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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!

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News and updates from the Gaels – August 2018

Despite the summer break from regional GAA action, life with the Vienna Gaels has been busy nonetheless. Here’s Noel Fitzgerald with a recap of recent goings-on.

Vienna Gaels Summer Party 2018

The annual Vienna Gaels Summer Party takes place on the 18th of August, 2 pm at our regular football training pitch at Meiereistraße 20, 1020 Wien. Fun and frolics are guaranteed, as we have planned for a barbeque as well as lots of games for both young and old. All club members, supporters, friends and family are more than welcome to join. The theme is Caribbean, so wear your flowery best!

Hurlers quest continues on to Den Haag after Hamburg adventure

Our hurlers, led by captain Stephen Walsh and coached by manager Kilian Smith headed for round three of the Cúltec European Hurling and Camogie Championship 2018 in Hamburg where they teamed up with Setanta Berlin, finishing eighth in the tournament. The next trip up for them is to Den Haag, where they made their 2017 hurling debut, in the hope of picking up more points before the European finals in Amsterdam in October.

Footballers to conclude 2018 regional championship in Berlin

After a third place finish for our men’s football team in Augsburg along with two second place finishes in Rome and Bratislava, the 2018 Central/Eastern European Regional Championship comes to a head in Berlin next month, as the Gaels aim to claim their first football tournament win of the year. Meanwhile, our ladies team look for a strong finish to the regional championship after sixth place finishes in Rome and Bratislava along with a fourth place finish in Augsburg.

Dearg Doom and Glas Goblins come out on top in Charlie P’s Summer League

The inaugural Charlie P’s Vienna Gaels Summer League was a resounding success, with three action-packed rounds culminating in with the final result being decided in the very last game of eighteen, with mother-and-son duo Anna NigFhloinn and Ultán MacGabhann playing key roles as Dearg Doom beating the Glas Goblins to tie at the top of the table, with the Gorm Gorillas being tied with the Bán Banshees in second place. As their prize, both winning teams received a free drink kindly provided by tournament sponsors, Charlie P’s.

Simon Deignan and Darren Gleeson feature in Irish Times as Vienna ranks number one for living standards

Big news for Vienna as the Austrian capital ranked number one in The Economist’s ‘Global Livability Index’ for the first time. The Irish Times covered this with an article featuring prominent Gaels, Simon Deignan and Darren Gleeson, which can be read here. Meanwhile, Kilian Smith arranged for the Gaels to be mentioned by Shane Coleman on Newstalk FM back in Ireland while discussing hurling documentary ‘The Game’, which can be listened in to here in the final eight minutes of the show. Well done lads! To keep in touch with us on further media outlets, don’t forget to keep in touch by following us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter and the Vienna Gaels Whatsapp group!

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Vienna Gaels Hurlers head for Hamburg after another successful outing in Berlin

Seven intrepid Vienna Gaels hurlers and their coach will be taking to the field in Hamburg this weekend for round three of the Cultec European Hurling and Camogie Championship 2018, as the race for the overall Shield title hots up after winning eight out of ten games played thus far this season. Here’s Noel Fitzgerald with a recap of the events in Berlin, as well as a preview to the Hamburg round.

Strong start sets Vienna Gaels up well for Berlin Shield competition

The Gaels brought another strong squad of twelve hurlers, a coach and one camogie player to Berlin for round two of the Cultec European Hurling and Camogie Championship 2018, with debuts for Jack Rea and Ganesha Galhaup.

In the group stage, the Gaels faced into three games, knowing that the more wins they picked up, the better placed they were for the Shield competition later in the day, thus they tore in Setanta Berlin B, taking an early lead, however the Setanta side kept in contention throughout the first half with an important goal. The Gaels steadied themselves in the second half however, coming out on top with a 2-4 to 1-2 win. It was in the second game against Hamburg B where they really revved their engines, coming in at half time four points to the good thanks to good work from Diarmuid ‘The Dragon’ O’ Riain, only for Hamburg to have a bit of a revival early in the second half. The Gaels recovered well, with outstanding points from Matthew Dane and Noel Fitzgerald the standouts in a 1-8 to 0-2 win. They rolled on to the final group stage game against Darmstadt GAA, where they really felt the tenacity of the all-German side, however goals win games, and the Gaels managed to squeeze the life out of the blue-robed side with a 4-4 to 0-2 win.

Vienna Gaels join Luxembourg GAA for Katie Riley’s European camogie swansong

For the Vienna Gaels’ sole camóg to date, Katie Riley, she teamed up with Luxembourg GAA in their quest to topple long-term rivals Belgium GAA. Their day started well, picking up an easy win over Setanta Berlin, Katie among the scorers, however they were outdone by perennial rivals Belgium A in the other group game, pitting them against Hamburg GAA in the 3rd place play off. A goal for Luxembourg was the deciding factor here in a low-scoring affair, picking up Riley’s last piece of silverware before she heads off on her next adventure.

Gaels run into some tough Benelux opposition in Shield competition

Taking with them the highest possible seeding they could from their first place group finish, the Gaels then faced Amsterdam GAA in the Shield semi-finals, whom would prove to be their most difficult opponents this year to date. Battling valiantly, what had so far proved a useful tactic of raining ball in on top of full forwards Noel Fitzgerald and Diarmuid O’ Riain wasn’t bearing as much fruit as previously, and the Gaels headed in to the break behind the Dutch side. However, they stuck to the task, and goals from Noel Fitzgerald and Barry Lunn gave the Gaels hope, narrowing the gap to three points, before Amsterdam would employ a sweeper to close the game out, winning by six points and ending the Gaels’ Shield hopes. They would cap the day off with their first-ever win over Den Haag GAA in the third place playoff, Jack Rea goals being the decisive factor as the Gaels collected their eighth win out of ten games this season so far.

Points race heats up as Gaels head for Hamburg

A strong squad, led by captain Stephen Walsh and coached by manager Kilian Smith head for round three of the Cultec European Hurling and Camogie Championship 2018 in Hamburg as the race for points in the Cultec European Hurling and Camogie Championship Shield hots up. Currently the Gaels are well placed, with 24 points so far thanks to results in Dresden and Berlin. 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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First-ever Vienna Gaels Cúl Camp a resounding success

Wanted to thank you again for a wonderful camp over the weekend. My girls are already asking when the next puck around will be!

Our kids had a great time today! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped! You’ve put on a great camp.

We did it. What a treat!

Just some of the wonderful praise showered on our sixteen-strong group of volunteers who gave their weekends and much more towards ensuring an enjoyable first-ever Vienna Gaels Cúl Camp could be run smoothly on the 2nd and 3rd of June, kindly sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, Austria and with equipment kindly provided by CLG Na Fianna, Co. Dublin.

Kids enjoy learning GAA skills

Participants hailed from Vienna, Bratislava and some even flew in for the weekend from Ireland. They were introduced to the fundamentals of the GAA sports of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Rounders through some fun introductory drills by teams of Vienna Gaels volunteers. Each participant received their lunch on both days and some Cúl Camp gear for their troubles, along with some lovely certificates, documenting their participation in the camp. The weekend wrapped up with the beginning of a “Participants v Parents” Gaelic Football match tradition, which the children won thanks to their newly developed skills!

Gaels look to the future as demand for childrens GAA increases

Given the enjoyment clear on the (exhausted!) faces of both camp participants and volunteers, it’s fair to say that the camp was a resounding success. The next big goal for the Vienna Gaels youth committee will be the implementation of a regular childrens GAA sessions. For now, the next big family event for the Gaels will be the annual summer party, due to take place in mid-August. All participants and parents who took part in the Cúl Camp are encouraged to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while club gear can be ordered for parents and children alike, please enquire at committee@gaavienna.at!

World Cup Sweepstakes Fundraiser

The Vienna Gaels would also like to highlight our World Cup Sweepstakes fundraiser, with all profits made going directly towards the running of the club. Participants will be given two teams at random, one from the top 16 teams and one from the bottom. The winning team will win their owner €50, runner up will win €20, third place will win €10, as will last place. To take part costs €10, with all proceeds after the winnings going towards the club. Please contact committee members (Jimmy, Anita, Clara, Katie, Cian, Anna or Noel) to enter or e-mail us at committee@gaavienna.at , closing date for entry is kickoff for the Russia-Saudi Arabia game on Thursday the 14th of June.