One of the busiest months of the year for our GAA family across Canada, with the FRS Recruitment World Games taking place in Derry from July 24th to July 28th, but first we take a look at what went on in Canada throughout July.
In the Western Division, the Calgary Chieftains & Edmonton Wolfe Tones kicked off their internal Recreational League, with big numbers coming out for both clubs. The youth in both clubs continued their weekly trainings with hopes rising for an underage game in August when the two Western clubs meet in Red Deer!
In the Vancouver Division, the Championship went up a gear with the finals taking place soon, teams have one eye firmly on finals day on August 12th. In the Senior Men’s Football, Vancouver Eire Og are holding the first place position on 6 pts followed closely by St Finnian’s on 4 pts in 2nd place. The Intermediate Men’s Football group sees Vancouver Eire Og & St Finnian’s tied in 1st place on 5 pts, with the Junior Men’s Football group seeing Vancouver Eire Og tied in 1st place with ISSC & St Finnian’s on 4 pts. Over to the Senior & Intermediate Ladies Football group we see ISSC holding the first place position in both categories on 6 pts. In the Junior Ladies Football Vancouver Eire Og & St Finnian’s are tied in 1st place on 4 pts. In the Senior Hurling, JP Ryan’s are holding onto their 1st place position with 6 pts, in the Intermediate group we have JP Ryan’s & Cu Chulainn tied in 1st place with Cu Chulainn in first position in the Junior Hurling group. Lastly, in the Camogie groups, we have Cu Chulainn sitting on top for the Senior group & tied in 2nd with ISSC for the Junior Camogie.
With only 9 days to the Vancouver Championship Finals, teams are eagerly eyeing up first place and the chance to get some silverware, the finals are sure to be excellent!
In the Toronto Division, the Championship is also getting to the business end of things with more games taking place every week through July. In the Men’s Football we see Toronto Gaels holding the first place position with St Vincent’s in second. In Ladies Football St Pats & St Mike’s are tied in first place, followed closely by Durham. The Hurling group sees Cuala Sarsfield & Na Piarsaigh tied for first on 2pts each. Lastly, Le Cheile are holding their own in the Camogie Group with 4pts meaning they have first place secured. Having attended the Toronto League Finals in June, I am confident in saying that these Championship finals will be superb in August!
The Eastern Division are preparing to host their Invitational Tournament September 2nd with lots of work going on behind the scenes. Teams continued their outdoor training in preparation for the tournament, with Peterborough in particular seeing lots of new faces come out to their trainings each week.
FRS Recruitment World Games
All eyes were firmly set on the 100 people from Canada that were travelling to Derry for July 24th to take part in the World Games, with 7 teams making the journey the expectations were high for those travelling! Games took place daily from Monday – Thursday with Cup Finals taking place on Friday in Celtic Park in Derry. First up were our Ottawa men, they had a hard start to the week with their first opponents of the tournament not showing up! The lads rallied though and had 3 days of hard group games which saw them play a variety of teams from Iberia, Australasia & France to name a few. They had some tough games but come day 4, they were strong enough to put the head down & grind out a win that would see them take the Shield Final on the day!
The Quebec ladies made a strong start to the week and continued to build as the week went on, racking up some serious score line’s: 4-5 Vs Heartland, 6-6 Vs Cambodia and 4-8 Vs Germany. The girls were unlucky to lose out in the Shield Semi Final to a strong France team, but did everyone on the sideline and back in Canada incredibly proud!
Our Hurling team made their mark in the competition early on, with some serious performances and scoring at least 1 goal in all but one of their games. Their biggest battle during the group stages was their match against Germany on Day 1 when they came away with a draw. Thursday morning saw them secure their Shield final spot with a strong win over the French. Their Shield final was the best hurling game all week! It had everything and it wasn’t until late in the second half that our lads pulled away and the win was secured! The crowds stormed the fields to congratulate the lads on their momentous win!
Next up to admire, our Canada Camog’s and their fairytale story of how they became the Shield Winners! The week started hard for our girls, with 2 losses on day 1 but day 2 was a different story. Whether it was a powerful speech from their coaches or a great night out at the Parade Monday night, these girls came to play on Tuesday! They were unstoppable in the games that would follow on Wednesday and Thursday morning as well. Securing their spot in the Shield stages of the competition, their Semi Final was against Milwaukee where they had a score line of 9-3 to no score! The final awaited them. Supporters lined the field as the girls warmed up and began their final game. After another strong performance they finished 4-3 Vs Germany 2-0. They had done it, they were the Shield Champs! These girls were incredible all week and built up a huge fan base with their incredible attitude and fighting spirit on the field!
Our Quebec Men’s team & Canada Men’s team had a very successful campaign, both teams performing well throughout the group stages with the Quebec team in the B group and Canada Men in the A group. Each day was a challenge for the teams but they managed to sneak a few wins and some very impressive scores. Both teams were unfortunate to lose their qualifying game on Thursday morning meaning they were out of the Shield competitions, so they became the best sideline supporters in the competition!
Lastly, our Canada Ladies Footballers. By now, you will have heard all about these girls and their Cup Final game, but let me take you back to how their week went! Starting the week off strong on Monday, they kept building on each performance and their team work was incredible all week! They had some excellent performances, with their most impressive group game being against New York. The girls won that game by 1 point in the last few seconds, it was a nail biter! Their hark work paid off when they earned themselves a place in the Cup Final in Celtic Park on Friday. Kick off was 2.30 and the crowd turned up in their droves to watch this one. At half time, Charlotte were one point up, at full time it was draw. Extra time loomed, each team traded a point with both teams level at the end of the extra time period. It was down to golden goal to crown a winner. 12 minutes of golden goal later, Charlotte scored a point and secured the win. Our girls gave their all and it was a game that will go down in history! One that will be spoken about for some time and will never be forgotten!
The week in Derry was incredible for our teams! A massive thank you to everyone involved in helping to send our 7 teams to the World Games for the trip of a lifetime!