Galway Annual Club Review 2008

This past year has been one of unparalleled success for Cumann Peile Maigh Cuilinn. Following on from a clean sweep in Galway and Connacht at intermediate level we progressed to win The Club All Ireland Final in this grade, the first club from Connacht to do so.

Our first competitive outing of the year took place in Limerick against the Munster and Kerry champions Annascaul. Maigh Cuilinn emerged from a dramatic struggle to win by a single point. Two late points from Paul Clancy and heroics all over the field especially by Mark Lydon in the closing stages proved the difference against a strong and spirited Kerry side.

The build-up to the final over the following four weeks was an event in itself. The whole community became involved, with flags, bunting and messages of support, from locals and neighbouring clubs, prominent all over the village and on the roads in and out of Moycullen.

The days and nights of hard training in varying venues from Silverstrand, GMIT, Loughgeorge and Milltown Malbay, under the watchful eye of Seán O Dea, Donie Buckley and the management team, paid massive dividends on the 17th of February in Croke Park.

Planes, trains and automobiles were used to facilitate the biggest exodus from the parish as people travelled in their thousands to support their team. Green and white was the predominant colour in Croke Park.

The day, for the team, started with a Mass celebrated by our Parish Priest Fr Michael McLoughlin, followed by a garda escorted bus trip from City West to the stadium.

The game itself was a tight affair with Maigh Cuilinn a point to the good at halftime. An early second-half goal put Fingal Ravens of Dublin and Leinster into a narrow lead. Our players did not panic and two late goals from Conor Bohan saw us emerge triumphant on a final scoreline of Maigh Cuilinn 2-9 to Fingal Ravens 1-6.

Scenes of unreserved jubilation and emotion greeted the final whistle. The victory speech given on the steps of the Hogan Stand by Captain Gearóid Clancy in both Irish and English evoked memories of Joe Connolly in 1980.

The homecoming was something special, with bonfires lighting the way from Galway City. The crowds on the roadside at the various stopping points on the way to the village were a sight to behold, but this did not prepare us for the reception that awaited us in the village. In excess of two and a half thousand people had thronged into An Furan in the heart of the village. The number of children bedecked in the club colours who had waited long into a cold night to greet their heroes was a particular highlight of the day.

Buíochas mór le Dia go raibh an buá ag Maigh Cuilinn ar an ocáid seo. Lá stairiul agus ocaíd fior thaitneamhnach a bhí ann do na h-imreoirí agus do mhuintir Mhaigh Cailinn uilig. Beidh trácht ar an lá seo go gceann í bhfad.

The club would like to thank all their generous sponsors and supporters. In particular, we would like to thank the Galway Football Board, GMIT and Miltown Malbay for the use of their facilities.

The club has progressed well in the Senior ranks this year where we reached the quarter-final of the County Championship, losing to the eventual winners Corofin. In the league we have at this stage won five out of the seven matches and sit atop the Division 1B table.

All-Ireland success was not the only achievement of the club over the past year, our Minors reached the West Board “B” Championship final and also won the Minor League Shield.

At underage our under 11 side won the City League Title, defeating Clarenbridge in the “A” Final.
Our under 12 team reached the City League final where they failed narrowly to Claregalway. Later in the year, they triumphed in the West Board Championship defeating Salthill Knocknacarra on a scoreline of 2-12 to 2-03.

At under 14 we reached the County Féile semi-final, losing to eventual All-Ireland Féile finalists Salthill Knocknacarra.

The club had representatives on county teams from under 16 grade to senior level. It is hoped that the success of the past year will bode well for the club in the years ahead. The fruits of this are beginning to show with large numbers getting involved at underage level.

The club would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of everyone who contribute to the success of the club: – here’s to 2009!