Bright’ start to the year for the St Nicks men in Crawley
NINE St Nicks men set out at 9:30am from outside the Forester arms to represent the club in the 7s tournament down in Crawley, In what would be a 5 hour round trip on the road for the lads. With training going well and new recruits pushing lads on, the 9 went down full of confidence about winning it outright.
The 9 St Nicks GAA men that represented the club
Below are match reports from the day
Game 1 St Nicks Versus Brighton B
The first game was played on a large pitch and the heavy ground made for a slow start to the game as both teams got used to the bounce (or lack of) on the pitch. When St Nick’s got going, they utilised the fly keeper of John Polly very well, who combined well with new recruit Ciaran “the Rock” Canning.
Scores came from all over the pitch- including a superb goal from debutant Shaun “Goater” – scoring within 20 seconds of coming on the pitch! With the fly keeper acting as a sweeper, they were able to keep Brighton scoreless.
Game 2 St Nicks Versus Bournemouth
On the same pitch, this was a very fair but physical game. Scores again were well distributed with Dan Trainor popping up with a fine score to double his competitive scoring tally. And with Goater fed, he scored again!
Whilst conceding a goal brought the teams closer, the composure and interplay from defence into the forward line meant that St Nicks won the game by 5 points. Ciaran Canning chipped in with a great score and there were a few monster points from Matthew Mannion. He would have had even more if he didn’t have leg day on the Saturday….
Game 3 St Nicks Versus Brighton A
Moving across to the greener pastures for the last group game. After a long break and poor tune selection from Nigel Farrelly, St Nicks started the game slowly and found themselves behind after conceding a goal from a Brighton team that were clearly keen to make the final in their home tournament. The ship was steadied with the tireless running of Dan Trainor, alongside some composed play from Nigel, John Polly and The Rock. Up front, Stank made great movement and linked well with a Matty (so feared was he, that he referee tried to put him off by making fun of his tattoo before he took a 45). St Nicks won the game by 2 points in the end but definitely had another gear to find.
Final St Nicks Versus Bournemouth
After some grub, a mini rave in the changing rooms and a promise for Nidge to have a trophy to drink from on his birthday Nicks looked like a different team at the start of the final.
They started building the score line steadily with both Matthew and Stank contributing handsomely.
Stank was showing brilliantly up front and the Bournemouth defence was unable to deal with the St Nicks forward line. In an act of true sportsmanship- to make the game more even- Stank then sacrificed his ribs for the cause. But even without Galway’s most decorated footballer, Nick’s were able to rack up a score line of 2-12 to 1-4 to bring back home the Nigel Farrelly memorial Trophy (sponsored by Carling).
Nigel holding the winnings from the tournament
The score line meaning they were averaging a score every minute gives an indication to the pace and intensity that the game was played at. It’s no wonder then that the lads had to get into OMG to limber up that evening….
We would like to thank Crawley and Brighton Gaels gaels for a well organised tournament and their hospitality. Also like to thank all teams for travelling and making the day a great success!