Leitrim Community Games enjoyed a very successful day at the HSE Connacht Team Finals last Saturday in Roscommon as Carrick Area U-10 Gaelic football and Under 16 Hardcourt Tennis teams and Mohill U-16 Girls Basketballers both brought home titles.
The victorious teams will be joined in Athlone next month at the National Finals by Carrick-on-Shannon’s Under 13 Mixed Hardcourt Tennis team who qualified for the finals without having to hit a ball as their expected opposition failed to field.
The victory in the U-16 Hardcourt Tennis is a first ever title for Leitrim in Tennis and is a great boost for the fledgling Carrick Lawn Tennis Club.
Facing Sligo in the Final in Ballaghaderreen, Carrick-on-Shannon Area won the title on a 2-1 score-line after Blake Walsh and Eitvydas Grazys in the Boys Doubles and Liam & Keira Perez O’Grady in the Mixed Doubles had victories.
This is the first time that Leitrim have won this event and the team of Simon Hall, Andrew Guckian, Nicola McCorry, Liam Perez O;Grady, Zivile Motieynaut, Eitvydas Grazys, Blake Walsh (captain) and Keira Perez O’Grady are now through to the National Finals in August in Athlone ommunity games finals in August.
Carrick made it a double in Roscommon when they retained the U-10 Mixed Gaelic Football title and doing so in some style, with big victories.
And their victory came the hard way as they last week won the preliminary round against the Sligo champions and then had far too much strength for Galway’s Moycullen in Saturday’s Semi-Final, winning 5-3 to 1-4.
Facing Roscommon’s Kiltoom/Cam in the final, Carrick took little notice of the Roscommon’s team home advantage as they won 6-2 to 1-4 to win the Connacht title, retaining the title they won last year.
Gold medal winners three years ago at National level in the last finals ever held in Mosney, Mohill Girls basketball team would have expected to retain their Connacht title and they started off last Saturday with a comprehensive 57-22 victory over Ballaghaderreen in the semi-final, captain Caoimhe McGuinness to scoring with 21 points.
Ever since that historic break-through, Mohill have been a force in club and school basketball over the last number of years and in the Final, Mohill faced old rivals Oranmore of Galway and a titanic battle ensued with only five points between the teams at the halftime interval, Mohill leading as Jasmine Reynolds turned in a marvellous defensive display on Oranmore’s strongest player to reduce her threat.
Caoimhe McGuinness again led the way at the other end, scoring a magnificent 31 points with Reynolds weighing in with 10 more, the two dominating the scoring. Geraldine Keegan and Aileen Flynn both made great contributions from the bench but Mohill’s greater team-work and strength saw them to a 54 to 43 point victory.
Team manager Charlene Mulligan said “The girls gave it everything and I am very proud of them. It was very easy training them as the girls have had great coaches all down the line and they are wonderful to work with.
“I think we have a great chance in Athlone to bring back an All-Ireland medal to Leitrim. I could not have asked more from any of the girls they all are very talented players and cannot wait for the All-Irelands and I would like to thank all of the supports.”
Mohill team and scorers in Final: Caoimhe McGuinness 31, Aileen Flynn 1, Emily Dugdale 3, Jasmine Reynolds 10, Orlaith Heslin, Geraldine Keegan 2, Michelle Beirne, Alice Tuthill 7, Eimear Higgins, Odharnait McGuinness, Claire Beirne and Caoimhe Canning.
After beating the Sligo champions the previous, Carrick Area’s Under 12 Soccer team had the misfortune to come up against eventual winnners Castlebar in their semi-final, losing the game 6-1 last Saturday in Lecarrow.