Ballymore ladies Anita Mc Nerney and Barbara McElvaney triumphed in Dubai this weekend, Friday 30 September. Both play for Abu Dhabi Na Fianna ladies gaelic team and the Dubai tournament was the first round of games in the Middle East League.
As Dubai temperatures soared to forty degrees, Abu Dhabi Na Fianna defeated Sharjah to reach the final. Na Fianna were under pressure against Dubai Celts in the first half of the game before making a dramatic comeback in the second half. With the help of centre back Anita and midfealder Barbara who scored three points, the team defeated Dubai. The final score was Abu Dhabi Na Fianna Ladies 1-04 and Dubai Celts Ladies 1-02
As team captain Anita, a daughter of Mary and Pat Mc Nerney, accepted the cup on behalf of her teammates, saying: “I’m delighted, it’s a fantastic start to the season”.
Barbara, a daughter of Sean and Mary McElvaney, was named Player of the Tournament and presented with the trophy by Paddy Darcy, chairman of the Dubai club. Barbara said: “It’s brilliant, we lost out on a lot recently at home. Ballymore ladies lost by a point in the county final and Ballymore mens’ team lost by a point in the intermediate county final so it’s about time we got some silver for Ballymore”.
Coincidently the referee also hails from Longford. Fergal Kelly who plays for Ballymahon, travelled to Dubai for the weekend to take part in the event. He was praised by the girls for his objective refereeing on the day. Barbara said “he is a high quality referee. He let the game flow and was very fair at the same time.”
Other Longford GAA players who took part in the tournament included; Padraig Brady from Ballinalee, who is a former player for Sean Connolly’s Cub, Leonard McCoppin who played for Saint Gratons Club and Pat Finn who played for Ballymahon. Leonard’s team, Abu Dhabi Na Fianna Men’s B Team, also came out on top. Leonard made some fantastic saves for his side who beat Bahrain, Oman and then Dubai Dingos in the final. The final score was Abu Dhabi Na Fianna Men’s B Team 2-07, Dubai Men’s B Team 1-03.
Padraig said “today was a great day out for the Longford contingent”. The players are looking forward to the next GAA tournament which takes place in Bahrain in November.”