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Clough-Ballacolla Gaels enjoy memorable Feile adventure

The Clough Ballacolla team and mentors at Feile na nGael in Ulster

The Clough Ballacolla team and mentors at Feile na nGael in Ulster

Clough-Ballacolla Gaels journey to Féile was filled with amazing memories, outstanding hurling and new friendships forged in the heat of battle over a fantastic June weekend.

The team made it all the way to the Shield Final but were unlucky to lose out to St Ernan’s of Westmeath in the decider after extra-time.

The journey began back on April 26 when they overcame Ballypickas in the Laois Feile ‘B’ quarter-final. The following day they turned in an excellent performance to secure a final-berth after beating a superb Clonad/Park Rathineska team. The final pitted them against Rosenallis and they battled to a determined victory and the passage to Ulster was secured.

Clough-Ballacolla Gaels travelled to Donegal on Friday, June 20 and received a wonderful welcome from host club, St Eunan’s of Letterkenny. Both teams faced off in the opening fixture and after a scintillating tussle, the Laois team pulled away to win 3-4 to 1.2.That night, the team travelled to the Owenbeg Centre of Excellence in Dungiven, Derry, for the official Feile parade.

The following day was a mixed bag. Clough-Ballacolla Gaels showed impressive patches of form before succumbing to Buncrana (Donegal) and Tommy Larkins (Galway) putting us into a Shield quarter-final.

Certainly, they saved their best performance of the day for their evening match. Banagher from Derry were a decent side but the Clough-Ballacolla Gaels lads clicked and a devastating attacking-blitz shot them to a 2-11 to 0-3 win and ensured they’d be competing in a Shield semi-final.

After bidding goodbye to the host families, they faced off against Whitechurch (Cork) in the Shield semi-final and secured a five point win.

The team travelled back to Dungiven for the Final and played a massive part in one of the best games of the entire weekend. They played St Ernans (Westmeath) and after a pulsating battle, the sides finished level and went to extra-time. Agonisingly, Clough-Ballacolla Gaels couldn’t quite produce the fairy-tale finish and a disallowed goal from a 20-metre free was ultimately the difference as we lost out 3-5 to1-8.

Clough-Ballacolla Gaels would like to thank everyone who played a part in making this such a marvellous weekend. The club would like to sincerely thank St Eunan’s for such a hospitable welcome. They really showed what the Feile is all about.

They’d also like to thank everyone who travelled up and lent their support to the team.

 

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