Social Gaelic football finals day
A sun-soaked Ian Galloway Park was host to the 2021 social Gaelic football finals day on Saturday 13 February.
The first to fifth-placed teams on the regular season league table contested the senior tournament while sixth to tenth-placed teams battled it out for the junior tournament.
The junior tournament saw The Socialites reign supreme. Having finished the regular season on 10 points, along with senior teams Fr Mangans and The Igghids, it was their inferior scoring difference which positioned them sixth on the table and into the junior tournament.
Strong performances in the semi-final against Trenbolone Sandwiches (4-8 — 2-4) and in the final against Kāpiti Coast Keas (2-10 — 1-8) duly earned them the junior title and showed why they wouldn’t have been out of place in the top tier.
Whether it was the pressure of knockout football or the sweltering conditions which had a bearing, the senior competition didn’t follow the regular season script. Whelan ‘n’ Dealin’ and Welly Warriors topped the league with 16 points each, but both succumbed to surprise semi-final losses.
Following the upsets they dealt in the semis, Fr Mangans and The Wednesday Club both fancied themselves in the day’s showdown. It was a low-scoring, but exciting final which Fr Mangans eked out by two points — 2-3 to 1-4. With a fifth-place league finish, and qualifying into the senior finals by scoring difference, the clergymen/women showed anything’s possible in social Gaelic football.
Congratulations to The Socialites and Fr Mangans on their finals day wins, but most importantly many thanks and congratulations to you, the players, on making it another fun, friendly and social season of Gaelic football (and a bit of hurling too).
Shout outs must go to Bryan ‘Badger’ Downes on organising the season’s fixtures; Kate McCarthy for ensuring we had pitches to play on; the referees; Ken on the barbie (hehe, I just realised what I did there); Paul Hodgson of Paulo Pics NZ for his superb finals day action shots, and all who helped out in any little way.