Na Fianna Ladies Gaelic Football - Atlanta, GA
     
 

Na Fianna’s Trip to the National Gaelic Football Championships in Chicago – Labor Day weekend 2007

Firstly I must say “what a trip”, it was such a pleasure to visit the lovely city of Chicago I now understand the Christy Moore song “In the City of Chicago”. If you haven’t been before it’s well worth it for the beautiful views of Lake Michigan from the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower! The weather was oh so much more inviting than the previous freezing rain-drenched tourney at Philly.

Well - on to the Football. Na Fianna traveled up to Chicago with a strong squad of players and supporters - leaving the City of Atlanta on August 30th. The majority flew with the odd car load taking the scenic route by car.

List of all the players playing at Nationals

  • Kim Wilkins
  • Shannon Scott
  • Joanna Robinson
  • Kelly Kamees
  • Emma Mannion
  • Joyce Sweeney
  • Emily Ely
  • Jess Ohmann
  • Lauren Carter
  • Erin Whigham
  • Sharon McAleer
  • Karina Clarke
  • Maureen Koczinski
  • Ivett Kyriacou
  • Natalia Kyriacou
  • Nimara Snyder
  • Marbella Alaniz
  • Monica Henry
  • Yoland Gomez
  • (Coach) Johnny

Supporters:

John Frady, The Twins Grandpa K, The Twins Mum, Ennis, Charlie, Gerard and Ken.

Game 1 – August 31st
Philadelphia Notre Dame    3-7      Atlanta Na Fianna   0-7

The first match of the weekend was Friday morning at 10:30 against Philadelphia. This was a non stop defensive game with Shannon in goals and our defense of Sharon, Emily, Joyce, Mirabella, Jess and Natalia worked non stop through out the game to hold off the attacking forwards of Philly. Forwards managed to keep the score line very tight with points from Emma, Karina, Ivett, Kelly and Joanna. After a fierce attempt at a comeback in the second half, Na Fianna fell just short as time ran out. In the end Philly won with a lucky goal giving them a 3 point lead over Atlanta. Oh for just 10 more minutes of that game …

MVP:  Jess Ohmann
Top Scorer:  unknown …

Game 2: September 1st
Denver Gaels   1-5     Atlanta Na Fianna    2-9

Based on Friday’s game Na Fianna advanced into the Charity Shield competition. This was a new competition for Junior B ladies to encourage greater competition and more competitive games at the championships.

In this round Na Fianna played Denver Colorado. This was a great game for our half backs and mid field. Jess Ohmann and the twins Natalia and Ivett had a great game – mounting the attack from the half back line and supporting each other the whole way up the field then laying it off to our forwards Joanna and Emma to rack up the points. This game was to be noted for injuries to key Na Fianna players.  Joanna’s foot was injured early in the 1st half.  Joanna battled on for several scores during this game. Our midfield also took a brutal hit midfielder Lauren Carter – left the field for the hospital with an ankle and foot injury that took her out of play for the weekend.  Despite those critical injuries, the defensive line held strong, as Emily, Sharon, Jess, Marabella, Joyce, and Goalie Shannon Scott defended and kept the advantage gained by Joanna, Emma, Monica, and possibly others to enable them to move forward to the Charity Shield Championship game.

In the end Na Fianna won by 4 points and 1 goals. A great Victory for Na Fianna

Co-MVP: Jess Ohmann & Emma Mannion
Top Scorer: Joanna

Game 3: September 2nd
Detroit St. Ann's    2-4   Atlanta Na Fianna    0-6   

After Saturday’s brilliant performance Na Fianna went on to play in the final against Detroit. After losing Lauren Carter and Joanna due to injuries in Game 2 we were anxious to come out strong from the get go. Na Fianna dominated this game with 60-70% of the game played in the Detroit half of the field. It was the magic of Emma Mannion who came out of her full forward position to play center half and then switched to mid field in the 2nd half of the game that racked up the points for Na Fianna. Nimara Snyder was fierce in the center half back line dominating Detroit’s half forwards throughout the 1st three-quarters of the game and playing in accurate passes to the Na Fianna mid fielders and forwards. The defense was strong again, with Emily battling through nose injuries and knockdowns and every member fighting to stay with the cause and bring home a championship to Atlanta.

In the end, the loss of the offensive scoring power of Joanna to injury and Lauren Carter in midfield hurt us.  This was despite a valiant and heart-felt game by many players on the team – Karina Clarke gave it her all throughout with excellent passing and ball possession, Emma Mannion provided fierce scoring and mid-field positioning and transition, Natalia provided mid-field movement and a strong never-quitting defensive presence, Ivett kept battling despite having the majority of her senses knocked out and swaying as she stepped off only to come back on to continue the fight, Jess was her usual great and speedy self, and team captain Kim fought to the bitter end to try to make this victory happen, despite missing several chances that she longed to have again.  In the end, several great scoring opportunities by several usually sure-scored players were missed that would have turned the tide and likely changed the outcome. The team was tired from the previous battles and Detroit then took home the Shield.

However, this left a great building block for Na Fianna – knowing that realistically and truly, they could have and should have won every game that they played that weekend.

Co-MVP:  Emma Mannion & Emily Ely
Top Scorer: Emma Mannion

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