Whiddy won­der

Whiddy Is­land re­cently cap­tured a dream dou­ble in both the men’s and ladies All-Ire­land All-Is­land foot­ball cham­pi­onships..

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - John Bo­hane

WHIDDY Is­land re­cently cap­tured a dream dou­ble in both the men’s and ladies All-Ire­land All-Is­land foot­ball cham­pi­onships which were held in Bere Is­land.

The Whiddy Is­land ladies team re­gained the cham­pi­onship ti­tle while the men’s team cap­tured their sec­ond cham­pi­onship ti­tle in four sea­sons. Whiddy Is­land team coach Danny O’Leary was de­lighted with their dou­ble suc­cess.

“It was a great achievement to bring two All-Ire­land ti­tles home to Whiddy Is­land. Both team de­serve great praise for their dis­plays over the week­end,” re­vealed the proud coach.

Danny was lav­ish in his praise for the Whiddy Is­land ladies foot­ball team who im­pressed once again which en­abled them to se­cure their sec­ond suc­ces­sive All-Ire­land All-Is­lands foot­ball cham­pi­onship ti­tle. The Whiddy Is­land ladies team de­feated Inis Oirr to se­cure cham­pi­onship glory.

“They pro­duced a series of great dis­plays. They were very im­pres­sive. All the team played great.

“They are a se­ri­ously strong team. The two Cork mi­nor play­ers Rachel and Eve Mur­phy have been big ad­di­tions to the Whiddy Is­lands panel.

“They are great play­ers. Rachel got Player of the Tour­na­ment. The whole panel of play­ers con­trib­uted.”

The men’s team, who last se­cured All-Ire­land cham­pi­onship glory in 2015 in Inish­bofin, also pro­duced a series of com­pre­hen­sive dis­plays en route to a de­served cham­pi­onship win. Danny was de­lighted with their dis­plays.

“They were bril­liant. The two pan­els had played a good few chal­lenges games be­fore the All-Ire­land week­end which helped them enor­mously.

“They pre­pared well and pro­duced some great per­for­mances. The lads were dis­ap­pointed to lose the All-Ire­land fi­nal last year and they were de­ter­mined to win this year’s re­newal.

“It’s nice to have won two All-Ire­land ti­tles over the last four years. We have reached two All-Ire­land fi­nals in suc­ces­sive years which is also great go­ing by our panel of play­ers. To con­clude the week­end with a dou­ble is a fit­ting way to fin­ish this year’s All-Is­land cham­pi­onship.”

There were great cel­e­bra­tions in Whiddy Is­land when both vic­to­ri­ous teams came home with the two All-Ire­land ti­tles, re­vealed Danny.

“The whole is­land is very proud of both teams. They are great am­bas­sadors for the is­land. They wear our jersey with great pride and dis­tinc­tion. To come back to the is­land with two Al­lIre­land ti­tles is bril­liant.

“There were great cel­e­bra­tions. The play­ers de­serve great praise for their huge achievement.”

The Whiddy Is­land men’s team de­feated Cork ri­vals Bere Is­land in the fi­nal fol­low­ing a very im­pres­sive per­for­mance. Both teams had to come out of their group stages which were played out on a round-robin ba­sis, re­spec­tively.

“The group stages were very ex­cit­ing with some great games played out. Both teams came through to se­cure their place in the fi­nal.

“They both pro­duced great per­for­mances in the fi­nal. The men’s team won by a good few points in the fin­ish.

“Bere Is­land put up a good bat­tle, but we pulled away in the end. The ladies fi­nal was very sim­i­lar.

“Inis Oirr from Gal­way were very gal­lant also, but our play­ers fin­ished strongly to emerge vic­to­ri­ous.”

Danny was de­lighted with the an­nual All-Is­lands foot­ball cham­pi­onships which were held in neigh­bour­ing Bere Is­land for the first time in eight years.

He was im­pressed with the or­gan­i­sa­tion and the top-class fa­cil­i­ties on dis­play in Bere Is­land.

“The com­pe­ti­tion was run off very suc­cess­fully. It was a great week­end and a trib­ute to Bere Is­land for all their hard work.

“The stan­dard of the games was very high and the hospi­tal­ity was great. There is a great com­mu­nity in Bere Is­land and they en­sured ev­ery­thing ran so smoothly.”

Bere Is­land boast a very good pitch and club­house which was ideal for host­ing this year’s All-Is­land cham­pi­onships.

Next year’s tour­na­ment will be held in the Aran Is­lands. Danny is al­ready look­ing for­ward to bring­ing the dou­ble win­ners to that lo­ca­tion.

“We will be en­ter­ing and ap­proach­ing this tour­na­ment with great in­tent once again. It would be great for the ladies team to se­cure the three-in-arow.

“Our men’s team will, no doubt, be ea­ger to com­pete strongly for cham­pi­onship glory once again next year. We had two strong pan­els in ac­tion this year, so hope­fully we will have a strong panel to call upon once again next sea­son. We will pre­pare strongly and hope for the best.”

The All-Ire­land All-Is­lands com­pe­ti­tion was ini­ti­ated in 1998 to bring all the is­lands’ lo­cated on the is­land of Ire­land to­gether. It pro­motes greater co­op­er­a­tion and unity be­tween all the var­i­ous is­lands. Danny is de­lighted with the suc­cess of the orig­i­nal con­cept.

“It has been a huge suc­cess. It has pro­moted all the is­lands so well. We all en­joy meet­ing up and play­ing foot­ball. All the is­lands face huge ob­sta­cles in their ev­ery­day lives with re­gards iso­la­tion and em­i­gra­tion etc.

“This week­end pro­motes the great cul­ture in is­land life and high­lights the tal­ent which ex­ists within the is­lands.”

Danny’s nephew, Sean O’Leary who rep­re­sented the Cork foot­ballers at both mi­nor and U21 level in re­cent years, was awarded the Player of the Tour­na­ment fol­low­ing a series of im­pres­sive dis­plays. Danny was de­lighted with his con­tri­bu­tion.

“Seanie is a great player. He was a driv­ing force in our vic­tory.

“We are very proud of him.”

The stan­dard was very high and the hospi­tal­ity was great. There is great com­mu­nity in Bere Is­land.

Whiddy Is­land men’s cap­tain, Seanie O’Leary re­ceiv­ing the cup af­ter their re­cent suc­cess. The tal­ented player has rep­re­sented Cork at mi­nor and U21 level.

The Whiddy Is­land ladies team be­fore tak­ing part in the tour­na­ment.

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