Kilburn Gaels win International tournament

July 15, 2011

Kilburn Gaels could get back into the SHC yet.
London's Kilburn Gaels winners of the inaugural Thurles Sarsfield International Hurling Tournament, July 9, 2011.

It was a fantastic day for Kilburn Gaels of London and the sport of hurling over the weekend as the London 2010 league and championship holders were crowned the winners of a terrific first ever international hurling tournament at Thurles on Saturday, July 9.

While Thurles Sarsfield and Tipp hero, the turbo charged Lar Corbett blazed a trail in Cork on Sunday afternoon, the day before at the spiritual home of the Munster final at an immaculate Semple Stadium, London's Kilburn Gaels edged out gallant Meath side, Dunboyne in an entertaining tournament decider.

Trailing by two at half time, the London champions found their rythmn in the second period hitting five points on the trot and led by a point approaching the final whistle. A late equaliser for Dunboyne gave them hope but fittingly, London born player, Michael Dwyer had the final say for Kilburn when he put a placed ball between the posts to see his side take this first ever international hurling competition.

The Thurles Sarsfield hurling club were the organisers of the event that saw teams from Northern Ireland, Ireland and England compete all day long Saturday in brilliant sunshine at Dr Morris Park and at the Outside Field located beside fabled Semple Stadium in this town that gave birth to the GAA back in 1884.

The teams participating included six senior sides, Robert Emmetts (London), Dunboyne (Meath), Keady Lamh Dhearg's (Armagh), Kilburn Gaels (London), Naomh Moninne (Louth), Naas (Kildare), intermediate outfit, Na Magha (Derry), and newcomers to hurling, the Lackenheath Wild Geese (USA).

Final Match Report

Kilburn Gaels (London) [9] 0-9
Dunboyne (Meath) [8] 1-5

At an historic Thurles Sarsfield International Hurling Tournament last Saturday in Thurles, London hurling club, Kilburn Gaels had the honour of becoming the first victors of the 13 a-side Tom Semple Cup with a hard fought win over Dunboyne from Meath.

These two had been drawn together in Group 2 at Dr Morris Park, along with Derry's Na Magha and Naas from Kildare. Both impressively went unbeaten before meeting in their final round clash in the early afternoon on Saturday.
Playing 15 minutes a half, that game turned out to be a cliffhanger with Kilburn Gaels doing enough in the latter stages for a four-point win, with both sides qualifying for the semi finals.

Kilburn a strong outfit - double league and championship winners last year in London - also had five of the winning Nicky Rackard Cup, London side on their team.
The London champs had an easy time of it in their semi final against Group 1 runners-up and game Armagh champions, Keady Laimh Dearg with the London outfit recording a comfortable victory.

It was anything but comfortable for senior Meath side Dunboyne in their semi final over fancied Group 1 winners, Robert Emmets of London.
This was a seesaw battle that raged for the 30 minutes before a late pointed free proved the difference in the end at the Outside Field next to Semple Stadium.

A rematch then between Kilburn Gaels and Dunboyne for the tournament final but this time the setting would be the beautiful Semple Stadium itself.

It had been fine all day and on a lovely sunny summer evening, a nice crowd nestled themselves into the new stand.
The setting was spectacular as the best surface for playing hurling in the world beamed handsomely for this inaugural International hurling final.

A good start is a prerequisite when playing 15 minutes tournament style halves and favourites Kilburn got off to a splendid one when raising a white flag through Aidan Treacy after only 30 seconds of play.
Wides on both sides followed before Kilburn had a let-off, when Dunboyne's lively forward Stephen Moran, saw his rasper saved brilliantly by keeper, John Joe Burke.
A nervy wide-strewn period ensued but Dunboyne talisman and Meath countyman, Niall Hackett with a good point brought the scores level on 8 minutes.
Both sides looked a little tired after a long day of hurling, but Dunboyne who had been doing better in the last five minutes, received a tonic when Gary Waters sent a speculative free into the danger area. The ball deceived the defence and goalie and made its way to the back of the net to see Dunboyne now take a 1-1 to 0-1 lead.
London born Michael Dwyer (free) and Hackett swapped points, before another free from the impressive Dwyer saw Dunboyne with a two-point cushion at the break.
With limited time more than ever a factor, it was important for the London side to get a good start to the second half but it was the Meathmen who on the resumption stretched the lead once more with a brace of scores from Michael Dunne and Gary Waters.
However, Kilburn Gaels hadn't traveled from England to fizzle out at the final hurdle and in their best period of the game put five without reply between the posts to take a one point lead.
Dwyer unerring from frees had started the series with two, before Henry Vaughan, who had excelled throughout the tournament, came more into the game with a good score.
It was all Kilburn now with impressive midfielder, and former Clare U21 All Ireland winner, Colm Quinn firing over another before fellow migrant and former Galway U21, Niall Forde landed the fifth in the series.

Dunboyne needed a score badly and Michael O'Grady stepped up with a good effort to tie the sides with the game approaching the final minutes.
But the affects of Dunboyne's epic semi final was beginning to tell with tired legs noticeable and the impressive Gary Waters limped off injured. Dunne followed suit before the end.

Both sides searched for the winner, with Kilburn's and Burgess native, Jonathon Maher seeing his goal effort saved before a pair of wides from Quinn and Dunboyne's Barry Waters, took us into the last minute.

Fittingly, the winner came from the stick of top scorer and London native, Michael Dwyer when his 30th minute free landed between the posts much to the delight of the traveling supporters from across the water.

Kilburn Gael's showed a lot of determination with their come from behind win and their purple patch between the 3rd and 10th minute of the second half won them this first Tom Semple cup.

Panels and Scorers
Kilburn Gaels
John Joe Burke; Leo Quigley, Roy Darcy; Robert Bourke, Keith Kennedy, Colm Forde; Niall Forde 0-1, Colm Quinn 0-1; Tony Dunne, Jonathon Maher, Aidan Treacy 0-1; Peter Ryan, Henry Vaughan 0-1. Jack Ryan, Michael Dwyer 0-5f, Phil Fennessey, Martin Lenihan, Brian Forde.

Christopher Kane; Ger Murphy, Shane Moran; Niall Waters, Paul Fagan, Alan Waters; John Waters, Michael O'Grady 0-1; Barry Waters, Michael Dunne 0-1, Gary Waters 1-1 (1-0f); Niall Hackett 0-2 (0-1f), Stephen Moran. Danny Kane, Jamie Walker, Stephen Clinte, David Moran, Darren Dunne.

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