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Joy for victorious NY Féile Girls   07/01/2014

The top prizes went to Naas and Foxrock/Cabinteely, but the footballers of South London and New York won the hearts of the supporters at the Connacht GAA Centre in Bekan in Ballyhaunis.

A sun-drenched Connacht GAA headquarters glistened with the thousands of multicolored team shirts that were donned by boys and girls in the U-14 age bracket, while the memories of friends made will live with the participants for years to come.

An estimated 10,000 people attended the final session of three days of football yesterday and, according to Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty, the event was a huge success.

"This is why we opened this place, to stage events like this. Nearly 5,000 children took part in the games over all. It was a huge success," Prenty said.

In the boys' Division 1 Cup final, Kildare's Naas defeated Nemo Rangers on a scoreline of 2-9 to 1-6, which clinched a week to remember for the club after winning the Division 2 hurling title in Derry last week.

Foxrock/Cabinteely turned on the style in the second half to defeat Galway's Kilkerrin/Clonberne in the girls' Division 1 Cup final, holding their opponents scoreless in the second period to register a 1-6 to 1-2 victory.

All Saints of Ballymena, Antrim defeated Portlaoise to claim the Division 2 boys' Cup by two points, but the boys' Division 3 Cup final was, for many, the game of the day as South London stunned Monaghan's Aughnamullen to record a 3-2 to 0-8 victory, which equalled the best ever performance by a British team in the Féile.

A 2-2 haul from the hugely talented Will Ozono – who recently signed up with Crystal Palace – lit up the final, but the team effort pleased their coach.

"Some of these lads are only playing football for a few months now," said South London manager Brian Smith.

"The lads have been outstanding throughout.

"Some of them were introduced to Gaelic football in primary school. The coaching has really paid off," said the Westmeath native.


And to add to the international festivities, the New York girls' team were next onto the winners' rostrum to collect their Division 3 Cup after their 4-3 to 2-4 victory over Down's Carryduff.

"I'm going to Disneyland," said New York manager, Pat McGovern.

"I don't know what to say, I'm stuck for words right now and that's a rarity. We're just going to enjoy tonight and you'll have to drag us out of here," said the Donegal native.

In the girls' competitions, there was plenty to celebrate for Galway's Corofin, who edged past Kilkenny City on a scoreline of 2-3 to 1-4 to claim the Division 1 Shield.

Meanwhile, Bredagh from Down captured the Division 1 Boys' Shield after defeating Ulster rivals Killeshil of Tyrone in the final.