EIGHT-TIME All-Ireland winner with Kerry Ger Power was the star turn in Éire Óg on St Stephens’ Day when the Ennis club played host to its annual hurling and football tournament that attracted huge crowds to its Clonroadmore grounds.
This year’s tournament was rededicated in honour and memory of Power’s nephew, staunch and much-loved Éire Óg clubman Eugene McNamara, who was tragically killed last year.
The day was kick-started with an underage tournament featuring players from the Academy. With almost 40 children participating the final was played out by The Rovers and Faughs teams. Eight teams took part in the senior tournament, with the line-ups being drawn from the different parts of town and split into two groups of four for a round robin series that produced two semi-final pairings. The participating teams were: Clare Road, Lahinch Road, Shanaway Road, Gort Road, Turnpike/Gallows Hill, Kilrush Road, Flannan’s and Tulla Road.
The Clare Road side led by Shane O’Donnell, Gráinne Nolan and Orla Devitt were Group 1 winners, with Shanaway Road side backboned by Dara Walsh, Gavin Cooney and Mikey Moloney also qualifying for the semi-final.
In Group 2 a star-studded Lahinch Road side that included Danny Russell, David Reidy, Araon Fitzgerald, Darren O’Brien and Stephen McNamara in its ranks were pushed out of the top slot, by an impressive Gort Road side that was backboned by Conor O’Halloran, Éinne O’Connor, Liam Corry, Shane Daniels, and David Russell.
However, in the knockout stages there was no denying the superiority of the Lahinch Road. Firstly they cruised to victory over Clare Road in the semi-final and then were decisive winners over their neighbours from Shanaway Road — who had beaten Gort Road in their penultimate round — in the decider.
Both finalists were led onto the field before the final by a piper from the Tulla Pipe Band, while afterwards in the clubhouse Ger Power was on hand to present members of the winning team with their mementoes.
The club’s Minor A football championship winning team of 25 years ago was also honoured on the night, as were the winning sides of 1993 and ’94 that brought a hat-trick of titles to club in the grade for the first and only time. The winning teams in ’92 and ’93 were managed by John Hickey, Tim Caffrey and Declan Caffrey, while in ’94 the management was made up of Tony Honan, Pat Fitzpatrick, Donie Buckley, Mattie Fennell and Eamonn Healy.
Main Pic: Members of the McNamara Clan in Éire Óg on St Stephen’s Day – David McNamara, Breda McNamara, Ger Power, TJ McNamara, Barry McNamara, Stephen McNamara, Alex McNamara and Jack McNamara;
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