European champions Gaels set to make history
Thursday 10th October 2013, 1:00PM BST.
GUERNSEY GAELS have been crowned as the European Gaelic football champions and will make history this coming weekend as a direct result.
The island side travelled to Maastricht in the Netherlands for the inaugural 15-a-side men’s Premier European Championship, where they took on Luxembourg in the semi-final.
After defeating them relatively comfortably, they moved on to a final against Zurich, who had beaten Amsterdam, and in a dramatic encounter, it was the Gaels who came out on top by a single point.
It included a penalty save in the dying minutes from goalkeeper Micky Ogier and Gaels captain Airy Cleere recalled the successful weekend.
‘We had no idea about how strong the teams would be because we don’t see anything of them beforehand, being from an island,’ he said.
‘As it turned out, there were some strong opposition this year and we had to work really hard to win it and the initial feeling when we did was probably relief.’
That success not only crowned them European kings, but also sees them progress to the Leinster GAA Club Championships, starting this weekend.
The Gaels are the first European side ever to enter the knockout event and they face a preliminary round match on Saturday, again in Maastricht, which is classed as a home match.
The Carlow intermediate tournament winners, Fenagh, stand in the way and are the first of five potential obstacles if the Gaels are to go all the way in the prestigious tournament.