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Seventh heaven for Ladies Football   05/23/2014

by Annmarie Kelly

The New York Ladies Gaelic Football Association will hold its 20th annual Seven-a-Side on Saturday May 24 2014. 

Played in Gaelic Park for the past six years, up to eight teams will contest this year’s tournament vying for the first silverware of the season. In the past teams from North America, Canada, and Ireland have participated but with only the Boston Shamrock’s traveling this year the tournament will prove a good marker for the season ahead in New York.

"This is always a great event," said chairperson of the LGFA Rosie O'Reilly-Broderick. "It's the perfect way to get the season really going and we're looking forward to an entertaining day of football." 

The Mattie Farrelly Cup was donated in memory of the late Mattie Farrelly a former mentor of the Cavan Ladies club. Cavan are Seven a side Kingpins having won the tournament 11 times. In the history of the tournament the trophy has been won by a team from Philadelphia, Fog City Harps, Railyard from County Kilkenny and Ballymacarbry from County Waterford. Na Fianna New York have won the title once with Mayo winning it on two occasions and Monaghan winning the inaugural tournament in 1995.

The Barry Fitzgerald cup is the shield competition and last year’s final saw Na Fianna overcome Philadelphia Notre Dames in a close encounter.

Last year’s Mattie Farrelly winners Cavan will once again hope to take home a cup which has special meaning to the club. Last year’s beaten Finalist Tyrone will also contest again this year. 

The Tyrone team first contested the tournament three years ago and are an off shoot of the Fermanagh Ladies and initially entered a team as part of a fundraiser for the Michaela foundation and have continued their participation in the tournament along with Fermanagh, Na Fianna, Kerry/Donegal, St. Brigid’s and the Manhattan Gaels who are contesting their first season in New York.

There will be a feast of football with a tightly contested tournament. With the New York Ladies season underway, teams will not be as familiar with their opposition. 

Over the past few years very little separates the clubs in New York with close games throughout the season. Registration will get underway at 9:30am with games kicking off by 10:30am. If you are a fan of Ladies Gaelic Park will be the place to be on Saturday.