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