Ferbane Boys and Girls complete a famous Leinster Féile Double in Portlaoise

It was a bank holiday weekend of sun and silverware for the young footballers of West Offaly after both the Ferbane/Belmont boys and the Ferbane/Doon/Shannonbridge girls won their respective Division 1 Leinster Féile titles in Portlaoise last Saturday.

Roughly eighty teams of boys and girls had gathered at the various venues across Laois to compete for the eleven titles on offer and it was a very successful weekend for Offaly clubs generally – Clara won the boys Division 3 title, Ballinamere/Durrow and Ballycumber Tubber took the boys Division 6 and Division 7 crowns, while the girls of Tullamore took their Division 3 prize. However it was the Ferbane based clubs that stole the show with the best football of the day and they deservedly walked away with the Division 1 honours for both boys and girls.

The Ferbane/Belmont U14 boys team were stationed in the Portlaoise GAA Club for their group games and were keeping a keen eye on St. Vincents, the current Offaly Féile champions who will travel to Cork at the end of this month for the national Féile na nÓg event. Ferbane/Belmont emphatically saw off Mountmellick/Ballyfin in their first game by 4-11 to 0-1 while St. Vincents were unlucky to draw a strong Summerhill side from Meath and went down by four points in their first round game. Tinryland (Carlow) were Ferbane/Belmont’s next opponents and after five minutes Tinryland were 1-1 to 0-0 up, but Ferbane/Belmont rallied late in the half to lead by six points at the break. With the aid of a stiffening breeze, Ferbane/Belmont piled on the pressure and secured a 4-6 to 1-1 victory and with it a semi-final tie against the host club Portlaoise. St. Vincents needed a win in their second match against St. Mary’s from Ardee in Louth to remain in the competition. They delivered a confident performance to come through 2-12 to 1-5, though they had to depend on their goalkeeper on a number of occasions.

The wind was now playing a significant part in these games at O’Moore Park and Portlaoise used the wind well against Ferbane/Belmont to lead 2-3 to 0-3 at half time. However Ferbane/Belmont dug deep to produce some of their best football of the competition and scored 1-7 without reply in the second quarter hour to win by four points.

An all-Offaly final looked to be on the cards as St. Vincents took a one point lead into the closing stages of their semi-final, but they conceded a last gasp goal and it was Summerhill who advanced to the decider. However the Meath boys were outclassed in the final as Ferbane/Belmont cruised to a 3-10 to no score victory, securing the title in style.

The U14 girls began their tournament in Rathleague GAA and they set their stall out straight away with a very impressive 5-9 to 0-2 win over Dunlavin of Wicklow. Another south Wicklow club, Baltinglass, provided the opposition in the semi final and these girls were always likely to pose a stiffer test after beating Park/Ratheniska 9-6 to 0-2 in the first round.

Baltinglass started very well against Ferbane/DSB and got the first couple of scores of the game, but the self-belief and skill that the west Offaly girls showed in winning the Offaly Féile title earlier this year came to the fore and they eventually secured a seven point victory.

It was Offaly opposition for the Ferbane/DSB girls in the final as Edenderry had come through the other side of the draw with a very impressive win over Portlaoise, however the Ferbane/DSB girls kept their great run of results this year going and eventually emerged the comfortable winners, 5-6 to 1-1.

Cork is the next stop for these ladies at the end of the month when they will be the guests of the Beara club in Castletownbere for the national Féile competition, where hopefully they will continue this fine form and bring yet more silverware home to West Offaly.


Ferbane/Belmont U14 Boys.

Barry Rohan, Oisin Daly, Ronan McGuire, Anthony Seery, Darragh Brophy, Liam Cooper, Emmet Molloy, Ronan Hynes, Colin Kenny, Kyle Higgins, Jack Darcy, Jack Clancy, Oisin Kelly, Brian McEvoy, Ryan Heavin, Cian Johnson, Ronan Devery, David Nally, Ronan Butler, Patrick Clancy, Killian Egan, Brendan Doyle, Michael O’Shea

Ferbane/DSB U14 Ladies

Ava Flynn, Avril Spain, Ciara Flynn, Gráinne Kenny, Tara Egan, Róisin Egan, Karen Pillion, Emer Nally, Amy Gavin-Mangan, Eimear Flynn, Ellee McEvoy, Rachael Seery, Kathlyn Rigney, Aoife Corbett, Georgina Buckley, Áine Guinan, Anna Grehan, Sinéad Egan, Amanda Keena, Ffion Boland, Rachel Doyle, Gráinne Murray.

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