The next outing in a very busy June for the Vienna Gaels is here, as the club sends a cohort of hurlers to round two of the European Hurling Championship in Brussels this weekend. Here’s Noel FitzGerald with the latest on our heroes with the stick and ball.
Lightened squad makes its way to Brussels
Coach Kilian Smith brings a squad of seven Gaels to the Belgian capital, melding seasoned campaigners such as Darren Gleeson and Tom Birch with relative newbies such as Ruairi Joyce, making his second appearance for the Gaels after his outing in round one of the championship in Vienna. With lower numbers than the previous tournament, the Gaels are also calling on the services of one player from regional neighbours Zurich Inneoin, along with two players from the Paris Gaels.
Third seeds Vienna face into tough opening fixtures on the day
After the roaring success that was round one of the Championship in Vienna, both on and off the field, the Vienna Gaels come into this tournament seeded third overall, reflecting the placing in the current championship standings. This does however place them in a tough group on Saturday in the cup bracket of the tournament, as they face perennial cup challengers Luxembourg and Amsterdam. Game one throws in at 9 am, as the Gaels face a rematch with Luxembourg after coming out seven point losers at round one in Vienna, while game two throws in at 10.40 am, the Gaels meeting Amsterdam for the first time since denying them the big-margin win required for Amsterdam to progress to the cup semi-finals in Den Haag last September.
Follow our progress!
It’s shaping up to be another dramatic day for our hurling side. Stay in touch by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group. A huge day of action awaits!
The next event for the Vienna Gaels in the busy summer period is here, as the club sends a full men’s team and a cohort of ladies players to Prague for round two of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship. Here’s Noel Fitzgerald with the latest news from the Austrian club heading into the tournament.
Men’s team face into a busy day as they look to improve on Warsaw outing
After an eventful round one of the championship in Warsaw saw our men’s team place third while reigning champions Berlin GAA lost out to host side Cumann Warszawa in the final, they now also lie third in the overall championship standings. With the dangerous Warsaw side not competing in Prague, this presents a big opportunity for our men’s team, who give debuts to Mark Campbell and Ronan Newman. First up for our men is Rómhánaigh Augsburg Óg GAA, always a potential surprise package, before they meet old friends the Slovak Shamrocks and the team they beat to third place at the last tournament, Zurich Inneoin/Lazio. Knockout games then follow for our men, who stare into a long day of football in the Czech sunshine.
Ladies team team up with new friends to face old rivals
Fresh off the heels of their first win of the year in Warsaw, our ladies team send six players to the Czech capital, as Chloe Wright makes her debut for the Gaelettes. They team up with tournament newcomers, the Moscow Shamrocks, and face into a group containing perennial contenders Zurich Inneoin, as well as the Prague Hibernians. With plenty of tournament points available, our ladies will be working hard to improve on last season’s overall sixth placing.
Follow our progress!
With as many as ten games involving our sides taking place on the day, it’s shaping up to be a big day for our Gaelic Football sides. Stay in touch by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group. A huge day of action awaits!
It’s a big weekend for the young Gaels of Vienna as 28 participants take part in this year’s Vienna Gaels Cúl Camp at the Vienna Gaels Gaelic Football base at Meiereistraße 20, 1020 Wien. Kindly supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the Gaels will be able to host two experienced coaches from CLG Na Fianna, County Dublin for the weekend.
Cúl Camp preluded by GAA introductions in local schools
Arriving this week, our coaching experts will be visiting two local schools, Volksschule der Stiftungs Theresianische Academie and the Danube International School Vienna, in order to introduce Gaelic Games to a new audience of young aspiring Gaels. Some of those children taking part will also be taking part in the weekend’s Cúl Camp, with the possibility for further Gaelic Games sessions in the future thanks to the Gaels’ children’s GAA equipment, ranging from footballs to sliotars, hurleys and helmets, kindly gifted to the club by GAA headquarters.
A weekend of youthful fun awaits
The camp will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May. Taking place at our usual Gaelic Football base at Meiereistraße 20, 1020 Wien, it will run from 10am to 3 pm on each day. The camp cost includes for each child; lunch, Cúl Camp Jersey and hoodie and of course, games and coaching from our coaching experts as well as members of the Vienna Gaels. Sports included will be Gaelic Football, Hurling and Rounders, with the weekend being rounded off with the now annual ‘Kids v Parents’ derby game, which is sure to be hotly contested as always. Keep an eye out for updates on our usual outlets on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group!
On May 4th 2019, the Vienna Gaels had the huge honour of hosting the first round of this year’s European Hurling and Camogie Championship, sponsored by Bank Austria and the Irish Embassy to Austria. The club succeeded in doing so in fine fashion, hosting 86 hurlers and 45 camógs representing 16 clubs across Europe, from Oslo to Zurich and from Den Haag to Dresden. Vienna Gaels PRO, Noel Fitzgerald, reports on what was a big day for the club from the Austrian Capital.
Hurlers start well to startle traditional European hurling powerhouses
Our hurling team fielded their largest squad in history, with Bainisteoir Kilian Smith and Maor Foirne Peter Mongey able to call on the services of a squad of sixteen players for this tournament. The quantity was matched with quality, as new blood such as Fionnán Garvey and Brian Eiffe gelled into a team of Vienna hurling stalwarts such as Darren Gilbert and Ray Abery.
The first game of the day for our men came against perennial cup challengers GSC Luxembourg. Early goals were key as Vienna raced out of the blocks to come into the half-time break with a scoreline of 3-1 to 2-4, Jimmy “Fingers” Cunningham falling foul to injury in this half, which would unfortunately be the end of his day on the field after an entertaining tussle with the Luxembourg full forward line. The game firmly in the melting pot the Luxembourg men went hunting for goals in the second half and ran out winners on this occasion on a scoreline of 5-7 to 3-6.
Big result against Hamburg earns the Gaels their first ever Cup semi-final
The second of our group games pitted us against another traditional cup team, Hamburg GAA, as the Gaels threatened to break new ground by making it into the cup competition for the very first time at a hurling tournament, their superior scoring difference meaning that a draw would be enough to make the cup semi-finals. Vienna started well, taking an early two point lead, Jack Rea scoring a sideline cut from out on the right before Hamburg responded with a goal. A point from team captain Stephen Walsh levelled things before Hamburg struck for a point and another goal to go four points clear, 2-1 to 0-3. The Gaels responded in great fashion, Diarmuid O’Riain pressuring the Hamburg goalkeeper into a short clearance which only found its way to Stephen Walsh, the skipper striking the ball into the empty net to leave Vienna within one. Hamburg would tack on another three points before a Jack Rea free and Fionnán Garvey goal would level the sides once again at 2-4 each going into half-time.
Fionnán Garvey would start the second half off with a converted ’65 and then trade points with Hamburg, before Hamburg would rattle off three points on the bounce. Fionnán would stem the flow with another point before scoring a spectacular goal to put us one to the good. Hamburg would respond with a point to level the game, earning the Gaels the draw they needed to go through to their first ever cup semi-final, on a scoreline of 3-6 to 2-9.
First ever cup semi-final doesn’t quite go to plan for Gaels
Facing into their cup semi-final, the Gaels were up against daunting opposition, the reigning champions of Europe, Belgium GAA, had won their group games by a combined score difference of 55 points. In an unfortunately one-sided game which finished 7-17 to 0-4, however, Vienna were able to blood some new players on the panel, with Mark Reidy, Eric Rearte, Victor Deseille and Ruairi Joyce all seeing their first action for the Gaels. This loss put the Gaels in the third/fourth place playoff against some old rivals in The Hague/Zurich/Cologne, with third place still a massive carrot to win at the end of a gruelling day of hurling.
Camogie heroines face each other in the final
Our camógs each had very successful days with their respective teams for the day, with Hannah Riedler’s Berlin GAA side facing Rachel Minogue’s Holland Gaels in the final of the camogie tournament, as perennial Camogie winners Belgium GAA were knocked out in the group stages, along with Hamburg GAA.
Once again, Rachel Minogue’s scores were key as Holland Gaels beat Berlin GAA in the final by 7-6 to 2-10 to take the honours for the day.
Ultimate honours for Belgium GAA as Hamburg GAA claim Shield spoils
The rest of the day’s hurling tournament went along with what the pre-tournament seedings suggested, with Berlin GAA besting Darmstadt GAA to make the Shield semi-finals before losing out to Hamburg GAA. On the other side of the draw, Dresden had the beating of the Viking Gaels/Belgium B combination to make the Shield final. Hamburg would claim the spoils eventually in the final. In the Cup final meanwhile, Belgium GAA claimed the ultimate honours with a comprehensive 6-10 to 3-6 win over GAC Luxembourg, the scoreline reflecting their overall strength on the day.
1st – Holland Gaels, 2nd – Berlin GAA, 3rd – Belgium GAA, 4th – Hamburg GAA
Third place for Vienna Gaels as extra-time is required to best Den Haag/Zurich/Cologne
The Gaels lead off well into this game from the throw-in, Jack Rea winning the ball and scoring from distance. Den Haag tacked on two points then to take the lead before Jack would strike again this time for a goal, to give Vienna the lead. John Baxter and Den Haag would then trade points before Tom Birch would produce a stunning save to deny a goal chance at the back, only for Den Haag to convert the resulting ’65. Johnny ‘Rage’ then struck again, this time, pressuring a short puck out and sneaking the ball into the net, before a quick move from Den Haag got their first goal of the game right before the half-time break, with Vienna leading by 2-2 to 1-4.
Fionnán Garvey would start the second half well for Vienna with a point, only for Den Haag to score three points in succession to leave Vienna in need of a score to bring the teams back on level terms. After some prolonged pressure, the Gaels were finally awarded a free, converted by Jack Rea, before the referee blew for full time, the teams tied at a scoreline of 2-4 for Vienna, 1-7 for Den Haag/Zurich/Cologne, bringing the teams to extra time.
The Gaels started extra time straight out of the blocks, Diarmuid ‘The Dragon’ O’Riain firing in a goal from the restart before Jack Rea landed a point from the resulting puck out. Den Haag would reply with a point to stay in touch, before Jack Rea scored another point from way out on the right. John Baxter would then knock over a point after some great interplay from Diarmuid O’Riain and Eric Rearte, before Diarmuid O’Riain would score a vintage Dragon goal, nicking it past an oncoming goalkeeper and into the net. John Baxter knocked over another point from distance before Jack Rea wrapped up the scoring with a free to earn Vienna their first ever third placing at a European hurling tournament on a scoreline of 4-9 to 1-8, their best ever placing at a European hurling tournament, three years after their debut on this stage.
Awards for Rachel and Eric as Gaels host awards ceremony and afterparty
That evening, the Gaels hosted tournament attendees at Schutzhaus Zukunft for the official awards ceremony. Hosted by club chairperson Jimmy Cunningham, award recipients included our own Rachel Minogue, winning ‘Camogie player of the tournament’, as well as Eric Rearte, who won ‘Non-Irish player of the tournament’.
Both of these awards were the first of their kind to be awarded to Vienna Gaels members, huge congratulations to them both. After the dinner and awards ceremony, the fun and frolics moved to hurling team sponsors Flanagan’s Irish Bar and Restaurant. The following morning, we also hosted a free walking tour of Vienna’s historical first district, led by Stephen Walsh.
A big ‘Thank You’ to all of our volunteers
As always, a tournament of this size could not be done without the help, support and hard work of the many volunteers from the Vienna Gaels who helped out in preparation for, and on the day of the tournament. From the securing of playing fields to catering, lining of the pitches, tournament control, player registration and photography, all of this work was done free of charge by Vienna Gaels members, to which the club must give a huge ‘Thank You’. We look forward to calling on your help once again when we host the Pan-European Gaelic Football Finals in Vienna on October 19th.
What’s up next for the Gaels?
In what will be a jam-packed couple of weeks, first up for the Gaels is their second annual Cúl Camp on the 25th and 26th of May. This year the club is delighted to welcome two expert coaches from CLG Na Fianna, Dublin, funded by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, who will give some GAA coaching sessions in local schools in the days leading up to the Cúl Camp, before leading the coaching of the Cúl Camp that weekend. For more details, please contact us at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, our Gaelic Football teams head to Prague on June 1st for round two of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship, while up next for our hurlers is round two of the European Hurling and Camogie Championship on June 15th in Brussels. To follow us as we embark on these adventures, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group!