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Moy Crowned All-Ireland Sevens Champions!

Tuesday 25.09.2012
Team Talk Mag
Club


History was made at Ratoath, County Meath last Saturday (22 September) as An Mhaigh Tír na nÓg became the first club from Ulster to be crowned All-Ireland Intermediate Sevens champions. It was a very proud and momentous day for Moy Gaels as the squad of ten men wearing sky blue went all the way in this prestigious national competition to claim All-Ireland football honours.
An Mhaigh senior team captain Philip Jordan proudly raised aloft the winning trophy at the end of a long but truly memorable day in county Meath. The players and management set off from their base in the Moy at 7.30am on Saturday morning and did not leave the impressive Ratoath GAA venue again until some twelve hours later!
A small but enthusiastic An Mhaigh contingent also made the journey south to support the team in this historic venture. What they witnessed was truly amazing as the Moy side played seven games in total, getting much stronger and becoming more confident and tactically aware as the competition wore on.
Some of the finest intermediate sides in the country were taking part in this tournament but it was the Moy men, representing their club and county, who were the last men standing. This was a terrific triumph in what turned out to be a long drawn-out endurance test. Mentally and physically, the Tír na nÓgs passed with flying colours and they played some breathtaking football along the way.
An Mhaigh’s first group game got underway at 10.30am and saw the Tyrone representatives snatch an 0-8 to 1-5 draw against last year’s Sevens champions, Nobber from county Meath. Thereafter, it was victory all the way as Audi Kelly and Paul Rouse’s charges defeated Naomh Columba (Donegal) 6-8 to 0-7 and Ballyhaunis (Mayo) 3-5 to 1-6 to top the group and book their place in the last sixteen.
Two tight contests followed as An Mhaigh edged out Davitts (Mayo) 0-10 to 0-6 in the first of the knock-out games and then overcame a strong Skerries side from Dublin 2-9 to 1-10 in the quarter-finals. The remaining action then moved to the main GAA pitch at Ratoath as Moy impressed everyone with a 3-10 to 0-8 win against St Teresa’s (Antrim) in an all-Ulster semi-final.
On a day when every member of the squad was a hero, the leadership qualities shown by captain Philly Jordan and player of the tournament Sean Cavanagh were exemplary. The bravery and commitment also shown by Karol McQuade was something to behold. He picked up a nasty rib injury in the final against Confey (Kildare) and was taken to Blanchardstown hospital, missing the closing stages of the match and celebrations afterwards.
Karol’s absence seemed to galvanise an already close-knit squad and they edged their Kildare opponents by one point (1-12 to 1-11) in a very high quality and tense decider, which got underway at 6.10pm that evening. Confey had been many people’s tip to win the trophy, having impressed from the outset of the competition, but the Moy players saved their best until last to become champions of Ireland.
The players who helped create history for An Mhaigh on the day were: Philip Jordan (captain), Karol McQuade, Tomás McNicholl, Colm Cavanagh, Sean Cavanagh, Ryan Mellon, Harry Loughran, Donal Jordan, Emmett Rafferty and Niall McConville. Each of our squad members were presented with their winning trophies at the official presentation in the Ratoath clubrooms after the final on Saturday evening.
Thanks to Ratoath GAC for inviting us to take part in their excellent competition and also for their kindness and warm hospitality all through. Saturday 22nd September 2012 is a day that will certainly live long in the memory of those Moy Gaels who were lucky enough to be in attendance at this event. Congratulations to everyone concerned!

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