the race for the overall shield trophy. Tom Birch was a standout performer in this round, with some outstanding goalkeeping performances from the Aussie.

Round four in Den Haag sees more crucial points collected in shield race

Finally, the Gaels headed to the Hague for the penultimate round of the championship. Once more starting in the cup bracket of the tournament, they fought hard for every ball against top sides from Belgium, Hamburg and Amsterdam, coming bottom in the group and looking at a shield semi-final against overall shield rivals, Dresden. A potentially critical loss there has made the last tournament in Amsterdam that bit tougher for the Gaels, who placed seventh in the tournament. Luckily for some of our more illustrious Gaels, they found time to recuperate their courageously earned injuries in a nearby spa.

All boils down to final round in Amsterdam

Manager Kilian Smith brings what is both the largest and strongest hurling squad in Gaels history to the final round of the championship in Amsterdam, finally getting both the steely defence as well as attacking firepower to be able to compete with any of the sides they will face in the Dutch capital. Peter Mongey returns, as Jack Rea makes his swansong for the side. There are season debuts for John Baxter and Cian Scollard, while cup enthusiast Eamonn Boland returns with the hope of completing an entire tournament of ballsy performances.

First up, our men face the combination side of Setanta Berlin and Dresden B, after which the Gaels face the Viking Gaels and then a combination side of Leuven, Zurich and Den Haag B. After that will be the all-important play off round, where the Gaels will be aiming to take both the tournament shield trophy, as well as the overall championship shield. A three point swing is necessary for the Gaels to overtake rivals Dresden, in what is sure to be a dramatic day of action.

Follow us on the day

The action kicks off early on Saturday morning, don’t forget to keep in touch by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and the Vienna Gaels Whatsapp group!

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Central/Eastern European Football Championship: Strong squads travel for the Gaels in search of glory in the German capital

After what has been a somewhat disappointing campaign so far for the Gaels in the Gaelic Games Europe Central/Eastern Football Championship, they head for Berlin for the final round of the championship with our men’s team in with an outside chance of retaining their championship title, while our ladies are in search of some morale-boosting wins. Here’s Noel FitzGerald with the important information coming into the tournament.

The story so far

The campaign kicked off in Rome in April, as our ladies started the season with a win over neighbours, the Slovak Shamrocks on the way to finishing sixth in the tournament, while our men came through the ‘back door’ route to meet a familiar foe in the final, losing out to a strong Cumann Warszawa side.

Next up was the short trip to Bratislava in May, where our ladies had a disappointing day while our men lost in the final again, this time to Berlin, as a two-goal blitz in the second half wasn’t enough to keep in touch with the team from the German capital.

Finally, the club travelled to Augsburg, where an understrength men’s side finished third, John Baxter picking up the ‘player of the tournament’ gong while our ladies did enough to finish fourth.

These results have lead us to positions of second place for the men and sixth for the ladies heading into this weekend’s round of action.

Strong squads aim for glory in the German capital

The Vienna Gaels men’s team can call on a host of familiar names who return to the squad after absences this season such as John Sullivan, Diarmuid ‘The Dragon’ O’Riain, Niall Colleran and Darren Gilbert, while also giving debuts to Christopher Spath, Jacobo Suarez and Cormac Walsh. While an overall championship win may well be out of their grasp, requiring a tournament win with Berlin finishing fourth at best, the tournament on the day is up for grabs and this squad and team management have been hard at work plotting for this win. In their way will be what is sure to be a strong host side from Berlin, a Munich side which tasted their first victory over the Gaels for quite some time in Augsburg, along with potential wildcards Setanta Berlin, who make their footballing debut, Zurich, Lazio and a range of combined teams from across the region.

Meanwhile, our ladies side continue their regeneration, bringing six ladies to combine with Setanta Berlin and Dresden to form a team for the day. Of the six, three are still in their first season with the Gaels, including debutante Becky Sprowl, while two of the more established trio are still in their teens. Clara Meiners skippers the squad once again, as our ladies search for another win to cap off the season.

Follow us on the day

The action kicks off early on Saturday morning, don’t forget to keep in touch by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and the Vienna Gaels Whatsapp group!