St Vincent’s GAA Club boasts a long and memorable tradition and on the afternoon of 30 December they made it clear that their juvenile teams intend to carry that on this tradition.
On a wild, wet and windy day their Under 10 charges battled their way past St James Gaels to come out on top in the Iveagh Grounds on the Crumlin Road in the annual John Humphrey memorial cup hosted by St James Gaels.
It may have been cold and windy in the Iveagh Grounds but it was the host club’s charges that warmed the hearts of their supporters with some heroic performances which just fell short in a tremendous finale against the mighty men of Marino.
Played on 29 December and 30 December, the competition is held in memory of young John Humphrey, a St James Gaels player, who died tragically in an accident in 1998. This was the 14th year of the competition and, as always, the spirit in which the competition was played, and the high standard of football, was a fitting memorial to the memory of young John Humphrey.
Generously sponsored by John’s family the tournament showcases the cream of under 10 talent in Dublin football.
The group stages on Saturday saw St Vincent’s, Templeogue Synge Street, Castleknock and hosts St James Gaels advance to the final stages at the expense of St Annes, Cuala, Thomas Davis, Whitehall Colmcilles, Parnells and Lucan Sarsfields.
As always, the standard of football throughout the tournament was excellent and there was no shortage of thrills over the two days. By the time the final whistle was blown by referee Lee Moroney (St Annes) on the last of the 26 games many of the spectators were exhausted having witnessed some thrilling games with no end of goal mouth excitement.
Hosts St James Gaels featured in three of the most memorable matches of the competition.
On the first day, in the group stages, they played out a thrilling draw with Cuala. Having raced in to a two goal lead in the first five minutes of the game Gaels were put under huge pressure by an excellent Cuala side and were hanging on to lead by 2-1 to 0-6 as the final moments approached. A fine long range effort from Cuala drew the sides level and, in the end, Gaels were grateful for the final whistle.
In the other group 2009 champions St Vincents and Castleknock had little or nothing between them with the head to head between both sides resulting in a narrow one point win for Vinnie’s.
The first semi-final between St James Gaels and Castleknock not only saw a clash in jersies. It also saw a clash in styles. The Castleknock boys favoured flamboyant, flowing football but it met its match with the dogged determination and never say die attitude of the Gaels. Trailing by 6 points to 1 at the interval the Gaels put a huge effort into the second half and eventually ran out winners by a score of 1-5 to 0-7.
Liam Hand was the driving force behind most of the Gaels attacks but it was a clever flick of the ball to the net by the red hot Jamie Livingstone that turned the game in favour of the Gaels.
Net minder Sean Dunne was an inspiration for the side from Crumlin as he turned aside numerous efforts from Castleknock to turn the tide in their favour. Stephen Cluxton – watch out!
In the second semi-final St Vincent’s were simply too strong for a determined Synge Street outfit and, inspired by the tireless Cian Dunne, the boys with history and pedigree behind them set up a final date with St James Gaels.
The wind played a huge part in the final and a fortunate goal for St Vincent’s against the first half gale was seen by many as the crucial score in the match against St James Gaels.
Gaels fought back from that setback through the boot of Jamie Livingstone who kicked four majestic points to leave the sides level at 0-4 to 1-1 at the interval.
Vincent’s took full advantage of the wind in the second half to outscore Gaels by 0-6 to 0-1 and run out eventual winners by 1-7 to 0-5.
Gaels were left to rue Livingstone’s crashing drive against the crossbar in the first half which could have put a different complexion on proceedings had it found the net.
Speaking at the presentation of the trophy to St Vincent’s, Billy Hannigan, of St James Gaels, paid tribute to all of the players and their mentors who had made the event such a success. He paid a special tribute to Gaels Paul Flanagan who is the driving force behind the competition and to everyone else who helped out in any way.
John Bailey, former chairman of the Dublin County Board paid a special tribute to St James Gaels for the continued success of the tournament and reminded everyone present just how important team sport is to the development of our young people.
Jamie Livingstone of St. James Gaels was a worthy and popular recipient of the award for the player of the tournament but he certainly had hot competition from his club’s net minder, Sean Dunne, who epitomised the never say die attitude of the hosts with some remarkable goal line clearances.
There was no disputing the recipient of the award for best endeavour which went to Cian Dunne of St Vincent’s whose tireless effort and determination was second to none.
Finally mention needs to be made of Aaron Byrne, Conor Dunne and Dean Byrne of ST James Gaels along with Lee Moroney (St Annes) and Austin O Sullivan (St. Kevins\Killians) who did an excellent job as referees throughout the tournament.
St Vincent’s 1-7 St James Gaels 0-5
Third Place Play Off
Templeogue\Synge Street 3-1 Castleknock 0-4
Templeogue Synge Street 0-4 St Vincents 2-5
St James Gaels 1-5 Castleknock 0-7.
Humphrey Cup >