London GAA county board commemorates 1916
Ruislip was awash with colour on Sunday as the commemorative 1916 events came to a head.
The main event was the London senior footballers’ clash with Louth who had travelled over especially for the weekend, but the pre-match parade on the pitch was the highlight of the day.
A total of three London teams lined out on Sunday, as the senior hurling team’s Christy Ring Cup was drawn to be played at Ruislip only six days previously. Unfortunately all three sides suffered defeat, but the games were well attended and showcased all of the county’s prominent and rising talent.
Alan Callanan, whose parents hail from Galway, played on the London development side who faced Warwickshire and was selected to read out the proclamation in front of the crowd.
He was joined on the pitch by the Warwickshire and London U18 footballers after their match, who all held the county flags as the bagpipe played before the proclamation was read out.
The London Rose selection was present too, accompanied by 2015 London Rose Aisling Hillary, and the Donegal Association’s Caoimhe Gallagher was selected to sing national anthem Amhrán na bhFiann.
The London senior team, and the Louth team, then paraded around the pitch accompanied by a bagpipe player before their challenge game.
Louth were on the back of a huge success in the Football League Group 4 final, after beating Antrim by 3-12 to 1-14 the previous weekend. It was a disappointing first half for the London team, as Louth seemed to pick up where they left off against Antrim and stormed ahead to a 2-10 to 0-6 lead at halftime.
The goals came from O’Raghallaighs Barry Flanagan and Dundalk Gaels’ Gerard McSorley, as London struggled to keep up with their opponents.
Changes from both sides in the second half saw a more competitive game commence as London settled into the game with some well-taken point attempts. Louth would go on to score again from Hunterstown Rovers’ Ryan Burns, but although London had a bit of a goal drought, they were 0-15 to 3-16 behind after knocking over nine points.
They would end the game on a high however after David McGreevey’s free ended up setting up a last minute goal to give London a final score of 1-15 to 3-17.
It wasn’t an ideal start to preparations for their game with Mayo in four weeks time, but with injuries keeping out Senan O’Grady, Patrick O’Hara, Conor Campbell, Darragh Quinn and James Moran, and with Lorcan Mulvey still return to the team there are positives to be taken away too, as the team prepare for further challenge matches ahead of their Conacht Championship opener.
After the game London chairman John Lacey presented visiting chairman Des Halpenny with a commemorative crystal, and Mr Halpenny thanked London for their welcome, and Bill Reilly for his continued support of his home county.