Four Masters GAA

U14 CAMOGIE FEILE TEAM

U14 CAMOGIE FEILE TEAM

At 7.30am on Friday morning our U14 Camogie team left Donegal Town to make the very long journey to Kilkenny to take part in the 2017 Feile na Gael.  With a snack and stretch stop in Cavan and lunch in Rathcoole we carried on our journey arriving at the first destination, Windgap, at approximately 2.45pm.  Two very tough matches were played in extreme heat against Windgap (favourites to win their division) and Knockananna from Wicklow.  The girls were treated to a visit by Denise Gaule, a Windgap and Kilkenny camog who won Senior Camogie Player of the Year 2016 and an Allstar.  After pictures with Denise the girls had hurleys signed and then we travelled to Paulstown, the club who would host us for the weekend.  A huge crowd gathered to meet the girls and after refreshments in their hall and a puc about on the pitch, they met their host families and went home to bed for an early night.  Another hot and sunny day woke all on Saturday morning with temperatures nearing 30 degrees by afternoon.  In the morning the girls played their hosts, Paulstown

and were very fortunate to meet their second Camogie Allstar winner who plays with Paulstown and Kilkenny, Collette Dormer, who chatted with them, encouraging them to do their best and most importantly enjoy the Feile.  From Paulstown we travelled to Carnew to play in the quarter final against Longford Slashers.  This was definitely the highlight match with the girls getting a two point lead early on in the first half.  Longford Slashers got two very quick points in the second half but our girls never gave up and scored a point to put them one ahead and looked like they would win when devastatingly in the last few seconds of the game Longford Slashers stole a goal to go on and win the match.  It was a heartbreaking journey back to our hosts – who had beaten Burt on the pitch beside us to go through to the semi-final on Sunday.  Our two teams went to mass on Saturday evening and were made very welcome by their priest – who even said he would cheer for Donegal on Sunday!!  Paulstown colours are also blue and white and the balcony was a sea of blue and white camogie players.  We went back

to the pitch for a barbecue and a disco and the children from Paulstown treated us to some traditional music and were joined by Roisin and Donal Buckley on concertina and banjo.  Presentations were made on behalf of both clubs and a tremendous night was had by all.  We decided to stay and support our new friends in their semi final on Sunday and travelled to Palmerstown to watch them play Setanta from Carlow.  They won this match and played Laochra Og from Cork in the Shield Final – and we are delighted that our host club Paulstown won that final and are the Shield winners.  We were on our way back up to Donegal at that stage and, with another short stop in Cavan, we arrived back at Tirchonnail Park at approximately 5.30pm.  Tired, exhausted, disappointed in losing the quarter final but, having made new friends and having experienced something very few girls have a chance to experience, they have all had a weekend to remember, memories that will stay with them for life.  Thank you girls for being such a wonderful team; thank you coaches, Laurence Doherty and Danny Buckley for guiding them; thank you Mary Canavan for medical help and support throughout; thank you parents without whose support, generosity and encouragement the journey would have been much more difficult; thank you to all the businesses and people across three clubs, Four Masters, Ballyshannon and Killybegs, who have donated funds to help us on our way – we’ve had a fabulous time and look forward to building from this in the months and years ahead.